Dezart Performs Announces 16th Season in Palm SpringsWith Additional Performances
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Dezart Performs Announces 16th Season in Palm Springs
With Additional Performances
Pulitzer Finalist, Drama Critics’ Circle Award Winner and Acclaimed Play
by Native American Playwright Comprise Four Play Schedule
23 June 2023 – Palm Springs: Building on an award winning season that saw its acclaimed productions secure 96% capacity, Dezart Performs of Palm Springs (www.dezartperforms.org ) announces its 16th year of fearless, provocative, and inspiring theatre including a Pulitzer Finalist, Drama Critics Circle Award Winner, and a first ever Broadway play written by a Native American. Buoyed by last years’ record attendance, the company is adding two additional performances to each production: Sunday evening performances at 7pm.
“Age 16 is when one is allowed to drive, and we really feel this season puts us back in high gear,” said Michael Shaw, founding Artistic Director of Dezart Performs. “Each production offers a unique perspective, combining laughter, introspection, and powerful storytelling. We can’t wait to share these extraordinary performances with our loyal patrons and new audiences alike.”
Kicking off the season is THE THANKSGIVING PLAY by Larissa FastHorse (November 3 – 12) a comedy that hilariously satirizes the collision between good intentions and absurd assumptions. Directed by Shaw, this wickedly funny production follows a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists as they scramble to create a pageant that celebrates both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month. Of note, FastHorse, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Lakota People, is the first Native American playwright to have a show produced on Broadway.
Next up is WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME (January 19 – 28), a dramatic comedy written by Heidi Schreck and directed by Craig Wells. This critically acclaimed show, a 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist, explores the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Audiences can expect a hilarious, hopeful, and achingly human experience.
A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD (March 1 – 10) by Samuel D. Hunter, whose A BRIGHT NEW BOISE was a hit for Dezart Performs last season, takes center stage next. An emotional and thought-provoking drama directed by Shaw, this play delves into the fragile worlds of Keith, a mortgage broker, and Ryan, a yogurt plant worker, as they bond over their shared experiences of marginality and the realities of financial insecurity.
Concluding the 16th anniversary season is MR PARKER (April 12 – 21), a drama written by Michael McKeever whose play DANIEL’S HUSBAND was the sell-out sensation of Dezart’s 2020 Season. Directed by Randy Brenner, the play finds 54-year old widower Terry Parker adjusting to a newly single life after the loss of his partner of 30 years.
“In an era when so much seems to be about polarization, I hope our plays continue to open dialogue and build community,” said Shaw. “We are dedicated to producing fresh and compelling works that inspire such dialogue and provoke thought with a commitment to artistic excellence and community engagement.”
Subscriptions will go on sale for existing season subscribers Wednesday, July 5; new season subscribers may purchase tickets beginning July 25. Single show tickets go on sale September 12.
All performances take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club) 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs. Ticket prices are $48 – $55 and may be purchased online at www.dezartperforms.org , or by calling (760) 322-0179. Showtimes are Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm and 7pm.
Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies, recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.
16th Dezart Performs’ Season Listing
THE THANKSGIVING PLAY
A comedy written by Larissa FastHorse
Directed by Michael Shaw
November 3-5; 10-12, 2023
Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.
“Hilarious. A cheerfully cutthroat production!”
– The New York Times
“Hysterically funny and brutally on target.”
“A hilarious envelope in which [the playwright] delivers a brutal satire about mythmaking, and thus, in a way, about theater itself.”
– The New York Times
* * *
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
A dramatic comedy written by Heidi Schreck
Directed by Craig Wells
January 19 – 21; 26 – 28
2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist
2019 Tony Award nominated, Best Play
2019 Obie award for Best New American Play
2019 Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Best New Play
2019 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Play
Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives.
“…brilliantly crafted show, harrowing and funny and humane, that accesses the political through the deeply personal.”
– New York Magazine
“A highly entertaining, deeply informative and ultimately hopeful examination of the document that impacts every single one of us, every single day of our lives.”
– Chicago Sun Times
“This funny, tragic and deeply unsettling one-woman tour de force shows who the US constitution serve — and who it lets down.”
– The Guardian
* * *
A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
A drama written by Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by Michael Shaw
March 1-3; 8-10
2022 Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play
A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD unfolds in a cubicle where two seated people unexpectedly choose to bring one another into their fragile worlds. Keith, a mortgage broker, and Ryan, a yogurt plant worker seeking to buy a plot of land that belonged to his family many decades ago, realize they share a “specific kind of sadness.” At this desk in the middle of America, loan talk opens up into a discussion about the chokehold of financial insecurity and a bond over the precariousness of parenthood. With humor, empathy and wrenching honesty, Hunter commingles two lives and deftly bridges disparate experiences of marginality.
“Must-see heartbreaker of a play!”
– The New York Times
“Another extraordinary play by Samuel D. Hunter!”
– New York Stage Review
“Easily one of the best of the year!”
–The Wall Street Journal
“…one of the most moving new plays of the year!”
“‘A Case for the Existence of God’ Finds What Connects Us All and Holiness in Humanity.”
– The Observer
* * *
A drama written by Michael McKeever
Directed by Randy Brenner
April 12 – 14; 19 — 21
At 54 years old, Terry Parker finds himself at a crossroads in his life. After the loss of his partner of 30 years, he finds himself suddenly single and unable to adjust to a world that has moved on without him. After a night of heavy drinking, he wakes up with a 28-year-old bartender-slash-Uber-driver. These two very different people begin a tentative relationship, and what starts out as a one-night stand becomes a journey of self-discovery for a man trying to let go of the past and move forward, while dealing with the pressures of being middle-aged, gay and alone in the ever-changing landscape of today’s America.
“A very intelligent, absorbing look at contemporary relationships and the conflicts that keep us all from aging with joy and peace of mind. This play is a real discovery!”
– Rex Reed
“The protagonist of this new play by Michael McKeever steps gingerly out of grief’s stasis and into the unknown.”
–The New York Times