Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

New Adaptation of 'DORIAN GRAY', World Premiere of PROMETHEUS BOUND Set for City Lit's 2017-18 Season

pixeltracker

New Adaptation of 'DORIAN GRAY', World Premiere of PROMETHEUS BOUND Set for City Lit's 2017-18 Season

City Lit Theater's 38th season will embrace Chicago's first look in a century at an Irish classic, a rarely done Pulitzer winner performed by a non-traditional cast composed entirely of women over 55, a new adaptation by a three-time Jeff-winning adapter of one of the great 19th Century novels, setting its story in a new time and place; and theCity Lit debuts of both the world's first playwright and Chicago's most esteemed translator, retelling an ancient myth through a cast of human actors and life-sized puppets.

The season will open in September, with DEIRDRE OF THE SORROWS, by John Millington Synge (author of THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD). Synge's final masterpiece is a dramatization of the ancient Irish legend of Deirdre, foretold at birth to become the most beautiful woman in Ireland and therefore betrothed as an infant to the King of Ulster. Now grown, she rejects the arranged marriage and flees Ireland with her lover, the great warrior Naisi. CityLit's production will be the play's first Chicago production since that of the legendary Chicago Little Theatre in 1917. DEIRDRE OF THE SORROWS will be directed by Kay Martinovich and run from September 1 through October 15, 2017.

The season's second offering, Archibald MacLeish's Pulitzer Prize-winning J.B., is a modern retelling of the biblical Book of Job. J.B. is the happiest of men, and God's most loyal servant until God takes a bet from Satan that Satan can make JB so miserable JB will curse God. CityLit's production will feature an ensemble of nine women over the age of 55 as the 23 men, women, and children in the play's cast of characters.

"It's an old story in the theatre," artistic director Terry McCabe stated, "that as actresses age, there are fewer and fewer parts for them. This is bad news for audiences too, as it deprives them of opportunities to see the work of experienced and talented women." J.B. will be directed by Brian Pastor and run from October 27-December 10, 2017.

THE PICTURE OF DORIan Gray will come to the City Litstage in March. Oscar Wilde's novel of a man who sells his soul for unaging beauty will be adapted by Paul Edwards for his eighth production with City Lit, where he won his third Best Adaptation Jeff for PEYTON PLACE.

This will be Edwards's second adaptation of DORIan Gray. The first was in 1992 at the old Wisdom Bridge Theatre in a production directed by Terry McCabe. It was Wisdom Bridge's biggest hit of the season and was later recorded for radio in a co-production with L.A. Theatre Works. When McCabe contacted Edwards earlier this year to request permission for City Lit to produce his DORIAN, Edwards instead went back to the novel, ignoring his earlier script entirely, and wrote a completely new adaptation. It sets the story in a different time and place, but is no less faithful to the heart and soul of Wilde's novel. The director of the production is to be announced. THE PICTURE OF DORIan Gray will run from March 2-April 15, 2018.

Closing out the season will be a world premiere translation commissioned by City Lit from Court Theatre Founding Artistic Director Nicholas Rudall of Aeschylus' PROMETHEUS BOUND, with an original score by Chicago composer (and City Lit regular) Kingsley Day. In McCabe and Rudall's vision of the classic - a play they've discussed for over twenty years - only Prometheus, the human race's defender from Zeus, and Io, a woman turned into a cow by Zeus and hunted by a biting gadfly, are to be played by human actors. The play's other characters--all supernatural beings without meaningful connections to the human race--will be portrayed by life-sized puppets so that their physical appearances are not limited by the human form. "PROMETHEUS BOUND is a work of challenging beauty," Rudall said, "and City Lit is a perfect place to explore its lyricism and its politics." McCabe will direct; PROMETHEUS BOUND will run from April 27-June 10, 2018.

Subscriptions are available at $90.00 good for all performances or $68.00 for preview performances. Subscriptions may be ordered online at www.citylit.org. Single tickets, priced at $28 for previews and $32 for regular performances will be on sale soon at www.citylit.org. Senior prices are $23 for previews and $27 for regular performances. Students and military are $12.00 for all performances.


CITY LIT THEATER'S 2017/18 SEASON:

DEIRDRE OF THE SORROWS
By John Millington Synge
Directed by Kay Martinovich
September 1 - October 15, 2017
(Previews Sept. 1-Sept. 9)
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3:00 pm.
Preview ticket prices $28.00, seniors $23.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
Regular run Sunday, September 10 - Sunday, October 15
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3:00 pm.
Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
PRESS OPENING - Sunday, September 10 - 3:00 pm
Performances at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)

The final masterpiece of John Millington Synge (author of THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD) is a dramatization of the ancient Irish legend of Deirdre, foretold at birth to become the most beautiful woman in Ireland and therefore betrothed as an infant to the King of Ulster. Now grown, she rejects the arranged marriage and flees Ireland with her lover, the great warrior Naisi. City Lit's production will be the play's first Chicago production since that of the legendary Chicago Little Theatre in 1917.

J.B.
By Archibald MacLeish
Directed by Brian Pastor
October 27- December 10, 2017
Previews Oct. 27 - Nov. 4
Preview ticket prices $28.00, seniors $23.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
Regular run Friday, November 10, 2017 - Sunday, December 10, 2017
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.
Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
PRESS OPENING Sunday November 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm
Performances at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)

J.B., is a modern retelling of the biblical Book of Job. J.B. is the happiest of men, and God's most loyal servant until God takes a bet from Satan's that Satan can make JB so miserable JB will curse God.City Lit's production will feature an ensemble of nine women over the age of 55 as the twenty-three men, women, and children in the play's cast of characters.

THE PICTURE OF DORIan Gray
By Oscar Wilde
Adapted for the stage by Paul Edwards
March 2 - April 15, 2018
Previews March 2 -10
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.
Preview ticket prices $28.00, seniors $23, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
Regular run Sunday, March 11 - Sunday, April 15
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.
Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
Performances at City Lit Theatre, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)
PRESS OPENING Sunday, March 11 - 3 pm

Oscar Wilde's only novel ranks with FRANKENSTEIN and THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE as a defining excursion into psychological horror. DorIan Gray expresses the desire that his newly painted portrait, rather than he, will age and fade. This idle, destructive wish is granted: Dorian stays young and beautiful while his portrait ages and takes on the weight of his sins. He is both fascinated and trapped by this fatal freedom from responsibility, and enters a life of hedonism. Three-time Jeff Award winner for Best Adaptation Paul Edwards returns to City Lit for his eighth production.

PROMETHEUS BOUND
By Aeschlyus
WORLD PREMIERE TRANSLATION by Nicholas Rudall
April 27 - June 10, 2018
Previews April 27 - May 5
Directed by Terry McCabe
April 27 - June 10, 2018
Previews April 27 - May 5
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.
Preview ticket prices $28.00, seniors $23.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
Regular run Sunday, May 6 - Sunday, June 10
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.
Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12 (all plus applicable fees)
PRESS OPENING Sunday, May 6 - 3 pm
Performances at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)

A world premiere translation of Aeschylus' theatrically boldest tragedy, commissioned by City Lit from Nicholas Rudall, Founding Director of Court Theater and internationally acclaimed award-winning translator of Greek drama. The titan Prometheus, friend of humankind, is chained-and fastened with a spike through his chest--to a mountain as punishment for instilling in the human race the capacity for hope, thereby spoiling Zeus's plan to wipe out the human race and replace it with something better. Prometheus's parade of visitors includes gods, sea nymphs, and Io - a woman whom Zeus has turned into a cow. The production will feature human actors only as Prometheus and Io. The other characters, all supernatural beings, will be portrayed by life-sized puppets.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Kay Martinovich is a Chicago-based freelance director where her most recent credits include the Jeff-award winning LA BÊTE by David Hinson at Trap Door Theatre. and DOWN RANGE by Jeffrey Skinner at Genesis. Additional credits include WINSOR MCCAY by Laura Marks (TEN Festival) at the Gift Theatre and ANYTHING OF VALUE by Brett Neveu (RIPPED Festival) at American Blues. As Associate Artistic Director of Irish Repertory of Chicago from 1999-2006, Kay directed the American premieres of BY THE BOG OF CATS by Marina Carr and THE YALTA GAME by Brian Friel, among others. She has directed over 40 productions in the Chicago area and in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. Kay received her MPhil in Irish Theatre and Film Studies from Trinity College, Dublin and her PhD from University of Minnesota writing on the subject of "Ghosting in Contemporary Irish and Northern Irish Drama". She teaches Acting and Directing at Northern Illinois University and directs their annual BFA Acting Showcase at the Chopin Theatre. Kay is a proud member of SDC, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Brian Pastor is the Artistic Director of Promethean Theatre Ensemble, where he directed THE WINTER'S TALE (Broadway World Award Nomination - Best Director), HENRY V, THE DARK SIDE OF THE BARD, THE LION IN WINTER, and GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF Oscar Wilde. His acting credits include HAUPTMANN for City Lit and THE LARK and A STUDY IN SCARLET for Promethean. In 2015, Brian became the Executive Director at Raven Theatre after serving 10 and a half years on staff at City LitTheater, including nine as Managing Director. He is also a former board and company member of The Mime Company and a founding company member of Chicago dell'Arte.

Terry McCabe has been City Lit's artistic director since February 2005. He has directed plays professionally in Chicago since 1981. He was artistic director of Stormfield Theatre for four years, resident director at Wisdom Bridge Theatre for five years, and worked at Body Politic Theatre Three separate times in three different capacities over a span of 14 years. His City Lit adaptations of HOLMES AND WATSON, GIDGET (co-adapted with Marissa McKown), THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, SCOUNDREL TIME, and OPUS 1861(co-adapted with Elizabeth Margolius) were Jeff-nominated. He won two Jeff Citations for directing at Stormfield and has been thrice nominated for the Jeff Award for Best Director, for shows at Court Theatre, Wisdom Bridge, and Victory Gardens. He has directed at many Chicago theatres either long-gone or still with us, as well as off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and at Vienna's English Theatre. His book MIS-DIRECTING THE PLAY has been denounced at length in American Theatre magazine and from the podium at the national convention of The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, but is used in directing courses on three continents and is now available in paperback and Kindle e-book.

Nicholas Rudall is the Founding Artistic Director of The Court Theatre and Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Chicago. He has published over twenty translations of major playwrights designed specifically for the stage. These include works by Sophocles, Euripides, Ibsen, Feydeau and Buchner. His B?ACCHAE was performed by The Public Theater in Central Park with music by Philip Glass. And the Stratford Theatre Festival in Canada performed his translation of ?THE TROJAN WOMEN. The Court just concluded a three year cycle of ?IPHIGENIA IN AULIS, ?AGAMEMNON and ?ELECTRA. The ??IPHIGENIA has been selected for performances at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in September of 2017.

For thirty-eight years, City Lit Theater has been "dedicated to the vitality and accessibility of the literary imagination. City Litproduces theatrical adaptations of literary material, scripted plays by language-oriented playwrights, and original material."

City Lit is in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue. We are two blocks east of both the Bryn Mawr Red Line stop and the #36 Broadway and the #84 Peterson buses. We are one block west of the #147 Sheridan and #151 Sheridan buses. Divvy bike stations are located at Bryn Mawr & Lakefront Trail, and at Broadway & Ridge at Bryn Mawr. The metered street parking pay boxes on Bryn Mawr have a three-hour maximum duration and are free on Sundays. $10 valet service is available at Francesca's Bryn Mawr at 1039 W Bryn Mawr diagonally across the street from us on the SW corner of Kenmore and Bryn Mawr and is available whether you are dining at the restaurant or not. There are additional details about parking and dining options at www.citylit.org.


Related Articles View More Chicago Stories

Buy at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

More Hot Stories For You