City Lit Re-Announces Four-Show Season, to Begin in January 2022

The season will continue in April with EMMA’S CHILD, a drama by City Lit Resident Playwright Kristine Thatcher.

By: Jun. 25, 2021
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City Lit Re-Announces Four-Show Season, to Begin in January 2022

City Lit Theater has re-announced programming for its 41st year of production, according to Producer and Artistic Director Terry McCabe. The 2021-22 subscription season will open with a world premiere adaptation - THE VIRGINIAN: A HORSEMAN OF THE PLAINS. Owen Wister's novel, which was adapted as a 1946 feature film and a TV series that aired from 1962-1971, has been adapted for the stage by Chicago playwrights L.C. Bernadine and Spencer Huffman. McCabe will direct the production. A study of the meaning of honor in the Old West, City Lit's production will feature a diverse cast. "The value of any national myth lies in its availability to everyone," McCabe stated. The show will also feature a small herd of puppet horses, created for the show by The Puppet Company. Three quarters the size of real horses, the puppet horses will be able to do the things horses in Westerns do, from dodging the lariat to brushing away flies with their tails. THE VIRGINIAN will open to the press on January 16, 2022, following previews from January 7, and will play through February 20, 2022.

The season will continue in April with EMMA'S CHILD, a drama by City Lit Resident Playwright Kristine Thatcher about a Rogers Park couple who plans to adopt the child of Emma, a pregnant teenager. What follows threatens their marriage and reshapes what they think of parenthood. Thatcher's play was the first play ever commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Its 1996 Chicago premiere at Victory Gardens was directed by Terry McCabe, who will direct this City Lit production. City Lit's world premiere of Thatcher's play THE SAFE HOUSE, which the company commissioned, was a 2019 Jeff award nominee for Best New Play. EMMA'S CHILD will open to the press on April 24, 2022, following previews from April 15. It will play through May 29, 2022.

Next up will be J.M. Synge's THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, to be directed by Brian Pastor (pictured). In this classic comedy, Christy Mahon comes into Flaherty's tavern on the west coast of Ireland and claims to have killed his father with a shovel. The locals are charmed by his boldness and daring, and he becomes a local hero--until the old man shows up. The production will open to the press on July 10, 2022, following previews from July 1, and play through August 14, 2022.

City Lit's '21-'22 season will end with AZTEC HUMAN SACRIFICE, a musical by Chicagoan (and City Lit regular performer) Kingsley Day (pictured) and Hollywood screenwriter Philip LaZebnik (POCAHONTAS, MULAN, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT), authors of the legendary Chicago musical comedy SUMMER STOCK MURDER. The musical concerns the "Chosen One" to be sacrificed to the Sun God, but who has instead run off with the Emperor's daughter.

The community pursues the young man, who must be found and sacrificed so that the world does not end. AZTEC HUMAN SACRIFICE will open to the press on Sunday, September 3, following previews from August 26, and will play through October 9, 2022.

Season subscriptions are available at $90.00, good for all performances, or $68.00 for preview performances. Subscriptions may be ordered online at Single tickets for the 21-22 season (beginning with THE VIRGINIAN) are priced at $30 for previews and $34 for regular performances and will be on sale soon at . Senior prices are $25 for previews and $29 for regular performances. Students and military are $12.00 for all performances.

Single tickets are currently on sale for the previously announced seven-week run of THIRTEEN DAYS, which was in previews when performances were suspended in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. THIRTEEN DAYS is a world premiere adaptation of Robert F. Kennedy's book detailing the events of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, written and directed by Brian Pastor, City Lit's Resident Director. As with City Lit's acclaimed production 2017 production of Archibald MacLeish's J.B., which Pastor also directed, the roles in THIRTEEN DAYS are played by a diverse ensemble of women. All the characters in the book are white males; none of the actors onstage will be. THIRTEEN DAYS will open to the press on September 19, 2021, following previews from September 10 - 17. It will play through October 24, 2021.

From the March 2020 preview of THIRTEEN DAYS. L-R: Sheila Willis, Cameron Feagin, Kat Evans, Julia Kessler, Maggie Cain. Photo by Steve Graue.

Everyone at City Lit--casts, crews, and office staff alike--is or will be fully vaccinated by the time performances begin. We will also be following CDC ventilation guidelines on a daily basis to ensure a complete exchange of air in the theatre between performances. City Lit will of course comply with the full set of whatever official health guidelines are in place at any time.


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