PROVIDENCE — The historical vaudeville performance house that was once known as the Emery Majestic Theater on Washington Street will finally raise the curtain for in-person shows this year. After being shuttered temporarily because of rising COVID-19 cases in March 2020, the Trinity Repertory Company announced Wednesday a return of in-person theater productions beginning in November 2021.
After more than a year of digital programming, the company’s 58th season will begin with its 44th annual production of “A Christmas Carol” — a holiday tradition. Four shows will follow during the season, which will run January through June 2022.
Organizers say a series of “strategic changes” have been developed over the past year. After demands by We See You White American Theatre (a collective of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color theater artists) and Trinity Rep’s own BIPOC actors, the company made changes that would result in a “stronger, more accessible, and more equitable organization.”
Kate Brandt, a spokeswoman for Trinity Rep, said some of these changes include significant increases in the number of seats available at the lowest ticket price point and the number of open caption performances for audiences who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Company also upgraded its assistive listening system during the last year. Brandt also said the Company will update its full health and safety plan prior to the start of performances.
Artistic director Curt Columbus and his team worked to select shows that would also reflect Trinity Rep’s antiracism commitment and remind audiences what live theater “can do that other art forms cannot.”
“We’ve chosen a season of plays that will resonate deeply, that have great language and ideas, that show the depth of the human condition, and are all surprising, funny, and provocative,” said Columbus. “I know our Trinity audience will love these shows, because they are all writers we’ve produced in seasons past, with one exciting new voice. These are truly Trinity plays, each and every one.”
Actor Joe Wilson Jr., a member of Trinity Rep’s resident acting company and played Scrooge in 2017 and 2020, will direct this year’s production of “A Christmas Carol.” This production will be available in-person and online; tickets are already available to subscribers and will go on sale to the general public Aug. 16.
The subscription season will begin in January in the Dowling Theater with “Tiny Beautiful Things,” which will run from Jan. 13 through Feb. 13, 2022. Based on the best-selling book, “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar” by Cheryl Strayed, the play delves into Strayed’s experience as the advice columnist “Sugar” and was adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” will run from Feb. 24 through March 27, 2022. It’s the first of Wilson’s American Century Cycle — 10 plays chronicling African American experiences, each set in a different decade of the 20th century.
“Sueño,” an adaption by José Rivera of the Spanish Golden Age classic “Life Is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, will run from April 7 through May 8, 2022.
The season will close in the with the 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winner “Fairview” by Jackie Sibblies Drury from May 19 through June 19, 2022. The play begins as a straight-forward family comedy, but takes an unexpected turn. It won the Sibblies Drury the 2019 Steinberg Playwrights Award and Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (the playwright is a graduate of the Brown University MFA program in playwrighting).