Artscapes: South Coast Repertory Unveils 50th Season

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Martin Benson, Julianne Argyros and David Emmes.  Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.
Martin Benson, Julianne Argyros and David Emmes. Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.

Seems impossible, but it’s true: South Coast Repertory has announced its 50th season, which begins in late August with the landmark play “Death of a Salesman,” and ends next June with “Tartuffe” by Moliere. Inbetween will be a mix of familiar works and five world premieres, four of which will be presented on the Julianne Argyros stage.

And speaking of Julianne Argyros, the longtime SCR supporter will be the Honorary Chair of SCR’s 50th anniversary Gala Ball – dubbed “Theatrical Gold” – on Saturday, September 21. For this historic celebration, SCR stages will go dark that night so gala celebrants can enjoy a pre-dinner show on the Segerstrom Stage, dinner and dancing on the terrace, and an after-hours nightclub on the Argyros stage.  

Founding Artistic Directors Martin Benson and David Emmes were among those at the 50th Season Gala Ball announcement.

“It’s amazing how quickly five decades goes,” noted Benson, who said that for the first time in SCR’s history, their annual gala would be held in the theatre.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done that,” added Emmes. “It’s a change from what we’ve normally done, but we wanted to make SCR the celebratory venue.”

And SCR is certainly worth celebrating. The Tony Award-winning theatre first staged plays in an old marine swap shop on Balboa Peninsula before moving to larger digs on Newport Blvd. several years later, and eventually to its current location across from South Coast Plaza.

Over the past 50 years, SCR has presented more than 460 productions–nearly a fourth of which have been world premieres. Two of those plays have won Pulitzer Prizes, eight others were Pulitzer finalists.

“South Coast Repertory’s first half-century owes its success to both the vision and vitality of our founding directors and to the community that embraced live theatre,” said SCR Artistic Director Marc Masterson in a press release. “We are celebrating the 2013-14 season in a way that focuses on our commitment to new works and classic plays, and looks ahead to ensure our vitality by connecting with our community in bold new ways.”

The 2013-2014 Season:

 On the Segerstrom Stage:

  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, directed by Marc Masterson
  • 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, directed by David Emmes
  • The Light in the Piazza, book by Craig Lucas, music and lyrics by Adam Guettel
  • Rest by Samuel D. Hunter (world premiere), directed by Martin Benson
  • Tartuffe by Molière

 The Julianne Argyros Stage (all world premieres):

  • Fast Company by Carla Ching
  • Trudy and Max in Love Or That Forever Feeling (an affair in twenty four scenes) by Zoe Kazan (SCR commission)
  • Reunion by Gregory S Moss
  • TBA: A World Premiere

 Theatre for Young Audiences:

  • Ivy + Bean, based on the “Ivy and Bean” series of books by Annie Barrows
    book, music and lyrics by Scott Elmegreen
  • James and the Giant Peach, adapted for the stage by David Wood
    based on the book by Roald Dahl
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, adapted by John Glore
    from the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

 The season includes the perennial production of “A Christmas Carol” starring Hal Landon Jr., Nov. 29 through Dec. 26.

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