Celebrating its fifth year, Bay Theatre will offer its first four-play season, with a variety designed to appeal to audiences of diverse ages and cultures.
Bay Theatre is the only professional not-for-profit company in Annapolis, employing experienced directors, designers and actors to create an exceptional experience for audiences.
Opening tonight is Ira Levin's comic thriller Deathtrap, which tells of a once-successful murder-mystery playwright who is so desperate for another hit play that he will do almost anything to find it.
"This play is filled with brilliant contemporary wit, and it's full of tension," co-founder Lucinda Merry-Browne said. "You really don't know what's going on until the end of the play."
Deathtrap runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Nov. 4.
It will be followed by the Terrence McNally musical A Man of No Importance with music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens - the same team that created the smash Ragtime.
This second musical production in Bay's history is based on a 1994 Albert Finney film telling of a Dublin bus driver in the 1960s who reads poetry to his riders and draws them into a theater troupe to do a stage version of Salome in a church.
There is an unconventional romance set to music between driver Alfie and a lonely beauty. With music to be directed by Anita O'Connor, A Man of No Importance will run from Dec. 1 through Jan. 13.
Last season, Bay's Barefoot in the Park unexpectedly had a simultaneous Broadway revival, and co-founder Janet Luby was amused to find that it has happened again this year.
She and Merry-Browne chose William Inge's Picnic, an American classic that describes small-town life a half-century ago.
In the play set at a Kansas community's annual Labor Day picnic, teenager Madge is expected to follow her mother's plans for her to marry a wealthy factory owner until a handsome young drifter arrives on the scene to disrupt much in the town.
Picnic will run Feb. 23 through March 31.
Bay Theatre's season will close with Table Manners from Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests: A Trilogy, which will continue in the next season.
Here we will meet errant husband Norman, who sets out to beguile a series of charming family members into becoming his conquests. The play is set in an English country house filled with witty repartee and unique characters. Table Manners opens April 27 and closes June 2.
But to some patrons, the biggest news at Bay Theatre this season might be replacement of the hard folding chairs with more comfortable seating.
Season subscriptions cost $85 for adults and $65 for senior citizens and students. Tickets for Deathtrap cost $22 for adults and $17 for senior citizens and students. They may be purchased by calling 410-268-1333, or visiting www.baytheatre.org.