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American Theater Company Announces 2016-17 Season
May 17, 2016

American Theater CompanyAmerican Theater Company (ATC) proudly announces Season 32, led by its newly appointed Artistic Director Will Davis and continuing the theater's dedication to developing new works. The 2016-17 season kicks off this September with the world premiere of Dan Aibel's T., an exploration of the competitive ice skating saga between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, directed by Margot Bordelon, Sept. 23-Oct. 30, 2016. In the New Year, ATC presents Jaclyn Backhaus' Men On Boats, making its regional premiere at ATC Jan. 6-Feb. 12, 2017, under Will Davis' direction after he remounts his acclaimed New York production Off Broadway at Playwrights Horizons this summer. Next spring brings another world premiere at ATC, Basil Kreimendahl's We're Gonna Be Okay, March 17-April 23, 2017. The production is directed by Bonnie Metzgar and was originally developed at ATC in collaboration with The Araca Group during AracaWorks: Chicago 2015. The final production of ATC's 2016-17 Season is a reimagined classic, Pulitzer Prize winner Picnic by William Inge, under Davis' direction May 19-June 25, 2017. 

"With Season 32, ATC is opening up a dialogue with theatricality and style. I want ATC to become a home for wild new plays and old plays done in new ways that experiment with form. We're deepening our commitment to the mission question 'What does it mean to be an American?' by using it as a spring board to ask identity questions not just about the plays we curate and produce, but also how those works get made and who brings them to life," says Artistic Director Will Davis. "As one of the first trans identified artists to run a professional theater, I feel both responsible and honored to make ATC an organization dedicated to access and inclusion, and to move our company towards a place of openness and curiosity about how we champion and celebrate truly new work for the American theater."

ATC also announces a new season-long partnership with Chicago Inclusion Project, whose work creates inclusive theater experiences that bring together Chicago artists and audiences normally separated by physical ability, gender identity and/or ethnic background. The two companies will partner around casting for ATC's Season 32, giving diverse theater artists access to roles they might traditionally have been excluded from. Together with the Chicago Inclusion Project, ATC will continue its commitment to presenting works that boldly reflect the diversity of stories and experiences in America today.

Past world premiere productions at ATC include Stephen Karam's Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-nominated The Humans and Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced, both of which enjoyed acclaimed Broadway runs. Last spring ATC presented the world premiere of The Project(s), a documentary play about Chicago's public housing residents written by late Artistic Director PJ Paparelli and Joshua Jaeger. In the 2015-16 Season, ATC produced the co-world premiere of Thomas Bradshaw's Fulfillment with The Flea Theater in New York and the world premiere of Bruise Easy by Dan LeFranc, playwright of ATC's blockbuster world premiere The Big Meal, which went on to an acclaimed Off Broadway run at Playwrights Horizons.


World Premiere
Written by Dan Aibel
Directed by Margot Bordelon
September 23-October 30, 2016

"Ice Follies" read the cover of Time Magazine on January 24, 1994, after ice skating medalist favorite Nancy Kerrigan was struck in the leg with a police baton by Shane Stant. In his darkly funny and unrelenting play, Dan Aibel explores the lengths one will go to for fame. Margot Bordelon returns to Chicago to direct this world premiere play named for Tonya Harding, the first woman ever to complete a triple axel jump in competition. Nancy Kerrigan never saw her coming.

Regional Premiere
Men On Boats
Written by Jaclyn Backhaus
Directed by Will Davis
January 6-February 12, 2017

Ten explorers set out on four boats to map the raging rapids of the Green and Colorado Rivers on the government's first sanctioned expedition in the American West. Playwright Jaclyn Backhaus and director Will Davis team up again on this play, originally produced by Clubbed Thumb and returning to Playwrights Horizons in New York this summer, in Davis' first production as ATC's artistic director. Performed by a genderfluid cast of women and folks otherwise defined, Men On Boats takes back 1869.

World Premiere
We're Gonna Be Okay
Written by Basil Kreimendahl
Directed by Bonnie Metzgar
March 17-April 23, 2017

Mag has a horse inside her, the spirit of a horse anyway. It's the Cuban Missile Crisis, and President Kennedy said that "...the greatest danger of all would be to do nothing" so Efran and Leena and Mag and Sul are thinking about doing something big. Two families wrestle with macrame, female empowerment and a shared property line in Basil Kreimendahl's We're Gonna Be Okay. Bonnie Metzgar directs this world premiere play first workshopped through ATC's partnership with The Araca Group (Disgraced).

Written by William Inge
Directed by Will Davis
May 19-June 25, 2017

Closeted and dogged by an acute sense of failure for most of his life until he ended it, William Inge wrote some of the great lyrical plays of the American mid-century, and Picnic was his masterpiece, his playground and, quite possibly, his fantasy. In this loving reimagining, ATC Artistic Director Will Davis puts Inge at the center of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play and animates what is both sacred and profane about small town life against the backdrop of dust bowl hymns and love songs. Part seance, part love letter to a ghost, this Picnic explores a life lived at the periphery of one's own desire.

Season subscriptions are on sale now and range from $60-$150, with special pricing available for advance purchases before July 31, 2016. To purchase a subscription or for more information, visit or call the ATC Box Office at 773-409-4125.

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