This week, another New England theater announces its upcoming season: The Merrimack Repertory of Lowell, Massachusetts:
The announcement was made by Artistic Director Charles Towers and Executive Director Elizabeth Kegley at an event for subscribers in Nancy L. Donahue Theatre in Lowell's Liberty Hall on Monday, March 31. Towers, who has served as MRT's artistic director since 2001, says, "When selecting a season, I am reminded of a principle attributed to Socrates - 'an unexamined life is not worth living.' Thus, our job in the theatre is to fully examine the lives of characters as created by a playwright, thereby giving the audience an opportunity to examine their own lives as reflected against the uniqueness of a fictional other."
All teenagers need someone to talk to. Vuthy has chosen a skull. He is a young Cambodian-American struggling to find his place - in a community that doesn't truly accept him and in a family that seems to be disappearing. A comedic drama about finding a direction and a home.
DUSK RINGS A BELL
Molly and Ray unexpectedly meet 25 years after their teenage romance. Though their kiss has had a lasting effect on both of them, the memory of their youthful fling is overshadowed by tragic revelations about what has happened in the intervening years.
13 THINGS ABOUT ED CARPOLOTTI
Virginia Carpolotti is a devoted widow with loving memories for her recently-deceased husband. Though her love endures, her confidence in him flounders as one shady character after another comes calling for the debt that Ed put in her name, and things really heat up when a mysterious $1 million ransom note appears. A delightful comic musical featuring Tony Award-nominee Penny Fuller.
"I directed Penny Fuller in MRT's production of A Delicate Balance in 2008, in which she gave a brilliant performance," says Towers. "When she sent me this delightful one-woman chamber musical, which was written especially for her, I immediately decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up. Penny is a Tony-nominated actor and this is a rare opportunity to have her on our stage."
THE BEST BROTHERS
When Kyle and Hamilton Best's mother dies in a bizarre accident involving a Filipino drag queen, the two brothers try to find common ground - often failing with hilarious results. They bicker over the details of the obituary, Kyle's unfortunate taste in men, and whom Mom loved best - only to find it may very well have been the dog.
Gwen thought she had successfully walked away from her troubled past. But then her ex-husband returns with news of their grown daughter's disappearance and with him come the demons that she sought to erase from her idyllic new life. A powerful new drama that explores complex family dynamics.
OUT OF THE CITY
When two middle-aged married couples take a weekend trip to celebrate a milestone birthday, they find themselves pondering elusive romance and contemplating what comes next. This unorthodox love story proves that rejuvenation can be found at any age.
THE OUTGOING TIDE
Tormented by the menacing grip of an aging mind and an uncertain future ahead, one man has a plan - but it is not what his family had in mind. A touching family drama sprinkled with surprising humor that asks what it means to truly love someone.
Playwright Bruce Graham and Charles Towers as director last partnered on Stella and Lou, which was very well-received by MRT audiences in December 2013. Towers remarks, "While The Outgoing Tide still reflects Bruce's unique blend of humor and pathos, the story couldn't be more different from Stella and Lou. The twists, the turns, the deeply recognizable family relationships and, of course, the humor, all combine to carry us to a place where dignity, honesty and humanity take hold and refuse to let go."
Subscriptions can be purchased by calling 978-654-4678 or by visiting www.mrt.org/subscribe. Tickets for individual productions go on sale in August.