Rogers Park Presents Three Premiere Plays, 5/13, 16 & 22


After a successful fall repertory series focusing on the modern effects of war, the side project theatre company in Rogers Park will present a look at the historical impact of war, specifically on youth, with one U.S., one world, and one Chicago premiere. Enola, by Al Smith; Joan's Laughter, by Jacob Juntunen; and a new adaptation of Aleksei Arbuzov's The Promise, by Nick Dear open today, May 13th and May 16th and 22nd, respectively. The rep will run through June 17 at The Side Project, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave in Rogers Park.

All three shows in the series focus around the lives of young adults, something that has become a specialty for the Rogers Park venue. "From (Sean) Graney's Fourth Graders (2003) to our 2008 double bill of (Philip) Dawkins' Perfect and Daniel Talbott's Slipping, to name a few, I am drawn to stories that depict the ways in which teens treat each other, and secondarily, the ways in which adults regard those actions," Artistic Director Adam Webster said.

Enola kicks off the series tonight, May 13, followed by a May 16 opening for Joan's Laughter and The Promise opens on May 22. All three shows then run in rep (specific dates and times outlined below) through June 17. Tickets are $10-$20 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at (773) 973-2150. A 3-show pass can also be purchased for $39.

Young Enola looks back on a time when she was eight, and her father designed the plane that dropped the world's first atomic bomb, the Enola Gay. By having her literally carrying the legacy of her father's actions, Al Smith's Enola pits science versus religion, logic versus morality, in this highly theatrical U.S. premiere. Directed by Jaclynn Jutting, Enola opens Sunday, May 13, at 7pm and runs Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 7pm, and Sundays at 5pm through June 15.

Sentenced to death in one hour, Joan of Arc defends for the last time what the spirits have told her in her quest to secure French freedom. Powerful and historically accurate, Jacob Juntunen's play shows us the self-motivated and modern Joan of Arc. The world premiere, directed by Teatro Vista's Cecilie Keenan, opens Wednesday, May 16, at 7:30pm and runs Fridays at 9pm, Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm through June 17, with an additional performance on Joan's Feast day, Wednesday, May 30, at 7:30pm.

Three Russian youths meet in a bombed out apartment during the deadliest battle of WWII, forging a family in the midst of tragedy. Struggling to keep warm and find food, the three vow that in their adult lives they will truly live. The Chicago premiere of the Nick Dear's (Frankenstein, dir. By Danny Boyle) adaptation of this classic by Aleksei Arbuzov is directed by Keaton Wooden. The Promise opens May 22 and runs Sundays-Tuesdays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 4pm through June 16.

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