The Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) and the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University will once again seek out the nation’s most talented young songwriters and writing teams for the 14th annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project. The free, weeklong songwriting workshop will take place June 23 to 29, 2019 on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is thrilled to announce that longtime ensemble member Randall Arney will direct the highly anticipated Steppenwolf revival of Sam Shepard’s True West—the production that catapulted Steppenwolf onto the American Theatre scene in 1982. Reimagined through the eyes of the new generation of Steppenwolf artists, the 2019 production of True West features ensemble members Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood. True West runs July 5 – August 18, 2019 in the Downstairs Theatre. Tickets ($20 - $96) go on sale April 26, 2019 at 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org
Shattered Globe Theatre and Theater Wit are pleased to present the Chicago premiere of Will Eno’s heartbreaking new comedy THE REALISTIC JONESES, directed by Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler, who has directed the Chicago premieres of four of Eno’s plays. This breakout Broadway work of unspoken love and possibility will play January 10 – March 9, 2019 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Single tickets are currently available at www.shatteredglobe.org or theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. The press opening is Monday, January 21, 2019 at 7 pm.
The Comrades, a non-Equity theatre company, today announced its cast for DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE, by Wilmette-born Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. Ruhl’s play premiered in 2007 at Washington D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre and enjoyed high-profile productions the following year at Playwrights Horizons in New York and Steppenwolf in Chicago. In this sometimes-surreal comedy, a young woman annoyedly answers the ringing cell of the man sitting next to her in a café, only to find the reason he failed to answer it himself is that he has just died. The woman becomes involved in the dead man’s just-departed life and even in his afterlife. The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE said, “It's a joyride through the absurdity of trying to make simple connections in a world overwhelmed with interconnectivity.”
There are few things more ‘Chicago’ than the CTA. You’ve probably taken the red line to see a friend up in Rogers Park, the blue line to O’hare, or a bus to get to North Avenue Beach. You also most likely share in the city-wide love/hate relationship with the service. You can laud the convenience of the brown line and then curse a twenty minute delay in the same breath. Universal, though, is the ‘El Story’ - a tale of an odd scene witnessed by the teller while riding transit. These can be hopeful, funny, crazy, or (most likely) gross. El Stories: Holiday Train is a theatrical collection of these stories with a seasonal flavor to it, mixing in vignettes of the famous holiday train and tales of Santa on the flatbed car. While certain stories hit their stride and capture what makes an El Story engaging, the overall experience feels a little too disjointed to fully recommend.
Goodman Theatre proudly announces its cast for the world premiere of How to Catch Creation by Christina Anderson—“a gifted playwright you want to pay attention to” (Variety). A vivid portrait of three artist/intellectual couples exploring life, children and marriage—coming together and coming apart--How to Catch Creation is directed by Niegel Smith, who most recently directed the smash sensation Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) last season at the Goodman. The ensemble cast includes Karen Aldridge (Tami), Ayanna Bria Bakari (Natalie), Jasmine Bracey (G.K. Marche), Bernard Gilbert (Stokes), Maya Vinice Prentiss (Riley) and Keith Randolph Smith (Griffin). The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (Set), Allen Lee Hughes (Lighting), Jenny Mannis (Costumes) and Justin Ellington (Composer). Tickets ($25 - $70; subject to change) go on sale this Friday, December 7 at GoodmanTheatre.org/Creation, by telephone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). The Goodman Theatre Women’s Board is the Major Production Sponsor and WBEZ 91.5 is the Media Sponsor.
Compass Theatre, a new Equity theatre in Chicago, announces the Cast and Designers for its inaugural production, the Chicago Premiere of What We're Up Against by Theresa Rebeck. Directed by Lauren Shouse the cast includes Echaka Agba, Jeffrey Kurysz, Denise Hoeflich, Charlie Strater, and Ted James. Understudies are Shawnita Grant, Charles Rasmussen, Hannah Williams and Pierce Ducker.
Broken Nose Theatre is pleased to announce casting for its Midwest premiere of Stephen Spotswood’s drama GIRL IN THE RED CORNER, directed by Elizabeth Laidlaw. The cast includes BNT company member Elise Marie Davis* and artistic associate Kim Boler^ with Michelle Courvais, Amanda Forman and Mark West.
Max is living the typical millennial life. She lives in the city in a tiny apartment with her gay roommate, Adam. She has a blog. But, she gets paid to write the blog so that makes it better than a normal blog. But she still has to have a day job because the cost of living is skyrocketing. Anyway, one day she's in her favorite coffee shop when she runs into Nate. We all have a Nate. Nate is the relationship that almost happened, and leaves you wondering "what if?" well into your old age. Turns out, Nate thought Max was gay. Because she wears flannel. And likes hockey. And goes by Max. You know, things that are only allowed to raging lesbians.
In conjunction with the world premiere of La Ruta by acclaimed Chicago-based playwright Isaac Gomez and directed by ensemble member Sandra Marquez, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has curated an event series of conversations and performances designed to enrich the experience around the world of the play. Inspired by the lives of Mexican women who live, work—and disappear—along a Ciudad Juárez bus route, La Ruta weaves live music through a story of resilience in the wake of loss. La Ruta runs December 13, 2018 – January 27, 2019 in the Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St.