If the last year has shown us anything, it’s that we’re all more resilient and capable of speedy adaptation than perhaps we thought. We have re-envisioned the plays we’ll produce, the way we’ll create our work, and the best ways to invite you, our audience, to join us safely. And after much consideration, Studio has decided to go entirely digital with its 2020-2021 season.
I think you’ll agree that season is still very Studio. We are still dedicated to the kind of immediate connection between artist and audience, play and present moment, that has always animated our work. We’re calling this season “In the Moment”—which captures the livewire of performance, the unique frame that the pandemic gives this season, and the resonance each of these plays has with this unprecedented moment in history.
The plays of the season are all quite distinct in their interests and their tone, from Dael Orlandersmith’s look at the pain and resilience from communities of Ferguson, MO in 2014 that reverberates today; to Lisa Kron’s stories of her father, a Holocaust survivor and roller coaster enthusiast; to a world premiere about the moral reckoning of an ICE subcontractor. Each of the forms that the plays take—audio plays, digital drama, streamed solo performances—are brand new to us and to you.
If you’ve been with us for a few years, you’ll see we’re also re-making past work for our present moment—I’ll re-stage the 2014 Cock for socially distant actors; Doris Duke Artist in Residence Psalmayene 24 will direct a revival of Will Power’s Flow for a new generation.
After a long hiatus from producing theatre, it is good to be making plans to be together, even virtually, and to share the visions of the many artists of this season. More than ever, we are grateful for your support and sense of adventure as we step into the future together.
Click on production title to see show description.
John breaks up with his boyfriend of seven years. Two weeks later, he's desperate to be taken back—but can't stop sleeping with the woman he started seeing in their weeks off. In a world with so many ways to be happy, how do you know the right thing when you have it? A sexy, conflicted look at attraction, ambivalence, and commitment. David Muse remakes his 2014 Helen Hayes-award winning production for the camera.
When Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson in 2014, the outrage and protests that followed were a wake-up call to some and familiar, exhausting news to others. Dael Orlandersmith draws from dozens of interviews across Ferguson's communities in Until the Flood, using one specific flashpoint of race and power to look at the ongoing pain of a litany of Black deaths at the hands of police. Studio Associate Artistic Director Reginald L. Douglas reimagines Orlandersmith's solo play with a cross-generational ensemble of three Black women, celebrating the resolve for justice that remains as urgent today as it was six years ago.
Lisa's father is 74, nearly blind, a Holocaust survivor, and addicted to roller coasters. 2.5 Minute Ride follows two very different father-daughter trips: the annual Kron family pilgrimage to roller-coaster heaven in Sandusky, Ohio and Lisa's once-in-a-lifetime trip to Auschwitz with her father. A travelogue through thrill and loss, Lisa Kron (book and lyrics, Fun Home) tracks her father's enthusiasm, physical frailty, and ambivalence about the lives he might have lived with humor and unsentimental compassion.
Will Power's percussive look at one urban community and its seven storytellers, who gossip and riff, declare and reveal, showing off their neighborhood through its stories, from trivial to tragic. Backed by a live DJ and unfolding in rhythm and rhyme, Flow is a call and response through history, from the griot tradition to the next artists who will make the tradition for their times. Will Power toured the piece to Studio in 2004 and Doris Duke Artist in Residence Psalmayene 24 directs a new production for a new generation.
When Martín applies for a position at the local Walmart-turned-Detention Center, he expects to be supervising hardened criminals facing deportation. But he soon discovers he's guarding a warehouse full of children, as young as his own, separated from their families at the nearby Texan border. Still, jobs are scarce, the graveyard shift pays well, and Martín is in no position to turn down a steady paycheck. But when a strange epidemic reaches the facility, he faces a moral reckoning. Stark and propulsive, Tender Age joins Brant's Grounded (Studio, 2014) as a play about living at the edge of your ethics.
Studio In Your Ears
Intimate and immediate, Studio’s audio plays bring the thrill of great writing and great acting directly to you.
WRITTEN BY SARAH BURGESS
DIRECTED BY MARTI LYONS
Newly elected congresswoman Sydney Millsap arrives in DC armed with her ideals and sense of duty, and refuses to play by the rules of special interests—or her own party. Kate’s a lobbyist who backs winners. The two collide in the audio adaptation of the lacerating comedy Studio produced just after the last midterms. As the dust settles from the 2020 elections, Kings is a shrewd look at where power really sits in our government.
Available through Jan 24.
A WORLD PREMIERE
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY IKE HOLTER
An anthem for our time, I Hate it Here looks at the ways people do (and don’t) deal with a world on the brink of explosion. Commissioned by Studio to create an audio work, award-winning Chicago writer Ike Holter brings his sharp humor to the complexities of stepping into a new decade with the odds already stacked against you.
Available through Mar 7.
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