Announcing the 2017-18 Season of Groundbreakers!
The shows this season depict characters who find themselves in new territories, facing obstacles that test their limits and beliefs. From lovers who must decide whether to remain silent for their own safety or stand to oppression, to a woman fighting for a chance to break into a male dominated field, to a man who must stand up to the monster he created in the name of love, their stories ask how far we will go for what we believe in.
Like last season, 9 of the 11 plays have never been produced here before, and we are excited to premiere a new adaptation of Tim Tyson’s Blood Done Sign My Name by Mike Wiley. We hope you’ll join us in the conversations started by each one of these incredible plays.
— Patrick Torres, Artistic Director
The Season Announcement Podcast
Listen to Charles and Patrick discuss the 2017-2018 season of shows with a special guest. They talk about the upcoming renovation to the Gaddy, and even make predictions about which shows in the season might be surprise hits!
Sutton Series of classic theatre
- Crowns (gospel musical)
- Little Shop of Horrors (musical comedy)
- Don’t Dress for Dinner (comedy)
City Series of contemporary plays
- Perfect Arrangement (dark comedy)
- What We’re Up Against (workplace comedy)
- Blood Done Sign My Name (world premiere historical drama)
Family Series of plays for all ages
- Grace for President (musical)*
- Beanstalk! The Musical!
- Alice @ Wonderland (fairytale)
* In partnership with the North Carolina Museum of History, to be presented in the Daniels Auditorium, 5 East Edenton Street in downtown Raleigh
- The Tempest (musical)
- Cinderella (holiday musical)
Download the 2017-2018 season calendar here.
If you are an existing member then you can renew online via our Patron Portal facility. Patron Portal also shows ticket and donation history, and enables you to update your own contact information.
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New Member Membership Packages are now on sale!
Becoming a member is a great way to see shows at RLT! Benefits of being a member include:
- Buy your tickets at a lower price than buying them individually
- Buy your tickets in advance so that you won’t miss out on the popular show dates
- Get the best seats available
- Changing your tickets for a different day is an easy call to the box office and is no charge to you (starting August)
- $6 off tickets to Cinderella
- Support RLT!
New members can subscribe by calling (919) 821-3111 or online using the links below:
Flex Memberships are a great way to see shows at RLT. For $68 (including tax) you get three passes. You can use them one at a time or all at once. Suitable for any shows in the 2017-18 season except Cinderella. They’re a great gift idea too! Call the box office on 919-821-3111 to purchase or buy them online.
For General Audiences. Performed with reserved seating in the Cantey V. Sutton Theatre. Thursday – Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm.
Crowns (gospel musical)
August 25 – September 10
By Regina Taylor, adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry
A moving and celebratory musical play in which hats become a springboard for an exploration of Black history and identity is seen through the eyes of a young black woman who has come down South to stay with her aunt after her brother is killed in Brooklyn. Hats are everywhere, in exquisite variety, and the characters use the hats to tell tales concerning everything from the etiquette of hats to their historical and contemporary social functioning. There is a hat for every occasion, from flirting to churchgoing to funerals to baptisms, and the tradition of hats is traced back to African rituals and slavery to the New Testament and current fashion.
Little Shop of Horrors (musical comedy)
February 9 – 25
Book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken
Based on the film by Roger Corman; screenplay by Charles Griffith
The meek floral assistant, Seymour Krelborn, stumbles across a new breed of plant that he names “Audrey II” after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down-and-out Krelborn, as long as he keeps feeding it BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out-of-this-world origins and intent toward global domination!
Don’t Dress for Dinner (comedy)
June 8 – 24
By Marc Camoletti
Bernard is planning a romantic weekend with his mistress in his charming converted French farmhouse, while his wife, Jacqueline, is away. He has arranged for a Cordon Bleu cook to prepare gourmet delights, and has invited his best friend, Robert, along to provide the alibi. It’s foolproof. What could possibly go wrong? Well… Suppose Robert turns up, not realizing quite why he has been invited. Suppose Robert and Jacqueline are secret lovers and consequently determined that Jacqueline will not leave for the weekend. Suppose the cook must pretend to be the mistress, and the mistress is unable to cook. Suppose everyone’s alibi is confused with everyone else’s. An evening of hilarious confusion ensues as Bernard and Robert improvise at breakneck speed.
Contemporary theatre for mature audiences. Performed in the Cantey V. Sutton Theatre with reserved seating and the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre with general admission. Thursday – Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm.
Perfect Arrangement (dark comedy)
October 27 – November 12, Cantey V. Sutton Theatre
By Topher Payne
It’s 1950, and new colors are being added to the Red Scare. Two U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, have been tasked with identifying sexual deviants within their ranks. There’s just one problem: Both Bob and Norma are gay, and have married each other’s partners as a carefully constructed cover-up. Inspired by the true story of the earliest stirrings of the American Gay Rights Movement, madcap classic sitcom-style laughs give way to provocative drama as two “All-American” couples are forced to stare down the closet door.
What We’re Up Against (comedy)
January 12 – 28, Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre
By Theresa Rebeck
Set in a highly competitive architecture firm, this play is an explosive and hilarious look at the complicated battle of the sexes raging across Cubicle Land. A funny, yet insightful, view of what it means to be female in a male-dominated career and one woman’s response when she tires of slamming into the glass ceiling.
Blood Done Sign My Name (drama)
May 11 – 27, Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre
By Mike Wiley, adapted from the novel by Tim Tyson
In this world premier version, Mike Wiley brings to life the recollections of author Tim Tyson surrounding the 1970 murder of Henry “Dickie” Marrow in Oxford, NC, and the events that followed. Marrow, who was black, was chased from a local store by three white men after reportedly making a crude remark to one of the men’s wives. They brutally beat Marrow, and then killed him with a bullet to the head in view of multiple witnesses. Despite the eyewitness reports, an all-white jury acquitted the men. The town’s black community responded to the events with an uprising that destroyed downtown businesses and several tobacco warehouses that held at least a million dollars in harvested crops. Tyson, who was 10 at the time, recounts how the conflagration of events shaped his life. He offers us an opportunity to examine our own roles in the complex and often confusing racial fabric of America.
Shows for the whole family. Thursday and Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 1pm and 5pm.
Grace for President (musical)
October 13 – 22
Presented in partnership with the North Carolina Museum of History
Daniels Auditorium (general admission), 5 East Edenton Street, Downtown Raleigh
Based on the book by Kelly S. DiPucchio, book illustrations by LeUyen Pham, book, music, and lyrics by Joan Cushing
One day in class, Grace Campbell discovered that there has never been a female president. “Where are the girls?” she asked, as her third-grade teacher rolls out a poster of all 44 U.S. presidents. Frustrated by the lack of female faces in the White House, Grace decides she wants to be president and inspires a school election. She seems the likely winner until the most popular boy runs against her. Through the throes of campaigning and pep rallies, service projects and posters, Grace and her classmates discover what it takes to be the best candidate and find the fun and hilarity in the wonderful world of politics!
Beanstalk! The Musical!
March 16 – April 1, Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre
Book by Ross Mihalko and Donna Swift, music by Linda Berg, lyrics by Ross Mihalko
Exactly like nothing that you’ve ever seen before, not even in a book! This fun, family show follows the adventures of Jack, a young boy with his head in the clouds and his nose in a book of fairy tales. Filled with hilarious characters, toe-tapping tunes, and more twists than a climbing vine, this is one show that’s guaranteed to grow and grow and grow right into your heart.
Alice @ Wonderland (fairytale)
April 13 – 22, Cantey V. Sutton Theatre
By Jonathan Yukich
The folly of the 21st century collides with the madness of Wonderland in this new adaptation that remains fairly faithful to Lewis Carroll’s original tale. Alice is a texting, tweeting, and googling girl of the modern digital era, but she finds herself in the Wonderland of old. With all of the characters that you know and love including the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Queen of Hearts, this musical imagines a present-day Alice encountering the Wonderland that so many of us treasure. Meanwhile, the younger generation will appreciate and relate to the many references to the digital age.
Teens on Stage
Friday – Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 3pm.
The Tempest (classic musical)
July 21 – 30, Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre
By William Shakespeare, adaptation, music, & new lyrics by Todd Almond
Conceived by Lear DeBessonet, originally commissioned and produced by The Public Theatre
Marooned and left to die on a remote island, Prospero can command spirits, create apparitions, and manipulate the elements. By using his magic, he assembles his enemies to take revenge on them, and in the process, awakens in Miranda, his teenage daughter, her first experience of love. The premiere production showcased 200 New Yorkers from all five boroughs, who shared the stage with professional actors and community partners.
December 1 – 17, Cantey V. Sutton Theatre
Based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault. Adaptation and lyrics by Jim Eiler. Music by Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy.
This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family. Just the right mixture of comedy and romance can add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. This visually stunning musical combines elegant costumes and scenery with singing, dancing, conniving step relatives, and resourceful fairy folk.