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Trinity Rep | Announcing the 2019-20 Season


Buddy Cianci World Premiere Play Launches Season

PROVIDENCE, RI: The Tony Award-winning Trinity Repertory Company, under the artistic leadership of The Arthur P. Solomon and Sally E. Lapides Artistic Director Curt Columbus, announced the company’s 56th season today. The season kicks off with the world premiere of The Prince of Providence, an adaptation by George Brant of the New York Times best-selling book by Mike Stanton about Providence’s legendary mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci.

The 2019-20 Season includes the six-play subscription series and the 42nd annual production of A Christmas Carol, which is consistently among the highest selling holiday theater productions in the country. This year’s production of A Christmas Carol will be directed by Kate Bergstrom, a graduate of the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program in directing.

In addition, prior to the official start of the season in the fall, Trinity Rep and Rhode Island Latino Arts will co-produce the fourth year of the Teatro en El Verano bilingual Shakespeare program, which provides free performances in parks, libraries, and recreation centers throughout the Rhode Island community. This year’s production, Mucho Ruido y Pocas Nueces/Much Ado About Nothing, is adapted by Kufa Castro and directed by Tatyana-Marie Carlo. Dates and details for this year’s production will be announced at a later date. The production is sponsored by The Susan F. Gonsalves Charitable Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

Following the opening of The Prince of Providence, the season features work by theatrical legends Stephen Sondheim and August Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning Lynn Nottage, up-and-coming Latina playwright Tanya Saracho, and an adaptation of a Charles Dickens classic by Trinity Rep company member Brian McEleney. Throughout the season, these stories will look at the price of success and progress in a variety of different settings and situations.

According to Columbus, “I love that this season offers our audience the opportunity to experience some of the most compelling stories imaginable. Starting with our very own local giant, Buddy Cianci, working our way through August Wilson and Charles Dickens, to the words of great contemporary writers like Saracho and Nottage, and ending with the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, this is going to be a season that no one will want to miss. Funny, dramatic, political, personal, intimate and grand, Trinity Rep will definitely be your ‘home for dramatic discoveries’ in 2019-20.”

Trinity Rep announced the commission of George Brant’s The Prince of Providence in March 2018. After a rapid, but extensive development process, the much-anticipated play will launch the Trinity Rep 2019-20 Season with a limited six-week run in the company’s Dowling Theater. The production will be directed by Obie Award-winning director Taibi Magar. Casting for the production will be announced this summer.

Following the career of Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, The Prince of Providence examines the complicated relationship that Providence has with its controversial longtime mayor. His visionary leadership during more than two decades of growth and rebirth is inseparably linked with removal from office, assault charges, and a corruption conviction.


Following the sure-to-sell-out blockbuster start of the season, Trinity Rep will produce the New England premiere of the behind-the-scenes dramatic comedy, Fade. Written by Tanya Saracho, herself a successful writer for hit television series including How to Get Away with Murder, Girls, Looking, and Vida, this two-character story is set in the offices of a Hollywood television studio.

Radio Golf, the final play by acclaimed and award-winning playwright August Wilson, is the culmination of Wilson’s 10-play American Century Cycle, a chronicle of the African-American experience in each decade of the 20th century. The central character, real estate developer and entrepreneur Harmond Wilks aspires to be Pittsburgh’s first black mayor but must come to terms with what history is left behind in the wake of progress and growth. The production is slated to be directed by Jude Sandy, who recently co-directed Trinity Rep’s production of black odyssey this winter.

Rooted in Trinity Rep’s long history of adapting literary classics for contemporary audiences, company member Brian McEleney has crafted a relevant and remarkable adaptation of Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities. Associate Artistic Director Tyler Dobrowsky will direct the action, famously set in Paris and London during the French Revolution.

The season continues with the Pulitzer Prize-winner Sweat by Lynn Nottage, which ran Off-Broadway at the Public Theater in 2016 and on Broadway in 2017. This highly-acclaimed play, set in America’s Rust Belt was inspired by interviews Nottage conducted with the residents of Reading, PA over the course of more than two years. The characters and story that emerged involve shattered friendships, violence, and resentment when the opportunities once afforded to a town disappear. Director Christie Vela returns to Providence to lead the production. She was most recently at Trinity Rep directing Native Gardens in 2018.

For the first time in more than two decades, Trinity Rep includes a Stephen Sondheim-composed musical in its lineup, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This 40th Anniversary production will be directed by Curt Columbus, who was at the helm of recent musicals Ragtime and Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, and concerns the darkly comic pursuit of vengeance by the title character.

Subscription packages for the 2019-20 Season are now available, including the popular 6-Play full season package for the best seats and prices. Based on the popularity of the season and limited seating availability, full season subscribers will be the only ones guaranteed seats to The Prince of Providence. Flex Pass packages including up to 8 ticket vouchers that can be mixed and matched throughout the season to create a custom experience are also available, although the best seats are subject to availability. Subscribers may add on tickets at a discount to A Christmas Carol before they go on sale to the general public. Subscriber benefits also include free ticket exchanges, parking, and dining discounts, and invitations to special backstage events.

Packages begin at just $120 for six plays. Payment plans are available. The Trinity Rep box office is located at 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI, and can be reached by calling (401) 351-4242. Remaining tickets will become available to non-subscribers in summer 2019.

Trinity Rep’s 2019-20 Season is sponsored by the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Southwest Airlines is the official airline of Trinity Rep.



Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years.

Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for over 40 years and made memories for over a million audience members.


2019-20 Season | September 2019 – May 2020


The Prince of Providence

By George Brant

Based on the novel The Prince of Providence by Mike Stanton

Directed by Taibi Magar

September 12 – October 20, 2019

Press opening: September 16, 2019

The nation knows him from Crimetown and Operation Plunder Dome, but Providence has a deeper and more complicated relationship with Buddy Cianci. A charismatic visionary who was also a corrupt philanderer, the long-time mayor defied the odds time after time – from his very first election to winning again after being arrested on assault charges. Surrounded by a colorful carousel of characters, Buddy gave Providence many things: some are more visible – businesses, tourism, and relocated rivers – while others are less tangible, but no less real – pride, notoriety, and now, a great story to tell.


By Tanya Saracho

December 5, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Press opening: December 9, 2019

Lucia is understandably nervous. It’s day one at her first TV writing job. As a Mexican-born novelist, she may actually be the “diversity hire” she’s heard whispers about. Uncertain whether she can make a place for herself in cutthroat Hollywood, at least she feels less alone when she meets Abel, the Latino janitor. They form a bond and share stories, but it turns out that what Lucia gains from their friendship is not what Abel expects in this witty dramatic comedy about class, integrity, and culture.

August Wilson’s Radio Golf

Directed by Jude Sandy

January 30 – March 1, 2020
Press opening: February 3, 2020

Real estate developer and entrepreneur Harmond Wilks is determined to become the first black mayor of Pittsburgh and is on a mission to revive his blighted childhood neighborhood. As Wilks confronts the past, he is forced to question how pursuing change could put his neighborhood’s history at risk. Both moving and funny, Radio Golf is the culmination of August Wilson’s ten-play American Century Cycle chronicling each decade of African-American life in the twentieth century.


A Tale of Two Cities

By Brian McEleney

Based on the novel by Charles Dickens

Directed by Tyler Dobrowsky

February 20 – March 22, 2020
Press opening: February 24, 2020

In the late 1700s, London and Paris face parallel states of social and political upheaval on the eve of the French Revolution. Against this tumultuous backdrop emerges a passionate story of romance, sacrifice, and vengeance. This fresh new adaptation is epic and universal, while also being intensely intimate and personal. “The best of times and the worst of times” are brought to vivid life on stage in this remarkable approach to the time-honored classic.


By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Christie Vela

April 2 – May 3, 2020
Press opening: April 6, 2020

Warm humor and tremendous heart permeate this Pulitzer Prize-winner and hit Broadway play. Deep in the Rust Belt, blue collar factory workers swear by longtime friendships that seem unbreakable. These women spend their days working at physically-demanding jobs and their evenings laughing over drinks and dreaming of retirement. But mistrust, pride, and the economic pressures from a changing America introduce fissures in the foundation of this chosen family. Soon the bonds shatter, forever altering the path of two generations.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Directed by Curt Columbus

April 23 – May 24, 2020
Press opening: April 27, 2020

An indisputable masterpiece by America’s greatest living Broadway composer and lyricist, this is a heart-pounding thriller set on the seedy side streets of 19th-century London. Filled with diabolical humor and extraordinary music, this eight-time Tony Award-winning musical tells the tale of an exiled barber’s quest to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family. Sweeney Todd is a beautiful, soaring dark comedy filled with stunning terror that will leave you gasping!

Non-subscription Holiday Programming

A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens

Original music by Richard Cumming

Directed by Kate Bergstrom

November 7 – December 29, 2019

Press opening: November 12, 2019

Rhode Island’s family holiday classic returns to tell the joyful story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey from solitude to redemption. Inspired by Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, Scrooge learns lessons that continue to remind us all about the true spirit of the holiday season. Trinity Rep’s magical, music-filled production continues its four-decade-long tradition of delighting audiences from throughout Southern New England.

Plays, dates, prices, and artists subject to change.