BERLIN World Premiere, FALSETTOS & More Set for Court Theatre 70th Anniversary Season

The season will also feature East Texas Hot Links, A Raisin in the Sun and more.

By: Feb. 27, 2024
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BERLIN World Premiere, FALSETTOS & More Set for Court Theatre 70th Anniversary Season  Court Theatre has unveiled its 70th season. The 2024/25 season will feature Eugene Lee’s searing and rhythmic East Texas Hot Links, directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson; the groundbreaking musical Falsettos, with music and lyrics by William Finn, book by William Finn and James Lapine, produced in partnership with TimeLine Theatre Company, and directed by Nick Bowling, TimeLine Theatre Associate Artistic Director; A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s tale of class and aspiration, directed by Associate Artistic Director Gabrielle Randle-Bent; and finally, Berlin, the exhilarating world premiere by Mickle Maher based on Jason Lutes’s graphic novel of the same name, directed by Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell

Court’s 2024/25 season spans genre and form, with productions that speak to our current moment with clarity and heft. The season begins with a skillful work of lyricism, simultaneously a love story and a thriller; it continues with a shimmering musical about family, followed by a South Side classic rooted in lived history and liberation; and it concludes with a fast-paced world premiere. 

The landmark 70th season is a celebration of milestones. This season is the year in which Charles Newell will transition from Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director to Senior Artistic Consultant and the year in which Court will welcome its new Artistic Director. Furthermore, each production in the season is representative of a milestone of its own and is imbued with a keen sense of foresight; staging these plays at this moment instigates a fascinating exploration of what it means to live in a present that was imagined by works of the past. The 2024/25 season is here, and the time is now.

“The lineup for the 2024/25 season is jaw-droppingly good,” shares Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell. “These productions interrogate community; the cost of striving for a better life; and the very ways we tell stories, all of which are themes that feel particularly resonant. The timeliness of this season speaks to the enduring power of classic theatre and the continued need to revisit these stories. We can’t wait to share this season with our audiences.”

“Court continues to push the boundaries of what classic theatre can be, and that is clearly reflected in the 2024/25 season,” says Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre. “Each of these plays has an acute sense of relevance and urgency; now is the time to tell these stories with these artists. The work that we’re doing offstage to complement and support the art – our engagement programming, our education initiatives, collaborations with the University of Chicago, a producing partnership with TimeLine Theatre, and deepening our relationships across the South Side – will only enhance these creative endeavors.”

The 2024/25 Court Theatre Season Up Close:


By Eugene Lee

Directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson

September 6 – September 29, 2024

Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, East Texas Hot Links is a gripping character study, a lyrical masterpiece, and portrait of community. It is 1955 in the piney woods of East Texas and racial tensions are high, yet the Top O’ the Hill Café remains a haven. There, regulars share stories, joke, unwind, and trade friendly barbs. The café is a refuge that keeps the outside world at bay, until a mysterious omen forces the outside in. 

Court’s 2024/25 season opener is a tribute to Resident Artist and Director Ron OJ Parson’s (Two Trains Running) first production in Chicago, his deep collaboration with playwright Eugene Lee, and the founding of Onyx Theatre Ensemble, the storied theatre company that first produced East Texas Hot Links in Chicago thirty years ago. 

By returning to Top O’ the Hill Café decades later, Parson asserts East Texas’s place in the modern theatrical canon, honors the legacy of Onyx, and obliterates the line between America’s fraught past and its charged present.


Music and Lyrics by William Finn

Book by William Finn and James Lapine

Co-produced with TimeLine Theatre Company

Directed by Nick Bowling, TimeLine Theatre Associate Artistic Director

November 8 – December 8, 2024

Tony Award-winning Falsettos is a tribute to family and its many forms; a playful interrogation of faith and identity; and a celebration of the beauty, complexity, and necessity of love. 

Marvin has left his wife, Trina, for his male lover; Trina has married Marvin’s therapist; and their son, Jason, is grappling with his parents' divorce and his looming Bar Mitzvah. Everyone’s world has been upended and now they must explore what their new lives may hold. Featuring a sung-through score and set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic, Falsettos is a humorous and heartbreaking web of ex-spouses, co-parents, new lovers, and the lesbians next door.

TimeLine Theatre Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling (The Lehman Trilogy) returns to Court Theatre – where he began his career almost thirty years ago alongside Charles Newell – to make his Court directorial debut with this celebratory co-production with TimeLine Theatre Company. Groundbreaking in its depiction of queerness, Falsettos shines with ingenuity and contemporary relevance. 


By Lorraine Hansberry

Directed by Associate Artistic Director Gabrielle Randle-Bent

February 7 – March 9, 2025

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, a Pulitzer Prize, and the first play written by a Black woman to be produced on Broadway, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun is a stunning portrayal of a family’s fight for dignity and the right to dream. 

As the Youngers await their recently deceased patriarch’s life insurance check, they allow themselves to imagine a bigger life – a life with room to breathe – until those plans are thrown into jeopardy. Hansberry’s language rings as wise and prescient as ever in her moving answer to Langston Hughes’s question, What happens to a dream deferred?

Staged sixty years after Lorraine Hansberry’s passing, Associate Artistic Director Gabrielle Randle-Bent (Antigone) brings Hansberry’s masterpiece home to Chicago’s vibrant South Side and Court’s stage for the very first time.



By Mickle Maher

Based on the graphic novel by Jason Lutes

Directed by Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell

April 25 – May 18, 2025

Berlin is an unforgettable mosaic of intersecting narratives set amidst the decline of Weimar Germany. This original commission brings Jason Lutes’s exhilarating and acclaimed graphic novel to life.

Fascism is taking hold; revolutionaries are organizing; creatives are trying to capture the ineffable nature of their changing city; and – as everything falls apart – everyone is faced with a choice: abandon Berlin or fight to survive. 

Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell (The Gospel at Colonus) directs Mickle Maher’s propulsive adaptation, an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of everyday people trying to survive one of the most remarkable moments in history. Set almost one hundred years ago, Berlin speaks to our current moment, and our future, with undeniable urgency.

Subscription Information

Three and four-play subscriptions to Court’s 2024/25 season range from $114 to $280 and are on sale now. To purchase a subscription or to receive more information, call the Court Theatre Box Office at (773) 753-4472, or visit Court’s website at Individual tickets for all productions will be available in summer 2024.


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