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STAGE TUBE: Trailer for Raven Theatre's VIEUX CARRE

Raven's revival of this later play by Tennessee Williams that was "rediscovered" in acclaimed productions in London and New York is an autobiographical play that Williams first began writing around the time he started The Glass Menagerie. It concerns a young writer who in 1938 moves to a ramshackle French Quarter rooming house that's home to an assortment of desperate and eccentric characters. The New York Times said Vieux Carré is, along with The Glass Menagerie, Williams' other autobiographical memory play, one of two "critical bookends" to Williams' career. Scroll down to see a trailer for the production!

Appearing as the character based on Williams himself, here called simply "The Writer," will be Ty Olwin - a young actor new to Chicago who recently starred as Jack in Steppenwolf's Lord of the Flies. Chicago stage veteran Will Casey, who played the taxi driver in Famous Door's production of Hellcab for more than 300 performances will be Nightingale, the dying painter who provides the writer with his sexual initiation. Tye and Jane, characters who may remind audiences of A Streetcar Named Desire's Stanley and Stella Kowalski, will be played by Joel Reitsma and Eliza Stoughton. Reitsma's most recent credits include Danny in Motortown at Steep, and The Brig at Mary Arrchie. Stoughton has most recently been seen in in Broken Fences at 16th Street Theatre and You Never Can Tell at Remy Bumppo Theatre. The landlady of the rooming house will be played by Raven Co-Artistic Director JoAnn Montemurro, director and star of many Raven productions over the company's 31-year history.

Director Cody Estle says the play has a strong personal resonance for him. "Vieux Carré is about a young writer moving to a new and unfamiliar city with the dream of making art. It reminds me of my arrival in Chicago from my small hometown in Ohio not so many years ago, and my dreams of being a stage director before I even knew exactly what that meant. My situation was similar to that of the 'writer,' who in this play arrives in New Orleans unable to write because he has no stories to tell. This changes after he meets the assortment of characters in the rooming house, who give him plenty of material.

Vieux Carre's cast also includes Sandra Watson, Debra Rodkin, Kristin Collins, Christopher Borek, Lane Flores and Miles Barrett. Gillian Butcher, Emmanita Crooks and Matt Bartholomew will understudy.

The creative team includes Kate Masiak (Stage Manager), Ray Toler (Set Designer), Alaina Moore (costume designer), Greg Hofmann & Garvin Jellison (co-lighting designers), Mary O'Dowd (Props Designer), Christopher Kriz(Sound Designer), David Woolley (Fight Choreographer), Andrei Onegin (Technical Director), Jack Bourgeois (Assistant Director), Shane Murray-Corcoran (Assistant Stage Manager), Lukas Brasherfons (Dramaturgy).

Tickets and information are available at or 773-338-2177.

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