Here’s the press release from Theater Wit:
THEATER WIT ANNOUNCES 2011-12 SEASON, PLUS CHICAGO’S FIRST NETFLIX-LIKE LIVE THEATER MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM
Become a Theater Wit Member, see the company’s Chicago debuts of Jason Wells’ The North Plan, Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still, David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries, plus Chicago’s most diverse slate of off-Loop plays and musicals, whenever you like, as often as you like
CHICAGO, July 20, 2011 – Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler has been busy pinning down the company’s 2011-2012 season line-up, which boasts the Chicago premiere of Jason Wells’ spine tingling apocalyptic drama The North Plan, the Midwest debut of Kim Rosenstock’s hot new dark comedy Tiger Be Still, plus the return of Chicago’s favorite alt-holiday comedy, The Santaland Diaries.
Meanwhile, Wechsler has completely booked his new three-theater venue through June 2012 with an incredibly eclectic slate of new plays and musicals by Chicago’s most popular and accomplished off-Loop theater companies, ranging from Stage Left and BoHo to TimeLine, Griffin and Porchlight Music Theatre.
But most of all, Wechsler has been quietly plotting to turn Chicago’s ticket-buying world on its head by introducing the new Theater Wit Membership Program: Chicago’s first Netflix-like membership option at a live theater multi-plex.
With a Theater Wit Membership, you can see as many plays as you want at Theater Wit, year round, for one low monthly fee of $36 ($30 for students). Using your unique member ID, you can reserve a seat at any production in the facility, either in advance or just drop by on impulse.
“A Theater Wit membership is radically different from the usual subscription or flex plan models,” Wechsler explained. “With a Theater Wit membership, you can attend as many different shows as you want each month. You can come once, twice or five times a week at no additional charge. You can also come back to the same production for free as many times as you wish, at no additional charge.”
“Our goal here is to encourage cross-pollination among Theater Wit productions and those presented by our resident and rental companies,” Wechsler added. “We want to be seen by the community as Chicago’s #1 hub for affordable, stop-in-anytime access to most diverse, entertaining line-up of off-Loop plays and musicals in the city.”
On board with the program are acclaimed resident companies Bohemian Theatre Ensemble and Stage Left, which will both present their entire 2011-2012 seasons at “Chicago’s best new performance venue” (Time Out Chicago). So are visiting companies TimeLine Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Route 66 Theatre Company, New Millennium Theatre Company, BONEdance, Salomee Spelt, The Strange Tree Group, and DePaul Theatre School.
Theater Wit Membership Packages are on sale now. There is no initiation or start-up fee for a Theater Wit membership, but members must agree to a three-month minimum. For membership and single ticket information, visit TheaterWit.org, call 773.975.8150 or visit the box office at Theater Wit, located at 1229 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago.
More About Theater Wit’s 2011-2012 Season
The North Plan
By Jason Wells
Directed by Kimberly Senior
January 23-March 31, 2012
What would ordinary, small-town Americans do if the U.S. government fell into tyranny? Quentin Tarantino meets All the President’s Men in Jason Wells’The North Plan. In a not-too-distant future, a federal bureaucrat has been wrongly imprisoned in a rural Missouri jailhouse, desperate to escape so he can thwart an unspecified constitutional crisis.
Part political drama, part dark satire, Theater Wit is excited to debut the first professional Chicago production of Wells’ apocalyptic tale, hailed in 2010 as “the most promising and provocative of the stimulating, three-play First Look Repertory of New Work at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company” by theChicago Tribune and helmed by acclaimed director Kimberly Senior.
Tigers Be Still
By Kim Rosenstock
Directed by Jeremy Wechsler
April 24-May 27, 2012
Tigers Be Still is a savagely funny dark comedy about a young woman who stops being a total disaster and gets her life back on track. Meet Sherry, a recent college graduate with a master’s degree in art therapy. But like so many 20-somethings who find themselves back at home, here she sits, unemployed, overwhelmed and dealing with her crazy family. Happily, things begin to brighten up when she gets hired as a high school art teacher. Now if only the principal would leave his rifle at home, her sister would get off the couch, her mother would come downstairs, her first patient would just do one of his art therapy assignments, and someone would catch the damned tiger that just escaped from the local zoo, everything would be perfect.
Tigers Be Still debuted in 2010 at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company as part of the Roundabout Underground program, and was instantly hailed by Charles Isherwood of The New York Times as “piercing, ferocious and devastatingly hilarious.”
The Santaland Diaries
By David Sedaris
Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantullo
Featuring the return of Mitchell Fain as Crumpet the Elf
Directed by Jeremy Wechsler
November 25-December 31, 2011
Theater Wit’s annual holiday classic returns for its eighth straight outing, this year featuring a newly-enhanced set and once again starring Mitchell Fain who always plays to rave reviews and sold out houses. David Sedaris’ beloved account of his stint as an Elf at Macy’s during the holiday season has been called the “24 funniest pages ever written in the English language.” Don’t miss Theater Wit’s annual antidote to traditional shows of the season – a must-see celebration of the desperation of unemployment, the insanity of Christmas shopping and the ineffable “cheer” of the holiday spirit.
2011-12 Resident and Rental Productions at Theater Wit (at press time)
Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
By Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson
October 15-November 13, 2011
Pippin is a young man who will do anything to be extraordinary, but what he learns is that what matters most is love, simple and true.
By Moliere, adapted by Ranjit Bolt
January 13-February 12, 2012
The classic story of con-man who worms his way into a wealthy family, this exploration of truth and trust is a biting satire of human frailties
By N. Richard Nash
April 6-May 6, 2012
H.C. Curry’s farm is starved for water and his spinster daughter, Lizzie, is starved for love when a stranger comes to town promising to make it rain; he may not succeed, but he does show them the beauty already in their lives.
By Adam Guettel and Tina Landau
June 15-July 15, 2012
A musical exploration of the true story of a cave explorer trapped underground while one of the most unexpected and disturbing events of American cultural history unfolds on the ground above.
Stage Left Theatre
By Beau Willimon
September 3-October 9, 2011
During a tight presidential primary race, a wunderkind press secretary’s meteoric rise falls prey to the backroom politics of more seasoned operatives.
By Jayme McGahn
February 18-April 1, 2012
Two airline mechanic brothers have their dreams of retirement destroyed when they are forced out of their jobs and pensions by the airline to which they’ve devoted their lives.
May 15-June 3, 2012
Five politically charged new plays are presented in workshop productions in rotating repertory in this annual developmental festival.
This is a Damage Manual
February 2, 2012
A dance theatre work culled from instruction manuals and vintage self-improvement records that offers bits of wisdom, questionable advice, and anecdotes to create moving dichotomies.
Books and lyrics by Steven Sater, Music by Duncan Sheik
Based on the play by Frank Wedekind
November 27, 2011 – January 8, 2012
The Tony Award-winning musical that changed musical theater on Broadway forever in its first made in Chicago production. A groundbreaking fusion of morality, sexuality, and Rock and Roll that celebrates the unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood.
By William Massolia
January 14-March 4, 2012
Two American soldiers and friends in Afghanistan make and an unlikely agreement with one another that will consequently change one of their lives forever. A powerful look at the human costs of war and how we struggle to fill the emotional hole that is left from loss
New Millennium Theatre Company
Scott Janus Monster Hunter
By Paul Czarnowski
September 23-October 29, 2011
When Eddie Edderson suspects a vampire may live next door to him he calls for help and get more than he bargained for.
Silent Night of the Living Dead
By Sean Harklerode
December 2, 2011-January 7, 2012
Just because there is a zombie apocalypse doesn’t mean we can’t be civil at Christmas time.
A parody of the Gorge Romero classic.
We Are Wyld Stallyns
By Meagan Picchochi
A new musical that follows the exploits of Bill and Ted as they and their band try to save the world with Rock and Roll.
Porchlight Music Theatre
Putting it Together
By Stephen Sondheim
September 2-October 16, 2011
An upscale Chicago cocktail party told through the music of Stephen Sondheim.
Route 66 Theatre Company
By Noemi Schlosser and Ahsan Naeem
November 16-December 18, 2011
“We are prettier than most, funny, more intelligent than many, we LOVE sex! What is wrong with Chicago?” Two dateless girlfriends find themselves marooned at the bar at yet another wedding party.
Sound of Silence
By Jean Cocteau
November 16-December 18, 2011
Belgian artist Noemi Schlosser performs Cocteau’s 1940 monologue of confession and revenge.
The Gacy Play
By Calamity West
June 23-July 29, 2012
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. is a haunted man with secrets beneath his floor, but when his wife and friends start asking questions, the divide between dream and reality vanishes and he withdraws into his late-night conversations with the smoking, swaggering Duke who shares his name.
Strange Tree Theatre Group
June 15-July 21, 2012
TimeLine Theatre Company
A Walk in the Woods
By Lee Blessing
August 18-November 20, 2011
In this compelling drama, two superpower arms negotiators meet informally in the woods after long, frustrating hours at the bargaining table.
About Theater Wit
“A thrilling addition to Chicago’s roster of theaters” (Chicago Tribune) and “a terrific place to see a show” (New City), the new Theater Wit is entering its second season in its newly renovated home at 1229 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago.
Theater Wit inaugurated its brand new, $1.3 million venue in the former home of the Bailiwick Arts Centre in June 2010. The new Theater Wit boasts three intimate 99-seat performance spaces – the only theater in Chicago with such a configuration – plus a new box office, administrative offices, a wine and coffee bar, and a cool, casual lobby.
In addition to its new $35 see any show, anytime monthly Membership Program ($30 for students), Theater Wit also offers a Flex Pass to similarly encourage cross pollination between its own productions, and those presented by its resident and guest companies. A Theater Wit Flex Pass offers 10 admissions for $200 to literally anything presented in the building, a savings of up to 40%.
To purchase a Membership Program, Flex Pass or for information about all 2011-2012 productions at Theater Wit, call 773.975.8150 or visit TheaterWit.org.
Founded in 2004, Theater Wit’s mission is to explore contemporary issues with wit and wisdom through new works and Chicago premieres. For complete information, visit TheaterWit.org.