Season 4: E Pluribus Unum!
In season Four, Cohesion is doubling down on our mission and reflecting on our increasingly fragmented world by selecting pieces that deal broadly with the theme of E pluribus unum. Our goal as creators is to showcase the unity that underlies much of what we
consider separate, therefore we selected a broad range of plays that ask us as a community to examine the poetics, politics, and possibilities embedded in the phrase: Out of many, one.
One of our goals has always been to stretch ourselves beyond what we have done before and Season Four is no exception. We are grateful and joyful for the vibrant and diverse community that allows us to keep reaching past our present successes to create work that investigates the path to a more cohesive and inclusive future for all.
Our Season Four lineup is bigger than ever with five main stage productions -- two in repertory with each other -- and a continuation of our successful Playwright’s Fellowship program, as well as an expansion of our educational work. Cohesion will once again continue expanding our collaborative mission by working in partnership with local theatre companies and our neighborhood communities to engage, encourage, and excite our audiences.
Sally McCoy by Alice Stanley
Directed by Brad Norris
September 14 - October 1, 2017
The first main stage production of the season will be the World Premiere Production of Sally McCoy by Cohesion’s Co-Founder Alice Stanley. After a successful workshop as part of the Strand Theater’s Women on Top Festival, Cohesion has picked up Stanley’s work for full production. It is a perfect fit to begin our season long exploration into American identity, difference, and unity. In the midst of the first gruesomely violent event of the legendary Hatfield and McCoy feud, one woman does what she must to save her family. Sally McCoy tells a harrowing and deeply personal story, while also taking a hard look at one woman’s role in the formation of a defining moment of American history. Sally McCoy begins our journey into the confines of social roles and the limits of an individual's power to exert strength within the context of those limits.
The Industry Night for Sally McCoy is Monday, September 25, 2017.
Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn
Directed by Lance Bankerd
November 30 - December 17, 2017
What happens to pop culture after the fall of human civilization? What about 7 years after the fall? Or even 75 years? Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, endeavors to find out. When nuclear power plants across the country begin to “go up,” a small group of survivors gather in the woods and begin to recount an episode of The Simpsons. Over the course of the play’s three acts and three-quarters of a century time span, casual storytelling evolves into theater, theater evolves into ritual, and one Simpsons episode evolves into a myth and legend for a post-apocalyptic world.
The Industry Night for Mr. Burns is Monday, December 11, 2017.
TWO PLAYS TOGETHER IN COHESION'S FIRST EVER REPERTORY PRODUCTION:
La Llorona by Cecelia Raker & The Orphan Sea by Caridad Svich
Both Directed by Susan Stroupe
March 22 - April 14, 2018
Detailed production calendar to come.
As we continue our examination of our theme, we have decided to tackle something spectacular. We will produce two shows in repertory, utilizing the same diverse cast to tell two seemingly very different stories. It is however, these stories in conversation with one another that will be the one-two punch of this project that we think audiences will love, and which will inspire discussion and thought long after leaving the theater.
When widely diverse young women get thrown together on a school project about the local urban legend -- La Llorona -- they get much more than they bargained for bargain for when a horrifying, teary and murdering ghost lady starts messing with their lives. La Llorona, with her irreverent, haunting advice and constantly changing stories, seems intent on steering them away from her fate--or is she just luring them to a watery, weeping demise? Funny, irreverent, and a little creepy Cecelia Raker’s La Llorona brings legends to life and looks at the real impact they have on the futures they shape.
Caridad Svich’s The Orphan Sea is a reimagination of the story of Penelope and Odysseus from The Odyssey. A tale about love and migration, it presents us with what we lose when we are forced onto new shores, but also the strengths we bring with us, and the memories we can't put down. In an open and poetic format the play is the story of the many transformations that humans have undertaken as they moved from shore to shore. It is the story of us, here, now, and also of who we were once. It is a story of those that cross rivers and seas and those that wait for them, of a lover who searches for one lost years ago. Penelope waits. Odysseus roams. Love is suspended in the balance. Years go by as the lovers circle each other in dreams, memories, and are reunited. The Orphan Sea is a multifaceted play about lovers and communities coming together. This is a tale told in poetry, movement, and song, and provides an immersive and thought provoking experience as it expands on the ideas of cultural narratives and their power through reflecting on geography, memory, and community.
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz
Directed by Daniel Douek
May 31 - June 17, 2018
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity follows the life of wrestler Macedonio Guerra. As a lifelong fan, he has followed wrestling only to become a "jobber,” one who is paid to lose to bigger name stars in the ring. Macedonio meets Vigneshwar Paduar, a young Indian man from Brooklyn who Macedonio wants to team up with. The wrestling execs go for it, but pitch them as "terrorists" in the ring. Macedonio and Vigneshwar find a way to push the personas to the limits and say what needs to be said. Unspoken racism, politics, and courage are all woven into this play that leaves it all on the mat.
The Industry Night for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is Monday, June 11, 2018.
The Playwrights Fellowship 2.0
Dates are ongoing throughout the season in conjunction with the playwrights’ development process.
Cohesion is excited to continue our work with local playwrights to bring new works to area stages. To that end, we will select two local playwrights over the Summer of 2017 for the Fellowship from open submissions, culminating in a workshop series in the second half of the season. Each playwright will be given dramaturgical support throughout the writing and revision process and will be assigned director. A cast will be assembled as scripts develop. Playwrights will be able to submit drafts in various stages to both dramaturg and director for feedback, and arrange readings with the cast throughout the season. Cohesion is seeking playwrights with ideas for full length scripts or scripts in very early stages which can be developed throughout the season. The goal is not to have playwrights submit finished plays, but rather to create new ones through the workshopping process.
Each script that has been developed will receive a workshop production in the spring of 2018. The cast will meet for four off-book rehearsals, followed by three performances offered to the public at reduced ticket prices. Each performance will be followed by a talkback with the director, cast, and playwright to hear audience reactions and thus further the development of the piece.
For further information about the submission process please visit www.cohesiontheatre.org/the-playwrights-fellowship/