Chicago– Victory Gardens Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, announces the lineup for its 2017-2018 Season. Victory Gardens’ 43rd Season will include the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron; the Chicago premieres of Fade, a co-production with Teatro Vista, by Tanya Saracho, and Mies Julie, a contemporary reworking of August Strindberg’s classic Miss Julie by Yaël Farber, as well as the world premieres of Breach: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate by Antoinette Nwandu and Doing It by Boo Killebrew.
“It is with tremendous excitement that we welcome friends, old and new, to our 43rd Season at Victory Gardens Theater. We continue to give a Chicago home to the most electrifying and diverse voices in American theater,” says Artistic Director Chay Yew. “From an award-winning musical about coming out and coming-of-age, and a comedy exploring African American identity and motherhood, to a portrait of the white working class female post-incarceration, a passionate interracial relationship set in South Africa, and a witty drama about the price of ambition and Latinos in television — we are proud to present these timely and powerful stories that celebrate and address our citizenship and humanity, creating meaningful dialogue that unifies all communities in these current times.”
The 2017-18 Victory Gardens Theater Season up close:
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron
Directed by Gary Griffin
September 19-November 12, 2017
Press Opening: September 27, 2017
Hailed as one of Broadway’s most original musicals and winner of 5 Tony Awards, Fun Home is a groundbreaking story inspired by Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir. In this intimate musical, Alison sets out to unravel the many mysteries of her childhood through a series of memories and conversations – from her coming out to her moving journey of acceptance. Gary Griffin (Hand to God, Never the Sinner) directs this emotionally charged family drama that The New York Times calls “extraordinary,” and “a rare beauty.”
By Victory Gardens Theater Ensemble Playwright Tanya Saracho
Directed by Teatro Vista Ensemble Member Sandra Marquez
A Co-Production with Teatro Vista
November 4-December 23, 2017
Press Opening: November 10, 2017
In this witty behind-the-scenes drama, Mexican-born Lucia is hired to write for a ruthless Hollywood TV series. She soon discovers that the Mexican American custodian, Abel, has a windfall of plot ideas. As their friendship grows, his stories start to blur with hers with unexpected consequences. Fade, directed by Sandra Marquez, is an acclaimed new play from Tanya Saracho (How to Get Away with Murder, Looking, Girls) whose writing “lands in that sweet spot between comedy and drama” (Chicago Tribune).
Breach: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate
By Antoinette Nwandu
Directed by Lisa Portes
February 9-March 11, 2018
Press Opening: February 16, 2018
What happens when a woman trapped in a dead-end job and a fizzling relationship accidentally gets pregnant by a man that she’s not dating? A coming-of-age story about race, class and motherhood, Breach by Antoinette Nwandu and directed by Lisa Portes, examines how hard it is to love others when it’s you that you loathe most of all.
By Boo Killebrew
Directed by Chay Yew
April 6-May 6, 2018
Press Opening: April 13, 2018
After serving seven years in prison, Lettie is released and struggles to make a fresh start. Her children, who have been cared for by her half-sister, want little to do with her. Her re-entry job is anything but gentle as she takes on the dark, harsh world of welding. Trying again and again to create a non-criminal life, Lettie is confronted by her past and must make impossible choices to protect her future. Doing It, directed by Artistic Director Chay Yew (A Wonder In My Soul, The House That Will Not Stand) marks playwright Boo Killebrew’s Victory Gardens Theater debut.
By Yaël Farber
Directed by Dexter Bullard
Adapted from August Strindberg’s Miss Julie
May 25-June 24, 2018
Press Opening: June 1, 2018
In a sweltering kitchen of a remote farm, laborer John and Mies Julie, the daughter of his white master, embark on a feverish night. Fueled by drink, heat, generation-deep resentments and primal passion, John and Julie’s deadly attraction spins dangerously out of control. Dexter Bullard (Sucker Punch), directs Yaël Farber’s Mies Julie, an explosive and simmering adaptation of August Strindberg’s classic play set against the poignant backdrop of post-apartheid South Africa.
Subscriptions start at just $99 and include access to resident theater productions, many rental company productions and all additional public programming at the theater. Five-show mainstage subscriptions are on sale at www.victorygardens.org and by phone at the Victory Gardens Box Office at 2433 N. Lincoln, 773.871.3000.
Victory Gardens Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Benefits of subscribing include convenient parking; easy access via CTA, ticket exchange privileges; invitations to special events; discounted series for seniors, educators, younger audiences and persons with disabilities and pre- and post-show deals at nearby restaurants and businesses.
About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.
Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.
Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.
Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.
The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.
For more information about Victory Gardens, visit www.victorygardens.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at instagram.com/victorygardenstheater/
Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from The Wallace Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Shubert Foundation, The REAM Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Orli Staley Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by: Abbot Downing & Wells Fargo, Alliance Bernstein, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Exelon, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Tool Works, Italian Village Restaurants, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, LLP, The Prince Charitable Trusts, The Saints, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Southwest Airlines, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Whole Foods Market, and Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association.