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SSP Celebrates 40 Years With Four-Show Season

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Performances take place at SSP's home in the lower level of St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, Chicago.   

The Saint Sebastian Players (SSP) announce the company is resuming live, in-person production with an expanded 40th Anniversary Season. The four-play lineup celebrates genres that have been popular with SSP audiences throughout its history-a classic comedy, a mystery and a musical-and looks to the future with a world premiere comedy co-authored by a company member. Performances take place at SSP's home in the lower level of St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, Chicago.


The season opens with Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin, originally scheduled to close SSP's 39th season in spring 2020. In this classic American comedy from 1950, an uneducated young woman, Billie Dawn, accompanies an older, uncouth junkyard tycoon, Harry Brock, to Washington, where he intends to make crooked deals with government bigwigs. When Billie embarrasses him socially, Brock hires a journalist, who happens to be investigating shady political activities, to educate her. Performances run October 15-November 7, 2021.

Tom Stoppard's mystery-farce The Real Inspector Hound follows two theatre critics, named Moon and Birdboot, who are watching the ludicrous setup of a country house murder mystery, in the style of a whodunit. As the drama proceeds, they become involved in the action, causing a series of events that parallel the play they are watching. Performances run January 14-February 6, 2022.

The Tony and Drama Desk award-winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee features a book by Rachel Sheinkin and a score by William Finn. An eclectic group of mid-pubescents-joined by willing audience members-vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Performances run March 11-April 3, 2022.

Closing the season is the world-premiere comedy The Shady Lady: A Robust Blend of Privilege, Influence and White-Collar Crime by Kara Poe Atnip and SSP company member Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend. Preston Taylor, executive director of a Portland, Oregon-based environmental nonprofit, has two loves: yachts and women. Now his wife is running for governor and her campaign is using up most of their disposable income, so when Preston falls in love with The Shady Lady, a yacht far outside his price range, he uses the nonprofit's money to buy it, unbeknownst to his staff. But Ronan Farrow is arriving at noon for an interview, and Preston and his staff must scramble to cover up the evidence of his embezzlement before Farrow exposes them-and they all end up in federal prison. Performances run May 5-22, 2022.

In addition to the four-play subscription season, SSP will present its third annual 10-Minute Play Festival June 9-12, 2022. More details will be announced in the spring.

SSP began producing theatre in 1982 at its original home, the St. Sebastian parish, located at the corner of Halsted Street and Wellington Avenue on Chicago's North Side. When the parish closed, SSP relocated to its current home, St. Bonaventure, at 1625 W. Diversey. During its history, the company has produced original and previously produced dramas, comedies and musicals; original audience-participation mysteries for special events; and the Monologue Matchup Competition, as well as provided support for Sebastian Studio Projects produced by company members. For a complete production history, visit saintsebastianplayers.org/Production-History

Performances for the first three productions take place Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.; The Shady Lady also includes Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. All performances take place in the lower level of St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at Marshfield just west of Ashland, in Chicago. Free parking is available in two lots. Four-play subscription packages are $80 for adults, $65 for seniors and children younger than 12-four productions for the price of three. Full-priced single tickets are $25 for each production except 25th Annual...Bee, which are $30; tickets for seniors and children younger than 12 are $20 for each production except 25th Annual...Bee, which are $25. Students with valid IDs may purchase $20 ($25 for ...Bee) tickets at the door. Group rates also are available.

SSP will adhere to all protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as determined by the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois and the CDC. As of August 30, requirements include providing proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the performance date) and masking at all times.


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