2017-18 Season: Future Tense

Capital Stage is proud to announce its 2017-18 Season: Future Tense. Capital Stage’s 13th Season, and Michael Stevenson’s second Season as Producing Artistic Director, will examine the promises and perils of our future, and our ever-increasing pace of living in the 21st century. This new season of stories explores today’s unanswered questions, and examines our place in a world of constant change and disruption. From the hilarious comic ode on racial stereotypes in the Obie Award winning An Octoroon, to the haunting questions of morality in a virtual world in The Nether, to the beautiful meditation on grief and loss in Capital Stage’s fourth National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of The Arsonists, these stories ask the question – what does it mean to be human in this turbulent new age?



AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

2014 Obie Award Winner for Best New Play
August 30 – October 1, 2017

Judge Peyton is dead and his plantation Terrebonne is in financial ruins. Peyton’s handsome nephew George arrives as heir apparent and quickly falls in love with Zoe, a beautiful octoroon. But the evil overseer M’Closky has other plans—for both Terrebonne and Zoe. In 1859, a famous Irishman wrote The Octoroon, a play about slavery in America. Now an American tries to write his own. “An Octoroon invites us to laugh loudly and easily at how naïve the old stereotypes now seem, until nothing seems funny at all…Mr. Jacobs-Jenkins is using a genre associated with exclamation points to ask questions not only about the portrayal of race in America but also about the inadequate means we have for such portrayals. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to reveal that this show ends—spectacularly and hauntingly—with all of us in the dark.” – The New York Times


LUNA GALE by Rebecca Gilman

2015 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award Winner for Writing
October 18 – November 19, 2017

Caroline Cox has been working in the Department of Human Services for twenty-five years. She thinks troubled teenagers Peter and Karlie, the parents of newborn Luna Gale, are a typical case. But she discovers an array of unspoken motives amongst all the parties with an interest in Luna’s future. With events accelerating and Caroline uncovering more of the truth, her conclusions begin to look startlingly unconventional – even to her. “Luna Gale [is] one of this year’s most valuable additions to American drama.” – The Los Angeles Times


THE NETHER by Jennifer Haley

2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Winner
2015 Laurence Olivier Award Nominee for Best Play
January 24 – February 25, 2018

The Nether is a virtual wonderland that provides total sensory immersion. Just log in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire. But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment, she triggers an interrogation into the darkest corners of the imagination. “As a parable for where we’re headed on that big old highway in the digital sky, The Nether exerts a viselike grip, while taking you down avenues of thought you probably haven’t traveled yet.” – The New York Times


THE ARSONISTS by Jacqueline Goldfinger

NNPN Rolling World Premiere
March 14 – April 15, 2018

Set deep in a Florida swamp, The Arsonists is a father-daughter tale of grief, loss and redemption. Inspired by the Greek tragedy Electra, this play with music is a contemporary American myth that explores the relationship between parent and child in that small space between death and life, the last breath before the awakening. It is the runner-up for the 2016 Leah Ryan Prize, and was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting.


MARJORIE PRIME by Jordan Harrison

Co-Production with American Stage
Pulitzer Prize Nominee
May 2 – June 3, 2018

It’s the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie — a jumble of disparate, fading memories — has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this richly spare, wondrous new play, Jordan Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits — if any — of what technology can replace. “Jordan Harrison’s elegant, thoughtful and quietly unsettling drama operates by stealth, landing skillfully targeted punch after punch, right where it hurts. It keeps developing in your head long after you’ve seen it.” – The New York Times




Sacramento Premiere
June 20 – July 22, 2018

Four mismatched artists attempt to devise an ethnically sensitive play for the local schools to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month – with no Native American actors. In this wickedly funny satire, political correctness, ego and just plain ignorance collide as these well-meaning self-proclaimed artists try to perform a Thanksgiving miracle (without killing any turkeys).




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