CHICAGO: Victory Gardens Theater has announced its 2016–17 season, its 42nd. The seven-show lineup will include world premieres by Marcus Gardley, Karen Hartman, and Madhuri Shekar.
“These new dramas and comedies will entertain as well as create essential dialogue with our Chicago audiences on our nation’s most pressing issues of faith, environment, race and citizenship,” said artistic director Chay Yew in a statement.
The season will begin with Robert Askins’s Hand to God, directed by Gary Griffin (Sept. 16–Oct. 16). The play, recently seen on Broadway, is about a Christian teenager and his demonic sock puppet.
The world premiere of Karen Hartman’s Roz and Ray will be next (Nov. 11–Dec. 11). It will be a co-world premiere with Seattle Repertory Theatre. Artistic director Yew will direct the new play about a single dad and his hemophiliac sons.
Marcus Gardley’s world premiere play, A Wonder in My Soul, will be next (Feb. 10–March 12, 2017). The play spans the Great Migration to the early 20th century in Chicago, all seen through the eyes of a 90-year-old African-American woman in her final hours. Yew will direct.
The world premiere of Madhuri Shekar’s Queen will follow (April 14–May 14, 2017), directed by Joanie Schultz. The play follows a group of doctoral students who find a large miscalculation in their research about dwindling bee populations.
The mainstage season will close with Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías (June 2–July 2, 2017). It will be directed by Marti Lyons. The comedy follows a Latino couple who move next door to a white couple.
In addition to the mainstage season will be a bonus series featuring three solo performances. The first will be Aaron Davidman’s Wrestling Jerusalem, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The second will be Luis Alfaro’s St. Jude, about a son who comes home after his father has suffered a stroke. The final solo performance will be Arlene Malinowski’s A Little Bit Not Normal, about depression. The run dates will be announced at a later date.
Victory Gardens, founded in 1974, produces challenging new plays and musicals.