Live Theatre Returns with World Premiere of Richard Greenberg’s ‘A Shot Rang Out’ at South Coast Repertory

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Has it really been 18 months since actors graced the stage of South Coast Repertory and audiences applauded their efforts?

The answer is yes, but don’t worry—SCR welcomes actors and theatergoers back to its stages this month with the world-premiere of Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg’s “A Shot Rang Out,” running through November 6.

SCR calls “A Shot Rang Out” (cleverly subtitled ”A Play in One Man”) an “enthralling, timely and often-funny glimpse at the present.” It stars David Ivers, SCR’s artistic director, and is directed by Tony Taccone.

David Ivers

According to SCR, “A Shot Rang Out” deals with a long period of isolation. An actor returns to the stage, discovering meaning and understanding of what led to his seclusion. His story of redemption takes audiences on a path through his isolation, where he draws inspiration from movies, theatre and 20th century popular culture to understand how emerging from isolation brings its own surprises, including the renewal of hope and discoveries that unravel the mysteries of love.

“As we return to live theatre, I can think of no more fitting and exciting way to open the season than with ‘A Shot Rang Out’” said SCR Managing Director Paula Tomei. “This world premiere celebrates a three-decade history that SCR shares with playwright Richard Greenberg, and it features the incredible talents of Tony Taccone and David Ivers in a play that is very much of the moment we, as a community, are experiencing right now.”

Greenberg has premiered eight plays at SCR including “Our Mother’s Brief Affair,” “The Violet Hour,” and “Three Days of Rain,” which was so popular (possibly thanks to the actual rain on the stage) that SCR restaged the play in 2011 following the stellar world premiere in 1998.

Richard Greenberg / Photo by Mark Avery

Over his career, Greenberg has received numerous awards for his works, including a Tony Award for his critically acclaimed “Take Me Out.” He was also a Pulitzer finalist for “Three Days of Rain.”

Greenberg wrote “A Shot Rang Out” especially for SCR Artistic Director Ivers to perform.

“I’m honored and humbled that Richard would write this work for me,” Ivers said. “The story he crafted gives us a lens with which to see where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going in these ever-changing and unpredictable times.”

“A Shot Rang Out” is indeed a world premiere, although Ivers debuted several scenes from the play during SCR’s online gala in the fall of 2020.

Ivers is the sole cast member of this one-man play. Patrons may be surprised that Ivers is on stage instead of behind the scenes, but before joining SCR in 2018, he was artistic director for Arizona Theatre Company and, before that, served more than 20 years as an actor and director at Utah Shakespeare Festival, with the last six as artistic director. He was a resident artist at Denver Center for the Performing Arts for a decade, acting in and/or directing more than 40 plays and has helmed productions at many of the nation’s leading regional theatres including the Guthrie Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and South Coast Repertory.

Ivers appeared in productions at some of the nation’s top regional theatres including Portland Center Stage and the Oregon, Alabama and Idaho Shakespeare festivals.

Tony Taccone also has an impressive resume. The former artistic director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre makes his SCR directorial debut with “A Shot Rang Out.” Taccone’s works include the Tony Award-winning “Angels in America” with Tony Kushner, David Edgar’s “Continental Divide,” Green Day’s “American Idiot,” and Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking.”

Tickets are $26 to $93, with additional discounts available for educators, seniors and theatregoers ages 25 and under. Tickets may be purchased online at www.scr.org.

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