Invictus Theatre Company Announces 2021-22 Season

Aug 17, 2021
Invictus Theatre Company in Chicago

Invictus Theatre Company today announced its fifth season of plays, which will open with Shakespeare's HAMLET, to run October 21 through November 21, 2021. Continuing the company's tradition of performing modern classics as well as Shakespeare, the season will also include the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner RUINED, by Lynn Nottage, from February 17 to March 20; and Edward Albee's WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF from May 12 to June 12. Audiences will again have the opportunity to experience these powerful text-driven plays in an intimate storefront setting, as the company performs them in their new venue at 1106 W. Thorndale Avenue in Edgewater (the space formerly known as The Frontier).

Artistic Director Charles Askenaizer will direct the season-opening HAMLET. He says, "While we often think of Shakespeare's plays as being large and spectacular, which they can be, HAMLET is at its heart, an intimate piece. In major moments of the play, it's just us and Hamlet, as he is deep in his thoughts while he contemplates taking revenge on the uncle who he believes has murdered his father. Even when Hamlet is with others, much of the play's conflict happens between Hamlet and just one or two other people. We're looking forward to giving our audiences the chance to see this classic in such close quarters."

HAMLET will be followed in the Invictus season by RUINED, a drama originally commissioned by the Goodman Theatre, where it premiered in 2008. A story of women caught in a civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it "takes us inside an unthinkable reality and into the heads of victims and perpetrators to create a full-immersion drama of shocking complexity and moral ambiguity." (VARIETY).

Invictus's season closer will be Edward Albee's WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF. A four-character drama that is often as wickedly funny as it is heartbreaking, two married couples battle with their spouses and each other over an alcohol-fueled night in a small, overstuffed living room. The tension the characters feel in these close quarters will be conveyed to the audience in Askenaizer's storefront production in the 40-seat theater at 1106 W. Thorndale.

Invictus Theatre Company has, over its five-year history, built a reputation for intimate and honest interpretations of classics with fidelity to the original texts and close attention to character development. The CHICAGO READER's Kerry Reid praised the "fearless and layered performances" of the company's live stream production of "NIGHT, MOTHER in 2020. Of their 2019 A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Reid said director Aaron "Boseman's production goes for broke with heartfelt zest, spilling over the edge of Kevin Rolfs's appropriately tiny dingy set." Nancy Bishop of the THIRD COAST REVIEW said of Invictus's 2018 MERCHANT OF VENICE that "Charles Askenaizer's direction results in a smoothly performed production of what is considered one of Shakespeare's problem plays-and it may make you squirm in your seat as you're sitting very close to the action."