The lineup ranges from the uproarious musical comedy "La Cage Aux Follies" to a Rochester-set story involving film production

Geva Theatre Center in Rochester is the latest local theater group to announce its 2019-20 performance season, and this one is a diverse mix of dramas, comedies and musicals and festivals, with an emphasis on modern plays.

"We continue our commitment to producing the newest stories for Rochester — all but one show was written in the 21st century," Geva Artistic Director Mark Cuddy — marking his 25th season in that role in 2019-20 — stated in a release announcing the season lineup. "Rochester deserves the very best, and our playwrights, directors, actors and designers will represent the diverse talent of the American Theatre.”

The new season also continues Geva's commitment to presenting a diverse and inclusive number of voices: Over half of the productions are written and directed by women, three are written by playwrights of color and five helmed by directors of color.

“At the core of what we do is the celebration of the human experience,” Executive Director Christopher Mannelli stated. “In next year’s season we are proud to bring stories on our stage that will inspire and entertain all of the Rochester community.”

Here's the lineup:

Sept. 3 through Oct. 6: "La Cage Aux Follies" (Wilson Stage), a major comedic musical-theatre hit that won six Tony Awards when it premiered in 1983. Cuddy will star as drag nightclub owner Georges, whose son is getting married to the daughter of one of France's most conservative politicians.

Sept. 10-21: KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival (Fielding Stage), during which Geva will host a wide variety of performances.

Oct. 7-20: Festival of New Theatre (Fielding Stage, a two-week showcase of new plays and projects currently in Geva's developmental process.

Oct. 22 through Nov. 17: "The Niceties" (Wilson Stage) by Eleanor Burgess, directed by Nicole A. Watson. A driven black student and respected white professor meet to discuss the student's paper about the American Revolution, a conversation becoming a powder keg of race, hitory and power.

Nov. 7-24: "Queen" (Fielding Stage) by Madhuri Shekar, directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh. two Ph.D. candidates are about to publish their career-defining paper about vanishing bee populations, when one stumbles upon an error that could jeopardize everything, presenting a major moral dilemma.

Nov. 27 through Dec. 29: "A Christmas Carol" (Wilson Stage) by Charles Dickens, adapted and directed by Mark Cuddy, with music and lyrics by Gregg Coffin. Geva's rendition of Dicken's classic holiday tale of redemption has become a tradition in Rochester. It's presented by KeyBank.

Jan. 14 through Feb. 9: "Slow Food" (Wilson Stage) by Wendy MacLeod, directed by Skip Greer. In this new comedy by the author of "Women in Jeopardy!" a couple's anniversary dinner is hampered by a perfectionist waiter who won't bring them their food and has them questioning everything from their menu choices to their marriage.

Feb. 19 through March 22: "Once" (Wilson Stage), book by Edna Walsh, music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, directed by Mark Cuddy with music direcion by Don Kot. the story of a man who gave up on love and music, and the captivating woman who inspires him to dream again. This co-production with Syracuse Stage is based on the 2007 film.

March 5-22: "Cry It Out" (Fielding Stage), by Molly Smith Metzler, directed by M. Bevin O'Gara. This production of the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca takes an honest look at the challenges of being a new mom, being at home with a baby, and the dilemma of returning to work.

March 31 through April 26: "Looks Like Pretty" world premiere (Wilson Stage), by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton. This work of historical fiction co-commissioned by Geva and the Ensemble Studio Theatre is set in 1963 in a lab in Rochester's Kodak Park, in which Mr. Walters and his younger colleague Charlie are putting the finishing touches to the newest color film technology. When Gloria, a new African American employee at Kodak, questions the authenticity of color in the film, the success of the whole project is at stake.

April 23 through May 10: "Where Did We Sit on the Bus" (Fielding Stage), directed by Chay Yew. Writer/performer Brian Quijada's one-man show is a hip-hop autobiography about performance, family and growing up Latinx.

May 5-31: "Vietgone" (Wilson Stage) by Qui Nguyen, directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh. It's 1975 after the fall of Saigon, and two who lost their loves meet in the U.S. for a "hilariously rip-roaring adventure across 1970s America with a hot soundtrack that serves up hip-hop, sass and comic-book quick cuts."

Geva is at 75 Woodbury Blvd. in Rochester. Subscriptions for the full nine-play 2019-2020 season (not counting "A Christmas Carol" or the festivals) are on sale now from $224.50. The Wilson Stage Series and Fielding Studio Series may be purchased separately, from $133 and $91.50 respectively. Tickets to all individual shows (except "A Christmas Carol") will go on sale to the general public on July 16; tickets to "A Christmas Carol" will go on sale to the general public on Sept. 23. For information, visit

Future installments of Front-Row Seat will explore other area theatre group's upcoming seasons.