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TheatreWorks's 2014 production of "Silent Sky" by Lauren Gunderson. Pictured: Matt Citron as "Peter Shaw," Jennifer Le Blanc, Elena Wright, Sarah Dacey Charles and Lynne Soffer. (Photo by Mark Kitaoka)

Oregon Contemporary Theatre Plans Chekhov-Framed Season

The season will include Aaron Posner, Christopher Durang and Steve Yockey.

EUGENE, ORE.: Oregon Contemporary Theatre has announced its 2015–16 season, which will include two Chekhov-inspired works, a rolling world premiere from Steve Yockey and three regional premieres.

“Eugene audiences are in for a thrilling theatrical journey that starts and ends with very different contemporary adaptations of two comedies by Anton Chekhov, one of the ‘fathers’ of modern drama,” said producing artistic director Craig Willis in a statement.

The season begins with the regional premiere of  Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird (Sept. 11–Oct. 3), an irreverent update of Chekhov’s The Seagull. Willis will direct.

Next is the regional premiere of Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn (Oct. 23–Nov. 14), a comedy about three generations of women navigating work, life and family.

Just in time for the holidays will be Elizabeth Helman’s 90-minute adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (Nov. 27–Dec. 19).

The new year will begin with Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years (Jan. 15–Feb. 6, 2016), a musical about a relationship between a novelist and actress. Local actress Evynne Hollens will star, Nathan Alef will be the music director and Willis will direct.

Next will be the regional premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky (Feb. 26–March 19, 2016), about the life and career of real-life female astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt. Helman will direct.

Following will be the National New Play Network rolling world premiere of Steve Yockey’s Blackberry Winter (April 15–May 7, 2016), about a woman’s struggle with her mother’s memory loss and dementia. Willis will direct.

The season will conclude with Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (May 20–June 12, 2016),  a Chekhovian comedy about three middle-aged siblings and the complications of managing their deceased parents’ estate.

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