Here’s the press release from Writers’:
Writers’ Theatre announces 2009/10 season, to feature works by Tom Stoppard, Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams and John Henry Redwood with directors Michael Halberstam, David Cromer, Ron OJ Parson and Jim Corti
Glencoe, IL-Writers’ Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce the company’s 18th season, which includes Tom Stoppard’s comedic masterpiece Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, directed by Michael Halberstam; Noel Coward’s musical revue, Oh Coward! to be performed in Writers’ most intimate venue; The Old Settler by John Henry Redwood, directed by Ron OJ Parson; and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by David Cromer.
“Classic Stoppard, the best of Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams at the peak of his achievement and a contemporary American play which delivers a highly unconventional message in the folds of a most conventional story are the driving forces behind the 2009/10 Season,” said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. “I am exhilarated to welcome David Cromer back to Writers’ Theatre. It will be his fifth production with us and certainly one of his most exciting projects to date. Ron OJ Parson brings the power of his emerging directorial prowess to Glencoe. Jim Corti, who is a veteran musical champion both in Chicago and New York, will helm the effervescent Coward revue in the bookstore. This is a season that celebrates the sophistication, breadth and diversity of our artistic landscape here in Chicago.”
Writers’ Theatre performs in two performance spaces in Glencoe – its 50-seat venue at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave, and its 108-seat theatre at 325 Tudor Court in the Woman’s Library Club. Subscriptions and Memberships are available at the Box Office, 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-242-6000 and www.writerstheatre.org.
THE 2009/10 WRITERS’ THEATRE SEASON IS:
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam
Performed at 325 Tudor Court
Run dates: September 29 – December 6, 2009
Press Opening: October 8, 2009
Hamlet, Shakespeare’s greatest drama, is retold from the perspective of his schoolmates, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, in Tom Stoppard’s comedic masterpiece. Equal parts Laurel and Hardy, Waiting for Godot and classic Shakespeare, Stoppard’s scintillating wit, far-reaching imagination and astonishing skill with words traces the journey of these fascinating characters as they struggle to avoid the inevitability of the Bard’s tragic conclusion.
A Musical Comedy Revue
Words and Music by Noel Coward
Devised by Roderick Cook
Directed by Jim Corti
Performed at 664 Vernon Avenue
Run dates: November 17, 2009 – March 21, 2010
Press Openings: December 2 & 3, 2009
You’re invited to a marvelous party! Weaving together songs and literary delights, Oh Coward! celebrates one of the theater’s greatest entertainers, Noel Coward. His effervescent music and charming quips combine for an unforgettable evening of the most memorable tunes of the 20th century.
The Old Settler
By John Henry Redwood
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
Performed at 325 Tudor Court
Run dates: February 2 – March 28, 2010
Press Opening: February 11, 2010
It’s Harlem in the Spring of 1943. Elizabeth and Quilly, sisters of a certain age, are quietly nursing their loneliness and healing from heartache when their lives together change abruptly. Husband Witherspoon, a handsome young border, moves to New York from the country in search of his fiancée, and ends up finding love in the most unlikely of places. Told with heartwarming sincerity, humor and a touch of poetry, The Old Settler paints a poignant picture of two women testing the bonds of family and finding the strength and forgiveness only family can offer.
A Streetcar Named Desire
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by David Cromer
Performed at 325 Tudor Court
Run dates: May 4 – July 11, 2010
Press Opening: May 13, 2010
One of Chicago’s foremost directors takes on one of the country’s greatest plays. After staging last season’s nationally acclaimed production of Picnic, David Cromer returns to Writers’ Theatre. Hailed a “genius” by The Wall Street Journal and fresh from his Broadway debut, Cromer directs Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize winning drama, A Streetcar Named Desire.
Blanche DuBois, an aging southern belle, arrives unexpectedly on the doorstep of her sister Stella and her explosive brother-in-law Stanley. Over the course of one hot and steamy New Orleans summer, Blanche’s fragile façade slowly crumbles, wreaking havoc on Stella and Stanley’s already turbulent relationship. Embodying the turmoil and drama of a changing nation, A Streetcar Named Desire strips Williams’ tortured characters of their illusions, leaving a wake of destruction in their path.
Writers’ Theatre season ticket packages provide a convenient theatergoing experience to accommodate busy lives. The Writers’ Theatre Membership is $185 and provides ultimate flexibility. The Subscription is $200 and offers patrons a preset schedule with the guarantee of the same seat for all of their originally scheduled performances.
Members and Subscribers are given the opportunity to make up a missed performance at no cost with Writers’ Rain Checks benefit. Members and Subscribers also receive free ticket exchanges by phone, mail and fax, show reminders by email before each scheduled performance and a one-year subscription to The Brief Chronicle newsmagazine.
Subscriptions and Memberships are available at the Box Office, 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-242-6000 and www.writerstheatre.org.
Writers’ Theatre guest artists will guide patrons through the inner-workings of each production. By providing details that enhance the Writers’ Theatre experience, each lecture will increase audience appreciation for the production to follow. The pre-show lectures begin at 5:00 p.m. on select Sunday evening performances. Pre-show lectures are offered free of charge and open to the public..
Writers’ Theatre artistic staff and cast members will host lively post-show discussions. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions about the process, the characters and the production. Post-show discussions are offered at no additional cost after select Tuesday and Wednesday evening performances.
About the current season:
Old Glory by Brett Neveu, is a world premiere production commissioned through the Writers’ Theatre Literary Development Initiative. The production, directed by William Brown, runs through March 29, 2009, at 325 Tudor Court.
Shrouded in mystery, the circumstances surrounding six ordinary people grappling with the emotional casualties of war unfold in the latest work from Brett Neveu, one of Chicago’s hottest young playwrights. William Brown, director of last season’s triumphant As You Like It, explores with fierce wit and gritty honesty what happens when you play by the rules-and lose. The cast includes LaShawn Banks, Steve Haggard, Philip Earl Johnson, Tom McElroy, Penny Slusher and Marcus Truschinski.
Old Glory is generously sponsored by Urban Innovations.
Jean Genet’s The Maids, directed by Jimmy McDermott, runs through March 22, 2009 at 664 Vernon Avenue.
When the mistress is away, the maids will play. Two women in service to a younger socialite pass the moments of their day in playacting and fantasy. As the line between fantasy and reality begins to disintegrate, their games take a deadly turn. Jealousy, resentment, sexual tension and murder converge in this 1947 classic French thriller. Jimmy McDermott, one of the city’s most exciting young directors, brings his trademark edginess to this seminally rebellious play. The production features Elizabeth Laidlaw, Helen Sadler and Niki Lindgren.
The World Premiere of A Minister’s Wife, a new musical adapted from Candida by George Bernard Shaw, with music by Joshua Schmidt and lyrics by Jan Tranen is adapted by Austin Pendleton and directed by Michael Halberstam. The production will run May 19-July 19, 2009, at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe.
After his unanimously acclaimed New York debut, Adding Machine, Writers’ Theatre Associate Artist Josh Schmidt has become the most eagerly anticipated young musical theatre composer in the country. His second creation adapted from Candida by George Bernard Shaw in collaboration with artistic director Michael Halberstam, playwright Austin Pendleton and lyricist Jan Tranen, receives its world premiere in Glencoe. Reverend James Morell and his wife, Candida, are happily married-at least so they think. But when Eugene Marchbanks, a romantic young poet aims to rescue Candida from the “tedium” of her domestic routine, everyone’s world is turned upside down. Sharp, witty and tender, A Minister’s Wife explores the fires burning beneath the surface of an ordinary marriage and discovers a secret in the heart. The production features Liz Baltes, Kate Fry, Kevin Gudahl, John Sanders and Alan Schmuckler.
The corporate sponsor for A Minister’s Wife is Magnetar Capital. Additional support provided by The Elizabeth Cheney Foundation and a select group of Writer’s Theatre’s most generous supporters: Avy and Marcie Stein, Mary Pat Studdert, Joyce Chelberg, David and Caroline Colburn, Louise Hart, Dick and Lou Hurckes and Sonia Marschak.
The 2008/09 Season at Writers’ Theatre is generously supported by Mary Winton Green.
About Writers’ Theatre
Writers’ Theatre is a professional company focusing on the Word and the Artist. Remaining true to the intention of the playwright and nurturing the artist stand at the center of the mission. Now in its 17th season, the company both revives classic scripts and cultivates new works and adaptations while invigorating them with fresh energy in the intimacy of its venues. Founded in 1992, Writers’ Theatre performed exclusively at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Avenue for the first 12 years. In the fall of 2003, the organization opened a new 108 seat performance venue at 325 Tudor Court. Today, Writers’ Theatre continues to produce in both spaces, maintaining an intimate theatrical experience for audiences. Since 2000, the subscriber base has grown almost 250%, from 1,500 to more than 5,400 today. With an operating budget of $3.4 million, Writers’ Theatre is supported by a staff of 18 full-time employees and a 31-member Board of Trustees.