ISAAC'S EYE, DOUBT: A PARABLE and More Highlight Writers Theatre's 2014-15 Season
Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce the 2014/15 Season, to include Isaac's Eye by Lucas Hnath, directed by Michael Halberstam; The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman, directed by Kimberly Senior; and Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, directed by William Brown.
As Writers Theatre begins construction on its new theatre center, designed by renowned Chicago architect Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects, on the site of its current Tudor Court venue, the 2014/15 season will celebrate the Theatre's roots with two productions in the intimate, 50-seat venue of Books on Vernon at 664 Vernon Ave, augmented by a site-specific production in the library of the Glencoe Union Church, which has long provided a home for the Theatre's rehearsals.
"This season presents a wonderful opportunity for us to return wholeheartedly to our bookstore roots and celebrate our foundations before we expand into our thrilling new theatre center," says Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. "Isaac's Eye allows us to engage with Lucas Hnath, one of the bravest and most exciting new voices to emerge in the past decade - upholding our dedication to our Literary Development Initiative. In The Diary of Anne Frank, we take a well-known classic and explore it with a fresh energy by confining it within the walls of our intensely intimate venue. It's a classic Writers Theatre dialogue between old and new. With Doubt, we embrace transition. By performing in a new space we will take thrilling advantage of a site-specific opportunity which will serve to add intensity to an already highly charged and significant piece of dramatic writing. In this, our transition season, we embrace our past, look forward to our future and celebrate, above all, the word and the artist."
From its very first year, Writers has brought quality and excellence to the stage while maintaining the company's hallmark intimacy. The last 22 years have been marked by unprecedented growth in both the artistic and business arenas and have garnered national acclaim and recognition. With a reputation for consistent artistic excellence and with strong ties to the community, Writers Theatre has built an award-winning repertoire and serves as a vital and highly regarded company in the Chicagoland theatre community.
For the 2014/15 season, Writers Theatre will be performing in two performance spaces in Glencoe - its 50-seat venue at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave, and in the library of the Glencoe Union Church, 263 Park Ave.
During this transition season, tickets will be extremely limited, due to the smaller house size of both performance spaces. As a result, seats may only be guaranteed to Writers Theatre season package subscribers. Any remaining tickets will be made available to the general public in the weeks leading up to the opening of each production.
Subscribers to the 2014/15 season will also receive priority seating when purchasing subscriptions in the new theatre center. Season Packages will be available at the Box Office, 321 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-242-6000 and www.writerstheatre.org.
The 2014/15 Writers Theatre Season includes:
The Midwest Premiere of
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam
September 2, 2014 - December 7, 2014
Performed at Books on Vernon: 664 Vernon Ave, Glencoe
Plays about historical figures often play fast and loose with facts. In Isaac's Eye, however, an ingenious, meta-theatrical device separates truth from fiction, as each incontrovertible fact is chalked onto the very walls of the theatre!
Such is the inspired atmosphere of Lucas Hnath's wildly creative new play, which tells the story of a young Isaac Newton, who once inserted a long needle "between my eye and the bone, as near to the backside of my eye as I could." (This statement is true-it will be written on the wall!)
Hnath playfully reimagines Newton's world with a contemporary conceit and language-stripped of accents and period dialect-as he introduces young Newton to the great Robert Hooke, the most famous and powerful scientist in Britain. The resulting battle of intellects and egos pulses with wit, humor and tension, as the playwright uncovers (and invents) the motivations that drove a young farm boy to become one of the greatest thinkers in human history.
Artistic Director Michael Halberstam directs this compelling new play by one of the country's most exciting young playwrights-the ideal opening to the 23rd season!
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
Newly Adapted by Wendy Kesselman
Directed by Kimberly Senior
February 24, 2015 - May 31, 2015
Performed at Books on Vernon: 664 Vernon Ave, Glencoe
Thirteen actors share the intimate Writers Theatre bookstore space in this powerful and authentic portrait of a young girl clinging to hope in a time of tragedy.
As vital today as when it was first written, Anne Frank's extraordinary diary has become an essential part of how we remember one of the darkest periods of human history. Filled with its young author's luminous spirit - her "boundless desire for all that is beautiful and good" - the diary also illuminates the coming of age of a complex, passionate young girl as she falls in love, grows into a woman and struggles to survive with her family amid the chaos of war and religious persecution.
Directed by Kimberly Senior, the Writers Theatre production will provide a visceral insight into the realities of life in the "secret annex," in which the tight quarters and forced intimacy serve as an ever-present reminder of the danger just outside--allowing audiences to come to know Anne and her family in a new and strikingly honest way.
DOUBT: A PARABLE
By John Patrick Shanley
Directed by William Brown
May 5, 2015 - July 12, 2015
Performed at Glencoe Union Church: 263 Park Ave, Glencoe
Writers Theatre is thrilled to bring audiences this riveting, Pulitzer Prize-winning play about authority, suspicion, ambiguity and religion in an exciting, site-specific production staged in the library of the Glencoe Union Church.
Set against the backdrop of a 1960s America in the midst of political and social change, a progressive young priest's conduct comes under question by Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the school principal whose beliefs are deeply rooted in tradition. As the actions and motivations of each are scrutinized and suspicion mounts, the two are drawn into a battle of wills that threatens irrevocable consequences for all involved.
The Writers Theatre production-directed by William Brown-will allow the audience to be a fly on the church wall, observing as battle lines are drawn, allegiances formed and motives called into question.
Writers Theatre season ticket packages provide a convenient theatergoing experience and guarantee access to all of Writers' highly anticipated productions throughout the season. Three-play subscription packages are available, ranging in price from $135 to $180.
Season package subscribers receive exclusive benefits including complimentary ticket exchanges by phone, mail and fax (upgrade fees may apply), show reminders by email before each scheduled performance, a one-year subscription to The Brief Chronicle newsmagazine and more. For a complete list of benefits visit writerstheatre.org.
Season Packages will be available at the Box Office, 321 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-242-6000 and writerstheatre.org.
From Page to Stage
Writers Theatre and select North Shore libraries present the tenth annual >From Page to Stage program. This comprehensive series of special events, lectures, readings and film viewings are designed to enhance and enrich the audience experience of one of the plays during each Writers Theatre season. All events are FREE of charge and open to the public. More information about Writers Theatre's From Page To Stage program, including dates and program titles, will be announced in the coming months.
Post-show discussions are now held every other Wednesday after evening performances, starting after the opening performance. Join the artistic staff and actors from the production after the performance for an in-depth conversation. Please check individual production calendars for specific dates. For more information about Writers Theatre Audience Enrichment programs visit writerstheatre.org/events
Making Of... Series
Writers Theatre will once again host its popular Making Of... series. For each production, Writers Theatre offers insight into a different aspect of creating the productions seen on our stages. Enjoy a short and lively presentation by designers and other experts, who walk through the process of preparing for and executing a show. Making Of... events are FREE and open to the public. For dates and more information, go to writerstheatre.org/events
ABOUT WRITERS THEATRE: Over the past twenty-two seasons, Writers Theatre has become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence. Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has been deemed the "best drama company in the nation" by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of 35,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry. Prized for the finest interpretations of classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues, Writers Theatre's acclaimed work includes Artistic Director Michael Halberstam's world premiere in Glencoe and subsequent productions of A Minister's Wife at Lincoln Center Theater and West Coast premiere at the San Jose Repertory Theatre; David Cromer's productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Picnic; and the commissioning, world premiere and New York premiere of Crime and Punishment, which has received more than 30 subsequent regional theater productions.
In November 2013, Writers Theatre announced the launch of the $31 million On To a New Stage Campaign, to establish the company's first permanent home in a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects and Jeanne Gang, FAIA. This will allow the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility will resonate with and complement the Theatre's neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.