Foster City, CA (February 8, 2017) – Following a record-breaking 2016–17 season, Hillbarn Theatre, the Peninsula’s premier theatre company, announced last night the eight ambitious productions that will comprise the lineup for its 2017–2018 season. Highlights include the Peninsula premiere of the unforgettable musical, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME; Larry Shue’s award-winning comedy, THE FOREIGNER; the hit thriller, THE WOMAN IN BLACK; everyone’s favorite musical, ANNIE; the Tony Award-winning play, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER; the award-winning drama, THE ELEPHANT MAN; the national premiere of WHEN THAT I WAS…; and the raucous musical, THE FULL MONTY. All performances will be held at Hillbarn Theatre, (1285 East Hillsdale Blvd. Foster City). Subscriptions ($210 – $336) are on sale now at hillbarntheatre.org or by calling 650.349.6411.
“There is a light in each of us. A light that burns so bright that only when we give some of it away can we share in its beauty,” says Executive Artistic Director Dan Demers. “It’s time for Hillbarn to look back to its roots and explore the true nature of Humanity. We must turn our focus to what makes us special, what make theatre important and why our community needs us. It’s time for us to focus on strengthening our structure and ensuring that no matter what, people have a place to come and hear stories and in some cases be the storytellers. From the page to the stage, during our 77th season, let us light the fire, gather together, and change our lives for the better.”
During the 2017–18 season, Hillbarn Theatre will also launch “Next Stage,” a new series that will present fully-staged black productions with all the workings of a staged show, but without full sets. These shows will rely heavily on storytelling through acting, lighting, costumes and props.
Hillbarn Theatre celebrates its 77th Season as the Peninsula’s premier community theatre company with new opportunities and performances to showcase its artistic vision throughout the Peninsula and the Bay Area. Hillbarn Theatre hopes to see another exciting year of possibilities and growth as well as uphold its timeless mission statement, “To create theatre with the community, for the community, striving always for excellence in production and education.”
Announcing Our 2017–18 SEASON
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
August 24 – September 10, 2017
Hillbarn Theatre kicks off its 2017–2018 season with the acclaimed musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature. The musical begins as the bells of Notre Dame resound through the famed cathedral in 15th-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer who longs to be “Out There,” observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though – the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all.
Press night for Hunchback of Notre Dame is Friday, August 25, 2017.
October 5 – 22, 2017
The season continues with Larry Shue’s award-winning comedy, The Foreigner. The scene is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by “Froggy” LeSeuer, a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. This time “Froggy” has brought along a friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. So “Froggy,” before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Taking the explanation that he’s a non-English speaker as fact, the lodge’s guests quickly begin revealing their secrets, and Charlie soon discovers scandals amongst some of the residents of the lodge.
Press night for The Foreigner is Friday, October 6, 2017.
NEXT STAGE: THE WOMAN IN BLACK
October 26 – 29, 2017
Just in time for Halloween, Hillbarn Theatre presents the spine-tingling thriller, The Woman in Black. The framework is unusual: a lawyer hires an actor to tutor him in recounting to family and friends a story that has long troubled him concerning events that transpired when he attended the funeral of an elderly recluse. There he caught sight of the woman in black, the mere mention of whom terrifies the locals, for she is a specter who haunts the neighborhood where her illegitimate child was accidentally killed.
November 30 – December 17, 2017
Based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray, Annie has become a worldwide phenomenon and was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC.
Press night for Annie will be Friday, December 1, 2017.
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
January 18 – February 4, 2018
Hillbarn Theatre kicks off 2018 with the Tony-winning play, based on the best-selling novels. Peter and the Starcatcher upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan). A wildly theatrical adaptation of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s best-selling novels, the play was conceived for the stage by directors, Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, and written by Rick Elice, with music by Wayne Barker. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, Peter and the Starcatcher playfully explores the depths of greed and despair… and the bonds of friendship, duty and love.
Press night for Peter and the Starcatcher will be Friday, January 19, 2018.
THE ELEPHANT MAN
March 8 – 25, 2018
Hillbarn Theatre brings the Tony Award-winning drama The Elephant Man to the stage. The Elephant Man is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A horribly deformed young man, victim of rare skin and bone diseases, he has become the star freak attraction in traveling side shows. Found abandoned and helpless, he is admitted to London’s prestigious Whitechapel hospital. Under the care of celebrated young physician Frederick Treves, Merrick is introduced to London society and slowly evolves from an object of pity to an urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati only to be denied his ultimate dream, to become a man like any other.
Press night for The Elephant Man will be Friday, March 9, 2018.
NEXT STAGE: NATIONAL PREMIERE: WHEN THAT I WAS…
March 29 – 31, 2018
Little is known about the man we know as William Shakespeare. And so for the past 450 or so years, writers have filled in blanks the great playwright left behind. It is 1650 and Jack Rice, a one-time boy actor, now aged and stooped, is hiding out from the rain and Oliver Cromwell’s rulling puritans in the ruins of the abandoned Globe Theatre. “Plays be forbidden,” quakes Jack as the wardens pound on the door. “I could be flogged for being an actor.” This is not dull recitation of history but fascinating, human stuff as told by a lad who was supposedly there. This one man show takes on 25 or so roles and includes some of Shakespeare’s best known speeches. And he loves, as apparently most everyone did, the man he calls “Uncle Will.”
THE FULL MONTY
May 3 – 20, 2018
Based on the cult hit film of the same name, The Full Monty, a ten-time Tony Award nominee, is filled with honest affection, engaging melodies and the most highly anticipated closing number of any show. While spying on their wives at a “Girls’ Night Out,” a group of unemployed steelworkers from Buffalo sees how much they enjoy watching male strippers. Jealous, out of work and feeling emasculated, the men come up with a bold and unclothed way to make some quick cash. In preparing, they find themselves extremely exposed; not merely physically but emotionally. As they conquer their fears, self-consciousness and prejudices, the men come to discover that they’re stronger as a group, and the strength that they find in each other gives them the individual courage to “let it go.”
Press night for The Full Monty will be Friday, May 4, 2018.
ABOUT HILLBARN THEATRE
Since 1941, the historic Hillbarn Theatre has served the San Francisco Bay Area by embracing this founding ideal – to create theatre with the community, for the community, striving always for excellence in production and education. Hillbarn has won a Theater Critics Circle Award, was accepted at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, was honored with several mayoral proclamations for excellence in theatrical production and education, received three Dean Goodman Awards for Artistic Excellence, and a Foster City Honors Award for Executive Director Lee Foster.
For more information or to schedule an interview with the director or actors, contact
Vivi Uribe at ViviU@charleszukow.com | 415.296.0677