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AstonRep Theatre Company Announces 2018-19 Season; New Leadership

AstonRep Theatre Company Announces 2018-19 Season; New Leadership AstonRep Theatre Company, under the new artistic leadership of Derek Bertelsen and Sara Pavlak McGuire, is thrilled to announce its 2018-19 Season, kicking off this fall with Martin McDonagh's dark comedy THE LONESOME WEST directed by Company Member Dana Anderson. This winter, the season continues with AstonRep's 10th ANNUAL WRITERS' SERIES, a daylong festival of workshops from talented local and regional writers. The season concludes next summer with Rebecca Gilman's drama THE CROWN YOU'RE IN WITH, directed by Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen.

THE LONESOME WEST and THE CROWD YOU'RE IN WITH will be staged at AstonRep's artistic home, The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St. in Chicago. The 10th annual WRITER'S SERIES will be held at Vagabond School of the Arts, 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave. in Chicago. Tickets for all productions will go on sale at a later date. For additional information, visit

AstonRep is also pleased to announce new leadership for the 2018-19 season: Associate Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen and Co-Managing Director/Casting Director Sara Pavlak McGuire have been named the company's new Co-Artistic Directors, succeeding Robert Tobin, who will remain active with the company. McGuire will also continue as the company's Casting Director. Additionally, Company Member Ray Kasper will serve as Executive Director; Company Member Jeremiah Barr has been named Associate Artistic Director; Company Member Samantha Barr will serve as Managing Director and Company Member Amy Kasper is the new Marketing Director.

AstonRep Theatre Company's 2018-19 Season includes:

October 18 - November 18, 2018


By Martin McDonagh

Directed by Company Member Dana Anderson

at The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago

Valene and Coleman, two brothers living alone in their father's house after his recent death, find it impossible to exist without the most massive and violent disputes over the most mundane and innocent of topics. Only Father Welsh, the local young priest, is prepared to try to reconcile the two before their petty squabblings spiral into vicious and bloody carnage.

Saturday, December 1, 2018


Vagabond School of the Arts, 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago

Titles to be announced.

A festival of talented local and regional writers who have an opportunity to workshop near-finished plays and works in development. Over the course of a day, five to seven new works are read by professional actors followed by focused talkback sessions - a time-honored celebration of artistic collaboration.

May 16 - June 16, 2019


By Rebecca Gilman

Directed by Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen

at The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago

A backyard barbeque is the perfect place to tackle life's big questions: Is the chicken done? Does the band need a new tune? Is this the right time to have a baby? Rebecca Gilman's fresh and moving play takes an intimate look at modern families, friendships and the ins and outs of love.

Martin McDonagh's (Playwright, The Lonesome West) plays include: The Pillowman (Tony nominee, Best Play 2005; Olivier Award Winner 2004), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Olivier Award Winner, Best Comedy 2003), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Tony nominee, Best Play 1998), The Lonesome West (Tony nominee, Best Play 1999), A Skull in Connemara, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Banshees of Inisheer, among others. Other works include Barney Nenagh's Shotgun Circus, Suicide on Sixth Street, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, Six Shooter (Academy Award, Best Short 2006), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (multiple Academy Award nominations, two wins for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor).

Dana Anderson (Director, The Lonesome West) has worked as an AstonRep company member on The Laramie Project (actor), Four by Tenn (director), 1984 (asst. director), Eleemosynary (dramaturg) and The Black Slot (actor). She recently directed Belle of Austin (Rhinofest) and Little Miss (Davenport's). She is the Associate Artistic Director of the prison program Shakespeare Corrected, where she directed Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has also worked with Theo Ubique, Kokandy, Towle Theatre, Greatworks Theatre, Shawnee Summer Theatre, The New Colony and Quest Theatre Ensemble. As an educator, she is a teaching artist with Mudlark Theater Company.

Rebecca Gilman (Playwright, The Crowd You're In With) is a playwright, an artistic associate at The Goodman Theatre and a professor of playwriting and screenwriting at Northwestern University. Gilman's plays include Luna Gale, A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Dollhouse, Boy Gets Girl, Spinning Into Butter, Blue Surge, The Glory of Living, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Crowd You're in With. Boy Gets Girl received an Olivier nomination for Best New Play, and Gilman was named a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for The Glory of Living. Her newest play, Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976, was produced by the Goodman in May 2016.

Derek Bertelsen (Director, The Crowd You're In With) joined AstonRep in 2013. Previous directing credits with AstonRep include Doubt, Next Fall, Wit, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Lyons, the world premiere of The Black Slot, The Laramie Project, and co-directing Eleemosynary with Jeremiah Barr. He also produced the sold out run of Four By Tenn, a festival of one-act plays by Tennessee Williams. He serves as Artistic Director of The Comrades, where he's directed several productions. He's also directed for BrightSide Theatre, Wilmette Center for the Arts, Pride Films & Plays and assistant directed at Goodman, Bailiwick Chicago and Steppenwolf Garage. Regional credits include Festival 56, Shawnee Summer Playhouse, New Ground Theatre and five seasons at Timber Lake Playhouse.

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 21 full-length productions and nine annual Writers' Series. 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.

PHOTO CREDIT: AstonRep Theatre Company's new Co-Artistic Directors (left to right) Derek Bertelsen and Sara Pavlak McGuire.

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