Haven Theatre Announces 2018-19 Season

Haven Theatre Announces 2018-19 SeasonHaven Theatre is pleased to announce its 2018-19 Season, kicking off this fall with its fourth consecutive DIRECTOR'S HAVEN, three short plays showcasing the talents of early career directors. Helming this year's productions are Charlotte Drover, Anna Sung-En Medill and Dani Wieder.

All performances are pay-what-you-can.

The season continues in winter 2019 with the Midwest premiere of THE TOTAL BENT, a dynamic new rock show about fathers, sons, social upheaval and the choice between salvation and selling out. Directed by Lili-Anne Brown, the new musical features text by Stew and music and lyrics by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, the creative team behind the Tony Award-nominated Best Musical Passing Strange.

Haven's 2018-19 Season concludes in summer 2019 with the Chicago premiere of KISS, by Guillermo Calderón, Chile's most acclaimed playwright-director. Monty Cole directs and performs in this bold theatrical experience that asks if art is a tool for empathy, what are the limits? Abhi Shrestha associate directs.

Over the course of the 2018-19 Season, the company will also be featuring a series of one-night-only presentations of work by exciting and emerging artists as part of its mission or providing a Haven for artistic development and trying out ideas. Artists confirmed to date include Sydney Charles, Diego Colón, Emma Couling and Lesley Keller.

Comments Artistic Director Josh Sobel, "As our world continues down an ever more uncertain road, many of us in the creative industry find ourselves regularly confronting questions dealing with what it means to be an artist during a time of political upheaval. Is this what the world needs right now, or could it use another civil rights attorney? Why art? If we choose to make art in such a time, what are the responsibilities we have to actively and consciously engage with the moment? And even more, how do we then choose to do so? Grappling with questions of the role of the artist during times of civic unrest, violence and war, our upcoming productions will be helmed by directors vital to this city's artistic community, bringing their distinctly contemporary and conscious voices to these intensely immediate stories."

Haven's Theatre 2018-19 Season will be staged at its resident home, The Den Theatre's Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets will go on sale at a later date. For additional information, visit haventheatrechicago.com.

Haven Theatre's 2018-19 Season:

October 15 - 31, 2018


Featuring work by Charlotte Drover, Anna Sung-En Medill and Dani Wieder

All performances are pay-what-you-can

The DIRECTOR'S HAVEN is back for the 4th consecutive year, with three more early career directors eager to share their visions! Charlotte Drover, Anna Sung-En Medill and Dani Wieder will headline the next chapter of Haven's initiative to showcase rising directors as they share their artistic point of view with the Chicago community. Each director will helm a fully produced 30-45 minute play of their choosing that will run back-to-back at each performance. See what the next generation can do when provided with that all-too-rare commodity: a room to share their vision. Productions will be announced shortly.


February 7 - March 10, 2019

THE TOTAL BENT - Midwest Premiere!

Text by Stew

Music & Lyrics by Stew & Heidi Rodewald

Directed by Lili-Anne Brown

Press opening: Tuesday, February 12 at 8 pm

When a British record producer arrives in Montgomery, Alabama to hook Marty Roy, a young black musical prodigy, he launches us back into Marty's tumultuous upbringing. The son of a gospel star and self-proclaimed healer, Marty spent his childhood writing the songs that have made his charismatic father famous. But in a nation on the verge of social upheaval, with the rising heat from the street guiding his pen, Marty finds himself at odds with his spiritually forceful father as he strives to create a masterpiece that will change America - no matter the cost. A funny, fiery, one-of-a-kind show, The Total Bent is about the passions that divide a father and son as they make their music and make their choice between salvation and selling out.


July 18 - August 11, 2019

KISS - Chicago Premiere!

Written by Guillermo Calderon

Directed by Monty Cole

Associate Director Abhi Shrestha

Press opening: Tuesday, July 23 at 8 pm

Two couples meet for their weekly soap opera viewing party, but that standing double date quickly starts to feel like a soap opera itself when the friends unpack scandals, secrets and their heart-rending passions. Guillermo Calderon has written a bold and political theatrical experience that explodes the romantic drama and asks what it means to empathize with a culture and conflict that is not your own.


Artist Biographies

Stew's (Text, Music & Lyrics, The Total Bent) work includes Passing Strange, for which he received the 2008 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, and four other Tony nominations, including Best Musical. He is also a two-time Obie Award winner for Passing Strange. Spike Lee shot a feature film of the Broadway production of Passing Strange and it rocked selected theaters throughout the U.S. before debuting on PBS' Great Performances in 2009. Stew leads a band called Stew & The Negro Problem, whose eight albums have attracted much critical acclaim and numerous "Album of the Year" awards. Stew and Heidi Rodewald, his two-time Obie Award-winning collaborator, created Making It, a song-cycle for rock band and video, which was commissioned by and performed at St. Ann's Warehouse in February 2010. In October 2010, Brooklyn Omnibus, another live song-cycle with video, was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy Of Music and performed there. The Total Bent, a new musical developed at The Public Theater Lab in the winter of 2012, finished a run at the Public in the summer of 2016, after being extended twice. January 2012 saw the release of the music from Making It by The Negro Problem on their new label Tight Natural Productions. Stew's work has been featured on multiple occasions at Lincoln Center, the United Nations, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Getty Museum, Hammer Museum, UCLA Live, Seattle Repertory Theater, NPR and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Heidi Rodewald (Music & Lyrics, The Total Bent) is the Tony Award nominated, Obie Award winning co-composer of the musical Passing Strange, which transferred from The Public Theater to Broadway in 2008. Rodewald composed music for Karen Kandel's Portraits: Night and Day (2004); Brides of the Moon by The Five Lesbian Brothers (2010); and co-composed music for Shakespeare's Othello and Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet (2010-12). Rodewald joined the band The Negro Problem in 1997, where she began a longtime collaboration with singer-songwriter, Stew. She has collaborated with him in a range of capacities - as a co-composer, producer/arranger and performer. She is the co-composer with Stew of the musical Family Album, which premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival during the 2014 season, Notes of a Native Song at Harlem Stage in 2015, Wagner, Max! Wagner!! at the Kennedy Center in 2015, and The Total Bent at The Public Theater in May 2016. Heidi is the composer of The Good Swimmer with librettist Donna DiNovelli, presented by Prototype Festival January 2016 at the space HERE in NYC, and scored her first film I Dream Too Much, which had it's world premiere at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival.

Lili-Anne Brown (Director, The Total Bent) is a native Chicagoan, who works as a director, actor and educator, both locally and regionally. She is the former artistic director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she directed Dessa Rose (Jeff Award), Passing Strange (BTA Award and Jeff nomination for Best Director of a (Musical), See What I Wanna See (Steppenwolf Theatre Garage Rep) and the world premiere of Princess Mary Demands Your Attention by Aaron Holland. Other directing credits include The Wolf at the End of the Block (16th Street Theatre), Marie Christine (Boho Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Metropolis Performing Arts), The Wiz (Kokandy Productions), Xanadu (American Theatre Company), Jabari Dreams of Freedom by Nambi E. Kelley (world premiere, Chicago Children's Theatre), American Idiot (Northwestern University); the national tour of Jesus Snatched My Edges; and Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Unnecessary Farce, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Timber Lake Playhouse. She is a member of SDC, SAG-AFTRA, and a graduate of Northwestern University.

Guillermo Calderon (Playwright, Kiss) is US-based screenwriter, playwright and theater director originally from Santiago, Chile. His plays include Neva, Diciembre, Clase, Villa, Speech, Quake, Escuela, Kiss, Mateluna and Goldrausch. Calderón's productions have toured extensively through South America, North America, and Europe. He has been commissioned to write and direct by the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Theater Basel, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, the Royal Court Theater, Center Theater Group,and The Public Theater in New York City, where he also directed Neva. His co-written screenplay Violeta Went to Heaven won the World Cinema Jury Prize for Drama at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He co-wrote The Club, directed by Pablo Larrain, winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival 2015, and nominated for the Golden Globes in the Foreign Language category. The script won the Silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. He wrote the script for Neruda, directed by Pablo Larraín, presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (The Director's Forthnight) during Cannes Film Festival 2016. He recently directed his play Villa in New York City, produced by The Play Company. His new play B was produced at the Royal Court Theater in September 2017.

Monty Cole (Director, Kiss) is a director based out of Chicago and Los Angeles. Cole has directed for The Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, American Theatre Company, Definition Theater Company/ALTA, The House Theatre of Chicago, the Chicago Theater Marathon, California Institute of the Arts and others. Cole directed the critically acclaimed and Jeff Award winning production of The Hairy Ape for Oracle Productions. Monty is working with collaborator and choreographer Breon Arzell on revitalizing In Dahomey, the first black written and performed Broadway musical from 1903 for the Center for New Performance. Next up, Cole will direct William Shakespeare's Hamlet at The Gift Theatre. Recently, he directed Kiss by Guillermo Calderon at the California Institute of the Arts where he is currently an MFA2 Directing candidate.

About Haven Theatre:


We exist to be a Haven for The Future. We achieve this through championing the next generation of playwrights, directors and actors by producing and promoting plays and performances that are staking their claim as the immediate future of this art form, and by investing in those at the very beginning of their professional journeys. Through this inspiration, we seek to ignite in each audience member a hope for the Future - the Future of theatre and performance, the Future of each other, the Future of our community.

PHOTO CREDIT: (left to right) Chicago directors Lili-Anne Brown and Monty Cole will helm productions in Haven Theatre's 2018-19 Season. Photo by Joe Mazza/Brave Lux.


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