When Intrepid Theatre Company opens its seventh season on Oct. 1 with a production of Yasmina Reza’s comedy ART, it will do so in the 10th performance space Intrepid has used in six years, the Horton Grand Theatre downtown. Married co-founders Christy and Sean Yael-Cox believe they’ve found a permanent home at last.
“It’s (the 250-seat Horton Grand) always been one of my favorite theaters in town,” said Sean Yael-Cox, who is Intrepid’s artistic director and director of operations. “It’s not too big and it has the feel of an intimate space.”
Christy Yael-Cox, Intrepid’s CEO and producing artistic director, is equally enthusiastic about the Horton Grand, in which the company earlier this year, as guest residents of the formerly managing Lamb’s Players Theatre, staged Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf ? and Peter Glazer’s Woody Guthrie’s American Song. “What I love most about it is you can sit in the back row and still feel like it’s an intimate space. You’re so close.”
It’s been a, well, intrepid ride for Intrepid in the company’s short history. Its first production, of Macbeth, was staged in Hillcrest’s Compass Theatre (now ion theatre’s space) before Intrepid became a nomadic North County-based organization with various homes in Encinitas, Carlsbad and San Marcos. The Yael-Coxes also presented Peter Quilter’s End of the Rainbow last year in the San Diego Repertory Theatre’s Lyceum Space.
In addition to all the moving, Intrepid underwent a name change (from Intrepid Shakespeare Company to Intrepid Theatre Company) and a redirection of focus. “We started as a Shakespeare company,” said Christy. “We wanted to make Shakespeare exciting and accessible. The essence of that remains. It felt like an organic and natural evolution to expand beyond that.”
Added Sean: “Over the past number of season’s we’ve found our feet and our voice as a company. We’ve developed a structure for what works for us.”
Intrepid’s seventh season includes, in addition to ART, Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand, Alan Janes’ Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3.
“We’re attracted to great writing,” said Christy, who will direct all four productions. “I’m most passionate about creating art and telling stories that change people’s lives.”
As for Shakespeare, he hasn’t been abandoned. “We have plays (by The Bard) that we are dying to do,” Christy added. “We’re getting settled here first before we do another one.”
For now the attention is on the new season’s inaugural production. Sean calls ART “a great, fun argument between three friends. It’s a little brutal with some of the humor. For a company that’s done an awful lot of heart-wrenching pieces, when we find a comedy that we like it really sticks out.”
To Christy, ART is “smartly funny, emotionally resonant for people. It explores platonic relationships between men, which is not explored much in this country.”
Like the rest of Season 7, ART is just right for Intrepid’s new downtown home, as Sean declared, “This season has a downtown feel.”
Once upon a time in California: The tumultuous Alta California of the 1840s and ’50s is the setting for Culture Clash cofounder Herbert Siguenza’s world-premiere comedy Manifest Destinitis, an unlikely adaptation of Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid. Besides writing the play, Siguenza appears in the cast as a clownish manservant from India. Thursday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 9, at San Diego Repertory Theatre’s downtown Lyceum Space. $35-$64. sdrep.org.
August in autumn: Every year, Cygnet Theatre in Old Town presents two shows in rotating repertory that showcase the work of a prominent playwright. This time around, it’s August Wilson, whose Seven Guitars and King Hedley II are both part of his 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle that focused on the 20thcentury African-American experience. Both plays will be staged Thursday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Nov. 6, in the Old Town Theatre. $36-$57. cygnettheatre.com.
Cat’s meow: You may not have heard of Benjamin Scheuer, but you’ll know everything about him once you’ve seen and heard his musical autobiography, The Lion. The 70-minute, one-man show begins Thursday, Sept. 29, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 30 on the Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre stage. $29 and up. oldglobe.org.
Building a mystery: What exactly is a Southern Gothic romantic comedy? It may well be Bathsheba Doran’s The Mystery of Love and Sex, which is getting its San Diego premiere thanks to University Heights’ Diversionary Theatre. The play had a well-reviewed Lincoln Center Theater production last year starring Tony Shalhoub (Monk) and Diane Lane. Friday, Nov. 25 through Saturday, Dec. 24. $15-$45. diversionary.org.
A long, strange trip: It took 16 years for Hedwig & the Angry Inch, a gender-bending rock musical written by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, to go from Off-Broadway to Broadway. In the years in between, the show became a worldwide sensation. It inches its way into San Diego Tuesday, Nov. 29, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Civic Theatre in downtown. $25-$92. broadwaysd.com