CHICAGO DRAMATISTS ANNOUNCES 2012-2013 SEASON INCLUDING THREE WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTIONS
CHICAGO—Chicago Dramatists, known for producing innovative and award-winning new work, is proud to announce its 34th season featuring three world premiere productions by its Resident Playwrights. Chicago Dramatists continues to nurture the city’s most promising playwrights and to push the envelope with the newest plays, helping to advance Chicago’s reputation as a leader in American theatre new play development. The season begins with Freshly Fallen Snow, September 20 – October 28, by Resident Playwright M.E.H. Lewis and directed by Associate Artistic Director Meghan Beals McCarthy. The first show of 2013 is Southbridge, January 24 – March 13, by Resident Playwright Reginald Edmund and directed by Artistic Director Russ Tutterow. The Chicago Dramatists’ season concludes with Homecoming 1972, May 16 – June 23, by Resident Playwright Robert Koon and directed by Associate Artist Kimberly Senior. Tickets for the 2012-2013 season go on sale July 1, 2012. Chicago Dramatists is located at 1105 W. Chicago Avenue, performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. individual ticket prices are $32, and student tickets are $15 for all Thursday performances. For more information or reservations visit www.chicagodramatists.org or call 312.633.0630.
Freshly Fallen Snow
By Resident Playwright M.E.H. Lewis
Directed by Associate Artistic Director Meghan Beals McCarthy
September 20 – October 28, 2012
Opening/Press Night: September 28 & 29
In Freshly Fallen Snow, Dr. Jane Smith pioneers a controversial new treatment for traumatic memory disorders, a procedure that will “edit” memories. Her reluctant first patient is AJ, a terribly scarred veteran of the Iraq War. The driving force behind the doctor’s ambitions and the person she most wants to heal is her own mother, a haunted survivor of World War II’s Dresden firestorm. For both the mother and AJ, the real sources of their pain are lies and truths, long buried in their memories. Inspired by a real medical treatment, Freshly Fallen Snow, is an exploration of the memories that shape us, the stories we tell the world, and the dark space that lies between the two.
M.E.H. Lewis is an internationally produced, award-winning playwright and a two-time Illinois Arts Council Fellow. Lewis’ work has been seen around the world, and has earned several awards including the Julie Harris Award, the FutureFest Outstanding Playwright, the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, two Ragdale Residencies and a Tremain Fellowship. Two of her plays will be featured in the 2012 International Women’s Theatre Conference in Stockholm. Lewis is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a member of The Dramatists Guild.
By Resident Playwright Reginald Edmund
Directed by Artistic Director Russ Tutterow
January 24 – March 13, 2013
Opening/Press Night: February 1 & 2
In Southbridge, a white woman has been brutally killed and an angry mob is at the jailhouse door demanding the sheriff lynch the accused murderer. The only way to untangle the truth is for the accused, a young black man called “Stranger,” to relive the events that lead him to the hangman’s tree in Athens, Ohio, in the year 1881. Inspired by a true story, Southbridge is both a spiritual journey and a murder mystery. The play was a 2009 National Runner-Up for the Lorraine Hansberry and Rosa Parks Playwriting Award at the Kennedy Center, and the 2010 winner of the Southern Playwrights Competition. Southbridge is part of a nine-play series titled The City of the Bayou Collection.
Reginald Edmund is a Chicago Dramatists resident playwright. He was a 2009 and 2010 Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. Originally from Houston, Edmund was a co-founder of the Unit Collective, the artistic director of the Silver House Theatre, the founder and producer for the Silver House Playwrights Festival and the Houston Urban Theatre Series where he was named the recipient of the Rolling-Out Magazine “Houston’s 40 under 40” Community Choice Award. Most recently, Theatre Communications Group named him a 2011 Young Leader of Color.
By Resident Playwright Robert Koon
Directed by Associate Artist Kimberly Senior
May 16 – June 23, 2013
Opening/Press Night: May 24 & 25
In 1972, Frank limped out of the war in Vietnam and back into the world, a world outwardly similar but inwardly very different from the one he left. In his small, Midwestern hometown, Frank is having a difficult time re-adjusting to his old life, including interacting with his family and childhood friends. Frank finds that his once-mundane world of football, cars and Sunday dinners has turned suddenly strange and threatening. Caught between the realities of war and the retrospective absurdities of his old life, he stares down the iconic celebration of returning local heroes – the high school homecoming game.
Robert Koon is a resident playwright and serves as Chicago Dramatists’ company dramaturg. His work has been presented across the country, and he is a past winner of the national award for ecodrama (presented by Earth Matters On Stage), as well as a finalist for the Heideman Award. He is a past resident at the William Inge Center for the Arts, and teaches playwriting through the Chicago Dramatists Playwrights Studio.
In 2012, Chicago Dramatists is celebrating its 20th year of placing working playwrights in Chicago Public School classrooms throughout some of the city’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods, working with more than 600 students in 21 classrooms who have not been given the opportunity to participate in arts learning. This program is a natural extension of Chicago Dramatists’ mission to develop new voices and cultivates writers in grades 7-12 through the art and craft of dramatic writing. Integrating easily with the CPS curriculum and complementing teachers’ classroom objectives, the 10 session residencies address the four main strands from the Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts: arts making, arts literacy, interpretation and evaluation, and making connections—which also supports the Illinois and national learning standards. The Blue Moon Ball Gala, our annual fundraiser, is also recognizing this achievement June 14, 2012. This will be the time to recognize the accomplishments of these children, as well as the work that Chicago Dramatists has done in the past 21 years.
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 it an invaluable place in the artistic community as a vital source of inspiration to 37 resident playwrights, 160 associate playwrights, 60 associate artists, and thousands of audience members. Over the past three decades, Chicago Dramatists has worked with more than one 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, year round weekly staged readings of plays-in-progress. The theatre also conducts new play workshops, a full range of professional playwriting classes, and educational outreach to at-risk students at Chicago Public Schools. Through passionate dedication, individual attention and careful exposure, Chicago Dramatists carries on its thirty-three-year-old mission of developing new plays and playwrights for the next generation of theatre.
Chicago Dramatists is the only theatre in the country that is both a playwrights’ development center and a full producing theatre, which continues to push the envelope with the newest plays and most promising playwrights. Through its long-standing Resident Playwright program, Chicago Dramatists seeks to nurture accomplished, Chicago-based dramatists who will make significant contributions to the American theatre repertory. Every year, Chicago Dramatists’ playwrights earn literally hundreds of productions, awards and other honors at large and small theatres in Chicago and around the world; enriching the lives of hundreds of thousands of theatre patrons, exporting Chicago voices across the globe, and significantly boosting Chicago Dramatists’ reputation as one of the nation’s foremost new play development theatres.
Chicago Dramatists is located just minutes from the Loop at 1105 West Chicago Ave., 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. Tickets for the 2012-2013 season go on sale July 1, 2012 and performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. Individual ticket prices are $32, and student tickets are $15 all Thursday performances. There is metered street parking available, a detailed parking map can be found at www.chicagodramatists.org/parking. For more information or reservations visit www.chicagodramatists.org or call 312.633.0630.