GableStage Theatre Returns to the Stage for 23rd Season
The 2021-22 season will mark the return of in-person performances under the direction of new Producing Artistic Director Bari Newport.
GableStage, the beloved theatre company located in the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, has announced an ambitious reopening season with a planned return to in-person performances in November. The new season includes challenging and gripping dramas, music, comedy and world-premiere productions.
“While I certainly bring my own sensibilities to season programming,” says Producing Artistic Director Bari Newport, “the mission of the company is deliberate and strong: to challenge South Florida audiences with productions of artistic excellence that confront today’s issues and ideas. It is with that clear directive in mind that I proudly unveil GableStage’s ambitious 23rd Season and invite audiences to join us for GableStage’s next chapter.”
To kick-off, GableStage invites audiences to save-the-date for SPLASH! a season opening event at the Biltmore pool at 7 p.m. on October 28. SPLASH! celebrates 1940’s movie mermaid Esther Williams with a one-night only synchronized swimming extravaganza.
The season begins with Arthur Miller’s The Price (November 12 - December 12). One son abandoned his dreams to support his father. The other didn’t. Thirty years later, the they reunite to sell their late father’s belongings and are forced to examine their decisions – and the price they had to pay. The Price was the final play directed by legendary artistic director Joseph Adler before his passing, now new artistic director Bari Newport picks up where he left off, using Joe’s notes to bring to life his vision of this classic. Starring GableStage acting company members Patti Gardner, Michael McKenzie, George Schiavone and Gregg Weiner.
Next up is the world premiere of Joe Papp at the Ballroom (December 17 - December 31), adapted by Susan Papp-Lippman and South Florida based actor, Avi Hoffman starring as Joseph Papp. The American theatre icon of the 20th century gave only one public concert in his entire career. In it, he recounted his Brooklyn Yiddish upbringing, his political struggles and his reconceiving of the creative process. Hoffman adapts and recreates the 1978 event. This performance is produced by GableStage in alliance with YI Love Jewish. This limited engagement production is directed by Tony nominee Eleanor Reissa.
Kicking off 2022 is the Florida premiere of award winning poet/playwright Claudia Rankine’s The White Card (January 14 - February 13). The White Card, Rankine’s first published play, poses the essential question: Can American society progress if whiteness remains invisible? Composed of two scenes, The White Card is a moving and revelatory distillation of racial divisions as experienced in the white spaces of the living room, the art gallery, the theater, and the imagination itself. Director Lydia Fort directs what the Boston Globe calls,“a bracing experience that leaves you with plenty to think about!”
The season continues with the world premiere, two-person musical, Me Before You (February 25 - March 27). With a book by Atlanta-based playwright Janece Shaffer and music by Grammy Award winner Kristian Bush of the country-rock band Sugarland, Me Before You presents Roz and Raye, a couple who has survived 20 years of marriage and can’t believe they still like each other. But the inescapable shock waves of the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh hearing have hit them hard and suddenly the two are asking questions of each other they never have before. This new musical explores how the politics of a nation can impact the politics of a marriage.
Next, we celebrate the Sunshine State by traveling north to Boca Raton where the lawns and the residents are perfectly maintained. Straight from a sold-out run in the Berkshires at Barrington Stage Company, the Florida premiere of Jessica Provenz’s Boca (April 22 - May 22) guarantees laughs. Directed by Barrington Stage Artistic Director Julie Boyd, this not-to-be-missed comedy follows a group of retirees who – between golf, bridge and Botox – can be found bickering, gossiping and living it up like they’re teenagers again.
The subscription season concludes with Fade (June 3 – July 3), written by Tanya Saracho and directed by Teo Castellanos. Lucia is understandably nervous. It’s day one at her first TV writing job. As a Hispanic novelist, she may actually be the “diversity hire” she’s heard whispers about. Uncertain whether she can make a place for herself in cutthroat Hollywood, she feels less alone when she meets Abel, the Latino janitor. They form a bond and share stories, but it turns out that their friendship is not what Abel expects in this witty dramatic comedy about class, integrity, and culture.
As a special season add-on production, GableStage will present the world premiere of Rubenology, The Making of an American Legend (July 14-31, 2022), written by Vanessa Garcia and Ruben Rabasa. The legendary Rabasa (who Andy Garcia called “La Gloria de Cuba”) takes the wheel of his own one person show to tell us about the wild ride of his life—all 83 years of it and counting. Rabasa takes us from Cuba to the United States; from santeros to his saving grace, his mom. It’s funny, silly and full of heart, just like Rabasa himself, who has a thing or two to teach us—his “Rubenology”—about being an actor, a lover, a friend, a son, a Cuban-American, and an American.
After Joseph Adler, the producing artistic director of GableStage for 22 years passed away in April 2020, the board conducted a nationwide search for a new leader. Newport was unanimously selected as the new Producing Artistic Director. “I was hired to scale the company up,” says Newport. “To that end, we look forward to welcoming more people to experience GableStage.
In addition to upgrading the HVAC and air handling systems in the theatre space, GableStage has upgraded its schedule. This new lineup shortens the delay between productions, adds Saturday matinees, introduces two performances on Wednesdays – and features 6 subscription plays plus 1 special production.
The company is also offering three flexible subscription packages: premium, mid-week and preview Friday. These packages offer a savings of almost 30% off single-ticket prices and provide a host of additional benefits, including $5 off all additional purchases, priority seating and easy, free exchanges. Subscribers will ALSO receive one complimentary ticket to any one of the six regular productions.
If productions or performances must be cancelled to comply with updated Government COVID-19 requirements, patrons will be offered an exchange or refund for their purchase. To learn more, visit gablestage.org or contact the Box Office at (305) 445-1119.