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'What's Next' For Company One In Its 2015-16 Season

Company One Theatre Season 17 announcement. (Chris Rubino, Imogen Heath, Blaine Davis and Sharon Finney)
Company One Theatre Season 17 announcement. (Chris Rubino, Imogen Heath, Blaine Davis and Sharon Finney)
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If you’ve asked yourself “what’s next” for Company One Theatre, ask no more. Company One has unveiled its theatrical lineup for the 2015-16 season. True to form, the acclaimed theater company will feature a slew of social commentary in its 17th season. But this year, it will do so in collaboration with ArtsEmerson and the American Repertory Theater.

The season kicks off with Ruby Rae Spiegel’s play, “Dry Land.” Centered on young girls’ experiences in the scary throes of adulthood, “Dry Land” tells a story about dealing with abortion as a young woman in high school. But according to Ben Brantley's laudatory New York Times review, it tells complex stories about love, friendships and the life of the modern American teenager. Directed by Steven Bogart, the play will run from Oct. 2-30 at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Company One’s co-production with ArtsEmerson, “An Octoroon,” follows. A show that tackles race, “An Octoroon” was written by Obie Award-winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and will be directed by Summer L. Williams. The pair previously collaborated on “Neighbors.” “An Octoroon” is an adaptation of Dion Boucicalt’s popular 19th century play, “The Octoroon.”

“‘An Octoroon' confirms that we are on shaky ground whenever we attempt to tell stories about the history of race in America,” said Polly Carl, ArtsEmerson’s creative director, “and as two theater companies who recognize the reality of that shaky ground, we’re committed to presenting challenging theater that can deepen our understanding and further our conversations of race in the city of Boston.” At the Paramount Center’s Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre, the show will run between Jan. 28 and Feb. 27.

Partnered with American Repertory Theater, Company One will then present “We’re Gonna Die,” a cabaret-style show written by Young Jean Lee. The show underlines the inevitability of its very title — we’re all gonna die — but reaffirms that in this, we are not alone. Darkly humorous, it fuses theater and music by the band, Future Wife. Artistic director Shawn LaCount will direct the production, which will play at OBERON from April 21-30 and at a location to be announced from May 1-15.

Lastly, Company One will bring Natsu Onoda Power’s “The T Party” to the Boston Center for the Arts' stage. Premiering in New England July 22 through Aug. 20, the interactive experience is “a witty exploration of gender identity,” wrote The Washington Post. Power will direct the production. She also wrote and directed “Astro Boy and the God of Comics,” which Company One presented in 2014.

“All of these plays are representative of what’s next,” Summer L. Williams, producer, director and educator for Company One, said, “in terms of the way they look at race and gender politics, in terms of who the playwrights are and how up-and-coming and accomplished they are and in terms of the form itself, kind of blowing open the notion of what theater is.”

For more information on Company One's new season, visit the Company One website.

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