Raven Theatre is pleased to announce casting for its world premiere of Mat Smart’s stark, passionate drama Eden Prairie, 1971, directed by Henry Wishcamper. The cast includes Hayley Burgess, Curtis Edward Jackson and Emily Tate.
Eden Prairie, 1971 playing May 7 – June 21, 2020 on Raven’s 85-seat East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at raventheatre.com or by calling (773) 338-2177. The press opening is Monday, May 11 at 7:30 pm.
On the same night Apollo 15 lands on the moon, draft-dodger Pete steals home to Eden Prairie, Minnesota, after a 300-mile walk from Canada. He risks arrest, but has an important message to deliver to an old friend. In a moment of national and interpersonal tension that mirrors our own, Pete must defend his choices and grapple with the sacrifices he’s made.
Raven Artistic Director Cody Estle comments, “Mat Smart’s Eden Prairie, 1971 takes us back to a time almost 50 years ago when the nation was at war and far from unified – and the military draft was a major issue in the lives of all young men. Except for the draft, it was a time not too dissimilar from the present. Looking back may help us understand and affect the present. I’m excited to welcome Mat and this new script to Raven Theatre.”
The production team includes William Boles (scenic design), Noël Huntzinger (costume design), Claire Chrzan (lighting design), Sarah D. Espinoza (sound design), Caitlin McCarthy (props design), Megan E. Pirtle (makeup design), Lynn Baber (casting director), Georgette Verdin (associate director), Cole von Glahn (artistic producer), Steph Taylor (assistant costume design), Bobby Huggins (technical director), Liz Gomez (master electrician), Eileen Rozycki (scenic artist), Wilhelm Peters (stage manager) and Molly Weaver (assistant stage manager).
Quill Reading Series
Raven Theatre will present a staged reading of Mat Smart’s Kill Local directed by Georgette Verdin on Wednesday, May 27 at 7:30 pm (reception at 7 pm). Quill is a series of four staged readings produced in tandem with each of the plays in Raven’s season. The readings provide an opportunity for audiences to engage further with the work of this season’s playwrights and explore their artistic voice on stage. Each Quill reading features a pre-show reception with complimentary wine and snacks. Admission is a suggested donation of $10.
Title: Eden Prairie, 1971
Playwright: Mat Smart
Director: Henry Wishcamper
Cast (in alphabetical order): Hayley Burgess (Rachel), Curtis Edward Jackson (Pete) and Emily Tate (Mrs. Thompson).
Understudies: Claire Alpern, Chris Farrell, Jr. and Rachel Woods
Location: Raven Theatre’s East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville), Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, May 7 at 7:30 pm, Friday, May 8 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, May 9 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 10 at 3 pm
Press performances: Monday, May 11 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, May 14 – Sunday, June 21, 2020
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm.
Tickets: Previews $32 ($29 if purchased online). Regular run $46 ($43 if purchased online). Seniors/teachers $41 ($38 if purchased online). Students/active military and veterans $15. Every Thursday is “Under 30 Thursday,” when patrons under age 30 can purchase tickets for $15. Tickets are currently available at raventheatre.com or by calling (773) 338-2177.
Touch Tour/Open Captioned performance: Sunday, June 7 at 3 pm. Touch tour begins at 1:45 pm.
Group tickets: Groups of 10 or more are $30 per person for Thursday and Friday performances and $35 per person for Saturday and Sunday performances. Student groups are $15 per person.
Plan Your Visit:
Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre – additional street parking is available. Nearest El station: Granville Red Line. Buses: #22 (Clark), #36 (Broadway), #151 (Sheridan), #155 (Devon), #84 (Peterson).
About the Artists:
Mat Smart’s (Playwright) recent world premieres include Kill Local at the La Jolla Playhouse directed by Jackson Gay (nominated for Outstanding New Play by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle) and The Agitators: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass at Geva Theatre Center directed by Logan Vaughn (subsequent productions include Mosaic, Park Square Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, Theatre Conspiracy and West of Lenin). Other plays include: The Royal Society of Antarctica (Gift Theatre, recipient of the 2015 Jeff Award for Best New Work), Samuel J. and K. (Williamstown Theatre Festival; Steppenwolf for Young Adults), The Hopper Collection (Magic Theatre; Huntington), Naperville (Slant Theatre Project; Theatre Wit), and Tinker to Evers to Chance (Geva; Merrimack Rep; Artistry). An avid traveler and baseball fan, he has been to all of the states, all of the continents, and all of the current MLB stadiums. A native of Naperville, he currently lives in Manhattan. MFA: UCSD.
Henry Wishcamper (Director) is a Producer and Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Goodman directing credits: Blue Skies Process, The Matchmaker, The Little Foxes, Ask Aunt Susan, Other Desert Cities, Animal Crackers, Talking Pictures and A Christmas Carol (2013 – 2018). Other Chicago credits: The Night Alive (Steppenwolf) and Dance of Death (Writers). New York: Spirit Control (Manhattan Theatre Club), Graceland (LCT3), Port Authority (Atlantic), The Polish Play (Katharsis), Pullman Car Hiawatha (Keen Company). Regional: Animal Crackers (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Birds (Guthrie), Engaging Shaw and The Mystery of Irma Vep (Old Globe), The Seafarer and Speech & Debate (Hartford TheaterWorks). Henry served as the artistic director of Katharsis Theater Company and the Maine Summer Dramatic Institute. He is a Drama League directing fellow and a graduate of Yale University.
About Raven Theatre
Raven Theatre tells stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape. Through its plays as well as its educational programming, Raven is committed to serving our communities’ needs through the arts.
Raven Theatre Company is funded in part by the The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Polk Bros Foundation, S&C Electric Company Fund, Paul M. Angell Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
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