CHICAGO: Chicago Dramatists’ 2015-2016 season, its first since the death of its founder Russ Tutterow in May, will feature two world premieres and a new coproducing initiative. The company recently announced Meghan Beals as Tutterow’s replacement.
First up is a new program called the Grafting Project, which provides five weeks of rent-free theatre space to an outside company with plans to produce a world premiere by one of Chicago Dramatists’ resident playwrights. The first effort, opening Sept. 30, is Pegasus Theatre‘s production of For Her as a Piano by resident playwright Nambi E. Kelley.
Chicago Dramatists’ own programming begins with Scott Woldman’s Beautiful Autistic (Feb. 4–March 14, 2016), a romantic comedy about a young autistic man looking for love in ’90s-era Wrigleyville. Associate artistic director Rachel Edwards Harvith will direct.
The season concludes with Dana Lynn Formby’s American Beauty Shop (April 28–June 5), about a single mom and her smart, college-aged daughter and their dreams. Megan Schuchman will direct.
“Scott and Dana are writing from places of intense personal experience, crafting stories and characters that leave indelible impressions,” said aristic director Beals in a statement. “Scott’s wickedly funny play provides a unique insight into the world of autism, sparking conversation about how we can better support affected individuals and their families. Dana’s heartfelt, brutally honest play illuminates the cycle of poverty and the limited choices many women have in this nation. I have no doubt their stories will resonate with many people.”