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Media Alert for Theatre Editors, Reviewers and Calendar Listings

Chance Theater proudly announces its

21st Anniversary Season:

5-Show Main Series and one show for Holiday Literature Series

November 5, 2018 … Anaheim, California … Chance Theater is thrilled to announce its 21st Anniversary Season, which will be the fifth to employ both stages in its home at the Bette Aitken theater arts Center. Next year will feature eight fully-staged productions.

Subscriptions for the 2019 Season are now on sale at, or over the phone at (888) 455-4212.

The date single tickets will go on sale is included below with each show.


February 1 – March 3, 2019 on the Cripe Stage



MUSIC BY Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt
LYRICS BY Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Tim Maner
BOOK BY Tim Maner
BASED ON AN ORIGINAL CONCEPT BY Steven Cheslik-deMeyer and Tim Maner
DIRECTED BY Jocelyn A. Brown

Executive Producer: Guy W. Marr

The bloody legend of America’s favorite axe-wielding double-murderess, Lizzie Borden, comes to the stage in a rock musical set to a pounding riot grrrl beat, Lizzie. Accused of brutally killing her father and stepmother, Lizzie Borden was acquitted in 1892, making her so infamous she was even the subject of a macabre jump-rope rhyme. Officially unsolved, the case continues to capture the popular imagination. Inspired by the great rock spectacles of the ’70s, and women rockers like Patti Smith and Joan Jett, Lizzie will kick off our 21st Season.

NOTE: This show contains adult themes.

Audience advisory: LIZZIE contains strong insinuations of violence, as well as allusions to mental and sexual abuse by a parent. One song includes frequent swearing.

Single tickets go on sale November 23, 2018.

April 19 – May 19, 2019 on the Cripe Stage


BY David Hare

Executive Producers: Linda & Tod White

On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant, a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.

NOTE: This show contains some adult language.

* Tony & Olivier Award Winner

May 3 – June 2, 2019 on the Fyda-Mar Stage


Tigers Be Still

by Kim Rosenstock
Directed by Marya Mazor

Tigers Be Still — a ferociously funny play from New Girl writer Kim Rosenstock — centers around Sherry Wickman, who’s recently earned a degree in art therapy, only to find herself moving back in with her family. Matters take a turn for the better once she gets hired as a substitute art teacher. Now if only her mother would come downstairs, her sister would get off the couch, her first patient would do one of his assignments, her boss would leave his gun at home and someone would catch the tiger that escaped from the local zoo, everything would be just perfect. Rosenstock’s play was critically acclaimed in its New York premiere and snagged her a spot on Charles Isherwood’s Top 10 List of 2010 plays in The New York Times.

* Winner of 2011 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award

June 28 – July 28, 2019 on the Cripe Stage

A Summer Musical (Announcement: March 4, 2019)

Directed by Casey Stangl
Choreographed by Kelly Todd
Music Direction by Robyn Manion

Executive Producers: Sophie & Larry Cripe and Rachelle Menaker & Eddie Schuller

No, we definitely can’t announce what grand American epic musical we are doing. To reveal the details about this show that has a soaring score and takes place in turn-of-the-20th-century New York would just not be right. And we certainly couldn’t tell you that some characters in the show are actual historical figures. Check back on March 4, 2019 for the official announcement.

* Winner of Tony Award and Drama Desk Award

September 20 – October 20, 2019 on the Fyda- Mar Stage


The Vandal

by Hamish Linklater
Directed by Kari Hayter

Executive Producers: Rachelle Menaker & Eddie Schuller

Strangers, a woman and a boy, on a cold, road at night, next to a cemetery, waiting for a bus. The bus is late. The woman sinks into herself, her coat hanging crooked, too thin for this cold night. Things couldn’t be worse. She has some ominous connection with the nearby hospital. She’s unresponsive to the fast-talking teenager who works to engage her with everything from philosophical riffs to brash seduction. Neither knows what this night holds in store. Hamish Linklater’s funny and ultimately spooky debut play explores life, death, and Doritos as these two characters cling to a temporary escape from loneliness.

Holiday Literature Series

November 29 – December 29, 2019 on the Cripe Stage

Anne of Green Gables

Book by Joseph Robinette
Music & Lyrics by Evelyn D. Swensson
Directed by Casey Long

Generations of readers have adored the best-selling novel Anne of Green Gables, and now the musical adaptation of the beloved book hits the stage at Chance Theater. The Cuthberts expect to adopt a boy, but receive, instead, a red-haired, wide eyed orphan girl. Though clever young Anne Shirley has a penchant for getting into trouble, she works her way into the hearts of her adoptive parents as well as the residents of rural Prince Edward Island. It’s a heartwarming story for the whole family.



True and hearty supporters of the Chance, we are honored to have Bette & Wylie Aitken return as Season Producers for our 2019 schedule.

The Aitkens played an integral role in helping the Chance move into its new home by contributing a major gift to the “Bold New Home” Capital Campaign. As an acknowledgement of their humbling support, the Chance officially named their new home the “Bette Aitken theater arts Center.”

As Coast Magazine wrote, “Alone, Wylie is known for his legal prowess and keen litigation skills, but when he is with Bette, his wife of over 50 years, they are known as the power couple of philanthropy and the arts.”

“When we first happened upon the Chance, it was already making a big impact in the community,” said Bette and Wylie in a joint message. “And it appears that the ripple from that impact only continues to grow. Beyond the major works they produce on the stage, the Chance continues its mission of strengthening the bond between neighbors, fostering creativity in our children, and investing in the growth and development of local young and professional talent.”

Proud to be one of the leading ensemble-driven theatre companies in Southern California, CHANCE THEATER recently received a National Theatre Company grant from American Theatre Wing. The Chance has won six Ovation Awards, including two for Best Production of a Musical – Intimate Theater for its West Coast premiere of Triassic Parq – The Musical and Southern California premiere of Jerry Springer – The Opera, as well as four LADCC Awards, including the Polly Warfield Award for Outstanding Season. The Anaheim City Council named Chance Theater “the official resident theater company of Anaheim”, and Arts Orange County has twice named the Chance as “Outstanding Arts Organization”. Known for using bold and personal storytelling to promote dialogue and connection within the Southern California theatrical landscape, the Chance is committed to contributing to a more compassionate, connected and creative community. As a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Arts Orange County, Anaheim Arts Council, and LA Stage Alliance, Chance Theater continues to bring national attention to the Southern California and Orange County theater scenes.

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