Here’s the press release from Chicago Dramatists:
CHICAGO DRAMATISTS ANNOUNCES 2011-2012 SEASON
AND NEW PLAYS PARTNERSHIP WITH GOODMAN THEATRE
Chicago’s Home to Playwrights Presents an Electric New Season including a co-production with About Face Theatre
CHICAGO—Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Avenue, known for producing innovative and award-winning new work, is proud to announce its 33rd season featuring a newline-up of productions certain to spark excitement in 2011-2012. Last year, Chicago Dramatists’ season tugged at the heart strings with THE INVASION OF SKOKIE, gave a behind the scenes peek at the life of sex workers in BORDELLO, and captured the imaginations of audience members with the season-closer and fantastical production of the prize-winning play HICKORYDICKORY. Three of Chicago’s most promising stars of playwriting highlight the new season, along with a new exciting partnership with Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit, a season-long residency program for a handful of Chicago writers. Carrying out its 33 year-old-mission, Chicago Dramatists continues to nurture the city’s most promising playwrights and to push the envelope with the newest plays, helping to seal Chicago’s reputation as a leader in new plays for the American theatre.
THE KID THING, by Resident Playwright Sarah Gubbins, will kick off the season this fall. A co-production with About Face Theatre, THE KID THING, will preview September 1st, open September 9th and 10th, and close October 16th, 2011. Joanie Schultz will direct. In THE KID THING, sometimes good news isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When two lesbian couples, who have been close friends for years, get together for a dinner party, the unexpected news of an impending pregnancy manages to rock both relationships. When Jacob, an old college friend and the sperm donor of one of the couples, enters the picture, emotions run deep in this biting, witty piece with five different points of view on what it means to have a child erupt.
Chicago Dramatist Resident Playwright and About Face Theatre Artistic Associate Sarah Gubbins is a fourth generation Chicagoan. Her play Fair Use was developed at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company as part of their First Look Repertory of New Plays. Her plays have been read or produced at Second City. Collaboraction’s Sketchbook Festival, 20% Theatre Company, the Estrogen Fest and Rhino Fest in Chicago, Public Theater, the Alliance Theatre, and Bloomington Playwrights Project. Her play In Loco Parentis was recently produced by The Next Theater in Chicago as part of their What’s Next Series. She developed The Water Play at Bard College’s Voice & Vision in collaboration with Rivendell Theater Ensemble and received further development from the Goodman Theatre. Her short plays Out of Order and Mea Culpa were finalists for the Heideman Award at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. She wrote the book for the musical Fatty Arbuckle’s Spectacular Musical Revue which was produced by Second City Theatricals. Gubbins is also the recipient of two City of Chicago CAAP Individual Artist Grants and is the 2010-2011 Carl J. Djerassi Playwriting Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will be a 2011-2012 Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. She has been commissioned by the Steppenwolf Theatre and DePaul University. She recently collaborated with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange on A Matter of Origins and completed an M.F.A. in Writing for the Screen + Stage at Northwestern University.
The Chicago-based dark comedy BLIZZARD ‘67, by Resident Playwright Jon Steinhagen and directed by Chicago Dramatists’ Artistic Director Russ Tutterow, will preview January 5th, open January 13th and 14th, and close February 12, 2012. Four actors using only four chairs perform the story of a carpool of confident businessmen who evolve into cowards and criminals during the worst snowstorm ever to hit Chicago. The production’s run will fall within the 45th anniversary of that in famous blizzard that shut down the city for days.
Jon Steinhagen is an author, actor, musician, composer/lyricist and finalist for the first Noël Coward Award. In 2009, he was awarded First Prize in the Julie Harris Playwriting competition for his comedy The Analytical Engine, which received its World Premiere at Circle Theatre in 2010. He wrote the book, music, and lyrics of the musical The Teapot Scandals, which received its World Premiere at Porchlight. The Teapot Scandals received a Jeff Award nomination for Best New Work. His play catalog includes The Applewood Pistols (an “original Chekhov comedy” based on Chekhov’s notebooks), The Altoona Dada Society Presents “The Velvet Gentleman” (2010 New York International Fringe Festival), Something More Comfortable (Syracuse University), Second Mouse, Dating Walter Dante (opening February 2011 at Raven Theatre), Aces (premiering at Signal Ensemble Theatre May 2011), Ponzi on Sunday(Chameleon Theatre Circle), and Boats Against the Current (a “prequel” of The Great Gatsby). A collection of his shorter plays, Typical Abnormal Behavior, premiered at the Midtown International Theatre Festival in 2009. Steinhagen is also an award-winning musical director, arranger, and actor who has received four Jeff Awards, six After Dark Awards, and four Jeff nominations for his work in Chicago. He is a member of The Dramatist’s Guild and the Chicago Federation of Musicians, an artistic associate of Porchlight Music Theatre, and a company member of Signal Ensemble Theatre.
Chicago Dramatists closes its season with Resident Playwright Andrew Hinderaker’s I AM GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD. As a boy, John Chapman vowed to become a billionaire by 35. And when he graduates as Northwestern University’s valedictorian and lands an interview with Goldman Sachs, his dreams are within reach. But on the morning of his interview, John’s alarm fails him, and when he finally wakes, it’s to a life he never imagined possible. The production, directed by Jonathan Berry, will preview May 24th, open June 1st and 2nd, and close the season on July 1st, 2012.
Andrew Hinderaker is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. His play Suicide, Incorporated will have a NY premiere at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Underground in Fall 2011. It was developed at the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and world premiered at Chicago’s Gift Theatre in June 2010 to critical acclaim. The production, also directed by Berry, enjoyed a twice-extended sold-out run and was nominated for multiple Jeff Awards, including Best New Work. Hinderaker’s follow-up, Kingsville, premiered at Chicago’s Stage Left Theatre in October 2010. It was featured in American Theater Magazine, and was a finalist for the Woodward/Newman Drama Award. Hinderaker’s plays have been developed and produced at such theatre companies as the Araca Group, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, American Theater Company, and the side project.
Additional recognitions for Hinderaker’s work include a nomination for the 2010 Otis Guernsey New Voices in American Playwriting Award, and Finalist/Semi-Finalist status for the Princess Grace Award, the Heideman Award, and the Austin Film Festival. He holds two degrees from Stanford University, and is currently pursuing his M.F.A in Playwriting at the University of Texas at Austin.
Chicago Dramatists is also proud to begin an ongoing partnership with Goodman Theatre in 2011-12, providing development support for the Goodman’s Playwrights Unit, a season-long residency program designed to nurture Chicago’s most promising playwrights. The writers develop new plays over the course of the residency, culminating in final readings of their works-in-progress in the Spring at the Goodman. The Playwrights Unit is part of the Goodman’s ongoing initiatives to commission and develop new plays.
Chicago Dramatists will provide assistance and consultation on the selection of the writers invited to join the Unit and host a mid-commission reading of each of their work. In addition, Chicago Dramatists will work with the Goodman artistic staff to offer the playwrights a menu of new play development services including readings, special programs and dramaturgical support. Additionally, Chicago Dramatists will partner with the Goodman artistic staff on future collaborative projects, including a long-term project to develop an online companion tool that focuses on the development of playwrights and new plays. The Goodman and Chicago Dramatists will work together to assess and enhance tools that help theatres of all sizes to communicate effectively online with artists and students involved in their new play development programs. This project has the potential to assist a variety of artists better develop, market and advocate their work, and give producers and theatres greater access to a wider range of potential artists.
About Goodman Theatre
Goodman Theatre, Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit theater, has won international renown for the quality of productions, the depth and diversity of artistic leadership, and the excellence of its many community and educational programs. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the Goodman is committed to producing both classic and contemporary works, giving full voice to a wide range of artists and visions. Central to that mission is the Goodman Artistic Collective, a diverse group of outstanding theater artists whose distinctive visions have given the Goodman an artistic identity of uncommon richness and variety. By dedicating itself to three guiding principles—quality, diversity, and community—Goodman Theatre seeks to be the premier cultural organization in Chicago, providing productions and programs that make an essential contribution to the quality of life in our city.
About Face Theatre
About Face Theatre (Bonnie Metzgar, Artistic Director; Jason L. Held, Executive Director) is one of Chicago’s most acclaimed theatre companies, and is a national leader in the development of new work exploring gender and sexual identity. Since its founding by Kyle Hall and Eric Rosen in 1995, the company has premiered more than 30 new plays by writers and directors who have been recognized with several Tony Awards, The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The MacArthur Fellowship and dozens of Joseph Jefferson Awards.
About Chicago Dramatists
In the fall of 1979, four playwrights came together to hear their work read aloud and to hone their craft. Today, Chicago Dramatists’ amazing record of achievement has landed them an invaluable place in the artistic community as a vital source of inspiration to 40 Resident Playwrights, 160 Associate Playwrights, 60 Associate Artists, and thousands of audience members. Over the past three decades, Chicago Dramatists has worked with over a thousand playwrights, produced and developed thousands of plays and stayed true to its mission to nurture compelling, challenging and diverse plays that move on to productions, earn awards, and define the American theatre. Chicago Dramatists has helped launch the career of hundreds of award-winning writers, including Tina Fey (30 Rock), Rick Cleveland (Mad Men), Rebecca Gilman (Spinning Into Butter), Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House), Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly) and Keith Huff (A Steady Rain). Each season Chicago Dramatists presents three World Premiere productions and the signature Saturday Series, weekly staged readings of plays-in-progress. The theatre also conducts educational outreach to at-risk students at Chicago Public Schools, awakening the possibility of self-expression by writing for the theatre. Through passionate dedication, personal nurture and careful exposure, Chicago Dramatists carries on its thirty-two-year-old mission of developing new plays and playwrights for the next generation of theatre.
Chicago Dramatists is located just minutes from the Loop at 1105 W. Chicago Avenue, at the 24-hour Chicago Avenue stop of the Blue Line subway, and is just off the Ogden and Augusta exits of the Kennedy Expressway. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. Individual ticket prices are $32, and student tickets are offered for all Thursday performances at $15. There is street parking available, a detailed parking map can be found at www.chicagodramatists.org/parking. For more information or reservations visit www.chicagodramatists.org.