Jubilee Theatre's new Artistic Director Tre Garrett has selected the company's 31st season, and it looks to be telling of a young leader with ambition. The season starts off with Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer Prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog (which might cause a stink, considering the R-rated language in this one), includes two other plays by playwrights Jubilee hasn't produced yet, and ends with a surprising choice: The Sondheim musical Company.
Speaking of musicals, there are no titles from the theater's founder, Rudy Eastman, and the lack of such shows was a point of contention under the watch of previous artistic director Ed Smith.
We'll have to watch how that plays out in subsequent seasons.
“My sincere desire is to celebrate the diversity of the theatre and the African-American experience," Garrett said in the news release. "Each show of our upcoming season represents a specific theme: cultural, traditional, historic, contemporary and challenging.”
Here's the season (dates haven't been announced yet):
- Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks. Two brothers, Lincoln and Booth, after being abandoned by their parents as teenagers, depend upon each other for survival. The brothers struggle to make a new life for themselves, while competing against each other, vying for control and biting at each other for the role of Top Dog. BTW, Parks is the cousin of Fort Worth City Council member Kathleen Hicks.
- A Pure Gospel Christmas by John Tobin. Upon This Rock First Baptist Church is only days away from its annual Christmas Concert and the various choirs are in chaos. It’s going to take an act of God for the Choir Director to pull the choirs together in time enough to have A Pure Gospel Christmas.
- Pretty Fire by Charlayne Woodard. Pretty Fire tells the story of a young girl’s coming of age through five autobiographical vignettes. Whispering secrets, imitating the people of her life, bursting into song, the stage is filled with giddy laughter, haunting memories and the pure joy of innocence.
- Tambourines to Glory by Langston Hughes. A gospel musical by legendary Langston Hughes, this passionate and spirited musical comedy follows the lives of two women who open a storefront gospel church in the heart of Harlem, and in the process, have a run-in with the devil himself.
- Broke-ology by Nathan Louis Jackson. The King family is used to being broke, but when their father is diagnosed with a serious illness, sons Ennis and Malcolm must clearly decide where their loyalties lie. This powerful new play (2009) by a brilliant young writer brings new perspectives on the struggles of the next generation.
- Company Book by George Furth and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Company is a musical comedy about five married, once married, or soon-to-be-married couples and their good friend, Robert, a young bachelor who has avoided long-term relationships. Eventually, Bobby learns that while relationships aren't perfect, they can be a beautiful and necessary part of "Being Alive." Garrett is planning this production to showcase a cast of diverse ethnicities.
For more info, visit www.jubileetheatre.org.