Susan Lieberman's NETTA AT NINETY Set for Raven's New Play Development Series, 2/23-25

By: Feb. 12, 2015

Noted Chicago playwright Susan Lieberman will join Raven Theatre's [Working Title] new play development series with a fully staged workshop production of her play Netta at Ninety, to be directed by Michael Ryczek and performed on the Raven Theatre East Stage Monday, February 23 through Wednesday, February 25. Curtain times for all three performances will be 7:30 pm.

Netta is turning 90. Her niece Louise can't wait to celebrate the legendary Chicago banker's birthday. But when Louise arrives for the party, she uncovers secrets about Netta's legacy of investing in women entrepreneurs that she'd rather not know.

Netta at Ninety was developed in part at Chicago Dramatists where it received a staged reading directed by Michael Menendian in October of 2012. It later received a staged reading from Three Cat Productions directed by T. Paul Lowry in February of 2014.

A Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatist, Susan Lieberman received a Jeff Citation for Arrangements for Two Violas, Jeff Award nomination for Prairie Lights and two regional Emmy nominations. Her plays have been produced at Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left, Visions & Voices Theatre Co., Theatre Building Chicago, Clockwise Theatre, 20% Theatre Co., Bloomington Playwrights Project, Pandora Productions, Gallery Players, Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids, Jerusalem English Speaking Theatre and elsewhere. In addition, Susan has developed countless plays with Chicago-area theatres, including Whirlybirds with Downstage Left and Stages; Cars and Quinceaneras with American Theatre Company, Northwestern's Purple Crayon Players and Clockwise Theatre where it received its world premiere; and White Gloves for Northlight Theatre's "New Voices" series. She has also worked with AdventureStage, ShPIel Performing Identity, Three Cat Productions and the Women's Theatre Alliance. Her docudrama Steamship Quanza, featured in Staging Holocaust Resistance and the upcoming documentary Voyage of Hope, was recently added to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Collections. She is currently writing a new musical inspired by Chicago's Trianon Ballroom and devising "Family Stories Onstage" outreach program. Susan worked as a production assistant at London's Open Space, was British producer Thelma Holt's publicity coordinator at the Round House and was Associate Editor of Theatre Crafts in New York. She is a Playwright Representative to the Chicago Dramatists Board of Directors and Literary Adviser for Continuum Theater. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

The fully staged reading of Netta at Ninety at Raven will be directed by Michael Ryczek, who is the Academic Manager of the Theater Department of Columbia College Chicago where he also teaches directing for the stage. He received his undergraduate degree in theatre from Roosevelt University and his Master's Degree in theatre from Northwestern University. He is the former Artistic Director and Founder of Reflections Theatre and the former Managing Director of Lookingglass Theatre. He freelances as a director and actor, having worked at many theatres around Chicago, most recently at BoHo (the Jeff recommended Hello Again) and Redtwist Theatre where he directed Marvin's Room and The Goat. He is a proud member of the Artistic/Technical Team of the Joseph Jefferson Committee. Other favorite directing gigs include Balm in Gilead, Tongue of a Bird (Midwest premiere), All My Sons and Never the Sinner.

Ryczek's cast for Netta at Ninety will include Michael Boone, Greg Caldwell, Laura Korn, Caroline Latta, Catherine Marcroft, JoAnn Montemurro and Hallie Peterson. Kiley Morgan will Stage Manage.

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