By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Aurora Theatre announces 20th anniversary performance season
Georgia’s Second Largest Professional Theater Unveils 2015-16 Signature Series

ATLANTA – On the heels of a record-breaking year, Aurora Theatre celebrates its 20th Anniversary season! Atlanta audiences will once again experience award-winning productions and talent, as Aurora Theatre unveils its 2015-2016 Peach State Federal Credit Union Signature Series.

The historic theatre setting in downtown Lawrenceville’s charming square will provide an intimate backdrop for the premiere productions of MEMPHIS (co-produced with Theatrical Outfit), VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (co-produced with Horizon Theatre Company), WIT, INTO THE WOODS, I’M NOT RAPPAPORT and the return of the annual variety classic CHRISTMAS CANTEEN 2015. This season’s diverse lineup will give theatergoers of every age a chance to experience and appreciate the performing arts. After the record-breaking successes of MARY POPPINS and the remounted LES MISÉRABLES, which surpassed its 2013 debut as Aurora Theatre’s all-time best selling show, the 20th Anniversary season promises the best is yet to come!

“We are so proud of this upcoming series and the diversity that it offers to our patrons,” says Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez. “There’s something for everyone to enjoy – comedies, dramas, musicals –   and our hope is that regional audiences identify the caliber of our productions with that of other popular theater companies. At Aurora, we pride ourselves on presenting the best quality productions complete with top actors and live musicians, and the 2015/2016 season will be no exception; as such, we truly believe the best is yet to come!”

“As a local business serving Metro Atlanta and neighboring suburban Atlanta communities, we strive to partner with other companies who are working towards the betterment of our society,” said Associate Producer Ann-Carol Pence. “Aurora Theatre’s dedication to providing cultural and theatrical arts experiences for residents directly aligns with our belief in giving back to the community that fiercely supports us.”
Memphis440
MEMPHIS
July 23- August 30, 2015
When Huey Calhoun walks into the underground Rock ‘n’ Roll bar Delray’s in 1950s Memphis, it’s not the music that stops him in his tracks – it’s the blank stares. As the only white person in the bar, people start to leave until he convinces them that he’s only looking to listen to the music. Little did they know at the time, Huey would become Rock ‘n’ Roll’s pioneering DJ, moving the iconic sound from radio to TV. Even though Memphis was the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll in the South, there is a lot more to the story than what happened at Graceland. Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical, MEMPHIS is a co-production with Theatrical Outfit.

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
October 1-25, 2015
Last year's most-produced play in America might be the funniest in a generation! VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE tells the story of the intertwined lives of three middle-aged siblings living in their Pennsylvanian family home. While butting heads and coming face-to-face with life’s tough decisions, this laugh-out-loud comedy explores the themes of love, friendship and sibling rivalry. Written by Christopher Durang, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play and is co-produced with Horizon Theatre Company.

CHRISTMAS CANTEEN 2015
November 19- December 20, 2015 
An Aurora Theatre original and Gwinnett's longest-running theatrical holiday tradition, CHRISTMAS CANTEEN 2015 returns to the Lawrenceville stage for its 20th season run. An audience favorite, this nostalgic musical revue is a Winter Wonderland that just keeps getting better! Stand-up comedy mixed with theatrical numbers and singing galore, CHRISTMAS CANTEEN 2015 is a variety show that is not to be missed.

WIT
January 14- February 7, 2016
After being diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic ovarian cancer, Dr. Vivian Bearing agrees to undergo an experimental chemotherapeutic treatment. As the professor makes the transition from teacher to student, she begins to examine her life through the minutiae of the English language. An emotional journey through the heart wrenching trials of cancer rearing its ugly head, WIT is a powerful tale of strength and sorrow that will speak to audiences of all ages. Winning the 1999 Pulitzer Price, WIT is a perfect choice for Gwinnett County, as it hosts the most successful Relay for Life fundraiser in the nation.

INTO THE WOODS
March 10-April 17, 2016
When an evil witch curses a baker and his wife for stealing her “magic” beans, they must seek out special ingredients for her special potion in order for her to lift the curse on the wife’s fertility.  Along their enchanting journey into the woods, they encounter Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack, Little Red Riding Hood and other fictional favorites, as they too come face-to-face with the consequences of their own desires and wishes. In this modern musical twist of intertwined Brothers Grimm fairytales, American composer Stephen Sondheim cleverly answers the question, "What happens after happily ever after?"

I’M NOT RAPPAPORT
May 5-29, 2016
This 1996 Tony Award winner is the touching humorous tale of two old men who inhabit a bench in New York’s Central Park. Nat Moyer, a feisty Jewish man, spins tall tales and doesn’t want his daughter dumping him into an old folk's home, while half-blind, cantankerous African-American Midge Carter, hides from his disgruntled tenants.

Ticket prices for the 2015-2016 Signature Series vary by performance. Single-show tickets go on sale to the public starting July 1, 2015. However, season subscribers have the opportunity to select preferred seating prior to tickets going on sale to the public. For more information on the series or to become a season subscriber, please visit auroratheatre.com, or call the Box Office at 678.226.6222.

Now in its 20th Season, Aurora Theatre produces professional live entertainment to suit everyone’s taste. Aurora Theatre is home to over 600 events each year. Two series of theatrical productions, the Peach State Federal Credit Union Signature Series and the GGC Harvel Lab Series, are comprised of the biggest Broadway plays and musicals alongside exciting contemporary theatre. Additionally, Aurora produces concerts, stand-up comedy, children’s programs, metro Atlanta’s top haunted attraction Lawrenceville Ghost Tours, as well as Atlanta’s only professional Spanish language theatre. Aurora Theatre is a world-class theatrical facility with two performance venues. Nestled on the square in historic downtown Lawrenceville, Aurora has FREE attached covered parking and is surrounded by restaurants and shops. Aurora Theatre has garnered numerous accolades highlighted by recent achievements that include winner of Seven 2013 Suzi Bass Awards, Creative Loafing’s “2010 Best Theatre Company,” Georgia Trend Magazine’s “2011 Best Places to Work in Georgia,” Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “2012 Best Places to Work”, Atlanta Magazine’s “Best of Atlanta 2013”, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 President and CEO Award for Excellence in Arts and the Gwinnett Chamber 2015 IMPACT Regional Business Award for Hospitality.