2020/21 Season: Hope Defiant
When our 15th Anniversary Season started, we had no idea that a tsunami of change was headed our way in March of 2020. As I sat in the audience for the first preview of ADMISSIONS, I did not realize that it would also be the last performance. As theaters and businesses shut down, I found myself wondering what was next in this pandemic new world. But thanks to our patrons, donors, board members, volunteers and staff, I am so thrilled to be able to announce our 16th Season of plays. These remarkable stories speak to us about characters who hold true to their beliefs and each of these stories reveals the hope and courage of the human spirit. Please join us for our 2020/21 Season Hope Defiant.
The 2020/21 Season: Hope Defiant
by Jennifer Blackmer
NNPN Rolling World Premiere
August 26 – September 27, 2020
Based on true events, PREDICTOR is the real-life story of Margaret Crane who, in 1967, defied all odds and expectations to become the inventor of the first home pregnancy test. An imaginative, stubborn, recovering-Catholic graphic artist with a proclivity for seeing things differently, Margaret contemplates the decision to sell her patent for the first home pregnancy test to Organon Pharmaceuticals. Weighing the pros and cons of her choice takes her on a fantastic trip of both head and heart through an unconventional life, exploring her creative process and confronting the sexism and social mores of a bygone age that seem, sadly, all too current. Will Meg’s invention fall into the wrong hands and disappear, or will she make the ultimate sacrifice to change the shape of women’s lives forever?
“Compelling, theatrical, and FUNNY, this play highlights and honors a woman in history who deserves to be known for her contribution!” —Donna Hoke, Playwright NATIONAL NEW PLAY EXCHANGE
by Joshua Harmon
2018 Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Awards Winner for Outstanding Play | Co-Production with American Stage
October 14 – November 15, 2020
Sherri Rosen-Mason is head of the admissions department at a New England prep school, fighting to diversify the student body. Alongside her husband, the school’s Headmaster, they’ve largely succeeded in bringing a stodgy institution into the twenty-first century. But when their only son sets his sights on an Ivy League university, personal ambition collides with progressive values with convulsive results.
“Astonishing and daring. An extraordinarily useful and excruciating satire – of the left, by the left, for the left – for today.” — THE NEW YORK TIMES
Hold These Truths
by Jeanne Sakata
January 20 – February 21, 2021
During World War II, Gordon Hirabayashi, a student at University of Washington in Seattle, fights the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he struggles to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the US Constitution, Gordon begins a 50-year journey toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs—and a confrontation with its failures.
“A gripping story about a shameful chapter of our history when the United States government looked at its own people and saw the enemy.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Lifespan Of A Fact
by Jeremy Karekan, David Murell & Gordon Farrell
March 10 – April 11, 2021
Based on the true story of reporter John D’Agata’s essay ‘What Happens There’, THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT follows Fingal, who has a small job: to fact-check articles for one of the best magazines in the country. His boss has given him a big assignment: to apply his skill to a groundbreaking piece by legendary author D’Agata. But now Fingal has a huge problem: D’Agata made up a lot of his article. What starts professional quickly becomes profane. A brilliant comedy grappling with a seminal issue of our time.
“If we were living through a different moment in time, the writer’s fabricated but emotionally wrenching ‘truth’ would easily outweigh the fact-checker’s chilly reality of events. But with the leader of our nation stomping on truth as we know it, and the very essence of reality imperiled by political fact-stretchers, the debate at the heart of this play transcends comedy and demands serious attention.” —VARIETY
by Antoinette Nwandu
2018 New York Times Critics Pick | Sacramento Premiere
April 28 – May 30, 2021
Moses and Kitch stand around on the corner – talking shit, passing the time, and hoping that maybe today will be different. As they dream of their promised land, a stranger wanders into their space with his own agenda and derails their plans. Emotional and lyrical, Pass Over crafts everyday profanities into poetic and humorous riffs, exposing the unquestionable human spirit of young men stuck in a cycle just looking for a way out.
“’Pass Over’ resonates as a powerful tragedy…” – THE NEW YORK TIMES
Cry It Out
by Molly Smith Metzler
June 16 – July 18, 2021
Four months ago, Jessie was a corporate lawyer with a glamorous Manhattan life. Today, she is in dirty yoga pants, covered in breast milk, trying to comfort a screaming newborn. When she spies a fellow new mom and neighbor, Lina, at the local Stop & Shop, she vaults over the cantaloupe to introduce herself. The two moms agree to meet for coffee during naptime and a fast friendship is born. But their intimacy is punctured when a stranger who lives in the mansion up on the cliff appears in the yard, asking if they would include his wife in their coffee klatch. A comedy with dark edges, CRY IT OUT takes an honest look at the absurdities of being home with a baby, the power of female friendship, the dilemma of going back to work, and the effect class has on parenthood in America.
“In 90 minutes… a vivid, specific portrayal of the joys and hair-tearing, mind-numbing agonies – mental, physical and financial – many new mothers face… It’s a story of love, but it’s also about anger, stress, unfairness, loss and the ravages of breastfeeding.” —CHICAGO SUN TIMES