NEW BERN, N.C. – New Bern Civic Theatre is setting the stage for provocative conversations about inclusivity, individualism, and the joy of being “kooky” with its 2023 Season of plays and musicals. The eight-show season begins in February with a musical about the life of Billie Holiday and ends in November with the “Spooktacular” Addams Family.

“A guiding principal for show selection was a purposeful intention to present a season of lesser known, or not often produced shows and stories,” said Michael Tahaney, NBCT executive director, “With very few exceptions, each offers widely diverse /or non-traditional casting opportunities. We hope this season will attract volunteers, performers, production teams,

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (February 10-25) is the season opener described as a live jazz concert within a play. It’s an unapologetic interpretation of a final performance given by jazz icon, Billie Holiday. Billie sings her legendary hit songs peppered with unscripted reflections on the highs and lows of her difficult life.

Honk! JR (March 21-April 2) is a heartwarming musical based on the classic tale, The Ugly Duckling. This youth production sings and dances through moments highlighting what it means to be different, demonstrating how differences can be celebrated rather than scorned.

NBCT shivers with anticipation for The Rocky Horror Show (May 12-June 3). Very similar to the cult classic film with “Picture” in the title, this musical was part of the counter-cultural movement in the mid-1970s. It shined light on the exploration of sexuality and identity, and railed against traditional, conformist gender norms with its campy B-movie, Sci-Fi, glam rock style. Let’s do the Time Warp again!

Sankofa ’23 coincides with New Bern’s Juneteenth celebrations (June 16-17). Sankofa is completely different each year showcasing a fresh theme gathering diverse performers who weave together stories, spoken word, poetry, scenes, songs, and dances honoring the African American experience.

The Saax Bradbury Players teen theatre group will give audiences a fictional behind-the-scenes glimpse into the theatre process with Rehearsals (July 14-23). The teens chose Rehearsals because the play is rich with over-the-top characters offering challenges for tackling broad comedy. It is a hilarious parody of a community theatre rehearsal process (in some county somewhere far away) that promises to be very meta and very funny.

As summer reaches its end NBCT presents two smaller entertaining and witty productions. Maytag Virgin (September 1-10) is a two-person, mature and heartfelt romantic comedy about love, loss, and unexpected moments. It’s a vulnerable and inspired work written by acclaimed female playwright, Audrey Cefaly.

The Revolutionists takes stage (September 22-October 1) in a new, bold, fiercely witty, feminist play that guarantees to be unlike anything you’ve seen onstage. Ever. Imagine the interaction between four real women—a queen (as in the, “Let them eat cake” one), an assassin, a Haitian refugee, and a playwright— who lived during the French Revolution and were hell-bent on changing the power narrative. Is it a comedy, a tragedy, a musical or all the above?

And for the season finale the kooky, spooky mega-hit musical The Addams Family will bring an extra something special with the chill of fall just in time for Halloween antics. This musical comedy took Broadway by storm starring everyone’s favorite characters from the 60s TV sitcom.

Also at NBCT: The Vagina Monologues will be a Season Bonus Event presented in the Studio Theatre mid-February that will go on sale in early 2023. Season Tickets are now available, with options to include the full season package of all eight shows at $136.95 or a “Pick Six” package for $106.16. Passes are available online at newberncivictheatre.org or by calling call 252-634-9057.