New Repertory Theatre
Announces 2003-2004 Season

New Repertory Theatre in Newton Highlands has announced a 2003-2004 lineup scheduled to include two world premieres, one New England premiere and two classics.

Producing Artistic Director, Rick Lombardo commented, "These are five exceptional projects. Each is a diamond in its own way."

The season will include:

"A Girl's War" by Joyce Van Dyke
September 17 - October 19, 2003
World Premiere Production
(First workshop production performed at Boston Playwright's Theatre)
After the fall of the Soviet Union, a border dispute erupted between two former Soviet States -- Armenia and Azerbaijan. This dispute, which continues to this day as a focus of ongoing international concern, is centered on the mountainous territory of Nagorny Karabakh.

Returning to the bombed out ruin of her childhood home with her mother, now a sniper in the Karabakh army, Anna Sarkisian, an Armenian fashion model who has found success in America, defiantly refuses to identify herself with the Armenian cause. She falls for a young Azerbaijani deserter, Hussein, who claims to be a former neighbor. As bombs begin to explode the question of Hussein's identity becomes an issue of survival for Anna, her mother, and their town. The competing desires of love and vengeance are fueled by the current crisis, age-old ethnic-strife, and the clash between the modern world and traditional customs of retribution.
Nudity and violence. Mature audiences only.

"Blanche and Her Joy Boys" by Mark St. Germain
November 12 - December 14, 2003
World Premiere Production
Chris Calloway, daughter of famed big band leader Cab Calloway,
performs this exceptional and emotional one-woman show about her Aunt Blanche. This intimate production features a jazz combo and Chris Calloway singing the songs that made Blanche popular, including "I'm Just Wild About Harry" and "I Need Lovin'." The early days of Jazz were an inhospitable time for an African-American woman with a desire for a band of her own. On top of the burden of racism Blanche Calloway had to overcome the overbearing sexism of the male dominated Jazz world. "Blanche and Her Joy Boys" is the story of Blanche's journey through the turbulent early days of Jazz in America to become the very first
female, black or white, to lead an all male Big Band; and the story of her attempt to find love in a world where even respect was hard to come by.
A co-production with Barrington Stage Co.

"The Threepenny Opera"
Book and Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, Music by Kurt Weill
January 7 - February 8, 2004
Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill came of age in post-World War One
Germany, where the struggle to build a democracy in the face of devastating economic privation created a world in which rising to the top was less about law and more about power. Brecht and Weill's brilliant, groundbreaking musical, based on John Gay's 1728 play, "The Beggar's Opera," satirizes the Bourgeois society that arose during that difficult period by setting the play in a Victorian London peopled with unscrupulous members of the underclass and the underworld. The score and lyrics are at once compelling and harsh, echoing the realities of a world in which the lower classes must mix cruelty and love just to survive.

by Dael Orlandersmith
March 5 - April 4, 2004
New England Premiere
One of the most original and important Black playwrights of today,
Dael Orlandersmith explores and exposes the emotional destructiveness of racism in the African-American community. "Yellowman" tells the tale of Alma, a dark-skinned African-American woman, and her childhood friend, Eugene, a
light-skinned African-American man, growing up together, yearning to escape the South. They dream about reinventing their lives and their friendship blossoms into love. However, there are painful lessons to be learned about the harsh reality that skin tone divides even the closest of friends, families and communities,
and that the racism from within can be almost as destructive as the racism from without. Mature subject matter.

"Scapin" by Moliere
Starring John Kuntz
April 28 - May 30, 2004
In seventeenth century France, comedies about tyranny required a safe target. Moliere, a brilliant comic playwright, poked fun at doctors, lawyers and the hypocritically pious, but knew better than to bite the royal hand that fed him. In "Scapin," the Renaissance world is defined by the tyranny of avaricious fathers over their children's futures and the tyranny of foolish masters over clever servants. New Rep's "Scapin" will feature rich with music, color, and movement. Boston's own John Kuntz will return to New Rep on the heels of his acclaimed performance in "Waiting for Godot."

New Rep's 2002-2003 season drew the largest audience in its history. According to the theater officials, subscriptions were up 10% and single ticket sales were up 50%, giving the company a 24% overall ticket sales increase. The company will finish with an operating surplus for the fifth straight season. Corporate giving also saw a significant 63% increase during the 2002-2003 season.

Programming at New Repertory Theatre is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

-- OnStage Boston


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