Press Release: 2017-2018 Season Announcement

Once and Shakespeare in Love Lead South Coast Repertory's 2017-18 Season Lineup includes reimagined classics, contemporary hits and world premieres

COSTA MESA, Calif.—South Coast Repertory's (SCR) 2017-18 season opens with the multi-award-winning musical, Once, about a guy who gives up on music and love and the girl who inspires him to dream again. The season also features a double dose of The Bard—Shakespeare in Love, a romantic comedy adapted from the popular movie, and SHREW!, a riff on The Taming of the Shrew through the modern lens of Pulitzer Prize-finalist Amy Freed. NPR commentator Sandra Tsing Loh returns with her signature irreverence in Sugar Plum Fairy, and the season also includes Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson and The Sisters Rosensweig by Wendy Wasserstein. Subscriptions are on sale now; single tickets go on sale June 5. More information is available at

“Our upcoming season is both entertaining and filled with theatrical substance, with a number of ways for people to access SCR’s distinctive and exciting storytelling,” said Artistic Director Marc Masterson. “We have music, romance, comedy, drama and relevance for the world we live in today. These are all great stories that will be told by some of the finest theatre artists in America and we can’t wait to share them with our audiences.”

Five of the 13 plays featured during the 54th season are world premieres and three of the five are SCR commissions, coming out of the theatre's nationally renowned new-play development programs.

“The scope and breadth of works next season—ranging from a musical to reimagined classics to SCR commissions—will be entertaining in unique ways and compelling,” said Managing Director Paula Tomei. “We’re looking forward to the experiences our audiences and artists will have as they join together around fresh, theatrical adventures.”

Rounding out the season is the three-play Theatre for Young Audiences series, which includes Ella Enchanted: The Musical.

On the Segerstrom Stage

  • Once book by Enda Walsh, music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
  • Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson
  • Shakespeare in Love based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
  • SHREW! by Amy Freed (world premiere)
  • The Sisters Rosensweig by Wendy Wasserstein

On the Julianne Argyros Stage

  • Curve of Departure by Rachel Bonds (SCR commission, world premiere)
  • Sugar Plum Fairy by Sandra Tsing Loh
  • Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee (SCR commission, world premiere)
  • Little Black Shadows by Kemp Powers (world premiere)

Theatre for Young Audiences

  • Ella Enchanted: The Musical by Karen Zacarías, music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
  • Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook, a play by Allison Gregory, adapted from the book series by Barbara Park
  • Amos & Boris, book and lyrics Sophia Alvarez, with music and additional lyrics by Daniel Roland Tierney (SCR commission, world premiere)

Holiday Classic

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Jerry Patch.

The annual showcase of new plays—the Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF)—features seven new plays over a weekend, a combination of readings and full productions, April 20-22, 2018. The three-day festival attracts theatre professionals from across the nation—as well as local and regional new-play fans—drawn together for the opportunity to see some of the best new plays in the country. Over the course of two decades, PPF has presented 131 plays by 94 playwrights.

At the holidays, it’s Orange County’s favorite, A Christmas Carol, with Hal Landon Jr. back for his 38th consecutive year as everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. Single tickets for A Christmas Carol go on sale to the public August 1; subscribers enjoy exclusive early access to these tickets.

Related Information

New subscriptions are on sale now and may be purchased online at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or in person at the SCR box office. Packages range from $64 to $594.

Single tickets will go on sale on June 5. All dates and plays are subject to change. More information about the season is available online:


All dates and plays are subject to change.

book by Enda Walsh
music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
based on the motion picture written and directed by John Carney
directed by Kent Nicholson
Sept. 2–30, 2017
“Glorious and inspiring” (Time Out New York), “fun and heartfelt” (The New Yorker), Once tells the story of a Dublin street musician about to abandon his dream when a beautiful woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to new heights, and their connection becomes more than an everyday romance. Winner of eight Tony Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Curve of Departure
by Rachel Bonds
directed by Mike Donahue
Sept. 24–Oct. 15, 2017
On the night before Cyrus’ funeral, the family he left years ago gathers in a hotel room. Linda, his ex-wife. Felix, his grown son. Rudy, Cyrus’ ailing father. All steeling themselves for the burial of a man they may have loved but didn’t like. And then there’s Jackson, Felix’s new boyfriend. In the tight confines of the hotel room, it’s hard to keep secrets—especially when everyone is at a crossroads in their life. A warm and surprisingly funny family drama.

Gem of the Ocean
by August Wilson
directed by Kent Gash
Oct.14–Nov. 11, 2017
1904. Slavery ended nearly 50 years ago, but freedom is still precarious. Many former slaves and descendants venturing north find themselves at Aunt Ester’s door in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. A renowned cleanser of souls claiming to be 285 years old, Ester provides solace, advice and healing. Citizen Barlow, racked with guilt over letting another man take the rap for his crimes, desperately wants to be pure again. And Aunt Ester may be his only hope. From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences and Jitney comes a mystical story of liberty, justice and redemption.

Theatre for Young Audiences
Ella Enchanted: The Musical
by Karen Zacarías
music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
adapted from the book by Gail Carson Levine
directed by Casey Stangl
Oct. 27–Nov. 12, 2017
As a baby, Ella was given the “gift” of obedience by a misguided fairy and cannot disobey any order. Now a teenager, the strong-willed Ella must outwit her evil stepmother, escape hungry ogres and hold on to her best friend, all while getting rid of the troublesome curse and finding her own voice. Expect delightful music and plenty of girl power in this wonderfully modern and musical Cinderella story.

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
adapted for the stage by Jerry Patch
directed by John-David Keller
Nov. 24 Dec. 24, 2017
Nineteenth-century London comes to life when your family joins the SCR family for the holidays. Recapture the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with this timeless Dickens classic and all your favorite characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come—and, as always, Hal Landon Jr. as everyone's favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge (for the 38th consecutive year).

Sugar Plum Fairy
by Sandra Tsing Loh
Dec. 3–24, 2017
directed by Bart DeLorenzo
The Madwoman in the Volvo is back—and Scrooge isn’t the only one bitter about the holidays! With signature irreverence, NPR superstar Sandra Tsing Loh recounts her own childhood desire for a highly coveted role in the Beverly Rosann School of Dance’s production of The Nutcracker. Filled with ambition, rivalry and pre-teen angst, this hilarious tale of life’s crushing blows has been praised as “a Christmas treat that isn’t too sugary sweet” (Talkin’ Broadway) and “a comic assault on holiday sentiment” (SF Gate). Adult content.

Shakespeare in Love
based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
music by Paddy Cunneen
directed by Marc Masterson
Jan. 13–Feb. 10, 2018
Young Will Shakespeare is desperate. He has writer’s block and owes two demanding producers a new comedy—a half-baked mess titled Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter. Enter his inspiration: Viola. Smart, beautiful and Will’s greatest admirer, she will stop at nothing—including breaking the law—to be in his play. As their love blossoms, so does his greatest masterpiece. Mistaken identities, ruthless scheming and backstage theatrics make this romantic feast “a joyous celebration of theatre” (Daily Telegraph).

Theatre for Young Audiences
Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook
a play by Allison Gregory
adapted from the book series by Barbara Park
Jan. 26–Feb. 11, 2018
The world’s funniest grade-school know-it-all is back! And Junie B. is convinced that someone stole her furry black mittens at recess. So, when she finds a cool pen on the floor, it’s Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers. But why does Junie B. keep having those bad dreams? Will she ever get her mittens back? And will she win over the new boy in Room 8?

Cambodian Rock Band
by Lauren Yee
music by Dengue Fever
March 4 25, 2018
Part comedy, part drama, part rock concert, this thrilling story toggles back and forth in time, as father and daughter face the music of the past. Neary, a 26-year-old Cambodian American has found evidence that could finally put away the Khmer Rouge’s chief henchman. But her work is far from done. When Dad shows up unannounced—his first return to Cambodia since fleeing 30 years ago—it’s clear this isn’t just a pleasure trip.

by Amy Freed
March 24–April 21, 2018
directed by Art Manke
In Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio wins. In Amy Freed’s clever and wickedly funny spin on the classic, Kate does, too. He’s still cocky and charming. She stays quick-witted and uncompromising. But that thorny “women-should-be-subservient” thing? Gone! Tag along as their unlikely romance travels some surprising new paths—and enjoy every hilarious bump in the road.

Little Black Shadows
by Kemp Powers
April 8–29, 2018
directed by May Adrales
“We is shadows. And shadows is seen, not heard.” In pre-Civil war Georgia, Toy and Clovis spend long days on the plantation silently serving adolescent twins Mittie and Daniel. But in the dead of night their world comes alive, as they lie beneath their masters’ beds whispering stories to each other through a vent in the wall. When Father announces the family is moving to Louisiana, the children face uncertain futures. Do they dare come out of the shadows? A compelling testament to the power of the human spirit from one of America’s most promising playwrights.

The Sisters Rosensweig
by Wendy Wasserstein
May 5–June 2, 2018
They’re each extraordinary in their own way. Sara shattered the glass ceiling in banking. Pfeni travels the globe as an acclaimed journalist. And Gorgeous is, well, gorgeous—and the irrepressible host of a radio advice show. Not bad for three sisters from Brooklyn in the early 1990s. When they gather in London for Sara’s 54th birthday, along with some of the men in their lives, the result is a witty, enthralling look at the quest for love, acceptance and self-fulfillment. After its Broadway opening, The New Yorker raved, “The laughter is all but continuous.”

Theatre for Young Audiences
Amos & Boris
book and lyrics by Sofia Alvarez
music and additional lyrics by Daniel Roland Tierney
adapted from the classic children's book by William Steig
directed by Shelley Butler
May 18–June 3, 2018
While all the mice in Mouse Town dance the night away, Amos would rather sit alone dreaming of the ocean. When he goes on a high seas adventure and runs into trouble, Boris the whale comes to the rescue. Though Amos and Boris are different in every possible way, they become devoted friends. This fun, funny and funky musical teaches lessons about being yourself and the enduring power of friendship.

Complete information is available at

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.