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WHITE DESERT Makes its Chicago Premiere


WHITE DESERT Makes its Chicago Premiere

First Flight presents the Chicago premiere of the play White Desert by Maxwell Anderson at two Chicago area locations; Fridays, July 26 & August 2 at 7pm at the American Indian Center, 3401 W. Ainslie St. and on Saturdays and Sundays, July 27, 28, August 3 & 4 at 7pm at the Unity Lutheran Church, 1212 W. Balmoral Ave. Admission is $15.

Purchase tickets online via Brown Paper Tickets:

For 7/26 & 8/2 at the American Indian Center:

For 7/27, 7/28, 8/3 & 8/4 at the Unity Lutheran Church:

Directed by Frank Farrell White Desert features Chicago actors Kevin Blair as Michael Kane, Eve Rosenthal as Mary Kane, Timothe Stites as Sverre Peterson, Debbie Ruzicka as Annie Peterson and Johnny Garcia as Dugan.

White Desert takes place in eastern North Dakota during the Great Blizzard of 1888, one of the most severe recorded blizzards in the history of the United States. A few weeks previous to this blizzard, city dwellers Michael and Mary Kane move into a one room claims shack which they are required to complete five years of continuous residence before receiving ownership of the land. They are occasionally visited by nearby neighbors Sverre and Annie Peterson, but due to the historic blizzard they find themselves in they begin to feel trapped and alone, deserted and claustrophobic, and their newlywed relationship starts to unravel.

White Desert was the first of thirty-two plays written by Maxwell Anderson (1888 - 1959) that were produced on Broadway between 1923 and 1958. He wrote over fifty-five plays in his lifetime including What Price Glory, Saturday's Children, Elizabeth the Queen, Both Your Houses (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), Mary of Scotland, Valley Forge, Winterset (winner of the first Drama Critics Circle Award in 1935), High Tor (winner of the 1937 Drama Critics Circle Award), The Star Wagon, the musical Knickerbocker Holiday, Key Largo, Joan of Lorraine, The Bad Seed, Anne of the Thousand Days and the musical Lost in the Stars. He also produced as part of the Playwright's Company forty-nine original Broadway productions by other playwrights including Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Street Scene, Tea and Sympathy, Sabrina Fair, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Five Finger Exercise. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for the 1930 film All Quiet on the Western Front and wrote the screenplay for the films Rain (1932), Death Takes a Holiday (1934) and So Red the Rose (1935). In addition, many of his stage plays were turned into films and radio dramas. Initially he intended to make his living as a poet but evolved that wish by writing poetic dramas for the stage. Maxwell Anderson was one of the most important American Playwrights of the 20th century.

First Flight was formed in May of 2018 and takes its name from Maxwell Anderson's fourth Broadway play presented at the Plymouth Theatre in 1925 called First Flight. In its first year the First Flight theatre company presented six staged readings of Anderson's plays in New York City, New Jersey and Chicago. White Desert is the first fully mounted Maxwell Anderson production the company has presented. Visit the First Flight Facebook page for more about this new theatre company devoted to the plays of Maxwell Anderson. Email the company at


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