October 26 – November 3
While grieving the loss of her parents and younger sister Tilly, Agnes Evans uncovers Tilly’s secret—she’s a Dungeon Master. After finding Tilly’s notebook containing a Dungeons and Dragons campaign while packing the family home in Athens, Ohio, Agnes embarks a on quest to New Landia, a fantastical world filled with demons, elves, fairies, and other magical beings, created by Tilly to escape the drudgery and torment of the mundane world. Agnes comes to terms with her family’s deaths in this action-packed comedy that blends 90s pop culture with the fantasy role-playing world of geek culture.
Qui Nguyen (Fight Girl Battle World; Living Dead in Denmark; Men of Steel; Alice in Slasherland; Vietgone) is an award-winning American playwright and Co-Founder of OBIE-winning Vampire Cowboys. He is known for work that combines stage combat, puppets, media, and pop culture, especially geek culture. He is also co-writer for Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon.
November 8 – 17
Black Box Theatre
Inflamed passions of desire and revenge plague two families in a magical countryside. This poetic tragedy focuses on an ill-fated love triangle after an arranged marriage between two wealthy families. The wedding party is ruined by a past lover who kidnaps the willing Bride on her wedding night and escapes to the dark and ominous forest, where The Moon and Death promise a night filled with blood. Desire, repression, and ritual are explored within the constraints of rural society in this surreal tale, inspired by a true story.
Spanish avant-garde playwright, poet and director Federico García Lorca was assassinated by fascists in 1936. His works were censored for nearly 45 years after his death to conceal his homosexuality. In addition to Blood Wedding, his best-known plays Yerma and The House of Bernarda Alba form The Rural Trilogy. They challenge the role of women in society as well as the theatrical conventions of the time.
Lillian Groag (The Ladies of the Camellias; The Magic Fire; The White Rose; Menocchio; War Music) is an award-winning Argentine-American playwright, actor, and director. Her plays have been produced throughout the United States and around the world.
Leda Hoffmann is the artistic director at The Contemporary Theatre of Ohio, a position she’s held since August 2020. Prior to coming to Columbus, she was the artistic director at Chicago’s Strawdog Theatre Company. Hoffmann has directed at theatres and festivals across the country including Milwaukee Rep, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and Renaissance Theaterworks.
February 28 – March 8
Black Box Theatre
Henrietta Leavitt wants to study the stars, but when she begins working at the Harvard Observatory in the 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope, much less engage in academic discourse. A celebrated astronomer hires her as a “computer”, to do the math required to chart the stars photographed on glass plates. Attempting to balance family, romance, and her obsession with the stars, Henrietta tries to figure out how to measure the light and distance of star in her spare time, only to have her discovery dismissed by the men working at Harvard. This touching drama, based on a true story, explores a woman’s place in society and science, scientific and social progress, and the mathematical discovery that would change astronomy forever.
Award-winning Lauren Gunderson (I and You; Parts They Call Deep and Background; We Won’t Sleep; The Taming; Natural Shocks) is one of the top 20 most-produced playwrights in the country and has been recognized by American Theatre magazine as America’s most-produced living playwrights more than once in its annual review. Her works frequently address female figures in history, science, and literature.
April 3 – 12
Six adolescents and four members from the audience compete in a county-wide spelling bee held in a school gymnasium in this Tony Award-Winning musical comedy. As the teens spell their way through the bee, they tell stories about their lives and families, their hopes and fears, as well as the ins and outs of competitive spelling. The fast-paced musical ends in a finale that looks at how the spelling bee affected these high-achieving students, giving the audience a glimpse at how their lives turned out.
Tony Award-Winning lyricist and composer William Finn (Falsettos; A New Brain; Romance in Hard Times; Painting You for Love’s Fire) has written for theatre, film, and television. Much of his work is autobiographical, dealing with belonging, sickness and healing, loss, and the gay and Jewish experiences in America.
Playwright Rachel Sheinkin (Striking 12; Sleeping Beauty Wakes; Little House on the Prairie; Blood Drive; Serenade) won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She has been a Manhattan Theatre Club playwriting fellow and has taught at Yale and New York University.