ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Court Theatre concludes 64th Season with
The World Premiere of
The Adventures of Augie March
a play by David Auburn, adapted from the novel by Saul Bellow
directed by Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director
May 9 – June 9, 2019
Court Theatre, under the leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre, concludes its 2018/19 season with the World Premiere of The Adventures of Augie March, a play by David Auburn, based on the novel by Saul Bellow, and directed by Charles Newell. The Adventures of Augie March runs May 9 – June 9, 2019 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
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, written by Nobel Prize-winner Saul Bellow, is adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Auburn. Bellow was a University of Chicago faculty member for three decades, and his experiences in the city of Chicago and at the University are at the heart of his writing. 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.
“Staging an epic story such as The Adventures of Augie March is a thrilling challenge that has called upon the insight and diverse talents of a team of designers and collaborators that includes ambitious playwright David Auburn, artistic collective Manual Cinema, and Thusnelda Mercy and Pascal Merighi, former dancers in Pina Bauch’s internationally-acclaimed dance company and founders of the dance company merighi / merci,” comments Charlie Newell. “Having such an accomplished patchwork of creatives involved is heightening the picaresque qualities of Bellow’s novel in truly exciting ways.”
The cast of The Adventures of Augie March features Patrick Mulvey as Augie March with ensemble members Sebastian Arboleda, Aurora Real de Asua, Chaon Cross, Kai Ealy, Marilyn Dodds Frank, Neil Friedman, John Judd, Abby Pierce, Brittney Love Smith, Luigi Sottile, Stef Tovar, and Travis Turner.
The creative team includes John Culbert (scenic and lighting design), Sally Dolembo (costume design), Andre Pluess (sound design), Drew Dir and Manual Cinema (puppet design), Erin Kilmurray (movement consultant), Eva Breneman (dialect design), Nora Titone (resident dramaturg), Erin Albrecht (production stage manager), and Kate Ocker (assistant stage manager).
Tickets, priced $50-$74 ($38-$52 for previews), are available at the Court Theatre box office (5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago), by calling (773) 753-4472, or online at www.CourtTheatre.org.
About the Artists
SAUL BELLOW (1915-2005) was a Nobel laureate in literature and one of the most influential American novelists of the 20th Century. A member of the University of Chicago faculty for more than 30 years, Bellow centered his fictional universe in Chicago, his hometown. Bellow, the Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of English at UChicago authored more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and works of nonfiction, including Herzog, Humboldt’s Gift, Mr. Sammler’s Planet and The Adventures of Augie March. One of the most honored American writers of his era, Bellow won the 1976 Nobel Prize for literature, a Pulitzer Prize, three National Book Awards, and a Presidential medal. Bellow taught at UChicago from 1962 to 1993 in the Committee on Social Thought and attended the College in the 1930s.
DAVID AUBURN (Playwright) Plays include The Adventures of Augie March, based on the Saul Bellow novel (Court Theatre 2019); Lost Lake (Manhattan Theatre Club 2014); The Columnist (MTC/Broadway 2012); and Proof (2001 Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, New York Drama Critics Circle Award). Films include The Girl in the Park (writer/director), Georgetown, and The Lake House. Stage directing credits include Long Day's Journey into Night (Court Theatre, Chicago); The Petrified Forest, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Anna Christie, A Delicate Balance,Period of Adjustment, Sick (all Berkshire Theatre Group); and the Off-Broadway world premiere of Michael Weller’s Side Effects (MCC). A former Guggenheim Fellow, he lives in New York City.
CHARLES NEWELL (Director / Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director) has been Artistic Director of Court Theatre since 1994, where he has directed over fifty productions. Recent Court highlights include All My Sons; The Hard Problem; Man in the Ring; and Satchmo at the Waldorf. Charlie has also directed at Goodman, Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, John Houseman’s The Acting Company, Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Glimmerglass, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Awards received include the SDCF Zelda Fichandler Award, the TCG Alan Schneider Award, and the League of Chicago Theatres’ Artistic Achievement Award. Charlie has been nominated for sixteen Jeff Awards, winning four times.
SEBASTIAN ARBOLEDA (Talavera) is a Colombian-American actor, writer, and director. Recent credits include: Curve of Departure (Studio Theatre); Amy and the Orphans, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blood Wedding (Yale School of Drama) and directing Teatro Vista’s Community Outreach production of Romeo and Juliet. He is making his Chicago debut with Court Theatre. He received his MFA from Yale School of Drama MFA.
AURORA REAL DE ASUA (Mimi/Esperanza) is making her Court Theatre debut. Other Chicago credits include: Pipeline (Victory Gardens); The Wolves (Goodman); Dracula, You on the Moors Now (Hypocrites); The Firebirds Take the Field (Rivendell); and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (MPAC). She has also worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Lookingglass. Film credits include: Knives and Skin; Working Man. She graduated with a BA in Theatre from Northwestern University and is proudly represented by Gray Talent.
CHAON CROSS (Rebecca/Thea/Tillie/Charlotte) has previously appeared at Court Theatre in Photograph 51, The Hard Problem, One Man Two Guvnors, Proof, Uncle Vanya, The Glass Menagerie, Scapin, The Romance Cycle, and Phèdre (Court Theatre). Other Chicago credits include: Sweat (Goodman Theatre); Macbeth, Red Velvet, As You Like It, Private Lives, Cymbeline, Troilus and Cressida, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare); Macbeth (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Life Sucks, Brothers Karamazov (Lookingglass Theatre); Cyrano (Court Theatre and Redmoon Theatre); Grace (Northlight Theatre); The Wheel, The Cherry Orchard (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). TV credits include: The Exorcist (FOX), Chicago Fire (NBC), Boss (Starz), Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC). Film credits include: Widows, My Dog Skip (Warner Bros).
MARILYN DODDS FRANK (Grandma Lausch/Italian Woman/Caligula/Mrs. Magnus) previously worked with Court Theatre on Electra by Sophocles, directed by Nicholas Rudall. Other Chicago productions include work with Goodman, Lookingglass, Steppenwolf, Teatro Vista, Latino Chicago, A Red Orchid, Next, Piven, Remains, Rivendell, Victory Gardens, New Criminals, Shaw Chicago. New York credits include Superior Donuts on Broadway, and The Clean House at Lincoln Center. She appeared in the original productions of Conduct of Life, The Mothers, Hunger, and What of the Night. Recent movies include Knives and Skin, Slice, and Mom and Dad.
KAI EALY (Padilla/FiveProperties/Jacinto) is working with Court Theater for the first time. He studied acting in Alabama before moving to Chicago to pursue his career. Kai was last seen in Cardboard Piano (Timeline Theater). Other Chicago credits include: Shiller’s Mary Stuart (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Franklinland (Jackalope Theater); Two Mile Hollow (First Floor Theater') 30th Annual Young Playwrights Festival (Pegasus Theater Chicago); Migration (eta Creative Arts Foundation). Television credits include Chicago Fire (NBC). Kai is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.
NEIL FRIEDMAN (Kreindle/Moulton/Bulba/Mr. Magnus) returns to Court Theatre. Chicago credits include: Goodman Theatre, Theatre at the Center, Court Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf, and Peninsula Players. Regional credits include: The People’s Light Theatre; The Fulton Theatre; Utah Shakespeare Festival; Capitol Repertory; The New Victory Theater; Flat Rock Playhouse; Coconut Grove Playhouse; The Clarence Brown Theatre; Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis; Austria’s Vienna English Theatre, Adirondack Theatre Festival; Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, and The Arts Garage. Neil is a proud recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Award.
JOHN JUDD (Basteshaw/Einhorn) returns to Court Theatre where he previously appeared in Gross Indecency, Lettice and Lovage, and All My Sons. He's also been seen at Steppenwolf, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Lookingglass, Victory Gardens, A Red Orchid, About Face, Writer’s Theatre, Northlight, and others in Chicago. Off-Broadway credits include Barrow Street Theatre, 59E59th, and BAM. Regional credits include Berkeley Rep, The Old Globe, Beaver Creek Colorado Theatre Festival, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, City Theatre Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre, and Town Hall Theatre in Galway, Ireland.
PATRICK MULVEY (Augie) makes his Court Theatre debut. Originally from Illinois, he received his Bachelor's degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. While in the UK, he starred on the BBC series River City and worked with the National Theatre of Scotland and the Globe Theatre in London. Chicago credits include: TimeLine Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Broadway in Chicago. He made his Broadway debut as Tony in the nine-time Tony award-winning Billy Elliot the Musical. Other theatre credits include Cirque de Soleil's production of Baz Luhrmann: For the Record. Recent television credits include Empire, Chicago Fire, The Girlfriend Experience, and Fox’s Proven Innocent.
ABBY PIERCE (Stella/Lucy/Esther/Polish Woman) recently performed at Court Theatre in All My Sons. Abby recently directed Hopelessly Devoted at Piven Theatre and directed and co-wrote the award-winning short film Eat Your Heart Out. She is a teacher with Piven's EPIC program at Cook County Jail, which is going into its fourth year of classes. As an actor she has performed at Steppenwolf, Goodman, Ricardo Montalban, Lyric, Del Rey, Jackalope, Strawdog, and TimeLine Theatre. Film/TV credits include Proven Innocent, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Dreaming Grand Avenue, The Exquisite Corpse, and Workingman.
BRITTNEYLOVE SMITH (Stoney/Dingbat) is delighted to make her Court Theatre debut. She recently played Oddsee in Goodman’s critically acclaimed production of Father Comes Home From the Wars. BrittneyLove was Prix in Eclipse Theatre's production of Breath Boom (BTAA Best leading actress Nomination). She was Victoria in the Jeff winning production of Charm with Northlight Theatre. BrittneyLove played Salima in the Jeff nominated production of Ruined with Eclipse Theatre company (BTAA nomination Best Supporting Actor). She was in the feature film Gringo and is the lead of Web series Velvet. She is a voice over artist for several different podcast and audio books.
LUIGI SOTTILE (Simon/Jaworski) makes his Court debut. Luigi's Chicago credits include Familiar, Buena Vista (Steppenwolf); Hundreds and Hundreds of Stars (Goodman); Book Of Will (Northlight); Shakespeare in Love, Othello, The Tempest (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Some Regional Credits include: The Way of the World (Folger Theatre); Zombie the American (Woolly Mammoth); Sex with Strangers (Signature Theatre DC); A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Rep); Three Sisters, Cyrano (Arden Theatre); Seminar (Philadelphia Theatre Co.); An Ideal Husband (Walnut Street Theatre); Angels in America, The Vibrator Play (Wilma Theater), The Cherry Orchard, Nathan the Wise (People's Light and Theatre). TV credits include: Chicago PD (NBC); It's A Man's World (YouTube Red).
STEF TOVAR (Clem/Oliver/Kellerman/Nails) is making his Court debut. Chicago credits include: Franz in Appropriate for Victory Gardens; Harold Hill in Paramount Theatre's The Music Man; Luther Billis in South Pacific for Marriott Theatre (Jeff nomination); and Noah in A Twist of Water for Route 66 Theatre Company, where he is the founder and co-artistic director. Film and television credits include: Proven Innocent (CBS); Chicago Fire (NBC); Contagion, directed by Steven Soderbergh, and Widows directed by Steve McQueen. Stef can be seen in TimeLine Theatre's upcoming production of Oslo this fall.
TRAVIS TURNER (Georgie/Frazer/Iggy) returns to Court Theatre after having previously appeared in Tartuffe, The Misanthrope, Porgy & Bess, Carousel, and Raisin. Recent Chicago: Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chicago Shakespeare); The Mystery of Love and Sex (Writer’s Theatre); Bootycandy (Windy City Playhouse); Thaddeus and Slocum (Lookingglass); The Flick (Steppenwolf); The Art of Falling (The Second City and Hubbard Street Dance); and The Upstairs Concierge (Goodman). Recent regional credits include: Goodnight, Tyler, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Alliance Theatre); Macbeth (Denver Center); and the upcoming production of East Texas Hot Links (Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company). He is a Northwestern University graduate.
Featuring: Patrick Mulvey as Augie March with ensemble members Sebastian Arboleda, Aurora Real de Asua, Chaon Cross, Kai Ealy, Marilyn Dodds Frank, Neil Friedman, John Judd, Abby Pierce, Brittney Love Smith, Luigi Sottile, Stef Tovar, and Travis Turner
Creative Team: John Culbert (Scenic and Lighting Design), Sally Dolembo (costume design), Andre Pluess (sound design), Drew Dir and Manual Cinema (puppet design), Erin Kilmurray (movement consultant), Eva Breneman (dialect design), Nora Titone (resident dramaturg), Erin Albrecht (production stage manager), and Kate Ocker (assistant stage manager)
Dates: Previews: May 9 – May 17, 2019
Press Opening: Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 7:30pm
Regular Run: May 19 – June 9, 2019
Open Captioned Performance: Sunday, June 2 at 2:00pm
Audio Described Performance / Touch Tour: Saturday, June 1 at 2:00pm, Touch Tour 12:30pm
Wednesdays: 10:30 a.m. (except May 15) and 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 7:30 p.m.
Fridays: 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 2:00 p.m. (except May 11 & 15) and 7:30 p.m.
Sundays: 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Location: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Tickets: $38-$52 previews
$50-$74 regular run
Box Office: Located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472
The Adventures of Augie March is sponsored by William D. and Diane S. Anderson, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Lorna Ferguson and Terry Clark, and Michael Charles Litt. This production is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
In support of Center for Classic Theatre research for this adaptation and production, the University of Chicago Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society has appointed David Auburn a Visiting Fellow, resulting in collaboration with University faculty and scholars to enhance and inform the production.
Court Theatre’s 2018/19 season is dedicated to Court’s late Executive Director, Stephen J. Albert.
Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Functioning as the University’s Center for Classic Theatre, Court and its artists mount theatrical productions and audience enrichment programs in collaboration with faculty. These collaborations enable a re-examination of classic texts that pose the enduring and provocative questions that define the human experience. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to classic American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. The theatre revives lost masterpieces; illuminates familiar texts; explores the African American theatrical canon; and discovers fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.