ATC Announces AracaWorks: Chicago; Replaces 'LITTLE SHOP' with New Musical

ATC Announces AracaWorks: Chicago; Replaces 'LITTLE SHOP' with New Musical

American Theater Company announces a new partnership with The Araca Group (Broadway producers of Urinetown, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, The Wedding Singer, Lend Me a Tenor, and A View From the Bridge, among others) in the development of new American plays in Chicago. The two organizations will partner to produce AracaWorks: Chicago, a weekend of readings of world premiere American plays from August 7-9, 2014 in Chicago. One of the three plays will receive a year of development, including a workshop production the following summer at ATC.

Araca and ATC partnered in the development of Yeast Nation, (a new musical by the Tony Award winning writers of Urinetown) and on the world premiere of Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced which received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

In addition, ATC amends its 30th Anniversary season by replacing Little Shop of Horrors with a brand new musical, yet to be announced. This will be the company's first new musical since Yeast Nation. ATC's commitment to producing a new musical further means that the Company's 2014-2015 season entirely comprises world and Chicago premieres.

"Season 30 is all new work. The best way to celebrate our 30th anniversary is by investing in the future and boldly committing ourselves to world premieres," says PJ Paparelli, Artistic Director of ATC. "The Araca Group are innovators and risk takers among Broadway producers. They imagine future Broadway seasons with new American plays tackling relevant issues. They believe in Chicago's role in nurturing new plays and musicals onto the national stage. ATC is honored to be working together with some of the most passionate and talented creative minds in the business."

"This collaboration with the American Theatre Company excites us to no end," said Amanda Watkins, Executive Vice President of Production and Development at The Araca Group. "PJ Paparelli's fervent commitment to playwrights and their work is a beacon for all of us committed to the development of new plays. We are thrilled AracaWorks in Chicago can serve as a forum for the question "What does it mean to be an American?" With the nurturing environment fostered by PJ and his team, we look forward to exploring the brave voices offering an answer."

About AracaWorks: Now in its seventh season, AracaWorks is a platform for showcasing established playwrights and emerging voices. The series provides an outlet to explore new material in a forum open to the public, yet safe from critical reviews. Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced opened the series in 2010, and the play went on to its world premiere at The American Theater Company in the winter of 2012, garnering a Jeff Award for Best New Work. In 2013, Disgraced won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Other AracaWorks plays have gone onto full productions around the country: Suicide, Incorporated by Andrew Hinderaker (Roundabout Underground, Fall 2011), How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann (South Coast Repertory, Winter 2012), Warrior Class by Kenneth Lin (Second Stage Uptown, Summer 2012), Edgar and Annabel by Sam Holcroft (The Studio Theatre, Fall 2013) and Recall by Eliza Clark (Colt Coeur, Summer 2012).

About The Araca Group: The Araca Group, founded in 1997 by partners Matthew Rego, Michael Rego, and Hank Unger is a theatrical production and live event merchandising company. Araca's productions and merchandise operations have been seen around the world. For more info visit www.araca.com.

About American Theater Company: American Theater Company is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question, "What does it mean to be an American?" ATC's Ensemble includes Usman Ally, Patrick Andrews, Kareem Bandealy, Jaime Castañeda, Kelly O'Sullivan, Tyler Ravelson, and Sadieh Rifai.

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