PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
Pictured: Playwright Isaac Gomez and Director Jo Cattell.
Haven Theatre has announced two of the three productions in its 17/18 season, including one world premiere. Also, the company has announced a Midwest premiere musical already set for the 18/19 season.
The 17/18 season kicks off this fall with the third DIRECTOR’S HAVEN, three short plays showcasing the talents of early career directors. Helming this year’s productions are Kristen Johnson, Ian Martin, and Lexi Saunders. All performances are pay-what-you-can. The season concludes in summer 2018 with the world premiere of THE DISPLACED, written by Isaac Gomez and directed by Jo Cattell. The season also includes a yet-to-be-announced production set for February/March 2018.
Throughout the season, the company will feature monthly, one-night-only presentations of work by emerging artists as part of its mission of providing a haven for artistic development and trying out ideas. Artists confirmed to date include: Tobi Mattingly (August 2017), Wardell Clark (September 2017), Katy Walsh (October 2017), Will Quam (January 2018), Kacie Smith (February 2018), Alexandra Kunath (March 2018), Sammy Zeisel (April 2018) and Regina Victor (May 2018).
Haven has also announced a Midwest premiere musical already set for its 2018-19 season: THE TOTAL BENT, a dynamic new rock show about fathers, sons, social upheaval and the choice between salvation and selling out. The new musical features text by Stew and music and lyrics by Stew and Heidi Rodewald – the creative team behind the Tony Award-nominated Best Musical PASSING STRANGE. Lili-Anne Brown is slated to direct.
Comments Artistic Director Josh Sobel, “Our past four seasons have been a time of immense growth and change. Looking ahead to our 5th season – and additionally our 6th season – we are thrilled to further expand upon the ways we can live up to our name and our mission of investing in the future. Isaac Gomez is one of the most inspiring rising playwrights I have ever encountered – the poetry and soul he brings to his work is staggering. Our unique Director’s Haven program continues to thrive – with our upcoming cohort of three inspiring early-career artists bringing a particularly personal point of view to their contributions this season. Additionally, I could not be more excited about the Midwest premiere of THE TOTAL BENT. To have the opportunity to welcome Stew and Heidi’s new work into Haven – as well as to reunite their voice with the incredible Lili-Anne Brown, director of Chicago’s hit run of PASSING STRANGE – is nothing less than a dream come true.”
Haven Theatre’s 2017-18 Season (from the press release):
October 16 – November 1, 2017
Featuring work by Kristen Johnson, Ian Martin, and Lexi Saunders
All performances are pay-what-you-can
The Director’s Haven returns for its 3rd consecutive year, with a brand new collective of three exciting early career directors! Kristen Johnson, Ian Martin, and Lexi Saunders will headline Haven’s ever-growing initiative to showcase rising directors as they share their artistic point of view with the Chicago community. Each director will helm a fully produced 30-45 minute play of their choosing that will run back-to-back at each performance. See what the next generation can do when provided with that all-too-rare commodity: a room to share their vision. Productions will be announced shortly.
February 11 – March 11, 2018
Production to be announced
May 31 – July 1, 2018
By Isaac Gomez
Directed by Jo Cattell
Marísa and Lev have just moved into their new Pilsen apartment in hopes of rekindling a spark that’s long been extinguished. While looking for the circuit breaker in the attic, a mysterious coconut appears, leftover from the previous tenants with a dark history inside it. The Displaced explores the wake of pain and yearning left behind when gentrification forces people out of their homes and the kind of vengeance that can come from it.
Already Set for Haven Theatre’s 2018-19 Season (from the press release):
THE TOTAL BENT – Midwest Premiere!
Text by Stew
Music & Lyrics by Stew & Heidi Rodewald
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown
Dates to be announced.
When a British record producer arrives in Montgomery, Alabama to hook Marty Roy, a young black musical prodigy, he launches us back into Marty’s tumultuous upbringing. The son of a gospel star and self-proclaimed healer, Marty spent his childhood writing the songs that have made his charismatic father famous. But in a nation on the verge of social upheaval, with the rising heat from the street guiding his pen, Marty finds himself at odds with his spiritually forceful father as he strives to create a masterpiece that will change America – no matter the cost. A funny, fiery, one-of-a-kind show, The Total Bent is about the passions that divide a father and son as they make their music and make their choice between salvation and selling out.
Haven’s Theatre 17/18 Season will be staged at its resident home, The Den Theatre’s Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. For additional information, visit haventheatrechicago.com.