PEGASUS PLAYERS ANNOUNCES 2009-2010 SEASON
Featuring a World Premiere production in collaboration with MPAACT, two Chicago Premieres and the 24th Annual Young Playwrights Festival
CHICAGO – September 14, 2009 – Pegasus Players Executive/Artistic Director Christopher Schram is proud to announce the company’s 2009-2010 season, featuring: a World Premiere collaboration with African-centered theater company MPAACT titled Ten Square, September 25-November 22, 2009; the Chicago Premiere of Dael Orlandersmith’s The Gimmick, February 11-March 28, 2010; the return of Pegasus Players’ annual Young Playwrights Festival, January 7-31, 2010; and the Chicago Premiere of the acclaimed satire The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), May 6-June 20, 2010.
“As Pegasus Players enters its 31st season, we want to continue to honor the company’s mission of presenting theater that is provocative, relevant and challenging,” said Schram. “Ten Square is a wonderful opportunity to partner with MPAACT, another Chicago ensemble who thrives to produce theater that explores cultural values and social-political influences. Dael Orlandersmith’s play is a brilliant work that crafts rich, memorable characters that are heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. The Young Playwrights Festival is a Pegasus tradition that we look forward to every year, and a wonderful opportunity to watch the creative talent of teenagers blossom. Rounding out the season on a lighter note is a hilarious musical theater satire, which definitely has something for everyone.”
In chronological order, Pegasus Players’ 2009-2010 season includes:
The World Premiere of
Ten Square by Shepsu Aakhu
Directed by Mignon McPherson Nance
September 25 – November 22, 2009
The fictional Ten Square tells a tale of what America could be, and much of what America has already become, in the not-too-distant future. On the heels of the government’s apology to African-Americans for slavery, the Reparations Movement was born. The movement was successful, checks were written to the descendants of slaves, and the seeds for a new America were sown. Ten Square is one of the cities that emerged in “New America” and the life of the African-American community has been forever altered. Roosevelt, a resident of Ten Square and a soldier duty-bound to protect the new world order, must negotiate between his obligations to his lover, his family and his government.
Shepsu Aakhu, playwright-in-residence with MPAACT, has developed several critically acclaimed works in the Playwright’s Laboratory. In 2004, Aakhu was awarded the prestigious Artistic Fellowship in Scriptworks by the Illinois Arts Council. He is a two-time recipient of the Theodore Ward Prize for African-American Playwriting, for Ten Square (2008-2009) and Kiwi Black (2001-2002).
The 24th Annual Young Playwrights Festival
Festival Director: Ilesa Duncan
January 7 – 31, 2009
An annual Chicago tradition and the oldest of its kind in the country, this year’s Young Playwrights Festival received over 800 plays written by teenagers throughoutChicago, marking a record number of submissions. Three winning teen playwrights will be selected to have their work receive a fully produced performance at Pegasus Players. Young Playwrights Festival showcases the next generation of playwrights, allowing audiences a unique glimpse into the minds of today’s youth.
The Chicago Premiere of
The Gimmick by Dael Orlandersmith
Directed by Ilesa Duncan
February 11 – March 28, 2010
Dael Orlandersmith’s The Gimmick tells the story of Alexis, a young girl growing up in Harlem in the 1980’s for whom literature and writing provide a literal escape from a future of abuse, neglect, drugs, and prostitution.
In 2006, Orlandersmith won a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship. She won an Obie Award for Beauty’s Daughter, written and performed at The American Place Theatre. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize Award Finalist and Drama Desk Award Nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play forYellowman at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2002. She was a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist with The Gimmick in 1999 and won for Yellowman. She first performed her one-woman show Stoop Stories in 2008 at The Public Theater and is currently performing it in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre.
The Chicago Premiere of
The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)
Music by Eric Rockwell, lyrics by Joanne Bogart, book by Eric Rockwell and Joanna Bogart
May 6 – June 20, 2010
The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), an Off-Broadway hit and Drama Desk Award nominee, tells the timeless tale of the ingénue who can’t pay her rent, the evil landlord, the hero boyfriend, and the wise older woman, in the distinctive styles of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander & Ebb. One story becomes five delightful musicals in this homage to some of Broadway’s greatest and most familiar composers.
Pegasus Players is offering a special season subscription priced at $50 until October 1, 2009. Beginning October 2, season subscriptions will be priced at $75. Subscriptions and individual tickets for Ten Square may be purchased online at www.pegasusplayers.org or by contacting the Pegasus Players box office at 773-878-9761.
For 31 years Pegasus Players has been committed to providing high quality, socially-conscious theatrical programming to the people of Chicago, especially those who have limited access to the arts. Pegasus Players is committed to presenting new and contemporary work that crosses cultural, social, and geographical boundaries and brings communities together by presenting works that provoke conversation. Through programs such as its annual Young Playwrights Festival and international tours of its productions, Pegasus Players has touched the hearts, minds and futures of thousands of people throughout Chicago and around the world. Pegasus Players has received 79 Joseph Jefferson Citations, more than any other theater in its category.
Pegasus Players is located at 1145 W. Wilson Avenue at the O’Rourke Center on the campus of Truman College. For more information please visitwww.pegasusplayers.org or call 773-878-9761.