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The Gift Theatre's COSMOLOGIES Makes Midwest Premiere

The Gift Theatre's COSMOLOGIES Makes Midwest Premiere The Gift Theatre is pleased to conclude its 17th season with the Midwest premiere of Tony Award-winning playwright and ensemble member David Rabe's* COSMOLOGIES, directed by Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton*, playing October 19 - December 9, 2018 at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available by calling the Gift's box office at (773) 283-7071 or visiting The press opening is Sunday, October 28 at 2:30 pm.

COSMOLOGIES will eature an all-ensemble cast including John Kelly Connolly*, James D. Farruggio*, Gregory Fenner*, Martel Manning*, Kenny Mihlfried*, Darci Nalepa* and Hannah Toriumi*.

Put the whimsical humor of the Keystone Cops and Bugs Bunny into a particle collider with the philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard and George Berkeley and you're getting close to the style of this existential absurdist comedy from David Rabe. When a young man's negotiation for a date goes very wrong, we are transported through kaleidoscopic worlds of possibilities, identities and loves.

Comments playwright and Gift ensemble member David Rabe, "Here's the thing: working on Good for Otto with The Gift was among the very best experiences I've ever had in the theater. Cosmologies and I are eager to get there and go at it again with Mike Thornton, some of the same actors, along with new ones drawn from the Gift ensemble."

The production team for COSMOLOGIES includes Angela McIlvain and Courtney O'Neill (scenic design), Izumi Inaba (costume design), Charlie Cooper (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Grace Bolander (assistant director) and Sarah Luse (stage manager).

David Rabe (Playwright) was born in Dubuque, Iowa, where he lived though his college years, studying creative writing under Reverend Ray Roseliep, a renowned poet. After the army and a gloriously productive period at Villanova University where a number of his early plays were written and performed, his first professional productions were in New York, a Vietnam Quartet starting in 1971: The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, Sticks and Bones, The Orphan and Streamers. All were produced by Joseph Papp to whom he owes a complex and absolute debt. In the Boom Boom Room followed, as did Goose and Tom Tom, Hurlyburly, Those the River Keeps, A Question of Mercy, The Dog Problem, The Black Monk adapted from Chekov, An Early History of Fire and Good For Otto, which in 2015 gave him his first experience of Chicago theater with The Gift, followed by Visiting Edna at Steppenwolf. Four of his plays have received Tony nominations, and Sticks and Bones, for which the actors requested combat pay, won in 1972. He has received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and an Obie award; the Drama Desk, John Gassner Outer Critics, the New York Drama Critics Circle awards, and three times won the Elizabeth Hull-Kate Warriner Drama Guild Award. Screenplays are I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, Casualties of War and Hurlyburly. His fiction includes the book of stories A Primitive Heart, and the novels Recital of the Dog, Dinosaurs on the Roof and Girl by the Road at Night. He has three children, Jason, Lily and Michael.

Michael Patrick Thornton (Director) is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Gift, where previous directing credits include: world premiere of Gift ensemble member David Rabe's Good For Otto; world premiere of Claire Kiechel's Pilgrims (co-directed with Jessica Thebus), War of the Worlds (75th Anniversary Production), the Chicago Premiere of ensemble member Will Eno's Oh, The Humanity (and other exclamations), Prairie View, Night & Her Stars, Stop/Kiss, Santa's Great American Depression Holiday Show! America, White People, Three Sisters, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Hurlyburly (Joseph Jefferson Award: Actor In Leading Role), A Young Man In Pieces, Language Of Angels, County Fair and Orestes 2.0. Elsewhere: Of Mice and Men (Steppenwolf), the world premieres of Sean Graney's IS N UR B1UDS7REEM... and Mark Harvey Levine's LA 8AM (Collaboraction) and Picasso At The Lapin Agile (Noble Fool). Michael was a very grateful assistant director on Steppenwolf's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning August: Osage County.

A Joseph Jefferson Award-winning actor for Solo Performance in Conor McPherson's The Good Thief (The Gift) Michael was nominated for a Best Actor Jeff Award (Suicide, Incorporated) and Best Director Jeff Award (Good For Otto).

About The Gift Theatre

The Gift's 17th season: Stacy Osei-Kuffour's world premiere of Hang Man, directed by Jess McLeod (March 2 - April 29, 2018); Shakespeare's Hamlet, directed by Monty Cole (June 1 - July 29, 2018); and the Midwest premiere of Tony Award-winning playwright and ensemble member David Rabe's Cosmologies, directed by Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton (October 12 -December 9, 2018). The Gift subscribers ("Gifters") receive admission to three shows, free parking at Gale Street Inn, free admission to all Wednesday night "Natural Gas" improv shows and invitations to special subscriber-only special events. Subscribe at or by calling (773) 283-7071.

PHOTO CREDIT: (front, l to r) Ensemble members Martel Manning, Gregory Fenner, Kenny Mihlfried and Hannah Toriumi with (back, l to r) Darci Nalepa, John Kelly Connolly and James D. Farruggio in a publicity image for The Gift Theatre's Midwest premiere of David Rabe's COSMOLOGIES. Photo by Claire Demos.

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