Raven Theatre Announces 2021-22 Season

Jul 12, 2021
Raven Theatre in Chicago

Raven Theatre is pleased to welcome back live audiences with the announcement of its 2021-22 season, featuring three productions previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new season also marks Raven's transition to an Equity theatre company.

The 2021-22 season kicks off this fall with the world premiere of Joshua Allen's The Last Pair of Earlies. Tyla Abercrumbie directs this new drama, which follows the hardships and hopes of Wayland and Della Rose Early as they chase a sweet Southern dream on the South Side of Chicago.

This winter, Raven presents Jonathan Harvey's sweet and charming coming-of-age play Beautiful Thing. Mikael Burke directs this touching story of two boys living in London discovering how they fit into the world around them.

Raven's 39th season concludes next spring with the Chicago premiere of Melissa Ross's The Luckiest. Artistic Director Cody Estle directs this heartfelt and honest look at the journey of life.

Raven Artistic Director Cody Estle comments, "I am pleased to announce Raven Theatre will be coming back stronger than ever. This season marks our initial year as an Equity theatre. Joining Actors Equity Association has been a goal for the theatre since I became the Artistic Director in 2017. This leap would not have been possible without the dedicated support and guidance of our board. Becoming Equity will allow the theatre to continue working with many of the artists we have had the pleasure of working with in the past, while also opening our doors to new talent. The season includes a world premiere by a Chicago native, a new understanding of a revival, and a Chicago premiere with a fresh perspective on life. This is going to be an exciting season. I cannot think of a better way to return to live theatre!"

Raven Managing Director Markie Gray adds, "I am so thrilled to welcome you all back to Raven Theatre, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that your return is safe. We will be keeping a close eye on city, state, and federal regulations regarding COVID-19, and will continue to trust and follow the advice and protocols of the CDC. The health and safety of our artists, staff, and audience are of the highest priority, and we're thankful in advance for your partnership in a safe return."

Raven Theatre's 2021-22 Season:

October 27 - December 12, 2021
The Last Pair of Earlies - World Premiere!

By Joshua Allen
Directed by Tyla Abercrumbie

Ever since he was a teenager in Mississippi, Wayland Early could count on two things - his talent for making handmade shoes and the love of his bride, Della Rose. But danger forces them to flee north to Chicago. Before they know it, nearly two decades have passed, and both Wayland and Della find themselves increasingly unable to count on anything, including their marriage. As they each contend with the weight of their spent youth and unrealized dreams, a life-altering question comes to the surface: are we still enough for each other? Joshua Allen, from the award-winning writers' room of Empire and Executive Producer of HBO's In Treatment, hits home with this world premiere.

February 9 - March 27, 2022
Beautiful Thing

By Jonathan Harvey
Directed by Mikael Burke

Anonymous among the thousands living in the working-class flats of southeast London, two boys struggle to carve out their own space in a constricting world. Driven away by his erratic family, Ste seeks order and purpose in sports and academics, building the idealized life he hasn't lived. Jamie, instead, turns his back on structure, preferring independence and sharp wit to scholastic honors. With the pressures of their divergent lives mounting, the boys find solace with one another. Ste's nightly refuge at Jamie's house evolves into something more, something transformative: something beautiful. After redefining gay representation nearly 30 years ago, Beautiful Thing brings the warmth of first love back to Chicago.

May 4 - June 19, 2022
The Luckiest - Chicago Premiere!

By Melissa Ross
Directed by Artistic Director Cody Estle

Lissette and Peter are best friends living their best lives. But when an out of nowhere diagnosis shatters Lissette's world, Peter is left trying to pick up the pieces. Suddenly finding herself at odds with both her best friend and her mom - who each come bearing strong opinions wrapped in good intentions - Lissette is forced to navigate between the two while unflinchingly forging her own path for her future. This tender, funny and keenly-observed play explores the uncertain and sometimes heartbreaking territory of how we choose to take ownership of our lives.

Raven Theatre is located at 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. Single tickets and a variety of 2021-22 subscription packages are currently available at www.raventheatre.com or by calling (773) 338-2177.