Theatre Lab, the professional resident company of Florida Atlantic University, will continue bringing dynamic new work in American theater to audiences at FAU. With the signing of a three-year lease extension, Artistic Director Lou Tyrrell has committed to continuing to bring play readings, musicals, playwright forums and starting next season, full productions, to the Theatre Lab located in Parliament Hall at FAU’s Boca Raton campus.
“In a few short months, Theatre Lab has created a meaningful relationship between seasoned theater professionals, FAU students, faculty, and the entire community,” said Tyrrell. “We have helped to launch six new plays in our Theatre Lab New Play Festival, with full productions of those works to open this year at B Street Theatre in Sacramento, the Humana Festival at Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, and Barrington Stage in the Berkshires. Florida Atlantic University is now a major contributor to professional theatre throughout the nation.”
Here is what’s on the schedule for this Spring:
Saturday, Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 31, 2 p.m.
“Selections from the Plays” of John Guare. This evening with master playwright John Guare will begin with readings from his plays, illuminating his talent and range through an extraordinary career. “... John Guare clearly elucidates haunting motifs always present in his works, and those elements germinate in your head long after the performance is over.” –New York Times.
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Halftime with Don” by Ken Weitzman, with Marc Kudisch
Retired NFL player Don Devers has had more than 30 surgeries, experiences violent outbursts, and relies on a blizzard of yellow Post-It notes to offset his ravaged memory. When a longtime fan appears at his doorstep, Don seeks to salvage his life with a single act of heroic self-sacrifice. Broadway star and FAU alumnus Marc Kudisch plays Don in this reading. He and playwright Ken Weitzman will lead the post-performance discussion.
Weitzman’s plays include, among others, “The Catch” (Denver Center Theatre Company), “Fire in the Garden” (Indiana Repertory Theatre), “The As-If Body Loop” (Humana Festival), “Arrangements” (Atlantic Theater Company), “Spin Moves” (SPF), “Memorabilia” (Alliance Theatre), “Hominid” (Out of Hand Theatre/Oerol Festival), “Reclamation”(O’Neill National Playwrights Conference).
Saturday, Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m.
“Robert Creighton: Lucky in Love”
Robert Creighton, one of the busiest character actors working on Broadway today, will present his new Cabaret “Lucky in Love” just in time for Valentine’s Day! The concert will feature music primarily from the first few decades of the 20th Century - songs like “I Get a Kick Out of You;” “Makin‘ Whoopee;” “Ain‘t She Sweet;” “They Can‘t Take That Away from Me;” “My Funny Valentine;” “Yes Sir That‘s My Baby” ... and more! It will be a celebration of love, laughter and life. Accompanying Robert on piano is Matt Perri, Broadway music director and celebrated pianist.
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.
“Mall America” by Peter Sagal
Allison was feeling weird so she hopped a bus to the mall. A man on the bus was also feeling weird. But he had a gun...and lots of ammunition.
Theatre Lab and WLRN Public Media team up to present Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! Following the presentation of Mall America, WLRN’s Caroline Breder-Watts will conduct an on-stage interview with Mr. Sagal. Part theatrical event, part master class, this special evening showcases the diverse talents of one of NPR’s most beloved personalities. As a playwright, Peter is the author of Denial, Most Wanted, Kim's Sister, What to Say, Real Time (commissioned by Seattle Rep), Mall America, and many other plays and short pieces for the theater which have been produced at Long Wharf Theater, New York Stage and Film, Actors Theater of Louisville, Florida Stage, Illusion Theater, City Theater of Pittsburgh and elsewhere in the United States and abroad.
WLRN is pleased to be partnering on this event. “"WLRN's recent acquisition of 101.9 in the Palm Beaches has opened the door for wonderful collaborations in the northern part of our listening area"' said John LaBonia, WLRN's General Manager. "We are thrilled for this opportunity to partner with Theatre Lab, and to present another facet of one of NPR's shining stars to our community."
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.
“Molly’s Hammer” by Tammy Ryan
Molly Rush was focused on the endgame- save the world, protect her family. But what would she have to sacrifice? In 1980, the Pittsburgh housewife and mother of six walked into a General Electric plant and took a hammer to a nuclear warhead to protest the buildup of America’s nuclear arsenal. Based on the true story of the Plowshares Eight, “Molly’s Hammer” is the account of one woman’s unwavering beliefs and her family’s desperate attempts to protect her from infamy.
Thursday, Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.
“The Jove Comedy Experience”
The Jove Comedy Experience is South Florida’s Premiere Improv and Sketch Comedy Troupe. Formed in October 2004, The Jove have been performing to sold out houses ever since from Miami to Orlando. Their 90-minute live show combines high energy short form improv with character driven sketch along with a variety of live musical improv and pre-recorded music to bring the most unique comedy experience around. You’ve seen “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and “Saturday Night Live,” right? Well, it’s both of those shows combined – only funnier!
The Jove is Frank Licari, former “Blue Man with the Obie” and Drama Desk Award winning Off-Broadway show, Blue Man Group and character Deputy Director Johns on Season I and II of USA Network’s “Graceland” (guest star of NBC’s “Law & Order,” USA’s “Burn Notice,” and ABC’s “Nashville”); Travis Thomas, former MainStage cast member of Improv Asylum Boston and motivational speaker and founder of Living Yes; and Jesse Furman, veteran local actor with guest starring roles on USA’s “Burn Notice,” Netflix “Bloodline” and HBO’s “Ballers,” and color commentator for local Enigma Pro Wrestling.
Saturday, March 5, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 6, 2 p.m.
“Fulfillment Center,” a new play by Deborah Zoe Laufer
After a life of misanthropy, Bari is finally finding light and love and joy! But what if the source of that newfound happiness is also killing her? Join us in an in-depth presentation with Deborah Zoe Laufer on her creative process and experiences as a highly-produced and acclaimed playwright.
Wednesday, March 16
“The P-Word” by Israel Horovitz
Teenagers of a small Massachusetts town make a “pregnancy pact,” and their parents are forced to confront their own past and the repeated mistakes of generations. Israel Horovitz will join us for an in-depth conversation about his play and remarkable career.
Wednesday, March 23
“On Clover Road” by Steven Dietz
At an abandoned motel on a desolate American road, a distraught mother waits. Having hired an experienced but cruel private investigator, she believes she will be reunited with her runaway daughter. What happens instead-in this smart, harrowing, edge-of-your-seat thriller-is something that will shock her to the core. How far can you push the bonds of family? And how far will you go to bring them back?
Saturday, April 2, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 3, 2 p.m.
“13 Things about Ed Carpolotti,” book, music and lyrics by BarryKleinbort. Based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher
Virginia Carpolotti is a devoted widow with loving memories of 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.
Saturday, April 9, 7:30 p.m. and
Sunday, April 10, 2 p.m.
“Red, White, Black and Blue,” a new play by Michael McKeever
A national tragedy sets the stage as Lenora Waters finds herself about to become the first black female president of the United States. Cut-throat opposition and demons from her own family’s past ensure her journey will be a rocky one. Part political thriller, part jet-black satire, “Red, White, Black and Blue” examines the upside-down world of modern American politics and one woman’s struggle to secure her place at the top, without losing her humanity. A conversation with Michael McKeever, Florida’s most prolific and acclaimed playwright will immediately follow the reading.
Wednesday, April 20, 7:30 p.m.
“By and By” by Lauren Gunderson
Steven, a leading genetic scientist in the arcane world of human cloning, is forced to reveal his best-kept secret: his daughter Denise.“By And By” wrestles with the dilemmas posed by full human cloning. But the compelling twist in Lauren Gunderson’s play is that it focuses on human emotions in a very recognizable world, rather than confecting some science fiction fantasy of the material.
Saturday, April 30, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, 2 p.m.
“Uptown Swing!” by Wilkie Ferguson
This musical revue, facilitated by a 10-piece big band and a cast of eight, reinvents songs we all know and love, transporting you to the middle of the Harlem Renaissance. The whole evening is wrapped in tuxedos, cocktails, elegance and mischief! Welcome to “Uptown Swing!” This hot spot club is unlike any other. Using 1930s big band jazz arrangements, we take a musical journey through classic rock. Mega hit songs like “Don’t Stop Believing;” Livin On A Prayer ;”and “Another One Bites the Dust;” as performed in a swinging jazz club in Harlem, 1932. It’s postmodern jukebox meets “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”
Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.fauevents.com, calling 561-297-6124 or at the Box Office in FAU’s Student Union. Tickets are also available at the door upon availability and all student tickets are $5 at the door.
Theatre Lab was established on FAU’s campus in September 2015. Louis Tyrrell, founding artistic director of Florida Stage and the Theatre at Arts Garage, is the artistic director and Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Arts for this new initiative. The first season is generously supported by Edith and Martin Stein. Patrons are encouraged to come early to enjoy beer, wine, drinks and snacks available for purchase, and explore the gallery exhibition space that houses the lobby for Theatre Lab.