A provocative musical, a waterfront drama set in Gloucester by founding artistic director Israel Horovitz, and a season finale of the classic “Driving Miss Daisy” starring Lindsay Crouse, Annisquam’s Academy Award-nominee, combine to make up the 34th season of the Gloucester Stage Company.
The new season, announced this week, is notable for the returning talent, including Crouse, who earned a supporting actress Oscar nomination for her role alongside Sally Field in 1984’s “Places In the Heart;” Rockport’s Nancy E. Carroll, whose talents have taken her from Cape Ann to Broadway to Ireland; Jimi Stanton, star of last summer’s powerful “Nine Circles;” and Robert Walsh, who directs this summer’s Horovitz piece after playing a lead role in 2009’s chilling “Sins of the Mother,” also set on the Gloucester waterfront.
“It’s an exciting season, and we’re hoping to see a lot of new faces in the theater,” said Eric Engel, the Gloucester Stage artistic director. “We try to make sure we find dramas with a lighter side and comedies with a meaningful side.”
Capping the season will be “Driving Miss Daisy,” the familiar story-turned Oscar winning film that was written by Alfred Uhry. The Gloucester Stage production will pair Crouse with two Elliot Norton Award winners Johnny Lee Davenport and Robert Pemberton, both of whom also return to Gloucester Stage as well.
The show is directed by Benny Sato Ambush who makes his Gloucester Stage directing debut with this play. Both he and Davenport were actors in last season’s “Master Harold … and the Boys.”
This time around, Ambush directs the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama set in the Civil Rights era about the friendship between a sharp-edged Jewish widow and her black driver.
Engel noted that this is a very different kind of role for Crouse, who will be appearing in her sixth role at Gloucester Stage. In 2008, she starred in “Going to St. Ives” and for three years running she appeared in the “Norman Conquest” trilogy by Tony Award-winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn. She also starred in the one-woman play, “The Belle of Amherst.”