Jobsite announced its 2017-18 season this weekend, and it brings a healthy mix of the kinds of shows they're already known for (a contemporary Irish play, a cross-dressed Shakespeare comedy, an edgy musical, an Israel Horovitz play) and some exciting unknown quantities (like a dramatization of George Orwell's novel 1984, which seems uncomfortably relevant in light of recent events).
When Mark E. Leib reviewed The Aliens this year at Stageworks, his review contained a lament that he really preferred Annie Baker's stronger play, The Flick. Well, Mark, here's your chance — Jobsite's season starts with The Flick, the story of the cast of characters whose lives center on an aging movie house. Aug. 30-Sept. 24.
From there, the season launches into Wallace Shawn's adaptation of The Threepenny Opera, the age-old story of love and a batshit crazy father-in-law. Ah, just like we always dreamed about while growing up. It's not an opera (despite the name) but a musical satire, most recently on Broadway with Cyndi Lauper and Alan Cumming. Oct. 18-Nov. 12.
Hooray Shakespeare! Jobsite continues its tradition of flipping the script with The Tempest, which stars Roxanne Fay as Prospero, the sorcerer. In Billy S.'s version, Prospero was a dude, yes, but really, what's more compelling than a pissed-off woman who, oh yes, can control the elements? Fay's been in each of Jobsite's Shakespeare productions, and it's a delight to see the tradition continue with this compelling, enjoyable work. Jan. 17-Feb. 18.
Audiences (and our theater critic and myself) all responded with emotion to Israel Horovitz's Lebensraum last year. We like the work Jobsite's doing with Horovitz so much we gave them a Best of the Bay Critic's Pick for linking Tampa Bay theater to the greater theater world. This year, we expect nothing less than amazing from another Horovitz show, A Man in Snow. One of Horovitz's more recent works, it deals with a man losing his son and returning to Mt. McKinley 25 years years after he summited it — but this time, he's leading a group of Japanese honeymooners who want to conceive a child under the spell of the Northern Lights. There's more, but too much more and there'll be spoilers. Mar. 7 – Apr. 1, 2018
The stage adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 may already be in full realization — not on the stage, but in the world around us — by the time this hits the stage next April. The dystopian novel deals with the machine-state of Oceania, Big Brother and Thoughtcrimes. The main character gets accused of these Thoughtcrimes and must confess to an unseen Inquisitor — and we, the audience, get to be the silent witness. April 25 – May 20, 2018
Dancing at Lughnasa brings us to the Emerald Isle (since Jobsite opened another Irish play last week, it seems they have a thing for the Blarney) where five unmarried sisters live in a small village. It's the time of the festival of Lughnasa, which celebrates the pagan god of the harvest with drunken revelry and dancing (well, it is Ireland, after all). The main character here, though, seems to be the radio, which breaks into the story with bursts of music. One of the five sisters has an illegitimate son, who, as a grown man, retells the story of these five women. He remembers the 1936 festival — he is 7, his uncle comes back from being a priest in a Ugandan leper colony after 25 years, his mom and aunts get their first radio, and he meets his dad for the first time. After that, the story gets really interesting. June 13 – July 8, 2018
So, there you have it — a taste to wet your whistle for next season. Season tickets go on sale in May and single show tickets go on sale in August. You can get on the waiting list by emailing [email protected]. Tickets cost $29.50, but each show will have a preview performance for $15.