Rep Stage, the professional regional theater in residence at Howard Community College, will return to in-person staged productions with its 2021–2022 season. Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World will launch the season December 2–19, 2021, followed by the world premiere of Dane Figueroa Edidi’s Ghost/Writer February 17–March 6, 2022, and then conclude with an exciting new production of Tennessee Williams’s seminal classic The Glass Menagerie April 28–May 15, 2022.
“To say I am beyond excited to see us all back in the theater is an understatement. The Rep Stage 2021–2022 season looks at the past, present, and future in ways that both re-examines history as well as re-envisions what the world ahead of us could look like,” said Joseph W. Ritsch, producing artistic director of Rep Stage. “From Brown’s song cycle that explores how our futures can shift dramatically by the choices we make in any given moment, to Edidi’s groundbreaking new play that collides past and present to ignite a call to action for justice, and looking at Williams’s historic American classic with a new lens that asks us to expand our idea of what family is and what memories look like, this season will bring us together once again as a community experiencing these diverse stories and invoking ways to see ourselves within the experiences of others.”
Songs for a New World
December 2 – 19, 2021 CANCELED
Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Joseph W. Ritsch
Musical Direction by Tiffany Underwood Holmes
Featuring Justine Icy Moral, Ben Lurye, and Sarah Corey
It’s about one moment. It’s about making a choice… or taking a stand… or following your heart. Songs for a New World takes us on a journey from past to present where we meet a startling array of characters standing on the precipice of change. With joy, poignancy, and passion, this song cycle from Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade, and Bridges of Madison County) celebrates life, love, and the choices that we make. This production is in partnership with the Columbia Festival of the Arts.
February 17–March 6, 2022
Written by Dane Figueroa Edidi
Directed by Danielle A. Drakes
Featuring Dane Figueroa Edidi and Steve Polites
Family secrets spanning decades unravel as history and fiction collide. In 1920, just outside of Tulsa, Patrick, an Irish immigrant, seeks out the services of Ms. Ruby, a mysterious Black woman from Baltimore, known to help exorcise ghosts from her clients, but the price she is asking may be too high. Meanwhile, in 2019, Charles Ross hires infamous ghost writer Rebecca Warren to help him through his writer’s block, but what she invokes could be his salvation or undoing. Edidi’s new play examines the intersections of race and gender, inviting us to explore the role of love, justice, and joy in a world where the ghosts of the past have yet to be laid to rest.
The Glass Menagerie
April 28–May 15, 2022
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Joseph W. Ritsch
Featuring Grace Bauer, Heather Gibson, Alejandro Ruiz, and Samy Nour Younes Figaredo
Ghosts of the past continue to haunt in Williams’s seminal play The Glass Menagerie. Amanda Wingfield is a faded remnant of Southern gentility who now lives in a cramped St. Louis apartment with her seemingly aimless son, Tom, and her debilitatingly shy daughter, Laura. With their father absent and the Great Depression in motion, the siblings find comfort in their distractions — alcohol, movies, and writing for Tom and a collection of glass animals for Laura. When a gentleman caller arrives for dinner, the Wingfield family is flooded with hope. But it’s uncertain if this mysterious visitor will change things for the better or shatter a family’s fragile illusions. This exciting new production asks us what do memories truly look like, and how is that answer different for each of us?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep Stage has always prioritized the health, safety, and well-being of its patrons and the community. Rep Stage’s 2021–2022 season follows the college’s reopening plan, which was developed in accordance with county, state, and federal guidelines.
A previous version of this story reported that Rep Stage’s season opener, Songs for a New World, would have earlier run dates (September 30–October 15, 2021). But the production was postponed (to December 2–19, 2021) after Rep Stage sought revisions to its Actors’ Equity’s contract rider—to ensure it was aligned with the college’s plan, as well as language clarity and adjustments to honor Maryland self-insurance law—and Actors’ Equity would not agree to the few revisions requested. Patrons with existing tickets for the earlier-announced run will be contacted by the box office to arrange an exchange or refund.
“Thank you to our patrons for their continued patience and flexibility as we continue to navigate producing live theater at this time,” said Joseph W. Ritsch, producing artistic director of Rep Stage. “Our plan prioritized safety and followed all college, county, state, and federal guidelines. Since Actors’ Equity could not agree to our requested changes, we look forward to celebrating the holiday season with Songs for a New World, the restorative and glorious song cycle by Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown.”
Rep Stage, the professional regional theater in residence at Howard Community College, produces engaging and evocative contemporary American classics and new works. Led by Producing Artistic Director Joseph W. Ritsch, Rep Stage is dedicated to collaborating with regional artists in its commitment to bringing richly diverse work to audiences. Recognized as a professional Washington, DC, metropolitan area theater company by Theatre Washington, Rep Stage has a proud history of Helen Hayes Award–winning productions and nominations over its 25 years. The theater is a member of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and Theatre Communications Group. Performances are made possible by Howard Arts Council, Maryland State Arts Council, Howard County and Maryland state governments, and generous individual donors.