2021 Season

Press play on theater — reconceived.

After being on pause since March 2020, the Playhouse returned in 2021 with a season of theater reconceived to excel in a virtual environment — for both theater makers and audiences. We imaged a virtual forest for the digital production, chose productions that we want to revisit again, and in October we were able to welcome audiences back in the theater again.

Jun 29 – Jul 18

Tiny House is a perfect play to be recreated for a virtual world and opened our 2021 season. A thoughtful new comedy with characters whose lives are reduced to smaller human circles is something we could all relate to. Nick and his wife Sam have left the chaos of the world behind for their tiny house among the sequoias — or so they think! But fireworks fly when a quirky cast of characters converge upon their tiny enclave for a Fourth of July barbecue, and we’re reminded that there is no easy escape. 

by Michael Gotch
directed by Mark Lamos

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Nov 2 – 21

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner is an intimate drama which explores the consequences of missed cues and decisions made from differing points of view. This riveting, dramatic play starts conversations across generations, across faiths, and invites all those in our community to engage. 

by John Patrick Shanley
directed by David Kennedy

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Aug 23 – Sep 5

As we celebrated 90 years of the Playhouse, it was the perfect time to bring back gems from our archives of productions recorded in HD video. First up, we caught our critically acclaimed musical from 2018, Man of La Mancha.

by Dale Wasserman
lyrics by Joe Darion
music by Mitch Leigh
directed by Mark Lamos

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Sep 13 – 26

For our second opportunity to watch an important play captured in HD from from the archives,  we chose Of Mice and Men from 2008, the story of two migrant ranch workers, best friends, who move from place to place, seeking work and the promise of the American dream.

by John Steinbeck
directed by Mark Lamos

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In 2021, we continued our partnership with WSHU Public Radio to air our radio plays. New works, commissioned by diverse and new voices, brought new worlds to life in the world of imagination. After the shows aired on the radio, they were available for 3 weeks on our website.

May 29 – Jun 20

In the aftermath of World War II, a young soldier named Dang returns to his village in the jungles surrounding Bangkok to reunite with his wife and newborn baby. He is finally home. So why does he feel utterly alone?

The Return
by Kavin Panmeechao
directed by Mark Shanahan


July 10 – August 1

Leesa Colescott, a VIP courier of fine arts, has been tasked with delivering not only a strange piece of art, but also Asher — an angry 12-year-old boy — to the home of an uncle he’s never met. Their destination is an isolated farmhouse full of surprises, just like the ones found in late night horror movies. Are those other-worldly voices Asher hears coming from the paintings?

Special Delivery
by Shay Youngblood
directed by Mark Shanahan


October 30 – November 21

Jeff Switzer is the host of a popular and quirky ghost-hunting podcast. The play dramatizes the supposedly lost audio recordings from the last episode Switzer hosted before he went missing… those who seek proof of the afterlife had better be careful what they wish for!

Spectres and Spirits
by Richard R. Henry
directed by Mark Shanahan


December 25 – January 3, 2022

The best ghost story ever told; now a holiday tradition, this radio play was produced and first broadcast in 2020. Through the magic of radio, we bring to life the greatest miser of all time, Ebenezer Scrooge; the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future; and along the way we find the true spirit of Christmas.

A Merry Little Christmas Radio Drama
written and directed by Mark Shanahan
based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

We began our ever-popular series of playreadings virtually and were able to sneak in some in-person performances as the year came to an end. 

February 22  – 28
A Sherlock Carol
 on demand
by Mark Shanahan

April 26  – May 2
Rent Control on demand
written and performed by Evan Zes

June 14  – 20
The Savannah Disputation on demand
by Evan Smith

October 11 – 17
Mrs. Mannerly in person and on demand
by Jeffrey Hatcher

December 13 – 19
A Merry Little Christmas Carol in person and on demand
by Mark Shanahan
based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

JUNE 26 +  JULY 24

A series of special performances to benefit the Playhouse as we brought audiences back into Jason Robards Theatre. Each star brought their own unique show to the stage, featuring music, song, comedy — and talent.
Cabaret in the Robards
An Evening with Brad Simmons & Tonya Pinkins
An Evening with Ali Stroker

August 31 – September 2

Playhouse audiences made up the TV audience for three unforgettable concerts by Broadway’s brightest lights — Broadcast on PBS in January 2023!

Lights! Camera! Action! Stars on Stage!
Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Waitress)
Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, The Book of Mormon)
Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton, The Color Purple)

For those audiences who were still a bit wary of gathering in groups, we created some free virtual programming.

New Works / New Voices

New Works/New Voices: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Four new monologues from four Black voices honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
introducing the voices of
Gracy Brown, Tenisi Davis, Temika Pettway, and Terrence Riggins

New Works/New Voices: Phenomenal Women Inspire
Original work written by community members about inspiring women who changed history
introducing the voices of
Michelle Burns, Lana Gifas, Sheena Graham, and Bernicestine McLeod Bailey

Concept to Curtain

A virtual series of behind-the-scene looks at the creative process of putting a show on stage

Beyond el Barrio | In the Heights
a discussion with
Marcos Santana, director
Adam Koch, set design
Fabian Fidel Aguilar, costume design
María-Cristina Fusté, lighting design
Daniel Green, music director

Telling Mlima’s Tale
a discussion with
Mark Lamos, director
Jermaine Rowe, actor
Jeffrey Page, choreographer
Claire DeLiso, scenic designer
Fabian Fidel Aguilar, costume designer
Michael Keck, composer
Yana Birykova, projection designer


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