Northlight’s 17/18 Season Is Full of Premieres

Northlight’s 17/18 Season Is Full of Premieres

Pictured: Dominique Morisseau

Northlight Theatre has announced it’s 17/18 season which includes a world premiere, two Midwest premieres, and a Chicago premiere.

Opening the 43rd season is Bruce Graham’s SANCTIONS, a world premiere directed by Artisitc Director BJ Jones and featuring Mary Beth Fisher. The season continues with the Midwest premiere of THE BOOK OF WILL, Lauren Gunderson’s new play about the creation of Shakespeare’s First Folio and directed by Jessica Thebus. A Chicago premiere of the third play in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit trilogy, SKELETON CREW, follows, directed by Ron OJ Parson. Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, directed by BJ Jones and featuring Kate Fry takes the Winter/Spring 2018 slot, and closing out the season is the Midwest premiere of the music-filled comedy THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE by Matthew Lopez, directed by Vanessa Stalling.

“Our 2017-18 Season brings back playwrights whose work we have been proud to present over the last few years. We’re excited about our next world premiere with Bruce Graham, whose writing never fails to jolt us with topicality and humor,” comments Jones. We’ll also welcome back Lauren Gunderson, who brought us the wildly successful MISS BENNETT. Dominique Morisseau, with the final installment of her Detroit trilogy, and Matthew Lopez, author of Northlight audience favorite THE WHIPPING MAN. I will be directing Martin McDonagh’s THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE with the incomparable Kate Fry playing Maureen. It’s a play I have always wanted to do, now celebrating its 20th Anniversary,”

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

By Bruce Graham
Directed by BJ Jones
Featuring Mary Beth Fisher
September 14 – October 22, 2017
As a university nears the end of its probation for past NCAA violations, the athletic department gets back to the big business of college football: recruitment, alumni donations, and games on ESPN. Administrator Claire Torrance is responsible for improving player academics—despite resistance to her methods from the university dean. But when an overeager freshman tutor gets too close to some of the players, a new scandal threatens to blow up the whole program.

By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Jessica Thebus
November 9 – December 17, 2017
William Shakespeare wrote some of the world’s most beloved plays – but without his friends, they may have been lost to history! Follow the members of Shakespeare’s own company as they cunningly navigate the production of the First Folio in 1623. They may not have any money or clear-cut rights to his work, but they’re armed with wit, humor, a deep camaraderie and a passion to preserve the plays that shaped their lives. With the help of their wives and colleagues, two actors set out not only to print a collection, but to uphold a legacy for the world.

By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
January 25 – March 4, 2018
At the start of the Great Recession, rumors of impending closure surround one of the last auto plants in Detroit. The nation’s financial crisis gets personal as each of the workers confronts the life-altering choices they must make if their plant goes under, while the supervisor is torn between allegiances to his makeshift family of co-workers and management’s “cost-saving” demands. When pushed to the limits of survival, how far over the lines are people willing to cross?

By Martin McDonagh
Directed by BJ Jones
Featuring Kate Fry
March 15 – April 22, 2018
This Tony Award-winning dark comedy is set in the provincial Irish town of Leenane. Forty-year-old spinster Maureen Folan lives with her manipulative ageing mother Mag, stuck in a caretaking relationship that has them both seething with resentment. When a romantic encounter finally sparks Maureen’s hopes for an escape from her dreary existence, Mag’s interference sets in motion a chain of events that is as tragically funny as it is terrifying.

By Matthew Lopez
Directed by Vanessa Stalling
May 10 – June 17, 2018
A down-on-his-luck Elvis impersonator has an overdrawn checking account and a baby on the way. When a drag show takes over the entertainment at the Florida Panhandle bar where he performs, he’ll also be out of a job…unless he’s willing to step into some high heels. This heartwarming, music-filled comedy celebrates the unexpected path to finding your true voice.

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