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On Theater: Upcoming season has 'revivals' category

July 15, 2010|By Tom Titus

Along with the usual collection of new plays and world premieres, seasoned audiences at South Coast Repertory will find another category in the just-announced 2010-11 season: revivals.

Three of the shows in the upcoming lineup have been presented before on the SCR stage: George Bernard Shaw's "Misalliance," Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain," the latter having been a world premiere when first produced locally.

"Misalliance," Shaw's comic epic about the relationship between parents and children, will open the Segerstrom Stage's new season Sept. 10 under the direction of Martin Benson, who's staged five previous plays by Shaw, including this one.

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Next up on the adjacent Julianne Argyros Stage, opening Sept. 26, will be the provocatively titled "In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)" by Sarah Ruhl. Set in the Victorian era, the story revolves around the invention of a new electric device to relieve patients suffering from "female hysteria."

Influenced by the Victorian "Becky Sharp" is Gina Gionfriddo's "Becky Shaw," arriving Oct. 22 on the Segerstrom Stage. It centers on an unsure, overdressed and socially ambitious young woman and is described as a "comedy thriller."

"Circle Mirror Transformation," a comedy about an acting class in a small Vermont town, will open Jan. 9 on the Argyros Stage. It won playwright Annie Baker last year's off-Broadway Obie Award as the best new American play. Sam Gold also won for best director, and he'll helm the SCR version.

Shakespeare's plays have been transported just about everywhere imaginable. When "A Midsummer Night's Dream" opens Jan. 21 on the Segerstrom Stage, director Mark Rucker will set the action in 1950s New Jersey and promises to offer 1960s hippies and 1970s disco in the mix.

Irish playwright Conor McPherson's suspense drama "The Weir" arrives March 13 on the Argyros Stage and centers on the tall tales of hard-drinking Irishmen in a local pub on a stormy night. The director is yet to be named.

A world premiere usually is part of the SCR season, and the theater has penciled one in for the April 1-May 1 slot, to be presented on the Segerstrom Stage. It'll be part of the 2011 Pacific Playwrights Festival April 29 through May 1.

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