Dear Friend,

Welcome to Season 51 at Center Stage. This year, it’s all about the heart.

With a roster of remarkable theater artists and stunning stories, it’s a season of uproarious comedy, breathtaking music, gorgeous poetry, and unexpected adventures.

Each of these plays says something fundamental about what it means to be human; about what it means to feel. To love, to laugh, to think and to ponder, to long for something or someone, to risk an adventure not knowing where you’ll end up. They are beautifully crafted plays, each with a daring and thoughtful take on matters of the spirit.

As we explore the themes and conversations of each show, we will cultivate Pinterest boards to give you a chance to explore our thought process. Click the buttons below each show to view some images and videos associated with each show, and help get a feeling for what we’re going to bring you next year.

Want to join us on this adventure? Membership is the best way to do it. Not only do Members receive the best seats at the best prices, but they serve as the very foundation that allows this theater to thrive. Won’t you join us?

Warmly,

Kwame Kwei-Armah
Artistic Director

 





"Crackers is pure pleasure!"—Time Out Chicago

The toe-tapping, knee-slapping Marx Brothers classic gets a zany new revival in this gem of American musical comedy. The society party of the season has landed at the Rittenhouse estate, but the disappearance of a valuable painting threatens to spoil the affair. Thankfully, Captain Spaulding is on the case! Or is he? Filled with secret identities, love affairs, and stolen art, Animal Crackers proves the comedy genius of the Marx Brothers is as spot on as ever.
Animal Crackers


"The richness of [Gardley’s] language… brings to mind the work of August Wilson."—The New York Times

Oscar Clifton is a blues man living through his memories of the past, until his estranged grandson Marcus pays a visit. Together, they confront a history of loves, regrets, and missed opportunities. This acclaimed play by Marcus Gardley is a poetic family drama set in the key of blues—a memory-scape skipping seamlessly across the decades.
dance of the holy ghosts


"When the actors’ voices rise together in song… there arises from the dark history being told an ineffable sense of wonder at the survival of faith and humanity even in hearts ravaged by loss."—The New York Times

"It’s hard not to be touched by the plain beauty."—New York Post

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel spins a musical tale of hope and forgiveness. It’s a bitterly cold Christmas Eve in 1864 and all along the Potomac, from the White House to the battlefields, friends and foes alike find their lives strangely and poetically intertwined. Weaving together carols, hymns, and folk songs, this “beautifully stitched tapestry of American lives” (The New York Times) is sure to become a new holiday classic for the entire family.
A Civil War Christmas


"The evening moves with infectious gusto from the second it begins."—The New York Daily News

"It is sheer, nutty, rarefied fun… worth a leprechaun's ransom."—New York Post

When a big Hollywood film crew takes over a small Irish town, the locals line up to earn their “40-quid-a-day” as extras—and maybe pursue some dreams of their own. Charlie wants to write a blockbuster screenplay, while Jake would settle for a date with the lovely leading lady. Where they and their neighbors end up ultimately surprises them all. An “uproarious, joyful evening” (New York Daily News) with two actors playing more than a dozen characters, Stones is an acting tour de force both rollicking and poignant.
Stones in His Pockets


"Twelfth Night is a perennial favorite […] with its multifaceted plot mixing sweetness, sadness and silliness."—The New York Times

Revelry, disguises, swashbuckling, and (of course) pining lovers abound in what some call Shakespeare’s most perfect comedy. Twins Viola and Sebastian, separated in a shipwreck and presuming each other dead, wash ashore in the beautiful but mysterious land of Illyria. A tale of mistaken identity and mismatched ardor unfurls as lords and ladies, servants and masters wind a topsy-turvy path to happiness.
Twelfth Night


"Deliriously funny! Comic acting raised to the level of high art.”—The New York Times 

Vanya and his sister Sonia have frittered their lives away living in the same farmhouse where they were raised. When their quiet existence is rocked by the arrival of their glamorous movie star sister Masha and her hunky boy toy, Spike, a lifetime of sibling rivalry explodes into a weekend of comedic pyrotechnics. Hailed as “a sublime state of hilarity” (New York Magazine), acclaimed playwright Christopher Durang weaves together Chekhovian themes and modern wit in this Tony award-winning new comedy.


"Absurdly amusing."—Variety

"[Domingo is] extravagantly talented."— Entertainment Weekly

Grief is a funny thing. Gil’s boyfriend has left him, his acting career isn’t exactly taking off, and his mother just passed away. He’s not taking it all very well. But luckily his boisterous Aunt Glo, a sensitive funeral director, and his outrageous best friend may be exactly what he needs. Colman Domingo’s new comedy, a recent smash hit at New York’s Public Theater, is a wild ride through love, loss, and, just maybe, The Most Magical Place on Earth.
Wild With Happy