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Bartell Theatre announces 2010-2011 season

The Bartell Theatre, the downtown group of theater companies, has released its schedule for the 2010-2011 season. It begins Sept. 2 with a production by the queer-oriented troupe StageQ of Make Me a Song, the revue of William Finn tunes.

The most striking change from past seasons is the absence of plays by Encore! Studio for the Performing Arts, the company for people with disabilities, which has left the Bartell to produce plays at its Martin Street rehearsal space. That partly accounts for a reduced schedule for next season, 19 plays compared to the schedule of 29 plays announced last spring for the current season. Some resident companies also are mounting fewer plays at the Bartell.

That's true of Mercury Players Theatre, which goes from seven plays at the Bartell this season to four next season, including the dark comedy The Last Supper and the hallucinatory The Velvet Sky. For 2010-2011, Mercury also is staging two plays at its Merc Lab space on Fair Oaks Lane.

Strollers Theatre likewise announced fewer plays for next season. Among them are familiar works like 84 Charing Cross Road as well as an ambitious staging of Alan Ayckbourn's three-part Norman Conquests. Madison Theatre Guild will present five plays, including the Tennessee Williams classic The Glass Menagerie, a radio-play version of A Christmas Carol and a revival of Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, which MTG presented in October 2009.

In addition to Make Me a Song, StageQ's season features its annual Queer Shorts presentation and Jane Chambers' pioneering Last Summer at Bluefish Cove. Youth-oriented Laboratory Theatre presents two plays next season, including Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

On July 10 the Bartell Theatre will hold the first Bartell Theatre Awards, celebrating the consortium's best work of the 2009-2010 season.

The Bartell Theatre's 2010-2011 schedule follows, with productions, companies and opening dates.

Make Me a Song, StageQ, Sept. 2
84 Charing Cross Road, Strollers Theatre, Sept. 9
The Glass Menagerie, Madison Theatre Guild, Oct. 1
The Velvet Sky, Mercury Players Theatre, Oct. 8
Jekyll and Hyde, Strollers Theatre, Oct. 28
Really Rosie, Laboratory Theatre, Nov. 5
The Dying Gaul, StageQ, Dec. 2
The Spitfire Grill, Madison Theatre Guild, Dec. 3
A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play, Madison Theatre Guild, Dec. 4
The Norman Conquests: Table Manners, Living Together, Round and Round the Garden, Strollers Theatre, Jan. 13
The Last Supper, Mercury Players Theatre, Jan. 28
Dinner With Friends, Madison Theatre Guild, Feb. 18
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Laboratory Theatre, Feb. 25
Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, StageQ, March 10
The Seafarer, Strollers Theatre, March 31
Dead Certain, Mercury Players Theatre, April 1
Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, Madison Theatre Guild, May 6
Queer Shorts 6, StageQ, May 26
Smackdown (Round 5) XII Annual Blitz, Mercury Players Theatre, June 10

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