Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and Managing Director Stephen Richard announced this week CENTERSTAGE's 2013-14 Season, Theater for the Heart.
"Our 51st season is, quite simply, all about the heart. Each of these plays, whether through music, poetry, or sheer comedic perfection, says something fundamental about what it means to be human; about what it means to feel," says Kwei-Armah. "From the sweeping poetry of Marcus Gardley's dance of the holy ghosts to the quiet triumph of the spirit in Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas, they are beautifully crafted plays, each with a daring and thoughtful take on matters of the spirit."
Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah will direct a pair of plays by two of the country's most exciting playwrights. In the fall, Kwei-Armah will helm Marcus Gardley's melodic family drama, dance of the holy ghosts: a play on memory, which brings us the story of blues-man Oscar Clifton as he confronts a history of loves and regrets. In the spring, after directing the World Premiere this summer at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Kwei-Armah will stage Naomi Wallace's historical saga The Liquid Plain for Baltimore audiences. Winner of the prestigious 2012 Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play, The Liquid Plain follows two runaway slaves and an amnesic sailor as they live a life and plot an escape on the docks of eighteenth-century Rhode Island.
The season gets off to a rollicking start with a fresh new revival of the Marx Brothers' musical comedy gem, Animal Crackers. Starring local favorite Bruce Nelson (...Edgar Allan Poe) as Groucho Marx playing the ineffable Captain Spaulding, Animal Crackers proves the comedy genius of the Marx Brothers is as spot-on as ever. Animal Crackers will be followed by dance of the holy ghosts.
The holiday season brings Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel's stunning new musical tale of hope and forgiveness, A Civil War Christmas. Weaving together carols, hymns, and folk songs, this "beautifully stitched tapestry of American lives" (The New York Times) follows friends and foes, from the White House to the battlefields, on one frigid and surprising Christmas Eve in 1864.
Ushering in the New Year are two masterpieces of comedy from across the pond. Marie Jones' Stones in His Pockets is an acting tour de force with a cast of two actors playing more than a dozen characters in a small Irish village overrun by a big budget Hollywood film crew. And the Bard makes a return to CENTERSTAGE with Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's quintessential romantic comedy filled with revelry, disguises, and pining lovers.
The Liquid Plain arrives in April, and then, rounding out the season, is the "extravagantly talented" (Entertainment Weekly) Colman Domingo's Wild with Happy. A recent smash hit at New York's Public Theater, this shimmering new comedy follows Gil, a down-on-his-luck actor whose journey to happiness weaves through love, loss and, surprisingly, The Most Magical Place on Earth.
Full information on the season can be found at www.centerstage.org/2013-14season.