Puppet show opens 2022-23 season of OKC Rep

Oklahoma City Repertory Theater Artistic Director (OKC Rep) Kelly Kerwin announced the new cast for the theater’s 2022-2023 season.

OKC Rep’s most ambitious season since the pandemic broke brings a cutting-edge and adventurous mix of five plays in partnership with Oklahoma Contemporary, including two touring presentations and three original productions never before produced in Oklahoma. The season begins with an innovative original puppetry show by Dorothy James & Andy Manjuck and continues with a trio of Oklahoma premieres by Lauren Yee, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Emily Zemba. The season also continues the partnership with The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival – an initiative to expand the reach of the premier festival of international and experimental work in the United States.

“For this season, I was looking for work that is joyfully defiant, theatrically bold, aesthetically bold, and all of the themes that resonate with Oklahoma City today,” Kerwin said. “We will open the season with ‘Bill’s 44th’, an intriguing and charming work of the original puppetry. We’re also producing three Oklahoma firsts: Lauren Yee’s high-energy political fable The Great Leap; Emily Zemba’s darkly absurd comedy Superstitions; and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s haunting and heartbreaking The Brother’s Size.

“We also continue our relationship with The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival; OKC Rep will present another powerful and exciting presentation, coming straight to Oklahoma City after the New York premiere.”

OKC Rep furthers its commitment to Oklahoma City’s cultural ecology by making theater accessible to everyone. The theater introduces tiered ticket pricing and a pay-what-you-can option.

“We will provide the highest quality theater to Oklahoma City citizens, but with fewer financial barriers. Theater should not be a luxury. It’s a necessary art form that gets us more in touch with our humanity,” Kerwin continued. “We will never stop trying to expand our viewer base to make every OKC Rep show look like Oklahoma City: diverse, friendly and up for anything.

“Throughout the season, people will notice the phrase THIS IS THEATER on many of our materials. OKC Rep is committed to expanding and expanding the definition of theater. These five productions and the artists behind them represent this idea. Theater is transdisciplinary, theater is rigorous storytelling, theater is inclusive, theater is absurd, theater is a catalyst for change, theater is thought-provoking, theater is your story, theater is our story, and sometimes theater is the story of a life-size puppet.”

Patrons who join OKC Rep’s donor clubs are instrumental in our efforts to produce the best theater at affordable prices. Donor clubs start at $100, and perks include invitations to happenings, ticket offers, and early access to opening seats and receptions. To find out how you can support OKC Rep by joining one of the donor clubs, visit okcrep.com/support or call (405) 768.2191.

Tickets for the fall shows in the 2022-23 season (Bill’s 44th; The Great Leap) are on sale now. The rest will be accessible throughout the season.

2022-2023 OKLAHOMA CITY REPERTORY THEATER SEASON:

REGIONAL PREMIERE

BILLS 44

By Dorothy James and Andy Manjuck

September 29 – October 1, 2022

Presented by OKC Rep in partnership with Oklahoma Contemporary

Te Ata Theater at the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

11 NW 11th St. | Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Tickets $20-$60 + pay-what-you-can options

The streamers are hung, the punch is spiked and the cake is crying out to be eaten! Now Bill just has to wait for his guests to arrive. Bill’s 44th is an original comedy show created and starred by Dorothy James and Andy Manjuck to create a very concerned leading man – Bill. Many styles of puppetry, noisy balloons and a cheeky slice of raw food come together to explore the pitfalls of impatience, the wonder of loneliness and the universal passage of time.

Bill’s 44th is a full length (55 minutes) wordless comedic puppet show performed with an original recorded score.

For more information about the content, please call 405.768.2191.

OKLAHOMA PREMIERE

THE BIG LEAP

Written by Lauren Yee

Directed by Jessica Holt

10th-20th November 2022

Presented by OKC Rep in partnership with Oklahoma Contemporary

Te Ata Theater at the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

11 NW 11th St. | Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Tickets $20-$60 + pay-what-you-can options

When an American basketball team travels to Beijing for a “friendship” in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution in the 1980s, both countries try to tease out the politics of this new popular sport. For two men with a past and a teenager with a future, the game is a chance to earn personal victories on and off the pitch. The tension builds until the final buzzer, when a pivotal moment in the story collides with the action in the arena. Fueled by fast-paced dialogue, this insightful new play explores cultural and cultural life, political risks, raising your voice and asserting yourself.

BELOW THE RADAR: ON THE ROAD*

* Presented in association with The Public Theater; in partnership with Oklahoma Contemporary

January 26-29, 2023

Te Ata Theater at the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

11 NW 11th St. | Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Tickets $20-$60 + pay-what-you-can options

REGIONAL PREMIERE

superstition

Written by Emily Zemba

Directed by Kelly Kerwin

February 21 – March 5, 2023

Presented by OKC Rep in partnership with Oklahoma Contemporary

Te Ata Theater at the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

11 NW 11th St. | Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Tickets $20-$60 + pay-what-you-can options

Tickets available fall 2022 | www.okcrep.org

A foreigner finds a penny on the ground. When he tries to offer it to a stranger, it sparks an absurd and frightening conversation about American “bad luck.” An unlikely group of strangers collide in this offbeat comedy about confronting personal and national horrors. Who knew the ridiculous could be so terrifying?

OKLAHOMA PREMIERE

THE GREATNESS OF THE BROTHERS

Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Announced to be addressed

April 25 – May 7, 2023

Presented by OKC Rep in partnership with Oklahoma Contemporary

Te Ata Theater at the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

11 NW 11th St. | Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Tickets $20-$60 + pay-what-you-can options

In the Louisiana Bayou, big brother Ogun Size is hardworking and consistent. Younger brother Oshoosi has just been released from prison and is aimless. Elegba, Oshoosis old prison mate, is a mysterious complication. Flights of poetry, music, dance and West African mythology combine in a contemporary story that explores the weakness of freedom and the need to belong somewhere, to something, to someone.

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