Published On: Wed, Oct 27th, 2021

PB Dramaworks delays 2021-22 debut until Dec. 3; will still do five shows

By Dale King

Out of an abundance of caution and a commitment to the safety and health of its patrons, artists, and staff, Palm Beach Dramaworks is postponing the start of its 2021-2022 season to Dec. 3.

The company will still perform its full schedule of five plays.

“With the COVID-19 Delta variant taking its toll in Florida, it seems obvious that the most prudent thing we can do is delay the start of the season,” said Producing Artistic Director William Hayes and Managing Director Sue Ellen Beryl in a joint statement.

Palm Beach Dramaworks holds its plays at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre at 201 Clematis St. in downtown West Palm Beach.

“As eager and ready as we and our patrons are to return to the theatre, we also recognize that people have become uneasy about participating in an indoor, communal experience at this moment in time. We want everyone to feel completely safe when they walk into the theatre and judging by the scientific data available, it just makes sense to start the season later.”

They said Dramaworks, located in Don & Ann Brown Theatre at 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, “will follow CDC guidelines and require that masks be worn at all times everywhere in the building,” The structure will have a new HVAC system and state-of-the-art air filtration network.

The order of the first two plays has been switched: PBD will open the season with the world premiere of Michael McKeever’s The People Downstairs Dec. 3 followed on January 14 by John Cariani’s Almost, Maine. Up next on February 18 is the world premiere of Bruce Graham’s The Duration, followed by Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel on April 1, and William Luce’s The Belle of Amherst on May 20.

The more compact schedule also means a change of dates and venue for the New Year/New Plays Festival. It will be held from February 2-6, online only.

Dramaworks’ revised schedule is as follows:

THE PEOPLE DOWNSTAIRS

By Michael McKeever

Dec. 3 – 19

For two years and one month, Anne Frank and seven others hid in four small rooms concealed behind a bookcase in the building where her father worked. Her diary revealed their ordeal to the world. But what of the people who hid them, got them food, and kept them informed? This play explores the complex challenges faced by these brave individuals on their journey of rebellious morality during the horrors of the Holocaust.

ALMOST, MAINE

By John Cariani

Jan. 14 – 30

Love – old and new, heart-stopping and weak-kneed, unexpected and unrequited, lost and found – is in the air in the fictional, remote town of Almost, Maine. This popular play takes place on a Friday night in winter and is made up of nine mostly joyful, yet poignant vignettes connected by time and place, the beauty of the aurora borealis, a touch of magic and a spirit of hope.

THE DURATION

By Bruce Graham

Feb. 18 – March 6

Audrey Batten has left the building. And the city. And quite possibly, according to her daughter Emma, her senses. Can two strong women with very different coping strategies on the journey from grief to release meet each other somewhere in the middle – out in the middle of nowhere? A moving, absorbing play about family, loss, love . . . and cats.    

INTIMATE APPAREL

By Lynn Nottage

April 1 – 17

In this work set at the turn of the 20th century, Esther is a 35-year-old African American seamstress of exquisite intimate apparel who aches to love and be loved. An unlikely opportunity arises when she enters into some correspondence with a man she’s never met. The play is a lyrical exploration of loneliness and longing, sweet dreams and bitter truths, determination and resiliency.    

THE BELLE OF AMHERST

By William Luce

May 20 – June 5

Based on the life of Emily Dickinson, this one-woman show tells the story of the independent, enigmatic, reclusive, witty poet through her letters, verse and the playwright’s rich imagination, interweaving the voices of friends, family, and acquaintances to create a vivid portrait of the artist.

NEW YEAR/NEW PLAYS FESTIVAL

Online

Feb. 2 – 6

Hosted by PBD’s lab for developing new plays, the fourth annual festival features five plays to come out of the Drama(in the)works series this past year.

The ticket and show information, contact the box office at (561) 514-4042 or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.

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