Actor’s Express has announced its 26th season, a five-show lineup it’s billing as sexy, stirring, smart, surprising and stunning.

Perhaps the most attractive offering is Pluto, by the darkly entertaining Steve Yockey. Yockey, who did marketing for Dad’s Garage Theater Company in his formative years, is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Now based in Los Angeles, his plays have been staged by such well-regarded companies as Boston Court in Pasadena, Calif., and Marin Theatre Company near San Francisco, as well as in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix and New Orleans.

His Wolves was part of this season at the Express, which staged his Octopus in 2008. Yockey has also been affiliated with Out of Hand Theater, most notably with Cartoon and HELP!, a riotously funny riff on cult behavior. The San Francisco Chronicle calls Yockey “a fiercely imaginative and finely tuned new voice.” Melissa Foulger, a frequent Yockey collaborator, directs as she did for this season’s Wolves.

In Pluto, a mother attempts to connect her withdrawn son in the wake of a local tragedy. The drama opens Nov. 2. The rest of the season:

Venus in Fur. Opening Sept. 7. David Ives’ sexy comedy features a young actress and demanding director/playwright and the cat-and-mouse game of seduction, power, love and sex that ensues when she’s hours late for an audition. A 2011 Tony Award nominee for best play. David Crowe (this season’s Equus) directs.

CLIFTON GUTERMAN in Steve Yockey's "Wolves." Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
CLIFTON GUTERMAN in Steve Yockey’s “Wolves.” Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Six Degrees of Separation. Opening Jan. 11, 2014. The rarified world of New York society is rocked when a charismatic young con artist enters the inner circle. John Guare’s 1990 drama ran for two years on Broadway with a cast led by Stockard Channing and Courtney B. Vance.

Maple and Vine. Opening March 22. Jordan Harrison’s dark comedy follows an upwardly mobile couple reeling from heartbreak as they seek refuge in a community of 1950s re-enactors. It had its world premiere at the Humana New American Play Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2011.

End of the Rainbow. Opening May 17. A play with music about the final days of Judy Garland, featuring some of her most iconic songs. The script is by Peter Quilter. The show, originally presented in England, had its U.S. premiere in 2012 at the Guthrie Theatre, then ran for four months on Broadway in 2012.

Ticket subscription packages are on sale now. They range from $65 (for preview performances) to $150. A Trendsetter package that requires you to see each show during the first three weeks of the run (excluding Saturdays) is only $100.

Express performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday in its West Midtown space at the King Plow Arts Center on West Marietta Street. By the way, Seminar, the final show of this Express season, runs through June 16.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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