WEST ORANGE, NJ — Luna Stage recently announced its 2018-2019 mainstage season, featuring four new plays: one world premiere and three regional premieres. The plays are set in locations around the world, each exploring the question of how people come together across cultural and social divides, according to a press release from Luna Stage. Luna’s season begins Thursday, Oct. 4, and runs through Sunday, April 28, 2019, and the plays will be “Pirira,” by J. Stephen Brantley, “The Assignment,” by Camilo Almonacid, “Roan @ the Gates,” by Christina Gorman, and “Heartland,” by Gabriel Jason Dean. All performances will take place in Luna’s mainstage theater, at 555 Valley Road, West Orange. Season passes are now on sale, and special discounts are available.
Incoming Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith, formerly of Theatre 167 in New York, aimed for a season where each play reflects multiple cultures, communities and perspectives.
“Within that framework we navigate questions ranging from international aid to gender politics, from internet privacy to love across linguistic divides, from violence to forgiveness, and from fear to hope,” Kreith said in the release.
The season aims to bring audiences together as a community, to build a deeper and more optimistic understanding of the world, according to the release.
“Filled with humor, heart, and imagination, these plays invite audiences halfway across the globe and bring them home again,” Kreith added.
The season opens with “Pirira,” which Kreith developed and premiered at Theatre 167 and brings to New Jersey for the first time from Oct. 4 through 28. This award-winning play is set simultaneously in Malawi and Manhattan and explores how people bridge seemingly impossible cultural divides. Two overlapping worlds coincide — a struggling African non-governmental organization and a thriving American florist shop — in this exploration of international aid across interpersonal borders.
“Pirira” is followed from Nov. 29 through Dec. 16 by “The Assignment,” in which a college re-entry student and his English professor form a bond, only to discover that they were once on opposite sides of a similar violent act. Inspired by true events, “The Assignment” puts a personal spin on the timely issue of gun violence.
The world premiere of “Roan @ the Gates” will run in 2019 from Jan. 31 through Feb. 24. Against a backdrop of Cambridge Analytica and fake news, “Roan @ the Gates” is a fictional investigation into cyber-security, inspired by the shadowy figure of Edward Snowden’s girlfriend. When Roan takes a stand for her principles, dragging her wife into the controversy, she launches a high-stakes adventure that illuminates the cost of secrecy.
“Heartland” rounds out Luna’s season, running from April 4 through 28. A Nebraska college professor, his adopted daughter and a mysterious Afghani mathematician intersect in this extraordinary new play. Set in both Maidan Shar and Omaha, “Heartland” is a multilingual celebration of literature, loss, language and love.
Luna Stage’s New Moon Reading Series and other workshops and events will be announced in the fall. To purchase a season pass, visit www.LunaStage.org/season-passes.php or call 973-395-5551.