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Chicago Dramatists' 30th Season Announced!

Chicago Dramatists ANNOUNCES

Artistic Director Russ Tutterow announced Chicago Dramatists' 30th anniversary season, featuring three productions of world premiere plays, and the fourth annual Many Voices Project. Each year Chicago Dramatists, "the playwrights' theatre," produces three of the best new plays from the hundreds developed through its many developmental programs. This year, Ten Cent Night by resident playwright Marisa Wegrzyn, How I Became an Interesting Person by resident playwright Will Dunne, and Hope VI by resident playwright Nambi E. Kelley, will make up its production season. 

Chicago Dramatists 30th anniversary season also includes the fourth annual Many Voices Project, Chicago's first playwriting contest and developmental showcase embracing playwrights of color. In addition, Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series will showcase 44 staged readings of plays-in-progress, many of which will move on to productions at theatres in Chicago and around the nation.

Ten Cent Night by Marisa Wegrzyn
September 18 – October 26, 2008
The world premiere of "Ten Cent Night" by resident playwright Marisa Wegrzyn will play from September 18 to October 26, 2008, with opening night on Friday, September 26, 2008. Dad's shot himself in the head and failed musician Roby Finley is on her way home to Burkeville, TX, with a suitcase full of stolen cash to save her heart-sick sister. A family comedy from a time when a dime could buy you a phone call home. Marisa Wegrzyn's The Butcher of Baraboo was produced in Steppenwolf Theatre's First Look Repertory in 2006, and premiered off-Broadway at Second Stage last summer. Her play Killing Women was produced by Theatre Seven of Chicago. Wegrzyn is currently working on commissions from Steppenwolf,

Yale Rep, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.  Her other plays include Psalms of a Questionable Nature and Hickorydickory. Her work has been produced or read at Chicago Dramatists, Washington University in St. Louis, Eckerd College/WordBRIDGE, Geva Theatre Center, Lucid by Proxy, The Hourglass Group, The Women's Project, Centerstage, and The Magic Theatre. She has a B.A. from Washington University, where she studied playwriting with Carter W. Lewis.

How I Became an Interesting Person
by Will Dunne
January 15 – February 22, 2009
The world premiere production of How I Became an Interesting Person by resident playwright Will Dunne will run from January 15 to February 22, 2009, with opening night on Friday, January 23, 2009. Artistic Director Russ Tutterow will direct. According to Wayne Drabowski, he is what the Neanderthals evolved into. His room is what caves evolved into. And his isolation is what life evolved into at the end of a 20th century where no one really knows what's happening on the other side of the wall. In a struggle to escape his isolation, Wayne finds himself more and more entangled with his elderly landlady, Mrs. Walker, and three unusual boarders with whom he shares the bathroom and refrigerator. Love surfaces where he least thought he would find it and leads him to discover the unexpected in himself, his neighbors, and a boarding house born out of the mysterious and violent death of an Army Colonel seven years ago.
How I Became an Interesting Person has received staged readings at the US National Playwrights Conference at the O'Neill and the Playwright's Kitchen series at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles, been translated into Croatian and presented in a script-in-hand production at The National Theatre of Istria in Pula, Croatia, and received showcase production by PlayBrokers, Inc. at ODC Theatre in San Francisco. It is the recipient of the Charles MacArthur Fellowship at the O'Neill, a finalist for the Humana Festival at The Actors Theatre of Louisville, and was presented as an international showcase at the Australian National Playwrights Conference in Canberra, New South Wales, in 1999.
Will Dunne has been selected three times by the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center to present work at the US National Playwrights Conference. His plays Hotel Desperado, Love and Drowning, and How I Became an Interesting Person generated a Charles MacArthur Fellowship for comedy, translations into two other languages, and staging and guest attendance at the National Playwrights Conferences of Russia, Australia, and Croatia. His play The Ascension of Carlotta is being produced this spring by the 16th Street Theatre in Berwyn, IL (2008). In partnership with Chicago Dramatists, Deep Gardens was produced at Chicago's Second City. Moonrise and Good Morning, Romeo were finalists for the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville. West Coast productions of Eleventh Hour, I Married a Werewolf, The Bridge, and Between Quakes received four Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, two DramaLogue Playwriting Awards, and a Best-of-Year mention from the San Francisco Examiner.
Hope VI by Nambi E. Kelley
April 23 – May 31, 2009
The world premiere of Hope VI, by resident playwright Nambi E. Kelley, will be presented from April 23 to May 31, 2009, with opening night on Friday, April 30, 2009. Chicago Dramatists Associate Artist Ilesa Duncan will direct. Hope VI tells the story of Hope Graves, age six, a high spirited and funny young girl who has become strangely quiet since her mother beat her in the head with a steel-toed boot.  A scar covers the length of her face, but she escapes the pain of her dreary life into the world of TV. Hope VI is the journey of her dream and her family's struggle to survive after the wrecking ball hits the Robert Taylor homes on Chicago's Southside.
Nambi E. Kelley is an award-winning, published and produced playwright.  Her work has included projects for Steppenwolf Theatre in  Chicago and Lincoln Center Theater in New York City. Honors have included  2004-05 TCG Candidate for Playwriting, Goodman Theatre, Chicago; 2004 O'Neill Playwrights Conference nomination; 2004 Finalist, Chesterfield Writer's Film Project, Paramount Studios; three children's play commissions for Unibooks in Seoul, Korea, 2004.  Her plays have been produced in Chicago at MPAACT and Prop Thtr.
"Many Voices Project"
Showcasing Playwrights of Color
July 16 – 19, 2009
In 2006, Chicago Dramatists' "Many Voices Project" marked Chicago's first playwriting contest and readings festival embracing all playwrights of color.  Working together with Chicago's race- and ethnic-specific theatres, Chicago Dramatists will seek out theatrical works by minority playwrights from around the country.  From this pool, three will be selected to have their work showcased in a week of staged readings and workshops, held Thursday-Sunday, July 16 through 19, 2009, with the winning play receiving a $1,500 cash prize.
A New Play Every Week with "The Saturday Series"
September 6, 2008 – July 25, 2009
            "The Saturday Series,"  Chicago Dramatists' foremost developmental program, has presented a staged reading of a play-in-progress followed by a moderated audience discussion most Saturdays at 2 p.m. since 1979.  "The Saturday Series" connects Chicago Dramatists' playwrights with Chicago's best directors and actors, provides networking opportunities between playwrights and theatres, and introduces Chicago audiences to the next generation of American Playwrights.  Over 1,300 plays have been developed through "The Saturday Series" since its inception 29 years ago.  In addition to staged readings, the series also offers quarterly panel discussions on playwriting related topics and the popular 10-Minute Workshop.

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