The New Colony, under the artistic direction of Fin Coe* and Stephanie Shum*, is pleased to announce its full 2019-20 season, to presented at its resident home, The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.
This fall, The New Colony joins forces with Broken Nose Theatre to present the world premiere of Liam Fitzgerald’s sexually-charged comedy PEG, directed by Broken Nose Artistic Director Elise Marie Davis. PEG will feature TNC Co-Artistic Director Stephanie Shum* and Gage Wallace.
TNC’s eleventh season continues next spring with the world premiere of ensemble member K.L. Parker’s* heartfelt ensemble family drama UNDER THE TREE, directed by Spenser Davis.
Next summer, the season concludes with the world premiere of Co-Artistic Director Fin Coe’s* time-traveling quest to save the present, OTHER ROCKPOOLS, directed by Elyse Dolan. A reading of OTHER ROCKPOOLS is featured in TNC’s UNCHARTED Festival which begins this week (July 11 – 20, 2019).
Co-Artistic Directors Fin Coe and Stephanie Shum comment, “Our 11th Season is a sprawling, ambitious re-affirmation of all the ways we source and nurture new works in Chicago. Three wildly imaginative world premieres, featuring a scorching bedroom comedy in co-production with our collaborators at Broken Nose, a Southern secret second family drama developed in our Writers' Room program, and a timeline-hopping adventure developed from the ground up with our Ensemble; this season sprints out of the gate and never lets up. We can’t wait to share this wide range of stories that pivot, inspire, and speak to the heart of who we really are.
Tickets for all productions will go on sale in August 2019 at www.thenewcolony.org.
The New Colony is also pleased to welcome four new ensemble members: Zoe Benditt*, Lila Gilbert*, Cedar Larson* and Evan Sposato*. Finally, Elyse Dolan will serve as TNC’s Director of New Work (formerly Director of Education) and Katy King will serve as the company’s Director of Education (formerly Director of Marketing).
*Denotes The New Colony Ensemble Member.
The New Colony’s 2019-20 Season includes:
November 13 – December 14, 2019
PEG – World Premiere/Co-Produced with Broken Nose Theatre!
Written by Liam Fitzgerald
Directed by Broken Nose Theatre Artistic Director Elise Marie Davis
Featuring Co-Artistic Director Stephanie Shum* with Gage Wallace
Press opening: Monday, November 18 at 7:30 pm
Peg is excited. Steve is nervous. Sure, they've opened a nice bottle of wine, dinner smells delicious... but the brand-new strap-on they ordered has just arrived, and tonight's plan is to flip the script. Peg wants to peg Steve. And even though he was all for it initially, his last-minute hesitation will force this ordinary couple to face their kinks, quirks and societal conditioning, as they're quickly reminded that gender politics follow them everywhere – including the bedroom.
April 1 – May 3, 2020
UNDER THE TREE – World Premiere!
By ensemble member K.L. Parker*
Directed by Spenser Davis
Press opening: Monday, April 6 at 7:30 pm
When her husband dies while out of town on a business trip, Delphi Rabbitt calls upon her children and sister to assist in planning the funeral arrangements in their town of Altoga, Texas. That is, until she discovers his body is traveling from Houston accompanied by another family… another wife, another son, another life that no one knew about. When both Rabbitt families find themselves under one roof, they’re forced to decide: is it possible to bury our grievances before we bury the man who deceived us all?
July 15 – August 15, 2020
OTHER ROCKPOOLS – World Premiere!
By Co-Artistic Director Fin Coe*
Directed by Elyse Dolan
Press opening: Monday, July 20 at 7:30 pm
In the summer of 2001, a renowned physicist invites three strangers to her family’s cabin. Horrified by the results of the recent Presidential election, the team of scientists set to work building an experimental machine with a wild and irresistible purpose: to get them the hell out of their awful timeline. Political differences, personality conflicts, and a disruptive drug-dealing pizza driver ratchet up the tension; as the machine grows closer to completion, the team must reckon with what they will do when it’s finally time to turn it on.
About The Artists
Liam Fitzgerald (Playwright, Peg) is a Chicago based writer, director and producer. He holds a BFA from the University of Miami and an MFA from Northwestern University. His work has been performed and developed in Chicago and nationally with theaters including Stage Left, Broken Nose Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Theatre Masters and the Campfire Theatre Festival. He is a resident designer at Links Hall and has worked for the production departments of Chicago Children’s Theatre, Red Theatre, Theatre Wit, Strawdogs, Pegasus Players, Chicago Dramatists and Wildclaw theatre.
Elise Marie Davis (Director, Peg) serves as the Artistic Director of Broken Nose Theatre, where she has performed in Girl in the Red Corner, Plainclothes, the award-winning At The Table, My First Time, several iterations of Bechdel Fest, and her own play A Phase. BNT's latest season – her first as AD – netted four Joseph Jefferson nominations, including Best Ensemble for Plainclothes. She is also an ensemble member with The Factory Theater, where she has performed in the world premieres of Adventures of Spirit Force Five and Zombie Broads. Other Chicago credits include Baby With the Bathwater (Eclipse Theatre), Pine (Uncommon Grounds), Hot Pink (New American Folk Theatre), Kin Folk and Here After (The New Colony), Speech & Debate (Brown Paper Box), as well as work with Lyric Opera, Route 66, Strawdog, Artemisia, Midsommer Flight, American Blues and Pride Films and Plays, among others. She recently appeared in SQUID, a short-form comedy series now released on Amazon Prime. As a playwright, she has had her work performed at Steppenwolf 1700, First Floor Theater, BNT and Arc Theatre, while her play A Phase has been taught at the University of Chicago. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent Agency.
K.L. Parker (Playwright, Under The Tree) is an Oklahoma born playwright, actor, voice over artist and teaching artist, who has made her home in Chicago for the past nine years. She couldn’t be more excited for The New Colony to be producing her first full-length family drama! She began developing Under The Tree in TNC’s Writer’s Room in 2017, and has been workshopping it with TNC since early 2018. K.L. has written short comedic plays with the likes of Hobo Junction, and has been part of The One Minute Play Festival since 2016. She was proud to have her short play, Porch Problems as part Broken Nose’s Bechtel Fest in 2018. K.L. currently serves as TNC’s Education Liaison and as an ensemble member since 2016. She had roles in Merge in 2016 and Down and Derby in 2013. K.L. spends her days as a teaching artist and Managing Director of Li’l Buds Theatre company, where she writes plays and teaches theatre to children in schools and camps all over the Chicagoland area.
Spenser Davis (Director, Under The Tree) is thrilled to be back with The New Colony, after his play Merge – about the rise and fall of the video game company Atari – closed out their 2016 season. A Chicago-based director, playwright and filmmaker, he currently serves as Director of Programming for Broken Nose Theatre and an ensemble member of The Factory Theater. Previous directing credits include At The Table (Jeff Awards for Best Director, Production and Ensemble), Plainclothes (Jeff Award for Best Ensemble), A Phase and From White Plains (Broken Nose Theatre); May The Road Rise Up and Adventures of Spirit Force Five (The Factory); Every Other Tuesday (Steppenwolf 1700); Bachelorette (Level 11); Extraordinary (Otherworld); numerous editions of the One Minute Play Festival; as well as readings, workshops and festivals with American Blues Theatre, ATC, Strawdog, Mary-Arrchie, First Floor Theater and Pride Films and Plays, to name a few. Assistant directing credits include Pilgrim's Progress and 3C (A Red Orchid Theatre), as well as The Divine Sister (Hell in a Handbag), all with Shade Murray. As a playwright, his second play Plainclothes had its critically acclaimed world premiere at Broken Nose Theatre, received the 2019 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, and was named a finalist for the 2019 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. He is currently adapting his first play Merge as a pilot for television. He is a series writer-director on Squid, a short-form comedy series on Amazon Prime. He is grateful to be represented by the good folks over at William Morris Endeavor.
Fin Coe (Playwright, Other Rockpools) is a Chicago-based theatre artist and Co-Artistic Director of The New Colony. He has previously worked with Halcyon Theatre, A-Squared Theatre and Silk Road Rising, among others. His most recent production at The New Colony was Fun Harmless Warmachine.
Elyse Dolan (Director, Other Rockpools) is thrilled to be working with The New Colony, where she is also the Director of New Work. Most recently, she directed Blackbird at Blank Theatre Company, and she will be returning to Blank this upcoming season to direct the musical NINE. Elyse is the Associate Producer at American Blues Theater, where she is also an Ensemble member. Her directing work has been seen across Chicago at American Blues Theater, Broken Nose Theatre, Prop Thtr, Babes with Blades, Commission Theatre, 20% Theatre Company, Pride Films & Plays, and more. She has also served as Assistant Director on several productions, including Six Corners (American Blues Theater; dir. Gary Griffin), Little Shop of Horrors (American Blues Theater; dir. Jonathan Berry) and The Play About my Dad (Raven Theatre; dir. Marti Lyons). Elyse holds a B.A. from Denison University.
About The New Colony
The New Colony develops New Art and New Artists in order to educate and build New Audiences.
Now in its eleventh year, The New Colony has established itself as “one of Chicago’s essential off-Loop companies” (Chicago Tribune). Through the premiere of now thirty premiere plays and musicals, The New Colony has cultivated a diverse audience of theatergoers eager to have a voice in the storytelling. Conversation, collaboration and innovation remain at the heart of everything they produce. The New Colony’s work has been honored with five non-Equity Jeff Awards, Broadway In Chicago’s 2011 Emerging Theatre Award and Best Overall Production at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival. The New Colony’s 2018/19 Season marks their fourth year as a resident company in the Upstairs Mainstage of The Den Theatre in Wicker Park.
our most recent top picks
Blue Man Group ★★★