Key West’s eclectic TheatreXP has announced its program for the annual Key West Summer Stage, set to run Wednesdays through Sundays, July 5 through 29 in Key West. The schedule includes two cutting edge, award-winning plays, two new play readings, and will feature an intriguing new theatrical event called “Twice Told Tales”.
“This will be our seventh season for Summer Stage,” said TheatreXP founder and artistic director Bob Bowersox, who with partner, filmmaker Quincy Perkins, created Summer Stage in 2011. “We wanted to remain true to our reputation for power and edge on the stage, and we’ve found two great examples of that for our mainstage productions. Plus this year, we’ve been able to bring other theater companies into Summer Stage as well for a nice collection of events.”
Joining TheatreXP this Summer Stage will be the Red Barn Theatre, The Studios of Key West, the Key West Theater, and Fringe Theater Key West. All are excited to join what is being called “A Festival of Stage Arts”.
Opening this year’s Summer Stage July 5 – 23 on the Red Barn Stage will be TheatreXP’s production of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” by Dale Wasserman from the book by Ken Kesey. Shows will run Wednesday through Sunday nights, with all curtains at 8 pm. The story – in its book, play, or movie form – is one of the most acclaimed in history, garnering Tony, NY Critics Circle, Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, People’s Choice, and Grammy awards, among many others. The Summer Stage version will be directed by Steppenwolf, Goodman, and Roundabout Theater veteran Patrick New, and star Ross Pipkin as Randall P. McMurphy and Melody G. Moore as Nurse Ratched, supported by a who’s who of Key West actors.
“One special part of this show will be the price,” said Bowersox. “In 1958, when the play opened on Broadway, an orchestra seat was only $5.00. Thanks to the generosity of our underwriters, we will be able to offer all our reserved seating for all performances of “Cuckoo’s Nest” for the 1958 price of only $5.00. Imagine – a top flight professional show for only five bucks. Our gift to you for seven years of support.”
The second mainstage show will be presented by Fringe Theater. Sarah Rule’s romantic and touching “Dear Elizabeth” will run July 26-29 on the Red Barn stage. Directed by Rebecca Tomlinson, the play uses the letters between poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell to chronicle their careers, poetry and love as it blossoms, falters, and renews over 30 years. All curtains are at 8 pm.
In between these stellar plays, will be three other theatrical events.
On Monday, July 10 at 7 pm, TheatreXP will present the reading of “Heartbeat”, a brand new original play by Georgia Searle Morris. The reading will be on the Red Barn Stage and will be free of charge, first come-first served for seating. It is part of the South Florida Theatre League’s Summer Reading Festival.
And on Monday, July 17 at 7 pm, the Key West Theater will present a reading of another new original play, “Penang” by James L. Larocca. The powerful, uplifting drama centers on two young Americans in Vietnam who have lost faith in themselves, their country, and their God, and who come to realize that the only thing that really matters is the man next to you. This reading will also be free of charge, with first-come first served seating.
The final Summer Stage event is the brand new “Twice Told Tales”, which will be presented by TheatreXP and The Studios of Key West in the latter’s Helmerich Theatre on Monday, July 24th at 8 pm. It’s an intriguing new theatrical event that centers on monologues, with five top directors each directing two actors apiece on the same monologue, but in completely different ways. The five monologues – each presented twice – will run consecutively, illuminating just how much direction and approach can alter a piece of theatre.
Tickets for all Summer Stage events can be had by visiting redbarntheatre.com/tickets, or by calling 305-296-9911 or 302-540-6102. Sponsors for Summer Stage are Royal Furniture, Blue Heaven, The Grand Café, KONKLife, Design Group Key West, Digital Island Media, and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, as well as several private underwriters.