Time and time again Serenbe Playhouse has wowed us with their unorthodox, open-air performances. Their unerring commitment and faith in the transformative power of the stage is quite the literal breath of fresh air for Atlanta, and the national regional theatre scene. Uncompromising in their ambition, Serenbe Playhouse kicked off their summer with a seductive retelling of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, in which they abandoned the Technicolor landscape of the West for its gritty underbelly full of lust and greed. The show went on to be nominated for a staggering 11 Suzi Bass awards – more than any other production this year. From there they brought the barbarity of Sleepy Hollow on its head with a series of frightening, sold-out performances depicting the harrowed tale of Ichabod Crane, Katrina and Brom Bones like never before.
After such a successful season, most theatres would take to their houses for a long winter’s nap – but not Serenbe Playhouse. Instead they plan to march onward into winter and the icy grip of The Snow Queen, the classic, reflective Hans Christian Anderson tale about the powers of innocence and devotion in the wake of evil (that recently inspired Disney’s Frozen). From there the playhouse will keep their determination and march boldly into the embrace of spring with the story of Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. In this performance, patrons will follow Don Quixote’s unyielding and dizzied pursuits in the winding paths of Serenbe’s rock labyrinth.
Much in the spirit of their spring protagonist, Serenbe Playhouse will carry their momentum into three distinct tales of metamorphosis in the approaching 2015 summer season, with the announcement of a summer ripe with tales of evolution that will undoubtedly test the borders of our own imaginations. As always, their focus is on stories that are inherently human – ones that spotlight the way our experiences shape us, change us and improve us. Be the story classic or modern – audiences can anticipate socially relevant and resonant stories of transformation, told in the open air, using the environment around them in responsible and inventive ways.
In no play is this id3a showcased more clearly than in the season’s inaugural show, a world debut of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden as interpreted by Serenbe’s own quixotic playwright, Rachel Teagle. The show, which is scheduled to run from May 29th through August 2nd, will also mark the debut of an English Garden sown specifically to set the stage for the tale and its performers. Filled with entertainment for attendees of every age, both young and older fans of the classic will be delighted by the cast’s interpretation of Mary Lennox as she comes of age in an unknown landscape without the guidance of her parents, and changes the world and the people around her in the process
Then Serenbe Playhouse will put their spin on an equally classic tale that’s much darker in scope –Tennessee Williams’ iconic American classic, A Streetcar Named Desire. “I’ve always wanted to do an interpretation of a Tennessee Williams play,” Brian Clowdus, the Executive and Artistic Director of the playhouse, tell us. “It’s one of the most iconic and classic American plays.” Clowdus and the Playhouse have every intention of shedding new light onto the timeless story of Blanche DuBois and Stella and Stanley Kowalski, adding more sexual intrigue, youth and contemporary know-how to the story. A Streetcar Named Desire will take a stand on Serenbe’s new Art Farm Stage – fittingly made of recycled containers – on June 11th and continue through June 28t
It’s hard to imagine a story more legendary and renowned being brought to life in one season than A Streetcar Named Desire, but Serenbe Playhouse’s ambition will not be satiated with the story of Blanche DuBois. The playhouse plans to make the leap from the brutal streets of New Orleans to the lush and rebellious countryside of Argentina with their bold retelling of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary Evita, which will premiere on July 23rd and run through August 16th. “Evita is the show I chose first when we were selecting shows for the season. Our theme for this summer season is transformation – so what better story to tell than the maturation of a girl with nothing into one of the most iconic female political figures of the 20th century?” Brian Clowdus tells us. Rural Argentina, where the bulk of the play takes place, will come to life in the rolling late summer countryside of Serenbe. As for the famed balcony – “We’ve selected one of the most epic locations in Serenbe in our open air space,” Clowdus assures us
For more information about Serenbe Playhouse and to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.serenbeplayhouse.com/ or call 770.463.1110. You can follow Serenbe Playhouse on Facebook, @OnstageSerenbe on Twitter and SerenbePlayhouse on Instagram.
Show dates and times for The Snow Queen are Thursdays – Sundays, December 4th through December 21st at 8pm. Tickets are $15 for Children and $20 for Adults. The Snow Queen will be performed at Swann Ridge at Serenbe
Show dates and times for Man of La Mancha are Thursdays – Sundays, March 26th through April 11th at 8:30pm. Tickets are $30 for Adults and $25 for students. Man of La Mancha will be performed at The Labyrinth at Serenbe.
Show dates and times for The Secret Garden are May 29th – August 2nd, Fridays and Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for ages 13-18, and $10 for children 12 and under.
Show dates and times for A Streetcar Named Desire are June 11th – June 28th, Wednesdays through Sundays at 8:30 pm. There will be a final preview on June 10th. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for students. A Streetcar Nmaed Desire will be performed at The Art Farm Stage at Serene.
Show dates and times for Evita are July 23nd – August 16th, Wednesdays through Sundays at 8:30pm. There will be a final preview show on July 22nd.Tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for students. Evita will be performed at The Open Air Space at Serenbe.
ABOUT SERENBE PLAYHOUSE:
Serenbe Playhouse is a professional theatre committed to site-specific performances and programs that connect art, nature and community.
Serenbe Playhouse believes that theatre is an art form with a unique power to illuminate the human experience, and does so by producing artistically rich, open-air theatrical performances for audiences throughout Greater Metro Atlanta. A pioneer in modeling Green Theatre Practices, Serenbe Playhouse produces plays with a commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Founded in 2009 under the executive and artistic direction of Brian Clowdus, an accomplished actor, educator, director, and producer, and established under the umbrella of its parent organization, The Serenbe Institute for Art, Culture, and the Environment, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Serenbe Playhouse operates with the support of a diverse working board of directors and community volunteers.