Fort Worth's Circle Theatre ocassionally reaches back a few decades for a play selection, but typically rounds out its seasons with new material from recent years. In 2013, it goes new all the way, with the oldest title on the roster being Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage, which premiered in the West End in 2008, and then had a successful Broadway run thanks to star-power casting. It also had a movie version, Carnage.
That show opens 2013 for Circle, and is a pretty bold move considering that the work just had its area premiere at Dallas Theater Center in spring 2012.
After that, it's even newer plays, several of which introduce North Texas to playwrights who have been getting buzz off-Broadway. The first is Samuel D. Hunter's A Bright New Boise (2010). Hunter is currently getting raves off-Broadway for his play The Whale.
Then there's Lauren Gunderson, whose Shakespeare-inspired title Exit, Pursued by a Bear (2011) will have its North Texas premiere in a full staging (it was given a staged reading at Kitchen Dog Theater's New Works Festival). That play is the first in her "Will to Power" trilogy; the second was Toil and Trouble. Incidentally, The Winter's Tale, the play from which that famous stage direction comes, will be big in North Texas in 2013, too. Stolen Shakespeare Company does it in February, and Shakespeare Dallas gives it a reading in January, and a full production in September.
In between those is a new comedy from Tom Dudzick, a playwright Circle returns to frequently, with Miracle on South Division Street (2011). The season ends with a new Canadian farce, Too Many Cooks (2011).
Here's the season rundown:
God of Carnage
Written by Yasmina Reza
Directed by Robin Armstrong
January 24 - February 23
Opening Night: January 26
2009 Tony Award for Best Play
2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Play
Alan and Annette invite Michael and Veronica to their home in an attempt to amicably resolve the consequences of their children’s playground altercation. It doesn’t take long before this civilized discussion spirals downhill into a savagely funny comedy of (bad) manners. Reza’s play begs the question: "How can we expect chlldren to act like grown-ups if adults cannot control their own behavior?" (Adult Language)
A Bright New Boise
Written by Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by Steven Pounders
March 21 - April 13
Opening Night: March 23
2011 Obie Award for Playwriting
A mysterious stranger, named Will, takes a job at the Hobby Lobby in Boise, Idaho in order to reconnect with his estranged son, Adam. As fellow employees begin to uncover dark secrets from his past, and his son becomes increasingly interested in why he left his church, Will must make a choice. Can he have a normal life and a healthy relationship with his son, or should he hold onto the beliefs that give his life meaning? (Adult Language)
Miracle on South Division Street
Written by Tom Dudzick
Directed by Harry Parker
June 13 - July 13
Opening Night: June 15
The Nowaks were always rock-solid members of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1943, Clara's father had a vision about the Virgin Mary preaching world peace. To commemorate this vision, he built a twenty-foot shrine of the Blessed Mother and erected it in front of his barbershop. Literally keeping the faith all these years, Clara has maintained the statue, despite the deterioration of their neighborhood. Now, her daughter has stopped going to mass, her son is dating a Jewish girl, and a revealed deathbed confession is unraveling the family legend with unexpectedly hilarious results.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear
Written by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Krista Scott
August 15 - September 14
Opening Night: August 17
2012 B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Comedy
Nan is fed up with her abusive husband, Kyle. She is going to make a run for it, but not until she’s duct-taped him to a recliner, covered him in honey and invited the neighborhood bear in for a snack. Inspired by a single stage direction in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, she grabs control of a bad situation, saving herself, her cat, and maybe even the world. This new play is a sharp revenge comedy by a playwright who says she always wanted to bring karaoke and William Shakespeare into their rightful artistic union. (Adult Language and Content)
Too Many Cooks
Written by Douglas E. Hughes and Marcia Kash
Directed by Robin Armstrong
October 17 - November 16
Opening Night: October 19
The year is 1932. Irving and his daughter, Honey, are preparing for the opening of their gourmet restaurant in Niagara Falls, Canada. Their plan to feature a famous French chef turns into a recipe for disaster when he fails to appear. Things go from bad to worse when they persuade an unemployed drifter to don the chef's hat and apron at the last moment. Add lots of doors, mistaken identities, and freshly baked salmon mousse into the mix and enjoy this delightful Canadian confection.
Individual ticket prices for shows are $20-$35. Preview performance tickets are $10 - $15.
Season tickets for all five main stage productions are available, starting at $80 each. Flex tickets are available for $72 each and are valid for one admission to three shows. Gift Cards for season tickets ($120), flex tickets ($72), and single tickets ($30) are also on sale.