Arena Stage The Mead Center for American Theater MY ACCOUNT
Ben Platt welcomes you to the 2016/17 Season

2013/2014 Season

Event Calendar


Molly Smith

What makes your heart race? What inspires you? For those of us living and working in the theater it can be about telling new stories in wholly unexpected ways. Or discovering a surprising wrinkle in a classic play that we didn’t realize was there. It’s about illuminating the text or a song to make audiences catch their collective breath. It’s seeing a new theater-goer make a connection between the work on the stage and a moment in their own life. It’s a sensation, a rush, a thrill. It’s our job to create it. At any given performance, the moments can be magical.

Come join us for all of the magical moments of the 2016/17 Season.

Molly Smith, Artistic Director
Molly Smith

The Little Foxes
The Little Foxes illustration
By Lillian Hellman
Directed by Kyle Donnelly
Starring two-time Emmy Award winner Marg Helgenberger
Kreeger Theater
September 23 – October 30, 2016

There are people who eat and there are those who get eaten. First in line to be served is Regina Giddens, clawing her way to wealth with her equally calculating brothers. When their plan to control the local cotton mill is thwarted, they'll turn to ever more devious schemes, even as it further divides their family. Starring Emmy winner Marg Helgenberger (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Lillian Hellman's classic tale of greed, betrayal and all the sordid ties that bind takes sibling rivalry to unimaginable heights and reveals how far a ruthless family can bend the rules before they break each other View details

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel
Carousel illustration
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on Ferenc Molnar's play Liliom as Adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer
Original Dances by Agnes De Mille
Directed by Molly Smith
Choreographed by Parker Esse
Music Direction by Paul Sportelli
Fichandler Stage
October 28 – December 24, 2016

Dazzling lights, swinging songs and a bad boy to melt your heart — see why Carousel is the perfect show for the holiday season. When Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan fall in love, little do they realize that his rebellious ways will lead to tragedy. Given a chance to make good, will a lucky star save Billy and those he loves? Director Molly Smith reunites with both Nicholas Rodriguez and E. Faye Butler for the first time since 2011's Oklahoma! in this epic production bursting with classic songs like "June Is Bustin' Out all Over" and "You'll Never Walk Alone." View details

Moby Dick
Moby Dick illustration
Adapted and Directed by David Catlin
From the book by Herman Melville
A co-production with The Alliance Theatre
and South Coast Repertory
Kreeger Theater
November 18 – December 24, 2016

Set sail on the holiday season's biggest adventure! Melville's classic tale of man's obsessive battle against nature comes to life in "a triumph of grand theatrical imagination, deep thought, superb acting and eye-popping, ingeniously deployed physical daring" (Chicago Sun-Times). Innovative staging fused with bold trapeze and acrobatic work turn this seafaring classic into a death-defying experiment in aerial storytelling. Climb aboard with Captain Ahab and the crew of the good ship Pequod in this harrowing and intoxicating quest for the great white whale. View details

Roe illustration
By Lisa Loomer
Directed by Bill Rauch
A co-production with Oregon Shakespeare Festival
And Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Kreeger Theater
January 12 – February 19, 2017

The lawyer: a young, brilliant, courageous woman arguing Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court. The plaintiff: a complex, single woman seeking to end an unwanted pregnancy. The landmark 1973 case legalized abortion, but also began their separate journeys that would come to mirror the polarization in American culture. With shocking turns and surprising humor, Roe illuminates the difficult choices women make and the passion each side has for its cause. View details

Watch on the Rhine
Watch on the Rhine illustration
By Lillian Hellman
Directed by Jackie Maxwell
Fichandler Stage
February 3 – March 5, 2017

Four-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl) leads an ensemble cast as Fanny Farrelly in Lillian Hellman's suspenseful masterpiece Watch on the Rhine. With America on the brink of entering World War II, Fanny's daughter escapes to the D.C. suburbs with her German husband, a man deeply involved in anti-fascist movements. But with an Eastern European guest with ulterior motives also living in their midst, tensions rise as it becomes clear that no one's safety can be guaranteed — at home or abroad. View details

Intelligence illustration
By Jacqueline E. Lawton
Directed by Daniella Topol
Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle
February 24 – April 2, 2017

Covert operative Valerie Plame is racing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the unthinkable happens. With the country at war, her cover is blown and she must navigate a media frenzy, the CIA's search for answers and her diplomat husband's dogged pursuit of the truth. Inspired by true events, Intelligence is a political thriller that explores the cost of deception and the consequences of speaking truth to power. View details

A Raisin in the Sun
A Raisin in the Sun illustration
By Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Tazewell Thompson
Fichandler Stage
March 31– April 30, 2017

Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking masterpiece follows the Younger family yearning for a better life far from the cramped confines of their Chicago tenement. Hope arrives in the form of an unexpected financial windfall, but family ties are strained when they realize they have differing definitions of the American dream, which dreams get realized and which deferred? A Raisin in the Sun paints the African-American experience in brilliant and powerful strokes, as vibrant and vital today as they were in 1959. View details

Smart People
Smart People illustration
By Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Seema Sueko
Kreeger Theater
April 14 – May 21, 2017

Do our belief systems stem from our environment, or are some prejudices hard-wired into us? With barbed wit, Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly) explores the unavoidable nature of cultural bias and other sticky subjects in the controversial and fiercely funny new play Smart People. Four intellectuals — a doctor, an actress, a psychologist, and a neurobiologist studying the human brain's response to race — search for love, acceptance and identity in a complex world where political correctness comes face-to-face with cold hard data. View details

Special Add-on Events

Born for This
Born for This: The BeBe Winans illustration
Book by Charles Randolph-Wright and BeBe Winans
Featuring original music and lyrics by BeBe Winans
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright
A co-production with The Alliance Theatre
In association with My Destiny Productions LLC,
Daniel Chilewich and Todd Gershwin
Kreeger Theater
July 1 – August 28, 2016

Detroit natives BeBe and CeCe Winans, youngest siblings of the Winans family dynasty, experience the ultimate in culture shocks when invited to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise the Lord television show. The Winans teenagers have the opportunity to become more than just television celebrities, but to integrate TV evangelism. As BeBe and CeCe encounter fame, fortune and even a young Whitney Houston, BeBe must learn to balance his desire for success with his true calling. Combining classic Winans hits with brand new songs, this inspirational musical features Juan and Deborah Joy Winans in their Arena Stage debuts as BeBe and CeCe Winans. View details

The Year of Magical Thinking
The Year of Magical Thinking illustration
By Joan Didion
Based on her memoir
Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch
Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle
October 7 – November 20, 2016

There is no way to avoid tragedy, loss or their aftermath. Yet we still hope that when faced with inescapable grief, something miraculous can emerge to ease our pain and guide us back to the joy of life. Few writers have experienced loss so suddenly and profoundly — or chronicled it as beautifully — as Joan Didion. Based on her award-winning memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking follows the iconic American author, portrayed by Kathleen Turner (Mother Courage and Her Children), as she learns to reconcile the natural instincts that drive us to bargain with the universal forces that giveth and taketh away. View details