How can Collective Face Theatre Ensemble equal or top its successful first season?
Why, with a season that includes such stellar productions as “Equus” and Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love,” of course. The troupe has announced its 2013-14 season, and there’s not a bad apple in the bunch.
“I think it’s pretty exciting,” said Collective Face managing director Dandy Barrett. “Some are quite challenging.
“It provides a breadth of theater experiences that will appeal to a broad spectrum of people who enjoy theater,” she said. “We have comedy, tragedy and a combination of the two.
“That allows us to stretch our acting muscles, particularly with the first piece. It is terrific in terms of the artistic direction that David Poole gives us.”
For a new theater company, Collective Face has done very well.
“We are delighted that we had a very successful first full season,” Barrett said.
“We came out of it well positioned to do a full second season,” she said. “As a new repertory company, we’re tickled to be able to continue, particularly when the economy still is struggling.
“My dad told me years ago, ‘What a man needs is God, bread and the circus.’ We’re certainly trying to provide a bit of the circus.”
The troupe has some new members: Mark Rand, Chris Blair, Lynn Jones and Eric Salles.
“Each brings something different to the company,” Barrett said. “It broadens our scope.
“We’re particularly delighted to add Amy Kagan on the technical side. She’s been a stalwart in terms of providing technical support.”
For the first time, Collective Face is offering season subscriptions.
“People can call our reservations line and will be called back very shortly,” Barrett said.
“We will be able to take their orders over the phone. They will be able to get reserved seating and we will save seats for our subscribers.
“Just last week, we formed a partnership with Joe’s Homemade Cafe Catering and Bakery,” she said. “They’re going to do opening night receptions for each production.”
As it goes into its second season, Collective Face is expanding.
“I think it’s a continuous evolution,” Barrett said. “We’re strengthening our abilities.
“We’re very enthusiastic,” she said. “There’s a lot of work going into this. We have each and every company member to thank for that.
“Joining a repertory company doesn’t mean you just come in and get your jollies on stage. It means that you must contribute to the company in all support capacities to keep the theater going.”
As before, Collective Face will be based in Muse Arts Warehouse.
“That’s been a truly beneficial alliance,” Barrett said.
Artistic director David Poole is delighted with the lineup for the upcoming season.
“It gives everyone something to look forward to,” he said.
“We’ll begin with ‘Equus.’ This is very highly anticipated,” Poole said.
“Equus” will open Sept. 20 and run through Oct. 6.
“I think it’s time for me to really do the production of ‘Equus’ I’ve always really wanted to do,” Poole said.
“It’s dark and edgy and has comedic moments,” he said. “I thought it would be a great way to begin our season and show the talents of our company.”
“Bell, Book and Candle” will be presented Dec. 6-22.
“I was looking for something light, something appropriate for the holidays, and a show that could feature our actors in a more comedic tone,” Poole said.
“This is a great little gem that a lot of people don’t know about,” he said. “It’s a classic love story set during Christmas.
“Most people don’t know it’s the basis for ‘Bewitched.’ It’s about a witch falling in love with a mortal and it was made into a movie with Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart.”
Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love” will be presented March 7-23.
“There is a movie version with Sam Shepard and Kim Bassinger that is a Robert Altman film,” Poole said. “I thought it would be really good for our company of actors. It would stretch the actors.
“It’s a relationship play beyond all relationship plays,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a crowd favorite.”
The final play of the season is “The Memory of Water,” which will be presented May 9-25.
“It is more unknown than any of the other plays in the season,” Poole said. “I was looking for something more about Mother’s Day because it comes in the May slot. Last year, we did ‘Pride and Prejudice.’
“This was written by a British playwright,” he said. “It’s about three sisters who come together at their childhood home to do the funeral arrangements for their mother.”
Although dead, the mother appears as a ghost.
“It’s poignant and hysterically funny,” he said. “I felt it was a very good choice for our company.”
The entire season is a good choice for Collective Face, Poole said.
“I’ve been calling it a season that speaks to us,” he said. “I’ve taken into the fact that the past year was spent trying to find what audience we are speaking to. I’m also calling it ‘a season of passionate pursuits.’
“All the characters are passionate about their lives,” Poole said. “It’s going to stretch the audience a little bit, and there’s something for everyone.”
Each show offers a different passionate pursuit, Poole said.
“If you like a little more edgy stuff, ‘Equus’ is your show,” he said. “If you like a light-hearted romantic comedy, ‘Bell, Book and Candle’ or ‘A Memory of Water’ is for you. ‘Fool for Love’ is an American classical play, written in the 1980s.
Rehearsals for “Equus” will start in a month.
“It’s a very, very interesting show and a very powerful piece and we’ve got some zingers in these roles,” Poole said. “People will laugh. They will cry. It’s exactly what we want them to do.”
Collective Face Theatre Ensemble 2013-14 schedule
Sept. 20-Oct. 6: “Equus”
Dec. 6-22: “Bell, Book and Candle”
March 7-23, 2014: “Fool for Love”
May 9-25, 2014: “The Memory of Water”