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Jon Hoche, Raymond Lee, Paco Tolson, Jennifer Ikeda, and Samantha Quan in "Vietgone" at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2016. (Photo by Carol Rosegg)

Writers Theatre’s 2018-19 Season to Feature ‘Witch’ World Premiere

Jen Silverman’s Jacobean drama centers a season that opens with ‘Vietgone’ and closes with ‘Next to Normal.’

GLENCOE, Ill.: Writers Theatre has announced their 2018-19 season, featuring six productions including a world premiere play from Jen Silverman.

“Our 2018-19 season is fresh and sophisticated, and rooted in our tradition of ensuring that the written word and the artist remain at the center of our conversation,” said artistic director Michael Halberstam in a statement.

The season will start with Vietgone (Aug. 15-Sept.23), by Qui Nguyen, with original music by Shane Rettig. The play is about two young survivors who meet in a Vietnamese refugee camp in Middle America shortly after the fall of Saigon and try to come together as soul mates in a turbulent time. Lavina Jadhwani will direct.

Next will be the world premiere of Jen Silverman’s The Witch (Sept. 26-Dec. 16), inspired by The Witch of Edmonton by Jacobean playwrights William Rowley, Thomas Dekker, and John Ford. In the play, the emotionally conflicted son of the local lord and a newcomer take advantage of the Devil’s bargains to accomplish their own questionable ends in their conflict with each other. Marti Lyons will direct this modern fable.

Following will be William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Nov. 7-Dec. 16). Halberstam will direct the classic comedy about a shipwrecked Viola disguising herself as a man to secure a job before finding herself caught in a love triangle.

Next up will be August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Feb. 6- March 17), the 1920s chapter of Wilson’s American Century Cycle, which follows a recording session as tensions become strained among the members of a blues band and the owners of the recording studio. Ron OJ Parson will direct.

Onstage next will be A Number (March 20-June 9) by Caryl Churchill. The play depicts several visits between a father and his estranged son as they reconnect, uncover lies, and reveal a horrifying truth about their shared past. Robin Witt will direct.

The season will conclude with Next to Normal (May 8-June 16), under the direction of David Cromer and the music direction of Andra Velis Simon. This Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical, with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, explores how family trauma can fracture the American Dream of the Goodmans, who only seem like the average American family.

Founded in 1992, Writers Theatre strives to present Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre, and a dedication to creating intimate theatrical experiences.

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