San Diego Theater north county
Joy Yvonne Jones and Thomas Edward Daugherty, part of the cast of “The Ferryman.” Photo credit: Daren Scott, @NewVillageArts, via Instagram

New Village Arts in Carlsbad has two reasons to celebrate – the theater will launch the newly renovated and renamed Conrad Prebys Theatre with the first U.S. production of a recent Tony winner since its Broadway run.

The Prebys Theatre, part of the Dea Hurston New Village Arts Center in Carlsbad, will host the 2019 Best Play winner, The Ferryman, which opens Friday in previews.

The show formally bows Feb. 4, continuing through March 5.

“From the moment I finished reading (playwright) Jez Butterworth’s “The Ferryman” I knew it would be the highlight of my 20-plus year career to be able to direct the show,” said Kristianne Kurner, New Village Arts founder and executive artistic director.

The local cast includes Tom Daugherty, Joy Yvonne Jones, Kym Pappas, Antonio TJ Johnson, Max Macke and Lena Palke.

The Ferryman addresses the effect of violence in Northern Island 40 years ago through the lens of one family, the Carneys – and an unexpected visitor. Butterworth’s work also won the Laurence Olivier Award in London for Best Play and on Broadway, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk Awards for Best Play.

Tickets for the production cost $50 (previews are $30), with performances taking place Wednesdays through Sundays.

Actors and audiences alike will enjoy a modernized Carlsbad Village facility for New Village Arts, which sought a design that could serve both as a cultural gathering space and arts center.

It is named for San Diego arts philanthropist and playwright Dea Hurston, the
first Black woman to have her name atop a U.S. arts center in more than 50 years and the
only one on the West Coast.

Opening events at the Hurston Center and Prebys Theatre include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Friday and a community celebration and open house on Saturday.