Theater Wit Wins Rights to Chicago Debut of MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY, Set for Jan 2015
Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler has confirmed Theater Wit has secured the exclusive rights to present the Midwest premiere of Anne Washburn's unforgettable new work, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play.
Sure to be a highlight of Chicago's 2014-15 theater season, Washburn's meta-apocalyptic comedy/drama/musical is about America rebuilding itself from the ashes of an apocalypse, the enduring power of Bart Simpson and how we can all rediscover our humanity through the most unlikely agency.
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, will debut mid-January at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, in the heart of Lakeview's new Belmont Theater District. Tickets go on sale in September. For tickets and information, visit TheaterWit.org or call 773.975.8150.
What are we left with when everything is taken away? After life as we know it has ended, small bands of survivors band together to keep the pilot light of civilization burning. Their path to redemption is as unexpected as it is inevitable. A paean to the power of live theater and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another, and a dazzling, panoramic vista on the power of storytelling.
Originally commissioned by The Civilians, Mr. Burns had a hugely successful New York premiere in fall 2013 at Playwrights Horizons. Ben Brantley of the New York Times raved "Anne Washburn's downright brilliant Mr. Burns, a post-electric play has arrived to leave you dizzy with the scope and dazzle of its ideas. I look forward to remembering it for a long, long time." Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post, added "Get in line asap! This bizarre, funny, bleak, wonderful show is even better than its hype."
Wit artistic director Jeremy Wechsler will direct Mr. Burns. Wechsler also staged Wit's current hit, the Chicago premiere of Madeleine George's academic sex comedy Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England. Wechsler also helmed Wit's productions of Completeness and The Four of Us by Itamar Moses, Tigers Be Still by Kim Rosenstock, This by Melissa James Gibson, Spin by Penny Penniston, Feydeau-Si-Deau by Georges Feydeau, Men of Steel by Qui Nguyen, Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) by Will Eno, Two for the Show by James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger, and The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello. Cast and crew are TBA.
Anne Washburn's other plays include The Internationalist, A Devil at Noon, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, I Have Loved Strangers, The Ladies, The Small and a transadaptation of Euripides' Orestes. Her work has been produced by 13P, Actors Theater of Louisville, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Folger, London's Gate Theatre, NYC's Soho Rep, DC's Studio Theater, Two River Theater Company, NYC's Vineyard and Woolly Mammoth. Awards include a Guggenheim, a NYFA Fellowship, a Time Warner Fellowship, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo, and an Artslink travel grant to Hungary to work with the playwright Peter Karpati. She is an associated artist with The Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and is an alumna of New Dramatists and 13P.
More about Theater Wit: Theater Wit is in its third season in its recently renovated home at 1229 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. As a production company, Theater Wit is the premier smart art theater in Chicago, producing humorous, challenging, and intelligent plays that speak with a vibrant and contemporary theatrical voice. As an institution, Theater Wit seeks to be the hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene. In its three spaces, Theater Wit brings together Chicago's best storefront theater companies. Here audiences will find a smorgasbord of excellent productions, see the work of a parade of talented artists, and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.
In 2011, Theater Wit launched Chicago's first live theater, Netflix-like membership program to encourage cross-pollination among its own productions and those presented by its resident and visiting companies. Today, nearly 100 Chicagoans now take advantage of Theater Wit Membership, which offers the opportunity to see as many plays as you want at Theater Wit, year round, for one low monthly fee of $36 ($22 for students). Theater Wit also offers a Flex Pass: 10 admissions for $215 to literally anything presented in the building, a savings of up to 40%.
Founded in 2004, Theater Wit's mission is to explore contemporary issues with wit and wisdom through new works and Chicago premieres. To purchase a Membership Program, Flex Pass, single tickets or for information about any production at Theater Wit, call 773.975.8150 or visit TheaterWit.org.