With the future of physical event attendance impossible to anticipate, Studio Theatre recently announced its decision to take its “In the Moment” 2020-2021 season entirely digital.
The transition to digital has not changed Studio’s commitment to a five-play season, which for years has been the core of its artistic programming, but which will now be done digitally.
“This unprecedented time for theatres has… created moments for experimentation in how we work, create theatre, and reach audiences,” said Studio Artistic Director David Muse. “Since closing our doors in March 2020, Studio has livestreamed events, commissioned artists to make guerilla-style cell phone videos, and released our very first audio plays. As we take our season online, we’re working to translate the intimacy of our spaces in the digital realm.”
Productions will be filmed in Studio’s intimate spaces to capture a high-quality, as-if-you-were-in-the-room experience, with safety precautions in place for artists and production crew in compliance with Actors’ Equity Association guidelines.
Because they cannot be presented digitally, Flight by Vox Motus and random by debbie tucker green will no longer be part of Studio’s 2020-2021 season. Instead, Muse will direct the first streaming production, a remount of Studio’s 2014 Helen Hayes Award-winning production of Cock by Mike Bartlett, a comedy about identity, sexuality, and determining the path forward amidst uncertainty.
Following is Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith’s Until the Flood; in his directorial debut at Studio, Associate Artistic Director Reginald L. Douglas reimagines this solo performance about pain and resilience in Ferguson, MO with a multigenerational cast of three Black women.
The season will then focus on a trio of striking solo performances with particular resonance, beginning with Tony Award winner Lisa Kron’s autobiographical, Obie Award-winning 2.5 Minute Ride directed by Joanie Schultz, about the intertwined stories of her father, a Holocaust survivor, and roller coaster enthusiast. Artist in Residence Psalmayene 24 will direct hip-hop theatre forebear Will Power’s percussive Flow, a tribute to the power of stories and the importance of storytellers, with one actor embodying the characters, accompanied by a mix from a DJ spinning live. The season concludes with Tender Age, a new play by George Brant about the moral reckoning of an ICE subcontractor who discovers he’s guarding not hardened criminals, but school-aged children.
Patrons and subscribers will be able to watch productions on demand through Studio’s website during designated 3-week streaming windows. Subscriptions are currently available; single tickets will be released closer to the opening dates of individual productions.
STUDIO’S ALL-DIGITAL SEASON
by Mike Bartlett
directed by David Muse
March 5 – March 28, 2021
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.
Until the Flood
by Dael Orlandersmith
directed by Reginald L. Douglas
March 26 – April 18, 2021
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.
2.5 Minute Ride
by Lisa Kron
directed by Joanie Schultz
April 23 – May 16, 2021
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.
by Will Power
directed by Studio Theatre Artist in Residence Psalmayene 24
May 21 – June 13, 2021
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.
a new play by George Brant
directed by Henry Godinez
July 2 – 25, 2021
Supported by Studio R&D, Studio Theatre’s new works initiative
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 characters living at the edge of their ethics.