It is Going to be A Radically Different Year: True or False (or “Maybe,” but does it have to be “radically”)?

We’re getting ready for Sandra – starting to put the playbill together; figuring out what we’re going to say for a welcome text; rummaging through countless Youtube clips of Ms. Berhard, the Queen of All World Media, and digging the love, as she might say; digging the raunch; digging the lack of inhibition. Which makes me wonder why the hard-working wonderful staff at Theater J got all in a twitter about my using the expression “get it up” in my last posting, when describing my still-present zest and zeal for doing what I do as a producer. I cut it from the post — out of deference to staff — but I’m an idiot for listening to them — aren’t I? When Sandra and her Rebellious Jezebels roll into town in 5 weeks, we’re gonna have a lot more fur flying than one straight producer saying he still gets it up to go to work and dream (and collectively do the follow-through necessary to make those dreams come true).

Yes, I’m thinking this new season is gonna start like a bang, and it’s gonna set the table for a fall that will be urgent, upsetting, provocative, violent, heart-stirring, bloody, and–as we often strive to be–up to the minute in its relevance. We’re talking about the fall follow-up to Sandra’s WITHOUT YOU I’M NOTHING, which is the world premiere of the Serbian-Bosnian war play, HONEY BROWN EYES, by Stefanie Zadravec.

We’ll have time to talk about the play — the remarkable developments of the last week with the arrest of — and immediate war crimes proceedings against — Radovan Karadzic, the Serbian nationalist now on trial in the Hague. We’re gonna follow those proceedings closely. We’re soon to announce a reading series during the fall on the theme, WAR AND ETHICS and we’ll read a bunch of powerful works both at Theater J and at the Church Street Theatre in conjunction with our new friends and partners at Journeyman Theatre. For now let me register the sense that the tone of our new season is going to shift; there will be something harder hitting; in your face; rough and tough and not very overtly ethnic–not so Jewish, you might say, at least from September through mid-December. So the first three months, there will be bangs.

And then comes Bikel. As ambitious an undertaking as you can imagine for an 84 and a half year old man. And then it’s back to some hefty, harrowing, human and lacerating material in our Middle East Festival, three shows extending for the next three winter months. I’m psyched about all this. It’s where we needed to get back to.

But where have we been? Anyone care to share an impression? About the overall tones and subject matters of last season… Let us hear some thoughts. And then do answer “True” or “False.” The new season will feel like a radical departure; or a radical returning to earlier form; and then discuss: Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

It’s late and I ramble and I don’t sell a particular show or subscription package — not in this note. I simply state that we’re gonna kick ass [can i say that?], and then I ask you to take a poll on that very subject. We’re all looking forward to answers.