With the dust still hanging in the air since the abrupt departure of artistic and executive director Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj earlier in the week, American Stage held its annual fundraising gala Friday night at Demens Landing Park, followed by the premiere of Free from all tiesthe company’s first outdoor musical production since 2019.
American Stage’s 45and The season was announced at the event, along with an anniversary tie: Single tickets to all Main Stage performances will be just $45 for the 2022-23 season.
As the search for a new leader continues, general manager CJ Zygadlo will serve as interim executive director.
Maharaj, who held the post for six months, was set to direct Amiri Baraka’s drama Dutch on the Mainstage in June. According to the theater, his resignation was for personal reasons.
American Stage 2022-23 season:
Green Day’s American Idiot. Based on the 2004 concept album by proto-punk band Green Day, with a book by bandleader Billie Joe Armstrong, this Tony-winning “punk rock opera” is about three young, disillusioned, suburban men seeking something better in life. Sept. 7-Oct. 2.
The Museum of Colors. George C. Wolfe’s satire takes us on a journey through 11 “exhibits” that illuminate old and new African American stereotypes and return to the powerful soul and spirit of what it means to be African American citizens . Winner of the 1988 NAACP Image Award. “George C. Wolfe says the unthinkable, says it with an uncompromising spirit, and leaves the public, and a sacred target, in ruins,” wrote the New York Times. November 2-27.
Crimes of the heart. Beth Henley’s 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is the bittersweet story of three Mississippi sisters who reunite as adults to hash out their lives past and present. The Tony award-winning best play was made into a hit 1986 film starring Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek and Diane Keaton. 11 Jan-Feb 5, 2023.
Ragtime. Winner of the 1998 Tony Awards for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations, Ragtime – a combination of three turn-of-the-century American tales, based on the book by EL Doctorow – will be American Stage’s “park” show (at Demens Landing) for 2023. Book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. The original Broadway production won four Tonys in 1998. From April 12 to May 14, 2023.
Disgraced. By Ayad Aktar. 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner. American Stage has the regional premiere of this powerful drama about the persistence of Islamophobia in post-9/11 America and the profound challenges facing American Muslims on the rise. Variety calls it a ” searing social drama about the racial prejudices that secretly persist in progressive cultural circles.” May 31-June 25, 2023.
To confirm. The final Mainstage show of the season (July 19 to August 23, 2023) will be announced at a later date.