Nathan Englander
Nathan Englander will team with the Globe’s Barry Edelstein as director in the world premier of “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.” Courtesy of The Old Globe

Chaldean refugees from Iraq question what they’ve left behind. A Broadway legend reminisces about her childhood in Juan Perón’s Argentina. The Greek god Dionysus returns as a butch gardener to save the Earth. And, of course, the Grinch will try to steal Christmas.

Those are among the highlights of The Old Globe‘s 2019–2020 season, which begins Sept. 13 with the first of three world premieres.

“I could not be more excited to bring another season of brilliant theatre to The Old Globe’s audiences, and I am especially proud of the lineup we’re offering for our 2019–2020 Season,” said Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “Each one of these shows fulfills our institution’s mandate to create and present theatre art at the highest standard of excellence, and grouped together they demonstrate all the ways that theatre can enrich our lives.”

The season includes the following major productions:

Almost Famous — Sept. 13 – Oct. 20 — A world premiere musical set in 1973 about an aspiring music journalist who goes on the road with an up-and-coming band. It’s a coming-of-age story by Academy Award-winner Cameron Crowe based on his iconic film.

Noura — Sept. 20 – Oct. 20 — A West Coast premiere loosely inspired by Ibsen’s A Doll’s House from acclaimed playwright and Old Globe/USD Shiley graduate Heather Raffo. Noura and her husband are Chaldean Christian refugees from Iraq, celebrating their first Christmas Eve as American citizens. But the long-anticipated visit of an orphan girl they once sponsored, now a promising college student, causes them to question who they’ve become and what they’ve left behind.

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! — Nov. 3 – Dec. 29 — A whimsical musical based on the classic book by San Diego’s favorite author, back for its 22nd consecutive holiday presentation at the Old Globe.

Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show — Nov. 23 – Dec. 24 — The Globe has a new show for the holiday season with a theatrical re-imagining of one of the most beloved holiday stories ever told. All the traditional elements of Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” are intact, but with a comic local twist.

August Wilson’s Jitney — Jan. 18 – Feb. 23 — In 1970s Pittsburgh, the unlicensed cab drivers in a Hill District garage fight to save their business and their livelihoods as their neighborhood gentrifies around them. The play is by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson, who had a close relationship with the Old Globe, where three of his plays premiered.

Hurricane Diane — Feb. 8 – March 8 —This unconventional new comedy from Pulitzer Prize-finalist Madeleine George has the Greek god Dionysus return to the modern world disguised as the butch gardener Diane, whose secret mission is to seduce mortal followers and restore the earth to its natural state.

Little Women — March 14 – April 19 — Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel of the March sisters is beloved by generations of readers. Now her heartfelt story comes to the stage in a brand-new version that honors the spirit of Alcott’s original while freshly interpreting it for a new era.

Faceless — March 28 – April 26 — National tensions swirl around the trial of Susie Glenn, an American teenager who left her home and family to join ISIS. Federal prosecutor Claire Fathi takes the case despite being reluctant to have her own gender and Muslim faith exploited in the name of justice.

The Gardens of Anuncia — May 8 – June 14 — Anuncia, a character inspired by the life of Broadway legend Graciela Daniele, tends the garden of her country house as she reflects on her life, looking back on her girlhood in Juan Perón’s Argentina. This Globe-commissioned, tango-infused world premiere musical is by five-time Tony Award-nominee Michael John LaChiusa.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank — May 28 – June 28 — Pulitzer Prize finalist Nathan Englander and the Globe’s Edelstein as director team up a for this world premiere of a modern-day comedy of friendship. The play is Englander’s adaptation of his award-winning short story about two high school friends from suburban New York whose adult lives have taken them to opposite ends of the earth, and to wildly different experiences of culture, religion, and family.

Subscription packages can be purchased online, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the box office in Balboa Park. Season subscriptions range from $112 to $744, and single tickets for most shows start at $30.

The Old Globe, now in its 85th year, is one of the country’s leading professional not-for-profit regional theaters, producing year-round on its three Balboa Park stages.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.