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What's on your: Can't-Miss List in 2004-05?

Back by popular demand: For a second year, American Theatre asked more than 50 theatre professionals across the U.S. to tell us what--other than their own work or work at their theatres--they were most looking forward to this season. Here, running through the Season Preview, are some of their answers.

RENE AUGESEN. CORE ACTING COMPANY, AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER, SAN FRANCISCO:

"Mary Zimmerman's The Secret in the Wings at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. I love seeing old stories re-imagined for the theatre in such a grand fashion. Also, Eurydice, by Sarah Ruhl--not only is she a new and exciting playwright, but I'm a big fan of Les Waters, the director. I think any actor who has worked with him will tell you the same. And, frankly, I'll see Jim Carpenter in everything I can. He's one of those rare actors who seamlessly combines technical skill with a depth of feeling and grace."

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JOSEPH ADLER. PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. GABLESTAGE, CORAL GABLES, FLA.:

"An important recent development for South Florida theatre is the successful emergence of several small companies led by artistic directors with vision, including Mad Cat Theatre in Miami, producing original plays; Mosaic Theatre Company in Plantation, doing Amadeus this season; Palm Beach Dramaworks, with Edward Albee's Seascape on its schedule; and Sol Theatre Project in Fort Lauderdale."

CLAUDIA ALLEN. PLAYWRIGHT. CHICAGO:

"Trying, from the Victory Gardens Theater, will be going to the Promenade Theatre in New York, directed by my favorite director, Sandy Shinner. I'm excited about that because it's coming out of Chicago and it's a beautiful show about aging. Also, actress Velma Austin will be in Intimate Apparel at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She's a real powerhouse. I wrote a part for her in one of my plays. Plus, she makes the best Jamaican food in town."

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MARGARET BALDWIN, PLAYWRIGHT, ATLANTA:

"I'm tickled pink to see works by two of my heroes--Naomi Iizuka and Erik Ehn--gracing Atlanta stages this month--Ehn's Maria Kizito is at 7 Stages, and Iizuka's Language of Angels is at Synchronicity Performance Group. I'm also looking forward to Rebecca Gilman's adaptation of Carson McCullers's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter at the Alliance Theatre Company this spring. That's been one of my favorite stories since I was a kid."

ANDREW BARNICLE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE, LAGUNA BEACH, CALIF.:

"Grand Hotel, the Musical at Burbank's Colony Theatre--not only do they do a great job with musicals, but it's being directed by Peter Schneider, who made his fame with Disney Animation and Disney Theatricals as a producer. I'm all over King Lear at San Diego Repertory with Sam Woodhouse in the title role. I always wondered why he was growing that beard. Finally, I can't wait for The Root of Love at South Coast Repertory. It's based on Machiavelli's La Mandragola, and will be directed by David Chambers. A cynical story, to be sure, but it's funny cynicism."

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URSULA BELDEN, SET DESIGNER, ATHENS, OHIO:

"Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's whole season--but Crowns, with choreography by Mercedes Ellington, is the highlight. Cleveland Play House is doing a premiere of Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig--new plays are my weakness. And new artistic director Michael Bloom is advertising this season as a new chapter in CPH's history."

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BARBARA BECKLEY, PRODUCING DIRECTOR, COLONY THEATRE COMPANY, BURBANK, CALIF.:

"I hear Eric Coble's comedy Bright Ideas (at Laguna Playhouse this season) is a hoot, with sharp social commentary underneath. Julia Sweeney has a world premiere one-woman show, Letting Go of God. She's an original talent, and I can't wait to see how she tackles her personal search for faith. And I'm especially excited about the entire season Gordon Davidson has chosen for his swan song at Center Theatre Group."

ANDRE BISHOP, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, LINCOLN CENTER, THEATER, NEW YORK CITY:

"Reckless by Craig Lucas--a wonderful play--and the long-awaited return to the stage of the radiant Cherry Jones in the new John Patrick Shanley play, Doubt (both at Manhattan Theatre Club). Tina Howe's adaptations of Ionesco are on stage at the Atlantic Theater this month, and I always see everything at the Mint and the Peccadillo theatres--they do great plays from the past that we all are longing to see."

SUSAN BOOTH. ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, ALLIANCE THEATRE COMPANY, ATLANTA:

"At Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the world premiere of The Root: The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove by Regina Taylor. Her work always expands my understanding of our medium's potential; I look forward to the lesson. Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit will be moving into a new space in 2005, designed with particular attention to the company's aesthetic."

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CONSTANCE CONGDON, PLAYWRIGHT. NEW YORK CITY:

"A Number by Caryl Churchill (at New York Theatre Workshop) is provocative and full of insight about the future. It's also a delicious feast for two actors--and, by the way, one of those actors is Sam Shepard. Democracy by Michael Frayn, with Richard Thomas and Michael Cumpsty on Broadway. Tiny Ninja Theatre Presents Hamlet at P.S. 122, because this is what reconnects me to why I have loved the theatre all my life. And Jerry Springer: The Opera. I saw this in London last year and it is fucking brilliant!"

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FRANK CONDON, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, RIVER STAGE, SACRAMENTO, CALIF.:

"My teenage daughter Chloe loves musicals, and it's a treat to go to the theatre with her. Looking forward to taking her to the Bay Area for an adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's lost musical, Polk County, at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in November."

MICHAEL CUMPSTY, ACTOR, NEW YORK CITY:

"The person I'm most excited about is seeing Ruben Santiago-Hudson. He's doing Gem of the Ocean with Phylicia Rashad and he has such a history with August Wilson. And I have a profound fondness for the old Larry Shue play The Foreigner. I remember seeing it at Theatre Virginia and laughing so hard that I thought I would fall out of my seat."

MIKE DAISEY, ACTOR AND PLAYWRIGHT, NEW YORK CITY AND SEATTLE:

"David Gordon's The Chairs premieres at On The Boards in Seattle. Gordon's work is quiet and strange, and I'm hoping to catch this somewhere in the country, because I think there's a brilliant match possible between Ionesco's frenetic pace and Gordon's skills."

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TIM DANG, PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, EAST WEST PLAYERS. LOS ANGELES:

"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, from the creators of The Full Monty and Hairspray, at the Old Globe Theatre--under the direction of the brilliant Jack O'Brien, the sky's the limit. The Rubicon Theatre has risen very quickly to become a critically acclaimed theatre in Ventura County--and has been able to attract Hollywood celebrities and first-rate production teams. Mark Stein's Mating Dance of the Werewolf is there in May--the title is enough to make you want to see the play."

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JULIETTE CARRILLO. ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE, SOUTH COAST REPERTORY, COSTA MESA, CALIF.:

"Electricidad at the Mark Taper Forum, by Luis Alfaro, directed by Lisa Peterson--I think Luis is really on to something. The Faith-Based Bridge Show (untitled as of yet) at Cornerstone Theater Company, written by James Still and directed by Bill Rauch. Bridge shows are always extravaganzas, and this one, having such rich material to draw upon, is bound to be unique, beautiful and profound. And anything CalArts is doing at REDCAT, particularly anything involving Janie Geiser--L.A. is lucky to have her."

EISA DAVIS, PLAYWRIGHT AND ACTOR, NEW YORK CITY:

"There's The Temptation of St. Anthony this month at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Carl Hancock Rux with Robert Wilson? BAM always programs with such daring vision. In a dream season, someone would give singer-composer-lyricist Kurt Elling the money to make a music-theatre piece. He's been commissioned by Steppenwolf Theatre Company and just sang a musical setting of Leaves of Grass at Spoleto."

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DAN DAY. ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, KITCHEN DOG THEATER, DALLAS:

"Well, the best show anywhere is going to be the black comedy 'Presidential Election,' put on by all of us. Other than that, I'm looking forward to playwright Richard Greenberg directing his own The Violet Hour at the Dallas Theater Center."

SHELDON EPPS, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, PASADENA PLAYHOUSE, CALIFORNIA:

"After the long and illustrious career of Gordon Davidson at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, it will be wonderful to have Michael Richie's new and, I anticipate, very energizing leadership. And, here in Pasadena, the young Boston Court Theatre has already established a reputation for high quality and theatrical diversity."

MICHAEL BIGELOW DIXON, LITERARY DIRECTOR, GUTHRIE THEATER, MINNEAPOLIS:

"There are more dramaturgs per capita in the Twin Cities than anywhere in America, so there's so much innovative work to choose from! The Children's Theatre Company will premiere The Monkey King, adapted from a Chinese novel by America's most prolific playwright, Jeffrey Hatcher, and Shen Pei, founder of CAAM Chinese Dance Theatre. Commonweal Theatre Company's annual Ibsen Festival features The Wild Duck, as adapted and directed by Hal Cropp--the Commonweal's Ibsen expertise is one of the region's best-kept secrets. And I'm totally thrilled that Tracey Scott Wilson will return for the regional premiere at Pillsbury House Theatre of her provocative drama, The Story, starring Faye Price."

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IDRIS GOODWIN. PLAYWRIGHT, CHICAGO:

"I'm interested in a theatre company out of New Mexico called Tricklock--they just brought their Billy the Kid show to Chicago. Also, a Chicago improv troupe called Triplette features three lovely, talented young comedians. And Free Street Programs does amazing work with youth."

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BRUCE DUBOSE, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, UNDERMAIN THEATRE, DALLAS:

"This season marks the 10th anniversary of Austin's champion of the avant-garde, Salvage Vanguard Theater, and I am eager to see their opera, Genghis Khan, composed by Graham Reynolds, with libretto by Jason Neulander. I am also a sucker for Chekhov and look forward to a sumptuous production of Three Sisters directed by Patrick Kelly at the University of Dallas. Thirdly, anything in the Uvalde Opera House. This beautiful gothic-style performance space was built in the late 19th century to bring theatre to the brave souls who settled in this rustic town, which straddles the Texas hill country and the untamed West Texas Chihuahuan desert--a testament to the essential place of the theatre in our culture and our spirit."

JESSICA HAGEDORN. PLAYWRIGHT. NEW YORK CITY:

"At Brooklyn Academy of Music, John Jesurun's FAUST/How I Rose, a collaboration with Arte Mexico--it's probably best to see it in Spanish, because the Mexican actors will be most at ease in their own language. People tend to forget that John has Latino roots. Oh, and Richard III at the Public Theater, starring Peter Dinklage. He's a dark, wonderful actor, and the role is juicy."

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WENDY C. GOLDBERG, ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE, ARENA STAGE, WASHINGTON, D.C.:

"Woolly Mammoth has a new performing space on 7th Street--it's thrilling to see this company be one of the first in D.C. to open a space that suits their dreams. I am also interested to see Paul Tetreault's new vision for Ford's Theatre. In New York, I am curious to see what the Women's Project's new artistic director, Loretta Grecco, does."

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BRIAN FREEMAN, PLAYWRIGHT AND DIRECTOR, LOS ANGELES:

"The big question: Will Take Me Out at the Geffen Playhouse have three shower scenes as in the Public Theater production, or just two, as in the Broadway? Maybe they should have one of those text-messaging polls. If Mom comes to visit, we are popping the top and wrapping scarves around our millinery and heading to San Diego Repertory for Regina Taylor's shout-fest Crowns. And with East West Players and their new musical Imelda, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's more going on than shoes."

DAVID GALLO, SET DESIGNER, NEW YORK CITY:

"The Clandestine Crossing--the latest from the mad mind of that Pulitzer-nominated cat we know and love as Keith Glover--is being considered at two regional theatres this season. I saw We Will Rock You (now playing in Las Vegas) in London and it totally kicks ass. To be true, it has an awful book, the design is sub-par (in spite of having been created by the greatest rock-and-roll concert designer ever) and even the music gets wiggy a few times. But--the show is really the first true expression of the Rock Experience on a legit stage. (I adore Tommy, but it was about something more than R & R. This is only about R & R.)"

JOHN GUARE, PLAYWRIGHT, NEW YORK CITY:

"New York Theater Workshop will be a prime destination with Elizabeth Marvel's Hedda Gabler, directed by Ivo van Hove. April is a long time to wait for Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas's musical Light in the Piazza (at Lincoln Center) as well as Christopher Shinn's new play (at Playwrights Horizons), but that will teach us patience. Jon Robin Baitz's The Paris Letter found a home this season (at the Mark Taper Forum). I hope Tony Kushner finishes his Laura Bush play, which Marian Seldes and I acted in at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska."

IRA HILLMAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ROUND HOUSE THEATRE, BETHESDA, MD.:

"Having been fortunate enough to see Letters from 'Nam at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals a few years ago, I'm excited to see the full, revised version, One Red Flower, at Virginia's Signature Theatre this month. And, as a fan of Betty and their music for quite a few years now, I'm looking forward to watching them rock with Betty Rules at Theatre J."

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CHARLES GOAD, ACTOR, INDIANAPOLIS, IND.:

"Indiana Repertory Theatre has been selected to participate in the NEA's Shakespeare for a New Generation with A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by John Green--another example of the theatre's commitment to arts education and public outreach. The Phoenix Theatre is also ripe with exciting opportunities for actors and audiences. Outside of Indy, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has The Underpants, directed by Ken Albers--a company member of Oregon Shakespeare Festival and one of the best directors in the business."

JULIE JENSEN, PLAYWRIGHT-IN-RESIDENCE, SALT LAKE ACTING COMPANY, UTAH:

"In Salt Lake, Plan B Theatre has Tragedy: A Tragedy by Will Eno, a twisted look at how far the media will go to create/report the news, and Tooth & Nail Theatre has Fabulocity, an original piece created by queer youth in the city. And Theatre Grottesco, in Santa Fe, N.M., is doing an original piece of magical realism in collaboration with dancers from University of California-Davis."

LAURIE McCANTS. ENSEMBLE MEMBER, BLOOMSBURG THEATRE ENSEMBLE, PENNSYLVANIA:

"The Arabian Nights, developed by Mary Zimmerman at Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre is at Philly's Arden Theatre this month. It's terrific to see the sisterhood of these two theatres blossom. And I'll make the four-hour drive out to Pittsburgh for something in City Theatre Company's 30th-anniversary season--probably Jeffrey Hatcher and Eric Simonson's new play about Frank Lloyd Wright, Work Song. I'd like to catch the audience debate (with typical Pittsburgh fervor, I'm sure) about 'My Favorite Frank Lloyd Wright Building.'"

SHANNON HOLT. ACTOR, LOS ANGELES:

"L.A.'s brand-new Kirk Douglas Theatre will bring more opportunities to the many talented writers and actors here. I look forward to Chay Yew's new play, A Distant Shore, and Nancy Keystone's ensemble piece, Apollo, both this spring. I also am very interested in the new Donald Margulies play, Brooklyn Boy, at South Coast Repertory this month. The very versatile and talented actor Arye Gross is in that, and Daniel Sullivan is directing."

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JOAN LIPKIN, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, THAT UPPITY THEATRE COMPANY, ST. LOUIS, MO.:

"Youth company Metro Theater commissioned Earth Songs, by Jose Cruz Gonzalez, with music by Greg Bolin, choreography by Beckah Voight and direction by Christopher Gurr. With such excellent collaborators, I am eager to see it. Former St. Louisan Willy Holtzman has Hearts at the New Jewish Theatre, a tiny space that has an increasingly a large presence. I love contemporary Irish plays, which, unfortunately, are done none too often in these parts--so I can't wait for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis to do Marie Jones's Stones in His Pockets."

EDUARDO MACHADO, PLAYWRIGHT, NEW YORK CITY:

"Jessica Lange is taking on Tennessee Williams again. I have never seen a production of The Glass Menagerie, a play I cherish. And I hear that across the river Estelle Parsons will star in the musical version of Harold and Maude (a movie that revolutionized my teenage life). A trip to New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse is obviously necessary."

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CHARLES McCLENNAHAN, SCENIC DESIGNER, WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.:

"Winston-Salem Youth Arts Institute has grown from a simple initiative to empower inner-city kids (whom they call at-risk). Young people tell their stories under the guidance of playwright Nathan Ross Freeman and the leadership of Dr. Lynn Rhoades, a minister. If theatre is to continue among the under-developed communities in Winston-Salem, it must continue in this form."

KIRA OBOLENSKY. PLAYWRIGHT. MINNEAPOLIS:

"Children's Theatre Company starts off with an adaptation by Rosanna Staffa of Hansel and Gretel that features the monstrously talented Carolyn Goelzer as the uber-witch. Then Red Eye Collaboration presents Jordan Harrison's Museum Plays, and I like the way this one writes--strange and dense. Walker Art Center's Out There series in the winter looks great--former Minneapolis resident Lisa D'Amour is bringing her Obie-winning production of Nita and Zita."

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TERRY MARTIN. PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. WATERTOWER THEATRE, ADDISON, TEX.:

"I am thrilled and proud that in May, Dallas Children's Theater is producing The Wrestling Season by Laurie Brooks. Dallas is a conservative community, so bravo to artistic director Robyn Flatt for bringing challenging work to young people. Kitchen Dog Theater is opening their season with Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis, with Dan Day directing. Uptown Players, a fairly new Dallas company, has proven itself an important ingredient in the theatre community. And finally, Rene Moreno, a local freelance director, will continue to direct all over town."

TORRIE McDONALD. PUBLICATIONS MANAGER. SEATTLE CHILDREN'S THEATRE:

"Beginning this month, Seattle's Intiman Theatre will open the first of its five-part, five-year endeavor, The American Cycle. They are taking some of the pivotal and quintessentially American stories and giving them fresh life. The first in the journey is Thornton Wilder's Our Town. The Grapes of Wrath, Native Son, All the King's Men and To Kill a Mockingbird will follow."

CARL HANCOCK RUX. PLAYWRIGHT AND PERFORMER, NEW YORK CITY:

"As a kid growing up in working-class South Bronx, I was well aware of blaxploitation, but years later, I learned about the 1972 Grammy-winning, Tony-nominated musical that flipped blaxploitation on its head. For the first time in over 30 years, Melvin Van Peebles's masterpiece, Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, returns to New York in the capable hands of the Classical Theatre of Harlem. I've got my one-piece, bell-bottomed leisure suit ready and raring to go."

LAURA PENN. MANAGING DIRECTOR. INTIMAN THEATRE. SEATTLE:

"Anything Donald Byrd does--he was named artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theatre here about 18 months ago and he is brilliant. Monkey Wrench Theatre Lab and Double Duck's Frankenocchio at Empty Space--I missed it first time around and have been sorry ever since."

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MICHAEL KAISER. PRESIDENT, KENNEDY CENTER. WASHINGTON. D.C.:

"Eric Schaeffer's staging of Michael John LaChiusa's new musical The Highest Yellow at Virginia's Signature Theatre opens in October. This piece about Vincent Van Gogh stars Jason Daniely and Judy Kuhn. In November, Mary Zimmerman directs the little done Pericles at the Shakespeare Theatre."

JESSICA KUBZANSKY. CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. THEATRE @ BOSTON COURT. PASADENA. CALIF.:

"Plays at the Evidence Room. Artistic director Bart DeLorenzo offers thought-provoking, timely theatre designed and directed by a wide variety of artists, with a rough-hewn, political message and an aesthetic that works brilliantly in the warehouse space."

RON MEGEE. ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. LATE NIGHT THEATRE, KANSAS CITY, MO.:

"In Kansas City: Holes at the Coterie Theatre. I just love this book, and Jeff Church is great with adaptations. On the national scene: Pink Floyd's The Wall on Broadway. All-time favorite college dorm anthem! And finally, John Kerry being our President."

VINCENT MURPHY. PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. THEATER EMORY. ATLANTA:

"The two most adventurous and acclaimed companies in Atlanta over the past three years are the Out of Hand Company and the Synchronicity Performance Group. They are ensemble based and have a daring and ease with an audience that is breathtaking."

SHARON OTT. ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. SEATTLE REPERTORY THEATRE:

"Waxwings at Book-It Repertory Theatre--I am a huge Jonathan Raban fan, and this is deliciously acerbic, with spot-on observations about Seattle during the dot-com bust years. Wallace Shawn's The Designated Mourner at Empty Space seems to me to be exactly the kind of challenging work they should be known for."

EDDIE SANCHEZ, PLAYWRIGHT, NEW YORK CITY:

"Primary Stages will revive Willy Holtzman's Sabina--I was blown away by the first production, to the point I was stopping strangers on the street saying, 'You have to see this.' It's also the first time I ever wrote a fan letter to another playwright. LAByrinth Theater will do Stephen Adly Gurgis's The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. And I love The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel, being revived at Signature Theatre Company. Can't wait!"

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GREGORY WALLACE, CORE ACTING COMPANY, AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER, SAN FRANCISCO:

"Stories from Jonestown and the People's Temple at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. I'm a friend of co-playwright Margo Hall, so I'm eager to see her work. I'm interested in the 25-year perspective on the event, the 1978 murder-suicide of 913 members of the People's Temple in Guyana. Also, anything with Dan Hiatt in it, 'cause I love him."

ATIF ROME, SET AND COSTUME DESIGNER, KANSAS CITY, MO.:

"I'm looking forward to seeing Two Trains Running and Carter's Way at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. I like August Wilson's work, and I like jazz--and Carter's Way is about jazz in Kansas City in the 1930s. I also want to see Visiting Mr. Green at the American Heartland Theatre because the two actors, Richard Alan Nichols and Craig Benton, are very good."

PAUL STOVALL. ACTOR, CHICAGO AND NEW YORK CITY:

"I'm dying to see how The Color Purple (directed by Gary Griffin at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre Company and aimed at Broadway) is going to shape up. Very much looking forward to Johanna Day in Edward Albee's new play Peter and Jerry in New York. And I don't know what the new work by the Avenue Q boys will be next season, but it should be good."

JEFFREY SWEET, PLAYWRIGHT, NEW YORK CITY:

"Spamalot, the musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I can't wait to see American satiric master Mike Nichols engage the iconoclastic British absurdism of Eric Idle and the Monty Python gang. It's fitting that they're going to start work in Chicago, the birthplace of American improvisational comedy."

TERRENCE SPIVEY, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, KARAMU PERFORMING ARTS THEATRE, CLEVELAND, OHIO:

"Dianne McIntyre will direct Regina Taylor's Crowns at Cleveland Play House in October, and one of Cleveland's local stars, Nina Domingue, will be in Cleveland Public Theatre's production of Suzan-Lori Parks's Venus. After finally settling in Cleveland, I also like to catch productions at daring theatres such as Dobama and Convergence Continuum, and some Shakespeare at Great Lakes Theater Festival."

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DAVE STEAKLEY, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, ZACHARY SCOTT THEATRE CENTER, AUSTIN, TEX.:

"This month, Rude Mechanicals premieres Cherrywood by resident playwright Kirk Lynn, directed by Shawn Sides, who helmed the extraordinary Lipstick Traces. No one parties as hard or as intensely or with as much abandon as the Rudes. And, inspired by the recently erected statue of Roy Bedichek, J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb at Barton Springs Pool, Austin playwright Steve Moore has written Nightswim, to be premiered by the State Theatre."

HOLLY TWYFORD, ACTOR, WASHINGTON, D.C.:

"Michael John Garces is coming down from New York to direct L.A.-based playwright/screenwriter Craig Wright's Grace at Woolly Mammoth, and Everett Quinton is turning The Importance of Being Earnest upside down at Arena Stage--Rev. Chasuble will be played by D.C.--based actress Mary Beth Wise! Also, I can't wait to see what exciting new plays come from the Fresh Flavas New Works Program at African Continuum Theatre Company."

ELIZABETH RAINER, ACTOR, DENVER, COLO.:

"I am really excited about Donovan Marley's crowning season at the Denver Center Theatre Company, with a company of fine actors. Just up the road, fast-growing Curious Theatre Company continues its commitment to building relationships with playwrights with The Speer Project by Joan Holden, directed by Chip Walton. It's about Mayor Speer and the development of Denver. And finally, PHAMALy is the only theatre company in America whose actors all have disabilities. This year they are doing The Wiz.

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LES WATERS, DIRECTOR, SAN DIEGO, CALIF.:

"In the Bay Area, the Royal Court Theatre's production of 4.48 Psychosis by the brilliant and much-missed Sarah Kane, at Cal Performances. And, in New York, there's always the work of my favorite theatre group, the Civilians. Their new show, Nobody's Lunch, at P.S. 122, sounds particularly exciting."

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PHILIP SNEED, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF FOOTHILL THEATRE COMPANY OF NEVADA CITY, CALIF.:

"Traveling Jewish Theatre has an ensemble piece about Israel and Palestine, created collaboratively by artists of various religious backgrounds, including Christian, Jewish and Muslim. Aurora Theatre is presenting The Play of Daniel in collaboration with the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, and it's being performed in a church. This is a seminal work in theatre history, and rarely performed. Having been raised by a preacher, I appreciate when theatre and church can occasionally reunite."

JOEL BARRAQUIEL TAN. PLAYWRIGHT AND SPOKEN-WORD ARTIST, LOS ANGELES:

"For the centennial of the St. Louis Wold's Fair, in which indigenous people were displayed as curiosities, New York's Ma-Yi Theater Company has commissioned five playwrights (Jorge Ignacio Cortinas, Kia Corthron, Han Ong, Sung Rno and Alice Tuan) to respond in Savage Acts. Also in New York, INTAR's Tight Embrace, by Cuban-born Cortinas and directed by Filipino Loy Arcenas, echoes current events in Baghdad and Bogota. Imagine all that juicy post-colonial pathos! Guilty pleasure: I saw Jerry Springer: The Opera in London and couldn't decide which I liked more--the production or the souvenir stand."

TED VAN GRIETHUYSEN. ACTOR, WASHINGTON, D.C.:

"Floyd King is in The Russian National Postal Service at the Studio Theatre--madcap and wonderful. Vanessa Redgrave is at the Kennedy Center doing Hecuba. She's one of these people who when she's good, she's really good. At the Shakespeare Theatre, Keith Baxter's production of Lady Windermere's Fan with Dixie Carter. She has such a way with the comedy of manners. PJ Paparelli has been working on a new piece at the Round House. A group of actors went to Columbine and interviewed people; the play is almost a transcript. Also, Olney Theatre's production of Carousel in Maryland--an unbeatable theatre company."

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Publication:American Theatre
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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Previous Article:Season Preview 2004-05: a comprehensive listing of productions, dates and directors at TCG theatres nationwide.
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