The New Repertory Theatre has revealed its planned lineup for 2015-'16. After a 2014-'15 season featuring everything from macabre musicals to hot button dramas, many of the new season’s plays center on well-known historical events, from the biblical to World War II.
Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass” leads off (Sept. 5-27), in celebration of what would have been the renowned playwright’s 100th birthday. The award-winning play traces the psychological aftereffects of the horror of Kristallnacht for one Jewish family in New York. New Rep artistic director Jim Petosa directs, and Jeremiah Kissel, an Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence winner, plays the lead.
On a lighter note for the holiday season: “The Snow Queen” by Kirsten Brandt, Haddon Kime and Rick Lombardo. Lombardo is the former director of New Rep, having overseen its move from a small church in Newton to its current location in Watertown. He both co-wrote and directed ‘The Snow Queen" for San Jose Rep, where he was AD until the theater closed last spring, and returns to Watertown to remount the musical. This production takes Hans Christian Andersen’s icy classic, more loosely adapted in the wildly successful “Frozen,” and turns it into a steampunk-inspired rock musical. It’s playing from Nov. 28 to Dec. 20.
“The Testament Of Mary” has made a splash both as a novel and as a play, with Fiona Shaw playing the lead of Mary, Mother of Jesus in England and on Broadway. The Tony Award-nominated play is based on Colm Tóibin’s novel, a first-person account from the Virgin Mary herself. The play has received praise for avoiding the sentimental in favor of human emotion: Mary is presented as a grieving mother retelling her son’s death to the Gospel writers. “This is to be Mary stripped bare,” wrote the New York Times, “the better for us to grasp the suffering reality of a woman doomed to live with the memories of a son taken from her first by fame and then by a terrible public death.” It’s playing Jan. 31 to Feb. 28 with Paula Langton as Mary.
New Rep will also host the world premiere of "Baltimore" by Kirsten Greenidge in March. Greenidge is an award-winning playwright from the Boston area whose work explores race and class issues. "Baltimore" uses a mediation setting to tell the story of a group of college students grappling to understand a racially charged incident.
Other plays include the family drama “A Number” by Caryl Churchill (Oct. 10-Nov. 1); “Via Dolorosa” by David Hare (Jan. 2-31), which explores the Israeli–Palestinian conflict; the Alzheimers-haunted “Blackberry Winter” by Steven Yockey (March 26-April 17); and “Freud’s Last Session” by Mark St. Germain (April 30-May 22), which tells the story of Sigmund Freud’s meeting with C.S. Lewis.