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Usman Ally and Lee Stark in DISGRACED (2012). Photo courtesy of American Theater Company.
American Theater Company announces the third year of AracaWorks: Chicago, a play development workshop in partnership with New York’s The Araca Group, Broadway producers of DISGRACED, URINETOWN, FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIRE DE LUNE, THE WEDDING SINGER, LEND ME A TENOR and A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. The program gives three playwrights a weeklong development opportunity at American Theater Company culminating in a series of readings that for the first time will be open to the public.
AracaWorks: Chicago emerged from a collaboration that led to the development of DISGRACED by Ayad Akhtar, which received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a 2015 Tony Award nomination for Best Play. Last year, AracaWorks: Chicago developed THE GODDESS OF MERCY by Jenny Connell Davis, SNORE by Max Posner, and WE’RE GONNA BE OKAY by Basil Kreimendahl. Previous submissions to AracaWorks: Chicago include plays by Dan O’Brien, Lauren Yee, Yussef El Guindi, Philip Dawkins and Abe Koogler, whose play KILL FLOOR was produced in ATC’s 2015-16 Legacy Season.
Public readings will take place on Wednesday, June 29 and Thursday, June 30 at American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron Street, Chicago. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance by visiting www.atcweb.org or calling the box office at 773-409-4125. Note: Seating is limited.
This year’s AracaWorks: Chicago participants are:
UNTITLED MATRIARCH PLAY by Nikole Beckwith
Directed by Erica Weiss
June 29 at 4 p.m.
On the eve of her 55th birthday, Lorraine’s surprise announcement that she is having a son via a surrogate throws the lives of three generations of women into chaos. Her defiance of societal norms causes her four daughters to question their own positions on motherhood. Playwright Nikole Beckwith explores how difficult it is to escape the realities of motherhood and the legacy that our parents set before us.
ONTARIO WAS HERE by Darren Canady
Directed by Lavina Jadhwani
June 30 at 10 a.m.
Two caseworkers face off over the future of a young boy named Ontario. Penni, Ontario’s caseworker, wants the boy removed from his home while Nathan, representing his mother, argues to keep the family together. Nathan lets his personal feelings get in the way of professional choices, which leads to disastrous consequences.
THE QUIET ONES by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton
Directed by Sean Graney
June 30 at 2 p.m.
Katherine, an aging kindergarten teacher who has built a quiet and comfortable life, becomes caught in the middle of an alleged playground altercation that shakes up her carefully maintained placidity. At home, her familial life is haunted by her son’s fast-approaching wedding and the impending reunion with her ex-husband. This disruption on both sides of her life creates an insurmountable struggle to maintain control.