The 2015-16 Grossmont College Theatre Arts season featuring student cast members and crew opens Thursday, Oct. 1 with “A Streetcar Named Desire,” one of the most celebrated plays of the 20th century.
The play by Tennessee Williams captured the New York Critic’s Circle Award for Best New Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama following its 1947 debut. It is an unflinching look at post-World War II America reflected in the crumbling fantasy world of a wistful Southern belle. With her checkered past, Blanche DuBois comes to stay with her sister and brother-in-law in a working-class neighborhood of New Orleans and tensions quickly escalate.
Directed by Theatre Arts instructor Stephen Schmitz, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” takes the Stagehouse Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1-3 and 8-10, with matinee performances at 2 p.m. Oct. 3 and 10.
The rest of the season’s lineup is as follows:
- “On the Verge,” by Eric Overmyer and directed by Beth Duggan, Theatre Arts Department chair, is a comedic take on the customs and manners, language and strange evolution of 19th-century colonialism. Three Victorian lady travelers embark on an optimistic and absurd adventure of exploration into unknown territories. Alone, without men to accompany them, and armed with their wits, long skirts, pith helmets, and parasols, Mary, Fanny, and Alex soon discover that the topography they are surveying is not only geographic but chronologic—they are travelling though time as well as space. Finding themselves in the mid-20th century, each must decide for herself if she wishes to go back, stay, or move further onward. (Nov. 12-14, 19-21 at 7:30 p.m. Matinees Nov. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m.)
- “Martians,” directed by Theatre Arts instructor Jerry Hager, is based on Orson Welles’ 1938 Halloween-night radio broadcast adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds,” which sparked widespread panic when listeners mistook the dramatic performance for actual news reports of an imminent alien invasion. Travel back in time for a peek behind the scenes of the radio shenanigans at the CBS Mercury Theatre, as a few talented actors pull off the greatest radio prank in history. Full of excitement, suspense, and imaginations running wild, “Martians!” takes you on an out-of-this-world adventure. (Dec. 4-5 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.)
- “Inside the Actor’s Process: Discovery,” directed by Jerry Hager, is this year’s high school touring show focusing on poetic dialogue, soliloquies, and scenes. With each new play, and each new performance, an actor must discover his or her character by continually looking to the text with a fresh perspective. Each reading and re-reading of the script has the potential to unlock new discoveries and new ways of bringing the story to life for an audience. (Feb. 5-6 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 6 matinee at 2 p.m.)
- “Lucky Stiff,” with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen
Flaherty and directed by Theatre Arts instructor Geno Carr, is a musical about
an unassuming English shoe salesman Harry Witherspoon, who is forced to take
the embalmed body of his recently-murdered uncle on a vacation to Monte
Carlo if he hopes to inherit $6 million. If he is unable to pass off his uncle
as alive, all of the money goes to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn. Written
by Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Rocky, Seussical,
Ragtime), “Lucky Stiff” is a zany, offbeat, hilarious murder mystery farce with
a tuneful score, a well-oiled plot, diamond thieves and budding romance. (7:30
p. m. March 10-12, 2016 and March 17-19. Matinees March 12 and 19 at 2 p.m.)
- "The Odd Couple” by Neil Simon and directed by Jeannette Thomas, Theatre Arts instructor, winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, and the basis of a successful movie and beloved television series, is a classic comedy of mismatched roomies who discover that opposites sometimes do attract…riotous laughter! Neurotic Felix is thrown out by his wife and moves in with his divorced friend, Oscar. Hilarity ensues when Oscar’s untidy, yet happy life of excessive gambling, smoking, and drinking collides with Felix’s need to obsessively clean and criticize others. (7:30 p.m. May 5-7, 2016 and May 12-14. Matinees May 7 and 14 at 2 p.m.)
Tickets for the season’s plays are $15 for general admission, $12 for faculty, staff seniors and military and $10 for Grossmont College and Cuyamaca College students. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or in person. The box office is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday and one hour prior to all performances.
In addition to the regular theatrical season, several special events are on tap:
- Faculty member Jerry Hager will be presenting his solo piece,
“Invisible,” as a fundraiser for the Theatre Arts Department at 7:30 p.m. Oct.
16 and 17. Written and performed by Hager, it is based on one man’s journey
into a homeless community. “Invisible” examines homelessness beyond what
we see; it asks its audience to suspend stereotypes and preconceived ideas
about the homeless population. It is a tribute to life and the spirit of the
brotherhood of humanity. ($20 general admission, $10 for students.)
- "Loves Me…Loves Me Not” is a comedic staged-reading fundraiser performed by Theatre Art faculty, staff and special guests, focusing on love’s many facets. Bring a date and come laugh at love passionate, love spurned, love new, love old, love confused, and love met. Some adult themes. Not appropriate for those under the age of 18. (April 1 and 2, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 220. $20 general admission, $10 for students.)
- “Around the World in 80 Days” is the Grossmont College Summer Theatre Arts Conservatory production of the timeless tale of amazing adventure as Phileas Fogg attempts to circumnavigate the globe in less than 80 days in order to win a sizeable wager. Set for July 2016, the conservatory program brings high school and college-age students together to perform family-friendly summer theater in the Stagehouse Theatre. Student performers and technicians learn what it is like to work in a professional theater by committing to daytime classes that teach specialized skills, as well as evening rehearsals and two weeks of performances.
For 24-hour ticket reservations, call (619) 644-7234. For all other information, go to www.grossmont.edu/theatrebrochure or call (619) 644-7234.