(TAMPA, FL) – Stageworks Theatre, Tampa’s longest-running professional theatre company, will raise the curtain on six new productions for its 2023 – 2024 season, drawing inspiration from its mission to ignite the human spirit and be a catalyst in eradicating intolerance through performing arts and education.
The upcoming “Season of Discovery” features a fresh, new look at one of America’s most well-known plays, along with stories that make a statement in favor of diversity. The six-show season includes “Poirot Returns”, “The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-off”, “I Am My Own Wife”, “The Immigrant”, “Our Town”, and “Falsettos.”
“As I contemplated plays for this season I wanted to explore what one can discover when they look beyond their own experiences and consider the perspectives of others,” said Karla Hartley, Stageworks Theatre’s producing artistic director. “These productions are intended to make a statement on the cultural issues that seem to be dividing us. I hope they serve as a reminder for all of us to embrace compassion and empathy, to work to understand views that are different from our own, and that each of us has a responsibility to fight for the society we want.”
The 2023 – 2024 season kicks off on October 27 with “Poirot Returns.” Acclaimed local actor, Matt McGee, who appeared in Stageworks’ production of “Murder on the Orient Express” reprises his role as Inspector Hercule Poirot in this re-discovery of Agatha Christie’s first detective novel, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles.” The famous Belgian detective comes out of retirement to solve the murder of his friend, the wealthy widow Emily Inglethorp. Poirot leaves no stone unturned to reveal the truth in this original play. Everyone is suspect and no one is exempt from the brilliant, methodical mind of Hercule Poirot. The world premiere of “Poirot Returns” runs through November 12.
Celebrate the holidays with “The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off.” This light-hearted musical combines the time-honored tradition of Christmas cookies with the ever-popular phenomenon of reality baking competitions. Eight young cookie bakers have been selected from all over the country to battle it out for first prize at the Cookie Coliseum. Just as no two cookies are the same, each contestant reveals their unique personality through song. Suspense mounts as the chefs are eliminated one by one, by three distinguished celebrity judges. Over the course of the competition, feelings of intense rivalry give way to virtues of charity, family, and forgiveness, as the bakers learn what really makes for a winning Christmas recipe. “The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off” runs December 1 – 17, 2023.
“I Am My Own Wife” is the Tony-Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play that tells a fascinating real-life story of survival. Charlotte von Mahlsdoft survived both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime as a member of the Transgender community. Actor Matt McGee returns to the stage in a role that embodies not only the controversial Charlotte, but also playwright Doug Wright and more than 40 other characters from Charlotte’s astonishing life. This riveting production runs February 9 – 25, 2024
Religion, culture, fear, and love run through the plot of “The Immigrant,” based on the true story of Haskell Harelik, a young Russian-Jewish immigrant who fled the Czarist ethnic killings in his homeland to seek refuge in the land of the free. In 1909, he arrives through the port of Galveston, Texas speaking only Yiddish. Alone in a staunchly Christian community, a couple takes him in and over the next 30 years, he makes a home and raises a family in the tiny town of Hamilton. “The Immigrant” is the story of newcomers and natives, Christians and Jews, and the realization of the American Dream. “The Immigrant “will be performed March 15 – 31, 2024.
Thornton Wilder’s iconic American play, “Our Town” is reimagined for the 21st Century. Just like the original Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Our Town” is an homage to a time when community was the backbone of society, when we looked at our neighbors with kindness, curiosity, and empathy, regardless of our differences. In this updated version, the small town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire is celebrated as an international address and performed with a multi-cultural cast in three languages: English, Spanish, and Creole with subtitles. This quintessentially American and human story is part of Stageworks’ Hispanic initiative. This new twist on a classic tale takes stage April 26 – May 12, 2024.
The contemporary musical, “Falsettos” takes the stage June 7 – 23, 2024. Based in the 1970s, the show revolves around the life of Marvin, a charming, neurotic gay man, his wife, lover, and soon-to-be-Bar Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians next door. “Falsettos” is a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family, and a beautiful reminder that love can tell a million stories.
Tickets and season pass options are available for purchase online at www.stageworkstheatre.org. Ticketholders can select several new options for a more streamlined purchasing experience. The Adult Flex Pass provides six tickets for ticketholders to use any way they wish during the season. A discounted version of the pass is available for Seniors, Students, Educators, and Military personnel (with valid ID). Season pass holders may purchase Opening Night tickets for just $25, which includes a champagne reception.
STAGEWORKS THEATRE SEASON AT A GLANCE:
Stageworks shows are performed on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. with matinees on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m.
Poirot Returns October 27 – November 12
The Christmas Bake Off December 1 – 17, 2023
I Am My Own Wife February 9 – 25, 2024
The Immigrant March 15 – 31, 2024
Our Town April 26 – May 12, 2024
Falsettos June 7 – 23, 2024
About Stageworks Theatre
Stageworks is Tampa’s longest-running professional theatre company. Its mission is to ignite the human spirit and be a catalyst in eradicating intolerance through performing arts and education. In addition to a full season of performances, Stageworks provides acting and improvisation classes and workshops. Its partnership with Academy Prep brings drumming classes to students at three campuses to support their overall learning, and the theatre company has also provided its drumming and arts education curriculum to students in the juvenile justice system. Over the years, Stageworks has been honored with numerous local and regional awards for best theatre company, best actor, and best director. To learn more, visit www.stageworkstheatre.org or get social with us on Facebook and Instagram.