League of Chicago Theatres' 2017-18 Theatre Thursdays Lineup Features One World Premiere Per Month

League of Chicago Theatres' 2017-18 Theatre Thursdays Lineup Features One World Premiere Per Month

The League of Chicago Theatres announces the Theatre Thursday event line-up for the 2017-2018 Chicago theatre season, featuring one World Premiere per month. The Theatre Thursday events include works created and performed by a diverse range of playwrights and artists at theatres located in nine Chicago neighborhoods.

Additional information for each event is below, and ticketing details will be available online at bit.ly/theatrethursdays.

The Theatre Thursday initiative, first launched in 2005, strengthens and diversifies the Chicago theatre community by encouraging Chicagoans to explore new venues and companies. In 2015, the League of Chicago Theatres revamped the program to focus on new work with Theatre Thursday events happening once a month. Each monthly event provides audiences with a world premiere production and an inside look at the creative process behind new works, including exclusive access to artists.

"For the past twelve years, Theatre Thursday events have offered theatregoers an affordable theatre experience in various neighborhoods in Chicago. Each evening offers a close look at the production and encourages people to try something new. Each production is a world premiere and the selections this season are exemplary of the diverse, quality work on stages throughout the city and suburbs," comments League of Chicago Theatres Executive Director Deb Clapp."

The 2017-2018 Series Includes:

August 31, 2017


Chicago Fringe Festival

4872 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood

Tickets: $20

For reservations, visit: https://dime.io/c/chicago-fringe-festival/passes/46/orders/new

Join Fringe artists at 7PM for a pre-show reception at Fringe Central (4872 N. Milwaukee) before seeing the world premiere of Anxiety Demonstrations at 8:30PM. Theatre Thursday guests will also receive a Festival button and tickets to attend one additional performance at the Festival.

About Anxiety Demonstrations: When a group of chronically anxious strangers convenes for a "Conquer Your Anxieties" workshop in hopes to finally get cured, they have no clue whose mystifying hands they've just placed their lives into. The group is forced to face whether it's better to stick around with this perplexing leader or head back into a world that terrifies them.

September 7, 2017

Alias Grace

Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood and adapted by Jennifer Blackmer

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

5779 N. Ridge in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood

Tickets: $15

For reservations, visit https://rivendelltheatre.secure.force.com/ticket and use the discount code "THTH".

Enjoy appetizers, cocktails and conversation pre-show with playwright Jennifer Blackmer and director Karen Kessler courtesy of Cellars Bar & Grill at 6:30pm in Rivendell's rehearsal studio then sojourn next door to the theatre for an 8:00pm preview performance of Alias Grace.

About Alias Grace: A world premiere adaptation of Atwood's acclaimed novel, Alias Grace takes a look at one of Canada's most notorious murderers. In 1843, 16-year-old Grace Marks was accused of brutally murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Imprisoned for years, Grace still swears she has no memory of the killings. A doctor in the emerging field of mental health arrives to try to find out the truth of the matter. Alias Grace is a fascinating study of memory, culpability, and the shadowy spaces within the human mind.

October 12, 2017


Written by Martin Zimmerman

The Other Theatre Company at Chicago Dramatists

1105 W. Chicago Ave. in Chicago's West Town neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About The Making of a Modern Folk Hero: A congressman entices an old friend (and washed-up actor) to portray a superhero in a publicity stunt designed to stop the unjust bulldozing of a public housing complex. That first stunt proves successful and leaves the crowd enthralled, but what happens when the character the politician created goes rogue? This graphic novel for the stage employs a seamless blend of live actors and shadow puppets to investigate the passions, hopes, and fears that call people to yearn for and believe in the possibility of superheroes.

November 9, 2017


Written by Janine Nabers

American Theater Company

1909 W. Byron Ave. in Chicago's North Center neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About Welcome to Jesus: In fictional Hallelujah, TX, football reigns, and the quarterback is king. Janine Nabers' darkly funny and powerful new play unearths the tyranny of small town life and the power of prejudice to define our fate. Staged in a field of wood chips, about a town in search of some good news, Welcome to Jesus fuses fable and horror in a twenty-first century take on the Southern Gothic tradition. Will Davis kicks off Season 33 in ambitious style.

December 14, 2017


Written by Eugène Scribe and translated by Ranjit Bolt

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at the Greenhouse Theater Center

2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About Puff: Believe It Or Not: Puff is set in the salon society of 1840s Paris and is packed full of elegant plotting, quirky characters, fanciful fakery, and just downright lying, as it delightfully skewers the worlds of letters, politics and finance.

January 25, 2018


Written by Lloyd Suh

Jackalope Theatre at the Broadway Armory

5917 N. Broadway in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About Franklinland: Philadelphia, 1752. Growing up as the only son of Benjamin Franklin - the greatest scientific mind in the world; inventor of the lightning rod, the odometer, the glass harmonica, bifocal glasses, and, in his spare time, The United States of America - is not all it's cracked up to be. In the world premiere of this moving new play, Franklinland asks what it's like to make your way in life knowing your father's greatest invention wasn't you.

February 15, 2018


Written by Antoinette Nwandu

Victory Gardens Theater

2433 N. Lincoln Ave in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About Breach: What happens when a woman trapped in a dead-end job and a fizzling relationship accidentally gets pregnant by a man that she's not dating? A coming-of- age story about race, class and motherhood, Breach by Antoinette Nwandu and directed by Lisa Portes, examines how hard it is to love others when it's you that you loathe most of all.

March 1, 2018

Anna KarenINA

Based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy and adapted by Jessica Wright Buha

Lifeline Theatre

6912 N. Glenwood Ave. in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About Anna Karenina: As a wave of profound upheaval sweeps through Russian society, it is a time of impossible choices. Anna is torn between raising her cherished son and languishing in a lifeless marriage, or sacrificing everything to follow her lover Alexei into disgrace. Konstantin struggles to reconcile his existential torment with his enduring passion for Kitty. Innocents will suffer, hearts will be broken, and families will be torn apart as two couples learn that living truthfully is no simple thing. Travel to the palaces and farms of imperial Russia in a world premiere meditation on the complexities of love based on the 1877 novel by Leo Tolstoy.

April 12, 2018


Written by Jenni Lamb

The House Theatre of Chicago at the Chopin Theatre

1543 W. Division St. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About Ellen Bond, Union Spy: The year is 1864. The Civil War has ripped America in half, and while Union forces greatly outnumber the Confederates, Jefferson Davis and his generals doggedly persevere. Who can help end the war once and for all? Enter Ellen Bond, Union Spy! Mary Bowser is the (real!) freedwoman who risked it all to go undercover as "Ellen Bond, dim-witted but able" house slave to Jefferson and Varina Davis. "Ellen" cooks, cleans, and uses her photographic memory to collect military intel from the papers on Davis's desk. This action-packed new seriocomedy also features contemporary music and dance, illuminating Mary's exhilarating visions for the end of the Confederacy and the future of America.

May 10, 2018


Written by Brett Neveu

TimeLine Theatre Company

615 W. Wellington Ave. in Chicago's East Lakeview neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About To Catch a Fish: Inspired by true events, this compelling new play examines how the pursuit of justice-however well intentioned-can devastate a family and a community. In a low-income, residential neighborhood of Milwaukee, Terry Kilbourn has just begun a new job passing out flyers for a discount warehouse. When his bosses start asking more of him, his loved ones begin to question what is really going on. As higher stakes are revealed and relationships tested, the clarity of who to trust and what to believe grows increasingly murky. Both hilarious and heart wrenching, To Catch a Fish walks the line between good intentions and deceit, testing the bonds we have to family and community.

June 7, 2018


Written by Bennett Fisher

Strawdog Theatre Company

1802 W. Berenice in Chicago's North Center neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About Damascus: Hassan is a Somali-American Super Shuttle driver in Minneapolis, struggling to make ends meet as more and more of his customers switch to Uber and Lyft. So when a stranded teenager at the airport pays Hassan to take him to Chicago, it seems like it's worth the risk. Until it isn't. A claustrophobic thriller about privilege, paranoia, and the assumptions we make about one another.

July 5, 2018


Written by Kristiana Rae Colón

Sideshow Theatre Company at Victory Gardens Theater

2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About Tilikum: Tilikum was a king, and the oceans of the world were his. Now, he is a captive in a marine amusement park, doomed to live merely as an opportunity for profit. Alone behind bars he forgets the feel of freedom, but when fellow prisoners ignite the fires of his memory, he starts down a path that threatens to consume everything. Ripped from the headlines, Kristiana Rae Colón's Tilikum explores captivity, savagery and rebellion in a vital and visceral blend of theatre, drumming and dance. Poetic and lyrical, Tilikum calls out the power structures--both corporate and human--that ensure continued oppression, and the complicity of those willing to stand by and do nothing.

August 2, 2018


Written by Jami Brandli

Promethean Theatre Ensemble at the Athenaeum Theatre

2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood

Event and reservation details will be announced closer to the date.

About Bliss (Or Emily Post is Dead): It's 1960 in North Orange, NJ. Clytemnestra and Medea are now housewives with a pill addiction, and Antigone is the teenage girl next door who is in love with a black boy. On the surface, they're seemingly blissful to follow the "rules" of Emily Post, the American author famous for writing on etiquette. But that's just the surface. Then Cassandra, a black working girl, moves into their neighborhood and all routines are interrupted. Cassandra is determined to finally break the curse of Apollo, the gorgeous and egotistical god who gave her this "gift" of prophecy but made it so no one would ever believe her. He makes it clear his curse is practically indestructible: yet all she must do is convince someone to believe her. Can Cassandra convince them they now have a choice in this modern era? That they don't have to live a doomed existence? Can all four women escape their ongoing fate?

The 2017-2018 Theatre Thursday event series is sponsored by the Chicago Reader.

Chicago theater is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theaters throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theaters in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago's theaters serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. Last year alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 100 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theaters send new work to resident theaters across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theaters which leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago's theater industry locally, nationally and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theater in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theaters and theater professionals.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com. Half-price tickets to the current week's performances as well as future performances are available at HotTix.org and at the two Hot Tix half-price ticket locations: across from the Chicago Cultural Center at Expo72 (72 E. Randolph) and Block Thirty Seven (108 N. State).

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