Geffen Playhouse to Stage Nine Plays for its 2018/2019 Season,
with Six World Premieres and Two Re-Imaginings of Classic Work,
and a Presentation of Echo Theater Company's The Cake

The first Geffen Playhouse season from new Artistic Director Matt Shakman will focus on world premiere plays from acclaimed playwrights that reflect a culturally diverse Los Angeles and revivals of classic works that are relevant to the issues of today.







The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona
Written by José Rivera

A Better Orpheus Inc. provides an unusual service—one that allows the living to communicate with the dead. When Nikki Corona loses her twin sister, A Better Orpheus puts her in touch with Orlando, a man dying too young. The ensuing love story leads to a journey through a vivid, surprising afterlife. In the rich literary tradition of magical realism and inspired by Dante's Inferno comes the world premiere of a new play by Obie Award-winning playwright and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter José Rivera.

Major support of this world premiere production provided by the
Edgerton Foundation New Play Production Fund

September 4 - October 7, 2018
World Premiere



Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
Adapted & Performed by Jefferson Mays

Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife) brings new life to the greatest ghost story ever told. While the heart of A Christmas Carol is evergreen, Mays' fresh perspective on Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the rest will create a wildly theatrical and original experience. With a world premiere adaptation based on a version Dickens performed throughout his life, the holidays come early to the Geffen this year.

October 30 - December 2, 2018
World Premiere Adaptation



Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole
Written by Patricia McGregor & Colman Domingo
Directed by Patricia McGregor
Featuring Dulé Hill & Daniel J. Watts

In this highly theatrical exploration into the soul of an American icon, Tony and Olivier Award-nominee Colman Domingo and Patricia McGregor imagine Nat "King" Cole as he faces the final Christmastime broadcast of his groundbreaking variety show and weighs the advice of his friend Sammy Davis Jr. to "go out with a bang." Songs such as "Nature Boy," "It's a Good Day" and "Unforgettable" underscore this innovative look at one of America's greatest talents. Starring Emmy Award-nominee Dulé Hill (West Wing, Stick Fly, Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk) as Nat "King" Cole and Daniel J. Watts (Hamilton, Memphis) as Sammy Davis Jr.

February 5 - March 10, 2019
West Coast Premiere



Directed by Kate Whoriskey

Antigone has, for centuries, been a protest, an outcry and even a call to arms. Now Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Award-nominated director Kate Whoriskey (Sweat, Ruined) revisits Antigone for our time. A young heroine, in an act of utter defiance, gives her traitorous brother a proper burial. A powerful woman who is willing to die for what she believes, Antigone remains one of the boldest characters ever conceived.

April 9 - May 12, 2019
A New Adaptation



Mysterious Circumstances
Written by Michael Mitnick
Inspired by The New Yorker article "Mysterious Circumstances: The Strange Death of a Sherlock Holmes Fanatic" by David Grann
Directed by Matt Shakman

Based on a true story, Richard Lancelyn Green, the world's foremost scholar on Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is found dead in his London apartment. With multiple suspects and competing motives, Green's death raises questions that may be answered only by Holmes himself. Inspired by The New Yorker article by David Grann (The Lost City of Z, Killers of the Flower Moon), this world premiere play by Michael Mitnick (Drama Desk Award nominee for Fly By Night, The Siegel) is an ode to literature's most cerebral detective and a meditation on the line between love and obsession.

This play was commissioned as part of the Geffen Playhouse's New Play Development Program thanks to the generosity of The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust

Major support of this world premiere production provided by the
Edgerton Foundation New Play Production Fund

June 11 - July 14, 2019
World Premiere and Geffen Playhouse Commission







The Cake
Written by Bekah Brunstetter
Directed by Jennifer Chambers
Featuring Joe Hart, Morrison Keddie, Shannon Lucio,
Carolyn Ratteray & Debra Jo Rupp

From hit television writer and producer Bekah Brunstetter (This is Us, Switched at Birth) comes The Cake, a play about Della, a North Carolina baker and devout Christian whose best friend's daughter is returning home to plan her wedding. When Della discovers that the girl she helped to raise is engaged to marry another woman, she must decide whether or not she can bake a wedding cake topped with two brides. Starring as Della, Debra Jo Rupp (That '70s Show, Friends) reprises the role for which she received an LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award.

The Geffen Playhouse is proud to present the Echo Theater Company's world premiere production as part of its commitment to celebrating the vibrant Los Angeles intimate theater community

September 10 - October 21, 2018
A Presentation of Echo Theater Company's World Premiere Production



Hughie & Krapp's Last Tape
Directed by Steven Robman
Featuring Brian Dennehy

Two-time Tony Award-winner Brian Dennehy comes to the Geffen as Erie Smith in Eugene O'Neill's Hughie and as Krapp in Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape. The double billing explores the ways in which two very different men grapple with the realization that their winning odds only diminish with age. Reprising roles that have garnered critical and popular acclaim, theater legend Dennehy takes the stage in the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater.

Hughie by Eugene O'Neill
When high-rolling gambler and small-time hustler Erie Smith loses his confidant Hughie, his luck takes a turn for the worse. In his grief, Erie befriends a new hotel night clerk and sees a chance for a winning streak.

Krapp's Last Tape by Samuel Beckett
Preparing for his birthday ritual, Krapp stumbles upon a recording of a tender memory from half a lifetime ago. As he immerses himself in his own personal history, Krapp questions whether his present lives up to his past.

November 5 - December 16, 2018



Black Super Hero Magic Mama
Written by Inda Craig-Galván

When Sabrina's 14-year-old son dies in a police shooting, it prompts a flurry of media attention and calls for racial justice. Unable to play the expected role of grieving mother, Sabrina retreats into the fantasy world of superheroes and arch-villains that inhabit the comic book created by her son before his death. Both heartbreaking and highly imaginative, this stunning world premiere marks the professional debut of Los Angeles-based playwright Inda Craig-Galván and signals the arrival of an exciting and distinctive new voice in American theater.

Major support of this world premiere production provided by the
Edgerton Foundation New Play Production Fund

March 5 - April 14, 2019
World Premiere



Invisible Tango
Created & Performed by Helder Guimarães
Directed by Frank Marshall

Magic sensation Helder Guimarães returns to the Geffen with the world premiere of his one-man show, Invisible Tango. Directed by legendary film producer and director Frank Marshall (Jurassic World, Indiana Jones, Goonies, Back to the Future), Invisible Tango explores the nature of secrets and how far we are willing to go to discover them. In the midst of the information age and our culture of over-sharing, Guimarães challenges our interaction with the unknown and explores how we can embrace the magic of wonder and mystery. Guimarães last amazed and charmed Geffen audiences in the smash hit Nothing to Hide, the two-man magic show that extended four times before transferring to New York.

May 7 - June 16, 2019
World Premiere


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