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Guthrie Theater Announces Director Joe Dowling's Farewell Season

The season will include plays by A.R. Gurney, Anne Washburn, Sarah Ruhl, and more. logo
Director Joe Dowling has announced the lineup for his final season with the Guthrie Theater.
(© David Gordon)

Guthrie Theater Director Joe Dowling has announced the mainstage productions that will make up his final season at the theater's helm. Dowling will direct three productions himself, including a beloved Shakespeare comedy and iconic masterpieces by Arthur Miller and Sean O'Casey.

The season will kick off with Tony winner Mary Zimmerman's The White Snake (September 9-October 19). Zimmerman will also direct the play, which is based on an ancient Chinese story about a girl who meets a boy and falls head over heels. The only problem is that the girl is a serpent from the spirit world. Next up will be Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Heidi Chronicles (September 13-October 26), which traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland from high school in the '60s to her career as an art historian in the '80s.

The holiday season will bring a production of A.R. Gurney's The Cocktail Hour (November 22-January 4), directed by Maria Aitken. Set in Buffalo, New York, the play begins as John arrives for dinner at his parents' home carrying the script of his soon-to-be produced play that depicts his upper-crust WASP family.

Dowling will ring in 2015 with a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (February 7-March 29). Together with director and choreographer David Bolger, Dowling will take on this comedy, which weaves together four stories in a moonlit forest on a midsummer night. Then, the theater will present a coproduction with San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater of Anne Washburn's outrageous new comedy Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play (March 31-May 10), directed by Mark Rucker.

The Guthrie will then present its first-ever staging of Meredith Willson's The Music Man (June 20-August 23), the classic American musical about the fast-talking traveling salesman "Professor" Harold Hill, whose money-making scheme charms the locals of River City, Iowa. The Tony-winning musical will be presented under the direction of John Miller-Stephany. The summer will also bring a production of the recent off-Broadway smash Stage Kiss (July 18-August 30) by Pulitzer finalist nominee Sarah Ruhl. Stage Kiss centers on what happens when two actors with a history are thrown together as romantic leads in a play. Casey Stangl directs.

In addition to the nine plays of the subscription season and studio productions, Dowling announced that the Guthrie will present its 40th annual production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (November 13-December 28). Joe Chvala will direct the production on the Wurtele Thrust Stage for a third year.