Gaslight Theatre Company will open its 15th season with the inaugural Playroom: Back Porch on July 20 at the East End Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The season also includes performances of A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Sunset Limited, and The Taming of the Shrew.
Gaslight Theatre Company, traditionally known for its unique use of venues and pop-up performance spaces, is continuing their tenancy in the East End Centre located on Heinz Road in Wilkes-Barre Township. Transforming the storefront into a fully-functioning performing arts space has allowed the Company to substantially grow.
“Last season was a huge undertaking and learning experience for our company, and the feedback and support we’ve received has been fantastic. We’re preparing to present our biggest season yet and can’t wait to get more audiences through our doors for all of the awesome events going on at our theatre and throughout East End Centre,” said incoming President Brandi George.
For the first time last season, Gaslight expanded its lineup to include four major productions, something the Company has repeated again for the 2017-18 season. Additionally, the Company has added a Staged Reading series, Improv Nights, and Trivia Nights to the mix with more events and pop-up uses for the space tentative.
“As a co-founding member of this company, it has been one of my dreams to not only have a venue to do works of theatre that fit our mission but to also have a collective space for local artists to share their talents. Gaslight is very excited to be moving forward with our mission of producing thought-provoking works for the whole family and returning to our roots of Shakespeare,” said Gaslight’s incoming Artistic Director Dave Reynolds.
Gaslight presents its sixth installment of the original one-act series, Playroom July 20-23 and 27-30, 2017. Created by playwright and former artistic director/board member Matthew S. Hinton, Playroom uses the same set design to inspire playwrights to craft individual one-acts around the same space, resulting in an evening of short-form theatre that quickly ebbs and flows through provoking and laugh-out-loud moments. This year, the Company moves to the Back Porch for seven captivating stories written by the region’s most talented playwrights, including Dane Bower, Emily Halbing, Matthew S. Hinton, Lori M. Myers, Michael Pavese, B. Garret Rogan, and Rachel Luann Strayer.
Following Playroom, Gaslight will present A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz Dec. 1-3 and 8-9, 2017. Presented as a live verbatim recreation of the television special from Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, A Charlie Brown Christmas follows Charlie as he attempts to overcome the materialism of the holiday season by directing a Christmas pageant. As his efforts to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas fir tree fails, he turns to his best friend Linus’ to discover the real meaning of Christmas.
In March, Gaslight presents The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy March 16-18 and 23-25, 2018. McCarthy’s second published play, The Sunset Limited takes place moments after Black, an ex-convict and Evangelic Christian, saves White, an atheist and professor, from jumping in front of the Sunset Limited passenger train that travels from New Orleans to Los Angeles. From Black’s apartment, the two discuss the meaning of human suffering, God’s existence, and White’s attempted suicide.
Returning to their roots of presenting classical and under produced works, Gaslight will wrap its 15th season with The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare June 1-3 and 8-9, 2018. Shrew follows the courtship of Petruchio and Katharina and his subsequent attempt to tame her headstrong attitude into that of an obedient wife.
Tickets for all four mainstage productions will go on sale in July and can be purchased online at www.ticketfly.com. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students/seniors. Seating is general admission and limited so advanced purchases are highly recommended.