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Benefits to Help Rep Bounce Back

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The San Diego Repertory Theatre, which raised $350,000 to complete its 1990 season, still needs $500,000 by September to stabilize the company and to make the 1991-92 season possible, producing director Sam Woodhouse and managing director Adrian Stewart announced Thursday.

To kick off the new campaign, the theater will put on two benefit performances by Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart and Charles Keating. The performances at the Rep’s Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza will take place at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. March 30.

Titled “So Many People Have Heads: An Evening of Song, Prose and Verse,” the show will be Goldberg’s second benefit for the Rep. Goldberg, who has been nominated for an Oscar for her performance in “Ghost,” also performed at the Rep during the 1970s in “A Christmas Carol,” “Mother Courage,” “Gold,” “Getting Out” and “The Happy Haven” under a variety of names before finding fame as Whoopi Goldberg.

This will be the first Rep benefit by Patrick Stewart, who stars with Goldberg as Captain Jean Luc Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and Keating, who, like Stewart, is a veteran member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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As the campaign proceeds, the San Diego Rep will push ahead with its 16th season, but with significant changes in its schedule:

Instead of a season from June through February--as last year’s was--the company will have a seven-play season from May through June, breaking during the summer, then continuing September through March. During the two-month hiatus, the two-theater Lyceum facility will be rented out.

Adrian Stewart, Rep artistic director, describes this as a transitional programming move that will lead to a September-through-May season at the Rep in 1992-93.

“The purpose is essentially to move out of the high summer competition in which we all compete for audiences and artists,” Stewart said. “There’s so much happening during the summer, and frankly very little during the winter. This weekend is an example. There’s nothing at the Old Globe or at the La Jolla Playhouse or here. In the future at this time, we’ll be at the peak of our season.”

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This year’s season kicks off with “The Rocky Horror Show,” a rock ‘n’ roll romp that mixes science fiction, B horror movies and floor show, to be directed by San Diego Rep producing director Sam Woodhouse May 15-June 1 at the Lyceum Stage.

It continues with the San Diego premiere of Emily Mann’s “Still Life,” an Obie-award winning examination of a Vietnam veteran, his wife and his mistress. The show will be directed by the Rep’s artistic director, Douglas Jacobs, June 5-22 at the Lyceum Space.

After a summer of rentals, the Rep will resume programming with the West Coast premiere of Romulus Linney’s “Unchanging Love,” an adaptation of the Anton Chekhov story, “In the Hollow” that Linney sets in a small Appalachian town in the 1920s. Woodhouse will direct the show at the Lyceum Space Sept. 18-Oct. 12.

Next up will be a presentation of the Tony-award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe in the Southern California premiere of its latest production, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” adapted by Robert Alexander Oct. 16-Nov. 2 at the Lyceum Stage.

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Two plays yet to be announced follow. The first, directed by Jacobs, will run in the Lyceum Space Nov. 13-Dec. 7. The second, a bilingual production, will be the company’s annual Teatro Sin Fronteras (theater without boundaries) offering, directed by Maria Irene Fornes at the Lyceum Space Jan. 15-Feb. 8.

The season concludes with the world premiere of Julie Hebert’s “Ruby’s Bucket of Blood,” billed as a “swamp-pop musical drama” about an African-American mother and daughter trying to carve out a life for themselves in the Louisiana bayou in the early 1960s. Woodhouse will direct the show at the Lyceum Stage Feb. 26-March 14.

The plan calls for two additional plays, to be announced later in the season, for March through June, 1992.

Woodhouse described the season as “a body of work that focuses on heroic characters imagining, dreaming and battling for more creative and loving futures. That is a theme, if you will, that runs through all the work.”

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The Rep’s 16th annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” which is sold separately from the season, will run Dec. 5-Dec. 29 at the Lyceum Stage.


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