Here’s the press release from Signal Ensemble Theatre:
SIGNAL ENSEMBLE THEATRE ANNOUNCES 2011-2012,
9th ANNIVERSARY SEASON, INCLUDING FOUR PREMIERES
DEBUT OF THE ENSEMBLE PROJECT
Signal Ensemble Theatre announces their 2011-2012, 9th anniversary season, continuing to perform in their own space, a permanent, leased venue in Chicago’s North Center/Lincoln Square district. The group will also debut an initiative called The Ensemble Project, where Signal ensemble members can produce their own projects – including theatre, art, music, and other disciplines – at the Signal space, although not as an “official” Signal production. The first Ensemble Project event will be Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape,” produced and directed by ensemble member Aaron Snook (see below).
Signal’s 2011-2012 Season
Chicago Premiere of “East of Berlin” and the American Premiere of “The Russian Play,”
October 15-November 13, 2011, by Hannah Moscovitch, directed by Ronan Marra
World Premiere of “Motion,” January 28-March 3, 2012, by Ronan Marra, directed by Aaron Snook
Chicago Premiere of musical “Hostage Song,” May 5-June 9, 2012, by Clay McLeod Chapman and Kyle Jarrow, directed by Ronan Marra
Co-Artistic Director Ronan Marra said, “Continuing Signal’s themed season initiative, we chose politics to pull our selections together this year. All these productions fit within this framework, in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. We also wanted to emphasize work that hasn’t been seen in Chicago before, so we assembled all premieres. The ensemble fell in love with Hannah Moscovitch’s writing and wanted to be the first to bring her work to the American Midwest with these two one-acts. The ridiculous labor standoff in the NFL, under the specter of the narrowly-avoided government lockout, prompted our choice for the world premiere of the comedy-drama ‘Motion.’ And, given our recent success with musicals and our desire to locate unorthodox musical theatre, ‘Hostage Song’ captivated us and we didn’t hesitate to pursue the Chicago premiere of this exciting and daring piece.”
“We’ve also created The Ensemble Project to provide our ensemble members and associates with an outlet for their individual projects. Signal’s mission speaks to our commitment to challenge and support our distinguished ensemble in their artistic growth. The season of shows provide opportunities to grow as an ensemble within the framework of the company’s vision, and we recognize our artists’ potential as individuals outside of that as well. The Ensemble Projects aren’t limited to the theatrical medium and can be proposed at any time. Upon approval, Signal provides the space, certain marketing opportunities and other help, which is determined on a case-by-case basis. The individual is the primary producer on this venture and assumes the remaining production responsibilities.”
Play descriptions are below, and more production details will be released as they become available. The Signal Ensemble Theatre is located at 1802 West Berenice Avenue, on Chicago’s north side, and is air-conditioned and handicapped accessible. Street parking is available on Ravenswood and Berenice (which runs one way going west), and reachable via CTA Brown line EL stops Irving Park and Addison, as well as CTA busses #80-Irving Park, #152-Addison, #50-Damen, and #11-Lincoln.
Regular Signal performances will run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. Regular ticket prices are $20 for single tickets; and $15 for students, seniors and industry members (with ID), plus for each member in groups of 15 or more. Tickets and information are available at 773-347-1350 and www.signalensemble.com; plus Signal offers some tickets via www.Goldstar.com during runs.
Founded in 2003, award-winning Signal Ensemble Theatre’s mission is to inspire our audience with a kaleidoscope of compelling theatre, while continuing to challenge and support our distinguished ensemble in their artistic growth. Since 2004, Signal’s exclusive corporate sponsor has been Productions Plus (www.productions-plus.com). The Signal artistic staff includes ensemble members Ronan Marra, Co-Artistic Director; Joseph Stearns, Co-Artistic Director; Stephanie Ehemann, Managing Director; Aaron Snook, Development Director/Dramaturg; Philip Winston, Marketing Director; Anthony Ingram, Production Manager; Simone Roos, Guest Liaison; Meredith Bell Alvarez, Event Planner; Bries Vannon, Literary Manager; Vincent L. Lonergan, Casting Associate; Melanie Keller, Casting Associate; Georgann Charuhas, Marketing Associate; Christopher Prentice, Artistic Advisor. Additional ensemble members include Melania Lancy and Jon Steinhagen, with artistic associates Julie Ballard, Laura Dana and Brandon Bruce.
Signal Ensemble Production Details:
Two One-Acts: Chicago Premiere of “East of Berlin” and the American Premiere of “The Russian Play,” by Hannah Moscovitch, directed by co-artistic director Ronan Marra, previews October 13 and 14, opens October 15, closes November 13.
In “East of Berlin,” Rudi is standing outside his father’s study in Paraguay, working up the courage to go in. It has been seven years since Rudi left his family and its Nazi past behind him. Questioning redemption, love, guilt and the sins of the father, this play is a tour-de-force that follows Rudi’s emotional upheaval as he comes to terms with a frightening past that was never his own.
Set amidst the doomed men and rotten ideals of Stalinist Russian, “The Russian Play” tells the story of a flower-shop girl who falls in love with a gravedigger – a bleak, bittersweet and darkly satiric ode to the dangerous joys of love.
This evening of two one-acts will offer “East of Berlin,” then an intermission, then “The Russian Play,” running approximately two hours and ten minutes total.
World Premiere of “Motion,” by Ronan Marra, directed by Aaron Snook, previews January 26 and 27, opens January 28, closes March 3.
How hard can it be for two organizations to split a nine-billion dollar pie? Impossible, apparently. Drew is a hotshot agent hell bent on making his blue-chip but troubled client the number one pick in the pro football draft, until the team that owns the pick hires his ex-wife to rebuild the long-suffering franchise. Obstacles surmount as Drew angles to get the best possible deal for his client, but does any of it matter when labor discord threatens the very existence of the game? From the writer of Signal’s hit jukebox musical “Aftermath.”
The show will run about 90 minutes with one ten-minute intermission.
Chicago Premiere of the indie rock musical “Hostage Song,” stories and book by Clay McLeod Chapman, music and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow, directed by Ronan Marra, previews May 3 and 4, opens May 5, closes June 9.
Bound and blindfolded in a war-torn country, two hostages take refuge in music, memory and each other in this provocative indie-rock musical. The New Yorker called it “A high-decibel romantic comedy with a seriously unnerving edge” and Time Out New York called it “A devastatingly poignant, strangely philosophical meditation on salvation that just happens to sport a sick downbeat.”
The show will run about 90 minutes with no intermission.
The Ensemble Project Confirmed Production:
“Krapp’s Last Tape” by Samuel Beckett, runs July 11-August 7, 2011, directed by Aaron Snook, featuring Vincent L. Lonergan. Runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. Pay-what-you-can tickets; reservations at 773.347.1350 or email@example.com