CAPE MAY – Cape May Stage, Southern New Jersey’s premier professional theatre, is gearing up for its 2016 season, starting with Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man,” which opens May 25 in the historic Robert Shackleton Playhouse.
During the 2016 season, Cape May Stage will present six main stage plays that, one way or another, are centered on the theme of freedom. “The Whipping Man,” set at the end of the Civil War in 1865, deals with the impact of human slavery. The next two productions tackle other aspects of freedom, from the release of inhibitions in the provocative “Sex with Strangers” to lifestyle freedoms in Neil Simon’s comedy, “Barefoot in the Park.”
In the second half of the season, three more productions carry forward the theme of freedom, starting with Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize winner, “Disgraced,” which raises important questions about individual and religious freedom. “Disgraced” will be followed by the comedy “Buyer and Cellar” in the fall, and for the holiday season, “One Christmas Carol.”
“We’ve chosen all six of these plays in hopes that each one, in its own way, will be a catalyst for discussion about what freedom means,” said Roy Steinberg, the producing artistic director of Cape May Stage.
Besides the main stage productions, Cape May Stage will also present its 2016 Broadway Series on three Monday evenings, sponsored by Curtis Bashaw and Cape Resorts, Inc. The series opens with Marilyn Maye, a legendary performer who’s been an entertainer for six decades. It continues with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Broadway styling of Adam Pascal, and finally with a comedic look at the life of Broadway couple Jarrod Spector and Kelli Barrett in “Funny How It Happens.”
As usual, Cape May Stage will also present a host of other productions, readings and workshops. Many of these one-night-only shows are pay-what-you-wish. In mid-May, Cape May Stage will present its annual National Playwrights Symposium, now in its fourth year. Steinberg added that Cape May Stage will continue to engage the entire community, including efforts to foster education and theatre awareness among children, and to provide opportunities for new and aspiring writers and actors.
Subscriptions are available for the entire 2016 season in three- or six-play packages at a 15-50% discount off single-ticket prices, including guaranteed same seats throughout the season. For more information on any of the performances, call the theatre office at (609) 770-8311 or visit the website at www.capemaystage.org.