Theater Preview: WRITER THEATRE’S 2020/21 SEASON (Chicago)

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by Frank Arthur on September 15, 2020

in Theater-Chicago


Chicago’s amazing company, Writers Theatre, has announced its 2020/21 Season with a new adaptive producing model, one committed to remaining flexible and responsive to current events and that allows the them to welcome patrons back when the time is right. Productions will be confirmed and dates will be announced throughout the season. New is that exact performance dates will be announced for each offering throughout the year, as well as other details including venue, full cast and creative team. It is possible that some titles and artists may change as the production schedule shifts, should any adjustments be necessary to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Just know they’re gearing up with a fantastic season, that — one way or another — will come true.

Love & Contracts
Written by Julia Doolittle 
Directed by Moritz Von Stuelpnagel  

Four couples. Two time periods. One wild comedy.  

Think dating in 2020 is hard? Try looking for love in 1791. In Love & Contracts, Abigail and William and three other couples navigate life and love, confined by the expectations of family, friends and the world around them. As the play examines courtship across time, it asks: Has the passage of almost 250 years made modern romance any easier?

Filled with laughter, lust and the wit of a Jane Austen novel, this world premiere comedy by Julia Doolittle shows us that when it comes to matters of the heart, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Broadway’s Hand to GodPresent Laughter) brings his keen eye for comedy to Writers Theatre to present this wry and romantic look at how we negotiate—and renegotiate—relationships.

Low Down Dirty Blues
A Musical Revue by Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman
Directed by Ron OJ Parson

A Chicago blues club. The last set of the night. An exuberant musical revue

The club’s about to close, but the party is just beginning. Grab your drink, take your seat and enjoy the riffs, rhythms and rapport of a seasoned band of musicians as they do what they do best: swap stories, belt the blues and put on one helluva show.

Featuring music by Muddy Waters, Pearl Bailey, Howlin’ Wolf and more, Low Down Dirty Blues celebrates the blues and the artists who live it. Directed by Ron OJ Parson (Stick Fly, Ma Rainey’s Black BottomEast Texas Hot Links), and featuring a knock-out performance by Felicia P. Fields, this show is sure to bring the house down.

Based on the novel by E. M. Forster 
Adapted by Scott Parkinson 
Directed by David Cromer 

A renowned novelist. A private life. An unexpected ending. 

After completing the literary masterpiece Howards EndE. M. Forster began writing his most personal and controversial novel: Maurice. Completed in 1914 and published posthumously in 1970, Forster’s opus on queer love in Edwardian England centers around young Maurice Hall, as he seeks answers to questions of identity from schoolmates, a hypnotherapist—and an enigmatic gamekeeper named Alec Scudder. A milestone in the history of gay love stories, Maurice twists and turns and ultimately shows us that in the end, we all deserve our place in this world.

This world premiere adaptation by Scott Parkinson (Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar and more), presented for the 50th anniversary of the novel’s publication, captures the spirit of a young man struggling to find himself in an intolerant society. Maurice, directed by Tony Award-winner David Cromer (Broadway’s The Band’s Visit, WT’s Next to Normal, Picnic), takes you inside the memories, dreams and desires of a remarkable mind.

The Last Match
Written by Anna Ziegler
Choreographed by Steph Paul
Directed by Keira Fromm 

More than a Game. Each Set on victory. The Match of their lives.

When a young Russian tennis phenom and an American superstar in his prime meet at center court, it’s a tough call whether the greatest drama is playing out off the court or on! As the swift action volleys between primetime tennis matches and the most pivotal moments in the personal lives of the competitors and their equally driven romantic partners, sharp and insightful playwright Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51) draws you inside the minds of all four as they face challenges in sport, life and love. What results is a fast-paced and moving montage exploring family, the sacrifices we make for success and the legacy we leave behind.

Chicago director Keira Fromm brings her finely-tuned vision to this gripping drama, staged in the intimate Gillian Theatre. You won’t want to miss this engrossing, rapid-fire take on what it means to finally achieve greatness, only to be left wanting more. In The Last Match, there is much more than just a championship on the line.

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