WASHINGTON (AP) — Arena Stage is opening its new theater season even as its summer productions continue to break box office records.

The 2011-2012 season opens Thursday with a performance of “Trouble in Mind” by Alice Childress. The play is set in 1957 on Broadway as an integrated theater faces conflicts over opening a play about race. It runs through Oct. 23.

To mark the opening, Arena also is awarding its American Artist Award to actress Leslie Uggams.

Next year, the season includes the world premiere of the new musical, “Like Water for Chocolate,” based on the best-selling novel.

Meanwhile, Arena says the hit show “Oklahoma!” has been seen by more than 100,000 people. It is now the longest-running main stage production in the theater’s 61-year history. The show closes Oct. 2.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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