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Showing posts with label Haven Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Haven Theatre. Show all posts

Friday, October 25, 2019

Haven Presents FREE Post-Show Discussion with Sonia Sanchez Sunday, October 27 at 6 pm The Den Theatre

Haven Presents
In Conversation with Sonia Sanchez
Sunday, October 27 at 6 pm The Den Theatre

(left to right) Sheree Bynum and Merrina Millsapp in 2 x 2 by Sonia Sanchez, directed by Aaron Mays, part of Haven’s DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019. Photo by Austin D. Oie.

Haven is pleased to host In Conversation with Sonia Sanchez, a free post-show discussion with the esteemed writer, poet and activist. Sanchez’s play 2 x 2 is featured as part of DIRECTORS HAVEN, the company’s ever-growing initiative annually showcasing the talents of three rising directors. Hosted by Artistic Director Ian Damont Martin and the play’s director, Aaron Mays, the conversation about Professor Sanchez’s work, her life and the interplay between arts and activism will be held on Sunday, October 27 at 6 pm (following the 3 pm performance) at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Advance reservations are recommended by visiting Eventbrite.

(left to right) Simon Gebremedhin, Dionne Addai and Juwon Perry in 2 x 2 by Sonia Sanchez, directed by Aaron Mays, part of Haven’s DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019. Photo by Austin D. Oie.

In addition to Sonia Sanchez’s lyrical drama 2 x 2, this year’s DIRECTORS HAVEN also features Caryl Churchill’s ambitious surrealist work THIS IS A CHAIR directed by Lauren Katz and Dan Giles’ tender yet challenging one-act HOW YOU KISS ME IS NOT HOW I LIKE TO BE KISSED directed by AJ Schwartz. The three productions, which will have the support of a full production team, run back-to-back in one program through October 30, 2019 at The Den Theatre. Tickets ($10 suggested donation) are available at havenchi.org.

(left to right) Merrina Millsapp and Sheree Bynum in 2 x 2 by Sonia Sanchez, directed by Aaron Mays, part of Haven’s DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019. Photo by Austin D. Oie.

About Sonia Sanchez
Poet. Mother. Professor. National and International lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women’s Liberation, Peace and Racial Justice. Sponsor of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Board Member of MADRE. Sonia Sanchez is the author of over 16 books including Homecoming, We a BaddDDD People, Love Poems, I’ve Been a Woman, A Sound Investment and Other Stories, Homegirls and Handgrenades, Under a Soprano Sky, Wounded in the House of a Friend (Beacon Press, 1995), Does Your House Have Lions? (Beacon Press, 1997), Like the Singing Coming off the Drums (Beacon Press, 1998), Shake Loose My Skin( Beacon Press, 1999), and most recently, Morning Haiku( Beacon Press, 2010). In addition to being a contributing editor to Black Scholar and The Journal of African Studies, she has edited an anthology, We Be Word Sorcerers: 25 Stories by Black Americans. BMA: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review is the first African American Journal that discusses the work of Sonia Sanchez and the Black Arts Movement. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts, the Lucretia Mott Award for 1984, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, she is a winner of the 1985 American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities for 1988, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (W.I.L.P.F.) for 1989, a PEW Fellowship in the Arts for 1992-1993 and the recipient of Langston Hughes Poetry Award for 1999. Does Your House Have Lions? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 Robert Frost Medalist and a Ford Freedom Scholar from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Her poetry also appeared in the movie Love Jones. Sonia Sanchez has lectured at over 500 universities and colleges in the United States and has traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Europe, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University and she held the Laura Carnell Chair in English at Temple University. She is the recipient of the Harper Lee Award, 2004, Alabama Distinguished Writer, and the National Visionary Leadership Award for 2006. She is the recipient of the 2005 Leeway Foundation Transformational Award. Currently, Sonia Sanchez is one of 20 African American women featured in “Freedom Sisters,” an interactive exhibition created by the Cincinnati Museum Center and Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition and she was the recipient of the Robert Creeley award in March of 2009.

DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019 includes:

THIS IS A CHAIR
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Lauren Katz
Mentor: Devon de Mayo
Featuring Catherine Dvorak, Tamsen Glaser, Lakecia Harris, Isaac Snyder, Julian "Joolz" Stroop and Diego Zozaya

This is a Chair is composed of a series of individual vignettes, each including a headline that is meant to be clearly displayed or stated. Each title refers to a contemporary world issue, including “The War in Bosnia,” “Genetic Engineering,” and “Pornography and Censorship” – titles that seemingly share no connection to the scene at hand. Caryl Churchill invites us to dig deep into our personal lives and relationships, exploring the depths of how we interact with the world around us.

2 x 2
By Sonia Sanchez
Directed by Aaron Mays
Mentor: Pemon Rami
Featuring Dionne Addai, Sheree Bynum, Simon Gebremedhin, Merrina Millsapp and Juwon Perry

Beverly Smith is watching her family fall apart. Her grandchildren are in need of her care while her daughter Ramona, once a fierce activist, struggles with addiction. When Beverly goes to take the kids home with her, she learns about Ramona’s past passion for activism and what led to her decline. This lyrical drama set in North Philadelphia explores social activism, generational differences and the hardships facing urban black communities through the lens of a mother-daughter relationship.

HOW YOU KISS ME IS NOT HOW I LIKE TO BE KISSED
By Dan Giles
Directed by AJ Schwartz
Mentor: Monty Cole
Featuring Morgan Lavenstein and Rolando Serrano

It’s a love story that transcends labels. Two people meet, they fall in love, they U-Haul, life happens. A couple just like any other – well, almost. How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed innovatively addresses the urgent contemporary issue of straight representation in the arts. This groundbreaking and oh-so-needed play brings important visibility to the sorrows and joys – and even the inherent flaws – of the heterosexual lifestyle.

Comments Artistic Director Ian Damont Martin, “This cohort of directors is more than ready to bring their work to the Chicago community, and Haven couldn't be more excited to facilitate and support them in this fifth year of our Directors Haven program. Each of these early-career directors have interests and visions that are specific, intelligent and downright exciting. The pieces they have individually selected are glimpses of the kind of work we need to be seeing and making right now – work that asks us the difficult questions – work that makes space for the marginal and the marginalized. This is met with an articulated interest and commitment in intentional processes, which is becoming increasingly important at Haven. We are very much looking forward to bringing you this necessary work from the next generation of artists helping to find and define the future of our practice.”

The production team for DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019 includes Will Tople (scenic design), Angela Mix (costume design), Sim Carpenter (lighting design), Jonesy Jones (sound design) and Emily Boyd (resident props).

PRODUCTION DETAILS:

Title: DIRECTOR’S HAVEN 2019
Location: The Den Theatre (2A), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Previews: Monday, October 14 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, October 15 at 7:30 pm
Regular Run: Wednesday, October 16 – Wednesday, October 30, 2018
Curtain Times: Sundays at 3 pm; Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm

Tickets: $10 suggested donation. Tickets are currently available at havenchi.org.

About the Directors
Lauren Katz (This is a Chair) is a freelance director, dramaturg, and teaching artist. She served as the 2016-17 Artistic Apprentice at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and as a fellow in the 2018-19 Directors Inclusion Initiative at Victory Gardens. Recent directing projects include: Subjective is Beauty (Prop Thtr), Toni and Marcus: From Village Life to Urban Stress (Illinois Holocaust Museum) and Salena’s Story (iO Theater). As an assistant director and dramaturg in Chicago, Lauren has worked with various companies including About Face Theatre, Firebrand Theatre, Theater Wit, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Writers Theatre and Windy City Playhouse. As a teaching artist, Lauren works with Lookingglass Theatre and Mudlark Theatre.

Aaron Mays (2 x 2) is an emerging director and playwright in Chicago with a passion for stories of the African diaspora and the narratives of marginalized voices. Aaron’s most recent directing credits include Waiting for Godot (Tympanic Theatre) with an all-Latinx cast and Tug of War (CIRCA Pintig), a series of short plays on war, trauma and immigration. In addition, he has worked with Chicago’s top directors, serving as the assistant director for such productions as Sweat (Goodman Theatre), Mosque Alert (Silk Road Rising), Two Trains Running (Goodman Theatre) and Seven Guitars (Court Theatre).

AJ Schwartz (How You Kissed Me is Not How I Like to be Kissed) is a director living and making art in Chicago since 2013. As a theatremaker, they aim to use performance to explore the world through a radical, iconoclastic and undeniably queer lens. Their recent credits include Mike Pence Sex Dream, Refrigerator (assistant director, First Floor Theater), This Bitter Earth (dramaturg), Time Is on Our Side (assistant director, About Face Theatre), Zurich (assistant director, Steep Theatre Co.), and The Henry V Project (director, Loyola University Chicago).  

About Haven:
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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019 Returns October 14 – 30, 2019 at The Den Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Haven Presents
DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019
Showcasing Three Short Plays Directed by Lauren Katz,
Aaron Mays & AJ Schwartz
October 14 – 30, 2019 at The Den Theatre
*Tickets: $10 suggested donation* 


Directors Haven 2019 Directors – Haven’s 2019 DIRECTORS HAVEN will feature works directed by (left to right) Lauren Katz, Aaron Mays and AJ Schwartz.


Haven is pleased to present its fifth DIRECTORS HAVEN, the company’s ever-growing initiative annually showcasing the talents of three rising directors. This season, Lauren Katz directs Caryl Churchill’s ambitious surrealist work THIS IS A CHAIR; Aaron Mays helms Sonia Sanchez’s lyrical drama 2 x 2; and AJ Schwartz directs Dan Giles’ tender yet challenging one-act HOW YOU KISS ME IS NOT HOW I LIKE TO BE KISSED. The three productions, which will have the support of a full production team, will run back-to-back in one program. DIRECTOR’S HAVEN 2019 will play October 14 – 30, 2019 at Haven’s resident home, The Den Theatre (2A) 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets ($10 suggested donation) are currently available at havenchi.org.

Comments Artistic Director Ian Damont Martin, “This cohort of directors is more than ready to bring their work to the Chicago community, and Haven couldn't be more excited to facilitate and support them in this fifth year of our Directors Haven program. Each of these early-career directors have interests and visions that are specific, intelligent, and downright exciting. The pieces they have individually selected are glimpses of the kind of work we need to be seeing and making right now – work that asks us the difficult questions – work that makes space for the marginal and the marginalized. This is met with an articulated interest and commitment in intentional processes, which is becoming increasingly important at Haven. We are very much looking forward to bringing you this necessary work from the next generation of artists helping to find and define the future of our practice.”
  
Directors Haven 2019 Cast – The cast of Haven’s DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019 includes (top, l to r) Catherine Dvorak, Tamsen Glaser, Lakecia Harris, Isaac Snyder, Julian "Joolz" Stroop and Diego Zozaya with (bottom, l to r) Dionne Addai, Sheree Bynum, Simon Gebremedhin, Merrina Millsapp, Juwon Tyrel Perry, Morgan Lavenstein and Rolando Serrano.


DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019 includes:

THIS IS A CHAIR
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Lauren Katz
Mentor: Devon de Mayo
Featuring Catherine Dvorak, Tamsen Glaser, Lakecia Harris, Isaac Snyder, Julian "Joolz" Stroop and Diego Zozaya

This is a Chair is composed of a series of individual vignettes, each including a headline that is meant to be clearly displayed or stated. Each title refers to a contemporary world issue, including “The War in Bosnia,” “Genetic Engineering,” and “Pornography and Censorship” – titles that seemingly share no connection to the scene at hand. Caryl Churchill invites us to dig deep into our personal lives and relationships, exploring the depths of how we interact with the world around us.

2 x 2
By Sonia Sanchez
Directed by Aaron Mays
Mentor: Pemon Rami
Featuring Dionne Addai, Sheree Bynum, Simon Gebremedhin, Merrina Millsapp and Juwon Perry

Beverly Smith is watching her family fall apart. Her grandchildren are in need of her care while her daughter Ramona, once a fierce activist, struggles with addiction. When Beverly goes to take the kids home with her, she learns about Ramona’s past passion for activism and what led to her decline. This lyrical drama set in North Philadelphia explores social activism, generational differences and the hardships facing urban black communities through the lens of a mother-daughter relationship.

HOW YOU KISS ME IS NOT HOW I LIKE TO BE KISSED
By Dan Giles
Directed by AJ Schwartz
Mentor: Monty Cole
Featuring Morgan Lavenstein and Rolando Serrano

It’s a love story that transcends labels. Two people meet, they fall in love, they U-Haul, life happens. A couple just like any other – well, almost. How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed innovatively addresses the urgent contemporary issue of straight representation in the arts. This groundbreaking and oh-so-needed play brings important visibility to the sorrows and joys – and even the inherent flaws – of the heterosexual lifestyle.

The production team for DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019 includes Will Tople (scenic design), Angela Mix (costume design), Sim Carpenter (lighting design), Jonesy Jones (sound design) and Emily Boyd (resident props).

PRODUCTION DETAILS:

Title: DIRECTOR’S HAVEN 2019
Location: The Den Theatre (2A), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Previews: Monday, October 14 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, October 15 at 7:30 pm
Regular Run: Wednesday, October 16 – Wednesday, October 30, 2018
Curtain Times: Sundays at 3 pm; Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm

Tickets: $10 suggested donation. Tickets are currently available at havenchi.org.

About the Directors

Lauren Katz (This is a Chair) is a freelance director, dramaturg, and teaching artist. She served as the 2016-17 Artistic Apprentice at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and as a fellow in the 2018-19 Directors Inclusion Initiative at Victory Gardens. Recent directing projects include: Subjective is Beauty (Prop Thtr), Toni and Marcus: From Village Life to Urban Stress (Illinois Holocaust Museum) and Salena’s Story (iO Theater). As an assistant director and dramaturg in Chicago, Lauren has worked with various companies including About Face Theatre, Firebrand Theatre, Theater Wit, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Writers Theatre and Windy City Playhouse. As a teaching artist, Lauren works with Lookingglass Theatre and Mudlark Theatre. 

Aaron Mays (2 x 2) is an emerging director and playwright in Chicago with a passion for stories of the African diaspora and the narratives of marginalized voices. Aaron’s most recent directing credits include Waiting for Godot (Tympanic Theatre) with an all-Latinx cast and Tug of War (CIRCA Pintig), a series of short plays on war, trauma and immigration. In addition, he has worked with Chicago’s top directors, serving as the assistant director for such productions as Sweat (Goodman Theatre), Mosque Alert (Silk Road Rising), Two Trains Running (Goodman Theatre) and Seven Guitars (Court Theatre). 

AJ Schwartz (How You Kissed Me is Not How I Like to be Kissed) is a director living and making art in Chicago since 2013. As a theatremaker, they aim to use performance to explore the world through a radical, iconoclastic and undeniably queer lens. Their recent credits include Mike Pence Sex Dream, Refrigerator (assistant director, First Floor Theater), This Bitter Earth (dramaturg), Time Is on Our Side (assistant director, About Face Theatre), Zurich (assistant director, Steep Theatre Co.), and The Henry V Project (director, Loyola University Chicago).   

About Haven:

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.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Haven Theatre Announces New Artistic Director and Managing Director

Haven Theatre announces the appointment of Ian Damont Martin as the company’s new Artistic Director and Angela Salinas as its Managing Director. Martin, who previously served as Associate Artistic Director, succeeds Josh Sobel, who has helmed the company as AD since August 2014. Sobel, who has been accepted into the MFA Directing Program at California Institute of the Arts, will serve as Associate Artistic Director through the season’s end and will remain active with Haven as an Artistic Associate thereafter. Salinas, who previously worked as General/Production Manager, succeeds Executive Director Carol Cohen, who will now serve as Haven’s Board President.


PHOTO CREDIT: (left to right) Haven Theatre’s new Artistic Director Ian Damont Martin and new Managing Director Angela Salinas.

Comments Ian Damont Martin, “I am thrilled to be taking the reins of Artistic Director of Haven, joining a small but powerful network of arts and culture leaders of color. I look forward to stewarding the continued growth of the company, building on the remarkable foundation laid by my predecessor, Josh Sobel, and the whole Haven family. Haven’s mission is Next Generation, New Canon, Social Profit. I look forward to further realizing that mission. I look forward to the future of Haven and to the opportunity to help define the future of the American theatre.”

Managing Director Angela Salinas adds, “For the past two years since being a part of Haven, I truly have grown into someone that I never knew was possible. Both professionally and personally I am better because of this company, predominantly because of the culture that embodies it. There is no place like Haven. No place I have found such a feeling of home and security, yet the freedom to create change in my community. No place that celebrates more of who I am, where I’ve come from, and the type of leader I want to be. I am grateful and humbled by the opportunity given to me, especially from Carol Cohen, who believed in me, and trusted me fully to lead her company that I can only dream to be a part of.”

Outgoing Artistic Director Josh Sobel comments, “I am grateful to those who laid the foundation for this company, and in particular Carol Cohen, for empowering me to build upon that foundation in a way that was intensely personal to me. Haven has been a passion project, one rooted firmly in a belief in the power of the Event and a faith in the next generation of our industry, and I am so deeply proud of what we have achieved here over the past several years. In selecting Ian as the next Artistic Director, Haven is investing in the vision of someone with deeply held values, an exhilarating creative point of view, and a Future-oriented mentality to what we make, how we make it and why. I am overjoyed that he will be joined by Managing Director Angela Salinas, whose contributions to the health, growth and development of this company since joining Haven are simply incalculable. Working with them on this transition process has been a journey of inspiration, of shared beliefs and new ideas, and of a commitment to fostering the Future within Haven. I look forward to the continued evolution of this company.

BIOGRAPHIES

Ian Damont Martin is a theatre/filmmaker currently based in Chicago. He leverages his experience as an artist, arts administrator, and facilitator to build transformative spaces for positive change. Alongside Haven, Ian is the Program Manager of Enrich Chicago, a non-profit that works to realize anti-racism and racial equity in the Chicago arts community. Ian has worked with a number of arts and cultural institutions in varying capacities, including Goodman Theatre, where he completed an Artistic Producing Apprenticeship funded by the Joyce Foundation. Ian has also worked with Middle Coast Film Festival, Sideshow Theatre Company, The Gift Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, The DuSable Museum, the National Society of Arts and Letters, Indiana University, Ivy Tech Community College, Midsommer Flight, Bloomington Playwrights Project, Youth Theatre Journal, and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati. He received his BA in theatre and drama from Indiana University and his diploma in drama from the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, OH.

Angela Salinas moved to Chicago in 2017 for the prestigious, year-long Production Management Apprenticeship at the Goodman Theatre. Before then she had previously worked in several regional theaters including: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and Cal Shakes. Later that same year, Angela joined Haven Theatre serving as the Assistant Production Manager for that season's Director’s Haven.  In January 2018, she was hired on as Haven’s General/Production Manager, and finally as of January 2019, Angela officially took the reigns as the full-time Managing Director of Haven. She couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities Haven has given to her, especially Carol, Josh, and Krista. Angela wishes to thank her parents first and foremost for the unconditional support, and to her chosen family in Chicago who continue to inspire and give strength to persevere as a woman of color in this industry.

During his tenure as Artistic Director, Josh Sobel oversaw the re-articulation of Haven's mission and vision, and from that foundation curated the production of eight world, U.S. and area premieres in five seasons, earning praise and recognition from the Jeff Awards, Time Out Theater Awards and Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists Awards as well as common appearances amongst the "Best Of The Year" listings in the Chicago Tribune and Newcity Stage, among others. Haven's hit production of Young Jean Lee's We're Gonna Die (directed by Sobel) was invited to be remounted as part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company's LookOut Series in their 1700 venue and sold out its engagement. In 2015, Sobel founded the Director's Haven program, now entering its fifth year and recently featured online in American Theatre Magazine, with a focus on providing institutionally supported creative opportunities for directors at the very earliest moments of their careers. In 2016, Haven partnered with The Den Theatre to build out a new accessible venue, which became Haven's resident space and is named for renowned opera director (and Sobel's aunt) Janet Bookspan. Most recently Sobel has overseen a doubling of the company's staff (including Haven's first full-time Managing Director), facilitated Haven's first producing partnership with an outside organization (with About Face Theatre on The Total Bent), and in January of 2019 was named alongside Carol Cohen as one of Newcity Stage's "50 Players Who Perform for Chicago" in recognition of their accomplishments at Haven. 



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.

To support Haven Theatre, please visit haventheatrechicago.com/support.

Monday, May 28, 2018

OPENING: World Premiere of The Displaced Via Haven Theatre at The Den Theatre

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Haven Theatre Present the World Premiere of
THE DISPLACED
By Isaac Gomez
Directed by Jo Cattell
May 31 – July 1, 2018 at The Den Theatre


Haven Theatre is pleased to conclude its 2017-18 Season with the world premiere of THE DISPLACED, an electrifying thriller exploring the heartbreak of gentrification and the scars we leave on each other. Written by Isaac Gomez and directed by Jo Cattell, THE DISPLACED will play May 31 – July 1, 2018 at The Den Theatre's Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Tickets go on sale shortly at haventheatrechicago.com

THE DISPLACED features Rashaad Hall and Karen Rodriguez.

Marísa and Lev have just moved into their new Pilsen apartment in hopes of rekindling a spark that’s long been extinguished. While looking for the circuit breaker in the attic, a mysterious coconut appears, leftover from the previous tenants with a dark history inside it. The Displaced explores the wake of pain and yearning left behind when gentrification forces people out of their homes and the kind of vengeance that can come from it.

Comments Haven Artistic Director Josh Sobel, "The best horror stories, in my view, always have something deeper to say about the world we live in – a warped-mirror reflection of the reality we so often choose to ignore, an attempt to shock us into seeing. This is so much of the power and potency of Isaac Gomez's electrifying new play, The Displaced – a thriller with its heart anchored in the devastating cost of gentrification that is happening even right now in our very own city. Isaac's voice first blew me away in 2016 with his utterly riveting and ravaging The Way She Spoke, and it became immediately clear that this is someone whose point of view I dearly wanted at Haven Theatre. It is a privilege to make that dream a reality with Isaac's stunning world premiere."

The production team for THE DISPLACED includes Arnel Sancianco (scenic design), Christine Pascual (costume design), Erik Barry (lighting design), Sarah D. Espinoza (sound design), Emily Boyd (props design), Rachel Flesher (intimacy/fight/rigging design), Marika Mashburn (casting director), Rebecca Adelsheim (dramaturg), David Moreland (technical director) and MJ Dougherty (stage manager).

Location: The Den Theatre's Bookspan Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Dates: 
Previews: Thursday, May 31 at 8 pm, Friday, June 1 at 8 pm, Saturday, June 2 at 8 pm and Tuesday, June 5 at 8 pm

Regular run: Thursday, June 7 – Sunday, March 11, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm.

Tickets: Previews: pay-what-you-can. Regular run $18. Tickets on sale at haventheatrechicago.com.

Artist Biographies
Isaac Gomez (Playwright) is a playwright and dramaturg currently working as the Director of New Play Development at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago where he curates the Public Programs series, directs the new play development department and heads the IGNITION Festival of New Plays. As a playwright, he has worked with the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Victory Gardens Theater, Pivot Arts, American Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, Teatro Vista, Definition Theater Company, Greenhouse Theater Center, Sideshow Theater Company, Broken Nose Theater and Something Marvelous. He is the Co-Creative Director at the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists in Chicago where he runs and is a participant of El Semillero: ALTA Chicago's Latinx Playwrights Circle, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, an Ensemble Member with Teatro Vista, Artistic Associate with Pivot Arts, Artistic Curator for Theater on the Lake 2017/2018, a steering committee member of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) and an artistic community member at The Hypocrites in Chicago. He is also a Professional Lecturer of Theater Studies at The Theatre School at DePaul University. 

Jo Cattell (Director) is currently creating An Epic Tale of Scale for Chicago Childrens’ Theatre, with Henry Wishcamper for performance in 2018. She is part of the LightPoets (along with dandypunk and Darin Basile), whose immersive theatre show, HEARTCORPS: Riders of the Storyboard premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and is currently in development for a full production. Recent credits: Associate Director on Shakespeare in Love (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Tumbao (Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre), Don Chipotle: Origin, a pilot webisode. Jo has worked with numerous theatre and television companies, including the BBC, Sky Television, Cirque du Soleil, Chicago the Musical (West End, Korean/Japanese Tour), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West End), Stomp Out Loud (Las Vegas), Pentabus Theatre, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, Goodman Theatre, Route 66, Origin Theatre, Leviathan Lab and Culture Project. Jo was awarded the 3Arts Award for her work as a theatre maker in 2016.


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.

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.



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

OPENING: Bertolt Brecht's FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH Via Haven Theatre at The Den 2/8-3/11/18


 Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


Casting Announced!
Haven Theatre Presents
FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH
By Bertolt Brecht
Translated by Eric Bentley
Directed by Artistic Director Josh Sobel


February 8 – March 11, 2018 at The Den Theatre

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


I'll be ChiIlin' at the press opening on February 13th, at Chi, IL's Den Theatre, so check back soon for my full review. 


All Production Photos by Joe Mazza/Brave Lux.

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.

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. 






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."



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).



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

Tickets: Previews: pay-what-you-can. Regular run $18. Tickets are currently available at haventheatrechicago.com.




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.













Sunday, October 15, 2017

SAVE THE DATES: Bertolt Brecht's FEAR AND MISERY OF THE THIRD REICH at Haven Theatre 2/8-3/11

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Haven Theatre Announces Final Production of 2017-18 Season:



FEAR AND MISERY OF THE THIRD REICH
By Bertolt Brecht
Translated by Eric Bentley
Directed by Artistic Director Josh Sobel
February 8 – March 11, 2018 at The Den Theatre

Haven Theatre is pleased to announce the final production slated for its 2017-18 Season, Bertolt Brecht’s unsettling and unflinching drama FEAR AND MISERY OF THE THIRD REICH, translated by Eric Bentley and directed by Artistic Director Josh Sobel, playing February 8 – March 11, 2018. Casting will be announced at a later date.

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. 

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 the our past and how such fatal mistakes were allowed to take place."

Haven’s 2017-18 Season also includes the previously announced DIRECTORS HAVEN, three short plays showcasing the talents of early career directors Kristen Johnson, Ian Martin and Lexi Saunders (October 16 – November 1, 2017) and the world premiere of THE DISPLACED, written by Isaac Gomez and directed by Jo Cattell, an electrifying thriller exploring the heartbreak of gentrification and the scars we leave on each other (May 31 – July 1, 2018).

Haven’s Theatre 2017-18 Season will be staged at its resident home, The Den Theatre's Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Single tickets for DIRECTORS HAVEN (pay-what-you-can) are currently available at haventheatrechicago.com. Additional productions will go on sale at a later date.

FEAR AND MISERY OF THE THIRD REICH 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, 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.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

OPENING: DIRECTORS HAVEN 2017 10/16-11/1 at The Den Theatre

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Casting Announced!
Haven Theatre Presents
DIRECTORS HAVEN 2017
Showcasing Three Plays Directed by 
Kristen Johnson, Ian Martin & Lexi Saunders
October 16 – November 1, 2017 at The Den Theatre

Directors Haven 2017 (left to right) Directors Kristen Johnson, Ian Martin and Lexi Saunders helm Haven Theatre’s DIRECTORS HAVEN 2017

Haven Theatre is pleased to present its third DIRECTORS HAVEN, the company’s ever-growing initiative showcasing the talents of three early career directors. This season, Kristen Johnson directs Vaclav Havel’s riveting political satire THE PROTEST, Ian Martin helms Amiri Baraka’s THE TOILET, a powerful look at love and empathy, and Lexi Saunders directs Rachel Dubose’s sharply funny and biting new play THE DEPARTURE. The three fully-produced productions will run back-to-back in one program. DIRECTOR’S HAVEN 2017 will play October 16 – November 1, 2017 at Haven Theatre’s resident home, The Den Theatre (2A), 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. All performances are pay-what-you-can. Tickets are currently available at haventheatrechicago.com.

Location: The Den Theatre (2A), 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Previews: Monday, October 16 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, October 17 at 6 pm
Regular Run: Wednesday, October 18 – Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Curtain Times: Sundays at 6 pm, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday at 7:30 pm 

Tickets: Pay-what-you-can. Tickets are currently available at haventheatrechicago.com. 

DIRECTORS HAVEN 2017 will feature Nic Bell, Tara Bouldry, Brianna Buckley, Nate Buursma, Byron Coolie, Kamille Dawkins, Leon J. Evans, Barry Irving, Julian Larach, Freedom Martin, Priya Mohanty, Marcus D. Moore, Victor Musoni, Selene Perez, Noah Robinson, Jo Schaffer and Kendra Thulin

Comments Artistic Director Josh Sobel, "The continued growth of the Director's Haven program is a fulfillment of one of my greatest hopes – to provide institutional support and hands-on production opportunity for directors at the very earliest stages of their professional journeys. The past two years have been a testament to the talent and imagination of the newest generation of professional theatermakers, and this season's cohort of artists will only build upon and continue this momentum. These directors have selected pieces that are truly uniquely personal to each of them, and share an immediacy, a relevancy and a consciousness that serves to reinforce my faith in the next wave of artistic leaders."

DIRECTORS HAVEN 2017 includes:

THE PROTEST
By Vaclav Havel
Directed by Kristen Johnson
Featuring Kamille Dawkins (Vanek) and Kendra Thulin (Stanek). 

Renowned activist Vaněk pays a visit to the lavish home of a former colleague, Staněk, who has invited Vaněk to help secure the release of a jailed radical musician, fiancée to Staněk’s daughter. Vaněk also has a favor to request: getting the Staněk’s signature in a far-reaching protest.

THE TOILET
By Amiri Baraka
Directed by Ian Martin
Featuring Nic Bell (Skippy), Nate Buursma (Donald), Byron Coolie (Ora), Leon J. Evans (Foot), Barry Irving (Knowles), Julian Larach (Karolis), Freedom Martin (Willie Love), Marcus D. Moore (Hines), Victor Musoni (Johnny Boy Holmes), Noah Robinson (George) and Jo Schaffer (Perry).

Set in a high school lavatory in the early 1960’s, LeRoi Jones’ The Toilet is an exploration of love, race and masculinity. The play is one of several known colloquially as Revolutionary theatre, which aimed to force change in the social order by exposing, accusing, and attacking. The Toilet exposes love, accuses race, and attacks masculinity, in hopes that we can imagine a new social order; One in which a boy could love another, despite their colors.

THE DEPARTURE
By Rachel Dubose
Directed by Lexi Saunders
Featuring Tara Bouldry (Trish), Brianna Buckley (Karyn), Priya Mohanty (Aleesia) and Selene Perez (Micah).

Friendships are tested when a group of women reunites for an Escape Room themed Bachelorette Party. Loosely based on Sartre's No Exit and developed collaboratively, what was supposed to bring the women together actually begins to tear them apart. As the clock winds down, tensions build and old secrets are revealed.

The production team for DIRECTOR’S HAVEN 2017 includes Rachel Rauscher (scenic design), Sara Torres (lighting design), Antonio Gracias (sound design), Amy Williams (costume design), Corbin Paulino, Cedar Larson and Merle Palmer (stage managers) and Marika Mashburn (casting director).

Artist Biographies
Kristen Johnson (Director – The Protest) is honored to be a part of the 2017 Directors' Haven. Most recently she directed new plays Options at Broken Nose Theatre and Clearing at Commission Theatre. Previously, she assisted Josh Sobel in Steep Theatre's Bobbie Clearly, assisted Erica Weiss in Gift Theatre's Grapes of Wrath, directed A Long Arduous Journey for Gift's TEN Festival, assisted Anna Bahow for Rasaka Theatre's A Nice Indian Boy, directed Christmas Armaments for Step Up Productions’ Holidaze Festival, assisted Erica Weiss on The Downpour for Route 66 Theatre and Jonathan Berry on Look Back in Anger at Redtwist Theatre. She has also directed readings of Dana Formby’s American Beauty Shop and David Auburn’s Fifth Planet for Sankofa Theatre and Caridad Svich’s Archipelago for No Passport’s 30/30 Festival.  Kristen is a graduate of Carleton College, School at Steppenwolf, NTI, and BADA. When she is not directing, Kristen is working as an actor in Chicago. 

Václav Havel (Playwright – The Protest) is a playwright who in 1989 became the president of Czechoslovakia, continuing on after the country became the Czech Republic until 2003. Havel was a prominent participant in the liberal reforms of 1968, and, after the Soviet clampdown on Czechoslovakia, his plays, which explore the self-delusions and moral compromises that characterize life under a totalitarian system, were banned. Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia in July 1990, becoming the country's first noncommunist leader since 1948.

Ian Martin (Director – The Toilet) is an upcoming creative: writer, director, producer. He is a recent transplant to the city of Chicago and currently serving as the Artistic Producing Apprentice at Goodman Theatre. He graduated with a B.A. in Theatre from Indiana University, but has studied in the arts from a young age, attending the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts during his formative years. Ian is glad to make his Chicago directorial debut with Director's Haven 2017. Recent directing credits include an independent production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and assisting on an academic production of The Colored Museum. He is originally from Cincinnati, OH.

Amiri Baraka (Playwright – The Toilet) was born LeRoi Jones in Newark, New Jersey, on October 7, 1934. After three years in the U.S. Air Force, Jones joined the Beat movement in Greenwich Village. After the assassination of Malcolm X, he took the name Amiri Baraka and became involved in the Black Nationalist poetry and literature movements, with his work focusing on confronting racial politics. He later identified himself as a Marxist. Some of his notable plays and poems include Dutchman, Slave Ship and The Baptism. A prolific writer over his nearly 50 year career, Baraka penned more than 50 books, including fiction, music criticism, essays, short stories, poetry and plays. Baraka died on January 9, 2014 at the age of 79.

Lexi Saunders (Director – The Departure) is a director, performer and teaching artist originally from Los Angeles with her BA in Theatre and Psychology from UC San Diego. Her Chicago directing credits include Grounded with Theater of Thought, the youth devised SUPER at Mudlark, Bye, Chuck at The Gift, in your own backyard by Kristiana Rae Colón at Victory Gardens, I Have It by Bekah Brunstetter with Madkap, LezFest and Missed Connections at Pride Films and Plays. She has assistant directed The Burials at Steppenwolf, The Few at Steep, The Snare at Jackalope, good friday at Oracle and Cocked at Victory Gardens, where she was in the 2016 Directors Inclusion Initiative. Lexi is also a recurring director for the One Minute Play Festival and 2nd Story’s storytelling series.

Rachel DuBose (Playwright – The Departure) is a Chicago-based playwright. She holds an MFA from Northwestern University Writing for the Screen + Stage and her B.A. from Spelman College. Her plays have been staged at Unbound, the  Fade to Black Festival, Pegasus Theatre Chicago, Living Room Playmakers, Mercy Street Theatre Company, Black Lives Black Words, The Future is Female and Jadesmash. Rachel is an associate artist at Pegasus Theatre Chicago, a Black Lives Black Words Associate Artist, a resident playwright at Mercy Street Theatre, a guest contributor at Black Girl Fly Magazine and is one of the inaugural Russ Tutterow Fellows at Chicago Dramatists.

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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