Live Again! Trinity Rep Announces 2021-22 Season
Hiring begins now in preparation for A Christmas Carol followed by four-show subscription season
Providence, RI: After a pause in in-person performances that began in March 2020, Trinity Repertory Company announces a return to in-person theater production beginning in November 2021. A shortened 2021-22 Season will begin with Trinity Rep’s 44th annual production of A Christmas Carol. The holiday tradition will be followed by a four-show season running January through June 2022. Details are at www.trinityrep.com/21-22.
To prepare and ramp back up for the upcoming season, Trinity Rep will be hiring 40 full- and part-time positions over the coming months. Job opportunities can be found at www.trinityrep.com/jobs.
The season, the company’s 58th, marks the return to in-person performances after a year of primarily digital programming. It also marks the re-emergence of an organization fresh from a series of strategic changes developed during the past year. Prompted by the demands of We See You White American Theatre (a collective of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) theater artists) and Trinity Rep’s own BIPOC actors, Trinity Rep embarked on a journey to make structural changes that would result in a stronger, more accessible, and more equitable organization. Though the work has no end point, several aspects will improve access to the 2021-22 Season, including significant increases in the number of seats available at the lowest ticket price points and the number of Open Caption performances for audiences who are Deaf and hard of hearing. The organization also upgraded its assistive listening system during the hiatus.
The Arthur P. Solomon and Sally E. Lapides Artistic Director Curt Columbus and his team worked to select shows that would reflect Trinity Rep’s antiracism commitment and remind audiences what live theater can do that other art forms cannot. He said, "I was so excited by the prospect of welcoming folks back to our theater in person in the coming season, and we wanted audiences to have a truly powerful reason to return to Trinity Rep. We've chosen a season of plays that will resonate deeply, that have great language and ideas, that show the depth of the human condition, and are all surprising, funny, and provocative. I know our Trinity audience will love these shows, because they are all writers we've produced in seasons past (August Wilson, José Rivera, Jackie Sibblies Drury, and Charles Dickens) with one exciting new voice (the work of Cheryl Strayed, adapted by Nia Vardalos). These are truly Trinity plays, each and every one."
Also high on the organization’s priorities is providing a safe and healthy environment for audiences, artists, and staff when performances resume. While optimistic about the rate of vaccination and decline in new COVID-19 cases, a delayed start to the season seemed the most prudent course, especially given the multi-month lead time and investment required to produce, rehearse, and build live theater. Trinity Rep will update its full health and safety plan prior to the start of performances. The current safety protocols can be found at www.trinityrep.com/publichealth.
Executive Director Tom Parrish remarked, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, the health and safety of our artists, staff, students, audiences, and community have been of the utmost importance. Trinity Rep’s Health Advisory Committee and numerous trained staff COVID-19 Safety Officers have been guiding and monitoring our safety plans. Patrons can rest assured that we will have protocols and systems in place that meet or exceed health and safety guidance when we resume performances.”
Beginning performances on November 4, 2021 and running through January 2, 2022, Joe Wilson, Jr. will direct this year’s all new production of A Christmas Carol. Wilson, a member of Trinity Rep’s resident acting company, played Scrooge on stage in 2017 and in last year’s free online streaming production. Trinity Rep reimagines the classic holiday story anew each year with a new slate of director, designers, and cast. This year’s production will be available to view in-person or streaming online. Tickets for either experience are currently available to subscribers and will go on sale to the general public on August 16.
The subscription season will begin in January in the Dowling Theater with Tiny Beautiful Things (January 13 – February 13, 2022). This touching play is based on the best-selling book Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, written by Cheryl Strayed about her experience as the advice columnist “Sugar.” Strayed’s book was adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It will be directed by Curt Columbus, Trinity Rep’s artistic director.
Next up will be August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean (February 24 – March 27, 2022). Like Radio Golf, which Trinity Rep produced in winter 2020, Gem of the Ocean is part of Wilson’s American Century Cycle, ten plays each set in a different decade of the twentieth century chronicling African American experiences. Gem of the Ocean is chronologically the first in the series, set in 1904, and features characters who are ancestors of those in Radio Golf. To highlight the connection between the two plays, a reading of Radio Golf will be paired with the Gem of the Ocean production. Acting company member Jude Sandy will direct; he was also at the helm of the Radio Golf production.
Audiences will then return to the Dowling Theater for Sueño (April 7 – May 8, 2022), an adaptation by José Rivera of the Spanish Golden Age classic Life Is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. Director Tatyana-Marie Carlo will place the larger-than-life story in the frame of a telenovela. This humorous and haunting modern adaptation examines the nature of fate and reality.
The season will close in the Chace Theater with the 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winner Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury (May 19 – June 19, 2022). This revolutionary play begins as a straight forward family comedy but takes an unexpected turn that stunned and impressed audiences and critics, as well as the Pulitzer Prize committee. It also won Sibblies Drury the 2019 Steinberg Playwrights Award and Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. The playwright is a graduate of the Brown University MFA program in playwriting and is currently under commission by Trinity Rep. Company member Jude Sandy will direct.
Subscription packages for the 2021-22 Season are now available, starting at just $80 for all four shows, with payment plans available. Flex Pass packages, which include up to 8 ticket vouchers that can be mixed and matched throughout the season to create a custom experience, are also available, although the best seats are subject to availability. Subscribers may add on tickets at a discount to A Christmas Carol before they go on sale to the general public. Subscriber benefits also include free ticket exchanges, and discounts on parking and area restaurants.
The Trinity Rep box office is located at 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI (though currently closed to in-person transactions) and can be reached by calling (401) 351-4242. Information and online ordering is available at trinityrep.com.
Trinity Rep's 2021-22 Season is sponsored by the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Southwest Airlines is the official airline of Trinity Rep.
Trinity Repertory Company
Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years.
Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for over 40 years and made memories for over a million audience members.
Please note: Press Openings will now be held on Wednesdays, instead of Mondays
A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
Original music by Richard Cumming
Directed by Joe Wilson, Jr.
November 4, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Press Opening: November 10, 2021
Rhode Island’s family holiday tradition returns! Reimagined anew every year, this glorious telling of the classic story evokes the magic and hope of the season and its contemporary relevance. Guided by Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and ultimately inspired by his community, Ebenezer Scrooge embarks on a heartwarming journey toward redemption.
Tiny Beautiful Things
Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed
Adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos
Co-conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail, and Nia Vardalos
Directed by Curt Columbus
January 13 – February 13, 2022
Press Opening: January 19, 2022
A celebration of the simple beauty of being human, this funny, deeply touching, and uplifting play is an exploration of resilience, based on Cheryl Strayed’s journey as the beloved anonymous advice columnist for “Dear Sugar.” Over the years, thousands of people turned to “Sugar” for words of wisdom, compassion, and hope. Reluctant to claim that she has all the answers, Sugar looks to her own past and draws on her life experiences to bring light, laughter, and humanity to others.
August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean
Directed by Jude Sandy
February 24 – March 27, 2022
Press Opening: March 2, 2022
Set in 1904 Pittsburgh where slavery was still living memory, Gem of the Ocean offers a searing and mystical exploration of freedom, justice, and reclamation. Racked with secret guilt, a desperate Citizen Barlow seeks refuge at the home of ancient Aunt Ester. Renowned for soul cleansing, Ester sends Citizen on an epic journey to the City of Bones, to find redemption and renewed purpose. Gem of the Ocean chronologically begins August Wilson’s ten-play American Century Cycle, chronicling decade-by-decade African American experiences in the 20th century.
Translated and adapted by José Rivera
From the play by Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Directed by Tatyana-Marie Carlo
April 7 – May 8, 2022
Press Opening: April 13, 2020
A humorous and haunting metaphysical story peppered with intentional anachronisms, Sueño is a contemporary reimagining of Life is a Dream, considered one of the jewels of the Spanish Golden Age. Years after a Spanish prince is imprisoned at birth based on astrological predictions, the young man is released to test the prophesies. Once freed, his actions could either earn him the throne or return him to a lifetime of isolation to question the very nature of reality and humanity.
By Jackie Sibblies Drury
Directed by Jude Sandy
May 19 – June 19, 2022
Press Opening: May 25, 2022
This stunning Pulitzer Prize-winner begins simply: It’s Grandma’s birthday, and Beverly needs the family’s celebration to be perfect. But her husband is no help, her sister is getting into the wine, her brother hasn’t arrived, and her teenage daughter’s secrets threaten to derail the day. Then this family comedy takes a surprising turn, becoming an unpredictable and thrillingly theatrical experience that boldly confronts perceptions of race and identity.
Plays, dates, prices, and artists subject to change.