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Pictured: (top, l to r) Lauren Katz, Aaron Mays, AJ Schwartz and Ian Damont Martin with (bottom, l to r) Samantha Behr, Josh Sobel, Idris Goodwin and Jess McLeod.
Haven Theatre, which has newly rebranded itself as just “Haven,” has announced the 2019-20 lineup, kicking off this fall with its fifth consecutive DIRECTORS HAVEN, three short plays showcasing the talents of early career directors. Helming this year’s productions are Lauren Katz, Aaron Mays and AJ Schwartz.
Next winter, Haven’s new Artistic Director Ian Damont Martin helms Williams Shakespeare’s revenge-tragedy TITUS ANDRONICUS – centering on the voices of marginalized people too often excluded from classical theater performance.
The season concludes summer 2020 with the world premiere of Samantha Behr’s drama THE FIG AND THE WASP, directed by Associate Artistic Director Josh Sobel.
Additionally, Haven has also set a production for its 2020-21 season: the Chicago premiere of Idris Goodwin’s HYPE MAN directed by Jess McLeod.
“Haven is very excited to bring this season to Chicago. It’s the first season with our new team – complete with a fresh new logo and brand identity, which effectively captures this moment in our evolution and our collective vision for the future,” said Martin. “Each of these productions, in their own distinct ways, reckon with the contemporary world before us, which can oftentimes feel alienating and polarizing. As artists at large consider our responsibility in this context, Haven aims to at least make space for artists and audiences alike to unpack our questions and experiences in the safety and community of the theatre. These productions feel incredibly timely and necessary today, each standing as individual examples of what a ‘New Canon’ for the American theatre could include. As our company continues to evolve, the work of this upcoming season will put us one solid step closer to the ‘Social Profit’ we at Haven endeavor to cultivate in our community.”
Haven’s 2019-20 Season (from the press release):
October 14 – 30, 2019
DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019
Featuring work by Lauren Katz, Aaron Mays and AJ Schwartz
The DIRECTORS HAVEN is back for the 5th consecutive year, with three more early career directors eager to share their visions! Lauren Katz, Aaron Mays and AJ Schwartz will headline the next chapter of Haven’s 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 13 – March 15, 2020
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Artistic Director Ian Damont Martin
In a society that seems increasingly plagued by senseless violence, Shakespeare’s bloodiest play Titus Andronicus feels increasingly germane. When Titus returns home from a 10-year war against the Goths with their Queen as his prisoner, a bloody cycle of violence ensues across familial and political lines. Is revenge ever justifiable? What if there is no justice? These questions remain surprisingly relevant some 400 years later. Titus Andronicus explores the impact of vengeance across the intersections of family, power and race.
July 2 – August 2, 2020
THE FIG AND THE WASP – World Premiere!
Written by Samantha Behr
Directed by Associate Artistic Director Josh Sobel
Plague, unrest, natural disasters, a failure in leadership… societies end for many dramatic reasons. Rosaura Flagg, a politician from a political dynasty, works to project stability and the status quo while her 13-year-old daughter Cara lies in a hospital room in a coma-like sleep. She is the first to succumb to “Hopelessness” – a diagnosis given by a nurse, George, who seems to be the only one with answers. The disease spreads rapidly – after all, how do you fight hopelessness? As dramatic as the cause may be, the reality of the end to this society is beautifully mundane. What do you reach for at the end? How do you find hope at the end of the world? The Fig and The Wasp explores the destruction of isolation and the power of caring and connection in the face of a world on fire.
Already Set for Haven’s 2020-21 Season:
Written by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Jess McLeod
Dates to be announced.
A promising hip hop trio – one white, one Black and one mixed race –are on the verge of success and fame with a “Tonight Show” performance on the books, when a police shooting of an unarmed black teenager shakes the group to its core. In the aftermath, Pinnacle, Verb and Peep One must navigate the difficult terrain of race and privilege, forever altering their relationships with one another. Hype Man is a crucible that employs hip-hop culture as a vehicle and means to bring forth change, making us ask ourselves: what is the responsibility of our platforms in the face of systemic injustice?