The Phoenix Theatre today announced its 2009-2010 season AND a change (decrease!) in its ticket prices. I really appreciate that Lori Raffel, the marketing and media relations director for the Phoenix, included Indy Theatre Habit in her e-mailing of the press release to local media. I am including almost the whole press release at the bottom of this post so that you can read it for yourself.
There is a lot of interesting stuff in the press release. It’s going to be an exciting year at the Phoenix!
For example, I am delighted to see that Neil LaBute’s newest play, “Reasons to Be Pretty,” is in the line-up. The Phoenix’s production of LaBute’s “Fat Pig” in the summer of 2007 is what got me started writing publicly about theatre (pre-blog, as Amaryllis Jones on IndianaAuditions.com.) I saw it seven times, an all-time record for me. In 2007 I also reviewed LaBute’s “Bash: Latterday Plays” for IA. This year, LaBute’s “In a Dark, Dark House” as produced by the Heartland Actors’ Repertory Theatre, interested me so much I saw it twice. LaBute’s often dark, often ambigous outlook on life is not for everyone, I guess, but he is definitely one of my “don’t miss” playwrights.
“Fat Pig” was also my introduction to director Dale McFadden. Earlier this year, he directed “Mauritius” for the Phoenix, a show I “only” saw once, but enjoyed nonetheless. In 2010 for the Phoenix he is directing a special performance of something called “Terre Haute,” written by Edmund White. It sounds thought-provoking.
I am also delighted to see a new and original solo piece by Ricardo Melendez. I loved his work in “Octopus” this year at the Phoenix and “Some Men” last year. And you know me: I am always up for a one-person show. Tell me a story!
I am intrigued to see a new mystery play by Steven Dietz. I saw two plays by him here in Indy last fall: He adapted the “Sherlock Holmes” piece that I saw at the Indiana Repertory Theatre and adapted the “Dracula” piece that I saw in Greenwood presented by ArtBox Productions.
I am glad to see another rolling world premiere in cooperation with the National New Play Network, and I agree with the press release writer that it wouldn’t be the holidays without the annual “A Very Phoenix Xmas” show. I’m not sure I will be able to attend the one-weekend-only new piece by Dos Fallopia, but they were a hoot when I saw them at the Phoenix in 2007.
Some of the other pieces in the new season don’t ring any bells with me right now, but I will do my best to fit them into my schedule, simply because I am attracted to the Phoenix as a theatre in general.
Anyway, read the press release below and see what you think.
By the way, the photo above of the Phoenix Theatre is one I found through Google images on AroundIndy.com. It was taken by Around Indy’s devoted creator/manager, Bob Burchfield and used with his permission. Thanks, Bob!
Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com – follow IndyTheatre on Twitter, too.
FOR RELEASE AUGUST 3, 2009
749 N. Park Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202
The Phoenix Theatre was founded in 1983 by a group of Indianapolis theatre artists who wanted to produce contemporary plays as well as to pay the theatre’s artists, a goal that was achieved a few years down the road. In 1983, the Phoenix fulfilled a unique niche in the city’s theatre environment: producing exclusively current plays. The theatre’s mission has not changed since 1983, and Bryan Fonseca, the theatre’s Producing Director, retains his original position. The Phoenix mission statement reads: “The Phoenix Theatre entertains by presenting the best of professional, contemporary theatre in an intimate setting. Engaging our community, patrons and staff with issue-oriented plays, the Phoenix enlightens audiences about social concerns while challenging them to re-examine their roles in society.” Since 1988, the Phoenix has been housed in the Mass Ave Theatre and Gallery District in a 1907 former church building. The theatre’s two venues are the proscenium 130-seat Mainstage and the cabaret-style 75-seat Frank & Katrina Basile (buh-SEAL) Theatre.
In addition to the eight plays on the Mainstage, the Phoenix Theatre will also be hosting three Special Presentations in the Frank & Katrina Basile Theatre. These presentations will include Dos Fallopia in October, Call Me BORICUA in February and Terre Haute in August. For the fourth year in a row, we will be reaching out to the Latino community by presenting at least one performance of Call Me BORICUA in Spanish. (See details below)
For more information about any Phoenix programs or to purchase tickets, call the Phoenix Theatre box office at 317.635.PLAY(7529). The theatre’s website is www.phoenixtheatre.org.
Information on each of the 2009-2010 productions:
The Most Damaging Wound, by Blair Singer
September 3-September 26, 2009
Five college buddies reunite with the intention of getting very drunk and burning a box of memorabilia from their glory days. Kenny, the organizer, has just become a father and is terrified that he’s not ready for the job. His best friend Alan, who is married with a kid, brings his girlfriend to the festivities. Rounding out the quintet is GG, the up-tight outcast who owns the still-under-construction restaurant they meet in; Dicky, who never truly grew up; and his rock star friend Bo, who is struggling to get sober. The evening doesn’t go as planned, and the friends are left wondering if the past is ever as glorious as we remember.
Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As told by himself)
by Donald Margulies
October 16-November 15, 2009
Mainstage – sponsored by Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Be ready to be astonished! Louis de Rougemont is looking for his 15 minutes of fame. Gaining notoriety at the turn of the century for his fantastical tale of being shipwrecked on an exotic island, learning to ride sea turtles, and holding court with the Queen of England, Louis is finding his audience increasingly skeptical. Could his entire adventure be discredited as a hoax? De Rougemont’s fervent desire to justify his life’s purpose provides the emotional current that transforms a ripping good yarn into a touching character study. After all, who doesn’t need his “dabbing a little spot of color on the drab canvas of life”?
A Very Phoenix Xmas – Our Stockings Are Stuffed, by playwrights to be announced
November 27-December 20, 2009
This wonderful holiday tradition is back with all-new material and a few returning chestnuts for your seasonal enjoyment. As always, there will be music (both traditional and I-can’t-believe-they-did-that), dance, and original sketches. Nothing and no one is sacred in this grab bag of theatrical vaudeville and television variety show with all the irreverence of Monty Python. Sort of Saturday Night Live meets Donny and Marie on crack. It wouldn’t be December without us!
The Housewives of Mannheim, by Alan Brody
January 14-February 6, 2010
It’s spring 1944 in May Black’s middle-class Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, where she dishes the dirt with her two long-time friends. Wisecracking and streetwise Billie Friedhoff buys and sells on the black market, while Alice Cohen is a judgmental, self-appointed, moralist busybody. Into their lives comes Sophie. Worldly and sophisticated, she helps each woman discover something about themselves that their husbands never could. Out of necessity, the women flourish and are able to contemplate the freedoms that would only truly be available to generations of women yet to come.
Sunlight, by Sharr White
February 25-March 20, 2010
Presented as a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere with InterAct Theatre (Philapelphia, PA)) and Marin Theatre Company (Mill Valley, CA)
Matthew Gibbon, liberal lion and university president, may have finally gone too far in his battle against the conservative dean of the law school-his son-in-law and former protégé. Why would this respected academic leader, so close to retirement, tarnish his otherwise brilliant career by breaking the very laws that he has spent a lifetime defining? What begins as a political debate turns fiercely personal, potentially pitting his family against his legacy. What price is too high to pay for loyalty and power?
Yankee Tavern by Steven Dietz
April 8-May 1, 2010
Alfred Hitchcock meets Oliver Stone in this fascinating and funny new play set in a dusty old New York City bar. Here, a charismatically cantankerous regular argues conspiracy theories with anyone who will listen. The young owner behind the bar just wants to pour beer, marry his fiancée, and live happily ever after. Then a stranger walks in and orders a drink for himself and his invisible buddy, setting off a thriller that grips you until the very last word. When the young man disappears, everyone gets caught up in “what if” and tries to solve the mystery. Is it just cold feet or only the tip of a deadly iceberg?
Speech and Debate, by Steven Karam
May 20-June 12, 2010
Sex. Secrets. Performance-art video blogs with a George Michael beat. Just another typical day when you’re a teenage outcast in Salem, Oregon. Solomon, Diwata, and Howie have never met, but when a shocking scandal involving one of their teachers brings them together through an unexpected chain of events, they realize three voices are stronger than one. Maybe starting their school’s first speech and debate squad will be their chance to be heard at last-by the school and even by the world. In the process, each loner learns the value and power of being a friend.
Reasons To Be Pretty by Neil LaBute
July 8-July 31, 2010
Do we ever really know what our partner thinks of us? Reasons To Be Pretty confronts America’s obsession with physical beauty headlong when Greg, a working-class guy in a long-term relationship, inadvertently remarks to a friend that, compared to a pretty coworker, his girlfriend is “regular.” This inarticulate, off-hand statement changes everything. He loves her, but can she still love him? Their relationship cannot survive the monumental and unexpected fallout from this innocent slip of the tongue, and all four characters begin to experience insecurities in their own lives. Is anyone ever totally comfortable in their own skin?
Information on each of the 2009-2010 Special Performances:
Dos Fallopia: Deja Poo: (dé·jà poo: The undeniably eerie feeling that you’ve seen this crap before…)
October 1-4, 2009
Four nights of classic Dos Fallopia, jam-packed with Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt’s favorite sketches, satire, and patently warped characters.
Call Me BORICUA by Ricardo Melendez
February 11-21, 2010
Written by and starring Ricardo Melendez and presented by The Workshop Group, Call Me BORICUA is Ricardo’s story of his travels from Puerto Rico to America in 14,600 days. Equally hilarious and touching, this production allows Ricardo to shine as a storyteller and actor.
Terre Haute by Edmund White
August 5-8, 2010
The Crossroads Repertory Theatre and the Phoenix Theatre co-present Terre Haute, directed by Dale McFadden. Described as a “beautifully written, fluidly paced play” by the Sunday Telegraph, Terre Haute depicts a series of engaging prison interviews conducted by a character based on novelist Gore Vidal of a death-row inmate based on Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
This production is supported in part by a generous grant from the Indiana Arts Commission through one of its regional offices, Arts Illiana, based in Terre Haute
ABOUT THE PHOENIX THEATRE
“The Phoenix Theatre has cornered the market on hip new works.”