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American Theater Company has announced its next season, which kicks off this October with the world premiere of Janine Nabers’ WELCOME TO JESUS, directed by Artistic Director Will Davis. In the January, the company will present Basil Kreimendahl’s WE’RE GONNA BE OKAY in its Chicago premiere, also directed by Davis. Next May brings another world premiere, Carlos Murillo’s DIAGRAM OF A PAPER AIRPLANE, directed by Bonnie Metzgar.
Over the course of the season, ATC will host its second Chicago Open Residency Experiment (CORE), a series of week-long residencies for artists of all disciplines.
“At ATC, the artist comes first,” says Davis. “We select seasons of artists and then dialogue with them about the work they need to make and how we can champion it. To us that is the point of the arts institution; we provide a space where artists can interrogate their art and experiment with their work for the good of the American theater. Season 33 is an articulation of those values. As we built the season we’ve used a phrase I scribbled on the board above my desk as our programing compass. The phrase is: Laugh, Cry, & Hug Your Neighbor. As an institution, we are working on this concept of neighborliness through our support of artists in process, the youth we serve and the work we produce. This year we’re presenting two world premieres, a second production and line up of artists in residence that all embrace bold theatricality, questions of identity and interrogations of power and belonging.”
AMERICAN THEATER COMPANY’S SEASON 33 (from the press release):
WELCOME TO JESUS
Written by Janine Nabers
Directed by Will Davis
October 26–December 3, 2017
In fictional Hallelujah, TX, football reigns, and the quarterback is king. Janine Nabers’ darkly funny and powerful new play unearths the tyranny of small town life and the power of prejudice to define our fate. Staged in a field of wood chips, about a town in search of some good news, Welcome to Jesus fuses fable and horror in a twenty-first century take on the Southern Gothic tradition.
WE’RE GONNA BE OKAY
Written by Basil Kreimendahl
Directed by Will Davis
January 25–March 4, 2018
In the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy addressed the nation, “My fellow citizens: let no one doubt that this is a difficult and dangerous effort on which we have set out…But the greatest danger of all would be to do nothing.” Well, Efran and Leena and Mag and Sul are thinking about doing something. Something big. Straight from Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays, Basil Kreimendahl’s We’re Gonna Be Okay confronts the fears of the American middle class as two families wrestle with macrame, female empowerment and a shared property line.
DIAGRAM OF A PAPER AIRPLANE
Written by Carlos Murillo
Directed by Bonnie Metzgar
May 3–June 10, 2018
Javier C. is dead, and in his wake are fragments and scraps of his magnum opus mailed mysteriously from New Mexico to his group of ex-friends in New York. Called “an absolutely extraordinary achievement from a writer at the height of his powers” by American Theatre Magazine, Carlos Murillo’s Diagram of a Paper Airplane is the first in a trilogy of plays that examine the capacity of friendships to withstand the unimaginable. Director Bonnie Metzgar brings life to a night of mourning and celebration that will leave them wondering if Diagram of a Paper Airplane ever existed at all.