The Gift Theatre Presents WOLF PLAY

By: Jun. 12, 2019
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The Gift Theatre Presents WOLF PLAY

The Gift Theatre continues its 2019 Season with the Chicago premiere of Hansol Jung's WOLF PLAY, a messy, funny and disturbing theatrical experience grappling with a wolf, a puppet, and a very prickly problem: What is a family? What do we need from them, today? Is it very different from the things humans have needed from families before?

Directed by guest artist Jess McLeod, WOLF PLAY will play July 11 - August 18, 2019 at The Gift's home at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood. Single tickets and two-show subscriptions are currently available at or by calling (773) 283-7071. The press opening is Monday, July 15 at 7:30 pm.

WOLF PLAY features ensemble member Jennifer Glasse* with Isa Arciniegas, Dan Lin, Tim Martin and AJ McGhee.

In a world where people struggle to have children, one American couple decides to 'un-adopt' their young Korean son because they have a newborn at home. After an internet chat room search for the right family, the father 're-homes' the boy with a lesbian couple, where one half is desperate for a child and the other half is fighting for her career. As the boy - who thinks he's a wolf, but is really a puppet - adjusts to his new life, he forms bonds with the unlikeliest of culprits while the rest of the adults squabble about what is 'best for the child.'

Comment The Gift Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton and Associate Artistic Director Emjoy Gavino, "Wolf Play sharply and devastatingly explores the ideas of home, family and identity through characters we don't often see onstage and a gorgeous sense of theatricality that will only be enhanced in the intimate space of The Gift. We cannot wait for our audiences to meet the beautiful, flawed creatures that Hansol Jung so lovingly created. Every moment challenges whose side we should be on; a truly charged piece that breaks and heals both storytellers and audience. We're so excited to welcome back director Jess McLeod and absolutely honored to welcome Hansol Jung - and the Chicago premiere of her play - to The Gift."

The production team for WOLF PLAY includes Arnel Sancianco (scenic design), Stephanie Cluggish (costume design), Mike Durst (lighting design), Eric Backus (sound design), Stephanie Diaz (puppetry design), Emjoy Gavino (casting director), Sarah Luse (production manager), Lucy Schuh (assistant production manager), David Preis (technical director), Conchita Avitia (master electrician) and Colleen Layton (stage manager).

About the Artists

Hansol Jung (Playwright) is a playwright and director from South Korea. Productions include Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival at Actors Theater of Louisville), Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theatre Company), No More Sad Things (co-world premiere at Sideshow Theatre and Boise Contemporary Theatre), Wolf Play and Wild Goose Dreams (La Jolla Playhouse). Commissions from Artists Repertory Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant with Ma-Yi Theatre and a translation of Romeo and Juliet for Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has translated over thirty English musicals into Korean, including Evita, Dracula, Spamalot and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spellling Bee, while working on several award winning musical theatre productions as director, lyricist and translator in Seoul, South Korea. Jung holds a Playwriting MFA from Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab.

Jess McLeod (Director) is the Resident Director of Hamilton (Broadway In Chicago), a Resident Director at Victory Gardens Theater and The Goodman Theatre's 2017 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow. Chicago credits include 2 1/2 seasons with Chicago Voices (Lyric Opera of Chicago), a revamped Marry Me A Little (Porchlight Music Theatre), Idris Goodwin's How We Got On (Haven Theatre), Lauren Yee's in a word (Strawdog Theatre Company), Shawn Pfautch's Season on the Line (The House Theatre of Chicago, Jeff Nomination); poet Kevin Coval's one-man show L-vis Live! (Victory Gardens); Venus (Steppenwolf's Next Up!); Bathsheba Doran's Kin (Griffin Theatre); Jenni Lamb's Suicide Kills (American Theater Company); Babes In Arms (Porchlight Revisits); and Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen's Fugitive Songs, Zanna, Don't, and The Pajama Game (The Music Theatre Company). From 2005-2008, McLeod served as Director of Programming for The New York Musical Theatre Festival, where she oversaw all curating and directed pop/musical theatre fusion concerts such as The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds. New York directing credits include Joyce Carol Oates' The Corn Maiden, Harrison David Rivers' Fell, Rachel Axler's Kitchen Sink (Cherry Lane Studio), Joe Keenan and Brad Ross' The Times (Sonnet Repertory Theatre) and The Last Five Years (Arthur Seelen Theatre). An avid teaching artist and believer in youth and community engagement, McLeod also recently served as Festival Coordinator for Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than A Bomb Poetry Festival (the world's largest youth poetry festival), worked as a Teaching Artist for Storycatchers Theatre and recently directed Short Shakes! A Midsummer Night's Dream for Chicago Shakespeare Theater and American Theater Company's educational touring production of PJ Paparelli and Joshua Jaeger's The Project(s). McLeod holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University and a BA from Williams College, and has taught or lectured at both, as well as at NYU, Yale University, NSLC, and The Calhoun School in New York.

PHOTO CREDIT: (pictured) Dan Lin in a publicity image for The Gift Theatre's Chicago premiere of WOLF PLAY. Photo by Claire Demos.


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