Mark and Tom - Season AnnouncementArtistic Director Mark Cuddy and Executive Director Tom Parrish are proud to announce the 14 major productions and events of the much anticipated 2015-2016 Season, the non-profit theatre’s 43rd year of making professional theatre of a national standard in Rochester.

ESL Federal Credit Union sponsored the 2014-2015 Wilson Mainstage Series, and has renewed that commitment for the 2015-2016 Mainstage Series, which features a hit Broadway musical comedy lovingly ripped from legend and the winner of three Tony Awards; a riveting drama about art that won six Tony Awards; a heartfelt and hilarious comedy set in Buffalo; an enchanting adaptation of an American literary masterpiece; an epic play by America’s foremost dramatist; and a fun and fresh new office comedy.

Geva also announces the return of the theatre’s magical production of Dickens’ classic tale of redemption, A Christmas Carol, which has truly become Rochester’s holiday tradition. Additionally, Geva will present a full line-up in the Fielding Nextstage throughout 2015-2016, including hosting the fourth annual Rochester Fringe Festival, nurturing new plays in the Festival of New Theatre, the return of everyone’s favorite “Sister,” and an eclectic range of contemporary plays in the Fielding Studio Series.

2015-2016 Season

Monty Python’s
A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
Book & Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle
Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
Part of the ESL 2015-2016 Wilson Mainstage Series
September 9 – October 11, 2015
This outrageous musical parody tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Embarking on their quest to find the Holy Grail, the Knights’ shenanigans include flying cows, beautiful show girls, killer rabbits, and flatulent Frenchmen – all while performing heart-stopping and hilarious musical numbers. Winner of three Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

By John Logan
Directed by Skip Greer
Part of the ESL 2015-2016 Wilson Mainstage Series
October 20 – November 15, 2015
At the height of his career, famed abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko struggles with a series of grand-scale paintings for New York’s Four Seasons restaurant. When his new assistant challenges his artistic integrity, Rothko must confront his personal demons or be crushed by the ever-changing art world he helped create. An electrifyingly riveting battle of wills and the winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Play.

Written and performed by Benjamin Scheuer
Directed by Sean Daniels
Part of the Fielding Nextstage Studio Series
November 11 – November 22, 2015
A true story of love, loss, family loyalty, and the redemptive power of music. Following award-winning runs in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London and Off-Broadway, writer/performer Benjamin Scheuer shares his gripping coming-of-age musical journey from boyhood to manhood, through pain and healing. The Lion is a candid, poignant, and charming new solo musical from a next-generation troubadour.

By Tom Dudzick
Part of the ESL 2015-2016 Wilson Mainstage Series
January 12 – February 7, 2016
According to Nowak family legend, there was a miracle on South Division Street sixty years ago when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in the family’s barbershop on Buffalo’s East Side. Since then, the neighborhood has looked upon the Nowak’s 20-foot commemorative shrine as a beacon of hope and faith. But now, the family’s faith is shaken when a deathbed confession threatens to change everything. A heartfelt and hilarious family comedy from the author of Over the Tavern.

By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare
Based on Homer’s The Iliad, translated by Robert Fagles
Part of the Fielding Nextstage Studio Series
February 4 – February 21, 2016
The familiar tale of gods and goddesses, undying love and endless battles blends with contemporary stories of war and revenge in this captivating retelling of Homer’s epic classic. The lone Poet has told this story for centuries, conjuring the heroes and battles of different cultures and eras. Now in the shadow of war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, he recounts a sweeping and unforgettable story of human loss and folly that resonates across three millennia.

Adapted by Christopher Sergel
From the novel by Harper Lee
Directed by Mark Cuddy
Part of the ESL 2015-2016 Wilson Mainstage Series
February 16 – March 20, 2016
Set in a small Alabama town during the Great Depression, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning American masterpiece follows the journey of Jem and Scout Finch, whose father has been appointed to defend a black man framed for a crime he didn’t commit. As the trial progresses, the children witness racial injustice envelop their community, while their father seeks the truth with quiet integrity, courage and compassion.

By Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Ben Barnes
Part of the ESL 2015-2016 Wilson Mainstage Series
March 29 – April 24, 2016
The jaded James Tyrone is on the edge of despair, and the fiercely passionate Josie Hogan is lonely beyond endurance. But on this night, when they meet on a barren patch of earth in the glow of an autumn moon, hope sparks between them. In this bittersweet elegy, two wounded hearts experience the power of redemption—and the saving grace of love. It is a stark look at humanity in its basest and loveliest form by four-time Pulitzer Prize and America’s only Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Eugene O’Neill. Produced in association with the Theatre Royal in Rochester’s Sister City of Waterford, Ireland.

By Mark St. Germain
Directed by Rachel Lampert
A Kitchen Theatre Company production
Part of the Fielding Nextstage Studio Series
April 14 – May 1, 2016
Two lonely souls embark on a relationship filled with surprising discoveries. A high-functioning young man with Asperger’s Syndrome seeks the instruction of a Broadway dancer, now sidelined with injuries. As their relationship unfolds, they’re caught off-guard by the unexpected revelations – both hilarious and heartwarming – that they make about each other. A new romantic comedy from the author of Freud’s Last Session about an unlikely relationship and the healing power of love.

By Molly Smith Metzler
Directed by Amanda Charlton
Part of the ESL 2015-2016 Wilson Mainstage Series
May 3 – May 29, 2016
Everyone who graduated from the Kingston NY High School Class of ’97 wonders what happened to their revered May Queen. Some say she became one of Spitzer’s hookers; others say she married a sheik in Dubai – but when she suddenly resurfaces in town and starts temping at a small insurance agency, things are a far cry from what they expected. Gossip kicks into high gear among these classmates, turned co-workers, in this fun, fresh and savvy new office comedy with a gigantic heart.

Special Productions and Events

JOURNEY TO THE SON: A Celebration of Son House
Late August 2015
A four-day festival weaving together music, theatre, film, audio recordings, storytelling and lectures to celebrate Rochester’s adopted son, Eddie “Son” House. The celebration will feature the reading of a specially-commissioned play by renowned playwright, Keith Glover.

In the Fielding Nextstage
September 17-26, 2015
For the fourth year in a row, the Fielding Nextstage will be a venue for the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival, hosting a wide variety of performances.

In the Fielding Nextstage
October 2015
A two-week showcase of new plays and projects that are currently in Geva’s developmental process. More than 250 full-length or short works have received readings and/or workshops as part of Geva’s new play development programs, and more than 65 have had subsequent productions around the country and the globe.

Rochester’s Holiday Tradition
By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Mark Cuddy
Music and lyrics by Gregg Coffin
Directed by Mark Cuddy
In the Wilson Mainstage
November 25 – December 27, 2015
On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by a series of ghosts who remind him who he was and what he might yet become. He learns the true meaning of the season and that it’s never too late to make a new start. The famous tale of redemption for the most despised man in London will awaken your heart and rekindle your spirit in this critically acclaimed adaptation. Recommended for the entire family! (Please remember that children under five are not permitted in the theatre.) *Note: Not a part of the ESL Wilson Mainstage subscription series.

By Maripat Donovan
In the Fielding Nextstage
March 1 – March 27, 2016
Celebrate the Easter Season with Sister as she answers time worn questions like “Why isn’t Easter the same day every year like Christmas?” and “Will My Bunny Go To Heaven?” Part pageant, and wHOLY hysterical, this sinfully funny installment in the Late Nite Catechism series unearths the origins of Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, Easter bonnets, Easter baskets, and of course those yummy Easter Peeps. Classroom participation is a must, so don’t forget to wear your Easter bonnet and join Sister for this seasonal treat.

Subscriptions for the full 9-Play 2015-2016 Season are on sale now from $193. The ESL Wilson Mainstage Series and Fielding Nextstage Studio Series may be purchased separately, from $114 and $79 respectively. Subscribing is easy, flexible and affordable.  Subscribers enjoy the best seats at the best prices, plus a host of exclusive benefits like ticket exchange privileges, priority advance booking and discounts, money-saving coupons to area restaurants, free coat check and more. For more information on subscribing to Geva’s 2015-2016 Season visit: www.gevatheatre.org/subscribe-now/. Subscribers to the 2015-2016 Season will be able to purchase tickets for A Christmas Carol and Sister’s Easter Catechism beginning April 7. Tickets to all individual shows will go on sale to the general public on August 4, 2015. For information on the 2015-2016 Season, visit www.gevatheatre.org/2015-2016-season. All plays, artists, schedules and prices are subject to change.


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