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Chicago Premiere of TRANSIT OF VENUS Opens Today

The Saint Sebastian Players (SSP) continue the company's 36th season with the Chicago premiere of Transit of Venus by Canadian playwright Maureen Hunter. Performances run February 17-March 12, 2017 at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey (enter on Marshfield), Chicago.

Transit of Venus, inspired by real-life astronomer Le Gentil and his attempt to plot the course of Venus across the sky, is the antithesis of the adventurer's tale. Le Gentil puts off marrying the young and willful Celeste and leaves to travel around the world with no thought to those he leaves behind. When he returns, he finds life isn't where he left it. Spanning 11 years in the lives of Le Gentil, Celeste and their companions, Hunter's play explores issues of faith, solitude and the human spirit.

Directing Transit of Venus is SSP company member Kaitlin Taylor, who previously directed In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer for SSP. She recently served as assistant director of TimeLine Theatre's Bakersfield Mist and, as associate director, helped bring to life the epic new work Cosmic Events are Upon Us for Waltzing Mechanics. The cast includes Jake Baker, Leo LaCamera, Renata McAdams, Heather Smith and Maggie Speer. The production staff includes SSP company members Emil Zbella as set designer, Paula Kenar as costume designer, Beth Bruins as producer and Jim Masini and Jill Chukerman Test as associate producers. Also on the production team are Jason Lynch as lighting designer, L.J. Luthringer as Sound Designer, Jacob Lensing as assistant Sound Designer and Harrison Ornuelas as properties designer.

SSP's 2016-17 season concludes with Tom Stoppard's comic twist on Shakespeare, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, in April and May 2017.

SSP began producing theatre in 1982 at its original home, the St. Sebastian parish, located at the corner of Halsted Street and Wellington Avenue on Chicago's North Side. When the parish closed in 1990, SSP relocated to its current home, St. Bonaventure, at 1625 W. Diversey. During its history, the company has produced original and previously produced dramas, comedies and musicals; original audience-participation mysteries for special events; and the Monologue Matchup Competition, as well as provided support for smaller Sebastian Studio Projects produced by company members. For a complete production history, visit saintsebastianplayers.org/production-history/.

Performances of Transit of Venus take place February 17-March 12, 2017, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at Marshfield just west of Ashland, in Chicago. Free parking is available in two lots. Full-priced tickets are $20; tickets for seniors, students with valid IDs at the door and children younger than 12 are $12. Group rates also are available. Special Chicago Theatre Week tickets are available for $15 for the opening weekend performances Feb. 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. All programming is subject to change. For information, call 773-404-7922 or visit saintsebastianplayers.org.


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