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Blackfriars Theatre announces 2015-16 season


Blackfriars Theatre has announced its 2015-16 season, the first under new Artistic and Managing Director Danny Hoskins. John Haldoupis, who has operated as the theater's artistic director for 35 years, will retire on June 30, at the end of the 2014-15 season. Hoskins will take over on July 1.

Blackfriars will host a farewell event for Haldoupis on Saturday, May 30, in the Xerox Auditorium (100 South Clinton Avenue). Tickets are $35-$50.

The announcement of Blackfriars' 66th season was accompanied by the tagline "There's something more...," signaling several new partnerships with Rochester organizations, one more show in the theatre's subscription series, and two new season events.

Following the theater's summer production, jukebox musical "Beehive, The 60s Musical" (July 10 through July 19), the 2015-16 season will open with the Aaron Sorkin-penned "A Few Good Men" (September 4 through September 26).

Then the dramatic comedy "Annapurna" by Sharr White will make its regional premiere October 23 through November 8. Set for the holidays (December 11 through January 3), Ken Ludwig's satirical "The Game's Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays" finds Broadway star William Gillette, known for his role as Sherlock Holmes, donning the deerstalker cap to solve a murder mystery.

On January 29 through February 14, Blackfriars will host the world premiere of PUSH Physical Theatre's "Jekyll & Hyde." The movement performance company has adapted Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" into what is sure to be a captivating, intriguing, and physically challenging retelling.

The season continues March 11 through March 26 with David Auburn's drama, "Proof," which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play in 2001. Closing the season is the regional premiere of "Heathers, the Musical" (May 6 through May 22). The stage adaption of the 1989 dark cult classic will be directed by Danny Hoskins.

Along with PUSH Physical Theatre, next season will also see Blackfriars collaborating with several Rochester groups. On April 9, Blackfriars and Writers & Books will present the first Upstate NY 24-Hour Musical Theatre Festival. Modeled after the 24-Hour Plays in New York City, the festival will prompt teams to create, write, compose, rehearse, direct, and stage brand new, 10-to-15-minute musicals.

In collaboration with Unleashed! Improv and Canary in a Coal Mine, Blackfriars will premiere the Blackfriars Comedy Series, a full season of long-form improv, original themed comedy specials, and sketch comedy.

Blackfriars has also partnered with RIT's Department of Performing Arts and Visual Culture to create a Design/Stagecraft internship during the 2015-16 season. And the theater is working with Nazareth College's Visual Communication Design Program to create the season's logos and poster designs for its seven productions.

The Hourglass Play Reading Series will also return for another season in-residence. The group will offer four readings during the season: 3 p.m. on Saturdays, November 7, December 19, February 6, and May 21.

For the first time, Blackfriars is offering various subscription packages: a full, six-show season subscription (regular: $138-$180; senior: $126-$168); a three-show flex pass subscription ($90); a four-show flex pass subscription ($120); and a show-day pass for last-minute reservations to all six shows ($135). Also for the first time, all subscription options will be available online at Tickets also available by phone at 454-1260.

Season single tickets will go on sale August 1.