Richard Wright's iconic novel about oppression, freedom, and justice comes to life on stage in this ground-breaking, world premiere adaptation. Suffocating in rat-infested poverty on the South Side of Chicago in the 1930s, 20-year-old Bigger Thomas struggles to find a place for himself in a world whose prejudice has shut him out. After taking a job in a wealthy white man's house, Bigger unwittingly unleashes a series of events that violently and irrevocably seal his fate. Adapted with theatrical ingenuity by Chicago's own Nambi E. Kelley, and co-produced with American Blues Theater, this Native Son captures the power of Richard Wright's novel for a whole new generation.
The kindness of strangers comes with complications. Tommy is getting by-kind of: he is crashing in his uncle's ramshackle house in Dublin, dodging his estranged family, and plotting a parade of get-rich-quick scenes with his buddy Doc. Then one day he defends a destitute woman against a violent attack, and a fragile glimmer of hope appears as Tommy tends to her in his run-down room. From the author of The Weir, Shining City and The Seafarer comes this compelling new drama-by turns funny and frightening, but always deeply human.
Based on Bernstein's 1944 ballet, Fancy Free, sailors Gabey, Ozzie and Chip have only 24 hours to see the famous sights and find romance before they report back to the ship. From the Bronx to the Battery, the explosion of song and dance that ensues proves that "New York, New York, it's a helluva town." ON THE TOWN features the classic hits "New York, New York," "I Can Cook Too," and "Lonely Town."
March 7th, 1965: The blood of civil rights activists runs in the streets of Selma. Moved by footage of Bloody Sunday, two women travel to Alabama to join the fight and discover that the movement's challenges, as well as their own, are more complex than they realized.
History is written by the winners. Take a tour through time with Pretty/Windy to meet the writers, while discovering through immortal, Breakfast Club-ian themes that there's a Caesar, a Darwin, a Poet, a Dancing Bucket of Chicken and a Winner in everyone. Don't you forget about that. Don't don't don't don't.
Reasons to Be Happy is the companion piece to Neil LaBute's widely praised, 2009 Tony-nominated reasons to be pretty, a long running hit at Profiles in 2011. Three years after a contentious break-up, Steph and Greg wonder if they can make a fresh go of it. Trouble is, she's married to someone else and he's just embarked on a relationship with Steph's best friend, Carly -a single mom whose jealous ex-husband, Kent, has trouble articulating his feelings. Navigating the rocky landscape of conflicting agendas and exploding emotions isn't going to be easy for any of them. Reasons to Be Happy, a funny, surprising, and poignant new comedy, explores the choices and sacrifices we make in the pursuit of that often elusive ideal - happiness.
A retirement home in northern Idaho is being shut down, and only three residents and a bare-bones staff remain. When a record breaking blizzard blows into town and an elderly resident disappears into the storm, everyone is brought to face their own mortality. Samuel D. Hunter (from last season's hit The Whale) returns with a tender and heartbreakingly funny play about life's unexpected beginnings and endings.
Pfautsch's modern adaptation, Season on the Line, is a love letter to American theater featuring a 19 person cast. Melville's story of the hunt for the white whale is transformed into the Bad Settlement Theatre Company, beleaguered by a dilapidated building, strained finances and a tyrannical artistic director with a singular focus: the first-ever perfect production of Moby-Dick. A novice assistant stage manager joins the ranks at the top of the company's make-or-break season and is thrown quickly into the fray. Mirroring Melville's unconventional form, Season on the Line is the young narrator's look back at the industry he has grown to love, even as those around him pay the ultimate price in pursuit of their own great white whale.
A four-character adaptation of Shakespeare's classic masterpiece. Presented by Skyline StageWorks, the dissembled and rebuilt version will allow a more complete psychological exploration of the twin protagonists. By giving the politics less stage time, there will be a tighter focus on the humor, humanity, and allure of the characters.
A millionaire socialist vanishes from his bride, fearing his passion for her will prevent his plan to overthrow the British government. Disguised as a laborer, he infiltrates the all girls' school Alton College, planting the seeds of socialism in the minds of future consorts of cabinet ministers and kings. Yet it is he who receives a progressive education from a sixth-form student with an agenda of her own. Equal parts political comedy and comedy of manners complete with love triangles, mistaken identities, pistols and position - this stylish and cunning hybrid sparkles with wit and wiles, making even the reddest socialist blush with laughter.
Exactly one year after its world premiere in the Owen Theatre, Noah Haidle’s Smokefall, directed by Anne Kauffman, makes its Albert Theatre debut. Change is in the air as Violet prepares to bring twin sons into the world. Inside her womb the boys contemplate their future, while her outer world is in transformation: her husband is secretly planning to leave her; her father is slipping into senility; and her daughter has taken a vow of silence. Smokefall follows the lives of this family in an expansive poetic treatise on the fragility of life and the power of love.
A parody of Friday the 13th type movies, the characters in “Splatter Theater” include such archetypes as a nun, the school jock, the virgin, the class dick, and of course the bumbling old man. Laugh and watch them all die in different ways: Tongue pulled out, drill in the head, intestines being ripped out, slashed throat, and the list goes on. With freshly painted white walls on the stage before each performance, the audience will be horrified and delighted by the end, when the walls are covered in blood! Directed once again by Annoyance regular Charley Carroll.
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and ideas to create a different story every week. Kids design the setting and help shape the story. The actors, artists and musicians bring it to life. When the possibilities are endless, no two stories are ever the same.
Their signature show, Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, which had its first performance on December 2, 1988, is now in its twenty-fifth year, making it the longest-running show in Chicago today. Too Much Light..., with its ever-changing "menu," is an attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes. The single unifying element of these plays is that they are performed from a perspective of absolute honesty.
The ship that inspired Melville's Moby-Dick and its crew met with tragedy on November 20, 1820, when it was sunk by an enraged sperm whale in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Based on first-hand accounts of this event, this imaginative new play is an epic, ensemble tale of survival. Infused with authentic sea chanteys, THE WHALESHIP ESSEX revels in the common language shared by both the theatrical and the nautical worlds, and weaves an historic story of whaling with our modern-day quest for oil, the lifeblood of our economy.
In Women Beware Women, Livia’s buried two husbands and doesn’t want a third. Her brother is in love with their niece and the niece has been ordered to marry a fool. Her neighbors are a Duke who likes young, beautiful, married women and an old woman whose son just married a young, beautiful woman. In Middleton’s bloody telenovela of raunchy decadence, erotic depravity and white hot death, the women of Florence know that husband’s die, lover’s betray and friends are false – but what women have to fear the most is what it takes to be a successful woman. Women in classical theatre usually have their pick in life – they can sigh or they can die. The women of modern Chicago have a few more options, but it's just a different playing field and the game is still rigged. Two Pence’s signature style of dynamic staging coupled with passionate clarity of language peels back the skin on this Chicago premiere 400 years in the making.