Urbanite Theatre will continue to bring unique theatrical art to its downtown Sarasota stage this upcoming season. Here’s a look at the 2018-2019 season, which starts with two summer shows.
By Nick Payne
Directed by Daniel Kelly
June 8 to July 8, 2018
This regional premiere asks its audience one main question: Are we born with an inherent personality, or are we an assemblage of our thoughts and recollections? This series of enigmatic and heartwarming tales are interwoven with the themes of neuroscience and amnesia — and even the theft of Albert Einstein’s brain — to investigate the nature of identity.
By Will Eno
Directed by Brendan Ragan
Aug. 3 to Sept. 10, 2018
In the second regional premiere of the season, audiences are tasked with confronting the uncomfortable certitude of death. As his clock winds down, Obie-award-winning playwright Will Eno decides to celebrate life’s joys with an inspiring mix of gratitude, foolery and comedy. Guest artist James FitzGerald will star in this mostly one-person esoteric meditation on life and humanity in the face of impending death.
Urbanite Modern Works Festival
An Exploration of New Plays by Female Writers
Presented by Summer Wallace
Oct. 2 to 14, 2018
This limited engagement is a new play contest exclusively for female and non-binary playwrights. The festival will be a collection of staged readings comprised of the highest-rated scripts submitted to the Urbanite team, and at its conclusion, one writer will win an honorarium for her new work. Plays will be graded on established, public parameters. Urbanite will bring four finalist playwrights to Sarasota to workshop their plays in preparation for the festival, which will award its winning playwright with $5,000. Audience members who watch each of the four finalist pieces will be invited to help elect the winner.
A regional premiere of a new work by a female writer to be announced this summer.
Nov. 9 to Dec. 16, 2018
By Henry Naylor
Jan. 11 to Feb. 17, 2019
This third regional premiere of the season is a return to playwright Henry Naylor’s Arabian Nightmares series following Urbanite’s run of “Echoes” at the end of 2017. The story follows Rehana, a Northern Syria girl who just wants to go to school. However, that is no easy task once ISIS starts threatening her rural town and her father becomes more concerned with her learning to shoot a rifle. Inspired by the true story of a fabled Kurdish sniper, this arresting one-woman drama shows one pacifist teenager’s transformation into the legendary, deadly Angel of Kobane. This production signals Urbanite’s endeavor to become the first American theater to present Naylor’s entire tetralogy, with plans for “The Collector” and “Borders” to run in future seasons.
“In A Word”
By Lauren Yee
March 8 to April 14, 2019
Fiona still hasn’t stopped looking for her son two years after his impenetrable disappearance. Grief and comedy come together as this mother dives back into her memories of that calamitous day to expose a crucial missing piece of the mystery. In this innovative and delicate look at the past, Fiona finds that mundane expressions have taken on grave new meanings. Co-Artistic Director Summer Wallace will act in the lead role of this multi award-winning work.