Theatrical Outfit, the downtown company led by actor-director-administrator Tom Key, will open its 2013-14 season on Sept. 11 with the 9/11-themed drama The Guys. The factual two-character work, about a journalist who helps a fire captain eulogize the men he lost in the World Trade Center collapse, features Jasmine Guy and Brian Kurlander (last season’s My Name Is Asher Lev and Fly). The Christian Science Monitor describes The Guys as “a courageous and riveting play that tackles the horrors of Sept. 11 with an intimacy that’s both unsettling and healing.”
The Outfit’s five-show season was chosen, Key says, “to illuminate the life fact that change is inevitable, but growth is optional.” Here’s the lineup:
THE GUYS. Sept. 11-Oct. 6. By Anne Nelson. Based on first-time playwright Nelson’s own story, it introduces an editor named Joan to a a fire captain named Nick. He seeks her help composing the eulogies he must deliver at funerals for those he lost on 9/11. In one afternoon, they navigate the emotional landscape of a national tragedy, finding humor, friendship and common bonds. Elisa Carlson directs.
HARABEL. Oct. 23-Nov. 10. Written and performed by Jonida Beqo. This amazing blend of theater, poetry, dance, history, video, audio and worship is best experienced. Beqo, known on the slam poetry scene as Gypsee Yo, performed Harabel for two nights lat season and, deservingly, gets a full run now. Follow her journey from Albanian refugee to American resident, a trip that illuminates universal truths, struggles and joys. Justin Anderson again directs.
GIFTS OF THE MAGI. Nov. 27-Dec. 22. The musical by Mark St. Germain, one of the Outfit’s favorite playwrights, returns for an encore run. It’s a retelling of O. Henry’s classic short stories about a young married couple struggling in 1904 New York. Director Heidi Cline McKerley and musical director S. Renee Clark both return. NOTE: This show is not part of the season subscription package.
THE BEST OF ENEMIES. Jan. 29-Feb. 23, 2014. Also by St. Germain. Based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Osha Gray Davidson. The play dramatizes the relationship between C.P. Ellis (a KKK leader) and Ann Atwater (an African-American civil rights organizer) during a racially tense period in school desegregation in Durham, N.C. The New York Times called it “one of the most important historical plays about America to ever reach the stage.” It premiered in the summer of 2011 at Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts. Mira Hirsch directs.
DIVIDING THE ESTATE. April 2-27, 2014. The hilariously dysfunctional Gordon family of Harris, Texas, battles over the biggest piece of the inheritance pie, but matriarch Stella isn’t about to let go. The Tony Award-nominated 2009 comedy is by Horton Foote, a Pulitzer Prize winner for his 1995 play The Young Man From Atlanta and an Academy Award winner for To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and Tender Mercies (1983).
Subscriptions, which do not include Gifts of the Magi, are on sale HERE or at 1.877.725.8849. They range from $85 to $125 for adults, and from $65 to $105 for students. Single tickets go on sale July 1.