PCPA's new year kicks off Thursday with the Disney musical "Freaky Friday." Also included in the 54th season will be "The Crucible," The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence," "Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame the Musical," "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," "Mamma Mia!" and "Arcadia."

“We’re thrilled to be bringing a season of plays that we trust will engage our audience in new ways, through stories of genuine transformation and electrifying discovery. This is our time to use great theater to reflect, connect, and illuminate the path forward. As we all encounter the unprecedented trials and possibilities of modern life, we’ll be presenting new-fashioned classics to ground us and sizzling new work to help us soar," said PCPA Artistic Director Mark Booher.

In "Freaky Friday," to be performed in the Marian Theatre, when an overworked mother and her contrary teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. Based on two Disney movies, a mother and daughter really see what it is to be a family and experience each other’s lives first-hand.

Arthur Miller’s Tony Award-winning masterpiece "The Crucible" will play from Feb. 15 to March 4 in the Marian Theatre. Inspired by Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s witch-hunt for Communists in America in the 1950s and the Salem witch trials of 1692, the story centers on a farmer, his wife and a former servant girl who maliciously causes the wife's arrest for witchcraft. 

Playing in the Severson Theatre from March 8 to 25 is Madeleine George’s time-jumping play "The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence," which spins in the orbit of four Watsons: Watson the trusty sidekick to Sherlock Holmes, Watson the loyal engineer who built Bell’s first telephone, Watson the unstoppable supercomputer that became reigning "Jeopardy!" champ and Watson an amiable techno-dweeb.

Two of the biggest names in American musical theater, Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast") and Stephen Schwartz ("Wicked"), have teamed up to deliver "Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame the Musical." It plays in the Marian Theatre from April 26 to May 13 and from June 14 to July 8 in the Solvang Festival Theater.

Based on Victor Hugo’s Gothic novel, Quasimodo, the misshaped bell ringer, is held captive by his caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, who plans to destroy the gypsies, including Esmeralda. Cornered in a love quadrangle it’s up to Quasimodo to save the day in this brand new musical.

In the Tony Award-winning "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," playwright Christopher Durang puts dysfunction to effect when three siblings reunite in the family’s Pennsylvania home. It plays in the Marian Theatre from June 28 to July 7, then in the Solvang Festival Theater July 12 to 22.

Vanya and Sonia bicker and pine about the dashed dreams and squandered hopes of their lives when their movie-star sister, Masha, suddenly swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike.

"Mamma Mia!" spins and sparkles into the summer of 2018. It will play July 18 through 21 in the Marian Theatre before transferring to Solvang to play under the stars from July 27 through Aug. 26. ABBA’s songs propel this tale with love, laughter and friendship.

On the eve of her wedding, Sophie has secretly invited three men from her mother Donna's past back to the Greek island paradise they last visited 20 years ago in a quest to discover the identity of her father. Donna’s longtime friends from her past girl group, Donna and the Dynamos, also arrive for the wedding to catch up and reminisce.

From the author of "Shakespeare in Love," Tom Stoppard’s Tony-winning "Arcadia" is considered one of the greatest plays of its time. It runs Aug. 16 to 25 in the Marian Theatre and Aug. 30 through Sept. 9 in the Solvang Festival Theater.

"Arcadia" is a romantic mystery set in the elegant Coverly estate and taking place in both 1809 and the present. Two plot lines run parallel across time with intertwining themes. While 13-year-old Lady Thomasina and her tutor delve into intellectual and romantic issues, the present day finds the Coverly descendants and two competing scholars researching horticulture and a possible scandal at the estate in 1809. 

Tickets for the 54th season are on sale. For more information, visit pcpa.org.

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