I attended two events (barely 12 hours apart) at Open Stage of Harrisburg this weekend, so I am now calling myself a regular patron of the theatre.
On Friday, I went to the theatre’s production of Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties. The show follows five very different women named Betty as they confront and discover their views on women including sex, gender identity, anger, strength, happiness, and love. It’s a powerhouse production that is unapologetically blunt as it shatters the stereotypes surrounding women.
Stuart Landon, Producing Artistic Director, describes Collective Rage as “very Open Stage;” the theatre’s current season has been focused on spotlighting and empowering strong female protagonists, and Collective Rage has five of them.
No matter how you view yourself, you can find yourself connecting with the struggles, fears, and hopes of each character as they wrestle with who they are and how they interact with one another. It’s definitely heavy, but the quips and chemistry of the cast really make the show entertaining and fun to watch.
Collective Rage runs through Sunday. Buy tickets here.
I was lucky enough to score an invite to the Company’s Cabaret Brunch and Season 33 Announcement the next morning, which was fantastic. (Smoked Trout Catering did a phenomenal job – check them out!)
During brunch, several members of the Company’s staff and cast performed pieces from the Theatre’s current series and previewed numbers from the upcoming season.
It was announced that Season 33 will focus on “coming of age” stories, as the Theatre has been inspired by the recent collective action and power of teens and young people across the country.
Season 32 was Open Stage’s most successful season yet and Season 33 looks like it’s going to be just as great! Check out what’s in store for 2018-2019:
CARRIE: THE MUSICAL
Sept. 29 – Oct. 21
Book by Lawrence D. Cohen
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Music by Michael Gore
Adapted from Stephen King’s novel CARRIE
Directed by Stuart Landon
Stephen King’s tale of Carrie White, who is hounded and bullied at school and abused by her zealot mother. But Carrie’s just discovered she’s got a special power, and if pushed too far, she’s not afraid to use it.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Adapted from Charles’ Dicken’s classic tale of redemption.
FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE / WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF
Jan. 19 – 27, 2019
By Ntozake Shange
Directed by Sharia Benn
Produced in Partnership with Sankofa African American Theatre Company
The definitive piece of theatre that outlines the trials of black women through what the author Shange dubbed as a “choreopoem.”
Feb. 16 – March 3, 2019
By Sarah DeLappe
Directed by Rachel Landon
This finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama is the story of a team of indoor soccer players and the Saturday mornings that allows us a glimpse into the complicated, nuanced life of teenage girls.
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
March 12-16, 2019
By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hacket
Based upon Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Adapted by Wendy Kesselman
Directed by Brad Delzer
Open Stage of Harrisburg celebrates its 20th year presenting this beautiful and historic story.
THE KIDS YOU READ ABOUT IN TEXTBOOKS
A Devised piece of theatre developed by teenagers to lay bare the anger, courage, and hopes of the rising generation currently taking the lead on the political change in our country.
A WRINKLE IN TIME
April 11-14, 2019
Directed by Hanniel Sindelar
Based on Madeline L’Engle’s ageless fantasy novel, the OSHKids Performance Company will present this timeless story. A show for all ages.
May 25 – June 16, 2019
Book by Terrence McNally
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Based on the novel by EL Doctorow
This definitive musical ties together various stories of fictional and historical figures as they traverse the swiftly-changing landscape of early twentieth-century America.