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Theater Notebook: The Cygnet Theater’s 19th season, featuring three women playwrights and two world premieres

The Cygnet Theater in San Diego on Monday announced its 19th season, a six-show lineup that will include three female playwrights, two world premieres and three classics.

The season begins in September and runs through August 2023. The program includes a sexy comedy-drama, a hurricane-themed play about Latinas, a farce by Noël Coward, the musical “Evita” and the eighth annual production of “A Christmas Carol, This Time.” with Sean Murray, the artistic director of Cygnet.

“Finally returning to live theater, where we can all gather together for joy, curiosity and exploration, has reinvigorated us,” Murray said in a statement. “Our programming for Season 19 continues Cygnet’s tradition of offering a diverse array of adventurous and thought-provoking shows that both entertain and encourage new perspectives. The season is meant to do what theater does best, provoke thought, stimulate debate and stir the soul.”

Existing subscribers will be notified of renewals via email. Sales of new subscriptions will start at the end of June. For details, call (6190.337-1525) or visit cygnettheatre.com.

Here is the lineup for the new season:

“The little companion (or – the queen of the cakes tells everything)”: Kate Hamill – whose clever stage adaptations of Jane Austen novels have made her one of America’s most-produced new playwrights – will star in the world premiere of her new play alongside her real-life husband, actor Jason O’Connell. It’s a daring comedy based on the memoirs of 19th-century British courtesan Harriette Wilson. Hamill will play Wilson as she prepares to write her comprehensive autobiography. Cygnet Associate Artistic Director Rob Lutfy will direct. September 28th to October 23rd.

Sean Murray in "A Christmas song" in the Cygnet Theater

Cygnet Theater Artistic Director Sean Murray will star in A Christmas Carol in Fall 2022.

(Karl Cadel)

“A Christmas song”: Artistic director Sean Murray and composer Billy Thompson’s stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Christmas novella return for season eight. Murray will be following in the footsteps of misery Ebenezer Scrooge after the company’s longtime Scrooge Tom Stephenson retired last winter. Nov 22 to Dec 24

“El Huracan”: Cygnet presents the second production of this play about three generations of Latina women as they face an epic hurricane that threatens their family home in Miami. Written by Charise Castro Smith – co-director and co-writer of Disney’s hit animated film Encanto – the play had its world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theater in 2018. TuYo Theater co-founder Daniel Jáquez directed The Winter’s Tale for the Old Globe’s Globe for All production in 2019. January 25th to February 19th.

Charise Castro Smith is the author of "El Huracan" in the Cygnet Theater.

Playwright Charise Castro Smith, co-writer of Disney’s Encanto, is the author of El Huracan, which will be part of Cygnet Theater’s 19th season.

(Willy Sanjuan / Willy Sanjuan/invision/ap)

“Laughter of Now”: Cygnets Murray will star in this 1939 farce by Noël Coward as Garry Essendine, a beloved famous British stage actor too popular for his own good. Essendine, who is modeled after Coward himself, struggles to tour and avoid a nervous breakdown while struggling to avoid a lovesick woman, a mad playwright, a friend’s seductress and more. The play is directed by Rosina Reynolds, a specialist in the works of English playwrights and farce. March 29th to April 30th.

“Sharon”: This mysterious absurdist comedy from UC San Diego MFA drama student Keiko Green will have its world premiere in a production directed by Rob Lutfy. Sharon and Jakey are a loving mother and son who run a derelict apartment building in Everett, Washington where the tenants keep disappearing. Green co-starred in Lauren See’s The Great Leap on Cygnet in 2020. June 7 to July 2, 2023.

Keiko Green, right, starred in Cygnet Theater's 2020 production "The big leap."

Keiko Green (right) starred in the 2020 Cygnet Theater production of The Great Leap. Her play “Sharon” will premiere at Cygnet in 2023.

(Rachel Esther Tate)

“Evita”: Winner of seven Tony Awards in 1980, this musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice tells the story of Argentine first lady Eva Peron and her rise from poverty to power and almost sainthood after her untimely death at age 33. Murray will direct the production, with choreography by Carlos Mendoza. August 9 to September 17, 2023.

Collar writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at [email protected]

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