It’s been a big week for music and theatre lineup announcements with the Walmart AMP, Fayetteville Roots Festival, Walton Arts Center, and others announcing their upcoming shows. Not to be outdone, TheatreSquared has now unveiled the 2022-23 season lineup.
T2 officials this week announced eight shows plus another installment of their Arkansas New Play Festival for the upcoming season, including It Came From Outer Space, Detroit ’67, Stones in His Pockets, A Christmas Carol, Poor Yella Rednecks, Sanctuary City, Chicken & Biscuits, and Pick Violet.
After a couple of challenging years for the entertainment industry due to the pandemic, T2 officials were understandably excited about the possibilities ahead.
“What does joy really feel like?” said TheatreSquared artistic director Robert Ford. “It’s hard to describe. But as we roll out the new season, there’s one thing we can say — you’re about to see a whole lot of it on our stages.”
The season will open on Aug. 24 with a world-premier of the new musical, It Came From Outer Space, and will continue with new shows about every 5-6 weeks through the Pick Violet performances finishing up the season in July 2023.
“We’ve read through hundreds of scripts and talked with our most trusted collaborators in the national artistic community,” said T2 executive director Martin Miller. “And now, we have a slate of eight shows that we absolutely love. And we think our audiences will, too.”
Season subscribers get the first opportunity to book seats before single tickets go on sale this summer. Subscribers can choose seven play packages starting at $105, and four- or five- play packages starting at $72.
Single tickets will go on sale July 1 and will range from $18-$54. At every performance, $1 tickets are available to SNAP benefit recipients as well as $10 tickets for youth, and free tickets are available for clients of more than 30 local community service organizations. Parking add-ons, and other options are also available.
Brief descriptions of the shows in the upcoming season provided by T2 are below.
For more information about ticketing options, or to purchase season passes, visit theatre2.org.
TheatreSquared’s 2022-23 Season
Show descriptions provided by TheatreSquared
The season opens with an “out of this world” premiere—It Came From Outer Space, adapted from the cult favorite ‘50s sci-fi film by Joe Kinoisian and Kellen Blair, the writing duo behind T2’s smash hit, Murder for Two. When an astronomer encounters a spaceship in the desert, everyone just laughs—until some townspeople start acting very strange. Are the aliens here to conquer the Earth? Or… do they come in peace? Full of raucous music, over-the-top comedy, and virtuosic performances, It Came from Outer Space is a co-production premiere with the Tony Award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Performances will run from August 24-September 18, 2022.
October brings the Motown music-filled Detroit ’67 by MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Dominique Morisseau. In 1967 Detroit, Motown music is getting the party started, and Chelle and her brother Lank are making ends meet by turning their basement into an after-hours joint. But when a mysterious woman finds her way into their lives, the siblings clash over much more than the family business. “Crackling with humor. Fire up some Motown, get those hips moving and everything will work out fine!” wrote The New York Times of the play’s debut. Winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, Detroit ‘67 will run from October 12-November 6, 2022.
Next up is Marie Jones’ Stones in His Pockets, an Olivier Award-winner for Best New Comedy in which two talented actors virtuosically portray more than a dozen roles. Hollywood comes to rural Ireland when Charlie and Jake are hired as extras in an epic American movie, but when a famous actress takes a shine to Charlie—and tragedy strikes—chaos ensues. The Associated Press called Stones in His Pockets “inventive and riotously funny” while The Daily Mail called it “an unalloyed source of joy, laughter, tears and delight.” This show will run from November 9-December 18, 2022.
A new Northwest Arkansas holiday traditions returns to TheatreSquared’s West Theatre with A Christmas Carol, adapted by T2’s own Amy Herzberg & Robert Ford from the novel by Charles Dickens, in December. In the inventive, magic-filled T2 original, three spirits come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and take him on a fantastic journey through past, present, and future. But will it be enough to save him? For all ages. This ghost story of Christmas will run from December 1-December 24, 2022.
Qui Nguyen’s raucous comedy Vietgone thrilled audiences in T2’s 2017-2018 season and, now, with Poor Yella Rednecks, Nguyen continues the story in this sequel about an immigrant family’s bumpy road to the American dream. Filled with infectious music and unexpected humor, this brand-new play is a co-production with Chicago’s Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theatre. The Los Angeles Times writes, “A genuine love story with unstoppable comic verve, filled with music, humor, rap, puppetry and—heck, why not?—martial arts.” Nguyen is an Arkansas native, Emmy Award winner and co-writer of the currently Academy Award-nominated Best Animated Feature, Raya and the Last Dragon. On stage January 25-February 19, 2023.
In Sanctuary City, a New York Times Critics’ Pick and “Best Theatre of 2021” selection, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Martyna Majok tells the remarkable story of two teenagers struggling “with two kinds of unreciprocated love: the kind they feel for each other and the kind they feel for their country.” The Times writes: “Trenchant, gleeful, disorienting, Sanctuary City snaps with surprises, incandescence and rage.” T2’s production is on stage March 1-April 9, 2023.
Douglas Lyons’ Chicken & Biscuits was on Broadway just three months ago, where Variety called it “fresh, relatable and laugh-out-loud funny.” Rival sisters, Baneatta and Beverly, are trying to bury their father—without killing each other first. When a family secret is revealed at the church altar, things go from bad to bonkers. With fast-paced jokes that will have audiences rolling in the aisles—and Dad turning over in his grave—this dysfunctional family comedy is even more satisfying than its namesake. The New York Stage Review wrote, “The church bells are chiming. Heed the call and go straight to Chicken & Biscuits.” April 19, 2023-May 14, 2023.
The New York Times Critics’ Pick Violet, by Brian Crawley and Jeanine Tesori (composer of Fun Home), closes out the 2022/23 subscription season from June 7-July 2, 2023. When Violet hops onto a Greyhound bus traveling across Arkansas towards a miracle in Tulsa, it turns into the journey of a lifetime. Winner of Lucille Lortel, Obie and Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, The New York Times called the show “a terrific, heart-stirring musical with tangy flavors of country, gospel, blues and honky-tonk rock.”
Also in June, the state’s flagship celebration of bold new plays will take the stage with the 2023 Arkansas New Play Festival, including two weekends of performances at the region’s most adventurous venues—TheatreSquared and The Momentary. Featuring local craft beers and a host of behind-the-scenes events, the festival is Northwest Arkansas’s chance to help build a new play from the ground up.