Here’s the press release from Raven:
RAVEN THEATRE ANNOUNCES THEIR 27th SEASON
Family. Justice. Laughter
CHICAGO – Producing Artistic Director Michael Menendian and Co-Artistic Director JoAnn Montemurro announce Raven Theatre’s 2009/2010 Season, which includes Arthur Miller’s timeless Death of a Salesman, Reginald Rose’s thrilling Twelve Angry Men, and Neil Simon’s classic comedy The Odd Couple. This season follows the rise of the baby boomer generation, moving from issues of morality and success through class and ethnic divisions, ending in the middle of a social and cultural revolution. Raven kicks off the season with its 27th annual benefit gala, Back Stage at Raven, Saturday, August 1, 2009. Season subscriptions are available for $35-72. Visit www.raventheatre.com or call 773-338-2177.
Raven Theatre’s 2009/2010 Season
Previews: Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.
Openings: Sundays at 7:00 p.m.
Performances continue Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
All performances take place on Raven Theatre’s East Stage, 6157 N. Clark
Tickets are $15 during previews, $25 on Thursdays/Sundays and
$30 on Fridays/Saturdays ($5 off the regular ticket price for students/seniors)
Subscriptions are available for $35 (Previews), $60 (Thursdays/Sundays)
and $72 (Flexible, valid anytime)
Additional benefits of subscribing include free ticket exchanges, priority seating, free beverages, special discounts and an exclusive invitation to a closed rehearsal of each production
Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre; additional street parking is available
Raven Theatre is handicapped accessible
Tickets/information: www.raventheatre.com or 773-338-2177
Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
directed by Michael Menendian
Previews: October 6 through 10, 2009 at 8:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Performances continue through December 5, 2009
No performance on Thursday, November 25 (Thanksgiving)
Raven’s season opener tells the tragically complex story of the Loman family. Arthur Miller’s quintessential masterpiece depicts an ordinary man, Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, in desperate pursuit of the American Dream for himself, his sympathetic wife, Linda and his two sons, Biff and Happy. Michael Menendian directs this revival, featuring Co-Artistic Director JoAnn Montemurro and Raven Ensemble Member Chuck Spencer as Linda and Willy Loman.
Arthur Miller, one of America’s greatest playwrights, often made strong political and social statements through his numerous stage plays, radio plays, screenplays and novels. This led not only to Miller’s plays being consistently revived around the world and translated to film, but also to his work being banned in the Soviet Union. Death of a Salesman is the first play to win the Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award and the Drama Circle Critic’s Award.
Director Michael Menendian is a founding member and the Producing Artistic Director of Raven Theatre, where he has directed and set designed many productions, earning numerous Joseph Jefferson and After Dark awards. His productions include Hedda Gabler, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Night of the Iguana, The Sea Gull, American Buffalo, A Few Good Men, Dancing at Lughnasa, Golden Boy, Marvin’s Room, A Streetcar Named Desire, A View from the Bridge, You Can’t Take It with You, Glengarry Glen Ross, and others.
Twelve Angry Men
by Reginald Rose
directed by Aaron Todd Douglas
Previews: February 16 through 20, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Performances continue through April 17, 2010
Issues of race and class weigh heavy on this thrilling courtroom drama. Adapted from the 1954 teleplay of the same name, Twelve Angry Men follows the deliberation process of a murder trial where jurors must decide the fate of a young man, knowing that a guilty verdict also brings the death penalty. Aaron Todd Douglas directs the Raven revival with an interracial jury, looking into class distinctions as they occur within racial groups and taking a long look at where modern prejudices sleep.
Reginald Rose was a playwright and screenwriter who was inspired to write Twelve Angry Men by his service on a similar trial. Famous for his “slice of life” writing style, Rose’s scripts tackled heavy social issues of the time including abortion and black listing. Best known for his television dramas, Rose helped to define the Golden Age of Television, working with all three of the major networks.
Director Aaron Todd Douglas is a founding member and former Associate Artistic Director of Congo Square Theatre Ensemble where he recently directed Talented Tenth, awarded Best Play by Black Theatre Alliance. Also a part time faculty member at Loyola University, Douglas has worked with companies including Court Theatre, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Victory Gardens and Pegasus Players.
The Odd Couple
by Neil Simon
directed by Michael Menendian
Previews: May 18 through 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Performances continue through July 18, 2010
When dirty meets clean, everything gets messy. Raven closes the season with the side splitting comedy, Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. The play that inspired a movie and a television sitcom hilariously explores the social and cultural revolution of the 1960’s. Felix Unger, the neat freak news writer, is forced to move in with the slovenly sportswriter, Oscar Madison, after their marriages end. These two men must learn how to live together and face the dating scene without driving each other completely berserk. Are these two old dogs capable of learning some new tricks?
Neil Simon is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright. Presenting human weaknesses in an honest and uniquely comedic way, Simon mastered the art of making serious issues funny. This style of tension release and use of one-liners became very popular very quickly as his third play, The Odd Couple, brought him his first Tony Award.
Raven Theatre’s Annual Gala: BACK STAGE AT RAVEN
On August 1, 2009, Raven Theatre presents its 27th annual benefit event to support the company’s upcoming season and Arts Education program. The event will include a performance of original comic scenes of back stage antics, written by Producing Artistic Director Michael Menendian. The event includes dinner catered by Chef Freddy, with libations courtesy of Champions Saloon, along with a live auction. Doors open at 6:30pm. Tickets are $100 each. Call 773-338-2177.
Founded in 1983, Raven Theatre is dedicated to breathing new life into American classics and exploring other works that illuminate the American experience. In addition to its regular season, Raven produces a Workshop Series of new and experimental productions, as well as a Youth Program, including teaching partnerships with various Chicago Public Schools, summer youth classes and original children’s shows performed at Raven Theatre.
Raven Theatre Company is funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, Polk Bros. Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Yates-Feldman Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Prince Charitable Trust, The Mayer & Morris Kaplan Family Foundation, The Alphawood Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, , S & C Electric Company, The Department of Cultural Affairs, CityArts II, a city agency The McNeil Foundation and The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation.