Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson, adapted by Bryony Lavery
THE STORY: It’s a dark, stormy night. The stars are out. Jim, the innkeeper’s granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At the old sailor’s feet sits a huge sea-chest, full of secrets. Jim invites him in—and her dangerous voyage begins. Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of murder, money, and mutiny is brought to life in this thrilling adaptation.
The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson
THE STORY: Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without Henry Condell and John Heminges, we would have lost half of Shakespeare’s plays forever! After the death of their friend and mentor, the two actors are determined to compile the First Folio and preserve the words that shaped their lives. They’ll just have to borrow, beg, and band together to get it done. Amidst the noise and color of Elizabethan London, THE BOOK OF WILL finds an unforgettable true story of love, loss, and laughter, and sheds new light on a man you may think you know.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical JV by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner
THE STORY: The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world–so when they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics. There’s not supposed to be biting or cigar-smoking in Bethlehem, and while these kids have never even heard the Christmas story, they definitely have rewrites! Soon, everyone from the terrified pint-sized shepherds to the furious church ladies are calling for reluctant director Grace Bradley to fire the Herdmans. It’s up to Grace and the Reverend to help their community see the Christmas story and the Herdman kids through new eyes in this buoyant musical adaptation of the funny and touching holiday classic. Silent night? Not a chance. But sometimes a little joyful noise is just right for Christmas.
Alice in Wonderland: Down The Rabbit Hole by Lewis Carroll, adapted by Mark Landon Smith
THE STORY: Audiences will delight at this modern-day adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s trip to Wonderland, in which the restless birthday girl chases after a very busy bunny and ends up in a bizarre world. Mark Landon Smith’s witty new adaptation brings Alice into the 21st century with sharp-edged humor as she traverses the land of the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the blustery Queen of Hearts.
Eleemosynary by Lee Blessing
THE STORY: Staged with utmost simplicity, using platforms and a few props, the play probes into the delicate relationship of three singular women: the grandmother, Dorothea, who has sought to assert her independence through strong-willed eccentricity; her brilliant daughter, Artie (Artemis), who has fled the stifling domination of her mother; and Artie’s daughter, Echo, a child of exceptional intellect—and sensitivity—whom Artie has abandoned to an upbringing by Dorothea. As the play begins, Dorothea has suffered a stroke, and while Echo has reestablished contact with her mother, it is only through extended telephone conversations, during which real issues are skirted and their talk is mostly about the precocious Echo’s single-minded domination of a national spelling contest. But, in the end, after Dorothea’s death, both Artie and Echo come to accept their mutual need and summon the courage to try, at last, to build a life together—despite the risks and terrors that this holds for both of them after so many years of alienation and estrangement.
Airline Highway by Lisa D’Amour
THE STORY: In the parking lot of the Hummingbird Motel, off the titular highway near New Orleans, the hotel’s residents have gathered to celebrate the life of Miss Ruby, an iconic burlesque queen who has been a mother figure to them all. Miss Ruby’s life is nearing its end, and she requests that her funeral take place while she is still alive so she can attend the festivities. As the Mardi Gras-esque celebration continues into the night, the stories of the residents, their pain and disappointments unfold.
The Hallelujah Girls by Jones Hope Wooten
THE STORY: Hilarity abounds when the feisty females of Eden Falls, Georgia, decide to shake up their lives. The action in this rollicking Southern comedy takes place in SPA-DEE-DAH!, the abandoned church-turned-day-spa where this group of friends gathers every Friday afternoon. After the loss of a dear friend, the women realize time is precious, and if they’re going to change their lives and achieve their dreams, they have to get on it now! But Sugar Lee, their high-spirited, determined leader, has her hands full keeping the women motivated. Carlene’s given up on romance, having buried three husbands. Nita’s a nervous wreck from running interference between her problematic son and his probation officer. Mavis’ marriage is so stagnant she’s wondering how she can fake her own death to get out of it. And sweet, simple Crystal entertains them all, singing Christmas carols with her own hilarious lyrics. The comic tension mounts when a sexy ex-boyfriend shows up unexpectedly, a marriage proposal comes from an unlikely suitor and Sugar Lee’s archrival vows she’ll stop at nothing to steal the spa away from her. By the time the women rally together to overcome these obstacles and launch their new, improved lives, you’ve got a side-splitting, joyful comedy that will make you laugh out loud and shout “Hallelujah!”
The Incomplete Life & Random Death of Molly Denholtz by Ian McWethy
THE STORY: When somebody dies, what’s the right thing to say? What are you supposed to do? How are you supposed to feel? Nobody really knows the answers to these questions, and they hang in the air of a high school when a student dies suddenly in a car accident. As the memorial service approaches and rumors fill the hallways, everyone navigates how to grieve a girl they knew in very different ways: a now-distant elementary school friend struggles to write a meaningful eulogy; two exes tentatively share memories at an unexpected meeting; an acquaintance searches for the way to process some more complicated memories; and a girl who just lost her best friend is badgered by a barista on the wrong day. Ian McWethy renders the unexpected conflict and connection to be found in grief with knowing humor and bracing honesty.
Bethel Park Falls by Jason Pizzarello
THE STORY: The residents of the small town of Bethel are facing a crisis: Their beloved park has been sold out from under them and it’s sending their lives into a tailspin. In nine interconnected vignettes, sixteen locals grapple with the loss of jobs, homes, and spouses, but find love, courage, and forgiveness as the park magically transforms through four seasons of the year in a single day. From a tired security guard trying get home to her kids, to a young mayor in over his head, to a nostalgic fisherman who can’t seem to catch anything, everyone takes a fall… and picks themselves up again. Bethel Park Falls draws a group of complex, fascinating, funny people together into one poignant story about the spaces where communities connect.
7 Ways to Say I Love You by Adam Szymkowicz
THE STORY: This collection of funny, sweet, silly, poignant and stylistically diverse short plays from New York favorite Adam Szymkowicz has something for everyone. From the awkwardness of asking out a pizza store clerk (Ambience Pizza), to a campy infidelity revenge comedy (Film Noir), to the couple destined to be together no matter the obstacles (John and April), this collection explores heart, grief, pain, and humor as the plays dance around the eternal human theme of love.