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1:32 AM Wed, Dec. 19th

Prescott Center for the Arts sets stage for new season

Summer is drawing to an end and fall is coming ever closer. That change of season also brings a whole new season for the Prescott Center for the Arts (PCA). Closing out the 2014-2015 season with "Spamalot," this next season will have quite a range of plays presented on the Main stage, including performances for Family Theater, Stage Too, and Reader's Theatre, as well as a full schedule of exhibits for the PCA Gallery and performances for PCA Presents Concerts.

PCA Executive Producer Jon Meyer spoke of how the season's plays are chosen, noting there are two committees that take nine to 10 months to choose plays, beginning with an open submission process in September. And by March, the Artistic Development and Play Selection Committee has whittled that down to a smaller list that is put out as a survey, he said. The same process is done for Stage Too.

"We are definitely influenced by the survey," Meyer said, adding that "The Odd Couple" was on the survey list and was surprisingly the highest rated. "We are hopefully finding that is beginning to help with finding shows that not only people will enjoy, but buy tickets for."

This year's Main Stage plays include Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein," Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park," Christopher Durang's "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," "Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None," Marc Camelotti's "Boeing, Boeing," and Rogers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific." Included in Family Theatre this year is Roald Dahl's "James and the Giant Peach," Ashman and Menken's "Disney's the Little Mermaid, Jr." and the "Young Playwright's Festival," which is drawing from around the state this year, Meyer said.

On Stage Too will be Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love," A.R. Gurney's "Sylvia," Willy Russell's "Educating Rita" and "Tracy Letts' "August: Osage County." Included in Reader's Theatre this year is Peter Shaffer's "Lettice and Lovage," James Prideaux' "The Housekeeper" and David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross." Also on Stage Too will be the Prescott Ghost Talk in October.

And while the Reader's Theatre program goes out to the Prescott Valley Library and the Chino Valley Senior Center, "Glengarry Glen Ross," won't due to the show's content, Meyer said.

"I think we are extremely consistent with our work in doing really high quality productions and ... you don't have to go down to Phoenix anymore to see really good in-house produced theater," he said. "We feel that we are the best in town at that."

But it's not just plays on the docket for the upcoming PCA season. The PCA Gallery has nine upcoming exhibits, including "In Motion," "Day of the Dead," "Holiday Wrap," "Visions of Silence," "The Shape of Things," "Scholarship Show," "Four Seasons," "All Creatures Great and Small" and "Artist's Vision."

The "Day of the Dead" exhibit has turned into an annual event and is connected to the above mentioned Ghost Talk, Meyer said.

"We have people coming through the gallery on the night of the Ghost Talk performances," he said. "They get exposed to that culture and everything ties in."

The PCA Presents Concerts season will include Peter, Paul and Mary Remembered, Where is it That Our Soul Doth Go (chamber music), Love Letters, Cowboy Christmas Concert, The Dust Bowl Revival, Folk Sessions Anniversary Concert, Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3, The Show Ponies, Wes Winters, Laura and the Killed Men, and a new 24 Hour Play Festival, where playwrights, directors and actors have 24 hours to write, rehearse and perform a brand new short play.

Also new, along with the 24 Hour Play Festival, is an effort to make Stage Too busier, such as the creation of a Summer Stock program for adults, Meyer said.

"It is really a full season as it always is," he said. "We think there's something for just about everybody."

- by Jason Wheeler. Follow him on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.