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Chicago's Cor Theatre Sets 2016 Season

Cor Theatre, the new Chicago storefront company hailed for "Most Promising Debut" last season by Time Out Chicago, has announced a bold and ambitious two-play season in 2016.

In the spring, Cor will present the U.S. debut of Christina, The Girl King, based on the true life of Queen Christina of Sweden, the enigmatic 17th century European monarch, flamboyant intellectual and feminist before her time. Cor will present Linda Gaboriau's new translation of French playwright Michel Marc Bouchard's 2012 play Christine, la reine-garcon, which premiered at the 2014 Stratford Festival. Artistic Director Tosha Fowler will direct. Performances are March 17-April 9 at the Frontier Theatre, 1106 W. Thorndale in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood.

Cor's second production, The Good Person of Szechwan by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Tony Kushner, promises to be a Chicago summer theatre scorcher next August. Ernie Nolan will direct, and ensemble member Will Von Vogt will defy traditional casting in the title role of Brecht's parable of good and evil. Performances are August 11 through September 11 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells Street in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood.

Both productions underscore Cor Theatre Company's mission, to explore the inner truth of the human experience through storytelling that defies convention, and to engage audiences by telling stories that take courage to tell.

Tickets for Christina, The Girl King are on sale now. Tickets for The Good Person of Szechwan go on sale July 1, 2016. For tickets and information, or call (866) 811-4111.

Reflecting on Cor's inaugural season, Co-founder and Artistic Director Tosha Fowler said, "We saw an audience of over 1,400 support our work in 2015. We collaborated with and employed more than 40 artists over our two productions, Erin Courtney'sA Map of Virtue and Brad Frasier's Love and Human Remains. I'm thrilled to confirm both productions were met with much critical success, we ended our season with a surplus, and we are moving into season two confident that we can build on this momentum to truly make our mark on Chicago's storefront theater scene."

Cor's opener last season, A Map of Virtue, was listed as a top show to see in theChicago Tribune, was named Most Promising Debut by Time Out Chicago, and was nominated for several Time Out Chicago Theatre Awards including Best Supporting Actress (Scottie Caldwell) and Best Design (Tierra G. Novy, set; Stefin Steberl, costumes and props; Eric Vigo, lights; and Jeffrey Levin, sound.)

Cor's Love and Human Remains, the first professional staging of Brad Frasier's controversial play in Chicago in 20 years, played to numerous sold-out houses and was listed as one of the top plays to see by Windy City Times and New City.

More about Cor's 2016 season

Christina, The Girl King
By Michel Marc Bouchard

Translated by Linda Gaboriau

Directed by Tosha Fowler

March 17-April 10, 2016

Press opening: Sunday, March 20 at 5 p.m.

at The Frontier Theatre in association with Jackalope Theatre

1106 W Thorndale Ave, Chicago

Note: For adult audiences only. Contains sex, full nudity (both female and male), violence and blood.

17th Century. Christina. Girl King of Sweden. After 30 years of war, Christina is pushing her people to become a forward thinking nation, armed by the power of her crown and whip-smart intellect. But when an unspeakable passion begins to burn underneath her androgynous visage, the Girl King's power is put to the test. Should she meet the demands of her country and birth its next heir? Can she fight the established patriarchy to rule as her own woman? Will she change? Or will she change the world around her? One thing is certain: each choice she makes will forever change her identity, and could mean certain death for the woman that she loves.

Christina, The Girl King is based on true events and tells the story of Queen Christina of Sweden, remembered for helping bring an end to the 30 Years War and for making Stockholm a major European capital. The play centers around the end of Christina's reign, when she summoned René Descartes to share radical new ideas emerging from science and philosophy at the time. Descartes's ideas about free will and reason appealed to Christina, who was struggling to reconcile tensions between her rational self and emotions she dared not name. Rather than conform, the 26-year-old queen abdicated her throne and converted to Catholicism - rendering her ineligible to rule. Was it an act of madness? Or a bold gesture of autonomy by a modern woman born ahead of her time?

Gaboriau's translation of Bouchard's Christina, The Girl King premiered at the Stratford Festival in 2014 and had an applauded, extended run. Greta Garbo portrayed her in the classic 1933 film Queen Christina, as did Liv Ullman in 1974 inThe Abdication. More recently, Bouchard also penned the script for the new Swedish-Finnish motion picture, The Girl King, directed by Mika Kaurismäki, released in December 2015.

Tosha Fowler (director) is the co-founder and artistic director of Cor Theatre, where she directed last season's A Map of Virtue, performed in Love and Human Remains, produced and acted in the critically acclaimed Skin Tight, directed by Victoria Delorio, and co-produced, wrote and performed in her original solo show, Mami, Where'd my O go?

Cor Theatre is proud to have been selected by Jackalope Theatre Company to receive a primetime, four-week, rent-free run of Christina, The Girl King in The Frontier through The Pioneer Series, Jackalope's continuous initiative to cultivate bold new theatre in Chicago.

The Good Person of Szechwan

By Bertolt Brecht

Translated by Tony Kushner

Directed by Ernie Nolan

Featuring Ensemble Member Will Von Vogt

August 11 - September 11, 2016

Press Opening: Sunday, August 14 at 5 p.m.

At A Red Orchid Theater, 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago

Three Gods are on a journey to find out if there are any good people left on earth. Only Shen Te, a good-hearted prostitute, offers them shelter. With the money they give her she opens a tobacco shop. At once everyone needs her help. Her livelihood is in danger. Worse, she is falling in love with Sun, a pilot, who is robbing her blind. Her hard hearted cousin Shui Ta arrives to protect her. Who is he and how can good people stay good in a world of poverty and cruelty?

German playwright, poet and director Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) established himself as a playwright during the 1920s and early 1930s with plays such as Baal,Man is Man, The Threepenny Opera and The Mother. In 1933, as Hitler came to power in Germany, he fled to Scandinavia before settling in the U.S. During the war years, he wrote many of his best known plays including The Life of Galileo, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mother Courage and Her Children and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. The Good Person of Szechwan, Brecht's parable of good and evil, was first performed in 1943 and remains one of his frequently produced plays worldwide.

Tony Kushner (translator) is the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, screenwriter, and author whose works have played everywhere from Broadway to HBO. His playAngels in America earned him the Pulitzer Prize, among many other awards. His other acclaimed plays include Slavs, Homebody/Kabul and Caroline, or Change.

Ernie Nolan (director) is an ensemble member at Cor Theatre, where he directed last season's hit revival of Love and Human Remains. He is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies at The Theatre School at DePaul University, Vice-President of Theatre for Young Audiences USA, and Artistic Director of Chicago's Emerald City Theatre.

Will Von Vogt (Shen Te) is an ensemble member at Cor, where he co-starred in last season's A Map of Virtue. Other credits include The Other Theatre Company's revival of Bent, along with Romeo and Juliet, The Heidi Chronicles, Blur, The Altruists, Empire Falls (HBO), and Google Me Love (produced by the Wachowskis), and serving on the producing team of Salonathon.

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