Saturday, August 20, 2016

SAVE THE DATES: Theater Wit's 2016-17 Season Announced

ADULT NIGHT OUT: Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar

THE TRUMP CARD, THIS WAY OUTTA SANTALAND 
AND ANNE WASHBURN'S 
10 OUT of 12  
JOIN MAT SMART'S NAPERVILLE 
FOR THEATER WIT'S 2016-17 SEASON



Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler, currently in rehearsals for Wit's 2016-17 season opener, Mat Smart's new dramatic comedy Naperville, announced the balance of the company's 2016-17 "smart art" line-up:


Jeremy Wechsler



New Additions To The Lineup:
First is an election-season production of Mike Daisey's The Trump Card. Already a sensation at New York's Public Theatre and now on tour, Daisey has "open sourced" the rights to his 70-minute take-down of the current Republican presidential nominee. 


Wit can't wait to "take on the reigning world heavyweight of self-mythologizing, the short-fingered vulgarian who captured a nation's heart through bullying, charm, one-syllable explosions, and occasionally telling the brutal truth: Donald J. Trump." The Trump Card opens October 5 and closes on election night, November 8.  Wechsler will direct. Casting, performance times and ticket prices are TBA.




Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows we were bummed to hear the rights to The Santaland Diaries had been pulled nationally for this holiday season. Mitchell Fain's hilarious portrayal of Crumpet the elf has become a tradition for us and a much needed antidote to all the saccharin sweet songs and annoying commercialism that consumes our public spaces from November to January. We're beyond excited that Mitchell Fain and Theater Wit have found a way to do an end run around this obstacle and present the world premiere of a brand new holiday tradition, This Way Outta Santaland, Mitchell Fain's all-new autobiographical holiday show. Don't miss this stunningly funny tell-all about his eight years starring as Crumpet the elf in Wit's long-running hit The Santaland Diaries


Audiences will adore Fain's fresh revelations about how family, drunks, 250 performances and the holiday spirits collide. Boozy Christmas carols, celebrity holiday gossip and the private lives of elves are all up for grabs in this warm-hearted take on a holiday show about a holiday show. Performances are November 23-December 23, 2016.


The Midwest debut of 10 Out of 12 by Anne Washburn, author of Wit's 2014 smash hit Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, is Wit's spring finale. 


Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows, we adored Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (pictured above & below)! We can't wait to see what Anne Washburn has in store for us this season.


Washburn's newest, most adventurous work, 10 Out of 12 is a near-perfect recreation of a technical rehearsal, celebrating the hopes and visions that emerge from the most mundane of processes. 

Anne Washburn, Playwright

In Wit's production, audiences will don their own headsets to hear the backstage chatter and experience the challenges of bringing a new play to life. What's more, Washburn will join director Jeremy Wechsler to create a 10 Out of 12 fully customized for Chicago's theater scene. Chicago theater lovers won't want to miss Wit's who's-who Chicago version of what the New York Times declared a  "wholly original love song to the maddening art of the theater." Performances are March 3-April 23, 2017.        

                                                                  


Already announced is Theater Wit's 2016-17 season opener, the Midwest premiere of Mat Smart's Naperville. This extraordinary dramatic comedy is set in a Caribou Coffee in - you guessed it - Naperville.  Smart, a native of Naperville, now a New York writer, returns to Chicago riding a wave of local acclaim after his play The Royal Society of Antarctica at Gift Theatre won the 2015 Equity Jeff Award for Best New Work. New York Theatre Review hailed the 2014 off-off-Broadway premiere of Naperville "a heartfelt and beautiful meditation on the comedy and tragedy of quiet places we are too quick to forget" and a "valentine to the heart and soul of the American suburbs." Previews start August 26. Press opening is Tuesday, 
September 6 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through October 16. 



"I'm very excited to announce one of Chicago's most exciting seasons of work from the country's finest playwrights and artists, " said Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler. " These surprising plays are a clarion call for how compassion, humor and understanding can ignite unexpected community in a divided society. Ranging from the broadest political stage to the smallest coffee house, these plays scale from the smallest nuclear family to the larger collectives that create meaning and connection from nothing but plywood and determination. I've strived to find those particular works that can thrive in our unique home and artistic processes. It's going to be a memorable year."

The best way to secure seats is to sign up for a Theater Wit Membership. Wit's Netflix-like "all the theater you can eat" deal lets members see as many plays at they want at any of Theater Wit's three spaces for one low monthly fee of $36/$22 for students, along with many exclusive member perks. 

To purchase a Membership, inquire about Flex Pass options or to buy single tickets, visit TheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, 773.975.8150.

Theater Wit is located at 1229 N. Belmont, in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. To receive an "artisanal selection of consonants and vowels from Theater Wit," sign up at TheaterWit.org/mailing for exclusive updates, flash deals and behind-the-scenes production scoop every few weeks.

About Theater Wit
Theater Wit - "a thrilling addition to Chicago's roster of theaters" (Chicago Tribune) and "a terrific place to see a show" (New City) - will open its sixth season this fall in its home at 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. 

Founded in 2004, Theater Wit's mission is to explore contemporary issues with wit and wisdom through new works and Chicago premieres. As a production company, Theater Wit is Chicago's premiere smart art theater, producing humorous, challenging and intelligent plays that speak with a vibrant and contemporary theatrical voice. 

Recent critical and box office hits include The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George, Completeness and The Four of Us by Itamar Moses. 

In 2014, Theater Wit was awarded the National Theatre Award by the American Theatre Wing for strengthening the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater.

As an institution, Theater Wit seeks to be the hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago. 

Theater Wit brings together Chicago's best storefront companies, including 2016-17 resident companies About Face and Shattered Globe. 

For more information, visit TheaterWit.org or all the Theater Wit box office, 773.975.8150.

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