Otherworld Theatre has announced it’s full 2019-2020 main-stage season: Epics Reimagined. Countess Dracula, an original adaptation by resident playwright Nick Izzo and director Am’Ber D. Montgomery, opens September 28, 2019. Last year’s family favorite, The Winter Wolf, will return for another run and bring 2019 to a warm and whimsical end under the direction of Sara Robinson. The Spring of 2020 brings The Legend of Merlin, an immersive spectacle and Otherworld Theatre original directed by Lauren Nicole Fields. Closing the season will be Chicago’s very first production of PUFFS, the acclaimed off-Broadway comedy written by Matt Cox and directed by Otherworld Theatre Artistic Director Tiffany Keane Schaefer. All mainstage tickets are pay-what-you-can, allowing people of any and all means to experience live performance. Tickets for Countess Dracula are already on sale and are available at www.OtherworldTheatre.org
The season, Epics Reimagined, starts with a story we think we all know and turns it on its head. Countess Dracula playwright Nick Izzo describes it best. “I knew we were putting our own stamp on this, which ya kinda have to at this point. So beyond changing the character’s gender and race (specifically African American), we take it a step further and we make her the hero of this story. A flawed hero to be sure, but a hero nonetheless. She is a kind of avenging angel, protecting the African American community from their oppressors.”
The Winter Wolf is an audience favorite and brings something special that other holiday shows may miss. Director Sara Robinson explains: “Winter Wolf is, at its core, about the importance of family and how you would do anything for them. There are not many stories about children processing adult feelings and situations and it’s rare that a story does that in a such a beautiful and fantastical way. At a time when kids are growing up faster and faster, this story seems to connect with a younger generation in a real world way with still holding onto some of that magic that children should still have.”
Otherworld Theatre's history of adapting epic stories for the stage turns a new page with its devised production The Legend of Merlin. This intimate and immersive experience will transport audiences inside the King Arthur mythology, and offer an intriguing perspective on the origin story of one of the world's most infamous wizards. Director Lauren Nicole Fields states: “I have had the privilege of playing Merlin in Otherworld Theatre's Empyrean LARP this year, which has really shifted the way I think about the character of Merlin and the other characters we know and love from famous legends. Who are these characters really? What do they represent? Our Merlin is not a grey bearded old man or a young boy new to his craft, but rather an explosion of the concept of this well known wizard. You may leave the show unable to decide which performer was 'the real Merlin', but with a strong sense that you experienced their magic.”
Matt Cox’s off-Broadway comedy about a certain wizarding school, PUFFS, makes its magical Chicago premiere at Otherworld Theatre in the Summer of 2020. Company Artistic Director and Director of PUFFS, Tiffany Keane Schaefer: “What truly excites me about Puffs and the story Puffs tells is the focus on the characters in the sidelines, watching the heroics of the main characters without feeling that kind of agency in their own story. We have all felt that way, seemingly watching the glories of others while feeling like losers. What excites me about Puffs is that it is not the glory of being a Brave that makes one heroic: it is the heart of a Puff that has the courage to do what is right without the fanfare of being remembered.”
In addition to their main-stage season, Otherworld will continue offering its late night programming including Underworld Comedy Showcase, a nerd themed stand-up show, parody shows, and a slew of sci-fi and fantasy themed improv shows including Improvised Dungeons and Dragons, Improvius Comedius, and Dork Court (a courtroom comedy in which lawyers fight over fandoms). Another year at Otherworld Theatre will also bring another PARAGON festival (the largest sci-fi short play festival in the world) as well as Juggernaut, the company’s annual film festival.
About Otherworld Theatre
Otherworld Theatre Company, a non-profit arts organization, was founded in June 2012 with the mission to bring a theatrical experience to the science fiction and fantasy genre. Our work celebrates the depth of human imagination by engaging our patrons with high quality storytelling. Otherworld Theatre also curates events to create dialogue between patrons and artists, furthering our connection to the Chicago community.
Visit the Otherworld virtually at OtherworldTheatre.org and on Twitter (@OtherworldThtre), Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
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