Writers Theatre presents the World Premiere of THE HUNTER AND THE BEAR

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, continues its 25th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of The Hunter and The Bear, written by PigPen Theatre Co. and directed by Stuart Carden and PigPen Theatre Co. The production runs December 7, 2016 - January 22, 2017 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe.

The creators of WT's smash-hit production of The Old Man and The Old Moon bring their considerable talents to this world premiere tale. In The Hunter and The Bear, the critically acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co. tell the haunting story of an imaginative young boy and his father, the pragmatic hunter tasked with protecting their isolated town. When his son disappears in the woods, the search to recover him will lead the hunter, and eventually the entire community, through a landscape teeming with dark secrets and supernatural threats.

Cast in flickering campfire light, this combination frontier ghost-story and modern-day parable unfolds in PigPen Theatre Co.'s signature style: using resourceful staging, captivating storytelling, ingenious shadow puppetry and award-winning folk music to fuel a headlong plunge into the darkest part of the woods.

"The gifted gentlemen who make up PigPen Theatre Co. brought a sense of energy and excitement to Writers Theatre the last time they were with us in Glencoe, and we look forward to their signature style of storytelling in this new world premiere," says Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. "After several workshops and two weeks in residence at Writers Theatre with co-director Stuart Carden, crafting this production from the ground up, The Hunter and The Bear represents the culmination of a conversation that actually began backstage during the opening week of The Old Man and The Old Moon three years ago. It is a dream project for the company, and despite pressure to take the piece directly to Broadway, the gentlemen have stuck to their guns. As our 25th Anniversary Season continues, we are delighted to have the opportunity to reunite you with this unique group of talented artists and to welcome them back for more dramatic adventuring and original, handcrafted organic storytelling in our new home."

The Hunter and The Bear features PigPen Theatre Co. members Alex Falberg (Prescott), Ben Ferguson (Tobias), Curtis Gillen (Pete),Ryan Melia (Elliot), Matt Nuernberger (Bailey), Arya Shahi (John) and Dan Weschler (Lewis).

The creative team includes: Collette Pollard (Scenic Designer), Lydia Fine (Costume/Puppetry Designer), Bart Cortright (Lighting Designer), Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Designer), and Scott Dickens (Properties Master). David Castellanos is the Stage Manager, Thrisa Hodits is the Assistant Director, and Janelle Boudreau is the Assistant Stage Manager.

In addition to The Hunter and The Bear at Writers Theatre, PigPen will also be performing at The Old Town School of Folk Music, 4545 N. Lincoln Ave at Szold Hall, for a four-concert residency on October 31, November 14, November 28 and December 19, 2016 at 8:00pm. For information and tickets for the concerts: https://www.oldtownschool.org.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

PigPen Theatre Co. (Playwrights and Co-Directors) returns to Writers Theatre where they previously appeared in The Old Man and The Old Moon. PigPen Theatre Co. began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. They have since produced their original plays in New York City and toured the country-earning them critic's picks from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, and many more, ranking them in the top ten theatrical events of 2011, 2012 and 2013. They were the first group to win the NYC Fringe Festival's top honor for a play two years in a row (2010/11) and have gone on to win IRNE (2012, 2015) and Joseph Jefferson Awards Awards (2014) for their theatrical productions. In 2016, Sir Trevor Nunn invited PigPen to be a part of his first American Acting Company for a production of Shakespeare's Pericles. PigPen's debut album, Bremen, was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post's 2012 Grammy preview, sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, The Way I'm Running, in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba's Tavern in Chicago. In 2015, PigPen released their sophomore album, Whole Sun, performed at Mumford & Sons' return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival, and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme's Ricki and the Flash starring Meryl Streep. PigPen is working with Writers House, one of the world's leading literary agencies, to develop their debut children's novel.

Stuart Carden (Co-Director) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously co-directed Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody. Stuart spent five seasons at Writers Theatre as Associate Artistic Director and helmed productions such as The Old Man and The Old Moon, Yellow Moon, Hesperia and Travels with My Aunt. Chicago directing credits include Butler (Northlight Theatre); The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Frederick (Chicago Children's Theatre); The Merchant of Venice (a South Asian American-inspired adaptation), Golden Child,10 Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith and Back of the Throat (Silk Road Rising). Regional directing credits include The Old Man and The Old Moon (The New Victory Theater-NYC, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Arts Emerson-Boston); Tribes (Philadelphia Theatre Company & City Theatre Company); Oblivion, Blackbird, Mary's Wedding, A Picasso, The Moonlight Room (City Theatre Company); Circle Mirror Transformation, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Crime and Punishment, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); The Pillowman, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The False Servant and Stones in his Pockets (PICT). Before his tenure as Associate Artistic Director at Writers Theatre, Stuart held the same position from 2007-2009 at City Theatre Company. Stuart is an alum of Carnegie Mellon University and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

AUDIENCE ENRICHMENT

Accessible Performances

ASL-Interpreted performance: Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 7:30pm

Open-Captioned performance: Friday, January 20, 2017 at 7:30pm

Sunday Spotlight-Sunday, January 15, 2017

Are you curious about the world that surrounds your favorite plays? Sunday Spotlight offers access to the finest speakers, scholars and cultural leaders. This one-hour event extends the conversation on our stages by featuring an expert in an area connected to the play. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.

The Making of... Series-Monday, January 9, 2017 at 6:30pm

Writers Theatre will once again host its popular The Making of... Series, providing insight into a different aspect of creating the productions seen on our stages. Enjoy a short and lively presentation by our actors, designers or other experts who will walk you through the process of preparing for and executing a production. The Making of... events are FREE and open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.

Post Show Conversation: The Word

Join us after every Tuesday evening performance (excluding previews and extensions) for a 15-minute discussion of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Post Show Conversation: The Artist

Join us after every Wednesday evening performance (excluding previews and extensions) for a 15-minute talk-back featuring actors from the production, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Pre-Show Conversation: Up Close

Join us at 6:45pm before every Thursday evening performance (excluding previews and extensions) for a 15-minute primer on the context and content of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

For more information about Writers Theatre Audience Enrichment programs visit writerstheatre.org/events.

RIDE METRA TO WRITERS THEATRE

In an effort to promote taking public transit to the Theatre, Writers Theatre launched a new promotion in 2013. Any audience member who purchases a ticket to a Writers Theatre production and rides Metra's Union Pacific North Line to the Theatre may snap a photo of themselves on the train and post it to their Facebook page or Twitter feed with a tag of @WritersTheatre and #[the title of the show], and upon showing the post at the Writers Theatre Box Office, receive $5 in cash to put toward the cost of your fare as a thank you for going green.

This promotion is available for a limited time only, and may end without warning. Ticket must have been paid for in advance. Not valid on comp tickets. More information available at writerstheatre.org/metra

WRITERS Theatre Partners

Writers Theatre is pleased to recognize BMO Harris Bank as the 25th Anniversary Season Sponsor for the 2016/17 season. ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor of the season. Additional support for The Hunter and The Bear provided by Artists Council Sponsors Laurie and Michael Petersen and Christopher S. Pfaff and Sara Pfaff and Director's Society Sponsors David and Leslie McGranahan and Lizzy and Josh Scheinfeld. Student Matinee Support provided by Julie and Lawrence Bernstein.

For more information about Writers Theatre's 2016/17 Partners, visit writerstheatre.org/our-supporters.

ABOUT WRITERS THEATRE

For 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to Contemporary Theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry-providing the finest interpretations of both classic and Contemporary Theatre in its two intensely intimate venues.

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home-a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre's neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at Facebook.com/WritersTheatre or follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter. For more information, visitwww.writerstheatre.org.



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