Here’s the press release from Raven Theatre:
RAVEN THEATRE ANNOUNCE 2011-2012 SEASON
Truth CHICAGO – Producing Artistic Director Michael Menendian and Co-Artistic Director JoAnn Montemurro announce Raven Theatre’s 2011/2012 Season, which includes Bus Stop by William Inge, Dating Walter Dante, a world premiere by Chicago playwright, Jon Steinhagen,developed through Raven’s New Works workshop series; The Price by Arthur Miller and Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris and adapted for the stage by Eric Simonson.
Through these plays, Raven explores the nature of “hidden truth,” the truth we hide from both others and ourselves. Does uncovering the hidden truth lead to the type of self awareness that helps to rebuild relationships or does it ultimately destroy them? Searching for the truth can be easy and finding the truth can be terrifying, but acceptance of the truth is life changing.
Raven kicks off its 29th season with its annual benefit gala – Twenty-Nine, So Divine – held this year at The Swedish American Museum Gallery on Friday, August 5, 2011. Also, season subscriptions are available for $55 to $85. Visit www.raventheatre.com or call 773-338-2177.
Raven Theatre’s 2011/2012 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.
Performances take place at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark
Tickets are $20 during previews, $30 all regular performances
$40 on opening nights
($5 off the regular ticket price for students/seniors)
Subscription packages are: Preview package for $55 and the Flexible package for $85 (valid anytime).
Additional benefits of subscribing include free ticket exchanges, priority seating, free concessions, special friends 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
An American classic by William Inge
directed by Co-Artistic Director JoAnn Montemurro
Previews: October 11 through 15, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
“Out at Raven” performance: Friday, October 21, 2011
Performances continue through December 11, 2011
A lot can happen in a single night. In a rural Kansas diner on a snowy night, things heat up when stranded passengers of a cross-country bus explore love in all of its many guises. This enchanting comedic drama portrays the full spectrum of romantic relationships.
William Inge, often referred to as the “Playwright of the Midwest”, frequently depicted characters and relationships in the context of small town life in the Midwest. In his later works, he became one of the first playwrights to directly address homosexuality. Inge won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1953 for his play Picnic. Other plays include The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Glory in the Flower and Natural Affection.
Director JoAnn Montemurro is a co-founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Raven Theatre where she has directed productions of The Long Goodbye, Lord Byron’s Love Letter and Grace & Glorie. She has also appeared as an actress in many roles. Along with co-artistic director Michael Menendian, JoAnn received a special Jeff Award for outstanding contribution to Chicago theatre in 2008.
Dating Walter Dante (World Premiere)
Written by Jon Steinhagen
Directed by Cody Estle
Previews: February 7 through 11, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
“Out at Raven” performance: Friday, February 17, 2012
Performances continue Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through March 24, 2012
All performances take place on Raven’s West Stage
His first wife may or may not have died accidentally. His second wife is missing. The police watch him around the clock. Walter Dante isn’t exactly a prize catch. Which is why Laura Bakersfield shocks her friends when they find out she’s dating Walter Dante! A dark and delicious comedy developed through Raven’s own Workshop Series.
Jon Steinhagen is a Resident Playright at Chicago Dramatists. In 2009, his play The Analytical Engine took first prize in the Julie Harris Playwriting Awards. His musical, The Teapot Scandals (for which he wrote book, music and lyrics) was produced by Porchlight Music Theatre and was nominated for a Jeff Award (Equity) in 2007 in the Best New Work category. He received a producer-author initiative grant from NAMT in 2005 and received an After Dark Award for Best New Work for The Teapot Scandals. His collection of short plays, Perfectly Natural, was produced at the Midtown International Theatre Festival in NYC in 2009. Mr. Steinhagen has received four Jeff Awards and six After Dark Awards for musical direction, writing or acting. His work will also be seen at Signal Ensemble Theatre in May of 2011 (Aces) and in the next season at Chicago Dramatists.
Cody Estle makes his Chicago lead directorial debut with the world premiere of Dating Walter Dante. Previous assistant directing credits include The Detective’s Wife (Writers’ Theatre, director Gary Griffin), Wreckage (Caffeine Theatre, director Joanie Schultz), In Loco Parentis (Next Theatre, director Joanie Schultz), The Cherry Orchard (Strawdog Theatre, director Kimberly Senior), Self Defense (Act One Conservatory, director Kimberly Senior), and Iphigeneology (The Neapolitans, director Susan Padveen). Cody most recently directed The Teacher by Olivia Arieti for The Neapolitans Theatre Company’s Off Chekhov Festival.
by Arthur Miller
directed by Michael Menendian
Previews: February 28 through March 3, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
“Out at Raven” performance: Friday, March 9, 2012
Performances continue through April 14, 2012
Two long estranged brothers — one a cop of limited means, the other a successful doctor — meet in the attic of a New York City brownstone to sort through their deceased parents’ belongings. Each has paid a price to get where they are in life and their stories unfold in this penetrating family drama.
Arthur Miller was an American dramatist who was honored with the Pulitzer Prize, the Jefferson Lecture and many other prestigious awards. Among his best known works are All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and A View From the Bridge. His plays are appreciated most for their personal ties to his life and their political criticism, famously resulting in Miller’s investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Director Michael Menendian is a founding member and the Producing Artistic Director of Raven Theatre, where he has directed and designed sets for many productions, earning numerous Joseph Jefferson and After Dark awards. He recently received a 2010 Jeff nomination for his direction of Raven’sDeath of a Salesman. Other productions include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Hedda Gabler, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, The Night of the Iguana, Dancing at Lughnasa, Golden Boy, Marvin’s Room, A Streetcar Named Desire, A View from the Bridge, and Glengarry Glen Ross.
Bang the Drum Slowly
by Mark Harris, adapted for the stage by Eric Simonson
directed by Michael Menendian
Previews: May 15 through May 19, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
“Out at Raven” performance: Friday, May 25, 2012
Performances continue through July 14, 2012
A moving look at life, loyalty and America’s pastime, this touching drama unfolds during a season of baseball with the New York Mammoths, focusing on the friendship between a world-wise star pitcher and a country boy catcher struggling to cope with devastating news.
Mark Harris was a novelist, journalist, and educator who found his voice discussing death and tragedy through a humorous and everyday vernacular. Bang the Drum Slowly was the second of a quartet of novels about baseball players; the others being The Southpaw, A Ticket for a Seamstitch, and It Looked Like For Ever. The most well known of the quartet, Bang the Drum Slowly, was adapted for a television anthology series, a major motion picture, and a stage production.
Eric Simonson is a playwright and adaptor whose work has been produced in Japan and throughout the United States at theaters including Steppenwolf, The Huntington Theatre Company, L.A. Theatre Works, City Theatre of Pittsburgh, The Kennedy Center, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, Madison Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Crossroads Theatre Company. His adaptation of Moby Dick at Milwaukee Repertory was chosen as one of Time Magazine’s top ten productions of 2002. Also an accomplished theatre, film and opera director, he has received six Tony Award nominations, an Academy Award, and a Princess Grace Statue Award. Raven Theatre’s Annual Gala:
TWENTY-NINE, SO DIVINE! at The Swedish American Museum Gallery
On Friday August 5, 2011, Raven Theatre presents Twenty-Nine, So Divine!, its 29th annual benefit event to support the company’s upcoming season and Arts Education program. Held at The Swedish American Museum Gallery, Twenty-Nine, So Divine! is the perfect way to spend a pleasant summer evening, in support of a Chicago theatre establishment. The event will include a performance of selected scenes from the upcoming season and beyond, performed by Raven’s award-winning ensemble. Dinner is catered by Acre and Anteprima Restaurants, with libations courtesy of Fritzy’s Tavern, along with a silent auction. Doors open at 6:30pm. Tickets are $100 each. Call 773-338-2177.
“Out at Raven”
Now in its second year, Raven Theatre reaches out to the LGBTQ community through their event series, “Out at Raven”. This series demonstrates Raven’s appreciation of and commitment to the LGBTQ community, providing an opportunity to mingle and network during one Friday night performance of each mainstage show. Tickets for each “Out at Raven” performance include a post-show wine and appetizer reception and discussion with the cast and director.
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 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, Yates-Feldman Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Alphawood Foundation, The Arts Engagement Exchange through The Chicago Community Trust, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Saints, S & C Electric Company, The Department of Cultural Affairs, CityArts II, a city agency, and The Kinder Morgan Foundation.