GableStage artistic director Joseph Adler takes his time in putting together a season, vying for hot titles, making repeated trips to New York to check out the plays that might be a good fit for South Florida's consistently edgiest theater. But as GableStage's loyal subscribers would tell you, the wait usually pays off in an exciting lineup. The just-announced 2011-2012 season looks like no exception.
First up is John Logan's Tony Award-winning Red, the intense play about painter Mark Rothko. Running Nov. 5-Dec. 4, the drama focuses on the master-student relationship of the volatile, brilliant Rothko and a new assistant. And Adler already has his cast: Carbonell Award-winning actor Gregg Weiner will play Rothko, Ryan Didato the young painter who has come to learn from the great man.
Next up, running Jan. 7-Feb. 5, is Stephen Adly Guirgis' recent Broadway hit The Motherf**ker with the Hat. The searing dark comedy is about a clean-and-sober guy on parole who's trying to stay that way (despite the pull of his non-sober girlfriend) with the help of his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.
Keith Huff's A Steady Rain, the 2010 Broadway hit about two Chicago cops whose friendship goes back to childhood, will follow Guirgis' play March 3-April 1. Next is Time Stands Still by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies. Running May 5-June 3, the play centers on the relationship of a wounded photojournalist and a foreign correspondent.
David Mamet's provocative, stinging play Race will run July 7-Aug. 5, 2012. That one is about three lawyers, two black and one white, who are asked to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black woman.
Winding up Adler's next season is Lynn Nottage's 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined, which runs Sept. 8-Oct. 7, 2012. Inspired by Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage, the play takes place in a Congolese brothel as war rages.
And a note: You needn't wait 'til November to sample GableStage's work. Hot Miami-raised playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney begins rehearsals today for the first South Florida production of his much-praised smash The Brothers Size. McCraney is directing the play, whose cast includes his friend and former mentor, Teo Castellanos. The Brothers Size, part of McCraney's trilogy the Brother/Sister Plays, opens Sept. 3 and runs through Oct. 2.
Flexible six-show subscriptions to the new season are $225, which saves as much as 25 percent over single tickets. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. GableStage is located in the eastern end of Coral Gables' historic Biltmore Hotel at 1200 Anastasia Ave. For information, call the box office at 305-445-1119 or visit the theater's web site.
(Photo of Joseph Adler, top, by Barbara P. Fernandez; photo of Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne in the Broadway production of Red by Johan Persson.)