APT’s ’19 Lineup, Core Company Addition

“Engaging Shaw,” by John Morogiello, directed by David Frank with excerpts from Bernard Shaw

American Players Theatre is excited to announce its 40th summer season, which will run June 8-Oct. 6, 2019. A ninth show will run late October to November in the Touchstone Theatre.

In APT’s flagship outdoor amphitheater, William Shakespeare will start the season with two plays: “Twelfth Night” and “Macbeth.” Also playing on the Hill: “She Stoops to Conquer” by Oliver Goldsmith, August Wilson’s “Fences” and Lauren Gunderson’s charming comedy, “The Book of Will.”

The 200-seat indoor Touchstone Theatre will host “The Man of Destiny” by George Bernard Shaw, “A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur” by Tennessee Williams and Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.” The fall production will be “A Doll’s House, Part 2” by Lucas Hnath.

Artistic Director Brenda DeVita said, “We are very excited about the way this season has come together. It has all the elements that our artists excel in so beautifully. The Touchstone is crammed with great playwrights: Shaw, Tennessee Williams and Ibsen. On the Hill we have two of Shakespeare’s most revered works and we’ve got a hilarious comedy of manners — all in the hands of wonderful directors. We are thrilled to be producing our first August Wilson play next season — his masterpiece, “Fences” — and Lauren Gunderson’s “The Book of Will,” which is about the creation of Shakespeare’s first folio and feels like it was written for us.

“As we delve into plays that are considerably newer than anything we’ve done on the Hill, we will continue to examine this constant conversation we’re having about ‘what makes a classic?’ And we’re just so thrilled to dive in, and look forward to the joys and growth they’ll bring to our company and our audience.”

The 2019 season schedule will be available in early January. Tickets will go on sale to returning patrons on March 4 at 7 a.m. online at americanplayers.org, and at 10 a.m. at the APT Box Office by phone at (608) 588-2361.

In addition to a new season, APT has a new member of the Core Acting Company — actor Gavin Lawrence, who first joined APT in 2016 (“The African Company Presents Richard III,” “Arcadia,” “An Ideal Husband”). Since then, Gavin has been featured as Oberon in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Dr. Finache in “A Flea in Her Ear” and the “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” company, all in 2017. This past season Gavin played Zach in “Blood Knot,” Escalus in “Measure for Measure” and will be playing Sidney Webb in this month’s production of “Engaging Shaw.”

DeVita said, “Gavin is an extraordinary actor, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that he’s agreed to join our core company. He is such a leader. In every way. And he is very excited by, and very serious about, making this commitment. We are so, so honored that he’s accepted.”

Jonathan Smoots, seen this year as Captain Shotover in “Heartbreak House,” became Core Company Emeritus at the end of the 2018 season. This year, Jonathan celebrated his 29th summer with APT, and in 1980 he spoke the very first lines on the Hill Stage when he played Theseus in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”