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For our 51st season we are proud to produce five stellar works, a fine blend of contemporary and classic in nature.  All have elements of humor in some way, which will provide relief to us all, especially during another election year.  Each contain high production value and plenty of surprises, from unexpected laughs to thrills to eerily relevant situations despite being plays written centuries ago.  Continuing the theme from our 50th season, they are all plays you can only find at The Warehouse Theatre!

Opening the season, we see the return of favorite playwright Kate Hamill.  Having skewered PRIDE & PREJUDICE into one of our biggest all-time hits a few seasons ago, this time we find Kate cheerfully desecrating the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with MS HOLMES AND MS WATSON, APT 2B.  How will oddball roommates Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Joan Watson be able to solve horrifying crimes in contemporary London while Joan (who keeps claiming she is not actually a doctor) passes out at the first sign of blood?

Following that hysterical romp, we wake up locked in a bedroom for Stephen King’s masterpiece MISERY, adapted for the stage by William Goldman.  We’re excited to re-introduce you to Annie Wilkes, writer Paul Sheldon’s “Number One Fan.”  Will Paul be able to write his way out of more than one nightmare despite Annie’s help?

Our third show is Talene Monahon’s revenge comedy JANE ANGER, a rollicking fever dream about Shakespeare attempting to write King Lear during a plague.  It would be easy if he could just get over his writer’s block, and his ex-wife dropping in unexpectedly, and the ridiculous help his servant, who claims to be a teenager but is very clearly a man in his 40s (we think), keeps offering.  A rip-roaring comedy for those that prefer their classics more Monty Python than Masterpiece Theater!

Breaking us into spring is Rajiv Joseph’s KING JAMES.  Tracking the friendship of two unlikely men throughout their 20s and 30s who are galvanized by the ups and downs of Cleveland basketball, this is a comedy that explores how our passions can unite us despite crazy odds.

The final show, Ibsen’s classic THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, brings us to a small town where one man uncovers a secret that will have devastating consequences for his community.  He assumes he’ll be branded a hero for this discovery, but quickly finds that the political and economic factions that run the town have starkly different ideas.  A play about the search for truth, and the cost of doing business.  A play that feels like it was written right now about our community (despite being written in 1880’s and about Norway).

All our protagonists are radicals who are problem solving in times of crisis. Fighting for what they believe despite overwhelming odds, they are masters of reinterpretation and reinvention, blazing a trail forward on their own path. They embody The Warehouse Theatre completely.

For a deeper dive into each show, please continue reading below.

Comedy by Kate Hamill | Director: Jay Briggs
Run: September 13-October 6, 2024

Synopsis:  An irreverent, darkly comic, modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth and sidekick, this fast-paced romp re-examines the world’s most famous detective story with an exciting twist.  Oddball female roommates Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson join forces to emerge from pandemic fog as a deeply codependent, quasi-dysfunctional adventure duo—solving mysteries and kicking butts, until they come face to face with a villain who seems to have all of the answers.

Why this play?  Laugh out loud funny, incredibly clever, inherently theatrical, and a delight from start to finish it’s a perfect start to our 51st season.  Classic Hamill smashing of tropes (you saw and loved PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and SENSE AND SENSIBILITY), but this time we have a mystery set in today’s world.  Keeping the same joyful antics and clever character doubling, this show is always surprising and delightful.  We hope it will be a welcome distraction from election overload!

Show 2: MISERY
Suspense thriller adapted by William Goldman from the novel by Stephen King | Director: Jess Chayes
Run: December 6-29, 2024

Synopsis:  Successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon is rescued from a car crash by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes.  While Paul is convalescing in her secluded home, Annie reads his latest book and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain.  Annie forces Paul to write a new Misery novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere.  The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it…and it does!

Why this play?  Nothing says the holidays more than this Stephen King classic!  Seriously though, continuing the tradition of counter programming the normal holiday fare, here we have a rarity: a tense thriller that works just as well on stage as it does as a book or movie.  It’s taut, it’s funny, it’s dark, it’s scary, it’s captivating.  Pulling off thrillers on stage is very hard, but it helps when you have incredible source material like this.  You might know the story, but until you’ve been in the same room with it you haven’t really LIVED the story.  A play made for The Warehouse, we’ve got Jess Chayes (who last directed THE FLICK for us) directing, which is doubly awesome as she was the associate director from the Broadway production!

Revenge Comedy by Talene Monahon | Director: Anne Kelly Tromsness
Run: January 31 – February 16, 2025

Synopsis:  It’s 1606.  William Shakespeare is plagued…with writer’s block.  And also the actual plague, as he is holed up with his apprentice Francis without anything to do.  Through the window climbs Jane Anger, a writer with a dream to change history.  While Jane convinces Shakespeare to write KING LEAR, Anne Hathaway (his wife, not the one from THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA) arrives, having missed her husband for the past 10 years.  Constricted to one room, what creativity and conflict will explode between these four?  Can Shakespeare write his masterpiece?  Will Francis be allowed to act in it despite his age (anywhere from 15 to 40)?  Will Jane get to publish her masterpiece?  Will anyone ever respect Anne Hathaway?

Why this play? Finally a play that will make you laugh about the pandemic.  The 1606 one.  If you like the classics treated more like Monty Python than Masterpiece Theatre, this play is for you.  It is truly an uproarious and out of control comedy that takes no prisoners.  Portraying Shakespeare as a spoiled genius brat with no impulse control, this outrageous comedy will have you gasping for air.  Full of surprises (seriously, the end of the play is not for kids) (neither are the jokes in the middle of the play) (and also not the jokes at the beginning) this is a play for anyone who thinks theater can take itself too seriously.

Comedic Drama by Rajiv Joseph | Director: Ahsha Daniels
Run: April 4-20, 2025

Synopsis:  “King” LeBron James’ years playing in Cleveland bring promise, prosperity, and renewal to a city in desperate need of all three.  His tenure also unites Shawn and Matt in an unlikely bond forged by fandom.  Over 13 seasons, from LeBron’s rookie year to an NBA Championship, the men navigate their turbulent friendship through their shared love of basketball—and the endless amiable arguments that erupt from that love.  A clever comedy, King James is an intimate exploration of the place that sports occupy in our lives and relationships.

Why this play? One of the best plays about male friendship we’ve ever read.  It’s contemporary, it’s funny, it’s real, it’s a delight.  Using basketball as the backdrop, we see how friendships can start, get splintered, and grow apart.  At the core is a desire for connection.  Over 15 years of complications we see the highs and the lows of a friendship, a highlight reel of these two men figuring out their lives.  It’s a captivating character study along with being a smart commentary on class.  Rajiv writes with a light hand, going deep when he needs to and writing from a strong sense of personalization (he is from Cleveland and a diehard Cavs fan).  You don’t have to know or like anything about basketball to love this show!

Adapted from the Henrik Ibsen play  |  Director: Matthew Earnest
Run: May 30 – June 22, 2025

Synopsis:  A small-town doctor considers himself a proud, upstanding member of his close-knit community.  When he discovers a catastrophe that risks the lives and well-being of everyone in town, he raises the alarm.  But he is shaken to his core when those in power, including the mayor, who happens to be his own brother, not only try to silence him—they try to destroy him.

Why this play?  We at The Warehouse love nothing more than a classic play that feels contemporary, and ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE is one of the best examples.  It’s a remarkably prescient play in relation to contemporary American politics, despite being written in the 1800s about Norway.  The more things change, etc.  Here Ibsen is examining politics, truth, newsprint, and what one man can do in spite of everyone being against him.  A variation on THE CRUCIBLE, this is a play that challenges you to think about both sides of the issues and boils down to what cost is the truth and who gets to control it.

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY Photo:  Shawn Salley