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Monica Orozco (foreground) in Ike Holter’s "Rightlynd" at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater in 2019. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Victory Gardens Theater Announces 2019-20 Season

The lineup will include the world premiere of ‘Dhaba on Devon Avenue’ by Madhuri Shekar.

CHICAGO: Victory Gardens Theater has announced the lineup for its 2019-20 season, featuring five productions.

“I’m thrilled to announce our 45th season of incredible American plays that speak to our current times,” said artistic director Chay Yew in a statement. “From an African American family grappling with a daughter’s death to a South Asian immigrant battling his children over the fate of their family restaurant in Chicago, we are also giving a home to powerful plays that courageously address the issues of our country’s rape culture, and the right to privacy on social media. These relevant works speak truth to power and celebrate the best in our diverse nation, and inspire us to be better citizens.”

The season will open with Tiny Beautiful Things (Sept. 6-Oct. 13), adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos. The play, based on the book by Cheryl Strayed, was co-conceived by Vardalos, Marshall Heyman, and Thomas Kail. It follows Strayed’s experience working as an advice columnist. Vanessa Stalling will direct.

Next up will be the world premiere of The First Deep Breath (Nov. 15-Dec. 22, 2019), by Lee Edward Colston II, about a pastor planning a memorial service for his daughter and grappling with family secrets that surface when his son returns home from prison. Malika Oyetimein will direct.

Following will be Lily Padilla’s How to Defend Yourself (Jan. 24-Feb. 23, 2020), a co-world premiere with Actors Theatre of Louisville, about a group of college students gathering for a self-defense workshop after one of their sorority sisters is raped. Marti Lyons will direct.

Next will be the world premiere of Madhuri Shekar’s Dhaba on Devon Avenue (March 27-April 26, 2020), about a family’s struggle to keep their longtime Sindhi restaurant open. Yew will direct.

The season will close out with Right to Be Forgotten (May 29-June 28, 2020), by Sharyn Rothstein, a drama about a man’s battle to reclaim his right to privacy as a mistake he made at age 17 resurfaces online. Gary Griffin will direct.

Founded in 1974, Victory Gardens produces contemporary American plays and musicals.

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