Blackfriars Theatre on Thursday announced its 2016-17 season, and introduced several new initiatives, including a new logo and website, a seat campaign, and a development manager. The current season continues with the 24 Hour Musical Theatre Festival on Saturday, April 9, and will close with "Heathers, The Musical," May 6 through May 22.
The theater will return for its summer production, "The Wedding Singer," on July 8 through July 17. The musical comedy -- based on the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore rom-com -- will be directed by Blackfriars Artistic Director Danny Hoskins, with musical direction by Andy Pratt, and choreography by Bobby Conte.
The 2016-17 season will open on September 2 with the Stephen Sondheim musical "Assassins," which puts front-and-center the men and women who have attempted to assassinate US Presidents. The show -- reworked as "a gritty, stark, and visceral 're-imaging'" specifically for Blackfriars -- will run through September 24. Directed by Hoskins and Janine Mercandetti, with musical direction by Pratt.
Directed by Patricia Lewis Browne, the dramatic comedy "The Boys Next Door" will run October 28 through November 13. The play, by Tom Griffin, gives a snapshot into the lives of four mentally handicapped men living in a New England group home with a young social worker named Jack.
A world premiere, "The Flight Before Christmas" will be the theater's holiday comedy, running December 16 through December 30. Written by local comedians Jeff Andrews, Abby DeVuyst, and Kerry Young, the play will be directed by Hoskins."The Underpants" will kick off Blackfriars' 2017, running February 3 through February 19. The comedy is an adaptation by Steve Martin (yeah, the comedian, bluegrasser, and avid art collector) of Carl Sternheim's farce "Die Hose." Method Machine Artistic Director David Henderson will direct.
The musical "Hands on a Hardbody" will follow on March 17 through April 2. Directed by Brynn Lucas, with musical direction by Andy Pratt, and choreography by Lani Toyama Hoskins, "Hands on a Hardbody" will show what happens when 10 Texans compete for a new truck by keeping one hand firmly planted on the vehicle. A side note: the music was co-written by Trey Anastasio, frontman for Bernie Sanders' favorite band, Phish.
The 2016-17 season will close with the American classic "Death of a Salesman," May 5 through May 21. The play will be directed by Brian Coughlin.
Before the start of its season, Blackfriars will replace its entire auditorium with new seating. The company will launch a seat campaign to which patrons can donate and name a seat.
Blackfriars also announced that Mary Tiballi Hoffman -- formerly Geva Theatre Center's Institutional Giving Manager -- would join the organization as its new development manager.
Showing off a new logo Thursday night, the company announced that a new website, blackfriars.org, would launch on May 1 along with new ticketing software.