Palm Beach Dramaworks
Palm Beach Dramaworks Delays Start of 2021-2022 Season
New Opening Date set for December 3
Company will Perform Full Slate of Five Plays
(West Palm Beach, Fla.)- August 31, 2021-Out of an abundance of caution and a commitment to the safety and health of its patrons, artists, and staff, Palm Beach Dramaworks is postponing the start of its 2021-2022 season. Originally set to begin performances in October, PBD will now open the season on December 3. The company will perform its full schedule of five plays.
“With the COVID-19 Delta variant taking its toll in Florida, it seems obvious that the most prudent thing we can do is delay the start of the season,” said Producing Artistic Director William Hayes and Managing Director Sue Ellen Beryl in a joint statement. “As eager and ready as we and our patrons are to return to the theatre, we also recognize that people have become uneasy about participating in an indoor, communal experience at this moment in time. We want everyone to feel completely safe when they walk into the theatre and judging by the scientific data available, it just makes sense to start the season later. For even greater protection, we will be following CDC guidelines and requiring that masks be worn at all times everywhere in the building. And the building will have a new HVAC system and state-of-the-art air filtration system that comply with all the latest safety regulations.”
The postponement has necessitated several changes to the schedule. In order to mount all five plays in a compressed period of time, the runs of each production will be shorter than usual. The order of the first two plays has been switched: PBD will open the season with the world premiere of Michael McKeever’s The People Downstairs on December 3, followed on January 14 by John Cariani’s Almost, Maine. Up next on February 18 is the world premiere of Bruce Graham’s The Duration, followed by Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel on April 1, and William Luce’s The Belle of Amherst on May 20.
The more compact schedule also means a change of dates and venue for the New Year/New Plays Festival. It will be held from February 2-6, online only. With less turnaround time between productions, the staff and crew will be overburdened, and moving the festival online again will give them additional time to work in the theatre.
The starting date for single ticket sales has been pushed back to November 1, in order to give the box office time to complete the challenging task of reticketing all subscribers. Patrons will receive a letter containing the details about the change to their subscriptions by October 15, and PBD is urging everyone to refrain from calling the box office prior to that date: not only will the staff be extremely busy, but it’s unlikely they will be able to answer questions until all the reticketing is finished.
PALM BEACH DRAMAWORKS’ REVISED 2021-2022 SCHEDULE
THE PEOPLE DOWNSTAIRS
By Michael McKeever
December 3 – December 19
For two years and one month, Anne Frank and seven others hid in four small rooms concealed behind a bookcase in the building where her father worked. Her diary revealed their ordeal to the world. But what of the people who hid them, got them food, and kept them informed? This play explores the complex challenges faced by these brave individuals on their journey of rebellious morality during the horrors of the Holocaust.
By John Cariani
January 14 – January 30
Love – old and new, heart-stopping and weak-kneed, unexpected and unrequited, lost and found – is in the air in the fictional, remote town of Almost, Maine. This wildly popular play takes place on a Friday night in winter, and is made up of nine mostly joyful yet poignant vignettes connected by time and place, the beauty of the aurora borealis, a touch of magic, and a spirit of hope.
By Bruce Graham
February 18 – March 6
Audrey Batten has left the building. And the city. And quite possibly, according to her daughter Emma, her senses. Can two strong women with very different coping strategies on the journey from grief to release meet each other somewhere in the middle – out in the middle of nowhere? A moving, absorbing play about family, loss, love . . . and cats.
By Lynn Nottage
April 1 – April 17
In this heartfelt and heartbreaking work set at the turn of the 20th century, Esther is a 35-year-old African-American seamstress of exquisite intimate apparel who aches to love and be loved. An unlikely opportunity arises when she enters into a correspondence with a man she’s never met. The play is a lyrical exploration of loneliness and longing, sweet dreams and bitter truths, determination and resiliency.
THE BELLE OF AMHERST
By William Luce
May 20 – May 29
Based on the life of Emily Dickinson, this one-woman show tells the story of the independent, enigmatic, reclusive, witty poet through her letters, verse, and the playwright’s rich imagination, interweaving the voices of friends, family, and acquaintances to create a vivid portrait of the artist.
NEW YEAR/NEW PLAYS FESTIVAL
February 2 – 6
Hosted by The Dramaworkshop, PBD's lab for developing new plays, the fourth annual festival features five of the most fascinating plays to come out of the Drama(in the)works series this past year.
About Palm Beach Dramaworks:
Palm Beach Dramaworks is a professional, nonprofit theatre company founded in 2000 and located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Each season, the award-winning company produces five mainstage shows and offers a wide variety of programs for students at the theatre, in schools, and online. Committed to fostering the future of theatre, PBD has become a hub for playwrights in Florida and around the country to nurture their work through initiatives including Drama(in the)works and the annual New Year/New Plays Festival. PBD is a member of Theatre Communications Group, Florida Professional Theatres Association, and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. www.palmbeachdramaworks.org
Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30PM, Friday and Saturday at 8PM, and select Sundays at 7PM. Matinee performances are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2PM. Post-performance discussions follow Wednesday matinee and Sunday evening performances.
The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street. For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042, or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.