PCPA heralds in its 52nd season with the brand new Broadway adaptation of the classic musical, Cinderella, running November 12 through December 23 in the Marian Theatre. This contemporary take on the timeless fairytale features Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” alongside a hilarious and romantic new book by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane, introducing some new characters and surprising twists.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s hilarious musical farce, The Pirates of Penzance, sails on stage in Santa Maria from February 11 – March 6. Young Frederic must endure sentimental pirates, bumbling bobbies, and an eccentric Major-General, while in pursuit of his love Mabel. A delightful dilemma ensues when the Pirate King discovers that Major-General Stanley, to preserve his belongings and protect his bevy of beautiful daughters, has lied about being an orphan. The resulting “ingenious paradox” may prevent Frederic and Mabel’s budding romance and lead to the death of “the very model of a modern Major-General.”

Among the most important American dramas of the 20th century, Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie plays in Santa Maria March 3 – 20, then opens the summer in the beautiful Solvang Festival Theater, June 16 – 26. Amanda Wingfield, a faded remnant of Southern gentility, lives in a dingy St. Louis apartment – abandoned by her husband – and prefers the memory of her earlier and more gracious life when she was pursued by gentlemen callers. Her son Tom longs to escape from his mother’s suffocating embrace while Amanda’s shy and crippled daughter tends to her glass menagerie. Williams’ poetic drama of internal and familial conflict is a masterpiece of deep tenderness and fragile beauty.

Tilting and plunging onto the stage April 21 – May 8 is Richard III, William Shakespeare’s stunning portrait of Machiavellian genius and the murderous quest for absolute power. England’s civil Wars of the Roses is replaced by a period of promised peace, but the cunning Richard, Duke of Glocester, plans to take the throne following the death of his newly crowned brother Edward IV, by seduction, betrayal, or any means necessary. Twisted inside and out by bitter discontent and determined to remove any impediment to the crown, Richard hurtles down a path of moral demise and military destruction, setting the stage for a new hero to rescue England and a new house to reign.

Based on the Oscar-winning animation film, Shrek The Musical is the Tony Award-winning fairytale adventure playing in the Marian Theatre June 22 – 25 then June 30 through July 31 in the Solvang Festival Theater. An unlikely hero, Shrek finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside the wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Featuring fantastic songs from Jeanine Tesori and a sidesplitting script by David Lindsay-Abaire, Shrek The Musical brings the beloved characters you know from the film to life on their way to discovering the big bright beautiful world at the end of this fabulously fresh fairytale. Shrek The Musical is irreverent fun for the whole family and proves that beauty is truly in the eye of the ogre.

Jane Austen’s timeless novel, Sense and Sensibility, swirls to the stage in a new adaptation by Joe Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan July 21 – 30 in the Marian Theatre and August 5 – 21 in the Solvang Festival Theater. The story unfolds in romantic Regency England following the death of Mr. Dashwood, whose inheritance has gone to his son but whose greedy wife convinces him he doesn’t need to honor his father’s wish that he care for his step-mother and half-sisters. As the mourning Dashwood ladies take refuge in a cousin’s cottage, daughters Elinor and Marianne, who have very different sensibilities about life and love, find that their lack of fortune and complicated romantic attachments puts a strain on their marriageability. Austin spins the perfect mix of humor, romance, and happy endings.

Exhilarating dance to a hip and joyful score propel the new musical In the Heights, Broadway’s Tony winner for Best Musical, which plays in the Marian Theatre August 11 – 20 then under the stars in Solvang August 26 – September 11. Set in New York City’s vibrant Washington Heights, where the coffee from the corner shop is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, and full of hopes and dreams, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind. The groundbreaking music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegría Hudes tell the universal story of chasing your dreams and finding your true home.

Playing in rotating repertory in the Severson Theatre September 8 – 25 are two thought-provoking dramas.
Gidion’s Knot by Johnna Adams is about a grieving mother and an emotionally overwhelmed teacher struggling with the tragic suicide of the mother’s son Gidion. As the two try to reconcile the tragedy we are unsure if the victim may have been bullied severely, or, if he may have been the abuser. Audiences will be hanging on to every plot twist.
Trying by Joanna McClelland Glass explores the relationship between a cantankerous elderly judge in the last year of his life and his young Canadian secretary. The story is drawn from the playwright’s personal experience working for Judge Francis Biddle, who had been U.S. Attorney General under Roosevelt and was named by President Truman as Chief Judge of the American Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Trying is filled with wit and poignancy as two opposites are trying to understand each other.

Single tickets for PCPA’s 52nd season go on sale early October.

Cinderella
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
New book by Douglas Carter Bean
Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II
Marian Theatre November 12 – December 23, 2015
The Pirates of Penzance
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Marian Theatre February 11 – March 6, 2016
The Glass Menagerie
By Tennessee Williams
Severson Theatre March 3 – 20, 2016
Solvang Festival Theater June 16 – 26, 2016
Richard III
By William Shakespeare
Marian Theatre April 21 – May 8, 2016
Shrek the Musical
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire
Marian Theatre June 22 – 25, 2016
Solvang Festival Theater Jun 30 – July 31, 2016
Sense and Sensibility
Adapted from Jane Austen
By Joe Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan
Marian Theatre July 21 – 30, 2016
Solvang Festival Theater August 5 – 21, 2016
In the Heights
Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Marian Theatre August 11 – 20, 2016
Solvang Festival Theater August 26 – September 11, 2016
Rotating Repertory
Trying
By Joanna McClelland Glass
Severson Theatre September 8 – 25, 2016
Gidion’s Knot
By Johnna Adams
(Adult Language/Mature Themes)
Severson Theatre September 9 – 24, 2016