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Chance Theater’s 22nd Anniversary Season announced

Chance Theater is thrilled to announce its 22nd Anniversary Season, which will be the sixth to employ both stages in its home at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center. Next year will feature eight fully-staged productions.

This is quite possibly Chance Theater’s most ambitious season to date. The quality of these plays and musicals have been widely celebrated. Our 2020 line-up includes a cumulative total of three Pulitzer Prize Finalists, 15 Tony Awards, 10 Drama Desk Awards, 3 Lucille Lortel Awards, 9 Outer Critics Circle Awards, a whole lot of attention from the New York Times during their initial runs (one was named one of the Best Plays since Angels in America), and too many other awards and nominations to count. Plus, the Chance is looking at one of the largest casts it’s ever had, a play that requires a wrestling ring, and the reconfiguration of the Cripe Stage multiple times throughout the year.

Programming a comfortable slate of shows has never been the mission of the Chance. Every season needs to be a challenge to our company to tell stories that are from voices that are as diverse as our community, a challenge to our artists to explore the dynamic storytelling through our dynamic and flexible venue, and a challenge to audiences on what to expect from intimate theater.

020 SEASON PRODUCERS
BETTE & WYLIE AITKEN
True and hearty supporters of the Chance, we are honored to have Bette & Wylie Aitken return as Season Producers for our 2020 schedule. The Aitkens played an integral role in helping the Chance move into its new home by contributing a major gift to the “Bold New Home” Capital Campaign. As an acknowledgement of their humbling support, the Chance officially named their new home the “Bette Aitken theater arts Center.”

“When we first happened upon the Chance, it was already making a big impact in the community,” said Bette and Wylie in a joint message. “And it appears that the ripple from that impact only continues to grow. Beyond the major works they produce on the stage, the Chance continues its mission of strengthening the bond between neighbors, fostering creativity in our children, and investing in the growth and development of local young and professional talent.”

Subscriptions for the 2020 Season are now on sale at www.ChanceTheater.com, or over the phone at (888) 455-4212.

Without further adieu, Chance Theater’s resident company of artists are very excited to announce…

SEASON 22

January 31 – March 1, 2020 on the Cripe Stage
Fun Home
Music by JEANINE TESORI
Book & Lyrics by LISA KRON
Based on the Graphic Novel by ALISON BECHDEL
Directed by MARYA MAZOR

Executive Producers: The Family of Mary Kay Fyda-Mar
Associate Producers: Susan Bowman & Freddie Greenfield

When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires. Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.

NOTE: This show contains adult themes and language.

* FINALIST for Pulitzer Prize for Drama
* WINNER of 5 Tony Awards, including Best Musical
* WINNER of Best Musical: Lucille Lortel Award, New York Drama Critic Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Obie Award, Off-Broadway Alliance Award

April 10– May 10, 2020 on the Cripe Stage
ORANGE COUNTY PREMIERE
THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY
by KRISTOFFER DIAZ
Directed by JEREMY ALUMA

Executive Producers: Sophie & Larry Cripe

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity follows the life of wrestler Macedonio Guerra. As a lifelong fan, he has followed wrestling only to become a “jobber,” one who is paid to lose to bigger-name stars in the ring. Macedonio meets Vigneshwar Paduar, a young Indian man from Brooklyn, who he wants to team up with. The wrestling execs go for it, but pitch them as “terrorists” in the ring. Macedonio and Vigneshwar find a way to push the personas to the limits and say what needs to be said. Unspoken racism, politics, and courage are all woven into this play that leaves it all on the mat.

NOTE: This show contains mild adult themes and language.

* FINALIST for Pulitzer Prize for Drama
* WINNER of Best Play – Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award, New York Times Play Prize
* WINNER of 2008 National Latino Playwriting Award
* One of the Best American Plays since Angels in America – New York Times

April 24 – May 24, 2019 on the Fyda-Mar Stage
ORANGE COUNTY PREMIERE
Yellowman
by DEAL ORLANDERSMITH
Directed by OANH NGUYEN

Executive Producers: Rachelle Menaker & Eddie Schuller
Associate Producers: Susan Bowman & Freddie Greenfield

YELLOWMAN is a multi-character memory play about an African-American woman who dreams of life beyond the confines of her smalltown Southern upbringing and the light-skinned man whose fate is tragically intertwined with hers. The play explores the negative associations surrounding male blackness as well as the effect these racial stereotypes have on black women.

* FINALIST for Pulitzer Prize for Drama
* WINNER of Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

June 19 – July 19, 2020 on the Cripe Stage
Billy Elliot, The Musical
Book and Lyrics by LEE HALL
Music by ELTON JOHN
Originally Directed by STEPHEN DALDRY
Orchestrations by MARTIN KOCH
Directed by KARI HAYTER
Choreographed by CHRISTOPHER ALBRECHT
Music Direction by ROBYN MANION

Executive Producers: Rachelle Menaker & Eddie Schuller

Set in a northern English mining town against the background of the 1984 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. Follow Billy’s journey as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and community… and changes his life forever. With a powerful storyline, rousing songs and opportunities for sensational choreography Billy Elliot is the perfect opportunity to blow audiences away. A large cast of children provides the perfect opportunity to feature dance programs in your area and let your young talent SHINE!

* WINNER of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical
* WINNER of Best Musical – Drama Desk Award, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award, Outer Critics Circle Award

September 18 – October 18, 2020 on the Fyda-Mar Stage
ORANGE COUNTY PREMIERE
Significant Other
by JOSHUA HARMON
Directed by MATTHEW MCCRAY

Executive Producer: Guy W. Marr

Jordan Berman would love to be in love, but that’s easier said than done. So until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close girlfriends. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan discovers that the only thing harder than finding love is supporting the loved ones around you when they do. From the critically acclaimed writer who brought you Bad Jews.

* TOP TEN Productions of the Year – New York Times, 2015

Holiday Literature Series

November 27 – December 27, 2020 on the Cripe Stage
Little Women – The Broadway Musical
Music by JASON HOWLAND
Lyrics by MINDI DICKSTEIN
Book by ALLAN KNEE
Based on the novel by LOUISA MAY ALCOTT
Directed by CASEY LONG

Executive Producers: Linda & Tod White

From the novel that holds a special place in the heart of American literature, comes a new musical which proves this timeless story is still relevant, funny, and heartbreaking today. Join rambunctious Jo, practical Meg, sweet Beth, and romantic Amy as they embark on a coming-of-age tale filled with drama, romance, humor (and song!), all under the watchful eye of their beloved Marmee while father is away during the Civil War. You will not want to miss this terrific theatrical treat for the holidays, perfect for the entire family!

TYA Family Series

February 14 – March 1, 2020 on the Fyda-Mar Stage
A Wrinkle in Time
Adapted by JOHN GLORE
Based on the Novel by MADELEINE L’ENGLE
Directed by DARRYL B. HOVIS

Executive Producers: Elizabeth Jones

One dark and stormy night, the eccentric Mrs. Whatsit arrives at the home of Meg Murry, a young teen who doesn’t fit in at her New England high school. Meg’s scientist Father vanished over two years ago, under mysterious circumstances. Aided by Mrs. Whatsit and her friends, Meg, her gifted brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin are transported through time and space on a mission to rescue their Father from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. John Glore’s delightful, wildly theatrical adaptation brings Madeleine L’Engle’s acclaimed story magically to life.

October 2 – 25, 2020 on the Cripe Stage
Fancy Nancy, The Musical
Book & Lyrics by SUSAN DiLALLO
Music by DANNY ABOSCH
Based on the popular “Fancy Nancy” books by JANE O’CONNOR
and illustrated by ROBIN PREISS GLASSER
Directed & Choreographed by KELLY TODD

Executive Producers: Robert Berman

This TYA favorite returns to the Chance for the fifth time. Bring the family and watch as Fancy Nancy and her friends Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel get ready to perform in their very first show, “Deep Sea Dances.” Nancy is positive, that’s fancy for 100 percent sure, that she and Bree will be picked to be mermaids. When another girl wins the coveted role of the mermaid, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role, even though it isn’t the one she wanted?

This article was released by the Chance Theater.