Strawdog Concludes Season with Brecht's THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN 4/25-5/29
Strawdog Theatre Company concludes their 22nd season with Bertolt Brecht's classic The Good Soul of Szechuan, translated by David Harrower, directed by Strawdog Artistic Associate Shade Murray, April 25 - May 29 at Strawdog Theater, 3829 N. Broadway Street. The Good Soul of Szechuan runs Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20. Preview tickets are $10 and play Thursday, April 22 and Friday, April 23 at 8 p.m. There is a Gala Benefit performance Saturday, April 24 at 7 p.m. with a $40 ticket price and press/opening night is Sunday, April 25 at 7 p.m. (reception immediately follow performance). An added Industry Night performance is Monday, May 10 at 7 p.m., industry member's ticket price is $5. An additional Thursday performance is Thursday, May 27 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are now on sale at Strawdog Theatre's box office number, 773.528.9696 or at strawdogtheatre.com
Originally written in 1943, Brecht's play with music follows a trio of gods passing through Szechuan as they bestow great wealth on the poor prostitute Shen-Te as a reward for her pure and charitable heart. Shen-Te struggles to maintain her decency as greedy locals and fair-weather lovers take advantage of her good soul eventually transforming herself to her male cousin, Shui-Ta, to protect herself. Brecht's classic receives a new translation from Scottish playwright David Harrower, originally performed in London's Young Vic with Jane Horrocks. Harrower is the author of Strawdog's Jeff Award-winning production Knives in Hens, and Victory Gardens' critically acclaimed production Blackbird. Company member Shade Murray, director of their Jeff Award-winning productions Detective Story and Marathon '33" returns to Strawdog directing another large ensemble of Chicago actors and musicians. Murray returns to Strawdog, where he previously directed their Detective Story (Jeff Award-winning Best Production, Director and Ensemble in 2003), Marathon '33 (Best Ensemble 2006), and R.U.R.- Rossum's Universal Robots (2008). Murray also directed A Red Orchid's Winter hit Abigail's Party and won a 2006 Jeff Award for The Chosen at Writer's Theatre.
The Good Soul of Szechuan features Strawdog Company Members Amy Dunlap (Second God), Paul Fagen (Mr. Shu Fu/ Nephew), Carmine Grisolia (Wang), Shannon Hoag (Mrs. Shin), Michaela Petro (Shen-Te/ Shui-Ta) and John Henry Roberts (Yang Sun), with guest artists Will Allan (Carpenter), Matt Bivins (Husband), Anita Chandwaney (Third God), Lindsey Dorcus (Child), John Francisco (Policeman), Elizabeth Levy (Niece), Adam Shalzi (First God), Anne SheriDan Smith (Mrs. Yang), Mari Stratton (Wife), Zeke Sulkes (Grandfather), Danny Taylor (Unemployed Man) and Niccole Thurman (Sister-In-Law).
Also featuring Strawdog Company Members Michael Caloia (Stage Manager), Nic Dimond (Set Designer), Mikhail Fiksel (Composer/ Sound Design), Aly Renee Greaves (Co-Costume Design), Cortney Hurley (Production Manager), Shade Murray (Director) Mike Przygoda (Composer/ MusicalDirector), with guest artists Nic Jones (Master Electrician), Joanna Melville (Co-Costume Designer), Mike Mroch (Assistant Set Designer), Benno Nelson (Assistant Director), DJ Reed (Props Design), Seth E. Reinick (Lighting Design) and Tyler Wilsey (Assistant Stage Manager).
Strawdog Theatre Company is committed to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach, offering Chicago the premiere storefront theatre experience. The Company develops new work, reimagines classic plays, explores new fusions of music and theatre, asks provocative questions and delivers their audience the unexpected. Strawdog provides a home for their celebrated ensemble to work and play with the most sought after artists in Chicago theatre along with the best new talents in the city. Founded in 1988, the Strawdog ensemble has consistently produced shows built on authentic human connections, and the comfortable 70-seat theater in Lakeview is perfect for offering their audience a quintessential Chicago storefront theatre experience. "The whole wide world in a little black box." Strawdog is a proud member of the NortHalsted Area Merchant Association, The Chicago Storefront Theatre District and the League of Chicago Theatres.
Strawdog Theatre Company was formed in 1988 by a group of actors who had performed together in a production of Euripides's "Helen" at a (now defunct) theatre on the west side. The group took their name from Sam Peckinpah's movie "Straw Dogs" (Theatresaurus Rex was, thankfully, the runner-up), and they produced their first show, Len Jenkin's "Five of Us" at a (now defunct) space in Bucktown. At the time, the Chicago Reader said "Strawdog Theatre Company's inaugural production brings ... truth home with a vengeance," and Skyline Chicago added "The Strawdog troupe shows us what an ensemble can do." Twenty years later, Strawdog Theatre Company has survived the ups and downs of Chicago theatre, and is still dedicated to bringing the truth to audiences through the committed work of an award-winning ensemble of actors and designers.
Strawdog Theatre Company and their production of The Good Soul of Szechuan is supported in part by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), Gerry Brown and Associates and the annual support of businesses and individuals.
The Good Soul of Szechuan, at Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway Street, runs about two hours with one intermission. Limited pay street parking is available with public transportation stops on the red line (Sheridan stop), Bus 36-Broadway and 80. The performance runs Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7p.m. and tickets are $20. Preview tickets are $10 and plays Thursday, April 22 and Friday, April 23 at 8 p.m. There is a Gala Benefit performance Saturday, April 24 at 7 p.m. with a $40 ticket price and press/opening night is Sunday, April 25 at 7 p.m. (reception immediately follow performance). An added industry night performance is Monday, May 10 at 7 p.m., industry members' ticket price is $5. An additional Thursday performance is added Thursday, May 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets are now on sale at 773.528.9696 or at strawdogtheatre.com