Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) has announced its 2012-13, 15th anniversary mainstage season. This coming season will feature classic, contemporary and original productions including a recent Off-Broadway smash musical, a Tony-winning Hitchcock adaptation and a time-honored holiday tale. This season will also include a new production of Maryland Ensemble's first show, an original work that MET premiered more than 15 years ago.
Fifteen years is a milestone for Maryland Ensemble Theatre and Tad Janes, MET's Artistic Director, expounded upon the landmark. "It's funny, over 15 years of producing how your mindset shifts. First, it was just a bunch of actors wanting to put on plays that we all liked. Over the years, there is still that element, but we have come to recognize that our intentions have shifted to "how can we bring something new and inventive to our audience" and "how can we help excite new audiences to theatre." And, to look at our accomplishments- we've helped students acquire over $600k in college scholarships, in 1996 there was one theatre in downtown Frederick, now there are three and we are directly responsible for two of them; we help bring a "first theatre experience" production to over 600 elementary students each year where they get hands on experience with the nature of teamwork and meeting the deadline that is "opening night"- and we bring a large variety of entertainment to our region. From bizarre comedy, to family theatre, to the most thought provoking drama."
Each show this season will run for four weeks, every Thursday through Sunday. The first Thursday performance of each show will be a $5 preview night and the first Sunday performance will be a gala night with a reception preceding the performance. Local restaurants including Mistero, Greene Turtle, Cellar Door and The Wine Kitchen among others will cater the galas. All Thursday through Saturday shows will be at 8pm and the first and last Sundays will be at 7pm with the middle two Sundays offering matinees at 2pm.
The season opens with The 39 Steps directed by MET Associate Artistic Director Gene' Fouche'. The 39 Steps is based on the classic Hitchcock film and is a fast paced Tony and Drama Desk award winning whodunit with non-stop laughs and over a 150 characters played by a cast of four. The 39 Steps will run on the MET stage from September 6 - 30.
2010 Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical winner Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson will make its Maryland premiere on October 18th. This emo-rock musical reinvents the seventh president and the guy who's face you know from the 20 dollar bill as a complete and total rock star. Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson was written by Alex Timbers with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman and will be directed by MET Associate Artistic Director Julie Herber.
This coming Holiday season while MET's production of A Christmas Carol will be returning to the Weinberg Center for the Arts and the Carroll County Arts Center, the MET stage will be featuring It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. This award winning adaptation of the classic Capra film brings Bedford Falls to life by way of an on stage 1940s radio broadcast. Joe Brady will direct five actors playing all the characters and making all the sound effects in true period radio show fashion.
The Glass Menagerie is an American masterpiece that announced the presence of one of the greatest dramatists of the 20th Century. Tennessee William's semi-autobiographical heartbreaking yet often humorous memory play will come to the MET stage in February of next year and will be directed by Peter Wray.
Over fifteen years ago Maryland ensemble Theatre mounted its first mainstage production, Finally Heard: Feminine Heroes of An Uncivil War, an original world premiere production about the real lives of six extraordinary women who lived during the Civil War. On the 150th anniversary of the bloodiest conflict in our nation's history MET is thrilled to bring to back to life its first ever production that gives voice to little known stories of these miraculous women. The show will open April 4th and will be directed by Suzanne Beal.
The mainstage season will wrap up with another original comedy. The creators of Skin Deep and Something Brilliant Will Come To Us are gearing up for another wacky ensemble created comedy to rock your socks off. The new work, Pickle My Monkey, will run at the MET from May 16 through June 9.
Artistic Director Janes is excited about what promises to be a thrilling year for the MET and its patrons. "I feel the upcoming season is an audience pleaser! Our audiences have to come to appreciate our daring- so we have three plays that present a significant challenge. 39 Steps is a very physical comedy, Bloody, Bloody brings out The Edge that appeals to our young adult audience, and our final show is an all-original comedy created by our troupe. The other three bring new life to classic stories- the radio play version of It's a Wonderful Life is so fun, the women in our ensemble have been chomping at the bit to do Menagerie, and Finally Heard is a MET created work that fits in perfectly with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War."