Timely Christopher Durang play to premiere at McCarter next year



Christopher Durang, who premiered his Tony-winning comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” at the McCarter Theatre Center in 2012, will launch another new work there next year, as part of the Princeton theater’s 2017-18 season.

“Turning off the Morning News,” which will run in May and June 2018, is described on the theater’s web site as a “black comedy (that) exposes the mayhem of contemporary family life in a time of alternative facts, nonstop streaming news, and social media saturation.”

The play features “characters can’t really bear the news anymore, and it’s all about each individual’s response to what is going on in the world today,” says McCarter’s artistic director, Emily Mann, in a video promoting the new season. (see below).

The season will feature three plays in the McCarter’s Matthews Theatre, and three in the smaller Berlind Theatre. Here’s a rundown:

Sept. 8-Oct. 8: “Simpatico.” The 1993 Sam Shepard play, produced in collaboration with the Chicago company, A Red Orchid Theatre. Tony- and Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon will star. (Berlind)

Oct. 10-29: “A Night With Janis Joplin.” The jukebox musical that ran on Broadway in 2013 and 2014. (Matthews)

Dec. 5-31: “A Christmas Carol.” A McCarter tradition. (Matthews)

Jan. 12-Feb. 11: “Stones in His Pocket.” Irish playwright Marie Jones’ comedy about two Irishmen working as extras in an American movie being made in their hometown. (Berlind)

March 13-April 1: “Crowns.” This gospel musical, based on the best-selling book of the same name, debuted at the McCarter in 2002, and playwright and original director Regina Taylor will return to direct this 15th Anniversary production. (Matthews)

May 4-June 3 2018: “Turning off the Morning News.” (Berlind).

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