As the Baltimore theatre scene continues to make a return to live performances, Baltimore Center Stage has revealed its calendar of live and virtual shows for the 2021-2022 season.
“The artists of our 2021/22 Season are ready to take us places we’ve never been before – whether you’re joining remotely or in person, we are ready to take you on journeys via theater in all its forms. In other words: it’s go time,” Center Stage Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra said in a statement on Monday.
The season will open with “The Swindlers: A True-ish Tall Tale,” which will run from Sept. 2-26. The play, written by Noah Diaz and directed by Will Davis, is loosely based on the real-life story of the playwright’s mother and grandfather. The play’s protagonist, Marie, is struggling financially and working a dead end job when the FBI seizes her house and assets in pursuit of her father. She finds herself on a road trip with her father, a notorious con man, after she is used as bait to lure him into FBI custody. Tickets for “The Swindlers” are on sale now.
From Nov. 27 to Dec. 19, Center Stage will present “Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities,” by Pulitzer Prize finalist Anna Deavere Smith. “Fires in the Mirror,” hosted in partnership with Long Wharf Theatre, tells the story of the violent clash between Black and Jewish residents of Crown Heights, Brooklyn in the summer of 1991. Smith conducted interviews with over 100 people for the play, which will be performed by a single actor.
The season will continue into 2022 with “The Folks at Home,” the story of an interracial couple living in South Baltimore. The performance, written by R. Eric Thomas and directed by Stevie Walker-Webb, will run from March 17 to April 10.
Following “The Folks at Home,” Center Stage will present “DREAM HOU$E,” by Eliana Pipes, in partnership with Alliance Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre. In the play, two Latinx sisters guest star in a reality show to sell their family home in the gentrifying area of Hilo Villa, California. “DREAM HOU$E” will run from April 21 to May 15.
The main stage season will end with “Bakkhai,” a remake of the original Greek tragedy by Euripides. The new version by Anne Carson will be directed by Mike Donahue, choreographed by Willia Noel Montague, and feature original music by Diana Oh. The show will run from June 1 to June 19.
Center Stage will also present the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company production of “Where We Belong,” which tells the autobiographical story of Mohegan theatre maker Madeline Sayet. The play, directed by Mei Ann Teo, will run from Oct. 19-24, 2021.
In addition to these productions, Center Stage announced new community programs and partnerships with organizations in Baltimore.
The community programs include the BCS Sound Check concert series, Baltimore Butterfly Sessions, and virtual Bridge Series.
BCS Sound Check, a Friday night concert series, will feature musical performers from Baltimore and beyond. The series will take place in the Deering Lobby on Sept. 17, Nov. 5, March 4, and May 13. For the first concert on Sept. 17, Center Stage will host Baltimore native Darius Christian.
Baltimore Butterfly Sessions, inspired by Citizen University’s Civic Saturdays, will meld music, poetry, literature, and keynote addresses to bring about cultural conversations. The first session, “The Anatomy of an Uprising,” will feature a keynote address by Dr. Jordie Davies, a postdoctoral scholar at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University. The sessions will take place in the Center Stage lobby and online on Sept. 27, Nov. 29, Feb. 28, April 4, and May 2.
The Bridge Series, hosted by the Center Stage Artistic Team, will feature live virtual conversations that offer a glimpse into the creative process. The guests for the 2021-2022 season have not yet been announced.
The new season will also offer new partnerships with Baltimore organizations such as Creative Alliance and ArtsCentric.
On Oct. 30, Center Stage will partner with Creative Alliance to present “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: An Interactive Movie Night.” The Halloween-themed night will feature live performers and a costume contest.
In partnership with ArtsCentric, Center Stage will host “Dreamgirls” from Nov. 16 to Dec. 12, 2021. The show, directed by Kevin S. McAllister, was originally produced on Broadway by Michael Bennett, Robert Avian, Geffen Records and The Shubert Organization.
More information on the 2021-2022 season can be found at www.centerstage.org.