UPDATE: Please see an update to this announcement here.
All previously announced shows to be produced
Shows slated to begin in November 2020
Artist, patron, and staff safety remain the priority
With the health and safety of our artists, patrons, and staff as our top priority, Trinity Repertory Company will shift the schedule of the previously announced 2020-21 Season. The subscription series lineup, which includes the two shows that were cancelled this spring – Sweat and Sweeney Todd – is now currently slated to begin in January 2021. We still plan to mount the 43rd consecutive new production of A Christmas Carol in November and December 2020. Trinity Rep is committed to complying with all government and public health regulations and guidelines and implementing best practices for cleaning, sanitizing, and risk mediation. If public health necessitates further changes to the schedule, those adjustments will be made as more information is known. Detailed performance schedules will be announced and tickets will go on sale two to three months before shows begin.
All of the plays announced earlier in the spring will be produced, though two productions will shift to fall 2021. Subscribers will receive all six shows: Tiny Beautiful Things, Sweat, The Diary of Anne Frank, Sweeney Todd, Fairview and Anna K. Subscribers receive early and discounted access to A Christmas Carol and The Prince of Providence.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Trinity Rep cancelled 83 performances this spring, in-person youth and adult classes, the Pell Awards fundraising gala, and its largest summer program, the four-week Young Actors Summer Institute (YASI). Smaller, week-long in-person camps under the YASI umbrella are still planned in August. Online classes and virtual camps were immediately designed and implemented by the education team in March and continue through July.
As a result of the extended restrictions on in-person gatherings and anticipated future challenges, we have had to contract our annual budget by 19%, including a work force reduction from 120 full-time equivalent employees to 28 full-time equivalents. To help the theater weather this coronavirus-induced storm, donors may make charitable contributions at www.trintyrep.com/give. All new and increased donations received through June 30 will be matched up to $50,000.
The artistic staff and resident acting company has shifted to online content creation, all of which can be found online here. Their work includes a Facebook Live talk-show style series, Your Half Hour Call with Curt Columbus, shown live on Facebook on Thursday evenings at 7:30 and archived online. Additional content and events include videos with readings and stories from members of the Resident Acting Company, virtual knitting circles, video clips from past shows, and archived episodes from Trinity Rep Radio Theater.
According to Curt Columbus, the Arthur P. Solomon and Sally E. Lapides Artistic Director, “We chose these stories, as we always do, to respond to the world around us and to our times. If anything, the messages contained within these great plays have more meaning and resonance now than they did even three months ago. Theater has the power to change people fundamentally, and the stories we have selected do that, each in its own remarkable way. I cannot wait for audiences to see them all.”
“Though the shows may not be in the originally announced order or on the original timeline, we will produce again. It is not a question of if, but when. Our artists and staff are all eager to get back to work again,” said Executive Director Tom Parrish. “I was on a call recently where arts and cultural organizations were called the second responders of this crisis – not just for the solace and comfort we are providing to people during this time of isolation, but for the work we will do in knitting the community and local economy back together again when we return. There are two types of charities, those that save lives and those that remind us why life is worth saving. When the time comes for the stage lights to turn on again, we will be there ready to remind everyone what this current sacrifice was for.”
The current schedule is:
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens will be directed by Curt Columbus in November/December 2020. The production, which celebrates the 43rd year of the holiday classic, has been produced by Trinity Rep newly reimagined every year. This year’s production will feature Joe Wilson, Jr. as Scrooge. Wilson was previously slated to direct, and will direct a future production when social distancing is not required and his vision can be fully realized.
- Tiny Beautiful Things will start the subscription season in winter 2021. This touching play is based on the best-selling book Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, written by Cheryl Strayed about her experience as the advice columnist “Sugar.”
- Sweat by Lynn Nottage will be directed by Christie Vela in winter/spring 2021.This Pulitzer Prize winner set in America’s Rust Belt was inspired by interviews Nottage conducted with the residents of Reading, PA over the course of more than two years.
- The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett will be directed by resident company member Brian McEleney in spring 2021. This production will view the well-known story of the persecution of Jews during World War II through the perspective of today’s young people.
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler musical will be directed by Curt Columbus in spring/summer 2021. This “bloody brilliant” musical will feature Joe Wilson, Jr. in the title role and Rachael Warren as Mrs. Lovett.
- The Prince of Providence revival may be added to subscription packages and is planned for spring/summer 2021. The play by George Brant tells the story of the rise and fall of former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci and is based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Mike Stanton. Obie Award winner Taibi Magar will return to direct the revival. Its premiere in 2019 sold out and captured world-wide attention. Subscribers have first access to tickets to this show.
- The Teatro en El Verano production Don Quixote, based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes and directed by Marcel Mascaro, will move public performances to summer 2021. A partnership between Trinity Rep and Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA), Teatro en El Verano offers free, bilingual English and Spanish performances in parks and community centers throughout the state each summer. The two organizations will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the program next summer and will use time this summer to workshop a new script.
- The 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winner Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury will be directed by company member Jude Sandy in summer/fall 2021.The revolutionary play begins as a straight forward family comedy but takes an unexpected turn that stunned and impressed audiences and critics.
- Anna K. a world premiere by Deborah Salem Smith will be directed by Jessie Austrian in fall 2021. This re-imagining of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a brisk, modern approach that examines the epic love stories at the heart of the novel through the eyes of Anna, Kitty, and Dolly.
Subscription packages for the 2020-21 Season are now available starting at just $162 for six plays, with the option of adding on The Prince of Providence before remaining tickets become available to the general public. New packages allow for increased flexibility. Subscriptions are available online here or by phone at (401) 351-4242. The Trinity Rep box office at 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI is currently closed to in-person transactions.