The local theater community has undergone some seismic changes in the last year that have affected half of the big companies in town.
There was Firehouse Theatre Project's noisy split with founding director Carol Piersol. Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare joined forces and expect to complete a merger within two years. Sycamore Rouge in Petersburg staved off collapse only to shutter its doors this summer. And Swift Creek Mill Theatre is closed for renovations.
As much as things have changed, the show must go on, and this season has a number of goodies up its sleeve. Here are a few quick picks for the fall:
1. "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde
This joint production of Richmond Triangle Players, Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare will serve up Wilde's farcical masterpiece with some familiar faces. And what Triangle production would be complete without some gender bending? The roles of Lady Bracknell and Lane the manservant will be played by members of the opposite gender. Sept. 28-Oct. 19 at Richmond Triangle Players, rtriangle.org.
2. "Good People" by David Lindsay-Abaire
Cadence Theatre Company, in partnership with Virginia Repertory Theatre, is putting on "Good People," a play about a Boston woman in dire straits while she tries to use a former boyfriend to get ahead. On Nov. 5, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire will be interviewed by Style Weekly theater critic David Timberline and hold a discussion at the November Theatre. Oct. 17-Nov. 9 at Virginia Rep Center, va-rep.org.
3. "'Night Mother" by Marsha Norman
This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama disturbingly portrays a woman explaining to her mother that she'll commit suicide that evening. Firehouse's production stars Kimberly Jones Clark and Catherine Shaffner. Sept. 19-Oct. 19 at Firehouse Theatre Project, firehousetheatre.org.
4. "To Kill a Mockingbird" adapted by Christopher Sergel
In this stage adaptation of Harper Lee's classic novel, racism and life in the South are put front and center. Virginia Rep's production features Adrian Rieder as Atticus Finch. Sept. 26-Oct. 20 at the November Theatre, va-rep.org.
5. "The Odd Couple (Female Version)" by Neil Simon
In this revamp of Simon's well-known play "The Odd Couple," Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison have been swapped for Florence Ungar and Olive Madison. Chamberlayne Actors Theatre's production stars Amy Berlin and Donna Marie Miller as the quarreling duo. Oct. 25-Nov. 9 at CAT Theatre, cattheatre.com.