Windy City Playhouse, Chicago's Newest Equity Theater, to Launch in March 2015 with END DAYS

Windy City Playhouse, Chicago's Newest Equity Theater, to Launch in March 2015 with END DAYS

Windy City Playhouse, Chicago's newest Equity theater, will premiere in March of 2015. Partnering with Chicago's own Henry Godinez, Chuck Smith, and William Brown, the Playhouse promises to combine high level artistry with highly accessible material. The mission of the new theater is to reinstate live performance as an entertaining and largely social experience. Its first season, featuring four full-length productions, will focus on contemporary, non-musical pieces that embrace a new era of theater audience.

Artistic Director Amy Rubenstein leads the Playhouse. Founder of one of Chicago's most prominent real estate investment firms, Windy City RE, and a seasoned theater professional, Rubenstein will apply her business savvy to her long-time passion for live performance. In Windy City Playhouse, Rubenstein aims to create work that will appeal to all audiences.

"We deeply respect the work of Chicago artists," Rubenstein says. "At the same time, we see room for something new. We don't hear our peers talk about a great night out in conjunction with theater, when the two should go hand-in-hand. We intend to create something that everyone can both relate to and truly enjoy."

The Playhouse proudly premieres as a non-profit organization and Equity theater.

"We're proud to welcome Windy City Playhouse to the Equity family for its inaugural season," said Sean Taylor, Actors' Equity Association's Central Regional Director. "Amy Rubenstein's commitment to Chicago-area audiences through first-class artistry and accessible material is a commitment to job opportunities for our members." Taylor continued, "As a fellow AEA member, Amy understands that the Equity footprint is a significant gain for the Albany Park community to experience the very best in live theater. We can't wait to see her social vision come to fruition."

The premiere season kicks off with Deborah Zoe Laufer's End Days. A 2008 finalist for the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg New Play Award, End Days tells the story of an American family dealing, each member in his own dysfunctional way, with questions of faith, redemption, and Stephen Hawking. This comic romp through Armageddon will be directed by Henry Godinez.

Second is the long-awaited return of Chicago-premiere turned Broadway hit, Stick Fly. Director of the original Congo Square Theatre production, Chuck Smith will be revisiting friend and colleague Lydia Diamond's seminal work. Stick Fly presents issues of class, race, and social status through the eyes of an African American family on its weekend trip to Martha's Vineyard. The stakes are raised as opinions clash in this uniquely modern family drama.

Windy City Playhouse promises a risqué summer with Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight. Written by celebrated Hollywood television and screenwriter Peter Ackerman, Things offers up three couples who struggle to find the right words in the confines of the bedroom. Director William Brown promises to hold nothing back in this eyebrow-raising comedy.

The season closes with Neil Simon's sparkling romance, Chapter Two. This semi-autobiographical play follows a recent widower and the quirky characters that one by one bring life back into his everyday. Questions of when to let go and let love back in abound in what is sure to be a delightful holiday event. The director of Chapter Two will be announced shortly.

All four of the premiere season's productions will be presented at the Playhouse's newly renovated performance space, currently under construction at 3014 W. Irving Park Road in the heart of Albany Park. John Morris, known for his design of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Lookingglass Theatre, and Black Ensemble Theatre, is the Consulting Architect on the project. Phil Eickhoff, who oversaw the major renovation of Blue Man Group's Briar Street Theatre, serves as Technical Director.

Fashioned more closely to a swanky lounge than traditional theater, this 149-seat space will serve as the new "hot spot" for the night. No more trotting around the city from dinner to a show to drinks. A full-service bar, hors d'oeuvres, and post-show entertainment will make the Playhouse the only necessary destination for the night -a place to not only witness, but also decompress with art.

For more information about Windy City Playhouse, including further season developments, casting announcements, and updates on the renovation progress, visit: www.windycityplayhouse.com.

All productions run Wednesday through Sunday night. Ticket prices and subscription information coming this fall.

INAUGURAL SEASON LINEUP:

End Days

by Deborah Zoe Laufer

directed by Henry Godinez

Previews Begin: Wednesday, March 18th

Opening Night: Saturday, March 31st

Closing Performance: Sunday, April 26th

Stick Fly

by Lydia Diamond

directed by Chuck Smith

Previews Begin: Wednesday, May 27th

Opening Night: Saturday, May 30th

Closing Performance: Sunday, July 5th

Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight

by Peter Ackerman

directed by William Brown

Previews Begin: Wednesday, August 12th

Opening Night: Saturday, August 15th

Closing Performance: Sunday, September 20th

Chapter Two

by Neil Simon

directed by TBA

Previews Begin: Wednesday, October 28th

Opening Night: Saturday, October 31st

Closing Performance: Sunday, December 6th

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