The New Colony is pleased to continue its 2019-20 season with the world premiere of ensemble member K.L. Parker’s* heartfelt ensemble family drama Under The Tree, directed by Spenser Davis, playing April 1 – May 3, 2020 at TNC’s resident home, The Den Theatre’s Upstairs Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at www.thenewcolony.org. The press opening is Monday, April 6 at 7:30 pm.
The cast includes ensemble members Caitlin Chuckta* and Michael Peters* with Travis Barnhart, Kim Boler, Michelle Courvais, Cynthia Hines, Rasell Holt, Julie Mitre and Lynda Shadrake.
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?
Comment Co-Artistic Directors Fin Coe* and Stephanie Shum*, “Under The Tree was originally developed through our Writers' Room educational program and it's been amazing to watch K.L. Parker grow as a playwright and sharpen her story with director Spenser Davis. It’s a deeply human story, filled with crackling electric humor and messy familial conflict. It’ll shock you into laughter and catch you off-guard with its warmth; we can't wait to share this world premiere with you this spring.”
The production team for Under The Tree includes: Therese Ritchie (scenic design), Rachel Sypniewski (costume design), David Goodman-Edberg (lighting design), Erik Siegling (sound design), Devon Green (props design), Zack Meyer (violence design), Angela Forshee (assistant director), Lila Gilbert* (production manager), Evan Sposato* (technical director) and Cedar Larson* (stage manager).
*Denotes The New Colony Ensemble Member.
Title: Under The Tree
Playwright: ensemble member K.L. Parker*
Director: Spenser Davis
Cast (in alphabetical order): Travis Barnhart (Roach), Kim Boler (Janna-Lynn), Caitlin Chuckta* (Meg), Michelle Courvais (Kirby), Cynthia Hines (Sharon), Rasell Holt (Jamie), Julie Mitre (Claudette), Michael Peters* (Junior) and Lynda Shadrake (Delphi).
Location: The Den Theatre’s Upstairs Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Wednesday, April 1 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, April 5 at 3 pm
Press opening: Monday, April 6 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, April 9 – Saturday, May 3, 2020
Curtain times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Sunday, April 12 (Easter).
Industry Nights: Monday, April 13 and Monday, April 27
Tickets: Previews: $10; Regular run: $20. Students/seniors: 25% off. Tickets are currently available at www.thenewcolony.org.
About the Artists
K.L. Parker (Playwright) 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, Li’l Buds Theatre Company 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. is an ensemble member with The New Colony and had roles in Merge in 2016 and Down and Derby in 2013. Currently residing in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, KL is continuing her education and writing her next two full-length plays Searching For Us, a genderless love story about a ghost and Planting Roots, a prequel to Under The Tree.
Spenser Davis (Director) is thrilled to be back with The New Colony, after his debut play Merge – about the rise and fall of the video game company Atari – closed out their 2016 season. A Chicago-based writer-director, 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, From White Plains and the upcoming Labyrinth (Broken Nose Theatre); Blue Stockings (Promethean Theatre); May The Road Rise Up and Adventures of Spirit Force Five (The Factory); Every Other Tuesday (Steppenwolf 1700); Bachelorette (Level 11); as well as readings, workshops and festivals with A Red Orchid, American Blues Theatre, Hell in a Handbag, Strawdog, First Floor Theater and Pride Films and Plays, to name a few. As a playwright, his second play Plainclothes won the 2019 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association and was named a finalist for the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. He recently received the Elizabeth George Commission from South Coast Rep. He's series writer-director on Squid, a short-form comedy series on Amazon Prime. He's represented by William Morris Endeavor.
About The New Colony
The New Colony develops New Art and New Artists in order to educate and build New Audiences.
Now in its 11th Season, The New Colony has established itself as “one of Chicago’s essential off-Loop companies” (Chicago Tribune). Through the world premiere of now 32 new 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. thenewcolony.org
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