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  • Players’ Ring Theatre announces its Mainstage Season 2024-25

    PORTSMOUTH – Looking for comedies, thrillers, historical dramas, or maybe a psychological thriller or folk musical?
    The Players’ Ring Theatre announces its Mainstage Season for 2024-25 promising to deliver all of this and more. (See sidebar)
    Every year, the theatre holds the so called “Ring-Toss,” a community event where theatre makers - playwrights, directors, performers, producers - have the opportunity to present their works and ideas.
    This year was no different, with more than 60 submissions creatively pitched live in front of a supportive audience of fellow artists.
    “It is a thrilling event. It is absolutely mind-boggling to discover what local artists have been reflecting about and creating,” said the Ring’s producing director, Margherita Giacobbi. 
    “Then we get to work, evaluating every proposal, with the additional feedback provided by volunteer readers. There are several criteria to consider, such as a balance of genres, themes, notoriety, cast type, and production needs, just to mention a few. After that mix is somehow magically achieved, securing the availability of the artists as well as the royalties is the final step before announcing the Season.”
    The Players’ Ring Theatre is a historic and uniquely intimate 75-seat venue at 105 Marcy St., right at the edge of beautiful Prescott Park.
    “Our 33rd Season kicks off after Labor Day with Christopher Durang’s Tony Award winning play ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’,” Giacobbi said. “It is a hysterical comedy about three middle-aged siblings and the chaos that ensues when the most successful of them all returns announced with her new boy toy.” 
    Next up is “Head, Heart, and Heather,” a new play by Emily Andrews and directed by Billy Butler.
    “We often get wrapped up in what is considered ‘right’ for ourselves. Living this way can result in getting stuck, and denying yourself meaningful experiences and encounters,” Andrews said. “My work tackles the common frustrations of modern dating, but also the importance of listening to yourself.”
    Jack Neary will then direct “The Fall of The House of Usher,” that will open right on Oct. 31 after the Halloween Parade. 
    “It's a fresh adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's classic story, re-imagined as a 1930's detective thriller, set in Boston,” Neary said. “All the horror survives intact.”
    Neary is excited to bring this to the Ring.
    “The Ring audiences have enthusiastically embraced my original work – ‘Moonglow,’ ‘The Stands,’ and ‘First Night’ – and I think they'll enjoy this excursion into yet another genre,” he said.
    The new year brings “As Small As Stars,” a new work inspired by “Peter Pan”, from the perspective of two parents dealing with the absence of their children.
    “The wonderful thing about the Ring’s patrons is that they are always onboard to take a journey into the unknown,” director Kelli Connors said. “My intention is that they experience hope – hope for humanity, and a little bit of faith in the intangible.”
    The year continues with “Whispering to Dostoevsky” another new play based on the life of the famous Russian novelist and the woman who saved his life, followed by “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City”, Rajiv Joseph’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries” and “The Wasp.” 
    “I am excited for the opportunity to present a straight-up thriller in that little room’” said director CJ Lewis. “The Wasp is a well-crafted two-person cat and mouse game with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you at the edge of your seat.”
     “A Man of No Importance” - a tender and uplifting musical by Terrence McNally – will conclude the Season. 
    “And this is only our Mainstage,” Giacobbi said. “Holiday productions, improv and comedy, children’s shows, and more will also be featured. Our theatre is evolving and we are keen to present diverse content to entertain, challenge and move as many and as different audience members as possible. We will also continue our New Play Development program with readings, discussions and the Dionysia Short Play Festival. This remains at the core of our mission.”
    The Players’ Ring offers reduced-rate subscription packages for the season, that include up to 30% on the price of individual tickets; free, unlimited ticket exchanges when conflicts arise; the best seats in the house can be reserved for subscribers; as well as invitations to open dress rehearsals and special events. For more information about subscriptions, visit www.playersring.org/subscriptions.
    Players’ Ring Theatre Mainstage Season 2024-25
    Sept. 6 - 22
    “Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike” 
    A Tony-winning wildly funny comedy, written by Christopher Durang and directed by Mathew Parent
    Oct. 4 - 20
    “Head, Heart, And Heather”
    A coming-of-age comedy, written by Emily Andrews and directed by Billy Butler
    Oct. 31 - Nov. 17
    “The Fall of the House of Usher”
    A horror thriller by Edgar Allan Poe, adapted and directed by Jack Neary
    Jan. 3 - 19
    “Whispering to Dostoevsky – A Love Story”
    A historical drama, written and directed by Richard McElvain
    A collaboration with Theatre Omnibus
    Jan. 31 - Feb. 16
    “As Small As Stars”
    A fantastical play, written by Will Murdock and directed by Kelli Leigh-Ann Connors
    Feb. 28 - March 16
    “Gruesome Playground Injuries”
    A darkly humorous drama, written by Rajiv Joseph and directed by Tyler Christie
    A collaboration with Bardo Theatre Company
    March 28 - April 14
    “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City)
    A dark, tender comedy, written by Halley Feiffer and directed by Maggie O’Neill
    May 2 – 18
    “The Wasp”
    A tense psychological thriller, written by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and directed by CJ Lewis
    May 30 - June 15
    “A Man of No Importance”
    A tender, Irish-inspired folk musical
    Book by Terrence McNally, Music by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens Directed by Ro Gavin
    A collaboration with RGC Theatre