Sierra Madre Playhouse plans four mainstage productions for its 2020 season. Two plays are return engagements of audience favorites. The other two are productions of works that are new to the Playhouse. The schedule is as follows:
March 30- May 1, 2020: Charlotte’s Web. Adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette. Based on the story by E.B. White. Charlotte’s Web is the famed story of a spider who engages in web-weaving miracles to rescue her friend, Wilbur the pig, from a horrible death at a butcher’s knife. Instead, Wilbur goes on to become admired and famous in his surrounding community. Wilbur, in return, acts to ensure the survival of Charlotte’s children. It’s a sweet, simple but powerful tale of the value and importance of friendship. Though it will obviously resonate with young audiences, it is intelligent enough to hold the interest of adult theater-goers as well.
June 20- August 2: King of the Yees. By Lauren Yee. Take any Chinese last name, and there exists a corresponding family association with branches in each major American city, Chinese American men’s clubs formed over a hundred years ago. For nearly twenty years, playwright Lauren Yee’s father Larry has been a driving force in the Yee Family Association. Until now. Amid a backdrop of crumbling Chinatowns and all-too-lifelike museums, Lauren races through history, space, and the fourth wall to find her father in this joyride through San Francisco’s disappearing past.
September 5- October 11: Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson. When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women computers, charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in girl hours and has no time for the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.
November 28- December 27: A Christmas Story. Adapted for the stage by Philip Grecian. Based on the screenplay by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark and on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd. Directed by Christian Lebano. In this Christmas adventure like no other, a boy’s ardent campaign for a Red Ryder BB gun against all odds (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”) unfolds amid seasonal shenanigans involving a leg lamp, a bunny suit and a tongue stuck on a frozen flagpole. Relive a family tradition or start one anew by joining Ralphie and his family for this stage adaption of the beloved film inspired by Jean Shepherd’s classic American story of Christmas-and growing up-in the Midwest.
Throughout the Year: The last Monday of every month except November and December, the Playhouse presents Off the Page, a series of staged readings of plays of interest that may be considered for future production. (Silent Sky was originally presented as a reading in this series.)
Also, SMP’s Off the Screen series presents midweek presentations of films including screen classics and a few silent films, most of them related to themes presented in our live stage productions. A film historian is present at each screening to provide fascinating facts and contexts for each film.
Tickets for most live stage presentations range from $25 to $45. Admission for most film screenings is $10.
Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. This is just east of Pasadena. There is parking available on the street and in free lots behind and across the street from the Playhouse. Several dining venues are just steps away. For reservations, call (626) 355-4318 or go online at http://sierramadreplayhouse.org