The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced its
2019–2020 theater season, with more than 15 productions from New York, London, and across the globe, plus original Kennedy Center productions. Here are a few of the highlights this theatre season.
Page-to-Stage New Play Festival
September 1–3, 2019 Throughout the Center
The Kennedy Center celebrates its 18th annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival over Labor Day weekend. Page-to-Stage is a three-day, Center-wide event that offers free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals being developed by playwrights, librettists, and composers for local, regional, and national theater companies.
September 17–October 6, 2019 in the Opera House
Rediscover Cats—the beloved musical with breathtaking music—including once of the most treasured songs in musical theater, “Memory.” Featuring new sound design, direction, and choreography for a new generation—experience Cats for the first time as it begins a new life, or let it thrill you all over again! The original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Sunset Boulevard), original scenic and costume design by John Napier (Les Misérables), all-new lighting design by Natasha Katz (Aladdin), all-new sound design by Mick Potter, new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne (The Phantom of the Opera) and direction by Trevor Nunn (Les Misérables) make this production a new Catsfor a new generation!
Broadway Center Stage: Footloose
October 9–13, 2019 in the Eisenhower Theater
To the rockin’ rhythm of the film’s Oscar® and Tony®–nominated top 40 score and augmented with dynamic new songs for the stage musical, Footloose celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people and guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind. Music by Tom Snow; lyrics by Dean Pitchford; stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. Based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford; additional music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, and Jim Steinman.
Come From Away
December 10, 2019–January 5, 2020 in the Eisenhower Theater
This New York Times Critic’s Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony® nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by Tony®–winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley. Newsweek cheers, “It takes you to a place you never want to leave!”
My Fair Lady
December 17, 2019-January 19, 2020 in the Opera House
From Lincoln Center Theater and director Bartlett Sher comes “a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady. Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his ideaof a “proper lady.” But who is really being transformed?
Broadway Center Stage: Next to Normal
January 29–February 2, 2020 in the Eisenhower Theater Tony Award® winner Rachel Bay Jones (Dear Evan Hansen, Pippin) stars in this unflinching look at a suburban family struggling with the effects of mental illness. Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and three 2009 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical Score, Next to Normal features book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt.
Jesus Christ Superstar
April 14–26, 2020 in the Opera House
Jesus Christ Superstar is an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader(Crazy for You, Into the Woods) and award-winning choreographer Drew McOnie (King Kong, Strictly Ballroom), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.
Broadway Center Stage: Bye Bye Birdie
April 23–27, 2020 in the Eisenhower Theater
A Tony Award®–winning send-up of the early 1960s, small-town America, teenagers, and rock ‘n’ roll. Teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie has been drafted, so he chooses all-American girl Kim MacAfee for a very public farewell kiss. Featuring a tuneful high-energy score by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams and a book by Michael Stewart, Bye Bye Birdiefeatures classic songs such as “Put on a Happy Face,” “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” and “Kids!”
Tiny Beautiful Things
June 2–28, 2020 in the Terrace Theater
The Kennedy Center shares another original production that captures the strength of human nature. From 2010 to 2012, thousands of people wrote letters asking for advice from an anonymous online columnist named Sugar, who drew from her own life experiences to answer in a candid, often brutally honest exchange. It was later revealed that Sugar was the pseudonym of Cheryl Strayed, a struggling writer. Based on the best-selling book by Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail) and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), this “incredibly moving” (Time Out) play is about reaching when you’re stuck, healing when you’re broken, and finding the courage to take on the questions that have no answers.
June 16–September 20, 2020 in the Opera House
Hamilton is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends Hip Hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now. With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
Once on This Island
June 23–July 12, 2020 in the Eisenhower Theater
Winner of the 2018 Tony Award® for Best Revival of a Musical, Once on This Island is the sweeping, universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. The groundbreaking vision of two-time Tony Award®–nominated director Michael Arden (the Broadway revival of Spring Awakening) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar) conjures up “a place where magic is possible and beauty is apparent for all to see!” (The Huffington Post). With a score that bursts with life from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the Tony Award®–winning songwriters of Anastasia and Ragtime, Once on This Island is a timeless testament to theater’s unlimited possibilities.
A Monster Calls
July 21–August 9, 2020 in the Eisenhower Theater
Patrick Ness’s novel A Monster Calls is brought to the stage in a powerful new adaptation by visionary director Sally Cookson.13-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved to America. But now his mum’s very sick and she’s not getting any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school won’t look him in the eye. Then, one night, at seven minutes past midnight, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears.
To Kill a Mockingbird
August 25–September 27, 2020 in the Eisenhower Theater
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning American classic To Kill a Mockingbird is brought to life as a new play by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Bartlett Sher. Inspired by Lee’s own childhood in Alabama, To Kill a Mockingbird features one of literature’s towering symbols of integrity and righteousness in the character of Atticus Finch, based on Lee’s own father. The character of Scout, based on herself, has come to define youthful innocence—and its inevitable loss—for generation after generation of readers around the world.
Ongoing in the Theater Lab
Shear Madness returns with brand new clues and hilarity. When a famed concert pianist is killed above the Shear Madness hair salon, the audience turns detective to crack the case. Featuring “downright hilarious” (Huffington Post) improvisational comedy, no two performances are alike. Was it the shady antiques dealer, the secretive stylist, the sassy salon owner, or the snooty society lady? This interactive, immersive, and irresistible whodunit keeps audiences laughing as they try to outwit the suspects and catch the killer.
Theater for Young Audiences 2019–2020
For the 2019–2020 season, Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences (KCTYA) has commissioned three new world premiere works that will inspire, engage, and entertain both young audiences and adults: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (The Musical), based on Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems’s best–selling book; Kid Prince & Pablo, a digital age Hip Hop story by Brian Quijada based on Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper; and Dreamer: A South African Journey, a new play from director and playwright Zoey Martinson, inspired by the real life and music of singer and songwriter Tuelo Minah. KCTYA will also present seven additional works in the 2019–2020 season, including five hailing from the Netherlands.
Patrons wishing to renew or purchase new subscriptions may do so by calling the Subscription office at (202) 416-8500 or go towww.kennedy-center.org/subscriptions.Pricing and on sale details for single tickets will be made available at a later date.