Baltimore Center Stage on Wednesday announced its theatrical lineup for the 2020-2021 season, including a four-play Mainstage Series and a mixture of other virtual and in-person programs throughout the 58th season.
The Mainstage Series will begin in January in the Head Theater, which Baltimore Center Stage said it has reconfigured to allow for appropriate social distancing.
“The Swindlers: A True-ish Tall Tale,” presented Jan. 28 through Feb. 28, 2021, kicks off the series with a road-trip comedy that tells the tale of a woman tracking down her con man father and blackmailing him into returning stolen funds before her home is foreclosed. The play was written by Noah Diaz, the mind behind “Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally,” which premiered at Baltimore Center Stage in February 2020, and is being directed by Will Davis.
“A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction,” presented March 25 through April 25, 2021, is an interactive production from playwright Miranda Rose Hall and director Taibi Magar. The Zero Omissions Theater Company tries to get the audience to confront climate change, and then things go awry.
“Our Town,” presented April 29 through May 23, 2021, chronicles the experiences of everyday life in a local community. This 1938 play by playwright Thornton Wilder gets a Baltimore-inspired makeover from director Stevie Walker-Webb.
“The Garden,” presented May 27 through June 20, is premiering at Baltimore Center Stage as a co-production with California’s La Jolla Playhouse. Written by and starring Charlayne Woodard from the television series “Pose,” this play examines the relationship between an elderly Black woman and her middle-aged daughter who attempt to heal old wounds after not speaking to each other for three years. Patricia McGregor will direct.
In addition to the mainstage shows, Baltimore Center Stage will launch a new Bridge Series exploring the “interconnectedness of classic and contemporary theater” with virtual readings and conversations among artists and scholars.
Baltimore Center Stage is commissioning more works by local artists, including two new Baltimore-centric works from Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi and R. Eric Thomas, and artwork for the Mainstage Series from Suzanne Coley.
Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra said Baltimore Center Stage hopes to be part of moving forward the theater industry and society at large as conversations about racial injustice and other issues gain more of a spotlight.
“Throughout history, artists have made their home at the epicenter of change, shaping and reshaping our society by challenging norms, reflecting on the best and worst of humanity,
and daring to imagine our future,” Ybarra said in a statement. “I’m confident that through our 2020/21 artistic programming and organizational practices, Baltimore Center Stage will serve that legacy well.”
Baltimore Center Stage plans to announce updates to its previous commitments to centering anti-racism and anti-oppression in its work in the coming weeks.
“The compounding effects of a global pandemic and ongoing racial injustice have forced a
long-overdue reckoning, inspiring a renewed commitment to what we say we value,” Ybarra said. “And, in order to move toward our highest ideals, come what may, we can never go back.”