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Raven Theatre's SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON Begins October 3

Raven Theatre's SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON Begins October 3

Raven Theatre launches its 2019-20 season with the Chicago premiere of Rachel Bonds' drama SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON, featuring music and lyrics by The Bengsons, directed by Artistic Director Cody Estle with music direction by Andra Velis Simon. This warm and delicate play with music is an honest look at the hard work of holding a family together and reconnecting with what we've left behind. Casting will be announced shortly.

SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON will play October 3 - November 17, 2019 on Raven's 85-seat East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 338-2177. The press opening is Monday, October 7 at 7:30 pm.

In the misty heat of a small southern town, two sisters have come home to handle a crisis. Twins Joey and Ray have just taken their first steps into adulthood while their newly divorced father, Tom, has been suspended from his job. But deep, honest communication doesn't come easy. Seemingly stuck between the future and the past, this family of musicians sings what they can't bring themselves to say.

Comments Artistic Director Cody Estle, "As we enter our 37th season, I'm excited to welcome playwright Rachel Bonds to our theatre. She'll be joining us during the creative process for Sundown, Yellow Moon. This will be my second time working with Rachel. In 2018, I directed the critically acclaimed production of her play Five Mile Lake at Shattered Globe Theatre. Rachel is a gifted writer who has written a beautifully honest play which wrestles with family, returning home, hopes and dreams. This slice of life play with music is sure to move our audiences."

The production team includes Jeffrey D. Kmiec (scenic design), Izumi Inaba (costume design), Becca Jeffords (lighting design), Eric Backus (sound design), Mealah Heidenreich (props design), Elise Kauzlaric (dialect coach), Catherine Miller (casting director), Cole von Glahn (artistic producer), Ashley Brenon (assistant director), Bobby Huggins (technical director), Jessie Howe (scenic artist), Liz Gomez (master electrician), Ian Liberman (assistant costume designer), Wilhelm Peters (stage manager) and Kate Nagorski (assistant stage manager).

About the Artists:

Rachel Bonds' (Playwright) plays have been developed or produced by Ars Nova, WP Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Roundabout Underground, Atlantic Theater Company, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and New York Stage & Film, among others. Her plays include: Goodnight Nobody (Upcoming McCarter), Curve of Departure (South Coast, Studio, Northlight), Sundown, Yellow Moon, with music by The Bengsons (Ars Nova/WP, Raven Theatre), Five Mile Lake (South Coast, McCarter, Shattered Globe, Weissberger Award), At the Old Place (La Jolla), Swimmers (Marin Theatre Co., Sky Cooper Prize), The Wolfe Twins (Studio), Alma (Atlantic Theatre Company commission), Firecracker; Michael & Edie (NY Times Critic's Pick), Winter Games (ATL, Heideman Award), and Anniversary (EST, Sam French OOB Festival Winner). She is an Alumna of the EST's Youngblood, Ars Nova's Play Group and SPACE on Ryder Farm's Working Farm Writers' Group, and is a frequent volunteer at the 52nd Street Project. She was also the Tow Foundation Playwright in Residence at Ars Nova. She is currently collaborating with composer Zoe Sarnak on a commission for The Geffen, developing a fictional podcast The Heart of It All for Stitcher, and adapting her play Sundown, Yellow Moon into a screenplay. Bonds is a graduate of Brown University.

The Bengsons (Music & Lyrics) Mrried duo Shaun & Abigail Bengson, are composers and performers who have appeared at such venues as Joe's Pub (NYC), MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA), Freight & Salvage (Berkeley, CA) and the Market Theater (Johannesburg, South Africa). Their music has been featured in Hundred Days (La Jolla Playhouse, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, Know Theater, Z Space, US Tour), The Lucky Ones (Ars Nova), Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP), Anything That Gives Off Light (Edinburgh Theatre Festival, US Tour), Hurricane Diane (New York Theatre Workshop, Two River Theatre), You'll Still Call Me By Name (New York Live Arts, Jacob's Pillow), The Place We Built (The Flea), and Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company). They have scored for TV and film, including on "So You Think You Can Dance" (FOX) and the short film "The Ceiling Fan." They have received the Richard Rogers Award and have been nominated for the Drama Desk, Drama League, and Lucile Lortel awards. Abigail Nessen Bengson has toured as a member of tUnE-yArDs, including an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."

Andra Velis Simon (Music Director) has worked regionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, A.R.T. in Cambridge, Berkeley Rep, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, NYU's Skirball Center, Olney Theatre Center in Maryland, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Pasadena Playhouse, and others. In Chicago, her work has been seen at Steppenwolf, Goodman, Chicago Children's Theatre, The Hypocrites, Theater Wit and dozens of others. Most recently, she music directed Next to Normal at Writers Theatre, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder at Porchlight Music Theatre and Caroline, or Change at Firebrand Theatre, where she serves as Resident Music Director. Andra is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia Chicago Chicago, where she has taught musical theatre performance since 2008.

Cody Estle (Director) became the Artistic Director at Raven Theatre in November 2017 where he had previously served as the Associate Artistic Director. His directing credits include How I Learned To Drive, The Gentleman Caller (2019 Jeff Award winning new play by Philip Dawkins), The Assembled Parties, A Loss of Roses (named by Chicago Tribune honorable mention as one of the Year's Best in 2016), Dividing the Estate, Vieux Carré (named by Chicago Tribune as one of the Year's Best in 2014), Good Boys and True, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Boy Gets Girl and Dating Walter Dante at Raven Theatre; Damascus at Strawdog Theatre; Five Mile Lake at Shattered Globe Theatre; By the Water (named by Chicago Sun-Times honorable mention as one of the Top Theatre Productions of 2017) at Northlight Theatre; American Hero at First Floor Theater; Scarcity at Redtwist Theatre; The Seagull and Watch on the Rhine at The Artistic Home; Don't Go Gentle at Haven Theatre; Uncle Bob at Mary-Arrchie Theatre and Hospitality Suite at Citadel Theatre. He's had the pleasure of assistant directing at Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Court Theatre and Writers Theatre. Estle is a proud member of SDC and an alumnus of Columbia College Chicago.

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