The Human Race Theatre Company’s 39th Season “Re/action”

For the  The Human Race Theatre Company’s 39th year, we delve into “What makes us better humans?” exploring how faith, community, service, and inner compass influence the choices we make.

This inquiry ties back to our core mission: to startle us into a renewed awareness of ourselves. Our founders—Suzy Bassani, Caryl Philips, and Sara Exley—envisioned our theatre as a platform to express humanity’s vast emotions and experiences. “Our actions and reactions to our circumstances and the world around us transform us,” notes Emily N. Wells, Artistic Director.  “We invite you to join us for our 39th season, promising a captivating blend of love, hope, fear, beliefs, and joys that reflect the present moment.” With pleasure and anticipation, we now share the 39th year of The Human Race Theatre Company: Re/action  

The 2024 – 25 Season features five productions, combining fresh and favorite works, all showcased in the unique style of The Human Race Theatre Company.

The 5-production season launches in October with Kate Hamill’s quirky take on the canon of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the murder-mystery comedy Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B.

 In December, a world premiere comedy continues The Human Race tradition of alternative winter offerings with A Frosty Night. Imagined by playwright Mark Brown (This is Tom Jones!, Around The World in 80 Days), this what-if scenario pits Frosty the Snowman’s frustrated and heartbroken wife Sharon against Mrs. Claus.

Join us in February for A Distinct Society by Kareem Fahmy, recently nominated for seven San Francisco Critic’s Circle awards. In the tranquil hush of a library that straddles the U.S. – Canada border, unexpected relationships write the most compelling stories.

As spring returns, so does the legend of Camelot. In this tightly crafted adaptation of Lerner and Lowe’s beloved classic adapted by David Lee, wrap yourself in timeless romance, heroic dreams, and the soaring melodies that stir the soul.

Rounding out the season, raise a glass with your high school crowd at The Comeuppance. A New York Times Critic Pick for 2023 penned by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, this contemporary dark comedy delves into the heart of friendships that outlast life’s twists and turns.

We look forward to sharing these stories with you throughout the upcoming year. Subscriptions come many sizes and suited to any budget, and offer the best value with the most flexibility including our new Generation HRTC rate for ages 20-40! Can’t commit? Choose our membership program instead. By popular demand, a Parents Day Out Series is available at no additional charge. Military and student discounts available. Renewals will begin at the end of April and new subscriptions are available at any time. All tickets are available through Dayton Live Box Office at 937-228-3630.


The Human Race Theatre Company 2024-25 Season

Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt 2B

By Kate Hamill

Cheerfully Desecrating the Stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Director Heather Wilson-Bowlby
OCTOBER 9 – 20, 2024
Regional Premiere

This fast-paced romp re-examines the world’s most famous detective story with a bold new feminist lens. In this highly theatrical escapade, oddball female roommates Sherlock (yes, it’s also a girl’s name—wait, is it a girl’s name? Is it even a name?) Holmes & Joan Watson join forces. They emerge from the pandemic fog as a deeply codependent, quasi-dysfunctional Odd Couple adventure duo—solving mysteries and kicking butts, until they come face-to-face with a villain who seems to have all of the answers.


A Frosty Night

By Mark Brown

Director Emily N. Wells
DECEMBER 11 – 22, 2024
World Premiere

Sharon Frosty, Frosty the Snowman’s wife, knows that he’s up to no good and follows his trail to the North Pole. Will she catch him in the act?

Laugh ‘til you’re blue with this adults-only comedy.


A Distinct Society

By Kareem Fahmy

Director Brant Russell
February 5 – 16, 2025

In the tranquil hush of a library that straddles the U.S. – Canada border, life is about to change. When an Iranian father and daughter, separated by the international border, start using the library as a meeting place, the French-Canadian librarian, an American customs agent, and a local teenager find their quiet lives suddenly full of excitement and consequence. Inspired by true events, A Distinct Society is a touching and funny new play about the many things – family, food, art, love, and politics – that can either divide or unite us.


Camelot

Book & Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Book Adapted by David Lee

New Orchestrations by Steve Orich
Director Emily N. Wells
Music Director Ian Axness
MARCH 26 – APRIL 6, 2025

Embark on a majestic journey to a realm where honor, dignity, and morality pave the way for a new era under the youthful King Arthur’s reign.  This tightly focused adaptation of the classic musical Camelot breathes new life into the legendary love triangle with the same musical favorites “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “The Lusty Month of May,” “I Loved You Once In Silence,” and “Camelot.” Witness as this beloved musical is reborn, offering a spellbinding experience that celebrates love, leadership, and the quest for an ideal world.


The Comeuppance

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Director Latrelle Bright
MAY 28 – JUNE 8, 2025
Regional Premiere

As the sun sets on the eve of their twentieth high school reunion, a close-knit group of former classmates—once known as the “Multi-Ethnic Reject Group”—reunites to pre-game the monumental night. Bonded in their youth as outsiders, they now navigate the complexities of adulthood with humor, heart, and a hint of nostalgia. Brilliantly witty, theatrical, and moving, The Comeuppance focuses on millennials reckoning with the world they will soon inherit. This play is a toast to the ties that bind us, the past that shapes us, and the future we step into together.


The Human Race expresses gratitude for the public and private support which makes our productions possible: The Loft Season Sponsors: Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation; Sustainability sponsors:  Anne F. Johnson, Steve and Lou Mason, ELM Foundation, and Morris Furniture Company;  Additional Season support:  Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts, Erma R. Catterton Trust, The Shubert Foundation;  Organizational support:  Culture Works, Montgomery County, Ohio Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant. Media Sponsor: WDPR Discover Classical. Pay What You Can Sponsor: Enterprise Holdings Foundation.  

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Join us for our 2024-25 Season Announcement

We are thrilled to extend a special invitation for The Human Race Theatre Company’s season announcement event! This exclusive gathering will unveil the theme of our highly anticipated 39th season, and a first look at the captivating productions that will grace our stage.

Date: Monday, April 15, 2024
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: The Loft Theatre, 126 N Main St, Dayton, OH 45402

Join us for a memorable night where the arts community comes together to celebrate the power of theater and the stories that move us.

Please RSVP:

Seats are limited, so kindly RSVP via the button below by Monday, April 8 to secure your spot.

RESERVE YOUR SEAT

We can’t wait to share this exciting journey with you and look forward to welcoming you to what promises to be an unforgettable season!

The wait is over—single tickets are on sale now!

From heartwarming to downright hilarious, this season is filled with familiar stories told in fresh, fun ways. These “Stories in Motion” will sweep you off your feet and take you on a journey that can only be experienced through live theatre.

Explore this season’s shows—there is something for absolutely everyone to enjoy and tickets to all shows are on sale now! Snag your seats today

This is Tom Jones!

Book, Lyrics & Music by Mark Brown
Music by Paul Mirkovich

Director Emily N. Wells
Music Director Steven Goers
Choreographer Debbie Blunden-Diggs
September 7 – 25, 2023
Loft Theatre 

Henry Fielding’s heart-throbbing masterpiece meets the frenzied, mop-top sounds of the 1960s known as the British Invasion. Aristocrats, wenches and scalawags abound in this bawdy and rollicking romp through the back roads and bedchambers of England

GET TICKETS


Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous

By Pearl Cleage
Director Torie Wiggins
October 26 – November 12, 2023
Loft Theatre 

After decades of self-imposed exile in Amsterdam, actress Anna Campbell and her manager Betty Sampson receives an invitation to remount their controversial performance piece “Naked Wilson.” Uncertain of her reception, Anna auditions her possible replacement, an ambitious young performer whose experience is limited to the adult entertainment industry. These two women confront their differing world views with humor and grace–and still manage to find common ground.  

GET TICKETS


Reindeer Sessions

By Eric Ulloa
Director Igor Goldin
December 13 – 23, 2023
Loft Theatre 

After a fight that left history’s most famous reindeer with a broken red nose, Blitzen is forced into a series of Anger Management therapy sessions by Kringle Enterprises. Tasked with finding the cause of this violent outburst, his therapist Dr. Arbor hopes to help him understand what led to this moment and if he can save his job on the reindeer squad.  You won’t look at The North Pole the same way again in this hilarious and unexpected ride! 

GET TICKETS


Shipwrecked! An Entertainment:
The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself)

By Donald Margulies
Director Greg Hellems
February 22 – March 10, 2024
Loft Theatre 

The adventurous Louis de Rougemont invites you to hear his amazing story of bravery, survival and celebrity that left 19th-century England spellbound. Dare to be whisked away in a story of the high seas and all corners of the globe, populated by flying wombats, giant sea turtles and a monstrous man-eating octopus.  Shipwrecked examines how far we’re willing to blur the line between fact and fiction to leave our mark on the world. 

GET TICKETS


peerless

By Jiehae Park
Director Marya Spring Cordes
April 25 – May 12, 2024
Loft Theatre 

Twins M and L have given up everything to get into The College.  So when D gets “their” spot instead, they figure they’ve got only one option: kill him.

A darkly comedic take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth about the ultra-ambitious and the cut-throat world of high school during college admissions. 

GET TICKETS


The Kite Runner

Adapted by Matthew Spangler
Based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini

May 28 – June 2, 2024
Victoria Theatre –  Co-presented with Dayton Live 

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s beloved, internationally best-selling novel, THE KITE RUNNER is a powerful new play adapted by Matthew Spangler that follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. Told across two decades and two continents, THE KITE RUNNER is an unforgettable journey of forgiveness, and shows us all that we can be good again.

Single tickets are coming soon.


The Human Race expresses gratitude for the public and private support which makes our productions possible: The Loft Season Sponsors: Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation; Sustainability sponsors:  Anne F. Johnson, Steve and Lou Mason, ELM Foundation, and Morris Furniture Company;  Additional Season support:  Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts, Erma R. Catterton Trust, The Shubert Foundation;  Organizational support:  Culture Works, Montgomery County, Ohio Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant. Media Sponsor: WDPR Discover Classical. Pay What You Can Sponsor: Enterprise Holdings Foundation.  

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22-23 Season Recap

From the Desk of the Artistic Director:

On this last day of the 22-23 Season, I must thank our audience, our artists, our sponsors and donors, and the entire board and staff for making me feel welcome for my first season in Dayton.  My biggest debt of gratitude is to YOU – our audiences who keep showing up to see what we’ll create next.  You are in for an entertaining, imaginative season!

There have been so many highlights to this season that I really had a hard time selecting my top five.   Maybe next year I should make it a top 10!

See you at the theatre!

Emily

The Human Race Theatre Company’s “Stories in Motion”

For the upcoming 2023-2024 season, The Human Race Theatre Company sparks creativity, imagination and invention through a season of “Stories in Motion,” with shows inspired by or adapted from existing tales. Each title has been intentionally selected to challenge and advance theatrical storytelling, our audiences, and our theatre company. This evolution can only be experienced in the theatre because every night is a unique exchange between the playwright’s vision, the performer and audience. This 38th year marks the first season devised by new Artistic Director Emily N. Wells.  

“Theatre has a unique ability to tell stories in a way that sparks an audience’s imagination – as if they are inside the story,” said Wells. “Theatre and storytelling live as dynamic, evolving art forms, just as we evolve as people.” She adds. We are transforming well-known stories and timeless themes into stage productions designed for modern audiences. Connected by a theme of adaptation, this season of Stories in Motion presents contemporary plays and musicals through the artist’s lens.  

The season will launch in September with the world premiere musical This is Tom Jones! by Mark Brown and Paul Mirkovich, and directed by Wells. Not that Tom Jones!  But inspired by the Henry Fielding book, Brown and Mirkovich merge the novel with 1960’s pop sounds of the British Invasion.  Opening in late October, Atlanta playwright Pearl Cleage’s Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous takes the stage, directed by Cincinnati favorite Torie Wiggins. An aging actor is invited to remount her revolutionary take on August Wilson, but finds herself auditioning her replacement instead. 

December sees the second world premiere in the season, Reindeer Sessions, by Eric Ulloa (26 Pebbles, Kevin Moore Celebration.) Directed by Igor Goldin, Blitzen heads to anger management therapy after an incident with that other famous reindeer. To shake the February doldrums, head out on a rollicking sea adventure with Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself) by Donald Margulies and directed by Greg Hellems. Inspired by a true story, adventurer Louis de Rougemont shares his adventures on the high seas in a series of magazine articles. But can we believe everything he shares? 

In April – and just in time for college acceptance letters – peerless, Jiehae Park’s take on Macbeth, puts us in the cutthroat world of academic admissions where every option is on the table for twins M and L in a witty, pointed and stylized look at competition. Peerless will be directed by Marya Spring Cordes. To wrap up the season in May, The Human Race partners with Dayton Live to bring the national tour of the critically-celebrated Broadway production of The Kite Runner. Adapted by Matthew Spangler from Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel, this extraordinary and sensitively told story will shine bright on the Victoria Theatre stage.   

We are so enthusiastic about every show this coming season, we’re making them all available in a 6-Show Subscription Package! Other “Flexible Options” include 3-show packages, and annual Memberships. By popular demand, a Parents Day Out Series is available at no additional charge. Military and student discounts available. Renewals will begin mid-April and new subscriptions are available at any time after that. All tickets are available through Dayton Live Box Office at 937-228-3630 or https://www.daytonlive.org/series/loft-season/. 

2023-24 SEASON PACKAGES ARE ON SALE NOW!


The Human Race Theatre Company  2023-24 Season

This is Tom Jones!

Book, Lyrics & Music by Mark Brown
Music by Paul Mirkovich

Director Emily N. Wells
Music Director Steven Goers
Choreographer Debbie Blunden-Diggs
September 7 – 25, 2023
Loft Theatre 

Henry Fielding’s heart-throbbing masterpiece meets the frenzied, mop-top sounds of the 1960s known as the British Invasion. Aristocrats, wenches and scalawags abound in this bawdy and rollicking romp through the back roads and bedchambers of England. 


Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous

By Pearl Cleage
Director Torie Wiggins
October 26 – November 13, 2023
Loft Theatre 

After decades of self-imposed exile in Amsterdam, actress Anna Campbell and her manager Betty Sampson receives an invitation to remount their controversial performance piece “Naked Wilson.” Uncertain of her reception, Anna auditions her possible replacement, an ambitious young performer whose experience is limited to the adult entertainment industry. These two women confront their differing world views with humor and grace–and still manage to find common ground.  


Reindeer Sessions

By Eric Ulloa
Director Igor Goldin
December 13 – 23, 2023
Loft Theatre 

After a fight that left history’s most famous reindeer with a broken red nose, Blitzen is forced into a series of Anger Management therapy sessions by Kringle Enterprises. Tasked with finding the cause of this violent outburst, his therapist Dr. Arbor hopes to help him understand what led to this moment and if he can save his job on the reindeer squad.  You won’t look at The North Pole the same way again in this hilarious and unexpected ride! 


Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself)

By Donald Margulies
Director Greg Hellems
February 22 – March 10, 2024
Loft Theatre 

The adventurous Louis de Rougemont invites you to hear his amazing story of bravery, survival and celebrity that left 19th-century England spellbound. Dare to be whisked away in a story of the high seas and all corners of the globe, populated by flying wombats, giant sea turtles and a monstrous man-eating octopus.  Shipwrecked examines how far we’re willing to blur the line between fact and fiction to leave our mark on the world. 


peerless

By Jiehae Park
Director Marya Spring Cordes
April 25 – May 12, 2024
Loft Theatre 

Twins M and L have given up everything to get into The College.  So when D gets “their” spot instead, they figure they’ve got only one option: kill him.

A darkly comedic take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth about the ultra-ambitious and the cut-throat world of high school during college admissions. 


The Kite Runner

Adapted by Matthew Spangler
Based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini

May 28 – June 2, 2024
Victoria Theatre –  Co-presented with Dayton Live 

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s beloved, internationally best-selling novel, THE KITE RUNNER is a powerful new play adapted by Matthew Spangler that follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. Told across two decades and two continents, THE KITE RUNNER is an unforgettable journey of forgiveness, and shows us all that we can be good again.


The Human Race expresses gratitude for the public and private support which makes our productions possible: The Loft Season Sponsors: Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation; Sustainability sponsors:  Anne F. Johnson, Steve and Lou Mason, ELM Foundation, and Morris Furniture Company;  Additional Season support:  Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts, Erma R. Catterton Trust, The Shubert Foundation;  Organizational support:  Culture Works, Montgomery County, Ohio Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant. Media Sponsor: WDPR Discover Classical. Pay What You Can Sponsor: Enterprise Holdings Foundation.  

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Final weekend of BARBECUE

This weekend is your final chance to catch BARBECUE… an acclaimed, hilarious, and devastating comedy by Robert O’Hara. Shows are scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


Sunday is the Parents’ Day Out Performance

 

Can’t find a babysitter? Don’t let that keep you from the show! We’re offering a free theatre activity workshop for kids 5-12 in The Human Race Theatre Company rehearsal room during the Sunday, April 30th performance of BARBECUE.

Child drop-off is at 1:30 p.m.

You must have tickets for that afternoon’s 2 p.m. performance of BARBECUE.

GET TICKETS FOR BARBECUE!


Share your favorite Barbecue recipe

There is still time to participate in The Human Race Recipe-for-a-Recipe event.


Relive the Community Barbecue

We had an excellent day at The Inspiration Church. Relive the fun below:


You can still donate to The Human Race via City Barbeque Kettering

Wow! We are so grateful to everyone who ordered a delicious meal and to City Barbeque Kettering for donating 20% back to The Human Race. If you didn’t get a chance to order and would still like to donate to us via their campaign, you can do so below. Thank you!

DONATE NOW!


Who’s 37?

We’re so busy wrapping this incredible run of BARBECUE and prepping for INDIGO that we almost forgot… but The Human Race Theatre turned 37 today! Whuh?!

As Emily always says, “If it weren’t for you, we’d be putting these shows on in a dark, cold theatre” and that wouldn’t be much fun.

You are the secret sauce to our success—thank you for your continued love and support!

Parents’ Day Out to see BARBECUE

This week is your final chance to catch BARBECUE… an acclaimed, hilarious, and devastating comedy by Robert O’Hara.

Can’t find a babysitter? Don’t let that keep you from the show! We’re offering a free theatre activity workshop for kids 5-12 in The Human Race Theatre Company rehearsal room during the Sunday, April 30th performance of BARBECUE.

Child drop-off is at 1:30 p.m.

You must have tickets for that afternoon’s 2 p.m. performance of BARBECUE.

GET TICKETS FOR BARBECUE!

Who’s Holiday! Parents’ Night Out

She’s back!  Cindy Lou Who returns to Dayton for The Human Race Theatre Company’s Who’s Holiday! in an irreverent, hilarious good time, not suitable for the whole family.

Playwright Matthew Lombardo serves up an antidote to the holiday blues with a wildly funny and heartfelt adults-only comedy about grown-up Cindy Lou Who.  She trips along memory lane as she prepares for a holiday party in her trailer just outside of Whoville. Cindy Lou reminisces about that fateful Christmas eve when she first met the Grinch and the twisted turn of events her life has since taken. If you enjoyed Tuna Christmas or The Santaland Diaries in previous seasons, or even if you came to see Cindy Lou last year, join us again in filling the Loft Theatre with laughter from December 8 – 23, 2022.

Special “Parents’ Night Out” performances

Special “Parent’s Night Out” performances are scheduled at 5 PM on December 10, 17, 22 & 23, where kids 5-12 can enjoy a holiday-themed theatre workshop in the 2nd-floor rehearsal room from 4:30 – 6 PM while parents enjoy the show upstairs. The show’s short 60-minute run-time allows families to be home in time for dinner and bedtime!

“As a parent, I know the struggle is real to find childcare, especially the closer it gets to the holidays,” states HRTC Artistic Director Emily N. Wells. “The Human Race proudly partners with Dayton Live to offer these workshops to keep the kids learning and having a lot of fun, while parents and caregivers can kick back and enjoy a raucous time at the theatre.”

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!

Play it Forward this Holiday

As the season of charitable giving continues, The Human Race expands its commitment to The Foodbank, with a barrel for non-perishable food items in the lobby. There is also a “Giving Tree” in partnership with Blue Star Families Dayton, adding a little extra cheer for active and reserve military families in the area.

Returning to the role of Cindy is hilarious Cincinnati native and Wright State graduate, Alex Sunderhaus. Who’s Holiday! is directed by Human Race Theatre Company Resident Artist and Wright State Artistic Director, Joe Deer. The production team returns for Cindy Lou’s festive holiday party, with Stage Manager Rachel Heine; Costume Designer Zoe Still; Scenic Designer Scott J. Kimmins; Lighting Designer John Rensel; Sound Designer Alexander Koker; Prop Master Sarah Gomes.

Special Nights at the theatre:

SAWBUCK Sunday: Sunday, December 11 at 7:00 PM. All tickets at the door are $10.

PARENT’S NIGHT OUT: December 10, 17, 22, and 23 at 5:00 PM. Reserve your child’s spot when making your ticket reservations online.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Introducing EXIT STAGE LEFT Pilsner

Available starting December 2 at Branch & Bone Artisan Ales and performances of Who’s Holiday!

We are kindred organizations
inspired by the passion and spirit of the city that we call home.

Fiercely independent,
committed to service,
committed to creating great art.

And hell yes, when it’s done right, beer IS art.

Introducing EXIT STAGE LEFT Pilsner – ironically, a drama-free collaboration between Branch & Bone Artisan Ales and The Human Race Theatre Company.

Join us for Draft and Can Release Event