CHICAGO: Court Theatre has announced a reimagined 2020-21 season in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The theatre will return to the stage in February of 2021. Previously announced live productions of Violet, The Gospel at Colonus, Fen, and Antigone have been postponed and will be produced in a future season.
The reimagined season will kick off in February with Owen McCafferty’s Titanic (Scenes from the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry, 1912), followed by Shakespeare’s Othello, and then August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. Digital access will be available for both Titanic and Othello for patrons who do not yet wish to attend in person.
“We’ve reimagined our 2020-21 season programming in an effort to remain responsive to the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing struggles for social justice, two global issues that necessitate revolutionary approaches as we work to envision a safer and more just world for all,” said Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale artistic director, in a statement. “Our revised season breaks the mold of past seasons and provides unparalleled depth and access in the absence of being able to physically gather this fall. We hope the stories we’ve chosen to share will offer the spiritual sustenance so many of us are seeking in this unprecedented time.”
Ahead of the return of live performance, Court Theatre will connect with audiences through its Theatre & Thought series this fall. The online program will feature expert insight from University of Chicago faculty about the historical context, thematic relevance, and artistic possibilities surrounding a classic work. The sessions will include the World of August Wilson, Euripides’ The Bacchae, Caryl Churchill’s Fen, and Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs. Next up will be Deep Dive: Leopoldstadt, an ambitious digital reading and in-depth look at Tom Stoppard’s latest play, Leopoldstadt. Court’s remote, digital experiences are produced in partnership with the University of Chicago Graham School’s Arts@Graham series.
“Our reimagined season allows us to continue offering theatre experiences without sacrificing audience safety, and at the same time providing the intellectual rigor and artistic quality that Court is known for as the professional theatre of the University of Chicago,” said executive director Angel Ysaguirre in a statement. “We look forward to helping broaden access to the arts on the South Side and beyond as technology enables us to connect and engage with our audiences in dynamic new ways.”
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