Baltimore Center Stage (BCS) and Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra are proud to announce the complete 2022/23 season, celebrating BCS’s 60th Anniversary.
The season will feature artists such as Thornton Wilder, Stevie Walker-Webb, Jordan E.
Cooper, Lili-Anne Brown, Nia Vardalos, Stori Ayers, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, María Irene Fornés and more. Memberships for the 22/23 Season are on sale now, and single ticket sales will begin on August 16, 2022.
In addition to all mainstage programming, BCS will also be producing a wide range of artistic programs, including concert series, film screenings, and talks with members of Baltimore and artistic communities. This will include the return of the Baltimore Butterfly Sessions, ongoing partnership with Creative Alliance, and the BCS Sound Check concert series, as well as programs celebrating the city of Baltimore and its artistic communities, including Our Town, Baltimore and the Locally Grown Festival. BCS’s Shared Space Initiative, New Work Development activities, and partnership with ArtsCentric will continue this season. More details on these programs will be announced at a later date.
“Next year marks the 60th anniversary of Baltimore Center Stage, and I am so excited to honor this organization’s formidable legacy,” says BCS Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra. “For us, this looks like reimagining what a theater can be in its community and how we want to show up on and off our stages – and so as we bring this exciting slate of joyful and compelling programming over the course of the season, we will not only reflect back on the past 60 years of Baltimore Center Stage, but also dream forward to the next 60 years of this theater and this community.”
The 2022/23 season begins this fall with Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town, directed
by Stevie Walker-Webb (The Folks at Home) and continues with the regional premiere of
Ain’t No Mo’ by Jordan E. Cooper (BET’s The Ms. Pat Show), directed by Lili-Anne Brown
(Put Your House in Order) in partnership with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. The season continues in 2023 with Tiny Beautiful Things, by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat
Greek Wedding), based on the book by Cheryl Strayed and directed by Stori Ayers
(Confederates); and Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, adapted by Maria
Irene Fornés (Fefu and Her Friends) and directed by Stevie Walker-Webb.
Baltimore Center Stage’s first priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our audiences, staff, artists, and guests. Our current policy is that masks must be worn at Baltimore Center Stage and may only be removed in designated eating and drinking areas. Proof of vaccination – or a negative COVID PCR test within 72 hours of show time – is required.
For the most up-to-date COVID Safety Guidelines, visit our website: https://www.centerstage.org/visit/covid-19-response/.
The line-up for the 2022/23 mainstage season is:
Written by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb
September 15 – October 9, 2022
Opening night: Thursday, September 20, 2022
Re-discover the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic play as you’ve never seen it before, drawing inspiration from our town, Baltimore. Helmed by Obie Award winner Stevie Walker-Webb (who directed BCS’s acclaimed The Folks at Home), Our Town tells the story of a community: in their growing up and their marrying and their living and their dying. Widely regarded as the finest American play ever written, this Thornton Wilder masterpiece lifts up the beauty of ordinary human life and reminds us of how extraordinary each moment can be.
AIN’T NO MO’
Written by Jordan E. Cooper
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown
In partnership with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
October 27 – November 20, 2022
Opening night: Thursday, November 3, 2022
Fasten your seatbelts – it’s going to be an outrageous ride. Jordan E. Cooper’s masterful no-holds-barred comedy is a surreal journey through Black America as Peaches, a narrator and flight attendant, invites Black Americans to board African American Airlines’ one-way Flight 1619 back to Africa for a mass exodus. She guides the audience through a mosaic of vignettes that use satire, allegory, and speculative fiction to explore the value of Black lives in a country so intertwined with them in this “campy, shrewd, mortifying, scary,
devastating, and deep” play (The New York Times).
TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS
Written by Nia Vardalos
Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed
Co-Conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail, and Nia Vardalos
Directed by Stori Ayers
March 9 – April 2, 2023
Opening night: Thursday, March 16, 2023
Based on the best-selling book by Cheryl Strayed (Wild) and brilliantly adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Tiny Beautiful Things is a funny and cathartic play about reaching when you’re stuck, healing when you’re broken, and finding comfort in shared humanity. In this fantastical interpretation of Strayed’s real-life experience as online advice columnist “Sugar,” three performers invade the struggling writer’s toy-cluttered living room as embodiments of a multitude of readers navigating grief, love, and forgiveness in this theatrical hug of a show.
LIFE IS A DREAM
Written by Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Adapted by María Irene Fornés
Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb
May 4 – May 21, 2023
Opening night: Thursday, May 11, 2023
Long, long ago, in a far off kingdom, Segismund, the rightful prince, has spent his life locked in a tower because of a prophecy that he will destroy the realm. When a mysterious visitor arrives, Segismund gets his first chance at freedom–or so he thinks. Calderón’s revered 17th-century philosophical play Life is a Dream is adapted here with contemporary resonance by legendary master of absurdity and subconscious María Irene Fornés. The tale of power, love, and illusion questions: What is life? A frenzy? An illusion? A dream.
In addition to its mainstage productions, Baltimore Center Stage will continue a number of
new community-focused artistic programs introduced during the 21/22 Season, including the Baltimore Butterfly Sessions, BCS Sound Check and more.
These initiatives, partnerships, and programs include:
Baltimore Butterfly Sessions
September 19, November 7 & December 5, 2022; May 1, 2023; and more dates to be announced.
Inspired by Citizen University’s Civic Saturdays, The Baltimore Butterfly Sessions bring together music, poetry, literary excerpts, and thought-provoking keynote addresses to catalyze conversation and build awareness around today’s most pressing issues. Tapping into some of the brightest voices around the nation and in Baltimore, each Butterfly Session will convene artists, activists, organizers, and thinkers to unpack a civically resonant topic. Through the Baltimore Butterfly Sessions, BCS aims to create a space for civic dialogue & fellowship across difference and stay firmly rooted in our local community. The 2022-23 Baltimore Butterfly Session lineup will honor Baltimore Center Stage’s 60th anniversary with curated future-thinking topics that look to the next 60 years of Baltimore. The season will also include taking select Butterfly Sessions on the road to catalyze conversation in spaces around the city.
The lineup for the season includes:
September 19, 2022 – Keynote by Gavin Witt and Dr. Durryle Brooks
November 7, 2022 – Keynote by Dr. Lawrence T. Brown
BCS Sound Check
October 21 & November 18, 2022; March 31 & April 14, 2023
A new Friday-night concert series in the Deering Lobby, BCS Sound Check features some of today’s most exciting musicians and musical theater writers from Baltimore and beyond. Next year’s Sound Check series will open with a concert featuring vocalist and composer Michelle J. Rodriguez and her project PRESENCIA.
Our Town, Baltimore
Join Baltimore Center Stage for these events beyond the stage to tell the story of our town, Baltimore. Inspired by Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Our Town, Baltimore will bring an arc of community-centered intergenerational programming that runs alongside BCS’s production of the classic play in the fall.
BCS Presents in Partnership with Creative Alliance
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: an interactive movie night
October 28 – 29, 2022
Are you shivering with antici…..pation? It’s time to rocket back to 1975 with an interactive movie night of the timeless cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. BCS is teaming up with Creative Alliance for this spectacular event featuring live performances from Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror, a costume contest, and a whole lot of fishnet.
December 1 – December 19, 2022
Bring the whole family to experience an immersive winter wonderland at Baltimore Center Stage. Our Winter Solstice will feature a slate of cheer-filled intergenerational activities inside of decked halls throughout the month of December.
Locally Grown Festival
February 2-4, 2023
Meet the creatives who put the “charm” in Charm City! The Locally Grown Festival will bring together local performers, artists, and makers for a weekend of fresh voices, local connection, and theater in all its forms. Join us for this inaugural celebration of Baltimore’s brilliant, eccentric, and thriving arts ecology.
Young Playwrights Festival
May 20th, 2023
In its 38th year, the Young Playwrights Festival is Baltimore Center Stage’s longest running learning program that encourages expression and creativity in students across the state. Our in-school residencies and open call process culminates in professional productions of six selected plays written by young playwrights throughout Maryland. The theme for YPF 2023 will be The Looking Glass.
Virtual Student Matinee Library
The virtual student matinee library is a free online collection of filmed versions of select Baltimore Center Stage programs and plays with corresponding program material, such as curricula and program guides, to prompt questioning and classroom discussion exclusively available to K-12 teachers.
Camp BCS: Creative Impressions
June 27-August 5, 2022
Make your impression! This summer, Camp BCS invites campers to explore how various artistic mediums serve as tools for storytelling. Poetry, dance, music and theater will guide campers through colorful opportunities to come together and shape stories. Students will harness their skills and creativity to sketch the idea of their future footprint in their communities. GOT STEAM?! Come and pedal bikes to blend smoothies and do spin art while singing along to some of your favorite songs! At the end of each session, campers will have the opportunity to use these creative mediums to share their skills in collaboration with
students in their pods.
Tickets for the season will go on sale in the coming months. Performance schedules, casting and full creative teams for productions and programs will also be announced at a later date.
About Baltimore Center Stage
Designated the State Theater of Maryland in 1978, Baltimore Center Stage provides the highest quality theater and programming for all members of our communities, including youth and families, under the leadership of Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra. Baltimore Center Stage ignites conversations and imaginations by producing an eclectic season of professional productions across two mainstages, through engaging community programs, and with inspiring education programs. Everything we do at Baltimore Center Stage is led by our core values—chief among them being Access For All. Our mission is heavily rooted in providing active and open accessibility for everyone, regardless of any and all barriers, to our Mainstage performances, education initiatives, and community programming.