Writers Theatre Rounds Out 2017-18 Season with 'QUIXOTE'; Announces TREVOR THE MUSICAL Casting

Writers Theatre Rounds Out 2017-18 Season with 'QUIXOTE'; Announces TREVOR THE MUSICAL Casting

Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce the first Gillian Theatre production of the 2017-2018 season - Quixote: On the Conquest of Self, written by Monica Hoth and Claudio Valdés Kuri, English Translation by Georgina Escobar, directed by Kuri, and featuring Henry Godinez as Don Quixote, September 27 - December 17, 2017.

Created by acclaimed Mexican director and internationally-recognized artist Claudio Valdés Kuri and featuring a virtuoso performance, this engaging and creative interpretation of the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes transports audiences between time periods: from the fascinating universes created by Cervantes to the parallel realities of our current world.

Writers Theatre also reveals initial casting for the previously announced productions of the 2017-2018 season opening with the World Premiere of Trevor the musical.

The musical is directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway), with book and lyrics by Dan Collins, music by Julianne Wick Davis, music direction by Matt Deitchman and choreography by Josh Prince, by special arrangement with U Rock Theatricals. The cast includes Ariana Burks, Isabel Kaegi, Eloise Lushina, Carly Meyer, Jhardon DiShon Milton, Emma Nelson, Reilly Oh, Salisha Thomas, Brady Tutton, Matthew Uzarraga, Tori Whaples and Jarrod Zimmerman with additional casting still to be announced.

The season will continue with Quixote: On the Conquest of Self, followed by Oscar Wilde's clever comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Michael Halberstam and featuring Anita Chandwaney, Shannon Cochran, Aaron Todd Douglas, Alex Goodrich, Steve Haggard, Rebecca Hurd, Jennifer Latimore and Ross Lehman.

Eugene O'Neill's masterpiece A Moon for the Misbegotten, directed by William Brown, will feature James DeVita, A.C. Smith and Bethany Thomas, with additional casting still to be announced.

The final production in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre, Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, directed by Kimberly Senior, will feature, Shannon Cochran, Allen Gilmore, John Hoogenakker, Arti Ishak, Shane Kenyon, Mark Montgomery and Larry Yando.

The Chicago Premiere of Lydia Diamond's Smart People, which closes the season in the Gillian Theatre and is directed by Hallie Gordon, will feature Kayla Carter, Erik Hellman and Deanna Myers with additional casting still to be announced.

The 2017-2018 Season marks Writers Theatre's second full season in the company's award-winning new home at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe, designed by Studio Gang Architects. Productions will be presented in two spaces in the theater complex including the 255-seat Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre as well as the Gillian Theatre, a 50 to 99-seat flexible theatre space.

From its very first year, Writers Theatre has brought quality and excellence to the stage while maintaining the company's hallmark intimacy. The last 25 years have seen unprecedented growth in both the artistic and business arenas as the company has garnered national acclaim and recognition, marked by the celebrated opening of the Theatre's new facility in February of 2016. With a longstanding 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.

"I am so excited to announce our casting for the 2017/2018 season," said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. "Furthermore, I couldn't be happier to welcome Claudio Valdez-Kuri to Writers Theatre, helming his original adaptation of Don Quixote. I first met Claudio at a National Theatre Conference and was inspired to travel to see his work in Mexico City where he had staged a production of Life's a Dream by Calderon. To be able to bring him to Glencoe is the fulfillment of a three-year dialogue and it will definitely have been worth the wait!"

"We have a marvelous line up of actors readying themselves to bring the season to life - a bounty of familiar faces as well as a host of actors new to the company. 2017/2018 promises to be a season like none before - taking full advantage of our new venue while paying homage to the foundations upon which it was built."

Season Packages are available at the Box Office, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, 847-242-6000 and www.writerstheatre.org.


The Writers Theatre 2017-2018 Season includes:

World Premiere

TREVOR THE MUSICAL

Book and Lyrics by Dan Collins

Music by Julianne Wick Davis

Based on the Academy Award-winning film Trevor

Choreography by Josh Prince

Music Direction by Matt Deitchman

Directed by Marc Bruni

August 9 - September 17, 2017

Press Opening: Wednesday, August 16 at 7:30 pm

Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast includes: Ariana Burks (Ensemble), Isabel Kaegi (Ensemble), Eloise Lushina (Mary), Carly Meyer (Ensemble), Jhardon DiShon Milton (Jack), Emma Nelson (Frannie), Reilly Oh (Jason), Salisha Thomas (Diana Ross), Brady Tutton (Pinky), Matthew Uzarraga (Walter), Tori Whaples (Cathy) and Jarrod Zimmerman (Dad/Father Joe/Others). The roles of Trevor, Mom and additional ensemble roles are yet to be announced.

Meet Trevor, a 13-year-old boy in 1981 whose vibrant imagination drives a turbulent journey of self-discovery. As he deals with adolescence and all that goes with it, Trevor begins to explore what it means to be himself, influenced by his friends, parents . . . and Diana Ross.

Based on the story that inspired the Academy Award-winning film, the charity and the national movement, TREVOR the musical is a coming-of-age story about identity, emerging sexuality and the struggles of growing up in a world that may not be ready for you. This world premiere musical is directed by Marc Bruni, who helmed the Tony Award-winning production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway.

The Trevor Project was created as a result of the Academy Award-winning film that also inspired TREVOR the musical. The Trevor Project is the nation's only accredited crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on saving young LGBTQ lives. www.TheTrevorProject.org

US Premiere

QUIXOTE: ON THE CONQUEST OF SELF

After Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Written by Monica Hoth and Claudio Valdés Kuri

English Translation by Georgina Escobar

Directed by Claudio Valdés Kuri

September 27 - December 17, 2017

Press Opening: Wednesday, October 4 at 7:30 pm

The Gillian Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

Featuring Henry Godinez as Don Quixote.

This engaging and creative interpretation of the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes transports audiences between time periods: from the fascinating universes created by Cervantes to the parallel realities of our current world. Along the way, the universally beloved dreamer Don Quixote helps bring new meaning to our triumphs and defeats, reawakening our forgotten desires and celebrating the joys of great literature.

Created by acclaimed Mexican director and internationally recognized artist Claudio Valdés Kuri and featuring a virtuoso performance in WT's intimate Gillian Theatre, Quixote: On the Conquest of Self will immerse audiences in the story of this eccentric idealist and self-proclaimed knight errant, as they accompany him on a fantastic adventure filled with great humor and poignancy.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

Written by Oscar Wilde

Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam

November 8 - December 23, 2017

Press Opening: Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 pm

Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast includes: Anita Chandwaney (Miss Prism), Shannon Cochran (Lady Bracknell), Aaron Todd Douglas (Rev. Canon Chasuble), Alex Goodrich (Jack Worthing), Steve Haggard (Algernon Moncreif), Rebecca Hurd (Cecily Cardew), Jennifer Latimore (Gwendolyn Fairfax) and Ross Lehman (Lane/Merriman).

One of the cleverest comedies by one of the greatest writers in the English language, The Importance of Being Earnest introduces us to Jack and Algernon, two charming bachelors who are each living a double life, aided by a fictional alter ego called "Ernest." But when they fall truly in love with a pair of proper young women, will they be able to bring an end to the charade and convince the formidable Lady Bracknell that they are suitable candidates for marriage? After all, "the one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties."

Artistic Director Michael Halberstam brings his talent for refreshing the classics to this effervescent comedy of manners. Filled with Wilde's sparkling wit, piercing social satire and trademark wordplay, this well-loved classic is certain to delight this holiday season!

A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN

Written by Eugene O'Neill

Directed by William Brown

February 7 - March 18, 2018

Press Opening: Wednesday, February 14 at 7:30 pm

Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast includes: James DeVita (Jim), A.C. Smith (Phil) and Bethany Thomas (Josie). The roles of Mike Hogan and Stedman Harder are yet to be announced.

In 1920s rural Connecticut, Phil Hogan cobbles together a living on rented farmland that he hopes to someday own outright, when his landlord Jim Tyrone comes into his inheritance. Hogan has driven away his three sons, but his towering daughter Josie understands her father and can hold her own. When the two learn that the land may be sold out from under them, they concoct a plan to save it that ultimately reveals the secret desires that two lonely souls have kept hidden for years.

This bittersweet elegy from four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Nobel laureate Eugene O'Neill offers a moving and powerful exploration of humanity at its basest and most beautiful. Directed by WT Resident Director William Brown (Company, Doubt: A Parable, The Liar, A Little Night Music and many more), this soaring powerhouse of a play is simultaneously intimate and epic, touching on themes of desire, family and the things we sacrifice for those we love.

SMART PEOPLE

Written by Lydia Diamond

Directed by Hallie Gordon

March 21 - June 10, 2018

Press Opening: Wednesday, March 28 at 7:30 pm

The Gillian Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast includes Kayla Carter (Valerie Johnston), Erik Hellman (BrIan White) and Deanna Myers (Ginny Yang) with the role of Jackson Moore still to be announced.

Four intelligent, attractive and opinionated young urban professionals-a doctor, an actress, a psychologist, and a neurobiologist studying the human brain's response to race-search for love, success, and identity while also attempting to navigate the intricacies of racial and sexual politics. This whip-smart new play taps into current cultural conversation in an enthralling and provocative way, taking on deep questions of the nature of prejudice with razor sharp wit.

Staged in WT's intimate Gillian Theatre, this sexy, serious and fiercely funny new play explores the inescapable nature of racism and other tricky topics with rapid fire dialogue, shattering assumptions about our culture's ingrained attitudes of racism, sexism and classism. You're sure to be captivated by one of the smartest new plays of its time!

BURIED CHILD

Written by Sam Shepard

Directed by Kimberly Senior

May 9 - June 17, 2018

Press Opening: Wednesday, May 16 at 7:30 pm

Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The cast of Buried Child includes: Shannon Cochran (Haley), Allen Gilmore (Father Dewis), John Hoogenakker (Bradley), Arti Ishak (Shelly), Shane Kenyon (Vince), Mark Montgomery (Tilden) and Larry Yando (Dodge).

On a cross-country trip from New York to the west coast, Vince and his girlfriend Shelly decide to make a stop at his grandparents' rural Illinois home. But when they arrive, neither his grandparents, Dodge and Halie, nor his father Tilden and uncle Bradley seem to recognize or remember him. As Vince searches for answers, truths begin to emerge that reveal a deep corrosion of this fragmented family living in a forgotten America.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece will be newly invigorated for the WT stage by Resident Director Kimberly Senior (Hedda Gabler, The Diary Of Anne Frank, Marjorie Prime, The Scene), drawing audiences deeply into the story of a family fighting to come to grips with an America that may have left them behind.


Writers Theatre season ticket packages provide a convenient theatergoing experience and guarantee access to all of WT's highly anticipated productions throughout the season. Six-play subscription packages are available, ranging in price from $249 to $389.

Three-play "Pick Your Own" Flex packages that include two productions in the Nichols Theatre and one production in the Gillian Theatre start at $199.

Season package subscribers receive exclusive benefits including complimentary ticket exchanges by phone and mail (upgrade fees may apply), a one-year subscription to The Brief Chronicle newsmagazine and more. For a complete list of benefits visit writerstheatre.org.

Season Packages are available at the Box Office, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, 847-242-6000 and writerstheatre.org.

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

For additional information about the WT Audience Enrichment programs listed below, visit writerstheatre.org/events.

Pre-Show Conversation: Up Close

Join us at 6:45pm before every Thursday evening performance (excluding previews and extension dates) of Trevor the musical, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Buried Child for a 15-minute primer on the context and content of the play facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Post Show Conversation: The Word

Join us after every Tuesday evening performance (excluding previews and extension dates) for a 15-minute discussion of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Post Show Conversation: The Artist

Join us after every Wednesday evening performance (excluding previews and extension dates) for a 15-minute talk-back featuring actors from the production, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Sunday Spotlight

This one-hour event extends the conversation on our stages by featuring an expert in a field related to the themes or setting of each play, moderated by a member of the WT Artistic Team. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.

The Making of... Series

Writers Theatre will once again host its popular The Making of... Series, providing insight into a different aspect of creating the productions seen on our stages. This one-hour event will feature WT Literary Manager Bobby Kennedy in conversation with an artist associated with each production, discussing their part in bringing the play to life. The Making of... events are FREE and open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.

From Page to Stage Series

Writers Theatre and select North Shore libraries present the 13th annual From Page to Stage Series. This comprehensive series of special events, lectures, readings and film viewings are designed to enhance and enrich the audience experience of WT productions each season. All events are FREE of charge and open to the public. For more information about the From Page to Stage Series, visit writerstheatre.org/from-page-to-stage-series. From Page to Stage is generously sponsored by Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin, who have been supporting the program since its inception 13 years ago.

Writers Theatre also offers Access Performances, including ASL-interpretation and Open Captioning on select dates for each production. Visit writerstheatre.org/accessibility for more information.

For more than 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry-providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues.

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home-a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility, which was recently recognized with LEED Gold Certification for sustainability initiatives, has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy, resonating with and complementing the Theatre's neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at Facebook.com/WritersTheatre or follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter. For more information, visit www.writerstheatre.org.


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