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Grossmont College Theatre Arts season launches

Posted on: Aug 28, 2019 12:00:00 AM
In: District, Grossmont
Arts and Culture
Contact: Anne Krueger

Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park, the Clifford Odets classic Golden Boy and the first full-length play written by actor/comedian/musician Steve Martin – Picasso at the Lapin Agile – are among the productions set for the 2019-20 Stagehouse Theatre season at Grossmont College.

 The new season opens Oct. 3 with Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

 “The Grossmont College Theatre Arts Program is among the leading programs of its kind in the region, and a lot of time, energy and dedication is going into making the upcoming season among the most entertaining ever,” said Theatre Arts Department Chair Beth Duggan.

 On this year’s calendar are:

 Picasso at the Lapin Agile

By Steve Martin. Directed by Beth Duggan

Oct. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 5 and 12 at 2 p.m.

The year is 1904. Albert Einstein, a 25-year-old patent clerk, waits for his date at the Lapin Agile, a Parisian watering hole, when 23-year-old Pablo Picasso drops in to meet a recent conquest who is hoping for a return engagement. Einstein is a year away from transforming physics with his theory of relativity and Picasso will soon set the art world afire with Cubism. But at this moment, they are drawn to each other by a mutual sense of self confidence and curiosity. Kept company over the course of their evening by an amusingly incontinent barfly, a gullible yet lovable bartender, a wise waitress, and a surprise visitor from beyond, the two geniuses’ conversation bounces like excited molecules and sweeps like bold brush strokes over art, science, love, existence, and the unknown. A witty and absurdist comedy from comic virtuoso Steve Martin, Picasso at the Lapin Agile tackles big ideas with an imagined meeting of two creative minds on the cusp of greatness. 

 Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King

By Elizabeth Wong. Directed by Brian Rickel.

Oct. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.

Based on the beloved and enduring Chinese folk tale of Sun Wukong, Elizabeth Wong spins a marvelous tale of the mischievous superhero, the Monkey King. Imagination is the center of this modern adaptation in which our hero is kicked out of school, does battle with one-horned ogre and can somersault on the future on his many adventures. Filled with hip-hop, a bit of Chinese Opera, dancing, battles and heroic adventure, The Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King highlights the importance of leadership, responsibility and forgiveness.


By Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Matt Thompson.

Nov. 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.

Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of her heroine, Eurydice. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice journeys to the underworld, where she reunites with her father, the Lord of Death, and struggles to hold onto the fading memory of her lost love in the world above. With contemporary characters, ingenious plot twists, and breathtaking visual effects, Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice is a fresh and touching interpretation of one of humanity's timeless love stories. 

Inside the Actor’s Process: Love Scenes

Coordinated by Ben Cole.

Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 1 at 2 p.m.

In a world that feels saturated with negativity, a showcase of the best parts of life is long overdue, even if sometimes the characters in these love stories betray mixed motives, less-than-stellar ideals, and imperfect behavior. This behind-the-scenes look at how the theatrical artist engages with love stories includes vignettes featuring contemporary lovers, classic lovers, and everything in-between. What makes love scenes so magnetic? The times may change, but more than anything else, our need to find someone to connect with never does.

Clybourne Park

By Bruce Norris. Directed by Jeannette Thomas

March 12, 13, 14, 19,20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m.; March 14 and 21 at 2 p.m.

Spanning 50 years, this insightful, satirical drama from playwright Bruce Norris is a witty exploration of race relations, the ‘ownership’ of neighborhoods and the breakdown of communication in American society. Borrowing a character from Lorraine Hansberry's classic 
play A Raisin in the Sun, the play opens in 1959 with Bev and Russ selling their house to the first African-American family in the neighborhood, causing discomfort among some of their white neighbors. Act Two turns the tables by jumping to 2009, where the same house is now being purchased by a white couple who, oblivious to the wishes of their African-American neighbors, plan to tear it down and rebuild it. Winner of both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for drama, Clybourne Park holds the mirror up to nature and, as the best plays often do, challenges who we are at our core.

 Golden Boy

By Clifford Odets. Directed by Brian Rickel.

May 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.; May 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.

Golden Boy tells the story of a young man named Joe, whose cockeyed notions of the world cause society to laugh at him. A musician at heart, he longs for success in another way. Discovering his talent as a prizefighter, Joe excels at a career that threatens his love for music, and ultimately his life. But when a terrible tragedy unfolds during his final fight, Joe's spirit is crushed and the money and fame he has acquired soon mean nothing to him. Not even those who give him courage to face defeat can lift this young man out of his despair. Will love be enough to save him? Even that is uncertain. Considered Clifford Odets’ preeminent theatrical endeavor, Golden Boy proves itself at turns shocking, funny, tragic, and breathtaking, truly earning its praise as a classic of American theater.

 The Stagehouse Theatre at Grossmont College is at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon, 92020. Season and individual tickets are on sale now. A $50 season ticket package includes all six productions, priority seating, free parking and lost ticket insurance. Individual tickets range $10 - $15 per production.

 For those wishing to purchase tickets in person, construction of the new performing and visual arts center is taking place adjacent to the Stagehouse Theatre; that has resulted in the Theatre Arts Department office moving to a portable building (22-A) at the southeast corner of Lot 1.

 For information on tickets, please visit or call (619) 644-7267 or (619) 644-7234.



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