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City Theatre season includes Durang's return

| Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Playwright Christopher Durang Credit: City Theatre
Playwright Michael Hollinger Credit: City Theatre
Playwright Nina Raine Credit: Jack Ladenburg

Playwrights Christopher Durang, Michael Hollinger and Nina Raine will each have a play at City Theatre during its 2013-14 season.

“Our first three titles are all compelling, vivid, new plays with a strong focus on human relationships and communication,” said City Theatre artistic director Tracy Brigden when the company announced three of the works for its upcoming six-play season.

Durang, the most widely known of the three playwrights, last had a play at City Theatre in 2002 — “Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge.”

Next season, City Theatre audiences will see “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Durang's latest, a comedic parody of Chekhovian themes that's now playing on Broadway. It's about a middle-age brother and sister living in Bucks County and content with their humdrum lives until their movie-star sister Masha returns for a visit with her young boyfriend.

Hollinger's plays have made frequent appearances at City Theatre. Audiences should know him from the company's earlier productions of “Opus,” “Red Herring” and “Incorruptible.”

He returns with “Hope and Gravity,” a nonlinear comedy about the overlapping lives of 10 characters who live in the same nine-story apartment building.

Raine is new to City Theatre, but has had her plays performed in New York and in London, where “Tribes” had its debut as a commission for the Royal Court Theatre.

“Tribes,” which will be produced at City Theatre, incorporates spoken dialogue, sign language and subtitles as it focuses on Billy, a deaf 20-something who has honed his lip-reading skills during dinners with his highly verbal and opinionated family. The balance shifts when he introduces his new girlfriend, who's losing her hearing but teaches everyone a few things about listening.

Performance dates and three more titles have yet to be chosen for the season. But six-season subscriptions will be available beginning March 9 at prices that range from $157.50 to $247.50

Single tickets will range from $35 to $55. On-sale dates for single tickets will be announced with the full season.

Details: 412-431-2489 or www.citytheatrecompany.org

Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808 or acarter@tribweb.com.

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