It’s that time of year when the Clarence Brown Theatre releases its news of next season’s offerings. In fact, not only are they hoping Knoxvillians will go to the theatre, they’re also making it easier to go at the theatre.
As theatre students and CBT patrons know all too well, the late 60s-early 70s design of the Clarence Brown Theatre by noted Knoxville architect Bruce McCarty did not embrace some important crowd-serving criteria that are a part of today’s building codes. To put it directly, there weren’t enough lobby restroom facilities and the theatre was not ADA-compliant without retrofits. Wheelchairs and steps simply do not work well together.
Construction will begin this spring on an expansion of the lobby restroom facilities that will more than double the current capacity. In addition, two wheelchair lifts in the lobby will address the ADA requirements. The new facilities are being designed by Cope Architecture with an eye to respecting the original design by McCarty.
CBT has also released its schedule of productions for the 2017-18 season with the goal of encouraging advance subscription sales.
August 30 – September 17, 2017 in the CBT
Peter and the Starcatcher
By Rick Elice – Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
In this multiple Tony Award-winning play with music, a dozen actors portraying more than 100 unforgettable roles take to the high seas to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up? This magical evening of madcap fun is suitable for younger audiences but most enjoyable for ages 10 and up.
September 27 – October 15, 2017 in the Carousel Theatre
By Anton Chekhov (New Version by Libby Appel)
Olga, Masha, and Irina struggle to let go of their past and to shape their future. A domineering sister-in-law, romance, soldiers, and money challenge the Prozorov family’s happiness and unity. With artful depiction of three very different women, Chekhov fascinates audiences with his deeply sensitive observations on life’s struggles.
October 25 – November 12, 2017 in the Lab Theatre
By Craig Lucas
A long running Off-Broadway hit by the playwright of Reckless and God’s Heart.
A portrait of loneliness in one of the world’s most densely populated cities. Libby, for her own private reasons, has invited six disparate friends to her apartment in New York for dinner and drinks. As their conversations drift, they begin to open up to one another…but how do you really know anyone?
November 22 – December 17, 2017 in the CBT
A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens ; Adapted by Edward Morgan and Joe Hanreddy
Our spectacular, heart-warming version of Dickens’ classic tale of redemption returns. Filled with traditional carols, stunning costumes, a gorgeous set and memorable characters, it’s guaranteed to enrich the holiday season for you and your family.
January 31 – February 18, 2018 in the CBT
By Kenneth Jones
A gentle children’s book with an apparent hidden message stirs the passions of a segregationist senator and a no-nonsense state librarian in 1959 Montgomery, just as the Civil Rights Movement is flowering. Inspired by true events, Alabama Story puts politicians, star-crossed childhood friends, and one feisty author in a struggle for the soul of the Deep South.
February 21 – March 11, 2018 in the Carousel Theatre
By christopher oscar peña
Transcending 20th-century notions of race and culture, peña’s work succeeds in simultaneously touching our hearts, stimulating our minds, and examining our society.
Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang
In this CBT-commissioned World Premiere, Cris returns to a place he once used to know, only to find a world he no longer recognizes. As he connects with a new stranger tasked to show him around town, an unexpected spark challenges all of Cris’ preconceived notions. the strangers is a modern day reimagining of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, depicting a contemporary American world thrown into chaos.
This production contains adult content and language.
March 28 – April 15, 2018 in the Lab Theatre
Dream of the Burning Boy
By David West Read
Since the death of his favorite student, Larry Morrow, a fifty-something high school teacher, has been falling asleep at his desk and dreaming. The student’s sister and his friends find little solace in schoolwork. And the school’s guidance counselor keeps hanging inspirational slogans on the walls to help everyone “process their emotions.” A bittersweet story of finding the way and strength to move on.
This production contains mature language and themes.
April 18 – May 6, 2018 in the Clarence Brown Theatre
Urinetown, the Musical
Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollman
Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis
A water shortage caused by a 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. Citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission. Deciding he has had enough, a hero plans a revolution!
Winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards and two Obie Awards, this hilarious musical is a satire of capitalism, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, politics, greed, and the musical theatre!