Arizona Theatre Company announces 'bucket list' lineup for 56th season
Arizona Theatre Company's 56th season is on the books, with what will be the first season under new artistic director, Matt August, who joined the organization earlier this year.
The five plays that shape the upcoming 2023-24 season will be "Barefoot in the Park" by Neil Simon, "Scrooge: The Musical" by Leslie Bricusse, "Intimate Apparel" by Lynn Nottage, "Master Class" by Terrence McNally and "True West" by Sam Shepard.
It will run in the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson from September through next April, as well as in Phoenix. August said the season was designed with intention and he said the team is as excited as he is.
"All of these plays have been in my bucket list for a while," August said. "And they all carry messages couched by funny, emotional and exciting stories."
Neil Simon's play tells the story of how young newlyweds learn to navigate their marriage as the 1960s roll in. The culture is changing around them, and they must also deal with family issues and their own differences as individuals.
"You know, it's the classic older generation versus younger generation story in New York as the '50s are coming to an end," August said.
"Scrooge: The Musical" is part of the ATC's family programming and will be on stage during the holiday season next winter.
"Intimate Apparel" and "Master Class" both feature strong female leads, August said. "Intimate Apparel" follows an African American woman as she creates a successful undergarment business in 1905 while "Master Class" tells the story of Maria Callas as she "delivers a life altering master class to students at an elite opera training program." The story is based on a time she taught classes at Juilliard.
"These two women were successful and respected in business and on the stage, but they were unappreciated in their personal lives," August said.
The last play in the season is meant to appeal to a young adult audience. It is a modern retelling of the story of Cain and Abel, mirroring the rivalry but also the bond they shared.
The stakes are high as they're forced to work together on a screenplay that would bring them good money for their time.
"This one is more geared to the ASU, UA crowd, which is younger than the usual audience members we see normally," August said.
August said they worked to pick shows that would appeal to different people, and he hopes they're able to bring more patrons into the theatre.
ATC will have outside talent come in for the shows, including Emmy Award-=winning set designer Jason Ardizzone-West, costume designer Fabio Toblini and Tony-nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge.
Bianca Morales is TucsonSentinel.com’s Cultural Expression and Community Values reporter, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.