RACINE — The Racine Theatre Guild, 2519 Northwestern Ave., announced the list of plays and musicals that will make up its 2018-19 season during a reception Tuesday night.
“This year, our playreading committee, made up of actors, crew members and staff, read over 170 plays and musicals to narrow it down to our final eight,” said Douglas Instenes, managing and artistic director of the Racine Theatre Guild. “It’s a daunting task, but we strive to pick the best entertainment possible for Racine and beyond each season.”
To a crowd of people, Instenes announced the 81st season, which will feature productions of “Blithe Spirit,” “Lombardi,” “Things My Mother Taught Me,” “Wait Until Dark,” and “9 to 5 The Musical.”
The season will also offer three limited-run bonus shows, including “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “A Christmas Carol: The Musical,” and “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
“A few of these shows, like ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ and ‘Lombardi,’ “ have been on our radar for a couple of years,” Instenes said. “We are excited to finally get the rights to present them.”
The first play, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” written by Rick Elice with music by Wayne Barker, is based on a novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The play is a coming-of-age-story and prequel of the well-known “Boy Who Would Not Grow Up” before he became Peter Pan.
“Peter and the Starcatcher” is set to grace the Theatre Guild stage July 20-29.
The next show will be “Blithe Spirit,” written by Noel Coward, which is scheduled to run from Sept. 14 through 30. The play is about a novelist who invites a self-proclaimed medium to his home to research a séance.
Next on the stage will be “Lombardi,” a play written by Eric Simonson and based on the book “When Pride Still Mattered — A Life of Vince Lombardi” by David Maraniss. The play is based on the life of the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, five-time NFL champion and two-time Super Bowl champion. The production is scheduled to run from Oct. 19-Nov. 4.
For the second year in a row, the Racine Theatre Guild will feature “A Christmas Carol: The Musical,” based on the Charles Dickens novel. The show features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. The show is set to run Dec. 7-16 and follows the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, with a musical twist.
Looking to 2019
Next up will be the romantic comedy “Things My Mother Taught Me,” written by Katherine DiSavino. This production, which is scheduled to run Jan. 11-27, is a play about two young people who move into their first apartment together and cannot escape their parents’ watchful eyes.
“Wait Until Dark,” written by Frederick Knott, will be next. The thriller, which is planned to run Feb. 22-March 10, is about a blind housewife whose husband brings home a peculiar doll. This leads the housewife to find herself in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is on tap as the guild’s next show, based on the popular C.S. Lewis series and dramatized by Joseph Robinette. The show runs from April 5-14 and features a wardrobe that transports four children to the enchanted world of Narnia and their adventures there.
The season’s last show will be “9 to 5 The Musical,” featuring music and lyrics by Dolly Parton. The musical, based on a book by Patricia Resnick and a 20th Century Fox Picture, is about three female office workers who bond over their shared disgust with their sexist work environment and concoct a plan for revenge. The show is scheduled to run May 10-26.
“We love to have variety throughout our season,” Instenes said. “I think this line-up appeals to both volunteers and audience members with different interests and backgrounds. That’s one of the best things about theater — its ability to connect with all of us.”