Court Theatre announces 2013-14 Seaso

Apr 3, 2013
Court Theatre Chicago

Court Theatre proudly announces its 2013/14 season under the continuing leadership of Artistic Director Charles Newell, Executive Director Stephen J. Albert, and Board Chair Marilyn Fatt Vitale. The company's 59th season will feature the Chicago Premiere of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson; the reprise of Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson's An Iliad directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell and featuring Timothy Edward Kane; August Wilson's Seven Guitars directed by Ron OJ Parson; and Quiara Alegría Hudes' Water by the Spoonful, directed by Henry Godinez in his Court Theatre debut. Newell will close the season with David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning M. Butterfly.

"I'm thrilled to announce an amazing collection of award-winning plays for Court Theatre's 59th Season that will push the definition of classic theatre into exciting new territory. To begin the season, Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson will direct the Chicago premiere of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, a revelatory new piece about Dr. Martin Luther King's final night on earth that won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. Next, Timothy Edward Kane will return by popular demand to reprise his Jeff Award-winning performance in Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson's heart-stopping, Homeric adaptation, An Iliad. Ron OJ Parson will then return to direct Seven Guitars, Court's next installment of August Wilson's Century Cycle and the only August Wilson play Parson has yet to direct. Following Seven Guitars, Court will welcome Henry Godinez who will direct the Chicago premiere of Water by the Spoonful, an absolutely stunning new work of theatre by Quiara Alegría Hudes that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Finally, I'll be capping the season with a new production of David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning M. Butterfly, a classic play that I've long believed will make a powerful impact in Court's intimate space," says Artistic Director Charles Newell.

The 2013/14 Court Theatre Season Up-Close:

The Chicago premiere
The Mountaintop
By Katori Hall
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
September 5-October 6, 2013

Winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play

On the eve of his assassination, a weary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. returns to his lonely hotel room in Memphis. Restless, he begins to work on his next speech when he's suddenly interrupted by the arrival of a young hotel maid named Camae. The two strike up an unlikely conversation and as the hour grows late and Dr. King's fate presses closer, Camae reveals that she is more than she appears. The Mountaintop offers a beautiful and powerful meditation on mortality, destiny, and the liminal space where the material meets the divine. Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson will direct this revelatory new portrayal of Dr. King.

An Iliad
By Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare
Directed by Charles Newell
November 13-December 8, 2013

Winner of an OBIE Award and the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Solo Performance

Timothy Edward Kane returns to reprise his jaw-dropping, award-winning performance in this highly anticipated revival of Artistic Director Charles Newell's critically acclaimed 2011 production. A one-man adaptation of Homer's Iliad created by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare (TV's True Blood), An Iliad returns Homer's epic poem to the voice of the lone poet as he recounts a story of human loss and folly that echoes across three millennia of war and bloodshed. An Iliad will once again illuminate this ancient classic by taking a harrowing look at the human cost of war.

Seven Guitars
By August Wilson
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
January 9-February 9, 2014

Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Best Play Award

Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson returns to direct Seven Guitars, August Wilson's haunting Century Cycle play about fate, justice, and the Blues. In the backyard of a Pittsburgh tenement in 1948, six characters gather to mourn the missing seventh: Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton, a blues guitarist with feet of clay who died with fame and celebrity just beyond his reach. Stitched with vibrant swatches of American blues lyrics and harmonized through a seven-piece ensemble, Wilson's signature voice is at its richest in Seven Guitars as it seeks to explore the disappointingly dissonant harmonies we sometimes find in the circular nature of hope, violence, fate, and justice.

The Chicago premiere
Water by the Spoonful
By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Henry Godinez
March 6-April 6, 2014

Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Water by the Spoonful takes a painfully honest and surprisingly humorous look at the unconventional communities we create when we seek redemption from our personal failings. Iraq war veteran Elliot Ortiz has returned home only to find himself haunted by the ghosts of his past while his overachieving cousin Yaz seeks to define herself amidst the chaos of her family. Meanwhile, Eliot's estranged mother Odessa struggles to stay clean as she moderates a chat room for recovering crack addicts like herself. Dancing artfully from story to story, playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes ties together the lives of each of these lost souls in a play of genuine warmth about forgiveness and redemption.

M. Butterfly
By David Henry Hwang
Directed by Charles Newell
May 8 -June 8, 2014

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play

M. Butterfly is an exquisitely delicate and aggressively original play about sex, espionage, and Imperialism. Skillfully intertwining the story of Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly with an extraordinary plot inspired by true events, M. Butterfly untangles the story of Rene Gallimard, a meek French civil servant who meets the woman of his dreams in Song Liling, a beautiful, Chinese opera diva. What Gallimard doesn't realize-or refuses to see-is that his "modest Chinese girl" may be much more than she appears. M. Butterfly has become a post-modern classic whose exploration of the sexual politics of East and West continues to resonate today.

Subscription Information
Five, four, or three play subscriptions are to Court's 2013/14 season range from $90 to $247.

To purchase a subscription or to receive more information, call the Court Theatre Box Office at (773) 753-4472, or visit Court's website at Individual tickets for all shows will be available on July 16th. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets by calling Groups Manager Kate Vangeloff at (773) 834-3243.

Now in its 59th season, Court Theatre is guided by its mission to discover the power of classic theatre. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. Court revives lost masterpieces, illuminates familiar texts, and distinguishes fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.

Court Theatre is the professional theatre in residence at the University of Chicago continuing to discover the power of classic theatre. Court Theatre operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres and Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Productions are made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and by a City Arts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. Court Theatre is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the American Theatre; the League of Resident Theatres; the Illinois Humanities Council; the Arts Alliance Illinois; the League of Chicago Theatres; and Hyde Park Cultural Alliance.