Custom Made is thrilled to announce our 2014/15 Season, our 16th in San Francisco. All titles and dates are subject to change. One World premiere, two Bay Area premieres, one San Francisco Premiere, and two poignant revivals make up our most ambitious season yet.
In a nutshell (more info on each title below):
- “Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five (o The Children’s Crusade), adapted by Eric Simonson. Directed by Brian Katz.
- “Three Tall Women” by Edward Albee. Directed by Katja Rivera
- “Late: A Cowboy Song” by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Ariel Craft
- “How the World Began” by Catherine Trieschmann
- “The Braggart Soldier, or Major Blowhard” by Plautus, adapted and directed by Evren Odcikin
- “Grey Gardens, the Musical” book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, and lyrics by Michael Korie. Directed by Stuart Bousel
Sept/Oct 2014: Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, adapted by Eric Simonson. Directed by Custom Made Artistic Director, Brian Katz (Next to Normal). Bay Area Premiere!
Kurt Vonnegut’s absurdist classic, adapted by the Tony-nominated and Oscar-winning Eric Simonson, Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes ‘unstuck in time.’ In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut’s) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. With this significant event as the climax of this satirical and horrifying anti-war story, Slaughterhouse-Five carries a unique poignancy — and humor. A best-seller when released, the novel brought Vonnegut to prominence as a major voice in American fiction, and was recently listed as one of Amazon.com’s top 100 novels.
Nov/Dec 2014: Three Tall Women by Edward Albee. Directed by Katja Rivera (Eurydice).
Winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize, this will be the fourth Edward Albee play Custom Made has presented, most recently with The Play About the Baby. It is one of Albee’s most personal plays; he continues to explore themes of mortality, the elasticity of personality, and the ways we deceive ourselves through the character of a 92-year old woman on the verge of death, engaging with herself as a knowing 56-year old and a contemptuous 26-year old. Three Tall Women challenges audiences, asking us to be as honest, fierce and unblinking as Mr. Albee in looking at how we live, and how we die.
Jan 2015 (limited run): Late: A Cowboy Song by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Ariel Craft (Tis Pity She’s a Whore)
Mary, always late and always married, meets a lady cowboy (she’s a cowboy, not a cowgirl!) outside the city limits of Pittsburgh who teaches her how to ride a horse. Mary’s husband, Crick, buys a painting with the last of their savings. Mary and Crick have a baby, but they can’t decide on the baby’s name, or the baby’s gender. So begins Sarah Ruhl’s poetic, subtle and fantastical portrait of three souls in collision. Custom Made audiences loved Ruhl’s Eurydice, and Late once again shows she is the poet laureate of the new American theatre.
Feb 2015 (limited run): How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann. Director TBD. Bay Area Premiere!
Religion and science collide in a visceral examination of the way in which we navigate interpersonal relationships involving seemingly irreconcilable beliefs—and just how hard it is to truly listen to one another in an increasingly polarized world. Looking to rebuild her fractured life, high school biology teacher Susan relocates from New York City to a small Kansas town reeling in the aftermath of a devastating tornado. Ready for more than a little culture shock, Susan finds herself unprepared for the firestorm that engulfs the town after she makes an off-hand comment about the origin of the universe.
March/April: The Braggart Soldier, or Major Blowhard by Plautus, adapted and directed by Evren Odcikin (410[Gone]) World Premiere!
Director Odcikin’s fast and furious mash-up of Plautus, translated by Deena Berg, proves (as if we didn’t know it) that Roman comedies never get old, they just get funnier! If you’ve seen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, you already know that Plautus was a major influence for every possible style of comedy through the ages, as there’s still nothing more hysterical than the pompous and mighty taking it on chin. The Braggart Soldier features the hijinks you’d expect and, in true Custom Made fashion, without a safety net!
May/June: Grey Gardens, the Musical. Directed by Stuart Bousel (The Merchant of Venice)
Based on a true story, Grey Gardens is a musical exploration of the American dream gone wrong and what it means to become a social pariah. It’s also an exploration of women, the relationship between mothers and daughters, how love can turn into dependency, and how, in a society where women’s roles and options are limited, particularly in the aristocratic class, the very things that make one exceptional could ultimately be what damns them to a life in decay and shadows. Featuring an intimate, musical score that borrows as much from Stephen Sondheim as the eras in which it is set, Grey Gardens is the perfect chamber musical that will use the intimacy of Gough Street Playhouse to haunt as well as delight.
Auditions will be held over the next few months for our various titles (with the exception of SLAUGHTERHOUSE which already had its audition), drawing from the TBA generals and our own frequent players. We do invite all Bay Area actors to send their resume and headshot to casting director Gabriel Ross at email@example.com and let us know which projects you feel might be a fit for you. Keep an eye on this space for more information.