Gift Announces 2019 Season and Artistic Promotions

Gift Announces 2019 Season and Artistic Promotions

(left to right) Gift Ensemble Members Jennifer Glasse, Maryann Thebus and Michael Patrick Thornton.
The Gift Theatre has announced two of the three productions that will make up its 2019 season: a revival of John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning drama DOUBT: A PARABLE, and the Chicago premiere of Hansol Jung’s WOLF PLAY.

“Our 18th season is balanced between faith and doubt, between belonging and isolation,” said Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton. “We explore the idea of family, the palliative power of imagination, the invention of monsters, and the cost of not having a conversation. And at the center of our stories is the future, the people with the most to gain and everything to lose; in short, the children.”

Thornton will join the cast of DOUBT, along with Jennifer Glasse and Maryann Thebus in a production directed by John Gawlik running February 27 – March 31. It’s part of Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series, and will be performed on the Steppenwolf campus in the 1700 Theatre. WOLF PLAY will be directed by Jess McLeod and runs October 18 – November 24 in The Gift’s Jefferson Park venue. A soon-to-be-announced third production will run July 12 – August 18.

The Gift’s season kicks off in January with TEN (January 10 – 20), the theater’s annual roundup of world premiere ten-minute plays.

The Gift also announced that ensemble member Chika Ike has been named Director of 4802, the company’s new play support program, and Casting Director Emjoy Gavino has been promoted to Associate Artistic Director, joining ensemble member Paul D’Addario. They’ve also commissioned a Mary Shelley-based project from Jennifer Rumberger to be workshopped in 2019 and premiere in the 2020 season.

More info is available at or by calling (773) 283-7071.

The Gift Theatre’s 2019 Season (from the press release):

February 27 – March 31, 2019
DOUBT: A PARABLE – Presented as a part of Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series
By John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Ensemble Member John Gawlik
Featuring Ensemble Members Jennifer Glasse, Maryann Thebus and Michael Patrick Thornton
at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St., Chicago

In this brilliant and powerful drama, Sister Aloysius, a Bronx school principal, takes matters into her own hands when she suspects the young Father Flynn of improper relations with one of the male students. Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play.

July 12 – August 18, 2019
Production to be announced shortly.

October 18 – November 24, 2019
WOLF PLAY – Chicago Premiere!
By Hansol Jung
Directed by Guest Artist Jess McLeod
at The Gift, Theatre 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

A Korean boy is ushered into a new house by his adopted American father. This new house belongs to an American boxer and her wife. American father un-adopts boy by a single signature on a piece of paper. But just before he leaves the new house, ex-father finds out that the new couple to whom he has “re-homed” his ex-son to, is a lesbian couple. American Ex-father spends the rest of the play trying to get the boy back. In his corner is Ryan, the Boxer’s coach, and Wife’s brother. Ryan doesn’t like the new Korean boy who is a bit weird.

The boy is actually not a real boy. He is a puppet. The puppeteer is the Emcee of the evening, and spinner of the night’s tale: a lone wolf who slips in and out of the story as is needed. Wolf Play is a messy funny disturbing theatrical experience grappling with a wolf, a puppet and a very prickly problem of “what is a family, and what do we need from them, today? Is it very different from the things humans have needed from families before?”

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