Tanner stages legit company

Cast vet will be artistic director for Third Stage

Playwright Justin Tanner has created a resident theater company at the Third Stage in Burbank and announced a five-play season.

Tanner, who presented his work at the Cast Theater for 10 years and at Third Stage since 1999, will be artistic director for Third Stage Company.

Season opens July 14 with Tanner’s “Oklahomo!” about a troupe rehearsing an unauthorized adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic — set in a leather bar — with disastrous results.

Tanner will direct Erskine Caldwell’s “Tobacco Road,” opening Aug. 18.

His “Voice Lessons” will receive its world premiere Sept. 22. Tanner will also direct; Laurie Metcalf and Tom Irwin will star.

“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” will play in repertory with “Happytime X-Mas,” starring Fred Willard, beginning Dec. 1 and 3 respectively.

Tanner directed his own plays at the Cast, including “Zombie Attack!” which ran 10 years, before moving to Third Stage. Last year, he developed and shot a pilot for Aaron Spelling and UPN, “Silver Lake,” that the network did not pick up.

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