Audience sizes will be roughly one fourth of what the Aurora Fox’s mainstage auditorium could normally hold
The Aurora Fox Arts Center has announced a plan for a truncated season’s worth of live theatre. Consisting entirely of shows that feature small casts of six or fewer actors, the Aurora Fox’s 36th season will include Cameron Mackintosh’s musical revue, Tomfoolery, Langston Hughes’ holiday song-play, Black Nativity; The Pavilion by Craig Wright; Queens Girl in the World by Caleen Sinnette Jennings; and a contemporary reboot of a Lewis Carroll classic, Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure, by Rachel Rockwell and Michael Mahler.
“Our entire industry has suffered greatly, in Colorado and beyond,” said Aurora Fox Executive Producer, Helen R. Murray. “In a year when so many other outstanding theatre companies have had to make the heartbreaking decision to keep their doors closed, we feel incredibly fortunate to have found a way to bring live entertainment back to Colorado audiences. We will be overjoyed when our beloved colleague theaters can all reopen once again.”
Murray said audiences should not expect a return to theatre-going as they have known it in seasons past. In addition to solo shows and small casts chosen specifically so that the actors can safely practice social distancing during rehearsal and performances, the audience sizes will be roughly one fourth of what the Aurora Fox’s mainstage auditorium could normally hold. New ticketing and reservation software will ensure that groups are able to purchase tickets that keep each party the recommended six feet apart, and a full 20 feet from the performers. Because seating will be so limited, season tickets are strongly recommended for anyone who’s ready to get back to the theatre.
The Aurora Fox’s 36th season will kick off with Tomfoolery, “a witty, wicked and thoroughly twisted musical glimpse into the world and mind of famed satirical songwriter, Tom Lehrer.”
Tomfoolery will be followed by the season’s holiday show, Black Nativity, a retelling of the Christmas story from an Afro-centric perspective by Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes.
“Black Nativity explores the depths of cultural identity, pride and the unity within the African-American community. The piece is infused with rich, moving music that uses the sounds, energy and enthusiasm of gospel, blues, jazz and funk music to tell the Nativity story, creating a holiday show that people of all races and backgrounds can enjoy.”
Though normally produced with a full gospel choir, the Aurora Fox’s production of this show has been reimagined for an intimate cast of only six performers.
The first show of 2021 is The Pavilion, by Craig Wright. In it, former high school sweethearts, Peter and Kari, reconnect at their high school reunion. After 20 years’ worth of failed relationships, Peter attends the reunion hoping to rekindle his romance with Kari, whom he abandoned after an unplanned pregnancy. But as the night progresses and the pair strolls down Memory Lane, they both face the consequences of choices made long ago, and the daunting prospect of starting over, again.
The final two shows of Season 36, Queens Girl in the World by Caleen Sinnette Jennings and Wonderland: Alice’s Rock and Roll Adventure by Rachel Rockwell and Michael Mahler, are both Colorado premieres.
Queens Girl in the World is “a fish-out-of-water story about the misadventures of bright-eyed, brown-skinned Jacqueline Marie Butler in 1950’s New York.” One actor will play Jaqueline and a dozen other characters in the tale of a young woman’s journey through awkward adolescence, to a time of self-discovery at the onset of the Civil Rights movement.
The final show of 2020-2021 will feature the largest company of the Aurora Fox’s 36th season. In Wonderland: Alice’s Rock and Roll Adventure, a still-small, but full cast of actor-musicians will play live music to underscore Alice’s legendary leap through the looking glass with an eclectic soundtrack ranging from classic rock and punk, to ska and even a little bit of Bollywood.
“Theatre meets a full-out rock concert as Alice embarks upon a journey to find herself. Along the way she’ll face fears, overcome challenges, and ultimately take on an insidious monster known as The Jabberwocky, made up of the dark thoughts and self-doubts that lurk inside each and every one of us. Alice will bid farewell to insecurity, and discover her own unique voice on the adventure of lifetime that’s perfect for the whole family.”
In addition to the six mainstage productions in Season 36, the Aurora Fox will continue its cabaret series in the form of virtual performances produced and recorded in the Fox’s Studio Theatre.
“The theatre has always been a gathering place for people and storytellers,” says Murray. “It is my desperate hope that when we do gather, again, whether it’s in a small, socially distanced audience here at the Fox, or it’s at home with our families watching a streamed performance from the Fox, these magical theatrical moments will bond us to one another in a way that makes us see, clearly, each other’s incredible worth.”
For more information on the Aurora Fox’s 36th season, including new safety protocols and information on special season ticket packages that will ensure your spot in these limited audiences, visit AuroraFox.org.
September 18 – October 11, 2020
November 27 – December 20, 2020
January 29 – February 21, 2021
QUEENS GIRL IN THE WORLD
March 12 – April 4, 2021
WONDERLAND: ALICE’S ROCK AND ROLL ADVENTURE
April 23 – May 16, 2021
Other ancillary programming includes:
- Studio Cabarets
- New Year’s Cabaret
- The Voices Project- A limited, serial video podcast hosted by GerRee Hinshaw & Helen R. Murray featuring artists and theatre makers from diverse backgrounds
- Athena Project Play Festival
- Annual Gala
- Little Foxes Summer Theatre