NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The NOLA Project, an ensemble-based theatre company focused on presenting new and classic works of theatre often with large casts in unique and immersive settings throughout the city of New Orleans, announces its 15th Anniversary Season: This Way to Adventure. For its 15th Season, the company will present four exciting and provocative plays, three of which are world premieres. Artistic Director A.J. Allegra says, “Our company motto, ‘Theatre for the Bold’, really led me to seek out stories surrounding bold characters committing acts of bravery. Our current political and artistic climates are full of tumult and great change at present, and I think that bravery is a necessary quality to see enacted on our stages. And so the four stories of our season are rife with adventurous and brave heroes, from Isabella in MEASURE FOR MEASURE to Harriet Tubman in HARRY AND THE THIEF to Jim and Ruth Hawkins in our new adaptation of TREASURE ISLAND. I’m extremely proud to reach this 15-year milestone of providing New Orleans audiences with unique and engaging theatre performed and created by our incredibly talented ensemble of New Orleans artists.”
The season will open with a brand-new, modern-verse translation of William Shakespeare’s MEASURE FOR MEASURE by playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil. This world-premiere adaptation was commissioned as part of Play On Shakespeare, an initiative by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to commission 36 modern American playwrights – over half of which are women and people of color – to “translate” Shakespeare’s works into contemporary modern English to celebrate the enduring impact of the Bard’s plays. These commissions challenge the playwrights to bring the same level of dramatic pressure and rigor of language to their work as is present in the originals, deepening our understanding and engagement with Shakespeare. The NOLA Project is excited to present the very first production of Play On’s MEASURE FOR MEASURE by Aditi Brennan Kapil, a nationally produced female playwright of Bulgarian and Indian descent. The production, directed by The NOLA Project ensemble member Mark Routhier, will be uniquely staged in the Great Hall of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and runs Sept. 10-29.
Next up is a brand-new script by NOLA Project favorite scribe Pete McElligott. McElligott (ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, DON QUIXOTE, THE THREE MUSKETEERS) will adapt Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as a new outdoor production that is part Sleepy Hollow and part The Play That Goes Wrong. In the show, a modern American ensemble theatre company, not unlike The NOLA Project, is attempting to stage Sleepy Hollow as an immersive outdoor show – the only problem is that a majority of the cast and crew have been losing their heads, literally. This Halloween-timed world premiere is a darkly funny story of a group of artists determined that “the show must go on” at any cost. THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW is directed by TNP ensemble member Leslie Claverie and will perform in NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden from Oct. 16 – Nov. 10.
In January 2020, The NOLA Project is proud to present the regional premiere of playwright Sigrid Gilmer’s dark comedy HARRY AND THE THIEF. Science Fiction, Historical Drama, and Comedic Farce are thrown into a genre blender in this provocative and hilarious play. Mimi’s cousin Jeremy has a PhD in physics, a brand-new time machine and a plan: He’s sending Mimi, a professional thief, back to 1863 to alter history by providing Harriet Tubman with modern-day guns. Lots and lots of guns. Gilmer describes her own work as “black comedies that are historically bent, totally perverse, joyfully irreverent and concerned with issues of identity, pop culture and contemporary American society.” HARRY AND THE THIEF is a perfect encapsulation of all of this. The production is directed by TNP ensemble member Khiry Armstead and will play a limited run at New Orleans’ Contemporary Arts Center from Jan. 16-26, 2020.
The season concludes in a big way with a wildly imaginative new adaptation of TREASURE ISLAND written by a trio of NOLA Project founders: A.J. Allegra, James Bartelle, and Alex Martinez Wallace. In the new adaptation, Jim Hawkins and his mother Ruth discover a map to buried treasure and disguise themselves as sailors aboard a ship bound for the West Indies to retrieve it. But plans go awry when a questionable sea cook and a crew of marauding female pirates take over the ship. This 21st-century adaptation is full of all the swashbuckling antics of the classic tale, but updated for a more-inclusive cast representative of our diverse modernday population. The world-premiere production will be excitingly staged on the brand-new seaside amphitheater within the newly expanded Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA. The production is directed by TNP ensemble member Beau Bratcher and will perform May 6-24, 2020.
Tickets, season subscriptions, and further information are available on The NOLA Project’s website, NOLAProject.com, now or by calling the box office at 504.302.9117.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE by William Shakespeare, translated by Aditi Brennan Kapil
Directed by Mark Routhier in NOMA’s Great Hall Sept. 10-29.
THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by Pete McElligott
Directed by Leslie Claverie in NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden Oct. 16-Nov. 10
HARRY AND THE THIEF by Sigrid Gilmer
Directed by Khiry Armstead at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans Jan. 16-26, 2020
TREASURE ISLAND adapted by A.J. Allegra, James Bartelle, and Alex Martinez Wallace
Directed by Beau Bratcher in NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden May 6-24, 2020
Tickets, subscriptions, and information at NOLAProject.com