THE COWARD, ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL & More Set for Stage Left's 33rd Season

Stage Left Theatre has announced added performance for their hit production of Principal Principle by Joe Zarrow, as well as the programming for its 33rd season - Against the Grain. The company will offer three mainstage productions that center on characters who choose to fight against the expectations placed on them by others - for better or for worse.

Stage Left's currrently running co-production (with Theater Seven of Chicago) of Principal Pricnciple by Joe Zarrow is on track to be the company's best selling production in over 10 years. While extension is not possible, the two companies will add two performances to the final weekend. In additon to the regular schedule, there will also be pefomances on Saturday, May 17th @ 4:30pm and Sunday, May 18th @ 7pm. Principal Principle regularly runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm through 5/18/14. Tickets are $18-27 and are available through the Theater Wit box office either online at or by calling 773-975-8150. Principal Principle is performed at Theater Wit at 1229 W. Belmont in Chicago. The theater is handicapped and CTA accessible via the Belmont El (Red & Brown). For more details vist

Armed with her dreams of changing the world and eight weeks of training, Kay quits her corporate job to teach English in a Chicago public high school. She arrives to find that the copy machine, the system, and the spirits of her fellow teachers are all broken. Or are they? A dark comedy of academic intrigue, Principal Principle is a world premiere by playwright and former CPS teacher Joe Zarrow that takes a peek at the politics behind the closed doors of the teachers' lounge.

The season begins with the Midwest premiere of The Coward, an hilarious comedy by Nick Jones, whose play Trevor was a hit last year at both Theater for the New City in New York and A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago. The Coward was first produced at Lincoln Center/LCT3 in 2010 and was nominated for 4 Lucille Lortel Awards. Nick Jones is currently a staff writer for the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black. Next, in the winter, Stage Left will present (in association with Theater Wit) the world premiere of Keys of the Kingdom by Chicago playwright Penny Penniston (now,then, again; The Roaring Girl; Spin). Keys of the Kingdom was developed at Stage Left as a part of Leapfest in 2012. Finally, Stage Left Theatre will present director Drew Martin's fun, bold take on Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well. The company will close out the season in the summer of 2015 with LeapFest, its annual developmental festival featuring workshop productions of new plays.

the Midwest premiere of
The Coward
by Nick Jones
directed by Artistic Director Vance Smith
August 30 - October 5, 2014

Lucidus is a cowardly young gentleman who has never been in a duel, to his father's dismay. When he intitates one, then hires a common criminal to fight in his place, the scoundrel make a bloody mess of things. As duel follows duel with many shots fired, this coward finds his reputation growing beyond his wildest expectations. Set in the 1790's (sort of), The Coward is a ridiculous comedy that questions the very concept of honor.

Nick Jones is a performer and writer for theater, television and film. His most recent play was the critically acclaimed Trevor, about a has-been show biz chimp (produced in Chicago in 2013 at A Red Orchid Theatre). His previous play The Coward was produced at Lincoln Center/LCT3, where it was nominated for 4 Lucille Lortel Awards (winning 2) and is now being made into a motion picture with Big Beach/American Work. His show Jollyship the Whiz-Bang at Ars Nova, a puppet rock musical about pirates, also received an extended critically acclaimed run, was subsequently revived for the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater, and was nominated by the Jim Henson Foundation for a 2011-2012 Mid Atlantic Touring grant as part of their "American Masterpieces" series. Nick was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He earned his Literature/Creative Writing BA from Bard College and a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting degree from Juilliard, where he was a two time winner of the Lecomte du Nouy Prize. He has received theater commissions from Lincoln Center, Ars Nova, The Old Globe, Manhattan Theater Club, The Huntington, Center Theater Group and South Coast Rep. He currently works as a staff writer for the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black.

The world premiere of
Keys of the Kingdom
by Penny Penniston
January 10 - February 15, 2015
produced in association with Theater Wit

As assistant to the celebrity pastor of an evangelical mega church, Arthur obeys orders, attacks paperwork, and guards against sin. So Arthur is surprised when the church pastor commissions a mural from Irene Hoff, an atheist New York artist married to another woman. Arthur is even more surprised when the pastor explains that he believes Irene has been chosen by God. But the biggest surprise of all is what happens when Irene shows up and starts to paint.

Penny Penniston is the author of now then again, Spin, 7 Years at the Mayfair Mall, Miss Julie (an adaptation of the August Strindberg play), and The Roaring Girl (co-adapted with Jeremy Wechsler from Middleton/Dekker). Her writing has received multiple Jeff awards/citations and she was honored with the Sloan Prize at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. Penny's plays have been produced locally with Theater Wit, Bailiwick Repertory, Shakespeare's Motley Crew, and Collaboraction. Outside of Chicago, her work has been presented by Gorilla Rep (NY), the Depot Theater (NY), the Blank Theater (CA), The Old Globe (CA), Milwaukee Repertory Theater (WI), plus numerous others. Penny is a former Adjunct Professor of Playwriting at Northwestern University. She has written articles on screenwriting for MovieMaker Magazine and has lectured internationally on dialogue writing technique. Her book Talk the Talk: A Dialogue Workshop for Scriptwriters is published by MWP Books.

Theater Wit is the premier smart art theater in Chicago, producing humorous, challenging, and intelligent plays that speak with a vibrant and contemporary theatrical voice. As an institution, Theater Wit seeks to be the hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene. In their three spaces, they bring together Chicago's best storefront theater companies.

All's Well That Ends Well
by William Shakespeare
directed by ensemble member Drew Martin
April - May, 2015

When you're an orphaned woman in a man's world, there aren't too many options. But Helena won't be held back by expectations, and her beloved won't know what hit him. This mafia-set production of one of Shakespeare's prickliest comedies asks the question: how far is too far to get what we want?

Drew Martin, best known for directing new plays, has never kicked the Shakespeare addiction that first seduced him into theatre. He brought his training at Dartmouth and with the Royal Shakespeare Company to Julius Caesar (Stage Left), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Talisman Theatre) and Twelfth Night (Northeastern Illinois University). Artistic Director of Stage Left in the 1990's, eleven shows Drew directed have been nominated and six honored with Jeff Awards, including a Directing Jeff (Leander Stillwell) and nomination (Police Deaf Near Far). Other credits include The Fisherman, The Day of Knowledge, One Fine Day, Prairie Lights, Sing For Your Supper, Dapples and Grays, Out Of Spite: Tales of Survival in Sarajevo, Escape From Happiness, and In White America.

LeapFest 12
Summer, 2015

See what's next in Chicago theatre - LeapFest's first eleven years have so far graduated nineteen plays to world premiere productions in Chicago and beyond, with three of these receiving the Jeff Award for Best New Work. This annual new play development festival features workshop productions of exciting new plays in rotating repertory.

All performances will take place at Theater Wit: 1229 W Belmont, except for LeapFest 12. The location of LeapFest 12 is TBA.

Subscriptions to Stage Left Theatre's 33rd season are $60 and include admission to all three mainstage productions as well as other advantages such as guaranteed seating and special subscriber-only events. Subscribers will be offered discounted admission to LeapFest, but the festival will not be included as a part of the regular subscription season. For more information or to purchase a subscription, patrons should call 773-883-8830 or visit

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You