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Raven Theatre Announces Revamped 2020-21 Season


Raven Theatre Announces Revamped 2020-21 Season

Raven Theatre today announced a revamped 2020-21 Season, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This fall's planned revival of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's drama Inherit the Wind directed by Ian Frank has been cancelled. Instead, the three-play season will kick off next February with Jonathan Harvey's sweet and charming coming-of-age play Beautiful Thing. Mikael Burke directs this touching story of two boys living in London who are discovering how they fit into the world around them.

The season continues next spring with the world premiere of Mat Smart's stark, passionate drama EDEN PRAIRIE, 1971, originally slated to close out Raven's 2019-20 season this spring. Henry Wishcamper directs this new play which confidently questions our notions of bravery and responsibility.

Raven's 2020-21 season will conclude next summer with the Chicago premiere of Melissa Ross's The Luckiest. Artistic Director Cody Estle directs this heartfelt and honest look at the journey of life.

Raven is also pleased to announce the first show of its 2021-22 season, the world premiere of Joshua Allen's The Last Pair of Earlies, originally slated to conclude the company's 2020-21 season. Tyla Abercrumbie directs this new drama, which follows the hardships and hopes of Wayland and Della Rose Early as they chase a sweet Southern dream on the South side of Chicago.

Raven Theatre, located at 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, is currently offering a variety of 2020-21 subscription packages for the amended season at or by calling (773) 338-2177. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Comments Raven Artistic Director Cody Estle, "While we are going to miss welcoming artists and patrons into our theatre this fall, we understand the risk associated with gathering and are prepared to do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We will use the next few months to review CDC recommendations and government guidelines to develop a plan for a safe and successful reopening in the winter of 2021. We look forward to having you back safely at the theatre as soon as possible."

Raven Theatre's 2020-21 Season:

February 11 - March 28, 2021

Beautiful Thing

By Jonathan Harvey

Directed by Mikael Burke

Press opening: Monday, February 15, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Jamie and Ste are two boys living in working-class flats in southeast London. They attend school, gossip and sit outside to bask in the sun.

Jamie is a bit rebellious, has patchy attendance at school, and has inherited the same sharp tongue as his mother, Sandra. Ste, often avoiding his erratic brother and father, devotes himself to sports and academics in hopes for a better future. They find solace with one another from their mundane, yet overwhelming lives. When Ste starts seeking nightly refuge at Jamie's, their midnight chats evolve into something different, something transformative and something beautiful. The boys seek understanding in themselves, rather than the world that doesn't understand them.

May 6 - June 20, 2021

Eden Prairie, 1971 - World Premiere!

By Mat Smart

Directed by Henry Wishcamper

Press opening: Monday, May 10, 2021 at 7:30 pm

On the same night Apollo 15 lands on the moon, draft-dodger Pete steals home to Eden Prairie, Minnesota, after a 300 mile walk from Canada. He risks arrest, but has an important message to deliver to an old friend. In a moment of national and interpersonal tension that mirrors our own, Pete must defend his choices and grapple with the sacrifices he's made.

June 17 - August 1, 2021

The Luckiest - Chicago Premiere!

By Melissa Ross

Directed by Artistic Director Cody Estle

Press openings: Sunday, June 27 at 3 pm and Monday, June 28 at 7:30 pm

Lissette and Peter are best friends living their best lives. But when an out of nowhere diagnosis shatters Lissette's world, Peter is left trying to pick up the pieces.

Suddenly finding herself at odds with both her best friend and her mom - who each come bearing strong opinions wrapped in good intentions - Lissette is forced to navigate between the two while unflinchingly forging her own path for her future. This tender, funny, and keenly-observed play explores the uncertain and sometimes heartbreaking territory of how we choose to take ownership of our lives.

Moving to Raven's 2021-22 Season:

September 30 - November 14, 2021

The Last Pair of Earlies - World Premiere!

By Joshua Allen

Directed by Tyla Abercrumbie

Press opening: Monday, October 4, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Ever since he was a teenager in Mississippi, Wayland Early could count on two things - his talent for making handmade shoes, and Della Rose's love.

But danger forces them to flee north to Chicago. Before they know it, nearly two decades have passed, and both Wayland and Della find one another increasingly unable to count on anything, including their marriage. As they each contend with a weight of their spent youth and unrealized dreams, a life-altering question comes to the surface: are they still enough for each other?

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