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When a terrifying sea monster is spotted off the coast, renowned scientist Professor Aronnax and fellow explorers set out to investigate. They soon find themselves kidnapped and held under the command, and spell, of the mysterious Captain Nemo. As they circle the globe aboard the most advanced submarine the world has never seen, they confront giant squids, bizarre sea creatures, and the monsters that lurk below…and within.
Adapted from Jules Verne's epic adventure exploring the murky perils of the seas, ensemble member David Kersnar invites you to board the Nautilus and "dive! dive! dive!" into this Lookingglass world premiere.
Lifeline Theatre presents the world premiere of Anna Karenina, adapted by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Jessica Wright Buha and directed by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Amanda Link, based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy. As a wave of profound upheaval sweeps through Russian society, it is a time of impossible choices. Anna is torn between raising her cherished son and languishing in a lifeless marriage, or sacrificing everything to follow her lover Alexei into disgrace. Konstantin struggles to reconcile his existential torment with his enduring passion for Kitty. Innocents will suffer, hearts will be broken, and families will be torn apart as two couples learn that living truthfully is no simple thing. Travel to the palaces and farms of imperial Russia in a world premiere meditation on the complexities of love based on Tolstoy's 1877 novel.
Blind Date is a backstage glimpse of one of the 20th century's landmark historical events. In an era before Twitter and eHarmony, two of history's oddest couples seek to thaw the seemingly intractable relationship between the United States and Soviet Russia. Despite their advisors' efforts to keep them on track, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev eschew conventional protocols to discuss pop culture and old movies — while their wives mirror their husbands' negotiations in a passive-aggressive tango over tea and fashion choices. Blind Date is a compelling and edgy comic journey through the intricacies of statesmanship.
Some days feel like they will never end. After a morning that includes a cancer scare and kicking her girlfriend out of the house, Octavia decides to have a last turn up with her best friends. In poet Aziza Barnes's ingenious portrait of a day in the life of four young women of color in New York City, BLKS explores the joy and anguish of growing up and out. Riotously funny and magically rendered, Barnes's playwriting debut marks the arrival of a truly original contemporary American voice.
Bull in a China Shop is a play about Mary Woolley and her partner, Jeanette Marks. The two of them reimagined and revolutionized women's education at the turn of the 20th century. This fast-moving feminist comedy chronicles the growth of the women's suffrage movement as well as Mary and Jeanette's romantic relationship. Bull in a China Shop examines the strength it takes to find your voice, be brave, and feel less at odds with the world.
Mercedes is an outsider. Tara makes sure she knows it. When a high school production of The Crucible forces them together, tensions escalate into acts of bullying — both online and IRL. This world premiere play explores what happens to a teacher and his students when a classroom conflict turns into an online witch hunt.
Note: This show is a Steppenwolf for Young Adults production.
Sally and her brother are bored on a rainy day when the Cat in the Hat appears with tricks and things and games to play. Their day is filled with mischief and imagination despite protests from their fish — that is, until their mom returns home. Join us for Dr. Seuss's classic children's story that illustrates boredom is truly just a state of mind.
Acclaimed Chicago actor Larry Yando returns for his 10th season at Goodman Theatre as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, directed for the fifth year by artistic associate Henry Wishcamper. Dickens' holiday classic tells the tale of greedy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, whose sizable bank account is only matched by his disdain for the holidays. One Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on a spectacular adventure through his past, present, and future, helping him rediscover the joys of life, love, and friendship. Former cast members include stage and screen notables Jessie Mueller, Joe Minoso, Del Close, Harry J. Lennix, Felicia P. Fields, Raul Esparza, Sally Murphy, and Frank Galati.
In the dangerous back channels of international resource politics, a wealthy British businessman suffers an untimely accident just before a critical African copper deal is signed. So when his unwitting (and witless) American doppelgänger is thrust into negotiations to avert intercontinental disaster, chaos erupts, leaving us wondering: whose side are we supposed to be on...and who will save Africa? This new American farce is a hilarious, irreverent and timely look at the back-room deals that shape our world and the unlikely cast of characters who make them.
Henrik Ibsen's masterwork finds renewed immediacy in a daring new production from Goodman artistic director Robert Falls. The contamination of a resort town's water supply sets the stage for a battle involving the town's respected mayor, Peter Stockmann, and his brother Thomas, a respected doctor. As the brothers become locked in a combative struggle between political wisdom and personal ethics, the economic fate of the community — and the unity of the town's residents — hangs in the balance.
Hero, a Texas slave, faces a simple yet monumental choice: Join his master in the Confederate army to win his freedom — or remain enslaved at the plantation. As he debates leaving his lover for what may be another empty promise, Hero must take charge of his life, even when much remains beyond his control. Filled with music, wit, and poetic wisdom, this play by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks challenges audience members to navigate their own moral compass in a country that both unites and divides.
The Good Fight is written by Anne Bertram, executive director of Theatre Unbound, a Minneapolis-St. Paul company devoted to work by and about women. Elizabeth Lovelady, a Jeff Award-winning artist based in Chicago, directs.
The Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, was the primary militant group pushing for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom. Under the slogan "deeds, not words," the WSPU advocated targeting property as a form of protest, from smashing shop windows to burning and bombing buildings. Imprisoned WSPU members — including Pankhurst — launched hunger strikes, which were initially countered by the authorities with force-feeding; later, the government introduced the "Cat and Mouse Act," under which starving suffragettes were released, only to be re-imprisoned once regaining their health. To defend their leaders and comrades, the WSPU established "The Bodyguard" — a secret female security team trained in jiujitsu.
India 1648. The dawn will reveal for the first time the extraordinary beauty of the Taj Mahal, built as a tribute to the ruler who demanded its construction. But for two hapless imperial guards, the morning light brings with it an unspeakable task that will shake their faith in God, the empire, and their lifelong friendship. This boldly funny and deeply moving play examines the true meaning of beauty and the cost of transcendence in a world that confuses the value of both.
Lookingglass launches its 30th season with the return of the award-winning, circus-infused Hard Times.
A Dickensian carnival of characters inhabits the streets of smoke-choked Coketown: Grim Mr. Gradgrind's school churns out joyless students; poor Stephen Blackpool toils in the nearby mines; and mill owner Mr. Bounderby, full of bluster and bombast, presides over it all. Only when a traveling circus alights nearby, and young orphan Sissy Jupe enters their world, does a ray of hope shine through.
Artistic director Heidi Stillman adapts and directs this timeless love letter to the power of beauty, hope, and imagination.
The Delany sisters, Sadie and Bessie, remain best friends and roommates even as they pass their centennial birthdays. As they prepare a meal in honor of their late father, a former slave, they reminisce about the joys and challenges of their lives: coming to maturity in the Jim Crow South, experiencing the Harlem Renaissance and rising to unimagined professional prominence. Having Our Say showcases the sisters' unique, indomitable spirits as they fondly recall meeting beloved historical figures and denounce prejudices that infect the country.
A Chicago classic returning to the stage, Hellcab is the story of a day in the life of a Chicago cab driver who experiences a drawn-out, nightmarish night of fares from some of the city's oddest collection of customers on a cold, snowy day just days before Christmas. Drawn from real experiences from playwright Will Kern's days as a cab driver, the list of characters the cabbie encounters include: a dangerous trio of druggies, a piggish mini-capitalist, a benumbed rape victim, an argumentative pair of fellow cabbies, a drunken woman on welfare, a smug lawyer, a randy couple on the way to a motel, and two boisterous New Yorkers out on the town. With every encounter, we see through the cab driver's eyes humor, terror, longing, and more as she navigates all areas of the Windy City.
Written by Stephen Karam, The Humans is one of the most recent and best additions to Broadway, opening there in 2016 after an off-Broadway engagement in 2015. A finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and winner of the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play, The Humans is a truly stunning work of theater that you can't afford to miss!
Remember Junie B. Jones? She's back, and she's on stage! In the theatrical world of Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook, Junie B.'s everyday life is packed with amazing discoveries, cool new kids, and lifelong lessons about being a good person and a good friend!
Celebrated director and playwright Aaron Posner and famed magician Teller (of duo Penn & Teller) join forces for an innovative take on "the Scottish play," returning after their Jeff Award-winning production of The Tempest at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2015. With astounding sorcery, this supernatural thriller dives into the psyches of the power-hungry Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
One will rule. One will fall. Two women of power — Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots — face off in a struggle for the faith of a nation in a new electric adaptation by Peter Oswald. The production is staged by acclaimed director Jenn Thompson, former artistic director of the Actors Company Theater.
The Minutes, by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts, the author of August: Osage County, comes a scathing new comedy about small-town politics and real-world power that exposes the ugliness behind some of our most closely held American narratives while asking each of us what we would do to keep from becoming history's losers.
What would you hold sacred if everything you knew was destroyed? In three acts, Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play is the story of survival and reinvention in a post-apocalyptic world. What starts as a group of friends casually recounting a Simpsons episode morphs — over the course of more than 80 years — into a completely new form of storytelling.
This year's MUSE celebrates new works, new artists, and new voices with this annual series of theatrical readings, panels and performances featuring female artists intersecting ideas, visions and artistic excellence. The Theatre Showcase includes theater artist Tasia Jones and readings of new plays by Marsha Estell, Loy Webb and Kendeda winner Tsehaye Hébert.
In 1930s South Side Chicago, Bigger Thomas lands a job with a wealthy white family, but his fate is sealed when a violent act unleashes a chain of events that cannot be undone. This adaption of Richard Wright's groundbreaking novel Native Son by Theatre School alumna Nambi E. Kelley explores the systemic racism and poverty that oppressed Bigger Thomas from birth. Recommended for mature audiences.
A special New Year Eve's party and performance done in full Neo-Futurist fashion. The evening begins with preshow reception with brews from Metropolitan Brewery and featuring Poems While You Wait (typewritten poetry on demand). Live performances begin at 9:30pm, and then at the crack of 11pm, the race to midnight kicks off with a The Infinite Wrench performance that will finish just in time for an audience champagne or sparkling apple juice toast at midnight.
The House Theatre of Chicago brings the wholly original, ballet-free The Nutcracker back because it truly has something for everyone. The show is fast-paced, beautifully choreographed, family-friendly, and moving for even those of us that might be on the Grinch's side from time to time. This fantastical, "smart [and] layered" (Chicago Reader, 2016) expansion of the holiday classic that "simultaneously evokes smiles, tears, mirth and cringes" (PerformInk, 2016) centers on young Clara's journey to save Christmas in the face of grief. With the help of a magical nutcracker, the brave girl risks the darkness, fights the Rat King, and saves her family. A modern holiday tradition weaving together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song, and spellbinding spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope.
There's a laugh a second in Neil Simon's hit Broadway play when two suddenly single pals — a sloppy sportswriter and a compulsively tidy news writer — strain their friendship by turning roommates and driving each other crazy! A foolproof comic situation with some of the funniest dialogue ever written.
Oscar Wilde's only novel ranks with Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a defining excursion into psychological horror. Dorian Gray expresses the desire that his newly painted portrait, rather than he, will age and fade. This idle, destructive wish is granted: Dorian stays young and beautiful while his portrait ages and takes on the weight of his sins. He is both fascinated and trapped by this fatal freedom from responsibility and enters into a life of hedonism. Three-time Jeff Award winner for Best Adaptation Paul Edwards returns to City Lit for his eighth production.
Samuel Adamson's acclaimed adaptation of the 1877 Ibsen play tells the story of the return of a fugitive brother that puts the future of wealthy businessman Karsten Bernick in peril. Details of a long-buried sex scandal and embezzlement come to the surface and force Bernick to face his family, his community, and his demons. Adamson's version was first produced at the National Theatre and starred Damian Lewis. Strawdog's 2018 version is the inaugural production in its new home on Berenice and includes the return of Elly Green, who previously directed After Miss Julie and The Night Season at Strawdog.
A world premiere translation of Aeschylus's theatrically boldest tragedy, commissioned by City Lit from Nicholas Rudall, founding director of Court Theatre and internationally acclaimed award-winning translator of Greek drama. The titan Prometheus, friend of humankind, is chained — and fastened with a spike through his chest — to a mountain as punishment for instilling in the human race the capacity for hope, thereby spoiling Zeus's plan to wipe out the human race and replace it with something better. His parade of visitors includes gods, sea nymphs, and a woman whom Zeus has turned into a cow. The production will feature both actors and life-sized puppets.
Staged by leading Broadway and Chicago director Gary Griffin, this award-winning play chronicles the seldom-told, true story of Ira Aldridge, an African-American actor who challenged convention by taking the London stage as the first black Othello in 1833 — sending shockwaves through the city at a time when anti-abolition protesters rioted in the streets.
Sharon is Midwestern nice. But to Robyn, her new roommate from the Bronx, that just means nosy and very, very talkative. A comical mismatch leads to a surprising and touching friendship in The Roommate, a new comedy about how early-life choices lead to midlife challenges and the unexpected rewards of bridging the divide.
Support Group for Men is a hilarious exploration of what happens when society's new normal doesn't seem so normal to everyone. Thursday night in Wrigleyville is "Guys' Night" for a group of longtime pals. Instead of letting off steam over baseball, they've formed a support group — with its "no ladies" policy strictly enforced — in which they can vent about dashed romances, stalled careers, and other middle-age maladies. But when an unexpected visitor crashes their party, the guys' traditional notions of masculinity are exploded. This topical, Chicago-flavored comedy gleefully dissects the ever-changing role of gender in today's culture — and proves that understanding is sometimes found in the least likely of places.
The Prozorov sisters dream of returning to Moscow, but are unable to wake to their provincial reality. Each sister questions her own place in the world after the arrival of members of the Russian military. Olga, Masha, Irina, and their brother Andrey search for meaning in Chekhov's tragicomic masterpiece about broken dreams, inertia, and missed opportunities.
Annie loves the past. Curtis lives for the future. Together they host a wildly unpopular podcast from Annie's living room in which they "queer" history, reinterpreting Philadelphia's lore through a modern intersectional lens. When Annie finds a family heirloom that reveals a buried connection to the early LGBT rights movement, the political suddenly gets explosively personal. Time Is on Our Side's shape-shifting plot bounds gleefully from the Underground Railroad to pop culture futurity as Annie and Curtis search for answers to these questions: "How do we let go of the past? And when will it let go of us?"
The 2014 fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown brought international attention to the town of Ferguson, Missouri, and the festering history of race relations in America. Award-winning playwright, performer, and Goodman artistic associate Dael Orlandersmith brings to life a riveting exploration of the tragedy and its aftermath. Based on dozens of interviews with Ferguson residents, Until the Flood encompasses the perspective of such disparate people as a middle-aged black teacher, an elderly barbershop owner, and a white policeman. The result: a richly complex mosaic of a community — and a country — in trauma.
Ireland's most prestigious theater ensemble is back with a contemporary interpretation of Samuel Beckett's seminal work. Staged by Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes, this production marks the legendary company's third return to Chicago Shakespeare Theater, following The Cripple of Inishmaan (2011) and The Walworth Farce (2009).
A gripping investigation of journalistic integrity, city planning, and social conscience, Wild Boar is a new play from one of Hong Kong's most acclaimed playwrights. When a controversial professor goes missing, an editor and his student band together to publicize the truth. Old flames spark and friendships are tested in this thriller about media manipulation, fake news, and who gets to speak for the poor.
The Wolves is an unconventional exploration of the pitfalls of friendship and coming maturity, as seen through the struggles of a girls' athletic team. Nine teenage girls stretch, train, and argue about everything from the meaningful to the mundane as they try to make sense of the world from the relative safety of their suburban patch of Astroturf. Infused with the raw, jagged energy of adolescence, The Wolves offers a refreshingly complex depiction of girls navigating friendships, growing up, confronting the future — and trying to score a few goals.
There's a haunted place between where we started and where we need to be that finds the most tender among us — and breaks them open. In You Got Older, Clare Barron's bawdy, irreverent, and touching play, Mae, brokenhearted and unemployed, returns home to care for her ailing father and escape the loneliness of a life that just can't seem to get off the ground.