HomeBlocksFront-GridConundrum Theatre Reveals 2023-24 Season Lineup

Conundrum Theatre Reveals 2023-24 Season Lineup

As this past Sunday dawned, the leadership of the Burbank-based Conundrum Theatre Company found themselves in a, well, conundrum.

With Southern California under a tropical storm watch as Hilary made her way up the coast, the group’s board was faced with making a decision: Should they move forward with the evening’s event during which they planned to announce their 2023-24 show slate, cancel the gathering, or fall back to the pandemic days and do it online?

While the online option was looking to be the most favorable way of proceeding, the decision to do so became a done deal when, at 2:41 p.m., a magnitude 5.1 earthquake jolted Ventura County.

“I wish we were in person, but you can’t control the weather,” said Conundrum President Lisa Sedares as she welcomed the online assemblage. “But, it’s exciting to see all your faces, and we have been looking forward to sharing our vision for the coming season and are grateful to all of you for pivoting to a virtual announcement.”

Sedares went on to tell the group that last year’s season was marked by near complete sell-outs.

“That stands as a testament to the passion [for the arts] of our community and the demand for high-quality and affordably accessible arts programming,” she said.

Saying she is proud of the growth and trajectory of the company, Sedares explained that the organization will be continuing and expanding their programming for the Burbank community and beyond by offering workshops, engaging youth and partnering with other local art organizations.

“We were formed to solve a few conundrums, first and foremost that performers should not have to choose between their careers and their passion, and audiences should not have to choose between low-quality and high-cost entertainment,” said Sedares.

The company’s first production, slated to hit the boards of Burbank’s Victory Theatre Center for six performances between Sept. 8 and 17, will be “Zanna Don’t.” Set in a parallel universe where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuality is a taboo, the show’s director Mike Bowers said he feels the production is timely in that it promotes tolerance in the wake of anti-LGBTQ and anti-drag legislation that has been proposed and passed throughout the country.

“There is a very significant attack on those communities, and this is a show that speaks to the straight person asking them how they would feel if they were discriminated against in the same way,” Bowers said. “Hopefully it will make audiences think about that and maybe change a few hearts and minds.”

At last week’s online gathering, Bianca Turner spoke of the workshops the company will be offering every month beginning in October that will include dance, playwriting and theatrical make-up. She was followed by Jackie Brenneman, the company’s vice president, who announced the season’s second show.

“This season, all of our shows will surround the theme of unexpected love,” she said before revealing that she will be making her directorial debut in December by presenting “She Loves Me,” a Golden Age musical that will be updated to be contemporary.

The musical, an adaptation of the 1937 play “Parfumeri,” which inspired the 1998 film “You’ve Got Mail,” presents two co-workers who are unaware that each is the other’s secret pen pal whom they met through a lonely-hearts ad.

Conundrum board members Bryan Snodgrass and Nikki Yates announced that the third show, slated for March, will be “Urinetown,” a musical comedy that satirizes just about everything, including the Broadway musical form itself.

Jess Jani and Jordan Kaiser announced the season’s final show will be “Legally Blonde.” Scheduled for June, the show is based on the Amanda Brown novel about a student who enrolls at Harvard Law School with hopes of winning back her ex-boyfriend.

Brenneman said that directors have not yet been named for the final two shows, explaining that they will be chosen through a selection process based on submitted answers to questions.

Since their formation five years ago, the Conundrum Theatre Company’s mission focuses on building a collaborative and diverse community that generates opportunities for experienced actors and musicians with traditional day jobs to create, produce and perform in innovative, high-quality theatrical productions. They are committed to making theater affordable with no ticket costing more than $25. They have also unveiled a new season ticket package that will include all four shows for just $80.

For more information on purchasing tickets, auditions, workshops, and backstage, tech, contribution and sponsorships opportunities, visit conundrumtheatreco.com.

DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

More than 40 supporters of Conundrum gathered online to learn what four shows they will be staging in 2023-24.
“Zanna Don’t!” is a show set in a parallel universe where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuality is a taboo.
The company’s 2023-24 season will conclude in June with a performance of “Legally Blonde.”
With a season built around the theme of unexpected love, Conundrum’s third show, coming in December, will be “She Loves Me.”
The company’s March offering will be the satirical musical “Urinetown.”

First published in the August 26 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]