The big news at the Springer Opera House will be the opening of its new McClure Theatre, which will be ready for productions this summer, said Paul Pierce. About 500 season ticket holders were at the Springer, which celebrated its 142nd birthday Thursday, for the 2013-14 season announcement.
The other news is the new trend he saw at the Springer this season. The artistic director said one season doesn't make a trend, but since the 2012-13 season got off to such a great start in September, he's going to take advantage of the momentum.
For many years, the October play has been a drama or comedy. Last year, he decided to put a musical in that slot.Because "Nine to Five -- The Musical" did so well, kicking off the season, and "The Little Shop of Horrors" did even better in October, which in turn lead to a box office bonanza for "Annie" and "Steel Magnolias," he put another musical in the October, 2013 slot.
The 2014-14 season kicks off with "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in September, followed by "Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience" in October. "A Christmas Carol" ushers in the holiday season in December. The January show is "A Raisin in the Sun," directed by a guest director to be named later.
The February title cannot be announced yet because the Springer is still in negotiations for this show, Pierce said. But he promises that the show will be the biggest, most expensive production ever produced locally.
The season will end with "The Odd Couple" in May.
The McClure Theatre, named for long-time Springer trustee Dorothy "Dot" McClure, will be the new home for the Studio Series as well as the Springer Children's Theater series. The new theater will hold as many as 300 theater-goers.
Foley Hall, which has been the Studio and Children's Theater space, will become a rental space. Pierce said without productions in that space, the Springer can rent it out for weddings, receptions, parties, dinners and lectures and classes all year 'round.
The Studio Series begins with "California Dreaming" in November, an original show by Pierce and local singer, teacher and performer Debbie Anderson. It's about a group of young people who go to California and discover the rich harmonies of the songs of the 1960s.
Next is "A Tuna Christmas" in December, which will be the 12th time Pierce and associate artistic director and director of the Springer Theater Academy Ron Anderson, take on the roles of the citizens of Tuna, Texas, the third smallest city in the Lone Star State.
Ending the season is "Oops ... I Tweeted Again," another original show, written by Adam Archer and Jef Holbrook. The pair wrote "I Tweeted on My iPad (And I Liked It)," which was on the 2011-12 season.
The Children's Theater Season kicks off in July with "Honk Jr.," based on Hans Christian Anderson's "The Ugly Duckling." Next is "Pinkalicious," which is one of the most popular children's shows around right now. It's about a little girl who loves the color pink. It can be seen in October.
Closing the season in March is "James and the Giant Peach" based on the book by Roald Dahl.