Geva Theatre Center's 2019-2020 season, which it unveiled this evening, includes Tony Award-winning musical, "Once;" post-Vietnam hip-hop musical, "Vietgone;" and the world premiere of "Looks Like Pretty," which is set in a Kodak lab. More than half of the productions are written by and will be directed by women, three plays are written by playwrights of color, and five will be led by directors of color.
The season will also include KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, September 10-21; the Festival of New Theater, featuring plays and musicals that are under development as well as a regional writer showcase and a new writers showcase, October 7-20; and "A Christmas Carol," November 27-December 29.
The next season:
"La Cage Aux Folles" (September 3 through October 6, Wilson Stage): Everything is going well for Georges and Albin, who run a fabulous drag club in beautiful St Tropez, when Georges' son gets engaged to the daughter of a conservative politician. The musical comedy is based on the 1978 French film of the same name, which inspired the 1996 film, "The Birdcage," starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.
"The Niceties" (October 22 through November 17, Wilson Stage): Eleanor Burgess's play about race, history, and power dynamics clash in Eleanor Burgess's play about a liberal white professor and frustrated black student.
"Queen" (November 7 through November 24, Fielding Studio): Madhuri Shekar's new play about women in science and the plight of bees sees PhD candidates Sanam and Ariel about to publish a career-defining paper, when one of them finds an error in their research. They must decide to move forward and help the vanishing bee populations or come clean about the mistake.
"Slow Food" (January 14 through February 9, 2020, Wilson Stage): In this new comedy by Wendy MacLeod ("Women in Jeopardy!"), a couple celebrate their anniversary in Palm Springs, but their relationship's tenuous state is revealed through a trying interaction with a persnickety waiter.
"Once" (February 19 through March 22, 2020): Based on the 2007 film and featuring the Oscar-winning song "Falling Slowly," the musical tells the story of an Irish musician who's just about forsaken passion (in music and relationships) when a Czech immigrant makes him reconsider what he's giving up.
"Cry It Out" (March 5 through March 22, 2020, Fielding Studio): In a new comedy from Ithaca's Kitchen Theatre, the loneliness of new motherhood leads to an unlikely friendship between neighbors Jessie, a corporate lawyer, and Lina, a community college drop-out. Despite class differences, the two spend their children's nap times bonding over sleep deprivation and finding reliable childcare.
"Looks Like Pretty" (March 31 through April 26, 2020, Wilson Stage): Set in 1963 in a lab at Kodak Park, this new play sees a couple of colleagues finishing work on new color film technology when an African American employee critiques the authenticity of the color in the film.
"Where Did We Sit on the Bus?" (April 23 through May 10, 2020, Fielding Studio): A one-man hip-hop musical by Brian Quijada, who the Times Square Chronicle has been compared to the work of Lin-Manuel Miranda and John Leguizamo. Quijada will perform his autobiographical work about the love of performance and family and growing up Latinx in a world that sees in black and white.
"Vietgone" (May 5 through May 31, Wilson Stage): Set in 1975, this hip-hop comedy follows Vietnamese refugees in America who have a second chance at love. Fresh from Saigon, a widower and a woman who lost her fiancé meet in an Arkansas refugee relocation camp and navigate a new land together, in Qui Nguyen's musical based on his parents' reluctant romance.
Season subscriptions are now on sale (from $224.50); the Wilson Stage Series and Fielding Studio Series can be purchased separately (from $133 and $91.50 respectively). Tickets to all individual shows will be available to the general public on July 16 (except for "A Christmas Carol," which will only be available to subscribers. The general public can purchase tickets for that production on September 23). For more information, call 232-4382 or go online to gevatheatre.org/2019-2020-season.