Press Release: Cotuit Center for the Arts Announces 2020 Theater Productions

Oct. 18, 2019 / Press Release
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Cotuit Center for the Arts Announces 2020 Theater Productions.

Following another year of tremendous growth at Cotuit Center for the Arts, the 2020 season offers something for everyone. The Center will present 7 main stage theatrical productions, including Arsenic and Old Lace; TOMMY; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Sister Act; Piano Men: A Musical Tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John; Of Thee I Sing; and Elf.

Cotuit’s Black Box theater space will feature 11 exciting full productions including The Gospel According to…; Death & the Maiden; Mary & Ethel; Tru; Dark Night Cabaret; Kalamazoo; Zoo Story plus an original summer family show and a production by the Watermelon/Alligator troupe.

The Center will present a slew of concerts and special events, including perennial favorites such as the annual Art and Souls Masquerade Ball, Entertainment Tonight, Kentucky Derby Gala in collaboration with West End restaurant, Provincetown Jazz Festival, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Brazen Belles Burlesque, George Gritzbach, the annual Ukulele Celebration, Cape Cod Can, Cape Cod SINGS, Twisted Broadway, the Fat Ass Cancer Bitch, Best of the Woods Hole Film Festival and much, much more.

Gallery exhibitions include local, regional, and international artists, the annual Winter Art exhibition with the theme Heroes and Villains, several open juried exhibits and work by Karen Lafleur, Virginia Mahoney, Lisa Goren, Jane Lincoln, Kirk Marsh, Cecelia Chapman, Alan Soffer, Jaime Elkins, Lois Hirshberg, Neil Grant and a curated exhibition of work to be touched.

The Center’s education and outreach programs will continue to expand, with dozens of classes and workshops in various areas of arts education designed for students of all ages and abilities. 2020 will see the launch of the new John and Marjorie McGraw and Family Ceramics Studio, a project in the works for more than a year. Specific classes for the first several months of the year are published on our website.

Details of the gallery exhibits and concert and events schedules to be published at a later date.

The Center’s theatrical season includes (subject to change):

Main Stage

Arsenic and Old Lace
January 30 – February 16
Arsenic and Old Lace is a play by American playwright Joseph Kesselring, written in 1939. It has become best known through the subsequent film adaptation starring Cary Grant and directed by Frank Capra. The play was directed by Bretaigne Windust, and opened on Broadway at the Fulton Theatre on January 10, 1941. On September 25, 1943, the play moved to the Hudson Theatre. It closed there on June 17, 1944, having played 1,444 performances. Of the twelve plays written by Kesselring, Arsenic and Old Lace was the most successful, and, according to the opening night review in The New York Times, the play was "so funny that none of us will ever forget it."

The Who’s TOMMY
March 19 – April 5
The Who's Tommy is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Pete Townshend and book by Townshend and Des McAnuff, based on The Who's 1969 rock opera Tommy.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
May 6 – 24
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss. The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups.

Sister Act
June 23 – July 26
Sister Act is the feel-good musical comedy smash based on the hit 1992 film that has audiences jumping to their feet! Featuring original music by Tony and eight-time Oscar winner, Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), this uplifting musical was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. When disco diva, Deloris Van Cartier, witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won't be a found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community but, in doing so, blows her cover. Soon, the gang is giving chase, only to find them up against Deloris and the power of her newly found sisterhood.

The Piano Men: A Musical Tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John
August 1 – 16
An original musical tribute from the same creative team that delivered last year’s smash hit “We Are the Champions”

George Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing
October 1 – 18
Of Thee I Sing is a musical with a score by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and a book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind. The musical lampoons American politics; the story concerns John P. Wintergreen, who runs for President of the United States on the "love" platform. When he falls in love with the sensible Mary Turner instead of Diana Devereaux, the beautiful pageant winner selected for him, he gets into political hot water. The original Broadway production, directed by Kaufman, opened in 1931 and ran for 441 performances, gaining critical and box office success. It has been revived twice on Broadway and in concert stagings in the U.S. and in London. In 1932, Of Thee I Sing was the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Elf the Musical
November 24 – December 20
Elf is a musicalbased on the motion picture of the same name, with a score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. The book is adapted by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan from the 2003 film. Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Black Box Theater

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord
A play by Scott Carter, directed by Tim Hystad
January 2 – 19

TBD – Watermelon Alligator Production
February 13 – March 1

Death and the Maiden
A play by Ariel Dorfman, directed by Bob Bock
March 26 – April 12

Mary and Ethel: A Tribute to Mary Martin and Ethel Merman
An original musical review by Stephanie Miele
May 7 – 24

A one man play by Jay Presson Allen based on the life of Truman Capote starring John Weltman as Tru, directed by Carol McManus
June 18 – July 5

Theater Under the Stairs Family Production
Dark Night Cabaret
Both directed and conceived by Holly Erin McCarthy
July 30 – August 30

A play by Michelle Kholos Brooks and Kelly Younger, directed by Melinda Gallant
September 10 – 27

The Zoo Story
A play by Edward Albee, directed by Steve Ross
October 22 – November 8

Black Box Artistic Director’s Choice
Artistic Director Jason Mellin will choose the perfect play
December 3 - 20


Schedule subject to change - please check website for current information

For more information, visit or call 508-428-0669.

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