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Thursday, May 24, 2018

George Street Playhouse Announces 2018-19 Season

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World premieres and award-winning plays — including a new musical about legendary jazz singer, songwriter and activist Nina Simone — will be presented at the Playhouse’s current home on College Farm Road in New Brunswick

New Brunswick, N.J. — George Street Playhouse today announced its 2018-19 main stage season. The five-play season features a Tony Award-nominated play, a Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award winner set during the early days of the Civil Rights movement, a suspenseful courtroom drama, a heartwarming story of arriving in a strange land for the first time, and the world premiere of a new musical.

The Playhouse’s current  theater at College Farm Road has received rave reviews from audiences for its intimacy, accessibility and free, on-site parking. At the close of the 2018-19 season, George Street Playhouse moves back to Livingston Avenue as a resident company of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center.
“I am thrilled to be announcing our 2018-19 season,” said GSP Artistic Director David Saint. “George Street’s national profile has been built upon developing and premiering new works, and next season is no exception. Our 2018-19 season is filled with critically acclaimed revivals and new works that will take us on incredible and important journeys. I am also honored to launch a new musical about Nina Simone conceived and written by the extraordinary actress Laiona Michelle, who starred in this season’s production of American Hero.” 

The 2018-19 season will begin in October with the premiere of The Trial of Donna Caine, a gripping, based-on-true-events courtroom drama by Walter Anderson, the longtime editor of Parade magazine and, later, chairman and CEO of Parade Publications. After confessing to a crime, Staff Sergeant Donna Caine turns to a high-powered civilian attorney to seek justice. Performances of The Trial Of Donna Caine will begin on October 16 and continue through November 11, 2018. 

Next on stage is A Doll’s House, Part 2 — Lucas Hnath’s Tony Award-nominated sequel to Ibsen’s groundbreaking masterpiece, which The New York Times called “smart, funny and utterly engrossing.”  When we last saw Nora Helmer, she was slamming the door on life as she knew it. Fifteen years later, she has returned to that same door, with a high-stakes game of unfinished business on her mind.  A Doll’s House, Part 2 will begin performances on November 27 and will run through December 23, 2018.

bobj5eJYkQ6jiNLzzsTJ3gR4YXFnwKEUkZCazEJsGeZhrdCRGex57CQ4s5ptE9MsnCrGOSqxCpfj-70nJmyFA7yZgp7jfyrA1RKHXutfjT9REf4_CxqFIQd0FPF7qabbPremiering in January is Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical. Following a critically acclaimed performance in this season’s American Hero, Laiona Michelle returns to the Playhouse to play the legendary jazz singer, songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone. This new musical, which runs January 29 through February, 24, 2019, is filled with personal stories and songs performed in Michelle’s exuberant and crowd-pleasing style.

Mark Harelik’s The Immigrant, based on the experiences of his Russian-Jewish grandfather’s immigration to Galveston, Texas, is the fourth play of the season. After arriving in Texas in 1909, Haskel Herelik finds compassion and friendship from an unlikely couple, falls in love, and creates a pastoral life for his family. The Immigrant will perform from March 12 to April 7, 2019. 

Closing the season is Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jiréh Breon Holder, an award-winning play set in Nashville at the height of the U.S. civil rights movement. When 20-year-old Bowzie Brandon gives up a life-changing college scholarship to join the movement, he’ll have to convince his loved ones — and himself — that shaping his country’s future is worth jeopardizing his own. This inspiring play will run April 23 through May 19, 2019.    

Full-season subscriptions are on sale. A subscription to George Street Playhouse is the only way to secure the best seats to all five shows and guarantee priority access to seats in the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. The subscriber discount of 20% off regular ticket prices means full-season subscribers will see one play for free! Individual tickets and partial-season ticket plans will go on sale at a later date. Call the box office or visit www.GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org for more information. Season dates and titles are subject to change. 

With its longtime venue in downtown New Brunswick razed to make way for a new performing arts center that will serve as George Street Playhouse’s future home, the Playhouse has taken residence in the former New Jersey Museum of Agriculture at 103 College Farm Road on Rutgers University’s Cook Campus through its 2018-19 season. George Street Playhouse will return downtown to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center for its 2019-20 season.

Located right off Route 1 amidst a vast bucolic setting on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University, George Street Playhouse’s College Farm Road venue features expansive lobby spaces, an outdoor patio and free nearby parking. The entrance into the building and to all areas of the theatre are barrier-free. For directions to George Street Playhouse, visit the Playhouse website (GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org) and click Directions at the top of the homepage.

New Brunswick’s favorite restaurants are less than two miles from College Farm Road. For a list of restaurants, visit the Plan Your Visit section of the website. And keep a lookout for unique dining options offered by George Street Playhouse.

For more information about the 2018-19 George Street Playhouse season, call the box office at 732-246-7717 or visit www.GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org.

George Street Playhouse’s 2018-19 Season At A Glance:

The Trial of Donna Caine
By Walter Anderson
Directed by David Saint

October 16 - November 11, 2018
When Staff Sergeant Donna Caine is abandoned by her platoon after confessing to a crime, a high-powered civilian attorney muscles her way in to seek justice. Fighting for her client’s future, Attorney Ginsburg takes on the military establishment to expose the hidden truth. Inspired by true events, this riveting courtroom drama will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

A Doll’s House, Part 2
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Betsy Aidem

November 27 - December 23, 2018

When we last saw Nora Helmer, she was slamming the door on life as she knew it, and embarking on a brave, bold and shocking new world as a woman on her own. Fifteen years later, she's returned to that same door, with a high-stakes game of unfinished business on her mind. Featuring the same characters from Ibsen's groundbreaking masterpiece, The New York Times called this Tony Award-nominated play “A smart, funny and utterly engrossing play” and Time Out New York said it is “modern in its language...and suspenseful in its plotting.”

Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical

By and starring Laiona Michelle

Music by Nina Simone and others

January 29 - February 24, 2019

Following her critically acclaimed performance in this season’s American Hero, Laiona Michelle returns to George Street Playhouse to play Nina Simone in a new musical.  Inspired by this legendary jazz singer, songwriter, civil rights activist and 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, this premiere musical is filled with personal stories, and songs performed in Michelle’s exuberant, raw and crowd-pleasing style.

The Immigrant
By Mark Harelik

March 12 - April 7, 2019

Russian-Jewish emigrate Haskell Harelik arrives at the port of Galveston, Texas in 1909 seeking refuge from his homeland.  With only his banana cart in tow, Haskell finds compassion and friendship from an unlikely couple, falls in love, and creates a pastoral life for his family.  About The Immigrant, USA Today said “the scenes evoke the rural era with the firm-handed clarity of a Jewish Horton Foote … they glow.”

Too Heavy for Your Pocket
By Jiréh Breon Holder

April 23 - May 19, 2019

Tennessee-born Holder takes us back to Nashville in the summer of 1961. The Freedom Riders are embarking on a courageous journey into the Deep South. When 20-year-old Bowzie Brandon gives up a life-changing college scholarship to join the movement, he’ll have to convince his loved ones—and himself—that shaping his country’s future might be worth jeopardizing his own. Too Heavy for Your Pocket was called “illuminating and moving” by The New York Times and is the recipient of the 2017 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award.

All titles and dates are subject to change. 

About George Street Playhouse

DavidSaint2016_72dpiGeorge Street Playhouse is a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season to nearly 30,000 patrons annually, while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Its leadership consists of Artistic Director David Saint (photo) and Managing Director Kelly Ryman. Currently located on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University, George Street Playhouse will take residence in a new performing arts center scheduled to open for the 2019-20 season. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway, including the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger; the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In 2015, George Street Playhouse was represented by two productions in New York with the Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies, which opened off-Broadway that same year. Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. Gettin’ the Band Back Together, which premiered at GSP in 2013, is set to open on Broadway in Summer 2018. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP’s Touring Educational Theatre features issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 35,000 students annually.

Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.

George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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