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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: 44th Season Announced for Victory Gardens 2018-2019

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Victory Gardens Theater announces its 2018-2019 Season
including the Chicago premieres of the Tony Award-nominated play Indecent by Paula Vogel, Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau, and Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee; and the world premieres of Rightlynd by Ike Holter and Miriam for President by Madhuri Shekar


Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're quite excited to see what Victory Gardens has in store for 44. They've been around an astounding 4+ decades and they're featuring lots of works by women, minorities, and an exciting mix of diverse voices. They're also producing a Tony Award-nominated play, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, with a season long focus on "new American plays that speak immediately to our times"

Victory Gardens Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, announces the lineup for its 2018-2019 Season. Victory Gardens’ 44th Season will include the Tony Award-nominated play Indecent by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel; the Chicago premieres of Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau and Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee; and the world premieres of Rightlynd by Ike Holter and Miriam for President by Madhuri Shekar.

 
“I’m extremely excited to announce our 44th season of new American plays that speak immediately to our times,” said Artistic Director Chay Yew. “Victory Gardens continues to give a Chicago home to our country’s finest playwrights who write powerful and relevant work that reflect and represent our diverse nation. These remarkable artists raise poignant questions about current issues through the resilience and humanity of their characters despite their circumstances. Their plays celebrate the best in us and inspire us to be better global citizens in these fractured times.”

The 2018-19 Victory Gardens Theater Season up close:



Indecent
By Paula Vogel
Directed by Gary Griffin
September 21-Nov 4, 2018
Press Opening: September 28, 2018

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) tells the deeply moving story of the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Jewish playwright Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance — a play about a forbidden lesbian romance that enchanted and outraged audiences.  Inspired by true events, Indecent, is performed by an ensemble of seven actors and three musicians portraying more than 40 roles to chart an explosive moment in theatrical history and the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it. Award-winner Gary Griffin (Hand To God, Fun Home) returns to Victory Gardens to direct this 2017 Tony Award-nominated play.



Rightlynd
By Ike Holter
Directed by Lisa Portes
November 9-December 23, 2018
Press Opening: November 16, 2018

Rightlynd is Chicago's 51st Ward. The L doesn't run here anymore and it is full of abandoned storefronts, crumbling apartment buildings, and its fair share of crime. A powerful real estate conglomerate is planning a massive redevelopment project that would gentrify the neighborhood and change Rightlynd forever. Only one woman stands in the way: Alderman Nina Esposito. In award-winning local playwright Ike Holter's ambitious new work, one woman tries to use her street smarts and raw determination to save the Chicago neighborhood she loves. But will the political machine turn her into the very person she is trying to destroy? Lisa Portes (BREACH, A Little Bit Not Normal) directs the first play that sets in motion Holter’s ongoing seven play saga set in this fictional Windy City neighborhood; the story cycle that includes previous pieces Exit Strategy, Sender, Prowess, and The Wolf at the End of the Block.



Pipeline
By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce
February 1-March 3, 2019
Press Opening: February 8, 2019

Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son, Omari, opportunities her students will never have. When a controversial incident at his private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent. But will she be able to reach him before a world beyond her control pulls him away?  With profound compassion and poetry, Dominique Morisseau’s (Skeleton Crew, Detroit 66, and the Broadway-bound Ain’t Too Proud to Beg) Pipeline brings to light a powerful and important conversation about parenthood, the state of our public school system, and the prison pipeline that claims so many of our inner city youth.



Cambodian Rock Band 
By Lauren Yee
Directed by Marti Lyons
April 5-May 5, 2019
Press Opening: April 12, 2019

Part comedy, part mystery, part rock concert, this thrilling story toggles back and forth in time, as father and daughter face the music of the past. Neary, a young Cambodian American, has found evidence that could finally put away individuals who carried out the Cambodian genocide. But her work is far from done. When Dad shows up unannounced—his first return to Cambodia since fleeing 30 years ago—it’s clear this isn’t just a pleasure trip. A wild rock-and-roll journey through the eyes of father and daughter, Artistic Director Chay Yew brings the world premiere journey of Lauren Yee’s (Samsara) Cambodian Rock Band from South Coast Repertory Theatre to Victory Gardens. 



Miriam for President
By Madhuri Shekar
Directed by Chay Yew
June 7-July 7, 2019
Press Opening: June 14, 2019

Miriam hates to be known as “that girl who got kidnapped then escaped that sex trafficking ring.” She wants to be known as Miriam, your top candidate for student council president at Roosevelt High School. But her parents, counselor, and best friend keep insisting that she's not ready. But what do they know? What do they really know about what happened to Miriam? From Madhuri Shekar, the author of Queen, comes a powerful play about survival, rebirth, and the silent crime of human trafficking in Chicago.

Subscriptions
Subscriptions start at just $99 are on sale at www.victorygardens.org and by phone at the Victory Gardens Box Office at 2433 N. Lincoln, 773.871.3000.

Victory Gardens Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals.  Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.  

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit www.victorygardens.org.  Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at instagram.com/victorygardenstheater/.

Victory Gardens Theater receives sustaining support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The REAM Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, and Wallace Foundation. It receives major funding from Crown Family Philanthropies, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, and Polk Bros. Foundation. Major funders also include: Allstate Insurance, Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Edgerton Foundation, Field Foundation of Illinois, Illinois Arts Council Agency, David Rockefeller Fund, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Time Warner Foundation Inc., Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Additional funding this season is provided by: Alliance Bernstein, Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Capital Group Private Client Services, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Chicago Foundation for Women, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, ComEd, Nathan Cummings Foundation,  Exelon, Golden Country Oriental Foods, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, ITW, JCCC Foundation, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Metropolitan Capital Bank & Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Negaunee Foundation, Roberta Olshansky Charitable Fund, Origin Ventures, Pauls Foundation, PNC Financial Services Group, Prince Charitable Trusts, Seabury Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Wrightwood Neighbors Association. In-kind support is provided by:  Dimo’s Pizza, Fiesta Mexicana, Italian Village Restaurants, Southwest Airlines, Suite Home Chicago and Whole Foods Market.

OPENING: World Premiere of Plantation! at Lookingglass Theatre Directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer 2/21-4/22

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

World Premiere
Plantation!
Written by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas
Directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer
February 21 - April 22, 2018

 Recommended for ages 13+

Make It Better names Plantation! one of the "12 Can't-Miss Plays in Chicago This Winter"  

Plantation! 
The FUN-comfortable Comedy

Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows we can't wait to catch this black (and white) comedy with an all female cast! playwright Kevin Douglas is crazy talented and insightful. We're so jazzed he's bringing race relations, reparations, and issues to the stage with wit and wisdom. Add to that, infamous friend and Lookingglass ensemble Member, David Schwimmer directing, this is sure to be one to see.

With eight fierce women battling over their home, future, and past, Plantation! is also a shoo-in to pass the *Bechdel Test. We're huge, long time Lookingglass fans and very much looking forward to Plantation!

*The Bechdel Test is designed to highlight female-positive works of fiction with an active female presence and to call attention to gender inequality. The Bechdel Test, sometimes called the Bechdel Rule is a pass/fail test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man.
   
Look who’s coming to tea…

A Texas matriarch, bless her heart, discovers that the history of the ancestral home is, well…complicated. When she reveals the news to her Southern Belle daughters, tempers rage hotter than the devil’s armpit and pandemonium runs amok on the pristine plantation…and that’s before the other set of sisters arrive. 


Ensemble Member and playwright Kevin Douglas (Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure) returns with a sharp pen and sharper wit to slash into America’s thorniest underbrush and most enduring conundrum. Ensemble Member David Schwimmer directs this World Premiere black (and white) comedy. 



Ensemble Member David Schwimmer (RACE, Big Lake Big City) directs this World Premiere black (and white) comedy by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas (Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure).

Plantation! features Ensemble Member Louise Lamson (Kimberly) and Artistic Associate Ericka Ratcliff (Sydney), with Hannah Gomez (Diana), Lily Mojekwu (London), Linsey Page Morton (Kara), Tamberla Perry (Madison), Grace Smith (Kayley) and Janet Ulrich Brooks (Lillian).

The creative team includes Courtney O’Neill (scenic), Ensemble Member Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), Artistic Associates Christine A. Binder (lighting) and Rick Sims (sound and composition), with Amanda Herrmann (props), Eva Breneman (dialect) and Ari Clouse (stage manager).


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: COURT THEATRE ANNOUNCES 64th SEASON

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Season includes Radio Golf by August Wilson, directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson; the World Premiere of Frankenstein by Manual Cinema, adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley; Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler, directed by Vanessa Stalling; For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange, directed by Seret Scott; and the World Premiere of The Adventures of Augie March, a play by David Auburn, based on the novel by Saul Bellow, directed by Charles Newell


Court Theatre is a long time favorite of ours here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows. They have some of the longest history and staying power in town, with an impressive 63 seasons under their belts. Court chooses a vast array of productions as well, in genres from classics to world premieres. This season looks to be no exception. One of our favorite directors, resident Artist Ron OJ Parson, will be back again, directing the season opener, the tenth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, likened to the Detroit trilogy Parson just completed directing for Northlight and Timeline. We're also fond of internationally-renowned multimedia company, Manual Cinema's unique, storytelling style and we're eager to catch their world premiere take on Mary Shelley's classic, Frankenstein. Vanessa Stalling is another Chicago director we adore and we can't wait to see Photograph 51. The season finishes strong with female and minority voices in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, directed by original Broadway cast member Seret Scott, and a world premiere Saul Bellow novel adaptation directed by Charles Newell. Save the dates!

Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell, announces its 64th season. The company’s 2018/19 season will feature the tenth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, Radio Golf, directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson; the World Premiere of an immersive take on the thrilling gothic tale Frankenstein by Manual Cinema, adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley; the story of an often-overlooked scientific revolutionary in Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler, directed by Vanessa Stalling; powerful stories from a sisterhood of women in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange, directed by original Broadway cast member Seret Scott; and the World Premiere of the epic coming-of-age story The Adventures of Augie March, adapted by David Auburn from the novel by Saul Bellow, directed by Charles Newell.


"Court Theatre is thrilled to announce a season of classics that builds upon our history of artistic innovation and collaboration," says Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director. "This ambitious collection of new and beloved plays is steeped in a rich storytelling history: a world premiere adaptation of a quintessential American novel, a celebration of a brilliant yet often overlooked female scientist, and the tenth installment of August Wilson's seminal Pittsburgh Cycle are just some of the powerful stories that we’re excited to share with our audiences."

Court Theatre’s 2018/19 season is dedicated to Court’s late Executive Director, Stephen J. Albert.

The 2017/18 Court Theatre Season up close:



Radio Golf

August 30 – September 30, 2018
By August Wilson
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
Press Opening: September 8, 2018 at 7:30pm

Real estate developer Harmond Wilks is determined to become the first black mayor of Pittsburgh, on a mission to revive his blighted childhood neighborhood. As Wilks confronts characters from the past, he is forced to question how pursuing change could put his neighborhood’s history at risk.

Radio Golf is the tenth and final play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, and director Ron OJ Parson’s seventh production in the cycle at Court Theatre. Actors Tyla Abercrumbie (Mame), Allen Gilmore (Harmond), James Vincent Meredith (Roosevelt) and Alfred H. Wilson (Old Joe) return to the Court stage.




Court Theatre presents the World Premiere of Frankenstein

November 1 - December 2, 2018
By Manual Cinema
Adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley
Concept by Drew Dir
Devised by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller
Original music by Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman
Press Opening: November 10, 2018 at 7:30pm

Love, loss, and creation merge in unexpected ways in this thrilling classic gothic tale conceived by Manual Cinema. Stories of Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and his Monster expose how the forces of family, community, and education shape personhood—or destroy it by their absence.

In a special world premiere presentation, internationally-renowned multimedia company Manual Cinema stitches together the classic story of Frankenstein with Mary Shelley’s own biography to create an unexpected story about the beauty and horror of creation. Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive visual stories for stage and screen. Manual Cinema is a performance collective and film production company, founded in part by former Court dramaturg Drew Dir.

 

Photograph 51

January 17 – February 17, 2019
By Anna Ziegler
Directed by Vanessa Stalling
Press Opening: January 26, 2019 at 7:30pm

History may well remember the work of Watson and Crick that shaped biology, but it was British chemist Rosalind Franklin who provided the key to the double helix DNA discovery. Photograph 51 shares the complex story of an ambitious female scientist in a world of men, her pursuit for the secret of life, and her forgotten accomplishments.

Photograph 51 features Chaon Cross as Rosalind Franklin.

As the Center for Classic Theatre, Court will invite collaborations with scientific experts at the University of Chicago as partners for Photograph 51, to utilize the intellectual resources unique to Court Theatre.

 

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf

March 14 – April 14, 2019
By Ntozake Shange
Directed by Seret Scott
Press Opening: March 23, 2019 at 7:30pm

A sisterhood of seven women tell their stories through dramatic prose poetry, music, and movement. Told in vivid language, their experiences resound with fearless beauty and unity, despite exposing the unending challenges and oppressions that women of color face every day.

 Director Seret Scott returns to this cherished work after performing as a member of the original Broadway cast from 1976-1978. She will inspire new audiences with this series of stories that still resonate profoundly forty years later.


 

The World Premiere of
The Adventures of Augie March

Mary 9 – June 9, 2019
A play by David Auburn, based on the novel by Saul Bellow
Directed by Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director
Press Opening: May 18, 2019 at 7:30pm

Young Augie March is a product of the Great Depression: plucky, resourceful, searching for love, and striving to grow up and away from home. Through odd jobs and encounters with unique characters, Augie explores what it takes to succeed in the world as a true individual.

A novel originally written by a Nobel Prize-winner and adapted for the stage by a Pulitzer winner, The Adventures of Augie March is an epic coming-of-age story that bridges continents and stages of life, exuding the endearing confidence of a boy taking in a complex world.

Subscription Information
Three, four and five-play subscriptions to Court’s 2018/19 season range from $96 to $300 and are on sale now. To purchase a subscription or to receive more information, call the Court Theatre Box Office at (773) 753-4472, or visit Court’s website at www.CourtTheatre.org. Individual tickets for all shows will be available in Summer 2018.



Court Theatre is guided by its mission to discover the power of classic theatre. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. Court revives lost masterpieces, illuminates familiar texts, and distinguishes fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.

OPENING: Midwest Premiere of TIME IS ON OUR SIDE Via About Face Theatre at Theater Wit

About Face Theatre Presents the Midwest Premiere of
TIME IS ON OUR SIDE
By R. Eric Thomas
Directed by Artistic Director Megan Carney
March 1 – April 7, 2018 at Theater Wit



Following its sell-out hit Significant Other, About Face Theatre is pleased to continue its 2017-18 season with the Midwest premiere of R. Eric Thomas’ gleeful mystery TIME IS ON OUR SIDE, directed by Artistic Director Megan Carney, playing March 1 – April 7, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 


I'll be out for the press opening March 7th, so check back soon for my full review.

(left to right) Maggie Scrantom and Rashaad Hall in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s Midwest premiere of TIME IS ON OUR SIDE. Photo by Anna Gelman.

TIME IS ON OUR SIDE features Esteban Andres Cruz, Rashaad Hall, Riley Mondragon and Maggie Scrantom.

Besties Annie and Curtis struggle to produce a podcast that “queers history” until the discovery of a mysterious family journal launches them into a high stakes and hilarious investigation of the early LGBTQ rights movement. Hopping from the Underground Railroad to Rosa Parks, from the AIDS Quilt to Celebrity Jeopardy, the political gets personal.

“This is a hilarious and deeply personal story,” comments Director Megan Carney. “It brings together rich characters of different generations who share a longing to connect, which makes it such a perfect play for us at About Face Theatre. The play weaves a range of stories in which younger folks uncover their roots and elders pass on what they know. All together, a powerful story emerges revealing acts of resistance and queer magic through the decades.” 

The production team for TIME IS ON OUR SIDE includes José Manuel Diaz (scenic design), Robert Kuhn (costume design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Claire Sangster (lighting design) Blake Burke (properties design) Catherine Allen (production manager) and Dana Nestrick (stage manager).

Dates: 
Previews: Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 pm, Friday, March 2 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, March 4 at 3 pm and Tuesday, March 6 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Thursday, March 8 – Saturday, April 7, 2018
Curtain Times: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Friday, March 9.

Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $20-$38. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at Theater Wit Box Office.



Artist Biographies
R. Eric Thomas (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, humorist and the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia. His play Time is on Our Side was the recipient of two Barrymore Awards including Best New Play and was named a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. Forthcoming productions include Mrs. Harrison at Azuka Theatre. He writes a daily humor column for Elle.com in which he “reads” the news. In addition to Elle.com and ELLE magazine, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, W Magazine, Man Repeller, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine and more. www.rericthomas.com

Megan Carney (Director) is a director, playwright, educator and the Artistic Director of About Face Theatre. Recent Chicago directing credits include Julie Jenson’s Winter, George Brandt’s Grizzly Mama, Danielle Pinnock’s Body/Courage and Lisa Dillman’s American Wee Pie and The Walls with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. She was lead interviewer and playwright for Women at War, a multi-year performance and civic dialogue project about women in the military that continues to tour. Megan was a founding director of About Face Youth Theatre and served as Associate Artistic Director for several years while she created original ensemble plays. Carney’s work has been recognized with multiple After Dark Awards, the GLSEN Pathfinder Award, an APA Presidential Citation, induction in Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP Grant and a GLAAD Media Award nomination. Megan served as the Director of the Gender and Sexuality Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2011-2017 where she created arts based educational programs for and about diverse LGBTQIA+ people and communities. She has a MFA in Theatre Arts from Virginia Tech with a focus on Directing and Public Dialogue.



About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, and challenges and entertains audiences in Chicago and beyond.

Monday, February 19, 2018

OPENING: Steel Magnolias Via Theatre at the Center Through 3/25/18

Shows On Our Radar:
Theatre at the Center Presents Steel Magnolias
in Munster, Indiana

Actors Landree Fleming and Heidi Kettenring. Photo by Guy Rhodes.

Cory Goodrich, in the role of M’Lynn, Landree Fleming, as Shelby, and Heidi Kettenring as Truvy, lead the cast of Theatre at the Center’s Steel Magnolias with Joslyn Yvonne Jones as Ouiser, Jeannie Affelder as Clairee and Myesha-Tiara as Annelle. Previews begin February 22.

I'll be out for Opening Night on February 25, so check back soon for my full review. It's well with a trip across the border and over to Munster, Indiana. Theatre at the Center is a charming venue with professional productions and free parking, that's just a short road trip away from Chicago. We're looking forward to catching their latest.

Steel Magnolias, written by Robert Harling, is a hilarious and heart-warming play set in a Louisiana beauty shop. It follows the hopes, dreams, triumphs and tragedies of six colorful characters and inspired the 1989 film which starred Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis and Dolly Parton. It explores the bond between a mother and daughter, and friendships of those who feel like family.

Actors Myesha-Tiara, Cory Goodrich, Landree Fleming and Heidi Kettenring. Photo by Guy Rhodes.

Performances are 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 7:30 p.m. Fridays; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays; and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays, with select Thursday and Sunday night performances. Individual ticket prices range from $42 - $46. To purchase individual tickets, call the Box Office at 219-836-3255 or Tickets.com at 800-511-1532. Group discounts are available for group 11 or more and gift certificates are also available. For more information on Theatre at the Center, visit www.TheatreAtTheCenter.com.

“Before Steel Magnolias became an iconic film and garnered an Academy Award for Julia Roberts, it was a funny and touching Off Broadway play about the bonds of friendship and family,” said Theatre at the Center Artistic Director Linda Fortunato, who will direct this new production of Steel Magnolias. 

“I believe TATC audiences will laugh and cry with these ladies and find a connection to their own lives as well.”

Cory Goodrich returns to TATC for her 13th production, having previously appeared in Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. She won a Jeff Award for her role of June Carter in Ring of Fire and another Jeff Award for her role as Mother in Drury Lane’s production of Ragtime. As a singer/songwriter Cory has four solo albums. Landree Fleming is returning to TATC where she was last seen in Godspell and The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee. Shehas worked at Drury Lane, Paramount, and Chicago Shakespeare, among other Chicagoland theaters and is a member of the comedy group Off Off Broadzway.

Heidi Kettenring returns to TATC where she was seen in Annie Warbucks, I Do! I Do! and Here’s Love! She is a Jeff Award winner in addition to having received several Jeff nominations, the Sarah Siddons Chicago Leading Lady Award, an After Dark Award and the Richard M. Kneeland Award. Joslyn Yvonne Jones has appeared in Once On This Island at Marriott Lincolnshire, Weekend at TimeLine Theatre and Escape at Live Bait Theatre and now makes her TATC debut. Jeannie Affelder has appeared in Silent Sky at First Folio and The Little Flower of East Orange at Eclipse,which earned her a Jeff Nomination for Best Actress, is also making her TATC debut as is Myesha-Tiara, who has been seen in The Wedding Band at The Artistic Home, Netflix & Kill at the Pride Arts Center and was featured in the film 12 Years a Slave.

Linda Fortunato is director of Steel Magnolias. She has been involved with more than a dozen shows at TATC including directing Big River, The Tin Woman, Cabaret, Annie Warbucks and A Christmas Story; choreographing Spamalot, Big Fish, A Christmas Carol, Guys and Dolls, Crazy for You and Fiddler on the Roof; and performing in Lend Me a Tenor and The Diary of Anne Frank. She has been nominated for five Joseph Jefferson Awards for her work as a choreographer and director. She received both the Equity and Non-Equity Jeff Awards for Outstanding Choreography includinggarnering Theatre at the Center its first Jeff Award for her choreography of 42nd Street.

The creative team for Steel Magnolias includes Scenic Designer Greg Pinsoneault, Lighting Designer Michael Trudeau, Costume Designer Brenda Winstead, Wig Design and Hair Design Kevin Barthel, Prop Design Brittney O’Keefe and Sound Design Barry Funderburg. Stage Manager is Jessica Banaszak.

Fortunato as TATC’s Artistic Director is teamed with Richard Friedman as General Manager and Ann Davis as Head of Production.

Founded in 1991, the 410-seat Theatre at the Center is a year round professional theater at its home: The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. Theatre at the Center is the only professional theater company in Northwest Indiana, offering downtown caliber performances in an accessible venue with plenty of free parking. Theater at the Center is located off I-80/94, just 35 minute from downtown Chicago.


OPENING: Schiller's Mary Stuart at Chicago Shakespeare Through 4/15/18

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Electrifying new take on storied rivalry
Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots face off in
Schiller's
MARY STUART
at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, beginning February 21, 2018


February 21–April 15, 2018

I'll be out for the press opening March 1st, so check back soon for my full review. We're eager to catch this royal clash between fierce cousins, Mary, Queen of Scots, and her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England. Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is renowned for world class productions with brilliant casting, gorgeous costumes, and stunning set design. The two fiercely independent women at the center of the showdown are portrayed by acclaimed actresses K.K. Moggie as Mary and Kellie Overbey as Elizabeth. Don't miss this!

Mary Stuart, Peter Oswald’s electrifying new take on the famously bitter rivalry between Mary, Queen of Scots, and her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England comes to Chicago this February. Award-winning director Jenn Thompson, former artistic director of The Actors Company Theater (named “Company of the Year” by The Wall Street Journal), stages the production in CST’s Courtyard Theater, February 21–April 15, 2018.

Mary Stuart is presented in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater, February 21–April 15, 2018. Single tickets are on sale now for $48–$88 (subject to change). Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets for patrons under 35. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.

CST strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. 
Accessible performances for Mary Stuart include:
•Open-captioning – Thursday, March 29 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
•ASL Duo-interpretation – Friday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m.
•Audio-description – Sunday, March 18 at 2:00 p.m. (with optional touch tour at 12:00 p.m.)

Two extraordinary women clash in a no-holds-barred power play over the right to rule. Queen Elizabeth I must decide the fate of her imprisoned cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, who is accused of treason. In a single, clandestine meeting where both women’s ambitions are laid bare, the fate of two countries is decided. Seduction, greed, and deception make for a thrilling war of words between the formidable queens—each surrounded by a cadre of men, jockeying for power and influence.

Peter Oswald’s new high-stakes telling of Friedrich Schiller’s nineteenth century drama premiered at the Donmar Warehouse under the direction of the legendary Phyllida Lloyd. Following rave reviews, the production swiftly transferred to the West End and to Broadway for extended runs, garnering multiple Olivier and Tony Award nominations. Variety praises, "This is no stodgy history lesson but a juicy regal smackdown rendered in direct, muscular language." The New York Times said Oswald’s play has "a fierce timelessness in its depiction of political power games."

Bringing the inimitable women to life onstage are K.K. Moggie as Mary Stuart and Kellie Overbey as Queen Elizabeth I. Moggie’s extensive off-Broadway theater credits include performances at MCC Theater, Classic Stage Company, and Atlantic Theater Company. Overbey made her Broadway debut in the Steppenwolf transfer production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, directed by Gary Sinise. She has since appeared on Broadway in The Coast of Utopia (Parts 1, 2 and 3), Twentieth Century, QED, and Judgment at Nuremberg.

Full cast and creative team is announced below. For more information, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/mary.

Creative Team

Andromache Chalfant
Scenic Designer
Linda Cho  
Costume Designer
Philip Rosenberg
Co-Lighting Designer
Greg Hofmann
Co-Lighting Designer
Mikhail Fiskel
Co-Sound Designer
Miles Polaski
Co-Sound Designer
Richard Jarvie
Wig and Make-up Designer
Kathryn Walsh
Verse Coach
Marylynne Anderson Cooper
Assistant Director
Cailin Lowans
Dramaturg
Cast

Andrew Chown
Mortimer
Patrick Clear
Melvil/Aubespine
Tim Decker
Leicester
Kai Alexander Ealy
O'Kelly
Kevin Gudahl
Paulet
Robert Jason Jackson
Shrewsbury
Michael Joseph Mitchell
Bellievre/Davison
K.K. Moggie
Mary Stuart
Kellie Overbey
Queen Elizabeth I
Barbara Robertson
Hanna Kennedy
David Studwell
Burleigh
Nathan Calaranan
Ensemble
Jake Elkins
Ensemble


ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
A global theatrical force, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare’s genius for storytelling, musicality of language, and empathy for the human condition. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare has redefined what a great American Shakespeare theater can be, putting forward a company that delights in the unexpected and defies theatrical category. A Regional Tony Award-winning theater, CST produces acclaimed plays at its home on Navy Pier, throughout Chicago’s schools and neighborhoods, and on stages around the world. In 2017, the Theater unveiled a new stage, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, The Yard positions CST as the city’s most versatile performing arts venue.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

New Casting Director Andrés Enriquez Joins Lifeline Theatre

Lifeline Theatre welcomes ensemble member Andrés Enriquez to his new staff position as casting director, beginning February 2018. 


Reporting directly to Artistic Director Dorothy Milne and Managing Director Allison Cain, Enriquez will be responsible for overseeing the audition processes for the company, collaborating closely with directors to fulfill the casting needs for Lifeline’s three MainStage and three KidSeries productions every season. Enriquez succeeds Lavina Jadhwani, who served as casting director since 2015, as she focuses on her successful directing career. 

Meanwhile, Lifeline’s 2017-18 season continues with the world premiere MainStage production of Anna Karenina (running February 16–April 8) and the world premiere KidSeries production of You Think It’s Easy Being The Tooth Fairy? (running March 17–April 22). We'll be out for the press openings for both, so check back soon for our full reviews at ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly) respectively.

Enriquez has performed on both the MainStage and the KidSeries stage for Lifeline, having understudied The Velveteen Rabbit and Soon I Will Be Invincible, and appeared in Sparky!, Northanger Abbey, and Sylvester. Other Chicago-area productions include Forever Plaid (Fox Valley Repertory), The Life and Death Of Madame Barker (Red Tape), Love and Information (Remy Bumppo), The Adding Machine (The Hypocrites), and In The Heights (Porchlight). He has also worked with Underscore Theater Company, Strawdog Theatre, 16th Street Theater, and Theater at the Center. Enriquez received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Iowa. Enriquez is also the music director of No Big Deal, a Chicago a cappella quartet, and a proud company member of Barrel of Monkeys.

“We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to Lavina for her hard work, enthusiasm, and impact here at Lifeline,” Milne said, “and we celebrate this next chapter in her creative life!  We are also excited to welcome Andrés and look forward to his leadership as we continue to grow Lifeline’s artistic family.”

In addition to Cain and Milne, Lifeline Theatre is led by an active artistic ensemble which includes Aly Renee Amidei, Patrick Blashill, Jessica Wright Buha, Christina Calvit, Heather Currie, Bilal Dardai, Victoria DeIorio, Amanda Delheimer, Alan Donahue, Andrés Enriquez, Diane D. Fairchild, Kevin D. Gawley, Peter Greenberg, James E. Grote, Chris Hainsworth, John Hildreth, Paul S. Holmquist, Elise Kauzlaric, Robert Kauzlaric, Anthony Kayer, Frances Limoncelli, Amanda Link, Martel Manning, Michael McKeogh, Katie McLean Hainsworth, Shole Milos, Sandy Snyder Pietz, Suzanne Plunkett, Maren Robinson, Phil Timberlake, Jenifer Tyler, and Christopher M. Walsh.

Now in its 35th season, Lifeline Theatre is driven by a passion for story. Our ensemble process supports writers in the development of literary adaptations and new work, and our theatrical and educational programs foster a lifelong engagement with literature and the arts. A cultural anchor of Rogers Park, we are committed to deepening our connection to an ever-growing family of artists and audiences, both near and far. Lifeline Theatre – Big Stories, Up Close.

OPENING: Chicago premiere of DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA Via First Floor Theater at The Den Theatre

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

First Floor Theater Presents the Chicago Premiere of
DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA
By Nathan Alan Davis
Directed by Chika Ike
March 4 – 31, 2018 at The Den Theatre


First Floor Theater is pleased to continue their sixth season with the Chicago premiere of Nathan Alan Davis’s poetic and poignant drama, DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA, directed by Chika Ike. DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA will play March 4 – 31, 2018 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently on sale at firstfloortheater.com.

The cast includes First Floor company member Shariba Rivers, with Brianna Buckley, Jerome Beck, Kayla Raelle Holder, Brian Nelson Jr., Destiny Strothers and Jalen Gilbert as Dontrell.

Eighteen-year-old Dontrell Jones the Third decides it is his duty and destiny to venture into the Atlantic Ocean in search of an ancestor lost during the Middle Passage, but his family isn’t ready to abandon its prized son to the waters of a mysterious and haunting past.

Blending poetry, humor, wordplay and ritual, DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA is a modern-day hero’s quest exploring the lengths and depths we must go to redeem history’s wrongs. The play has been called “a mesmerizing blend of magical realism and poetic social comment” by The Los Angeles Times and “the most important play on DC stages” by The DC Theatre Scene.

The production team for DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA includes Eleanor Kahn (scenic design), Uriel Gomez (costume design), Rachel Levy (lighting design), Sarah D. Espinoza (sound design), Samantha Myers (props design), Breon Arzell (choreography), Bobby Huggins (technical director), Cole von Glahn (production manager) and Kayla Menz (stage manager).

About the Creative Team



Nathan Alan Davis (Playwright) is a playwright based in New York. His plays include Nat Turner in Jerusalem (NYTW), Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea (NNPN Rolling World Premiere; Steinberg/ATCA New Play Citation) and The Wind and the Breeze (New Harmony Project Residency; Blue Ink Playwriting Award; Lorraine Hansberry Award). He is currently developing projects with The Public Theater, McCarter Theatre, Arena Stage and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Nathan is a Lecturer in Theater at Princeton University, a Usual Suspect at NYTW and a 2016 graduate of Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. MFA: Indiana University. BFA: University of Illinois.  

Chika Ike (Director) is a Chicago-based freelance director. She is also an ensemble member at The Gift Theatre Company and has received the SDCF Gielgud Directing Fellowship, the Victory Garden Directing Initiative Fellowship, and the Bret. C. Harte Directing Fellowship at Berkeley Rep. She has worked with many Chicago and regional theatre companies, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, The Gift Theatre Company, American Blues Theatre Company, Eclipse Theatre, and Prologue Theatre Company. Her most recent productions: A Swell in the Ground by Janine Nabers for The Gift Theatre, Lloyd Suh’s Franklinland for Jackalope Theatre Company.



About First Floor Theater
First Floor Theater stages stories of individuals facing moments of radical change. Through a process of collaborative dramaturgy, FFT expands these stories to ask urgent social questions. FFT was named the "Best New Theater Company" in the Chicago Reader's Best of 2013 Reader's Pick edition. First Floor Theater is a Resident Company at The Den Theatre.

For more information on First Floor Theater, visit firstfloortheater.com.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

REVIEW: Haven Theatre's Brutal Brechtian Wake Up Call at The Den Theatre Through March 11th, 2018

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar: 

Haven Theatre Presents
FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH
By Bertolt Brecht
Translated by Eric Bentley

Directed by Artistic Director Josh Sobel

(left to right) Simon Hedger and Joe Bianco 
 All Photos by Emily Schwartz.


Running time: 2:45, including intermission.

Review:
A bit over a half century ago, German politics looked eerily like American politics circa 2018. A struggling working class thought Hitler would make their country great again and they went down a rabbit hole of rabid nationalism, racism, jackboot domestic terrorism, and war that shocked the world. Thankfully we have historians, poets and playwrights who documented the atrocities so there's hope that we can fight Fascism and won't be doomed to repeat history.


(front, l to r) Niko Kourtis, Elizabeth Dowling and Alexis Randolph in Haven Theatre’s production of FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH. 


I enjoyed Haven's austere, authoritarian staging of Bertolt Brecht's FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH, with a raised stage wending around sunken pits of audience members. Hard benches with thin pads line the walls in a modified theatre in the round configuration, for additional audience seating. Do note, the seating is as uncomfortable as the subject matter. After the nearly 3 hour run time, an older gentleman next to me, stood painfully and was heard to grumble, "Fear & Misery of my ass...". I spent intermission padding my seat with my coat and fleece. If a lack of cushy seating isn't a deal breaker, this production is well worth a look.


(left to right) Alys Dickerson and Alexis Randolph in Haven Theatre’s production of FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH. Photo by Emily Schwartz.


(front, l to r) Alexis Randolph, Jessica Dean Turner, Alys Dickerson and Kyla Norton with (back) Simon Hedger


(left to right) Jessica Dean Turner and Kyla Norton

In a series of Brechtian scenes featuring everyday Germans from the wealthy elite, to Jews on work crews and in concentration camps, this play is a jolting reminder of the damage fear and racism can wreak on a country. The complacent are complicit. And even the formerly superior can quickly tumble when the rules change, as a wealthy Jewish wife realizes, as she flees the country for her life. The locations and timeline on the far wall are as helpful as they are haunting, in hindsight. 

In light of our current problem with rising Fascist groups, immigrant ICE deportation forces and detention centers, race based violence, and economic struggles, this play is too timely and a welcome wakeup call. Ready to turn enlightenment into action? Pick up a flier at the show close, for concrete actions you can take and great resources to RESIST FASCISM. FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH is recommended and running through 3/11/18.

Regular run: Thursday, February 15 – Sunday, March 11, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

Tickets: $18 are currently available at haventheatrechicago.com.


Haven Theatre is pleased to continue its 2017-18 Season with Bertolt Brecht’s unsettling and unflinching drama FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH, translated by Eric Bentley and directed by Artistic Director Josh Sobel, playing February 8 – March 11, 2018 at The Den Theatre's Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently availale at haventheatrechicago.com

As Germany careens toward war, an entire society begins to crack, and the seeds of chaos and tragedy take root in the minds of its citizens. Josh Sobel (We're Gonna Die) helms an ensemble-driven production of Brecht's 1938 classic with a contemporary eye – a warning of how insidiously a culture can make space for atrocity, and a call to never allow it to happen again.


(front) Alexis Randolph with (back, l to r) Amanda De La Guardia, Kyla Norton and Elizabeth Dowling

FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH features Joe Bianco, Amanda De La Guardia, Alys Dickerson, Elizabeth Dowling, Simon Hedger, Niko Kourtis, Kyla Norton, Siddhartha Rajan, Alexis Randolph and Jessica Dean Turner.

BETRAYAL
Man - Kyla Norton
Woman - Alexis Randolph

CHALK CROSS
SA Man - Siddartha Rajan
Worker - Jessica Dean Turner
Parlor Maid - Alys Dickerson
Cook - Kyla Norton
Chauffer - Amanda De La Guardia

PRISONERS MIX CEMENT
Social Democrat - Elizabeth Dowling
Communist - Alexis Randolph
Non-Political Man - Niko Kourtis
Pastor - Jessica Dean Turner
SS Guard - Joe Bianco

WORKING MAN ON AIR
Announcer - Joe Bianco
Old Worker - Siddartha Rajan
Woman Worker - Elizabeth Dowling
Worker - Amanda De La Guardia
SA Man - Simon Hedger

THE BOX
Woman - Alys Dickerson
Worker - Jessica Dean Turner
Young Wife - Alexis Randolph
Child - Kyla Norton
SA Man - Simon Hedger

PHYSICISTS
X - Elizabeth Dowling
Y - Kyla Norton
Listeners - Alexis Randolph, Amanda De La Guardia, Niko Kourtis, Jessica Dean Turner

THE JEWISH WIFE
Wife - Alys Dickerson
Husband - Joe Bianco

IN SEARCH OF JUSTICE
Judge A - Amanda De La Guardia
Inspector - Simon Hedger
Prosecutor - Siddartha Rajan
Attendant - Alys Dickerson
Maid - Alexis Randolph
Judge B - Niko Kourtis

THE INFORMER
Wife - Alexis Randolph
Husband - Niko Kourtis
Boy - Joe Bianco
Maid - Elizabeth Dowling

THE MAN THEY RELEASED
Man - Kyla Norton
Wife - Jessica Dean Turner
Released Man - Siddartha Rajan

THE OLD NAZI
Dairy Woman - Elizabeth Dowling
First Woman - Alys Dickerson
Second Woman - Amanda De La Guardia
Tradesman - Simon Hedger
Young Fellow - Joe Bianco
Butcher's Wife - Alexis Randolph

TWO BAKERS 
1st Baker - Jessica Dean Turner
2nd Baker - Niko Kourtis

CHILDRENS SHOES
Mother - Alexis Randolph
Daughter - Alys Dickerson

A FARMER FEEDS HIS SOW
Farmer - Simon Hedger
Farmer's Wife - Elizabeth Dowling

WINTER RELIEF
Old Woman - Amanda De La Guardia
Young Woman - Kyla Norton
1st SA Man - Siddartha Rajan
2nd SA Man - Joe Bianco

SERMON ON THE MOUNT
Dying Man - Simon Hedger
Wife - Amanda De La Guardia
Son - Niko Kourtis
Pastor - Siddartha Rajan
Buriers - Kyla Norton, Joe Bianco, Jessica Dean Turner, Alexis Randolph, Elizabeth Dowling, Alys Dickerson

A MOTHER SINGS
Woman - Jessica Dean Turner
and Ensemble

PLEBISCITE
Woman - Kyla Norton
Younger Worker - Jessica Dean Turner
Older Worker - Elizabeth Dowling 

(front, l to r) Alys Dickerson and Siddhartha Rajan with (back) Amanda De La Guardia 


Comments Artistic Director Josh Sobel, "As the world finds itself in the midst of its next great cultural shift, Brecht's examination of the common citizen and how a society can be led to accept the inhumane feels strikingly immediate. Brecht wrote this play reflecting and pulling back the curtain on the news of the day as it was happening around him, providing an unnerving and – in our current moment – all too important call to confront injustice as it happens and to firmly and proudly say: No. With this production we seek to serve one of Haven's core values – the Future – through an intimate and personal look at our past and how such fatal mistakes were allowed to take place."


(front right) Simon Hedger with (back, l to r) Joe Bianco, Amanda De La Guardia and Alys Dickerson

The production team for FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH includes Yu Shibagaki (scenic design), Izumi Inaba (costume design), Claire Chrzan (lighting design), Sarah D. Espinoza (sound design), Jeffrey Levin (original music), Sasha Smith (movement design), Abhi Shrestha (dramaturg, associate movement director), Angela Salinas (production manager), Madisen Dempsey (assistant director), Anna Sung-En Medill (assistant director) and Corbin Paulino (stage manager).

Artist Biographies
Bertolt Brecht (Playwright) 1898-1956, playwright, poet and director, was born in Augsburg, Germany in February 1898. He established himself as a playwright during the 1920s and early 1930s with plays such as Baal, Man is Man, The Threepenny Opera and The Mother. In 1933, as Hitler came to power in Germany, Mr. Brecht fled to Scandinavia before eventually settling in the USA where he remained until 1947. During the war years, he wrote many of his best-known plays, including The Life of Galileo, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mother Courage and Her Children and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. He returned to Europe in 1947 and shortly after his arrival formed the Berliner Ensemble. He died in Berlin on August 14, 1956 but remains a hugely influential theatre practitioner.

Eric Bentley (Translator) was born in England in 1916, became an American citizen in 1948, in 1998 was inducted into the (American) Theatre Hall of Fame, and in 2011 won a gold medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Scholar, critic, teacher, performer, translator and, finally, playwright, he has had many books published and many plays and adaptations performed, the latter feature making him a star of the Samuel French catalogue. Several of his critical works have become classics, notably The Playwright as Thinker, Thinking about the Playwright and The Life of the Drama. Today, nine of his plays are published by Northwestern University Press in three volumes entitled Rallying Cries, Monstrous Martyrdoms and The Kleist Variations. Four more Bentley titles have recently been published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc: Round One, Round Two, A Time to Die and A Time to Live and The Sternheim Trilogy.

Josh Sobel (Director) is a Chicago-based director and Artistic Director of Haven Theatre Company. Recent credits include We're Gonna Die at Haven, Bobbie Clearly at Steep (Jeff Award winner, Best New Work), The Long Christmas Ride Home and Hunting of the Snark (also Edinburgh Fringe) at Strawdog, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead at Metropolis and The Importance of Being Earnest featuring Lisa Tejero at Iowa Summer Rep, University of Iowa. Additional credits include work at Chicago Dramatists, Red Orchid, Victory Gardens, Sketchbook, The Ruckus, Greenhouse Theater Center, Abbie-Fest and New Leaf. From 2010-2013 Josh served as Associate Director of the National Theater Institute summer "Theatermakers" program at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Recipient, Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC) Observership, Hamlet at Writers' Theatre. Associate member, SDC. 

About Haven Theatre:
NEXT GENERATION. NEW CANON. SOCIAL PROFIT.

We exist to be a Haven for The Future. We achieve this through championing the next generation of playwrights, directors and actors by producing and promoting plays and performances that are staking their claim as the immediate future of this art form, and by investing in those at the very beginning of their professional journeys. Through this inspiration, we seek to ignite in each audience member a hope for the Future - the Future of theatre and performance, the Future of each other, the Future of our community.



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