REST, A WONDER IN MY SOUL and More Set for Victory Gardens' 40th Anniversary Season

REST, A WONDER IN MY SOUL and More Set for Victory Gardens' 40th Anniversary Season

Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Chris Mannelli announce Victory Gardens Theater's 40th Anniversary Season, a line-up of 5 plays in the subscription series by VG Resident Playwrights Samuel Hunter and Marcus Gardley; Colm Tóibín, Lauren Yee and Ayad Akhtar.

Chay Yew comments, "As Victory Gardens Theater enters our 40th season, we celebrate four decades of adventurous, thrilling and luminous new American plays. This season, we continue to deepen existing artistic partnerships, forge new ones and invite more Chicago communities into our family to create vital, entertaining and relevant stories that speak to our lives."

Yew continues, "In the historic tradition of Victory Gardens, we will introduce new faces Ayad Akhtar, Colm Toibin and Kimberly Senior to our theater, and welcome back familiar artists like Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter and Dennis Za?ek. We aim to make our 40th year our theater's best yet."

The 2014-15 Victory Gardens Season includes:

The Midwest Premiere of


by VG Ensemble Playwright Samuel D. Hunter

Directed by Joanie Schultz

September 12 - October 12, 2014

Press Opening: September 19, 2014
A retirement home in northern Idaho is being shut down, and only three residents and a bare-bones staff remain. When a record breaking blizzard blows into town and an elderly resident disappears into the storm, everyone is brought to face their own mortality. Samuel D. Hunter (from last season's hit The Whale) returns with a tender and heartbreakingly funny play about life's unexpected beginnings and endings.

The Midwest Premiere of

The Testament of Mary

by Colm Tóibín

Directed by Dennis Za?ek

November 14 - December 14, 2014

Press Opening: November 21, 2014

A 2013 Tony Award nominee for Best Play, this incisive, intelligent and profoundly challenging work recounts in riveting detail Mary's narrative of the last days in the life of her son, Jesus. Hailed as "beautiful and daring" by the New York Times, acclaimed author Colm Tóibín brings the world's most famous mother to life in this fiercely lyrical solo play.

The World Premiere of


by Lauren Yee

Directed by Seth Bockley

February 6 - March 8, 2015

Press Opening: February 13, 2015

Americans Katie and Craig are having a baby with Suraiya, a surrogate from India. As all three "parents" anxiously await the baby's due date, Katie and Suraiya are attacked by flights of their imagination: a seductive Frenchman and a sharp-tongued fetus. Originally developed at Victory Gardens' IGNITION New Play Festival in 2012, this smart world premiere comedy takes us on a hilarious and highly theatrical journey into 21st century parenthood and modern-day colonialism.

The World Premiere of

A Wonder In My Soul

by VG Ensemble Playwright Marcus Gardley

Directed by Chay Yew

April 3 - May 3, 2015

Press Opening: April 10, 2015

A Wonder In My Soul, by the author of The Gospel of Lovingkindness, centers on the feuding members of the Soul Singers, Chicago's 1960's rhythm and blues music sensation, who unwillingly reunite after 35 years for a concert to raise money for a community center. Set in the Bronzeville neighborhood, this hilarious and heartrending musical play about ambition, passions and the unbreakable bonds of family premieres in Spring 2015.

The Midwest Premiere of

The Who and the What

by Ayad Akhtar

Directed by Kimberly Senior

June 12 - July 12, 2015

Press Opening: Jun 19, 2015

Raised in a conservative Muslim family in Atlanta, the outspoken and brilliant Zarina recently completed a book about women and Islam. When her traditional father and sister discover the manuscript, it threatens to tear her family apart. With humor and ferocity, 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar and director Kimberly Senior examine the giant chasm between our traditions and our contemporary lives.

Subscriptions start at just $80 for the 5-play season plus access to resident productions, many rental company productions, and all additional public programming at the theater. Subscriptions will be on sale March 18 at and by phone at the Victory Gardens Box Office at The Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln, 773.871.3000.

Victory Gardens Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Benefits of subscribing include convenient parking; easy access via CTA, ticket exchange privileges; invitations to special events; discounted series for seniors, educators, younger audiences and persons with disabilities and pre- and post-show deals at nearby restaurants and businesses.

About Victory Gardens Theater: Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Chris Mannelli, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. With Victory Gardens' first new Artistic Director in 34 years, the company remains committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, continuing the vision set forth by Dennis Za?ek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens' core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city's and nation's culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city's active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Za?ek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 299-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

In 2012, Victory Gardens Victory Gardens appointed new Ensemble Playwrights Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter and Tanya Saracho, for seven-year residencies. The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens, Follow up on Facebook at and Twitter @VictoryGardens.

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