Thursday, June 17, 2021

Palm Beach Dramaworks returns with a full slate of five plays in October

Opening night of the 2021-2022 season is set for October 15. For the upcoming season, Palm Beach Dramaworks has chosen to focus, for the first time in its history, solely on plays written in the 21st century.

Palm Beach Dramaworks is returning this fall for a new season with a full slate of five plays. Opening night is set for Friday, October 15.

For the first time in its history, Palm Beach Dramaworks will focus solely on plays written in the 21st century. These are plays that ruminate on universal themes and subjects that seem to have a special urgency at this moment in time: love, longing, politics, race and racism, anti-Semitism, art, morality, aging, determination, resiliency, and courage.

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Following new health and safety protocols, the season begins with John Cariani’s Almost, Maine (2006), which is made up of nine vignettes about falling in and out of love and the desire to connect – the ideal piece to mark Palm Beach Dramaworks’ re-opening and the chance to reconnect with theatre and with each other. Next up, on December 10, is the world premiere of Michael McKeever’s The People Downstairs, commissioned by Palm Beach Dramaworks (PBD) and developed by The Dramaworkshop, which explores the challenges faced by the brave individuals who hid and took care of Anne Frank and seven others during the Holocaust.

On February 4, 2022, Joanna McClelland Glass’s Trying (2004) will take the stage; a memory play based on the playwright’s stint as secretary to Francis Biddle, who served as FDR’s attorney general and later was a judge at the Nuremberg trials.

The fourth production, opening April 1, is Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel (2003), set at the turn of the 20th century, which tells the story of a 35-year-old African-American seamstress who enters into a correspondence with a man she’s never met in the hope of finding love.

The final production of the season, opening on May 27, will be another world premiere, and it is yet to be announced.

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Palm Beach Dramaworks is installing a new HVAC system throughout the building that complies with all the latest safety guidelines recommended by the CDC and the company’s consultant engineers. Facility and ticketing procedures will be upgraded to allow for as much of a touch-free patron experience as possible.

“We’re hoping these new protocols will put everyone’s mind at ease so that they can just delight in being back in the theatre and enjoy this great lineup of plays, without worrying about the air they breathe,” said Producing Artistic Director William Hayes. “However, we also recognize that a segment of our patrons might be wary about sitting in a full theatre and won’t be quite ready to return. If that’s the case, we may have to reduce the run of each play this coming season by a week. But we’re keeping the closing date flexible, depending on the response.”

Of the four plays that we’ve announced, three already have a history with PBD. The People Downstairs was presented as a staged reading during our second annual New Year/New Plays Festival and also received a Zoom reading last June. “It was on the schedule for the 2020-2021 season,” says Hayes. “We’re excited that we will finally have the opportunity to produce the world premiere.”

For information on tickets for the upcoming season, visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org or call the box office at (561) 514-4042 ext 2. Palm Beach Dramaworks is located at 201 Clematis St, West Palm Beach, 33401.

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