Announcing our 17th Season

RIOT ACT, INC. announces its 17th Season

Riot Act, Inc. is thrilled to announce its 2019/2020 production schedule bringing drama, comedy and our annual series of shorts back to Jackson stages for the theater company’s 17th season.  With our new home in The Center, we are excited to add a few extra programs to our season.

The season kicks off in the autumn of 2019 with Skin A Cat by Isley Lynn.  Performances will run in Sept. 2019 in our new space at The Center, room 305.

Every teenager thinks they’re the only one not having sex. But for Alana, it may well be true. Every time she gets close to doing it, something just seems to get in the way… Soon she can’t help wondering: Is it this tricky for everyone else? Because no one ever said it was going to be this complicated. With a kaleidoscope of off-kilter characters, SKIN A CAT follows Alana on an awkward sexual odyssey: from getting her first period at nine years old and freaking out her frantic mother, to watching bad porn at a house party with her best friend’s boyfriend, to a painful examination by an overly cheery gynecologist—all in the pursuit of losing her virginity and finally becoming a woman. Whatever that means… ~ Dramatist Play Service

Next up, Riot Act brings the drama, Closer by Patrick Marber to life.  The performances will run November 2019 in our new space at The Center, room 305.

1998 Olivier Award for Best New Play

Dan rescues Alice. Anna photographs Dan. Larry meets Anna online. Alice rescues Larry. This is London at the end of the twentieth century where lives collide and fates change in an instant.  Strangers become lovers and lovers become strangers … On its premiere in 1997, Closer won Olivier, Evening Standard and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards. Since then, the play has been produced in more than 200 cities across the world.  ~ Samuel French

Join us in January 2020 for an exciting reading and discussion of The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

As portrayed in Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, Penelope – wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy – has become a symbol of wifely duty and devotion, enduring twenty years of waiting when her husband goes to fight in the Trojan War. As she fends off the attentions of a hundred greedy suitors, travelling minstrels regale her with news of Odysseus’ epic adventures around the Mediterranean – slaying monsters and grappling with amorous goddesses. When Odysseus finally comes home, he kills her suitors and then, in an act that served as little more than a footnote in Homer’s original story, ruthlessly hangs Penelope’s twelve maids. ~ Good Reads

Our big production of the season will be the comedy Noises Off by Michael Frayn.  The production will run the end of February and/or beginning of March 2020.

Winner! 1982 Olivier Award, Best Play
Winner! 1982 London Evening Standard Award, Best Comedy
Nominee! 1984 Tony® Award, Best Play
Nominee! 1984 Drama Desk Award, Best Play

Michael Frayn’s Noises Off takes a fond look at the follies of theatre folk, whose susceptibility to out-of-control egos, memory loss, and passionate affairs turn every performance into a high-risk adventure. This play-within-a-play captures a touring theatre troupe’s production of Nothing On in three stages: dress rehearsal, the opening performance, and a performance towards the end of a debilitating run. Frayne gives us a window into the inner workings of theatre behind the scenes, progressing from flubbed lines and missed cues in the dress rehearsal to mounting friction between cast members in the final performance. Brimming with slapstick comedy, Noises Off is a delightful backstage farce, complete with slamming doors, falling trousers, and — of course — flying sardines! ~Stage Agent

The final full-length production will be The Revisionist by Jesse Eisenberg, running in April or May 2020 in our new home at The Center.  

In The Revisionist, young writer David arrives in Poland with a crippling case of writer’s block and a desire to be left alone. His seventy-five-year-old second cousin Maria welcomes him with a fervent need to connect with her distant American family. As their relationship develops, she reveals details about her postwar past that test their ideas of what it means to be a family. ~ Good Reads

Finally, Riot Act will close the season with its longstanding and popular series of Short Plays and our seventh annual New Play Festival. Always a community favorite, Shorts offers a sort of theatrical hors d’oeuvre for artists and audiences with multiple one-act plays sharing the bill. In the past, Riot Act has produced not only well-known plays, but several original works by local playwrights, all while providing new actors and directors a chance to stretch their creative legs.  In the 2013/14 season the New Play Festival was introduced as a way for playwrights to submit work and get it produced. Shorts is scheduled for June 2020.

Riot Act was founded in 2002 to provide opportunities for local actors, directors, designers and playwrights to bring innovative, thought-provoking, challenging theater to the Jackson stage. Riot Act will continue to collaborate with dancers, musicians, videographers, visual artists, and other local non-profits to create great stories for our adventurous audience. Please join us at the performances!  For more information, contact us at riotactinc@earthlink.net, or www.riotactinc.org