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WINDY CITY PLAYHOUSE ANNOUNCES 2019-2020 SEASON FEATURING IMMERSIVE STAGINGS OF CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED PRODUCTIONS “EVERY BRILLIANT THING” AND “THE BOYS IN THE BAND”
Amy Rubenstein, Artistic Director and Evelyn Jacoby, Managing Director of Windy City Playhouse today announced the 2019-2020 season featuring the Windy City Playhouse premiere of Duncan MacMillan’s one-person-show, “Every Brilliant Thing” directed by Jessica Fisch this fall and Mart Crowley’s revolutionary play, “The Boys in the Band” directed by Playhouse Associate Artistic Director, Carl Menninger in the winter of 2020. The productions join Windy City Playhouse’s previously announced psychological thriller “The Recommendation,” which begins performances at Windy City Playhouse flagship in July. Season subscriptions are now available by calling 773-891-8985 or visiting www.windycityplayhouse.com.
“’Southern Gothic’ was such a clear landmark for our company stylistically,” said Windy City Playhouse Artistic Director Amy Rubenstein. “We saw how connected audiences could become to stories when they are brought literally inside the action and given agency over their own viewing experience. I am so eager to continue exploring that kind of work with this next season with some important, riveting stories.”
Fresh off successful productions at The Old Globe and the Flea Theater, the current season wraps up with the psychological thriller, Jonathan Caren’s “The Recommendation.” The story follows two friends through the trials and tribulations of life and tests just how far they will go to get what they want. Stage Scene LA called the show, “Terrific… drama that will keep you guessing from its exhilarating start to its suspenseful finish… a rollercoaster ride of a play.” “The Recommendation” begins performances at Windy City Playhouse’s flagship on July 2, 2019.
The 2019-2020 season officially kicks off this fall with Duncan MacMillan’s “Every Brilliant Thing” starring Rebecca Spence. Directed by Jessica Fisch the play explores the comedy in tragedy, how we cope and the little things that make life brilliant. Ice cream. The smell of old books. The color yellow. We all collect these slivers of delight among the daily splinters of life. In this solo-performance show, the protagonist guides her audience through her personal chronicle of life's joys in the face of her mother's depression, from childhood to adulthood. “Every Brilliant Thing” will be played at a location to be announced this July.
Rounding out the 2019-2020 season is Mart Crowley’s game-changing play “The Boys in the Band” directed by Windy City Playhouse Associate Artistic Director, Carl Menninger. It's 1968 and Harold is turning thirty. Luckily, friend-enemy Michael is there with six mutual friends to help him ease into the big three-O. The party is all jokes and quips until the host proposes a harmless game of truth or dare. What happens when you put eight, complicated men - out, closeted, flamboyant or "passing" - in one room with all their grudges? Fresh from its hit Broadway revival, this landmark play comes to Chicago for the first time in 20 years. “The Boys in the Band” begins performances at Windy City Playhouse’s flagship on January 29, 2020.
“After supporting the creative needs of the Playhouse since its inception, co-creating the landmark production ‘Southern Gothic,’ supporting ancillary program development and fielding all new work submissions, Carl has become a vital part of the Playhouse’s artistic voice and myself, Managing Director Evelyn Jacoby, and our Board are thrilled to formalize this relationship with the new title,” said Rubenstein.
WINDY CITY PLAYHOUSE’S 2019-2020 SEASON:
Written by Jonathan Caren (he/him/his)
Directed by Jonathan Wilson (he/him/his)
Previews begin: July 2, 2019
Aaron Feldman arrives at college fully prepared with a charming personality, wealthy father and plenty of connections. His freshman year roommate, Iskander Ioduoko, is not so lucky. The middle-class student has worked hard to get where he is and arrived on no one’s coat tails. Despite differing backgrounds, the two young men quickly develop a strong bond and pledge to a life-long friendship. That is, until one finds himself in legal trouble, and the other in a tricky position deciding whether to help.
“EVERY BRILLIANT THING”
Written by Duncan MacMillan (he/him/his)
Directed by Jessica Fisch (she/her/hers)
Previews begin: September 18, 2019
Ice cream. The smell of old books. The color yellow. We all collect these slivers of delight among the daily splinters of life. In this solo-performance show, our protagonist guides her audience through her personal chronicle of life's joys in the face of her mother's depression, from childhood to adulthood. Do water fights and roller coasters also get lost in the void, or do they flicker and spark? This fall, join the Playhouse for an interactive experience. Audiences are invited to speak on behalf of a vet, a father, a lecturer, or a even a therapist sock in this "come-as-you-are performance" with no prior acting experience or rehearsal required. Who knows - maybe you'll walk away with a brilliant thing of your own.
“THE BOYS IN THE BAND”
Written by Mart Crowley (he/him/his)
Directed by Carl Menninger (he/him/his)
Previews begin: January 29, 2020
It's 1968 and Harold is turning thirty. Luckily, friend-enemy Michael is there with six mutual friends to help him ease into the big three-O. The party is all jokes and quips until the host proposes a harmless game of truth or dare. What happens when you put eight, complicated men - out, closeted, flamboyant, or "passing" - in one room with all their grudges? Fresh from its hit Broadway revival, this landmark play comes to Chicago for the first time in 20 years. In winter 2020, the Playhouse hosts our next immersive birthday party. Sit inches from the prototype personalities that "helped spark a revolution by putting gay men's lives onstage" during the pre-Pride era. Come to a party where the cake tastes like truth, and everyone gets a slice.
About the Director for “Every Brilliant Thing”:
Jessica Fisch (Director) Recent credits: “I Wana F*#%ing Tear You Apart” (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); “Twilight Bowl” (University of Wisconsin at Madison); “Cry It Out” (Northlight Theatre); “You Across From Me” (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival); “Late Company” (Cor Theatre, Midwest Premiere); “The Firebirds Take The Field” (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); “Straight White Men” (Associate Director, Steppenwolf Theatre); “Trudy, Carolyn Martha and Regine Travel to Outer Space” (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival); “The Rosenkranz Mysteries: An Evening of Magic” (Royal George Cabaret); “Fefu and Her Friends” (Goodman Theatre/Rivendell Latina/o Celebration); “Opulent Complex and That Thing That Time” (Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Tens); “Psychodramatic” (A Red Orchid, Incubator Series); “Traces” (Feast Productions/ Jackalope Theatre). Selected New York credits: “The Realm” (The Wild Project), “Strive/Seek/Find” (Abingdon Theatre); the 2009 Playwrights Horizons’ Stories on 5 Stories Benefit, “Personal History” (Ensemble Studio Theatre); “The Redheaded Man” (Barrow Street Theatre/Down Payment Productions, FringeNYC, FringeEncores); “Dressed in Your Dreams” (Public Theater/Emerging Writers Group); an adaptation of the cult 1960’s gothic vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows” (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Fisch was a resident director at Ensemble Studio Theater, The Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident, and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Upcoming Credits: “And Then There Were None” (Drury Lane Theater) MFA: Northwestern University. www.JessicaFisch.com
About the Director for “The Boys in the Band”:
Carl Menninger (Director) lived and worked in Chicago for many years and directed the 2016 production of “This” at Windy City Playhouse. Currently, he is the Associate Artistic Director at the Playhouse as well as an Assistant Professor of Theatre at American University, in Washington, D.C., where he ran the Theatre and Musical Theatre program for eight years. Carl is one of the co-creators of the Playhouse hit “Southern Gothic.” He will direct the upcoming WCP production of “The Boys in the Band.” While in Chicago, Carl worked with Victory Gardens and Chicago Dramatists. In addition to working with D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre, Studio Theatre and Adventure Theatre, his play “Everything But You: A Modern Romance” received a staged reading at Keegan Theatre in D.C. He is currently working on a play about silent film stars Ramon Novarro and Billy Haines. Carl is the co-author of “Minding the Edge: Strategies for a Fulfilling, Successful Career as an Actor.”
Two and three show packages are available starting at $109, with different options for varying days of the week. Single tickets for “The Recommendation” are on sale now. Single tickets for “Every Brilliant Thing” and “The Boys in the Band” will go on sale at a future date to be announced. With the 2019-2020 season, Windy City Playhouse is also offering a Platinum Subscription, which will include a $100 donation to the Playhouse’s artistic innovation and in turn offers complimentary drinks to those patrons. All packages offer a 25 percent savings and subscriber-only benefits. Subscriptions and tickets are available by calling 773-891-8985 or visiting www.windycityplayhouse.com
About Windy City Playhouse
Windy City Playhouse is a professional theater and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, located on Chicago's northwest side. Premiering in March of 2015 with a mission to present contemporary, relevant, and approach art, the Playhouse has quickly become a mainstay of the Chicago theater scene. In 2018, its runaway hit, the immersive SOUTHERN GOTHIC, solidified the Playhouse as the first choice in Chicago theater for one-of-a-kind audience experience. "Experience driven. Audience first."
For more information, visit WindyCityPlayhouse.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.