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«FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE GEVA ANNOUNCES 2015-2016 SEASON rd 43 Season features Tony Award-winners, electrifying dramas and hilarious comedies. ESL ...»

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Media Contact: Dawn Kellogg

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43 Season features Tony Award-winners, electrifying dramas and hilarious comedies.

ESL Federal Credit Union renews sponsorship of Wilson Mainstage Series.

Monday, March 16, 2015. Rochester, N.Y. – Four productions still remain in Geva Theatre Center’s 42nd Season: A Body of Water, Lee Blessing’s play of memory and identity; The Mountaintop, a reimagining of Martin Luther King’s last night on earth; the world premiere of Cass Morgan’s journey to discover her roots – The Road to Where; and the season’s grand finale, the laugh-out-loud comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. The 2014-2015 Season continued Geva’s innovative efforts to connect patrons and artists and art with the community. The 2015-2016 Season will continue to build on that and also usher in a new era as Geva’s historic home begins to undergo renovation and transformation.

Geva Theatre Center’s Artistic Director Mark Cuddy and Executive Director Tom Parrish are proud to announce the 14 major productions and events of the much anticipated 2015-2016 Season, the non-profit theatre’s 43rd year of making professional theatre of a national standard in Rochester.

ESL Federal Credit Union sponsored the 2014-2015 Wilson Mainstage Series, and has renewed that commitment for the 2015-2016 Mainstage Series, which features a hit Broadway musical comedy lovingly ripped from legend and the winner of three Tony Awards; a riveting drama about art that won six Tony Awards; a heartfelt and hilarious comedy set in Buffalo; an enchanting adaptation of an American literary masterpiece; an epic play by America’s foremost dramatist; and a fun and fresh new office comedy.

Geva also announces the return of the theatre’s magical production of Dickens’ classic tale of redemption, A Christmas Carol, which has truly become Rochester’s holiday tradition. Additionally, Geva will present a full line-up in the Fielding Nextstage throughout 2015-2016, including hosting the fourth annual Rochester Fringe Festival, nurturing new plays in the Festival of New Theatre, the return of everyone’s favorite “Sister,” and an eclectic range of contemporary plays in the Fielding Studio Series.

“The 2015-2016 Season provides a dynamic array of artistic challenges and creative opportunities for our hundreds of guest artists and resident staff to once again dazzle our community with their theatre-making,” said Artistic Director Mark Cuddy. “We have blended a mix of well-known titles with hidden gems to provide our audience with a nine-month theatrical journey that is unparalleled in New York State.” “The 2015-2016 Season builds on Geva’s tradition of top quality theatre and educational programming made right here in Rochester for the betterment of this community,” adds Executive Director Tom Parrish.

“Thank you to the thousands of season subscribers that have already committed to making this memorable season with our artists, and to our many donors, whose philanthropic support makes all of Geva’s artistic, education, literary and community building work possible.” “ESL was proud to sponsor the 2014-2015 Season and we’re delighted to continue the partnership for the 2015-2016 Season,” said ESL Federal Credit Union CEO David Fiedler. “Geva Theatre is a tremendous asset to our community and a source of pride for Rochester. When we support the arts, we entertain, educate and enhance the quality of life for all of us.” Since 1972, the not-for-profit Geva Theatre Center has been Rochester’s theatre home, offering patrons the opportunity to enjoy the work of the country’s top artists right in their own community. Geva Theatre Center is one of the premier cultural and educational institutions in Rochester, the most attended professional regional theatre in the Northeast United States outside Manhattan, and a leader among American professional theatres.

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At the height of his career, famed


expressionist painter Mark Rothko struggles with a series of grand-scale paintings for New York’s Four Seasons restaurant. When his new assistant challenges his artistic integrity, Rothko must confront his personal demons or be crushed by the ever-changing art world he helped create. An electrifyingly riveting battle of wills and the winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Play.

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A true story of love, loss, family loyalty, and the redemptive power of music. Following award-winning runs in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London and Off-Broadway, writer/performer Benjamin Scheuer shares his gripping coming-of-age musical journey from boyhood to manhood, through pain and healing. The Lion is a candid, poignant, and charming new solo musical from a next-generation troubadour.

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According to Nowak family legend, there was a miracle on South Division Street sixty years ago when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in the family’s barbershop on Buffalo’s East Side. Since then, the neighborhood has looked upon the Nowak’s 20-foot commemorative shrine as a beacon of hope and faith.

But now, the family’s faith is shaken when a deathbed confession threatens to change everything. A heartfelt and hilarious family comedy from the author of Over the Tavern.

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Set in a small Alabama town during the Great Depression, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning American masterpiece follows the journey of Jem and Scout Finch, whose father has been appointed to defend a black man framed for a crime he didn’t commit. As the trial progresses, the children witness racial injustice envelop their community, while their father seeks the truth with quiet integrity, courage and compassion.

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The jaded James Tyrone is on the edge of despair, and the fiercely passionate Josie Hogan is lonely beyond endurance. But on this night, when they meet on a barren patch of earth in the glow of an autumn moon, hope sparks between them. In this bittersweet elegy, two wounded hearts experience the power of redemption—and the saving grace of love. It is a stark look at humanity in its basest and loveliest form by four-time Pulitzer Prize and America’s only Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Eugene O’Neill. Produced in association with the Theatre Royal in Rochester’s Sister City of Waterford, Ireland.

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Two lonely souls embark on a relationship filled with surprising discoveries. A high-functioning young man with Asperger’s Syndrome seeks the instruction of a Broadway dancer, now sidelined with injuries. As their relationship unfolds, they’re caught off-guard by the unexpected revelations – both hilarious and heartwarming – that they make about each other. A new romantic comedy from the author of Freud’s Last Session about an unlikely relationship and the healing power of love.

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A four-day festival weaving together music, theatre, film, audio recordings, storytelling and lectures to celebrate Rochester’s adopted son, Eddie “Son” House. The celebration will feature the reading of a specially-commissioned play by renowned playwright, Keith Glover.

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For the fourth year in a row, the Fielding Nextstage will be a venue for the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival, hosting a wide variety of performances.

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A two-week showcase of new plays and projects that are currently in Geva’s developmental process. More than 250 full-length or short works have received readings and/or workshops as part of Geva’s new play development programs, and more than 65 have had subsequent productions around the country and the globe.

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On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by a series of ghosts who remind him who he was and what he might yet become. He learns the true meaning of the season and that it’s never too late to make a new start. The famous tale of redemption for the most despised man in London will awaken your heart and rekindle your spirit in this critically acclaimed adaptation. Recommended for the entire family! (Please remember that children under five are not permitted in the theatre.) *Note: Not a part of the ESL Wilson Mainstage subscription series.

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Celebrate the Easter Season with Sister as she answers time worn questions like “Why isn't Easter the same day every year like Christmas?” and “Will My Bunny Go To Heaven?” Part pageant, and wHOLY hysterical, this sinfully funny installment in the Late Nite Catechism series unearths the origins of Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, Easter bonnets, Easter baskets, and of course those yummy Easter Peeps. Classroom participation is a must, so don’t forget to wear your Easter bonnet and join Sister for this seasonal treat.

Because professional regional theatre cannot be sustained on ticket sales alone, Geva Theatre Center thanks those generous individuals and businesses that have already committed to making our 2015-2016 Season one to remember: ESL Federal Credit Union; Nocon & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.; Flaum Management Company; Rockcastle Florist; Iberdrola USA, RG&E; The Rochester Division of Oppenheimer Funds, Inc.; Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP; Madeline’s Catering;

Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and Media Sponsors News 10 NBC, WYSL AM/FM, WARM 101.3, WROC TV, 13 WHAM TV, 102.3 Sunny FM, 100.5 The Drive, 98 PXY, Legends 102.7, WXXI Public Broadcasting and Fox Rochester.

Subscriptions for the full 9-Play 2015-2016 Season are on sale now from $193. The ESL Wilson Mainstage Series and Fielding Nextstage Studio Series may be purchased separately, from $114 and $79 respectively. Subscribing is easy, flexible and affordable. Subscribers enjoy the best seats at the best prices, plus a host of exclusive benefits like ticket exchange privileges, priority advance booking and discounts, money-saving coupons to area restaurants, free coat check and more. For more information on subscribing to Geva’s 2015-2016 Season visit: www.gevatheatre.org/subscribe-now/. Subscribers to the 2015-2016 Season will be able to purchase tickets for A Christmas Carol and Sister’s Easter Catechism beginning April 7. Tickets to all individual shows will go on sale to the general public on August 4, 2015.

For information on the 2015-2016 Season, visit www.gevatheatre.org/2015-2016-season. All plays, artists, schedules and prices are subject to change.


Founded in 1972, Geva Theatre Center is a not-for-profit, professional theatre company dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre productions, programs and services of a national standard. As Rochester’s leading professional theatre, Geva Theatre Center is the most attended regional theatre in New York State, and one of the 25 most subscribed in the country, serving up to 160,000 patrons annually, including more than 16,000 students.

The 526-seat Elaine P. Wilson Mainstage is home to a wide variety of performances, from musicals to American and world classics. The 180-seat Ron & Donna Fielding Nextstage is home to Geva’s own series of contemporary drama, comedy and musical theatre; Geva Comedy Improv; Geva’s New Play Reading Series and the Hornets’ Nest - an innovative play-reading series facilitating community-wide discussion on controversial topics. In addition, the Nextstage hosts visiting companies of both local and international renown.

Geva Theatre Center offers a wide variety of educational, outreach and literary programs, nurturing audiences and artists alike. Since 1995, the organization has been under the artistic direction of Mark Cuddy.

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AND THE 2015-2016 SEASON


 Over 5,200 actors, directors, choreographers, designers, musical directors, musicians, stage managers, and writers have worked at Geva since it was founded in 1972.

 Among Geva’s notable alumni are:

o 1 Pulitzer Prize nominee o 4 Academy Award Nominees: Josh Brolin, Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson & Robert Vaughn o 20 Tony Award winners and 67 Tony nominees o 34 Drama Desk Award Winners and 85 Drama Desk nominees o 11 Emmy Award Winners and 47 Emmy nominees.

 Geva casts the country’s top artists from auditions held in New York City and Rochester. Our casting director, Paul Fouquet, is a Geva Affiliate Artist and a Rochester native.

 Geva houses out-of-town actors, directors and artists in apartments just 150 steps away from the theatre, for which the theatre has taken a 10-year lease.

 Geva provides every out-of-town actor, director and artist with a familiarization packet containing information on all there is to see and do in Rochester and the surrounding area.

 Actors who perform at Geva are Rochester residents for an average of 8 weeks and become part of the fabric of the community, dining in area restaurants, shopping in area stores and visiting area attractions.

Writers and New Plays  Geva has presented approximately 340 play readings and workshops since its inception. More than 65 Geva-developed plays have had subsequent productions around the country and the globe.

 In subsequent productions, plays that premiere at Geva are recognized on the title page of programs, saying “Originally produced at Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY.”  Play readings are free and open to the public, and most are followed by a discussion between the audience and the playwright.

 Geva’s nationally recognized and innovative “Hornets’ Nest” series of play readings uses theatre to facilitate community discussions on contemporary topics.


 Geva has made over 500 fully-produced productions of plays and musicals since 1972.

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