Yale Summer Cabaret’s new season pays homage to the past and the future

The Yale Summer Cabaret celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and kicks off its celebratory season with a play by Christopher Durang, who was part of the summer theater’s first season when he was a student at the School of Drama.

Durang’s 2010 play “Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them,” runs June 5-15 at the Yale Cabaret, 217 Park St. The satire tells the story of a young woman suddenly in crisis: Is her new husband, whom she married when drunk, a terrorist? Or just crazy? Or is he both? Yale Summer Cabaret co-artistic director Jessica Holt directs the production.

The other nine plays featured this season are:

 June 19-29 — “A Map of Virtue,” by Erin Courtney, will have its New England premiere at the Cabaret. A journey into the heart of darkness, guided by a bird statue, this play explores the present, the supernatural, and the ways in which we try to understand evil. The play won a 2012 Obie Award and was named a New York Times Critics Pick. Luke Harlan will direct the production.

July 11-26 — “We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formely Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915,” by Jackie Sibblies Drury. In this play, set in a rehearsal room, a company of actors set out to create a theater piece to shed light on what happened in German Southwest Africa 100 years ago. In the course of their work, they discover that this story from another time and place has powerful implications on their own feelings about race today. The production will be directed by Holt.

July 31-Aug. 10 — “Middletown,” by Will Eno, directed by Harlan.  Written in 2010, Eno’s play contemplates the big questions of existence, reflecting on birth, death, and the middle in-between. Eno’s play “The Realistic Joneses” is now on Broadway after having its premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre. The playwright is a commissioned artist at Yale’s Binger Center for New Theater.

Aug. 14-17 — “Summer Shorts: A Festival of New Voices” is a four-day festival of new plays by six playwrights whose work was first nurtured and developed at the Yale School of Drama. The lineup will be announced at a later date.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and 7 p.m. on Sunday. Dinner is served each night before the performance, beginning at 6:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. performances and at 5:30 p.m. before the 7 p.m. performances. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by calling the box office at 203-432-1566 or sending an email to summer.cabaret@yale.edu.

Season passes and single tickets are available for the Summer Cabaret season. These include a 4-play Flex-pass for $90 ($72 for Yale faculty and staff and $40 for students); a 5-play Flex-pass for $110 ($90 for Yale faculty and staff and $50 for students); and a 6-play Flex-pass for $129 ($105 for Yale faculty and staff and $60 for students).  Single tickets are $15-$40. There is an additional cost for dinner.

For more information, visit the Yale Summer Cabaret website.