Lookingglass Theatre Announces 2021/2022 Upcoming Season

Jun 25, 2021
Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago

Lookingglass Theatre Company is emerging. After the uncertainty that has defined the past year plus, the Company's coming back! Having weathered the virus thanks to stalwart support from its community, Lookingglass forges into the future with imaginative, boundary-breaking art focused on that community. The upcoming 2021/22 season aims for more inclusion, better representation, and a renewed sense of purpose and growth in multiple directions.

All pieces plotted are original works that have been incubated and developed by the brilliant artists in the Lookingglass Ensemble and Artistic Associate collective. If it is, indeed, all about the journey, here's the course they intend to follow...

In late July, the Company commemorates the start of the Chicago Race Riots with a simple ritual, Sunset 1919. In the fall, watch the first five short films of an epic exploration of our city from an artist's point of view, 50 Wards: A Civic Mosaic. November marks a return to the theatre in Water Tower Water Works with the award-winning play all Chicagoans should see, Her Honor Jane Byrne. Spring will unveil a brand-new raucous musical, Lucy and Charlie's Honeymoon, and finally, the joyful and awe-inspiring signature Lookingglass production, Lookingglass Alice will make a return in Summer 2022.

Artistic Director Heidi Stillman says, "We're coming back! I'm so thankful that we have made it through to this side of things. What a joy it will be to finally have in-person audiences back to our tiny, beautiful theatre. We cannot wait!"

About the Season

Sunset 1919
A Ritual
Tuesday, July 27 at dusk

By establishing an artistic ritual featuring music, movement, art and word, Lookingglass Theatre commemorates the start of the 1919 Chicago race riots, incited by the tragic murder of Eugene Williams, a Black teenager stoned to death after drifting into a "whites only" section of Lake Michigan. Sunset 1919 is meant to peacefully honor the lives of Black humans impacted by the deadly racial attacks that swept the nation that summer, the roots of which stretch back across centuries, and the fruits of which we continue to pluck - a moment in an unbroken line. See the 2020 Sunset 1919 short film produced by Lookingglass Theatre Company

50 Wards: A Civic Mosaic
Five Short Films
Filmmakers: Ensemble Members Kasey Foster, Kareem Bandealy, Philip R. Smith, J. Nicole Brooks with Latesha Dickerson, and Artistic Associate Matthew C. Yee
Premiering Early Fall 2021

Chicago from above. Contiguous. Glittering. Bordered only by vast, shimmering Lake Michigan. A ciity connected.
Chicago at street level. Blocks sliced into 50 circuitous, disparate districts. A city splintered.
Practiced in "connection," our artistic collective hits the pavement with cameras, curiosity, and storytelling savvy to bring you a series of multi and mixed media pieces from each of Chi-town's 50 municipal parcels.
50 Wards: A Civic Mosaic is an ambitious attempt to make our town feel like it looks from above: linked, complete. Watch as we weave together a dazzling tapestry of hometown experiences, bridge the distance between neighborhoods, and plot the line from our fascinating history to our complex present on through to tomorrow's promise.
See your city through the glimmer of the artist's eye and discover how and where we fit...together.

Her Honor Jane Byrne
Written and Directed by Ensemble Member and Mellon Playwright in Residence J. Nicole Brooks
Beginning November 2021
Lookingglass Theatre in Water Tower Water Works

Lookingglass Ensemble Member J. Nicole Brooks' smoldering new play, Her Honor Jane Byrne, premiered onstage in March 2020 just five days before the theatre went dark due to COVID-19. We are thrilled this timely and brilliant play will now have its deserved run onstage.
Chicago is "The City That Works"-but does it work for everybody? It's 1981, the city's simmering pot of neglected problems boils over, and Chicago's first woman mayor is moving into Cabrini-Green. Is this just a P.R. stunt, or will it bring the City together? For the next three weeks, residents, activists, media, the "Machine," and the Mayor herself will collide as the City's raw truths are exposed. Who will come out on top?

Lucy and Charlie's Honeymoon
Book and Music by Artistic Associate Matthew C. Yee
Directed by Amanda Dehnert
Beginning February 2022
Lookingglass Theatre in Water Tower Water Works

Hooray! Lucy and Charlie just got hitched...and they're embracing the worst of the American dream. They do what they want. Take what they want. They're First Generation Asian American Renegades. In love. And on the run.

Featuring original country western and folk songs, Lucy and Charlie's Honeymoon tracks a young couple as they rev it down quintessentially American highways and across stereotypic borders, fleeing expectation and trawling up trouble along the way.

Directed by Amanda Dehnert (Peter Pan (A Play), Eastland), Artistic Associate Matthew C. Yee's world premiere musical romp gives a nod to America's past, takes tally of its present, and blows its future wide open.

Lookingglass Alice
Adapted and Directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin
From the Works of Lewis Carroll
Produced in Association with The Actors Gymnasium
Beginning May 2022
Lookingglass Theatre in Water Tower Water Works

Lookingglass Alice returns for a fantastical trip down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, and deep into your heart. The New York Times calls this circus-infused adaptation of Lewis Carroll's beloved stories "eye-catching entertainment." The Chicago Tribune lauds it as "ingenious," and the Chicago Sun-Times calls it "pure, unadulterated magic."

This signature Lookingglass production, adapted and directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin (The Little Prince, Moby Dick), has toured the country, enchanting audiences of all ages, painted each time with a fresh coat of magic. Now, after a seven-year hiatus, the awe-inspiring production comes back home for a new generation (artist and audience) to rediscover.