ROMULUS, THE JUNGLE & More Set for Oracle's Fourth Season at Public Access Theatre
Chicago loves Public Access Theatre, and Oracle is proud to announce the lineup for Season 4. Following the unprecedented success of 2013 that included 2 Jeff Awards recommendations and ticket requests beyond capacity, the Board of Directors, Staff and Company Members are preparing for an ambitious season that will increase the number of free seats available to the public by 30%. The lineup includes four mainstage plays from Oracle Theatre, a variety of filmmaker showcases and festivals from Oracle Film, magicians and puppets and experimental artists in Oracle B*Sides, and several episodes of vintage radio shows brought into retirement communities and hospitals through The Radio Movement. Oracle has its sights set on converting every Chicagoan into an art enthusiast, and the company invites everyone in the community to join them, free of charge, for an evening of one-of-a-kind entertainment.
by Bertolt Brecht
music composed by Jonathan Guillen
directed by Max Truax
January 23 - March 1, 2014
There are 2 benefit performances during the run to support Public Access Theatre.
Oracle launches the 2014 season with a remount of THE MOTHER by Bertolt Brecht. In 2013, this activist musical was Jeff Recommended, and featured the world premiere of a score composed byJonathan Guillen. Artistic Director Max Truax restages the piece with the original cast including Katherine Keberlein starring in the title role. In Tsarist Russia, a mother's concern over her son's subversive political activities entangles her in a growing labor movement. THE MOTHER follows Palagea Vlasova's transformation from illiterate peasant to revolutionary leader. In the fading light of the Occupy movement, Brecht's Lehrstücke shows how social reform is born from unity, and how a mother and son can be bound together through space and time by total devotion to a common cause. Oracle's production will examine the true nature of sacrifice in bringing about social change. Truax's immersive staging places the audience at the feet of revolution.
THE MOTHER is produced in special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
by Ferenc Molnár
adapted by Morwyn Brebner
directed by Max Truax
April 12 - May 31, 2014
Originally titled "1, 2, 3" when it was written in 1929, THE PRESIDENT is a farcical Pygmalion story set entirely in the New York office of Mr. Norrison, a powerful business executive, just prior to The Great Crash. The stability of Norrison's business rests on the potential financial investment of one man, whose daughter Lydia has been staying with Norrison under his care. Just as Norrison is about to finalize the deal with his investor - and leave on a much needed vacation - Lydia announces that she's eloped with a communist taxi driver, a marriage which her parents will most assuredly not approvE. Norrison has one hour to transform Lydia's new husband into a successful capitalist, and he must use the well-oiled machinery of his enterprise to enact the transformation. The clock is ticking! Translated from Hungarian with pitch-perfect comedic timing, Morwyn Brebner's adaptation has audiences rooting for capitalism even while a display of its corruptive powers unfolds before them. This will be Artistic Director Max Truax's first comedy.
THE PRESIDENT is produced in special arrangement with Pam Winter, Gary Goddard Agency
by Upton Sinclair
adapted and directed by Matt Foss
July 19 - September 6, 2014
Matt Foss returns to Oracle to adapt and direct one of the most famous pieces of activisit literature in history, THE JUNGLE. Upton Sinclair's novel tells the story of immigrants trying to find their way to the American Dream in the Chicago stockyards at the turn of the 20th century. Sinclair tried to expose the economic disparity and corruption of the time, but audiences fixated on the horrid conditions in which their food journeyed to their tables, leaving Sinclair to lament that he, "aimed at the public's heart and by accident hit its stomach." Foss's adaptation confronts the squalid working conditions through the story of a small immigrant family navigating what seems to be a rigged game. As they fight for some kind of American Dream, the family will engage modern audiences in conflicts of immigration, class struggle, and the equal chance to fulfill their destinies.
by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
adapted by Gore Vidal
directed by Kasey Foster
October 11 - November 15, 2014
ROMULUS is Dürrenmatt's tragicomic rehashing of the fall of the Roman Empire under the supervision of its final emperor. Or, according to the Swiss absurdist playwright, it's an "historical play with no historical basis." As the barbarian hoards march toward Rome, and the empire's demise looms on the horizon, Romulus sits back to count the eggs laid by his prize chickens. Everyone around him - his wife, council, and servants - are confounded by his indolence and enraged by his disinterest in saving Rome. As his realm crumbles around him, our antihero asks for more wine. However, it's all part of his plan: let the morally bankrupt empire collapse and restore balance to the world. But Romulus's plan has unforeseen flaws. Gore Vidal's 1962 adaptation serves as a cautionary tale in the current crisis of American government: if the empire collapses, will the new empire be any better? Kasey Foster makes her directorial debut at Oracle to transform the small storefront into the Colosseum, where audiences get to judge Romulus's ridiculous rationale.
ROMULUS is produced in special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.