The new season is wide-ranging in themes and time periods, and includes “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Vietgone,” “King Charles III” and “Here Lies Love.”
A recent Broadway hit, an American classic, a look at financial intrigue and an immersive piece created by rock renaissance man David Byrne are all part of Seattle Repertory Theatre’s roster of plays in the coming year.
The 2016-17 season kicks off with Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” (Sept. 30-Oct. 30), to be directed by local actor Timothy McCuen Piggee, who is making his Rep mainstage directorial debut. The New York Times said the play “changed American theater forever” when it debuted in 1959, and the racial strife and intolerance depicted in a black family’s move from an apartment in Chicago’s South Side to a white neighborhood still reflect current events.
Also coming up:
• “Roz and Ray” (Oct. 14-Nov. 13). Karen Hartman’s new play, written while she was in residence at the University of Washington, concerns single dad Ray and the miracles Roz seems to offer his twin hemophiliac sons. Chay Yew will direct.
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• “King Charles III” (Nov. 11-Dec. 11). This Broadway hit by Mike Bartlett will be produced with American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco) and the Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.). It imagines a not-too-distant future when Prince Charles ascends the British throne with wife Camilla and the rest of the Windsor/Cambridge clan at his side. “Scheming and soliloquizing, ‘Charles III’ brilliantly alludes to and echoes a cavalcade of Shakespeare history dramas,” wrote then Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson after seeing it on Broadway.
• “Vietgone” (Dec. 2, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017). The American Theater Critics Association announced this month that Qui Nguyen’s piece about Vietnamese immigrants won ATCA’s largest prize — the $25,000 Steinberg/ATCA Award. ATCA judges called it a “sexy comedy about culture-shocked, grieving Vietnamese refugees who fled to the U.S. after the fall of Saigon.” May Adrales will direct. Produced in association with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
• “Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie” (Jan. 6-29). Guthrie’s anthems and ballads paint a musical portrait of the great American folkie and the legacy he left us of protest and populism. David Lutken reprises his Helen Hayes Award-winning role as Guthrie in this show, to be directed by Nick Corley.
• “Well” (Feb. 10-March 5). Lisa Kron, who wrote the book and lyrics for “Fun Home” (coming to the 5th Avenue Theatre), creates yet another onstage family — this one is autobiographical. Riffing off her mother’s illness and her own recovered-from ailments, Kron asks, “Why are some people sick and other people are well?”
• “Dry Powder” (March 17-April 16). A dark comedy about a private equity firm, anyone? Riding on the sentiments of financial exposés like “The Big Short,” “Dry Powder” ran Off Broadway earlier this year with Claire Danes and John Krasinski, and earned praise for the glimpse that playwright Sarah Burgess offered into the lives of slick wheeler-dealers.
• “Here Lies Love” (April 7-May 28). Here’s where Byrne and Fatboy Slim come in. “Love” is a sort of Philippines-set “Evita,” an immersive pop opera telling the story of the shoe-loving Imelda Marcos, wife of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. In the Public Theater production off Broadway, the audience served as citizens and protesters amid techno beats. Alex Timbers will direct; this will be produced with American Conservatory Theatre.