Phoenix new season announced

August 3, 2009
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Today, the Phoenix Theatre announced its lineup of 2009/2010 productions which, true-to-Phoenix form, looks to take adventurous theatergoers into untested and unfamilair territory.

And it's going to be doing it at a cheaper price. The Phoenix is dropping a regular ticket down to $20 and expanding $15 Duke Energy CheapSeats performances to include Sundays as well as Thursdays.

The season opens with the Midwest Premier of Blair Singer's male bonding dramady "The Most Damaging Wound," continues with Donald Margulies' fanciful "Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As told by himself)," where a big part of the pleasure should come from seeing how the Phoenix design team faces the show's many challenges.

The holiday's will bring another edition of "A Very Phoenix Xmas," and the New Year launches two more Midwest premieres, Alan Brody's "The Housewives of Mannheim" and Sharr White's academic family in-fighting drama "Sunlight."

You may not have heard of playwright Steven Dietz, but with a play being staged at the Indiana Repertory Theatre and another simultaniously at the Phoenix, you will soon. The Phoenix will offer Dietz's "Yankee Tavern" in April, describing it as Alfred Hitchcock meets Oliver Stone.

As classes are winding down at school's in late May, the Phoenix will take us back to high school in Steven Karam's "Speech and Debate," in which a trio of loners take on a school's scandels. It's an intense piece, requiring a trio of talented, age-appropriate, actors. 

The highest profile show of the season is the Neil LaBute's "Reasons to be Pretty," which recently closed on Broadway (and which I reviewed in the IBJ). Start preparing now for the blistering verbal battle that launches the show.

The Phoenix season also includes three specials, which the theater is presenting rather than producing. Look for the return of comedy duo Dos Fallopia, a one-man world premiere from Ricardo Melendez, and Terre Haute by Edmund White and, perhaps of most interest, the drama "Terre Haute," based on prison interviews with death-row inmate Timothy McVeigh.

Your thoughts?
  • That's a great-looking season!

    The press release invites one clarification, however: The Housewives of Mannheim had a full production at Indiana's Bloomington Playwrights Project in, I think, 2006, which would mean this isn't its midwestern premiere. (Would also mean that its so-called world premiere in New Jersey wasn't its world premiere, either, but all of that is mostly to say that premiere has evolved into a fairly meaningless marketing term.)
    • Thank you for the positive response. As an FYI, our contract for The Housewives of Mannheim includes the wording World Premiere at New Jersey Repretory Theatre - 2009, so we felt Midwest Premiere was certainly appropriate. How about the Midwest Equity Premiere? Either way, it is a wonderful play and we'll be excited to stage it in January on the Phoenix Mainstage.

      Lori Raffel
      Marketing and Media Relations
      Phoenix Theatre
    • What? No muisical?
    • A Very Phoenix Xmas - Our Stockings are Stuffed and Speech and Debate both have music. Does that help?
    • I miss the Phoenix Theatre. I always try to see a show when I go back home to visit. Looks like a GREAT season, as always.
    • Housewives Journey
      According to playwright Alan Brody, the production in NJ was the world premiere. Any previous productions were either workshops or developmental workshops, readings, or non-professional productions. The play was originally produced in 1996 in Texas as a workshop. However, not to belittle anything that came before, like all plays, there is a journey and all the theaters involved added to this final version which was first produced in 2009 in an Equity production that ran for 7 weeks. Hope this clears everything up.

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