2013/14 Season

You can still subscribe to our 2013/14 season.  Inexpensive 3-play subscriptions now on sale!

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Our season (more details below):

next to normal small peter wendy small
pi screen top girls screeen
crucible scree

 

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“Next to Normal”

A Rock Musical

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Opens September 17, 2013

Music by Tom Kitt; Lyrics by Brian Yorkley
Directed by Brian Katz
Musical Direction by Armando Fox
Musical Staging by Daunielle Rasmussen

Coming off the triumphant East Bay Premiere staging, Custom Made Artistic Director Brian Katz brings NEXT TO NORMAL to the intimate Gough Street Playhouse.

From Katz’s Pinole staging:
“A steaming, fiery cauldron of raw emotion… amazingly realized characters… this is a show with a whole lot of heart, and much to say, not only about mental illness, but the nature of families and human relationships.” -Pat Craig, Contra Costa Times

Director Katz says, “When I first saw ‘Next to Normal’ on Broadway, I fell instantly in love with the raw emotion of the play and the intensity of the original cast. Later that night, though, I had a revelation – that this musical was really a small theater piece trapped on a Broadway stage.  This is what the Custom Made production will be – an intimate, sincere, and honest look at mental illness and how it can drive a family both apart, and then together. We are going to eschew the rock-concert staging and instead bring Dan and Diana’s troubled home to light, with all the secrets it contains. ‘Next to Normal’ is as much a Henry James story as it is rock opera, and bringing this aspect to the forefront creates a much more frightening, and haunting, play.”

We are also thrilled to welcome back Armando Fox, who was the musical director on the CMTC critically acclaimed production of Assassins, which was named a top play of the year by the SF Bay Guardian and Talkin’ Broadway.“

Reprising their roles from the East Bay premiere will be Lisa-Marie Newton as Diana and company member Perry Aliado as Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine.

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“Peter/Wendy” – West Coast Premiere!
Adapted and directed by Jeremy Bloom
from J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan and Wendy”

Opens November 19, 2013

“Do you know why I come here, Wendy!? I come here to hear stories,” declares Peter Pan, the fearless boy who refuses to grow up and the protagonist of Peter/Wendy, a new adaptation of the fanciful childhood tale.

Conceived and directed by Jeremy Bloom, a protégé of Tony Award winning Mary Zimmerman (“Metamorphoses” & “The White Snake”) the plight of Peter takes on new life in an anxiety-ridden, deadly adventurous world of love, fairy dust and twilight. The pajama-clad performers, an exuberant ensemble of lost boys, pirates, fairies, and mermaids, explore familiar text compiled from the J.M. Barrie novels, “Peter Pan and Wendy” and “The Little White Bird.” Featuring Bloom’s signature low-tech, inventive image staging, Peter/Wendy reveals the nuances of Neverland.

“While researching Barrie’s novels for a different play,” said Bloom, “I was struck by how deeply exhilarating and dark the text is on a psychological level, beyond the animatronic and animated portrayals of the story we grew up watching.”

Custom Made is proud to bring Mr. Bloom to the Bay Area in this West Coast Premiere, which also continues the company’s collaboration with the cell, a Chelsea NYC based theatre and salon. Custom Made is currently co-producing a reading series at the cell and will mount Mark Eisman’s “Sightlines” there in October, a project that was presented last summer in “Studio, CMTC.” “Peter/Wendy” will be produced at the cell, beginning May 30th.

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“The Pain and the Itch” – Bay Area Premiere!
by Bruce Norris, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of “Clybourne Park”
directed by Dale Albright
Opens January 14, 2014

Something’s been gnawing at the avocados in Clay and Kelly’s kitchen. This upper middle class American couple will go to any lengths to protect their children from whatever creature has invaded their domestic bliss, but the sense of invasion will not stop. As the story is gradually unfolded to their visitor, a Muslim cab driver, his relationship to the events becomes increasingly clear, as does the emptiness of the family’s supposed benevolence and sensitivity.

Custom Made is thrilled to welcome director Dale Albright (Theatre Bay Area, Dragon Productions) to helm award-winning playwright Bruce Norris’ scathing satire of the politics of class and race, in this controversial, painfully hysterical examination of denial and its consequences.

“Playgoers hungry for smart, vicious drama will feel like an itch has been scratched.” —Time Out NY.
“Some moments are hysterical and laugh-out-loud funny while others are shocking and stop your heart.” -Broadwayworld.com

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“Top Girls”
by Caryl Churchill
directed by Laura Lundy-Paine
Opens March 18, 2014

Marlene has just been made president of Top Girls Employment Agency in London, beating out her more established male colleague and taking the agency by storm. She has achieved her dream to become successful and the top executive, but what now? A sumptuous dinner, of course, with wine, gourmet food, and five of the most famous and scandalously adventurous women in history: Adventurer Isabella Bird, Courtesan Lady Nijo, Dull Gret from Brueghel’s masterpiece, Pope Joan, and Patient Griselda from The Canterbury Tales. Shocking and hilarious, these six women take the restaurant by storm with stories of battles and high jinks, masquerading as men, passionate love-making, and beating their oppressors bloody.

Churchill’s gift for rapid-fire exchanges, overlapping dialogue and fearless thrust of her subject matter are as breath-taking now as they when “Top Girls” was presented in the 80’s as a scathing attaching on the individualist nature of Margaret Thatcher’s England. Truly, not much has changed since then, and not only the 1% should ask: at what price success?

Helming “Top Girls” is Virago Theatre Artistic Director, Laura Lundy-Paine, who says, “I love this play–for its challenges, for its depth and beauty, and for the questions it poses about the meaning of success, and the accompanying isolation and loneliness. And if we take our lives into our own hands, is it work the risk?”

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“The Crucible”
by Arthur Miller
directed by Stuart Bousel
Opens May 20, 2014

Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” is arguably The Great American Play, a classic story of individuals confronting the corruption within their society and standing up for their convictions under even the direst of circumstances.

An infamous allegory for the McCarthy witch-hunts of the 1960′s, the action remains in 17th century Salem and concerns the persecution and state-sponsored murder of twenty outsiders by their friends and neighbors for alleged affiliations with the supernatural world.

Ultimately, “The Crucible” is a study of how power is wielded- and opposed- in any community; this endurable show contains some of the most gripping scenes in modern theater and remains wildly popular wherever and whenever it is produced.

Custom Made is thrilled to bring back director Bousel, whose previous engagements, “M. Butterly” and “The Merchant of Venice”, have been audience and critical favorites. His production of “Prelude to a Kiss” will complete Custom Made’s current season.

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