McCarter Theatre Center Announces Adventurous 2023–2024 Season


Directors Lilli-Anne Brown, Sarah Rasmussen, and Nicole A. Watson

Jordanna Brody
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May 8, 2023 10:10 AM

McCarter Theatre Center today announced its 2023–24 season, featuring five theatrical productions and an exciting lineup of classical music, pop, jazz, dance, spoken-word and family events.

“We’re thrilled to produce, present and collaborate on an expansive, imaginative collection of theatrical events and world-class performances for 2023–24,” said Sarah Rasmussen, Artistic Director of McCarter Theatre Center. “Our team curated a season that speaks to McCarter’s values of justice, joy and belonging. We are eager for audiences to take part in the uniquely personal and shared community experience of engaging with art and artists in our spaces.”

McCarter’s season opens in September with Bulrusher, playwright Eisa Davis’ Pulitzer Prize finalist, which tells the captivating story of a multiracial orphan girl’s journey of self-discovery and her gift of clairvoyance. Directed by Nicole A. Watson, McCarter’s BOLD Associate Artistic Director, the play— “a gleaming marriage of poetry and myth,” according to the Star-Tribune—introduces audiences to a story filled with compassion and thrills. Bulrusher is a Co-Production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.  

In May 2024, McCarter will stage the comedy Choice, directed by McCarter’s Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen, a comic, surreal and thought-provoking play about journalist Zipporah Zunder, who is forced to reexamine her life by the biggest story she’s ever landed. For this brand new production, playwright Winnie Holzman—best known for co-authoring Wicked and creating the television series My So-Called Life—has completed extensive edits to the play, offering a fresh perspective since its original premier nearly a decade ago.

For the Halloween season, McCarter will present the original London production of Susan Hill’s  The Woman in Black, a chilling mystery about a lawyer obsessed with a curse he believes has been cast over him and his family. Adapted by Stephen Mallatratt, the play—which Ben Brantley of the New York Times called “ingenious” and a “journey into fear”—recently completed a 33-year run in London’s West End.

McCarter also welcomes award-winning director Lili-Anne Brown to helm the production of the three-time Tony-nominated musical Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori, which the Guardian called “one of the most gloriously disruptive, completely distinctive musicals of the past 20 years.” The powerful story—set against the backdrop of President Kennedy’s assassination and the Civil Rights Movement—centers on the lives of Caroline, a Black woman working as a maid, and Noah, a Jewish boy coming of age after a personal tragedy. This modern classic brings disparate, beautiful and passionate people together as they try to harness a better future.

McCarter will also bring back its annual production of A Christmas Carol, directed by Lauren Keating, and host several special events throughout the season for family audiences including The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, which brings Eric Carle’s beloved children’s story to life through a captivating cast of storytellers, sweeping original music and stunning puppetry.

2023-2024 Theatre Programming

Bulrusher by Eisa Davis (Finalist – 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Drama)

Directed by Nicole A. Watson

September 13, 2023 – October 7, 2024

A Co-Production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre

In 1955, in the redwood country north of San Francisco, a multiracial girl grows up in a predominantly white town whose residents pepper their speech with the historical dialect of Boontling. Found floating in a basket on the river as an infant, Bulrusher is an orphan with a gift for clairvoyance that makes her feel like a stranger even amongst the strange: the taciturn schoolteacher who adopted her, the madam who runs her brothel with a fierce discipline, the logger with a zest for horses and women, and the guitar-slinging boy who is after Bulrusher's heart. Just when she thought her world might close in on her, she discovers an entirely new sense of self when a Black girl from Alabama comes to town.

McCarter Theatre Center Presents the Original London production of Susan Hill's The Woman in Black

Adapted by Stephen Mallatratt

Directed by Robin Herford

October 13 – October 29, 2023

A dark and scary mystery unfolds in this masterful theatrical event. The story comes to life as an old man recounts the events of his youth when he went to the fog-embarked countryside of England to settle the estate of a family shrouded in a tragedy that continues to haunt (literally!) anyone who comes too close.

Caroline, or Change

Book and lyrics by Tony Kushner

Music by Jeanine Tesori

Directed by Lili-Anne Brown

March 6 – March 24, 2024

In 1963 in Louisiana, Caroline is a Black woman working as a maid and Noah is a Jewish boy coming of age after personal tragedy. Their lives intertwine in this passionate and powerful musical set against the backdrop of the Kennedy assassination, the Civil Rights movement, and two families trying to make sense of the world and each other.  

Set in one of the most pivotal times in America's history, the Tony-nominated Caroline, or Change is riveting, moving and awe-inspiring. Featuring a virtuosic score by Jeanine Tesori (Shrek The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Kimberly Akimbo), it blends blues, gospel and traditional Jewish melodies, creating a breathtaking medium for Kushner's provocative and personal story.

Tony Award-nominee for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score, and featuring one of the most powerful female roles in musical theatre, Caroline, or Change is a true tour de force that will leave audiences breathless. McCarter is delighted to welcome award-winning director Lili-Anne Brown to helm this production.

Choice by Winnie Holzman

Directed by Sarah Rasmussen

May 8 – June 2, 2024

In this comic, surreal and thought-provoking play, journalist Zipporah Zunder has landed the story of her life—investigating a controversial social phenomenon that could reframe the way we think about the right to choose. As she dives deep into this complex story, she’s forced to reexamine her past, her (sometimes absurd) present and the choices that have shaped her life.

Playwright Winnie Holzman is an American dramatist, screenwriter, and poet. She is known for having created the ABC television series My So-Called Life, which led to a nomination for a scriptwriting Emmy Award in 1995, as well as her work writing for thirtysomething and Once and Again. Holzman has garnered fame for her work on Broadway, most notably for co-writing the smash stage musical Wicked.

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Jordanna Brody

Originally from South Florida, Jordanna Brody graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Theatre Education and Performance in 2019. Her experience teaching, performing, directing, and working behind the scenes informs her perspective on theatre in every way. She is passionate about uplifting marginalized voices and innovative theatrical experiences.

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