After shifting into a larger new space in Automobile Alley earlier this year, Reduxion Theatre Company is punching the accelerator with its upcoming seventh season.
The nonprofit company is boosting its number of productions from four to six while expanding its Classics for Kids program, making its mission of “revisiting the classics” a year-round quest.
“We wanted to showcase our venue to the fullest extent that we could, pushing our boundaries and challenging us to really create a full-time season, because that’s where we want to go,” said Managing Director Erin Woods.
Reduxion isn’t just pushing boundaries with its number of performances: The 2014-’15 season, which puts the hammer down Aug. 8, has been dubbed “The Scandalous Season” and will include such adventurous fare as “Sweeney Todd,” “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
“‘Revisit the classics’ can mean so many different things. It’s just a way for people to know that the titles we’re doing this year are, like ‘Lysistrata,’ fairly controversial,” Artistic Director Tyler Woods said.
Ancient battle of the sexes
The husband-and-wife directors are starting the scandalizing Aug. 8 with the oldest play Reduxion has ever staged: the ancient Greek farce “Lysistrata.” Erin Woods is returning to the stage for the first time in three years in the title role, and her spouse is taking the director’s chair.
“It’s about the women of Greece becoming fed up with the war — the Peloponnesian War — and going on a sex strike until the men stop fighting each other,” Tyler Woods said.
“This is a very modern thing. In fact, just this year, there were two or three different sex strikes that got in the news: Colombia, Japan, one in the Ukraine,” Tyler Woods said, adding they will be working from a Ranjit Bolt’s translation of Aristophanes’ comedy that dates to 411 B.C.
“When Crimea was invaded, the women actually said ‘no sex for Russians’ ... and they called it the Russian women’s ‘Lysistrata’ moment. So, it is entirely relevant and actually happening today. Life imitates art, which is fascinating.”
Reduxion recently received a $3,000 Allied Arts power2give grant for the play’s costumes, which will begin in ancient Greek style but gradually evolve to modern garb.
“It’s just a lot of what I love about classic theater, even a new translation of this classic. There’s a bawdiness, there’s an experimentation to it, and there’s a sense of something far more universal than one time, one place,” Erin Woods said.
Splatter zone for ‘Sweeney Todd’?
“The Scandalous Season” continues Oct. 24 with Stephen Sondheim’s bloody Victorian musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” just in time for Halloween.
Reduxion’s larger space in Automobile Alley’s historic Packard Building is allowing the company to attack the Tony-winning tale of a murderous barber and his pie-baking partner in crime.
“It’s a fantastic script, and we now have a space big enough to sort of house it,” Erin Woods said.
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ON STAGE: Reduxion Theatre’s 2014-’15 season
8 p.m. Aug. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 28-30 and 2 p.m. Aug. 17 and 24.
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Oct. 24-Nov. 15.
“Jane Austen’s “Christmas Cracker”
April 10-May 2.