Shattered Globe Theatre's 2014-15 Season to Feature THE WHALESHIP ESSEX & THE ROSE TATTOO

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Shattered Globe Theatre's 2014-15 Season to Feature THE WHALESHIP ESSEX & THE ROSE TATTOO

Shattered Globe Theatre is pleased to announce the first two productions in its 24th Season, launching this fall with the Midwest premiere of the nautical drama THE WHALESHIP ESSEX by Founding Ensemble Member Joe Forbrich, directed by Lou Contey. In the winter, Shattered Globe mounts Tennessee Williams' Tony Award-winning comedy/drama THE ROSE TATTOO, directed by Greg Vinkler. The final production of the 2014-15 Season (spring 2015) will be announced shortly. All productions will be performed at Shattered Globe's resident home, Theater Wit at 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets will go sale at a future date at www.shatteredglobe.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 and in person at the Theater Wit Box Office.

"This season, Shattered Globe is producing two of the largest cast plays in its history: filling the stage with strong Chicago actors, and balancing the Ensemble's long tradition of exploring classic plays with a boldly theatrical new play written by an Ensemble member," comments Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner. "Both plays also have authentic, immersive environments, a hallmark of SGT's strongest work. Fifteen actors will climb the rigging in our season's opener, The Whaleship Essex, and reinvigorate a classic sea story with playwright Joe Forbrich's modern perspective on man's greed and the cost to our environment. Some of the company's most dynamic and applauded ensemble work has been in four Williams' plays: A Streetcar Named Desire, Suddenly Last Summer, The Glass Menagerie and Orpheus Descending. That tradition continues this winter with The Rose Tattoo set in a steamy, romantic village on the Gulf Coast. Filled with passionate joy, The Rose Tattoo is seldom produced because of its large cast. The play is unique in the canon of the playwright's work: optimistic and operatic. It is a valentine which Williams himself called 'my love-play to the world,'" adds Shinner.

Shattered Globe Theatre's 2014-15 Season includes:

August 29 - October 11, 2014
THE WHALESHIP ESSEX
By Ensemble Member Joe Forbrich, Directed by Lou Contey
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Featuring Shattered Globe Ensemble Members Steve Peebles, Angie Shriner, Drew Schad, Kevin Viol, Ben Werling, Joe Wiens and Brad Woodard with Zach Bloomfield, Lionel Gentle, Darren Jones, Josh Nordmark, Bridget Schreiber, Jonathan Stutzman, Alif Muhammad and Antonio Zhiurinskas.

The ship that inspired Melville's Moby-Dick and its crew met with tragedy on November 20, 1820, when it was sunk by an enraged sperm whale in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Based on first-hand accounts of this event, this imaginative new play is an epic, ensemble tale of survival. Infused with authentic sea chanteys, THE WHALESHIP ESSEX revels in the common language shared by both the theatrical and the nautical worlds, and weaves an historic story of whaling with our modern-day quest for oil, the lifeblood of our economy.

In 2008, Joe Forbrich built and sailed his 16-foot sailboat Jenny from Long Island to Martha's Vineyard to spend the summer apprenticing as a boatbuilder by day, while working by night as an actor at The Vineyard Playhouse. It was on this trip that he first heard the story of the Essex and, blissfully caught between the nautical and theatrical worlds, the idea for his play - the true story of the destruction of a whaleship by a vengeful leviathan - was born. THE WHALESHIP ESSEX premiered June 21, 2014 at the newly remodeled Vineyard Playhouse after a reading at The Players Club and a workshop this spring in New York City.

"Joe's play captures the theme 'for what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul,'" states director Lou Contey. "In a world constantly challenged by climate change and dependence on fossil fuels, the story of The Whaleship Essex is even more relevant as it examines mankind's hubris in relationship to his environment. The play shows that the relentless pursuit of oil, in any era, has a price beyond the cost of a barrel of oil: it may cost us our humanity: indeed our very existence," adds Contey.

Joe Forbrich, a Founding Shattered Globe Ensemble Member, is an actor, writer, set designer, sailor and boatbuilder. He appeared most recently on the stage in Lucky Guy on Broadway, and in All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure at New York Shakespeare Festival. His TV work includes Elementary, Unforgettable, White Collar, 30 Rock, Blue Bloods and Law & Order. He can be seen on film in Freedomland, We Own The Night, My Own Love Song and in the upcoming films The Red Robin and Hypothetically, directed by Peter Zinn.

January 15 through February 28, 2015
THE ROSE TATTOO
By Tennessee Williams, Directed by Greg Vinkler
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Featuring Ensemble Member Eileen Niccolai. Additional casting to be announced.

THE ROSE TATTOO is unique in Williams' work, a special blend of comedy, emotional depth and lyricism. Set in an Italian-American community on Louisiana's Gulf Coast, a passionate overprotective Sicilian widow, Serafina Delle Rose, controls the life of her daughter, Rosa. The volatile Serafina also hides herself in the hazy memory of the husband she idealized who was killed smuggling illegal goods on the highway. The earthy eroticism of the play is unleashed as an unknown truck driver pulls into town and disturbs this simple seamstress' life. These two equally matched and impulsive characters develop an almost operatic relationship and, serenaded by exuberant townspeople, Serafina is finally delivered from her past memories and grief.

THE ROSE TATTOO premiered in Chicago in 1950 prior to opening on Broadway on February 3, 1951, where it received four Tony Awards, including Best Play. It was adapted into a film in 1955, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards, receiving three.

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