New Century Players upcoming season shines spotlight on women
Divas, dames, eight bridge-playing sisters and a mother and daughter will have their moment in the spotlight when New Century Players' 2019-20 season kicks off in September.
The Milwaukie-based nonprofit theater group has a mission to provide opportunities for artistic expression through live performances. For the past 16 years, the group has found that most people who audition are women, said Kelley Marchant, founder and artistic director.
"There's also a growing trend in theater right now in working toward more gender equity. We knew a couple of the pieces we wanted to do were primarily female casts, so then we decided to move in that direction for the rest of our season choices," she said.
General admission is $20 for the fully staged plays and $10 for the readers theater production, with senior admission $15 and students $10 per play. General admission season ticket holders pay $85 for all five plays; senior season tickets are $65, and student season tickets are $50. Group rates also are available. Visit NewCenturyPlayers.org or call 503-367-2620 to find out more.
Divas and sisters
First up for NCP is "Suite Surrender," by Michael McKeever and directed by Kraig Williams. The play is set in 1942, and two of Hollywood's biggest divas — and rivals - are mistakenly booked into the same luxurious Palm Beach hotel suite.
Mistaken identities, overblown egos, double entendres, and a lap dog named Mr. Boodles round out this hilarious love note to the classic farces of the '30s and '40s.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 and at 2 p.m. Sept. 15, 22 and 29. Venue: Rex Putnam Blackbox Theater, 4950 S.E. Roethe Road, Milwaukie.
Next is "The Octette Bridge Club," by P.J. Barry and directed by Karlyn Love.
In the first act, set in 1934, the action revolves around eight sisters who meet on alternate Friday evenings to play bridge and gossip. The second act takes place 10 years later during a Halloween bridge party, when each character acts out her costume's persona.
Auditions for "The Octette Bridge Club" will take place from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 23 at Rose Villa.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 17 and 24 and Dec. 1. Venue: Rose Villa Performing Arts Center, 13505 S.E. River Road, Oak Grove.
In "Don't Talk to the Actors," by Tom Dudzick, the cast and crew of a Broadway-bound show resort to manipulation, divalike behavior and chaotic abandon to get what they want.
Fledgling playwright Jerry Przpezniak and his fiancee are a couple of greenhorns suddenly swept up in the whirlwind of New York's theater scene when Jerry's play is optioned for Broadway.
It's a young playwright's dream, but the characters and dilemmas they encounter are the things theatrical nightmares are made of.
Kraig Williams directs.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22, and at 2 p.m. Feb. 9, 16 and 23. Venue: Rose Villa Performing Arts Center.
The next show is a readers theater performance of Neil Simon's comedy "Broadway Bound," directed by Brandee Leibrand.
In the play, Eugene and his older brother, Stanley, try to break into the world of show business as professional comedy writers while coping with their parents' break-up and eventual divorce.
When their material is broadcast on the radio for the first time, the family is upset to hear a thinly veiled portrait of themselves played for laughs.
"When we do readers theater, it's mostly to explore a show that has technical elements that might be too difficult for us, give some local actors an opportunity to do something with a very short time commitment, and give our audiences one more opportunity for entertainment," Marchant said.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. April 17 and 18, and at 2 p.m. April 19 at Rose Villa.
The final play of the season is "Memory House," by Kathleen Tolan and directed by Julie Akers.
It "chronicles the in-depth relationship between a mother and her adopted daughter," Marchant said, noting that she will play the mother and her daughter, Alyssa, will play her stage daughter.
During the course of "Memory House," the mother bakes a pie as her daughter tries to finish her college essay.
As the deadline for the finished essay looms, unexamined issues of the girl's adoption from Russia, the rupture of her parents' divorce, and the fear of leaving home break through the surface.
Marchant added, "I'm looking forward to getting back on stage again with my daughter, Alyssa, in our last production."
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. June 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20, and at 2 p.m. June 7, 14 and 21 at the Rex Putnam Blackbox Theater.
What: New Century Players announce 2019-20 season
Details: Plays include "Suite Surrender," "The Octette Bridge Club," "Don't Talk to the Actors," "Broadway Bound" and "Memory House."
Season tickets: Visit NewCentury
Players.org or call 503-367-2620.
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