Featuring companies from Australia to Afghanistan, the Theatre Project's 2005-2006 season will offer everything from updated adaptations of Shakespeare to autobiographical, one-woman shows.
"I tend to look for a broad range of work," said producing director Anne Cantler Fulwiler, explaining that the shows will also vary stylistically. "There are pieces that emphasize the word, and there are pieces that are close to wordless."
In addition, Fulwiler said the season will include several shows that demonstrate the theater's increased involvement in the creation of new work. "We're taking more of a production role - not just presenting, but stepping up and making the connections between creators and directors in ways that we have not in recent years," she said.
As examples, she mentioned Julius X, a collaboration between past Theatre Project performer/playwright Al Letson and Baltimore director Troy Burton, and Walk a Mile in My Drawers, a new solo piece by Baltimorean Joyce J. Scott, directed by Donald Hicken, head of the theater department at the Baltimore School for the Arts.
Here's a look at the subscription season:
Julius X, Oct. 6-16. Incorporating original poetry and music as well as text from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, this show will examine the conspiracy that led to the assassination of Malcolm X.
Beyond the Mirror, Nov. 3-13. New York's Bond Street Theatre - a MacArthur Award-winning company that uses the arts for humanitarian outreach throughout the world - is collaborating with Exile Theatre of Afghanistan to tell the stories of the Afghan actors, as well as those of children, soldiers and widows. Traditional dances, masks, film and puppetry will be used in this largely nonverbal work. Bond Street previously appeared at the Theatre Project in 2003 when it performed Romeo & Juliet, a visually arresting collaboration with a Bulgarian theater.
Blood Makes Noise, Jan. 11-22. As its part of QuestFest - a two-week celebration of visual theater for hearing and deaf audiences - the Theatre Project will present a mostly wordless piece produced by the Asphyxia company of Australia. Fulwiler describes it as "a delightful duet about a blind date between a deaf woman and a hearing man." Other QuestFest performances will be presented at Towson University and the Creative Alliance.
Culture Bandit, March. Vanessa Hidary - who has appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and was a Grand Poetry Finalist at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe - calls herself a "Hebrew mamita." In this solo show, she examines her Jewish and Latino roots.
Walk a Mile in My Drawers, May 18-21. Developed with a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the latest work by performance/visual artist Scott will use humor and original music (by herself and Eric Byrd) to explore what she describes as "the risks of exposing herself to the world."
Richard 3.5 (or Crookback in Anger), May 25-June 4. Three-time Theatre Project veteran Eric Bass and his Vermont-based puppet troupe, Sandglass Theater Company, team up with "new vaudevillian" Bob Berky to revisit Shakespeare's Richard III in this timely look at power-mongering.
Fulwiler also announced four nonsubscription offerings: the High Zero Festival, Sept. 22-25, the annual showcase of improvised, experimental music; Bonhoeffer, Sept. 29-30, a one-man show by South African writer/actor Peter Krummeck about the German theologian who was executed for his role in a plot to kill Hitler; Shadow of Giants, Oct. 20-30, a piece about saving the redwoods by California's Dell'Arte Company; and Jefferson and Poe, Nov. 17-20, an opera by Baltimoreans Damon Ferrante and Daniel Mark Epstein.
Subscriptions to the six-play main season cost $70 and will go on sale Aug. 1. For more information, call 410-752-8558.
Capital Fringe Festival
A celebration of experimental theater called the Capital Fringe Festival is being planned for Washington next summer. The event is based on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. To facilitate and encourage participation by Baltimore theater companies, the Theatre Project will serve as host for an informational meeting from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. June 25 at the theater, 45 W. Preston St. More information about the festival is available at www.capfringe.org.