MOONLIGHT’s Tarell Alvin McCraney Headlines Raven’s 17/18 Season

MOONLIGHT’s Tarell Alvin McCraney Headlines Raven’s 17/18 Season

Pictured: Tarell Alvin McCraney. Photo courtesy of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

This article has been updated to reflect the addition of Raven’s fourth show and director announcement. 5/11/17. 

Raven Theatre Company, which celebrates 35 years in 2018, has announced its upcoming 2017-18 four show season which includes two Chicago premieres and a Raven commissioned world premiere.

The season begins with the Chicago premiere of CHOIR BOY by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, who took home the 2016 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for MOONLIGHT.  The season continues with the Chicago premiere of NICE GIRL by Melissa Ross, and the world premiere of THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by Chicago based playwright Phillip Dawkins and SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER by Tennessee Williams and directed by Jason Gerace.

“We of course, are so happy to still be making theater in Chicago and to be a part of this great artistic community after all these years,” says Artistic Director Michael Menendian. “We’ve chosen to celebrate our company’s 35-year history in two ways: one – by looking to the future with this trio of young playwrights who have already been recognized nationally as some of the industry’s brightest new talents, and two – through Philip Dawkins’s The Gentleman Caller, – by paying tribute to two of the many American masters who have been such an important part of our repertoire.”

The 2017-18 Season (from the press release): 

By Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Michael Menendian
September 27 – November 12, 2017

First produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York during the summer of 2013, concerns a gay teenage boy in an all African-American prep school. The Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys is dedicated to the creation of strong, ethical black men. Pharus wants nothing more than to take his rightful place as leader of the school’s legendary gospel choir. Can he find his way inside the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key?

By Melissa Ross
Directed by Lauren Shouse
January 24 – March 11, 2018

Set in a working-class suburb of Boston in 1984, thirty-seven-year-old Josephine Rosen has a dead-end job, still lives with her mother, and has settled into the uncomfortable comfort of an unintended spinsterhood. But when a chance flirtation with an old classmate and a new friendship at work give her hope for the possibility of change, she dusts off the Jane Fonda tapes and begins to take tentative steps towards a new life.

By Philip Dawkins
Directed by Cody Estle
March 28 – May 13, 2018

Staged in the company’s intimate 57-seat West Stage and directed by Raven Associate Artistic Director Cody Estle. Dawkins’ play, THE GENTLEMAN CALLER, based on historical truth, imagines what might have happened behind closed doors in the first two meetings between Tennessee Williams and William Inge.

By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Jason Gerace
May 2 – June 17, 2018
The final production of Raven Theatre Company’s 2017-18 season will be Tennessee Williams’ stark and poetic SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER. Wealthy New Orleans socialite widow Violet Venable is trying to silence her niece Catherine, who, as the only witness to the death of Violet’s son Sebastian, has been giving a horrifying description of the circumstances under which he was killed. Unwilling to accept either that account or other assertions about her son’s life, Mrs. Venable pursues extraordinary measures to keep Catherine quiet.

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