Although all performances are currently suspended at the Straz Center, Jobsite is giving theatergoers a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. The theater recently announced its 2020-21 season schedule.
The independent, not-for-profit theater company is in residence at the Straz Center’s Shimberg Playhouse. Jobsite hopes to reschedule its run of “Doubt: A Parable” as soon as the Straz reopens. Those who have tickets to the show are asked to hold onto them until Jobsite is able to reschedule its performances.
The 2020-21 season will mark Jobsite’s 22nd year of producing shows for Tampa Bay area audiences.
“Our current season carries the tagline, ‘A great reckoning in a little room,’ and we’re building upon that guiding principle even further in the new season,” said David M. Jenkins. “We believe the 2020-21 lineup to be among our finest, most challenging, and most breathtaking collections. We're proud to offer a brand-new play by one of the nation's best and youngest new voices, a darkly delicious Halloween treat, our first Shakespeare history, one of the most iconic dystopias penned by the author himself, a hilariously creepy musical entertainment, and a gut-busting irreverent satire that was recently a hit on Broadway.”
The 2020-21 season focuses on several pieces of great literature adapted to the stage and also on the musical collaborations Jobsite has fostered over the past few years. Following is a look at the season’s scheduled shows:
- “Dr. Ride’s American Beach House”
- By Liza Birkenmeier
- Sept. 11-Oct. 4, with previews Sept. 9-10
It’s 1983 — the evening before Dr. Sally Ride’s historic space flight. A group of women friends gather on a sweltering St. Louis rooftop, each caught in their own failure-to-launch. This enticing juxtaposition thrusts the women into the space of their uncharted desires where they bump against American norms of sex and power in this intimate snapshot of queer anti-heroines.
- “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde”
- Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the novella “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Oct. 23-Nov. 15, with previews Oct. 21-22
On the fog-bound streets of Victorian-era London, Henry Jekyll’s experiments with exotic “powders and tinctures” have brought forth his other self: Edward Hyde, a sensualist and villain free to commit the sins Jekyll is too civilized to comprehend. When the dastardly Hyde meets a woman who stirs his interest, Jekyll fears for her life and decides to end his experiments — but Hyde has other ideas. The two sides battle each other in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse to determine who shall be the master and who his slave. This play presents a new and shocking version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of depravity, lust, love and horror.
- “Henry V”
- By William Shakespeare
- Jan. 15-Feb. 7, with previews Jan. 13-14
England’s in tumult and who ascends the throne but playboy prince Hal — an untested royal who spent his youth slumming around London. Now crowned King Henry V, he must win the respect of a nation and lead his country to greatness in an epic battle with archnemesis France. Henry gathers his troops and marches abroad only to find himself outmanned, outgunned and outmatched. In the face of death, Henry must also face himself. Can he become the king his country needs? In the annual season tradition, Jobsite reboots Shakespeare for modern times, taking Henry’s timeless tale and setting it to an original, blistering industrial score. High-def video transforms Shakespeare’s work into a modern, mesmerizing spectacle of tension, nationalism and excitement.
- “A Clockwork Orange: A Play with Music”
- By Anthony Burgess, adapted from his novel
- March 12-April 4, with previews March 10-11
Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange” lures audiences into a glass-edged, testosterone-filled underworld of a dystopian future. In 1962, the explosive tale of little Alex and his band of Droogs was a groundbreaking insta-classic teeming with sexuality and "a bit of the old ultra-violence." The story feels as hauntingly relevant today as when the book was published in 1962 and when Stanley Kubrick’s Oscar-nominated film caused a stir in 1971. “A Clockwork Orange” remains an unapologetic celebration of the human condition and individual freedoms.
- “Shockheaded Peter”
- Created for the stage by Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott, with original music by the Tiger Lillies; based on “Struwwelpeter” by Heinrich Hoffmann
- April 30-May 23, with previews April 28-29
A little bit Edward Gorey, a little bit “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Shockheaded Peter” is the phantasmagorical musical staging of Heinrich Hoffman’s dark, mildly terrifying 19th-century German children’s book “Struwwelpeter.” The show illuminates graphic cautionary tales about a cast of disobedient children like Young Harriett and her pyrotechnic tendencies, little Conrad and his insatiable thumb-sucking and a handful of other misbehaving youngsters who come to untimely and hilariously horrific ends. This production will be of a special, devilishly dark delight to fans of Jobsite’s much-beloved production of Gorey Stories.
- “Hand to God”
- By Robert Askins
- July 9-Aug. 1, previews July 7-8
Meek and mild Jason takes solace in the Christian Puppet Ministry after the death of his father. When his originally soft-spoken puppet Tyrone takes on a shocking personality then possesses his arm, Jason unwittingly throws the town of Cypress, Texas, into a tizzy. Jason’s complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door and — most especially — his mother weather further turbulence at the hands of Tyrone’s dangerously irreverent personality. “Hand to God” explores the fragile nature of faith, morality and the ties that bind us.
For information on season passes and single tickets, visit jobsitetheater.org.