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AstonRep Theatre Company Announces 15th and Final Season Kicking Off in October

AstonRep Theatre Company Announces 15th and Final Season Kicking Off in October

The 15th  anniversary season concludes next spring with Julia Cho’s Julia Cho’s insightful play about language and love, The Language Archive.

AstonRep Theatre Company has announced its 15th and final season, kicking off this fall with a revival of Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Buried Child directed by Ensemble Member Derek Bertelsen*. The 2022-23 season continues this winter with AstonRep's 15th Annual Writer's Series, featuring free readings of new works by emerging writers, presented virtually via Zoom. The 15th anniversary season concludes next spring with Julia Cho's Julia Cho's insightful play about language and love, The Language Archive, directed by Ensemble Member Dana Anderson*.

Buried Child will be staged at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway in Chicago and The Language Archive will be staged on The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave. in Chicago. Tickets for all productions will go on sale at a later date. For additional information, visit

AstonRep Founder and Ensemble Member Robert Tobin comments, "The past fourteen years of AstonRep Theatre Company have been an amazing ride, producing twenty-eight critically-acclaimed productions and fourteen Annual Writer's Series. I want to thank the long line of guest artists who always brought top-notch talent, class and passion into helping us tell stories. Ialso want to praise our outstanding artistic and organizational team who exemplify that the best work is done when you put your head down, strive to be the best that you can possibly be and be true to yourselves. Finally, we cannot express enough gratitude for our phenomenal supporters and loyal audiences whom we have been so honored to move, entertain and inspire. Our work would obviously be nothing without them. We are grateful to celebrate and reflect on a truly great run. We really hope you can join us for this final season!"

*Denotes AstonRep Theatre Company Ensemble Member

AstonRep Theatre Company's 2021-22 Season includes:

October 21 - November 19, 202

Buried Child

By Sam Shepard

Directed by Derek Bertelsen*

at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway, Chicago

Press opening: Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 7:30 pm

Set in America's heartland, Sam Shepard's powerful Pulitzer Prize-winning play details, with shocking hilarity, the disintegration of the American Dream. When 22-year-old Vince unexpectedly shows up at the family farm with his girlfriend Shelly, no one recognizes him. So begins the unraveling of dark secrets. A surprisingly twisted look at disillusionment and morality, Shepard's masterpiece is the family reunion no one anticipated. Winner of the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

The 15h Annual Writer's Series - Virtual Performances!

Titles to be announced.

Since the company's founding, AstonRep Theatre Company has hosted their annual Writer's Series - a festival featuring Chicago-based and national playwrights who get an opportunity to workshop near-finished plays and works in development. Over the course of the day, new works are read by AstonRep actors and guest artists followed by focused talkback sessions with the writers.

April 28 - May 28, 2023

The Language Archive

By Julia Cho

Directed by Dana Anderson*

at The Edge Off-Broadway Theatre, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago

Press opening: Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 7:30 pm

A quirky, comic drama about communication - its potential and its limits - this romantic parable for our times features a linguist at a loss for words, especially the vocabulary of the heart. Balanced delightfully between affection and adversity, it is the whimsical, life-affirming chronicle of a brilliant scientist who fights to preserve the dying languages of far-flung cultures, only to neglect the promise and passion of his own. Winner of the 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Playwrighting.

About the Artists

Sam Shepard (Playwright, Buried Child) Eleven of Shepard's plays have won Obie Awards including Chicago and Icarus's Mother (1965), Red Cross and La Turista (1966), Forensic and the Navigators (1967), The Tooth of the Crime (1972), Action (1974) and Curse of the Starving Class (1976). Shepard was awarded a Pulitzer Prize as well as an Obie Award for his play Buried Child (1979). Fool for Love (1982) received the Obie for Best Play as well as for Direction. A Live of the Mind (1985) won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award in 1986 and the 1986 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Play. As an actor he appeared in the films Days of Heaven, Resurrection, Raggedy Man, The Right Stuff, Frances, Country, Fool for Love, Crimes of the Heart, Baby Boom, Steel Magnolias, The Pelican Brief, Safe Passage, Hamlet and, most recently, Don't Come Knocking", also co-written with Wim Wenders. In 1986, Shepard was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1992, he received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy, and in 1994, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. Mr. Shepard died in 2017.

Derek Bertelsen (Director, Buried Child) This season marks Derek's 12th season with AstonRep and Buried Child is his twelfth production as a director or co-director. Other AstonRep credits as director include Doubt, Wit, Next Fall, The Leiutenant of Inishmore, The Lyons, The Laramie Project and Equus. Previously he was co-founder/Artistic Director of The Comrades (2016-2020). In addition to his work with these two companies, he's worked with BrightSide Theatre, Pride Films & Plays (member and Artistic Associate from 2011-2015), GreatWorks, Arc Theatre and Bailiwick Chicago. He's served as assistant director at Goodman and Steppenwolf Garage. Summer stock credits include Shawnee Summer Theatre in Bloomfield IN, Festival 56 in Princeton IL and five seasons at Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll IL.

Julia Cho's (Playwright, The Language Archive) plays include Durango, The Winchester House, The Architecture of Loss and 99 Histories. Her work has been produced at The Vineyard Theatre, The Public Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Repertory, New York Theatre Workshop, East West Players, The Theatre@Boston Court, Theater Mu and Silk Road Theatre Project, among others. Honors include the 2005 Barrie Stavis Award, the 2005 Claire Tow Award for Emerging Artists and the 2004 L. Arnold Weissberger Award. She was also a two-time finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. An alumna of the Juilliard School and NYU's Graduate Dramatic Writing Program, Julia also served as a resident playwright at New Dramatists.

Dana Anderson (Director, The Language Archive) is a teaching artist, director and actor based in Chicago. With AstonRep, she has worked on The Lonesome West, Laramie Project and 1984. Other directing credits include Wife Material (Underscore), Belle of Austin (Rhinofest) and Little Miss (Davenport's). She is currently a drama teacher at Chiaravalle Montessori and also teaches with Storycatchers Theatre. She is the Associate Artistic Director of Shakespeare Corrected.

About AstonRep Theatre Company:

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced numerous full-length productions, along with their annual Writer's Series. They are currently in residence at The Edge Theater. AstonRep Theatre Company is an ensemble of artists committed to creating exciting, intimate theatrical experiences that go beyond the front door to challenge audiences and spark discussion where the show is not the end of the experience: it is just the beginning.

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