By Kate Forgach
Fan favorites are featured in OpenStage Theatre’s 49th season for 2021-22. According to the company’s Producing Artistic Director Sydney Parks Smith, this year’s Essential Season productions include rich, fully imagined theatrical experiences to captivate your heart and your mind.
As Parks Smith noted, OpenStage’s overall goal is “to have a successful, in-person season after all the difficulties presented last year by the pandemic.”
Appropriate to modern times, Parks Smith said the theme for 2021-22is “the perception of ourselves and other people. So much of the season is about empathy and really paying attention to the shoes in which each of us walk.”
Early bird ticket packages go on sale on August 5.
“Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express” kicks off the season with what Parks Smith calls “a love letter to the original materials.”
Written by Ken Ludwig, who also penned OpenStage’s highly successful summer show, “Sherwood,” this version of the mystery classic is both clever and quick-witted.
OpenStage Co-founder Bruce Freestone will take the helm when “Orient Express” plays Oct. 30 to Nov. 27 at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre.
Following “Orient Express” in the classics mode is Jane Austen’s favorite, “Sense and Sensibility.” Adapted by playwright Kate Hamill, Parker Smith said this version is “considered perhaps the greatest stage adaptation ever of this classic novel.”
Directed by Noah Racey, the man Parks Smith called “CSU’s Broadway Guy,” “Sense” runs from January 15, 2022 to February 12, 2022, at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre, “Sense” examines a time when reputation was everything. Hamill’s adaptation explores the “classic story with humor and bold theatricality, highlighted by original music and movement.”
Outrageous musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” takes the stage under Parks Smith’s direction from March 26, 2022 to April 23, 2022, at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre.
With a book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, “Hedwig” won four Tony Awards and was made into a cult-film classic.
Plays don’t come louder, lewder, or more gorgeously original than this cabaret play that includes a rock ’n roll gig and a standup act, all rolled into a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience.
Next up is “Cyrano de Bergerac,” OpenStage’s]outdoor production, playing June 25, 2022, to July 23, 2022, in the Park at Columbine Health Systems, (Centre Ave. and Worthington Circle).
Directed and adapted by Judith Allen, “Cyrano” is the classic play in which Roxanne must choose between a pretty face or a sophisticated turn of phrase. “Cyrno’s oversized nose makes for an evening of comedy, mistaken identity, and romantic tragedy under the stars,” said Parks Smith.
Two plays are featured in Openstage etc’s upcoming season. “Cry it Out” runs from September 3 to September 18 at the unique outdoor venue provided by OBC Wine Project by Odell Brewing Company.
Playwright Molly Smith Metzler’s story of love, anger, stress, unfairness, loss, and the ravages of breastfeeding will be directed by Bryn Frisina.
Playwright Metzler, who is also known as a screenwriter for “Shameless” and “Orange is the New Black,” holds a microscope and megaphone to the joys and pearls of modern motherhood.
Finally, playwright Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians” closes the Openstage etc season, running May 20, 2022, to June 11, 2022, at a location still to be determined.
Directed by Jack Krause, this is that rare play about religion that both believers and nonbelievers can embrace. “It’s a compassionate and nuanced look at faith in America as seen through the eyes of a megachurch pastor,” said Parks Smith.
For additional information on ticket packages and prices, visit OpenStage.com. Purchase tickets from the Lincoln Center Box Office at lctix.com, by calling 970.221.6730 or in person at 417 W. Magnolia St.