Synchronicity Theatre’s 2018/19 season begins Sept. 27 with a bawdy trip to Restoration England and ends June 30 with a pointed new comedy developed through the company’s 2018 SheWRITES New Play Festival.

The company has also announced that managing director Lee Nowell, who joined Synchronicity in 2015, is stepping down as of June 30 to concentrate on her playwriting and other creative projects. Virginia (Gin) Nugent comes on board July 1 as interim managing director. The board of directors will begin a search for a permanent managing director in mid-July. Nugent, an Australia native, has spent 20 years in arts management and leadership positions around the United States.

Rachel May

Synchronicity’s 21st season features three pieces by women playwrights in the Bold Voices series (contemporary plays for adults) and two Family Series musicals, including the return of A Year With Frog and Toad. It includes a new season of Stripped Bare: Arts Incubator Project offerings (Sept. 10-12, Nov. 12-14, Jan. 14-16 + May 13-15), the annual Women in the Arts Panel Luncheon (April 2019), and the Playmaking for Girls and Playmaking for Kids programs.

The company is dedicated to smart, gutsy, bold theater, producing work by female playwrights and raising the voices of women and girls.

Synchronicity, led by co-founder and producing artistic director Rachel May, performs in its own 138-seat space in Midtown’s One Peachtree Pointe building. Subscriptions ($40-$272) are available for Family Series shows only, Bold Voices shows only, the entire five-show season or a 10-pack that can be used as you wish. Single-show tickets will go sale closer to the start of the season. Details HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Bold Voices performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Family show curtain times vary (see below).

Here’s a closer look at what’s lined up.

Nell Gwynn

Playwright Jessica Swale

SEPT. 27-OCT. 21. Bold Voices. Welcome to the world of King Charles II (1660-1685) and the actress Nell Gwynn, his most famous mistress. Olivier Award-winning British playwright Jessica Swale charts the rise of an unlikely heroine in this comedy, from Nell’s roots in London’s Coal Yard Alley, to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress and her hard-won place in the heart of the king. At a time when women are second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the court?

A Year With Frog and Toad

DEC. 5-30. Family Series. The Tony-nominated musical, first staged by Synchronicity in 2005, follows two great friends — the cheerful Frog and the grumpy Toad — through all four seasons. Waking from hibernation in the spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding and learn life lessons along the way with friends including Bird, Squirrel, Turtle and Mole. The 2005 original won four Atlanta Suzi Bass awards, including best musical. The show, by Robert Reale and Willie Reale, is based on the books by Arnold Lobel. Regular performances: 7 p.m. Friday; 1 + 4:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Wednesday matinees at 10 a.m. Dec. 5-6 + 11-13. Holiday schedule: 2 p.m. Dec. 19 + 26-27; 10 a.m. + 2 p.m. Dec. 20; and 11 a.m. Dec. 24.

Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds

Bob Marley. Painting by Enxu Zho.

JAN. 30-FEB. 24, 2019. Family Series. Ziggy wants to go out and enjoy his beautiful island in the sun, but the fear of evil spirits, tropical storms and bandits keeps him inside. With the help of a few feathered friends, he faces his fears and is reminded — in six-part harmony — that “every little thing gonna’ be alright!” The music and lyrics come from reggae legend Bob Marley; the story comes from his daughter Cedella. Adapted for the stage by Michael J. Bobbitt, with additional music and lyrics by John L. Cornelius II. Performances: 7 p.m. Friday, 1 + 4 p.m. Saturday, 2 + 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Hero’s Wife

Photo: Joel Silverman

APRIL 12-MAY 5, 2019. A new drama by Chicago-based playwright Aline Lathrop. Cameron doesn’t remember what he does at night, and Karyssa doesn’t tell him. He just retired from the Navy SEALs and most of his life has been classified. What’s left, he mostly doesn’t want to discuss. By day, they negotiate dinner plans, career ambitions and video games. By night, he’s more available and more dangerous. The story moves forward in time, flipping back and forth between short daytime and shorter nighttime scenes, as Karyssa tries to connect with Cameron through nostalgic Skype sex and secretly learned Arabic sleep talk. In the end, she’ll risk both of their lives to reach him. A joint premiere with 16th Street Theater in suburban Chicago.

Hands of Color

Kimberly Monks

JUNE 6-30, 2019. A new play by California playwright Kimberly Monks, workshopped in Synchronicity’s 2018 SheWRITES New Play Festival. Thomas is an unapologetic racist. An unexpected encounter lands him in a new family — and a new skin tone. This pointed comedy examines what it’s like when your world is turned upside down and you’re forced to look at life through a different lens. Hands of Color asks: Is redemption possible for the unredeemable?

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.

View all posts by Kathy Janich