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Andrew Panton unveils first season at Dundee Rep

Andrew Panton has unveiled his first season as artistic director of Dundee Rep
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A female Scrooge and the professional Scottish production of August: Osage County feature on Andrew Panton's first season as artistic director of Dundee Rep.

Speaking to The Stage ahead of season launch on May 27, Panton spoke of his belief in the benefits of the Rep's permanent ensemble.

He said it created a better environment in which to create a new piece of work but also developed the actors’ all-round skills.

"The ensemble are here because they are fantastic actors, but they are also artists. I want to think about them not only as actors, but as artists and develop all those other skills.

"We already have members of the ensemble who write and direct and are wanting to co-operate. I will be looking to develop those skills as well as casting the season with them as actors."

Panton's first production will be August: Osage County, which was written for the Chicago Steppenwolf ensemble by its member Tracy Letts, earning him the Pulitzer Prize.

Describing it as "a fantastic piece of writing for an ensemble", Panton said it was a play he had wanted to stage for several years, but the rights had not been available. The only previous professional production of the play in the UK was a transfer of the Broadway production, which ran at the National Theatre in 2008.

The season also features Genet’s The Maids, with a cast that includes the only three remaining members of the Rep’s original 1999 ensemble, Irene Macdougall, Ann Louise Ross and Emily Winter.

For the Christmas show, Panton will be directing Neil Duffield's adaptation of A Christmas Carol, last staged at the Rep in 2009.

Panton said: "It will be a traditional production - with a twist in that Ann Louis Ross will be playing Scrooge. As soon as you start swapping the genders it gets quite interesting about how it effects the rest of the characters.”

The first collaboration of Panton's tenure is with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he is a lecturer. He will be directing a production of the musical Spring Awakening using RCS students in the child roles and Rep ensemble actors as the adults.

Panton also spoke of the importance of developing national and intentional partnerships.

He said: "The second season we will be doing a lot of partnering and co-productions, both in this country and abroad, and making sure that this fantastic work which gets made here in Dundee is seen by the very important local audiences, but also around the world.

"That is top of my agenda that more people see the fantastic work made here."

The season at a glance

August: Osage County

By Tracy Letts
Directed by Andrew Panton
Design: Alex Lowde (set), Chris Davey (lighting), Michael John McCarthy (sound)
August 29 to September 16, press night August 31

The Maids

By Jean Genet in a translation by Martin Crimp
Directed by Eve Jamieson
Design: Kenneth MacLeod (set), Colin Grenfell (lighting)
Composer: David Paul Jones
Cast: Irene Macdougall, Ann Louise Ross and Emily Winter
October 17 to November 4, press night October 19

A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by Neil Duffield
Directed by Andrew Panton
Design: Richard Evans (set), Grant Anderson (lighting)
Starring: Ann Louis Ross as Scrooge
November 30 to December 30, press night December 2

Deathtrap

By Ira Levin
Directed by Johnny McKnight
Design: Kenny Miller (set), Lizzie Powell (lighting), Alan Penman (sound)
February 20 to March 10, press night February 22

Spring Awakening

By Steven Later and Duncan Sheik
Directed by Andrew Panton
Choreographer: EJ Boyle
Design: Kenneth MacLeod (set), Grant Anderson (lighting)
March 22 to 24

Passing Places

By Stephen Greenhorn
Directed by Andrew Panton
Movement Director: EJ Boyle
April 17 to May 5, press night April 19

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