At all times, theatre is a reflection of the society in which it lives. And there is no better time to use the power of the theatre to look in on the world around us.
If you really want to hit your audiences with a play that is perfect for today’s stage, check out “A Paper Tiger in the Rain.” Newspapers are struggling to maintain a place in our world… in our high tech world. In this play Newspaperman Nathan Parker has just been promoted to his dream job; Editor-in-Chief of the Willow Falls Beacon Telegraph. It is the paper for which he’s worked his entire career and a job for which he’s waited his entire life. Just before his predecessor retires, he hires Ben Flynn, a young blogger who Nathan holds in contempt. However, soon after assuming the reigns, Nathan learns that the newspaper is in financial trouble. He is also stunned to read in the obits that the husband of a woman with whom he had an affair many years earlier, has passed away. As the newspaper’s financial picture becomes cloudier, Nathan is faced with saving his beloved newspaper from extinction and winning Laura’s heart.
And what about Wall Street and Politics? Jill Elaine Hughes pokes fun at the world of money in her comic “Market Up, Mark It Down!” about a gangster ghost foiling a Ponzi scheme while Lynn Snyder examines the politics around, what else, “politics” in her play, “Campaign Strategy.” Can’t get much closer to today’s stage than that!
Lawrence Cahoone’s “Wise Guys” is just about one of the most philosophically outrageous comedies on the politics of life and death within the world of tenure you’ll ever have the pleasure of seeing. Hidden behind a thin veil of high-brow humor is an intriguing mix of university espionage and revenge. Get college students in your seats with a production of this exceptional new play that will talk to them on and off today’s stage. But then, perhaps you have tons of young adults in your audiences and you need to reach the over 60 crowd with a totally relatable piece for today’s senior stage. Challenge your mature actors with “West Palm Gig” by Susan Surman. It’s a great reminder that our aging baby boomers have no intention of rolling over and playing dead, even those who end up in retirement communities.
All one has to do is look around and you’ll see life both as you know it and life as someone else knows it. “Cardboard Sea, Paper Moon” by Sean David Bennett provides a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of vulnerable people who not only struggle for dignity in today’s world but who also fall victim to corruption and abuse of power. It’s the other end of the stick from the high rollers in “Market Up, Market Down!”
Today is definitely the day to choose a play for your upcoming season that your audiences can really relate to. It’s our time and our world, the good and the bad, and we can use today’s stage to both seriously examine and seriously laugh at its foibles.