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Eclipse Theatre Company Announces 2019 Christopher Durang Season

Eclipse Theatre Company announces 2019 season will feature the comedic works of playwright Christopher Durang

Chicago's Eclipse Theatre Company, the only theatre company in the Midwest to focus on a single playwright each season, has announced that they will feature the raucous comedy of Christopher Durang for the 2019 Season. Eclipse plans to explore the range of Mr. Durang's canon with three full productions, readings, and public events focused on the playwright and his works.

" I am pleased and honored that the Eclipse Theatre has selected me as their playwright for 2019," Durang noted. "Baby With the Bathwater" and Beyond Therapy are plays that mean a

great deal to me, and I'm particularly happy that Eclipse will be producing the Chicago premiere of my political comedy Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them." Eclipse's Interim Artistic Director Steve Scott, who directed the highly praised Chicago premiere of Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike at The Goodman Theatre, added, "I'm particularly thrilled to be collaborating once again with Mr. Durang, who is one of the truly unique voices of the American theater. His satires of our culture and mores have never been more relevant, and I'm anxious for our audiences to rediscover his outrageously infectious wisdom and humor."

All productions will be presented at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL

The 2019 Christopher Durang Season will include:

Baby With The Bathwater

Directed by Derek Van Barham

April 18 - May 26, 2019

Opening Nights April 21 at 3:00 pm

Runs Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday at 2:00 pm

Eclipse opens the 2019 Christopher Durang Season with his bitingly satiric black comedy, Baby With The Bathwater. As the play begins Helen and John gaze proudly at their new offspring, a bit disappointed that it doesn't speak English and too polite to check its sex. So they decide that the child is a girl and name it Daisy-which leads to all manner of future emotional and personality problems when it turns out that Daisy is actually a boy. Thereafter, in a series of brilliantly theatrical and wildly hilarious scenes, the saga of Daisy's struggle to establish his identity continues, despite his parents' growing obliviousness. At the outset there is a zany nanny who gives him a lethal toy to play with; then the small problem of Daisy's penchant, as a toddler, for throwing himself in front of buses; then his bizarre problems in school; and, finally, the sessions with his analyst which enable him, at last, to accept his maleness and stop wearing dresses. In the end the play comes full circles as the former Daisy and his young bride fondly regard their own baby-forgiving of the past but determined not to repeat its calamitous mistakes.

Beyond Therapy

Directed by Rachel Lambert

July 11 - August 18, 2019

Opening Nights July 14 at 3:00 pm

Runs Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday at 2:00 pm

The 2019 Christopher Durang Season continues with his wry, farcical hit, Beyond Therapy. Bruce and Prudence are deeply into therapy. Prudence's macho therapist is urging her to be more assertive while Bruce's wacky therapist wants him to meet women by placing a personal ad. She does not fully comprehend that Bruce has a male lover who is not pleased by Bruce's desire to date a woman: Prudence. Bruce doesn't know how to handle poor nervous Prudence and Prudence doesn't know what to make of her unpredictable new boyfriend. They do learn to live beyond therapy in this delightful Off-Broadway and Broadway hit.

Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them

Directed by Ensemble Member Steve Scott

November 14 - December 15, 2019

Opening Night November 17 at 3:00 pm

Runs Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 pm No Performance Thanksgiving, November 28

The 2019 Christopher Durang Season concludes with the hilarious Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, a play which turns political humor upside down in a raucous and provocative satire about America's growing homeland "insecurity." It is the story of a young woman suddenly in crisis: Is her new husband, whom she married when drunk, a terrorist? Or just crazy? Or both? Is her father's hobby of butterfly collecting really a cover for his involvement in a shadow government? Why does her mother enjoy going to the theatre so much? Does she seek mental escape, or is she insane? Honing in on our private terrors both at home and abroad, Durang oddly relieves our fears in this black comedy for an era of yellow, orange and red alerts.

Called "Jonathan Swift's nicer, younger brother" by the New York Observer, Christopher Durang is one of America's most respected contemporary playwrights, known for his comic and incisive social satires. A graduate of Harvard University and the Yale School of Drama, Durang first came to prominence with his Off-Broadway revue Das Lusitania Songspiel, which he performed with his friend and Yale classmate Sigourney Weaver. His major works include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (Obie Award); Beyond Therapy; Baby with the Bathwater; A History of the American Film (Tony nomination); The Idiots Karamazov; The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award); Laughing Wild, 'Dentity Crisis; Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie Award);

Adrift in Macao (with composer Peter Melnick); Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge; Miss Witherspoon (Pulitzer Prize finalist); Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them; and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Award, New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League Award, and Off-Broadway Alliance Awards for Best Play), among many others. He is also the author of two volumes of one-act parodies: Durang/Durang and Naomi in the Living Room and Other Short Plays. Mr. Durang is the recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships, a Lila Wallace Playwriting

Award, the Sidney Kingsley playwriting award, and the 2012 PEN Master American Dramatist Award; in 2013 he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. From 1994 to 2016, he and Marsha Norman were co-chairs of the Playwriting Program at the Juilliard School. His newest play, Turning Off the Morning News, premiered this past May at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ, directed by Emily Mann.

Eclipse Theatre concludes its current 2018 William Inge Season with The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, directed by Jerrell Henderson and presented November 15th - December 16th at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL.

The current Eclipse Theatre Company Ensemble is Zachery Alexander, Zach Bloomfield, Ashley Bowman, Anthony Conway, Celeste M. Cooper, Stephen Dale, Kathleen Dickinson, Kevin Hagan, Michael Allen Harris, Ashley Hicks, Phil Higgins, Anish Jethmalani, Joe McCauley, Sarah Moeller, J.P. Pierson, Rebecca Prescott, Rebecca Ross, Steve Scott, BrittneyLove Smith, TayLar, Matt Thinnes, Vanessa Thomas, and Katie Vandehey. The Artistic Director is Nathaniel Swift and the Managing Director is Kevin Scott.

Eclipse Theatre Company presents the work of one playwright each season. We offer the audience an opportunity, unique in the Midwest, to journey with us through the playwright's works. Join us in exploring the breadth and depth of a playwright's artistic worlds. One playwright, one season, one illuminating journey.

Playwrights whose work have been featured with full seasons at Eclipse include Jean Cocteau (1998); Tennessee Williams (1999); Lillian Hellman (2000); Romulus Linney (2001); John Guare (2002); Neil Simon (2003); Keith Reddin (2004); Lanford Wilson (2005); Rebecca Gilman (2006); Pearl Cleage (2007); Arthur Miller (2010), Naomi Wallace (2011), Eugene O'Neill (2012), Sir Alan Ayckbourn (2013), Lynn Nottage (2014), Terrence McNally (2015), Stephen Adly Guirgis (2016), Kia Corthron (2017), and William Inge (2018).

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