PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
Court Theatre has announced its 2018/19 season, featuring the tenth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, RADIO GOLF, directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson; the world premiere of an immersive take FRANKENSTEIN by Manual Cinema, adapted from the Mary Shelley novel; the often untold story of the discovery of DNA in PHOTOGRAPH 51 by Anna Ziegler, directed by Vanessa Stalling; Ntozake Shange’s FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF, directed by original Broadway cast member Seret Scott; and the premiere of the coming-of-age story THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH, adapted by David Auburn from the novel by Saul Bellow, directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell.
“Court Theatre is thrilled to announce a season of classics that builds upon our history of artistic innovation and collaboration,” says Newell. “This ambitious collection of new and beloved plays is steeped in a rich storytelling history: a world premiere adaptation of a quintessential American novel, a celebration of a brilliant yet often overlooked female scientist, and the tenth installment of August Wilson’s seminal Pittsburgh Cycle are just some of the powerful stories that we’re excited to share with our audiences.”
Court Theatre’s 2018/19 season will be dedicated to Court’s late Executive Director, Stephen J. Albert. Partial casting has been announced, listed below.
The 2017/18 Court Theatre Season (from the press release):
By August Wilson
August 30 – September 30, 2018
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
Real estate developer Harmond Wilks is determined to become the first black mayor of Pittsburgh, on a mission to revive his blighted childhood neighborhood. As Wilks confronts characters from the past, he is forced to question how pursuing change could put his neighborhood’s history at risk.
RADIO GOLF is the tenth and final play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, and director Ron OJ Parson’s seventh production in the cycle at Court Theatre. Actors Tyla Abercrumbie (Mame), Allen Gilmore (Harmond), James Vincent Meredith (Roosevelt) and Alfred H. Wilson (Old Joe) return to the Court stage.
By Manual Cinema
November 1 – December 2, 2018
Adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley
Concept by Drew Dir
Devised by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller
Original music by Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman
Love, loss, and creation merge in unexpected ways in this thrilling classic gothic tale conceived by Manual Cinema. Stories of Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and his Monster expose how the forces of family, community, and education shape personhood—or destroy it by their absence.
In a special world premiere presentation, internationally-renowned multimedia company Manual Cinema stitches together the classic story of Frankenstein with Mary Shelley’s own biography to create an unexpected story about the beauty and horror of creation. Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive visual stories for stage and screen. Manual Cinema is a performance collective and film production company, founded in part by former Court dramaturg Drew Dir.
By Anna Ziegler
January 17 – February 17, 2019
Directed by Vanessa Stalling
History may well remember the work of Watson and Crick that shaped biology, but it was British chemist Rosalind Franklin who provided the key to the double helix DNA discovery. PHOTOGRAPH 51 shares the complex story of an ambitious female scientist in a world of men, her pursuit for the secret of life, and her forgotten accomplishments.
PHOTOGRAPH 51 features Chaon Cross as Rosalind Franklin.
As the Center for Classic Theatre, Court will invite collaborations with scientific experts at the University of Chicago as partners forPHOTOGRAPH 51, to utilize the intellectual resources unique to Court Theatre.
FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF
By Ntozake Shange
March 14 – April 14, 2019
Directed by Seret Scott
A sisterhood of seven women tell their stories through dramatic prose poetry, music, and movement. Told in vivid language, their experiences resound with fearless beauty and unity, despite exposing the unending challenges and oppressions that women of color face every day.
Director Seret Scott returns to this cherished work after performing as a member of the original Broadway cast from 1976-1978. She will inspire new audiences with this series of stories that still resonate profoundly forty years later.
THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH
A play by David Auburn, based on the novel by Saul Bellow
Mary 9 – June 9, 2019
Directed by Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director
Young Augie March is a product of the Great Depression: plucky, resourceful, searching for love, and striving to grow up and away from home. Through odd jobs and encounters with unique characters, Augie explores what it takes to succeed in the world as a true individual.
A novel originally written by a Nobel Prize-winner and adapted for the stage by a Pulitzer winner, The Adventures of Augie March is an epic coming-of-age story that bridges continents and stages of life, exuding the endearing confidence of a boy taking in a complex world.