Friday, May 16, 2014

Ballyhoo, Vampire lesbians, a Chinese buyout of Florida — a look at Jobsite's 2014-15 season

A rundown of next season's offerings from the Straz's resident theater company.

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

click to enlarge DYNAMIC DUO: Parks and Recreation's Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman in Sharr White's Annapurna.
  • DYNAMIC DUO: Parks and Recreation's Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman in Sharr White's Annapurna.

Jobsite Theater, the Straz's innovative resident theater company, announced their 2014-15 season before staging their current play, All New People, currently in production at Shimberg Theater.

Once again, Tampa's most vanguard play purveyors are bringing us —i n addition to its six mainstage plays — a visit from Obie and Drama Desk award-winning playwright Israel Horovitz for a week in February 2015, culminating in a staged reading of one of his new plays under his direction. The special event will take place in the TECO Theatre at the Straz Center, and will be sold separately from the season ticket package.

Jobsite and the Straz also plan on another co-produced musical in the Jaeb Theatre during the summer of 2015, with a title to be released at a later date. Here's what's planned for next season, according to Artistic Director David Jenkins:

The Last Night of Ballyhoo, 
by Alfred Uhry, presented in part by the Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation, Sep. 3-28, 2014; the winner of the 1997 Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play, takes plac in Atlanta, Georgia, December 1939. Adolph Freitag, his sister Boo, and nieces Lala and Sunny — a Jewish family so highly assimilated they have a Christmas tree in the front parlor — are obsessed with preparing for Ballyhoo, a lavish cotillion ball sponsored by their elite country club. Adolph's employee Joe Farkas is an eligible bachelor and an Eastern European Jew down from Brooklyn, familiar with prejudice but unable to fathom its existence within his own religious community. His presence prompts college student Sunny to examine intra-ethnic bias, her Jewish identity (or lack thereof), and the beliefs with which she's been raised. The family gets pulled apart and mended back together with plenty of comedy, romance, and unexpected revelations along the way. “… a delightful comedy freighted with an uncomfortable message." — New York Post

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, by Charles Busch, Oct. 29-Nov. 23, 2014; Jobsite joins a nationwide tribute to the master of camp, 30 Years of Charles Busch – A Celebration, in conjunction with the company’s favorite holiday. One of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom tells the saga of two fatally seductive vampiresses, a virgin sacrifice and her maker, whose paths first collide in ancient Sodom. Their bitter rivalry endures for nearly two thousand years with stops along the way in 1920’s silent movie Hollywood and contemporary Las Vegas. Moving between histrionics of classic horror cinema and the cheerful nastiness of the backstage melodrama of manners All About Eve, Vampire Lesbians sparkles with spectacle, homage and double entendre.

Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare, Jan. 7-Feb. 1, 2015; The comedic tale of gender confusion in which after being shipwrecked in a storm and losing her brother, a girl disguises herself as a man to be near the count she adores only to be pursued by the woman he loves. For local flavor, Jobsite is setting their production against a local backdrop: Prohibition-era Ybor City. “If music be the food of love, play on!” Weekday student matinees, multi-subject study guides, and other educational components available!

Orlando, 
adapted by Sarah Ruhl, March 4-29, 2015; Sarah Ruhl adapts Virginia Woolf’s quasi-autobiographical gender-bending novel about sex, love, and history into a joyous, dreamy piece of theater that toys with identity, time and space. Often called the longest love letter in literary history, Woolf’s Orlando tells the story of an English nobleman who lives for hundreds of years before falling asleep and waking up as a woman. 

Annapurna, by Sharr White, April 29-May 24, 2015; After 20 years apart, Emma tracks her ex-husband, the cantankerous poet Ulysses, to a trailer park in the middle of nowhere for a final reckoning. What unfolds is a visceral and profound meditation on love and loss with the simplest of theatrical elements: two people in one room. Annapurna is the 2012 finalist for the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and enjoyed an LA premiere in 2013 starring real-life couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. Mullally and Offerman take the play Off-Broadway in spring of 2014. Jobsite presents the southeastern US premiere of the comedic, focused, and insightful work.

Occupationby Ken Ferrigni, July 8-Aug. 2, 2015; In 2017, a crushing national debt, skyrocketing inflation, and crippling unemployment have frozen the United States’ access to global credit. Against the backdrop of economic catastrophe, the U.S. government finds an unexpected savior when China agrees to purchase Florida for $5 trillion. This doesn’t rest well with a radical, violent insurgency holed up in the Everglades who will stop at nothing to oust the Chinese proconsul and his army. How far will this militia go to keep the States united? A scalding satire, fans of Jobsite’s production of Tim Robbins’ potent Embedded will not want to miss this dystopic wild ride. Hailed as one of the most daring and ingenious plays Off-Broadway last year, Jobsite is honored to offer the U.S. regional premiere of Occupation.


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