2019-2020 Season

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat |  September 6 - September 22, 2019

Lyrics by Tim Rice Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Directed by Corey Strauss - Musically Directed by Dennis Brown

Sponsored by St. Paul School

Rated 5 for Five Years of Age and Up

Estimated Run Time 1 hour 45 Minutes

One of the most enduring shows of all time, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a re-imagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers and the coat of many colors. Told entirely through song with the help of a main character Narrator, this upbeat musical styles. From calypso to country-western to bubblegum pop and rock 'n' roll, this Old Testament tale is both timely and timeless. With catchy music, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical theatre event not to be missed!


JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is presented by arrangement with The Musical Company, LP, 229 West 28th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001. www.themusicalcompany.com Phone: (212) 598-2204. Email: info@themusicalcompany.com.

HEATHERS | October 10 - October 26, 2019

Book and Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy

Directed by Alyse Neubert - Musically Directed by Shelly Bort

Sponsored by Takapa Media

Rated M for Mature

Estimated run time 2 hours

Based on the cult classic film of the same name, Heathers is the story of Veronica Sawyer, a senior at the fictional Westerburg High. Veronica longs to be cool like the clique of It Girls that run Westerburg: the unaffected, unattainable Heathers. Unfortunately, in addition to their obvious popularity, the Heathers are also cruel, choosing to mock and bully their kingdom into submission. Veronica is elated when she is invited into their exclusive club, but this means bullying the same kids she used to call friends. And is newcomer J.D. Veronica's true love or everone's worst nightmare? This high school has more than reading, writing, and arithmatic - there's forgery, suicide, and murder on the class schedule, With raw, edgy and culturally relevant numbers like "Beautiful," "Candy Store," and "Yo Girl," Heathers is a fan favorite.

Heathers The Musical” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company.


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CATS| November 22 - December 15, 2019

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Based on Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot

Directed by Corey Strauss 

Sponsored by VIA Trailways

Rated 5 for Five Years and Up

Estimated Run Time 2 hours

Based on T.S. Elliot's whimsical collection of poems, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular musical brings together a tribe of Jellicle Cats on a moonlit evening, who must make the "Jellicle choice" to decide which of them will ascend to the mysterious Heaviside Layer to be reborn. This record-setting musicak features celebrated standards such as "Macavity: the Mystery Cat," "Jellicle Song for Jellicle Cats," and the haunting "Memory." A magical, moving, and often hilarious glimpse into the lives of others, CATS takes Elliot's lyrical poetry and puts it into the mouths of a diverse company of singing, dancing felines.

CATS is presented by arrangement with The Musical Company, LP, 229 West 28th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001. www.themusicalcompany.com Phone: (212) 598-2204. Email: info@themusicalcompany.com.


A CHRISTMAS CAROL: A LIVE RADIO PLAY  |  December 19 - December 22, 2019

By Charles Dickens; Adaption by Marc Medefind

Sponsored by Stone Ridge Christian School

Rated 5 for Five Years and Up

Estimated Run Time 1 Hour 45 Minutes


The Charles Dicken's holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast, complete with vintage commercials, and the magic of live sound effects and musical underscoring. A handful of actors bring dozens of characters to the stage, as the familiar story unfolds: Three ghosts take Ebenezer Scrooge on a thrilling journey to teach him the true meaning of Christmas. A charming take on a family favorite that will leave no one saying "Bah Humbug!"


MEN ON BOATS |  January 9, 2020 - January 19, 2020

By Jaclyn Backhaus

Sponsored by Dignity Health Medical Group Inc. 

Rated T for 13 years of age and up

Estimated Run Time 1 Hour 15 minutes

Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Men on Boats is the true(ish) history of the 1869 expedition, led by the very real John Wesley Powell. Powell was a former U.S. Army captain, American explorer, geologist, and ethnologist, best known for his exploration of the upper portion of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. History is written by the winners and sometimes exaggerated and mythologized beyond that. Enter Playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, Men on Boats dramatizes the expedition, and her premise of using an all-women cast helps recount the exploration of the unmapped frontier in a different light.  Join Powell and the insane, yet loyal volunteer party as they set out to chart the (dramatized) course of the Colorado River.

ROALD DAHL'S MATILDA |  February 14 - March 8, 2020

Book by Dennis Kelly; Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin; Based on the book, Matilda by Roald Dahl

Sponsored by The Donald and Betty Stewart Family

Rated 5 for five years of age and up

Estimated Run Time 2  Hours 15 minutes

Matilda is the story of an extraordinary little girl with supernatural powers. The daughter of abusive parents, Matilda finds refuge in library books and in creating her own stories. Things are no better at school, where Matilda also must face a tyrannical and cruel headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. Not everyone Matilda encounters is so evil.  Her teacher, Miss Honey, is kind but doesn’t have the strength to challenge authority. Matilda knows she has to stand up to the bullies, and in doing so, discovers her own remarkable powers. Matilda’s bravery teaches Miss Honey and her classmates an important lesson -- that even though life can be hard, “nobody but me is gonna change my story” so “sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.”

Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical Is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
FUN HOME |  March 27 - April 11, 2020

By Lisa Kron, Jeanine Tesori, and Alison Bechdel; Based on the graphic novel Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

Sponsored by Drs. Davin Soehnen & Kristina Sogocio and Feminarts- 

Rated T for 13 years of age and up (language, adult themes) 

Estimated Run Time 90 Minutes


When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father. Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes and sheds light on how both wonderful and dark moments in our past can shape our future.  Fun Home was the “little engine that could” of Broadway, and is an important staple in our season. 

Fun Home” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company

BRIGHT STAR  |   May 22 - June 7, 2020

Music, Book and Story by Steve Martin; Music, Lyrics and Story by Edie Brickell
Sponsored by  MFA Medical Faculty Associates Medical Group, Inc.
Inspired by real events and featuring the Grammy-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell,

Rated 5 for 5 years of age and up

Estimated Run Time 2 Hours 30 minutes

Broadway’s Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. 

When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past – and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. Propelled through expressive movement, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tight in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.

GOD OF CARNAGE |  June 11 - June 14, 2020 at The Merced Multicultural Arts Center

By Yasmina Reza; Translated by Christopher Hampton
Sponsored by Bob Wells Carpet Cleaning
Rated T for 13 years of age and up (language and strong themes)

Estimated Run Time 1 Hours 30 minutes

What happens when two sets of parents meet up to deal with the unruly behavior of their children? A calm and rational debate between grown-ups about the need to teach kids how to behave properly? Or a hysterical night of name-calling, tantrums, and tears?

There is a dark voyeuristic pleasure in watching the verbal battle which unfolds during Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage. We watch the characters who, despite their diplomatic intentions, reveal their dark sides as the discussion falls into the loaded topics of misogyny, racial prejudice and homophobia.  God of Carnage is a brash and hilarious exploration of human nature

DISNEY'S TARZAN |   July 17- August 2, 2020

Book by David Henry Hwang; Music and Lyrics by Phil Collins; Based on the story, Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Disney film, Tarzan.
Sponsored by Dr. Vikram and Priya Lakireddy
Rated 5 for five years of age and up

Estimated Run Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Washed up on the shores of West Africa, an infant boy is taken in and raised by gorillas who name him Tarzan. Apart from striving for acceptance from his ape father, Tarzan's life is mostly “monkey business” until a human expedition treks into his gorilla family’s territory, and he encounters creatures like himself for the first time. Tarzan struggles to navigate a jungle, thick with emotion, as he discovers his animal upbringing clashing with his human instincts.  High-flying excitement and hits, including Phil Collins’ Academy award-winning "You'll Be in My Heart," as well as "Son of Man" and "Two Worlds," make Tarzan an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Tarzan is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). 

All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

2019 - 2020 Conservatory

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DISNEY'S FROZEN JR.  November 1 - November 10, 2019

Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez; Book by Jennifer Lee; Based on the Disney film written by Jennifer Lee and directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

Sponsored by Golden Valley Health Centers

Rated 5 for five years of age and up 

A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, Frozen JR. expands upon the emotional relationship and journey between Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. There’s new adventure along with new songs.  (You won’t just be “letting go” while “building a snowman”.)  With a cast of beloved characters and loaded with magic, adventure, and plenty of humor, Frozen JR. is sure to thaw even the coldest heart!

Disney's Frozen JR.

Is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). 

All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.


Music by Jessica Jackson; Book and Lyrics by Jeff Carey
Sponsored by Dr. Chad Rowan 
Rated 5 for five years of age and up

Scruff Turbo and the Children of the Future is a musical sci-fi adventure through space featuring an array of comical and larger-than-life characters of aliens, robots and more who join Scruff Turbo on her intergalactic mission. It is a kid-friendly “Mad Max” with music based on Ziggy Stardust, dubstep and the Eastern European tradition of blacklight shows. With a message about saving the Earth, and being your “most authentic self”, Scruff Turbo is one of the best pieces of young adult and youth theatre.  This fresh, new, never-before-seen-in-California show is a gem. Originally produced by Creede Repertory Theatre (CRT) in Creede, CO, (one of the Top 10 Theatres to see Broadway off Broadway), with music by CRT’s Artistic Director Jessica Jackson, and book and lyrics by author and cartoonist Jeff Carey. 

2019 - 2020 Special Events

ANNUAL GALA |  August 15, 2019

The largest Playhouse Merced fundraiser of the year, the Annual Gala has become a major event in the Merced Community.  Consisting of dinner, drink, entertainment, and much more, The Playhouse Merced Annual Gala is an amazing event that also serves as the official start of the 2019 - 2020 Season.

Save the date!

SEASON PREVIEW FOR 2020 - 2021 SEASON |  May 9, 2020

Playhouse Merced's 27th Season is certain to be filled with amazing shows.  Be the first to know what the upcoming season holds at the Annual Preview.  It's a one-night only event, so save the date!

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