Malic White and Molly Brennan in "Picnic" at American Theater Company. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

American Theater Company Announces 3 Premieres for 2017-18 Season

The season will also include the Chicago Open Residency Experiment.

CHICAGO: American Theater Company has announced the 2017-18 season, its 33rd. The lineup will feature two world premieres and a regional premiere.

“At ATC, the artist comes first,” said artistic director Will Davis in a statement. “We select seasons of artists and then dialogue with them about the work they need to make and how we can champion it. To us that is the point of the arts institution: We provide a space where artists can interrogate their art and experiment with their work for the good of the American theatre.”

The season will open with the world premiere of Janine Nabers’s Welcome to Jesus (Oct. 26-Dec. 3). Set in the fictional town of Hallelujah, Texas, the play explores small-town life and the power of prejudice. Davis will direct.

Next up will be the Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s We’re Gonna Be Okay (Jan. 25-March 4, 2018), which follows two middle-class families wrestling with what to do during the Cuban missile crisis. Davis will direct.

The final show of the season will be the world premiere of Carlos Murillo’s Diagram of a Paper Airplane (May 3-June 10, 2018). The play is the first in a trilogy about the power of friendship, as a group of pals in New Mexico discover their deceased friend’s writings. Bonnie Metzgar will direct.

Metzgar and Murillo will also workshop the play for a week before rehearsals start as part of Chicago Open Residency Experiment (CORE), for which 22 artists will workshop 12 new projects at the theatre. Those projects are:

  • Black Like Me, adapted and directed by Monty Cole from the book by John Howard Griffin
  • Kissing, conceived by Abigail Boucher, co-created by Boucher and Carolyn Defrin with Brock Alter
  • Dig, by Theodore Germaine, directed by Gina Marie Hayes, with Avi Roque
  • TBD Project from About Face Theatre
  • (Saliva) things that i like about my partner that are not their mouth or genitals, by Jasmine Jordan and Valerie Gallucci
  • A production of Show Boat directed by Jess McLeod
  • Any of My Enemies from Molly Brennan (lead artist)
  • To The Moon, by Beth Kander, with artistic collaborators Allyce Torres, Amanda Long, Arian Thigpen, and Sallee Murphy
  • La Ronde, a reimagining of the play by Arthur Schnitzler, directed by Dani Wieder, choreography by Andy Slavin
  • FARMED: The Orwell Radio, a song-setting by Trevor Bachman based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm
  • Soot & Linen, by BrittneyLove Smith

Founded in 1985, American Theater Company explores stories that ask the question, What does it mean to be an American?

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