Chicago Park District Announces Schedule for 65th Season of Theater on the Lake

6/12/2017
TOTL
Theater on the Lake: Summer Festival kicks off June 28
© Chicago Park District

Program highlights include a Spanish adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless classic Romeo and Juliet and a contemporary flare to the Bard’s tragedy Macbeth

Performances kick off at Berger Park Cultural Center on June 28

The Chicago Park District today announced the five genre-defying productions comprising the 65th season of Theater on the Lake, the Chicago Park District summer theater festivalUnder the artistic direction of writer, dramaturg and working director Isaac Gomez, Theater on the Lake showcases the diversity of Chicago’s rich storefront theater with an ambitious lineup of productions.

“After six decades, the Theater on the Lake summer festival continues to be a beloved Chicago tradition that connects diverse audiences to quality performances staged by reputable storefront theater companies,” said Chicago Park District CEO and Superintendent Michael P. Kelly. “This festival is now a strong pillar of the Night Out in the Parks initiative, and a cornerstone of success in bringing culture and art to Chicago’s neighborhoods.”

Theater on the Lake’s 65th season brings to life a rich array of critically-acclaimed and thought-provoking plays inspired by great playwrights and reworked by emerging talents. Two of this season’s productions include William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, which will be adapted to appeal to audiences across Chicago.

Opening the season is a comedy from The Hypocrites, a Chicago-based storefront theater company in its 21st anniversary season. The play You on the Moors, Now imagines a fictional land where men wage war against the vociferous, intelligent and progressive heroines from19th-century novels.

This season’s contemporary selections have been curated by Isaac Gomez.  Isaac Gomez is a writer and dramaturg currently working as the Director of New Play Development at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, where he curates the Public Programs series, directs the new play development department, and heads the IGNITION Festival of New Plays.

"It has been a thrilling year for Chicago theater, and I couldn't be more excited to feature such an incredible breadth of work as part of Theater on the Lake this season,” said Issac Gomez. “From traditional narratives retold through a contemporary lens, to an all-Spanish familiar tale, to new plays by some of the most bold and electrifying voices, this summer’s season is a true reflection of what makes Chicago theater the best theater city in this country."

In 2016, Theater on the Lake’s five participating local theater companies sold-out 15 out of the 46 shows that were performed in front of a total of 1,506 patrons. Each storefront theater company doubled the number of productions performed during the two-week run in order to accommodate demand and maximize exposure.

In keeping with Theater on the Lake’s 64-year tradition of producing plays lakeside, the Festival will once again be anchored at Berger Park Cultural Center. Four encore presentations from artistically diverse Chicago theater companies will run at Berger Park Cultural Center’s Coach House Theatre, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd., from June 28 through August 20.

Performances are held Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Theater on the Lake: The Chicago Summer Theater Festival is presented as part of Mayor Emanuel's 5th Annual Night Out in the Parks series of cultural events and activities at parks across the city.

Launched in 2013, Night Out in the Parks is part of the Mayor’s commitment to elevate and expand cultural assets and reinvigorate arts programming in Chicago’s neighborhoods, as called for in the Chicago Cultural Plan; as well as his Building on Burnham vision of maintaining public access to green spaces along the lakefront for the purpose of promoting recreation and leisure activities.

The 2017 Theater on the Lake Festival season:

The Hypocrites present You on the Moors, Now

6/28-7/2 & 7/5-7/9

Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd.

Written by Jaclyn Backhaus | Directed by Devon de Mayo

Admission is $10

This crazy, funny show sets heroines from the 19th-century novels of Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, in a mythical place of Moors. When our heroines receive proposals of marriage, they decide to escape. The men wage war on the women starting the Moors Wars. Jaclyn Backhaus’ ultimately moving and inventive play ends in beautiful prose like a chapter from the books these women originated.

hypocrities-rev

 

The Blind Owl presents dirty butterfly

7/12-7/16 & 7/19-7/23

Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd.

Co-produced by Halcyon Theatre| Written by Debbie Tucker Green |

Directed by Azar Kazemi

Admission is $10

Jason spends his nights with his ear pressed against the bedroom wall listening to the noises from Jo’s deeply troubled world next door. Amelia also hears into Jo’s world from her side of the wall and takes to sleeping downstairs to drown it all out. Soon all three are caught up in a blur of voyeuristic confessions and must confront the violence they cannot escape.

DirtyButterfly-16

 

Aguijón Theater Companypresents Romeo y Julieta

7/26-7/30 & 8/2-8/6

Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd.

Written by: William Shakespeare
Translated/Adapted by: Gerardo Cárdenas | Directed by: Sándor Menéndez

Performed in Spanish with English supertitles

Admission is $10

Romeo and Juliet’s timeless story of star-crossed love returns to Chicago with a new perspective and approach. Romeo and Juliet, universal lovers, symbols of passion and madness – their love can flourish in any time or place and plunge into tragedy with the same fire.                         

Aguijón Theater invites you to see Romeo and Juliet through new eyes, to listen to their voices with fresh ears, to join with them in the mystery of mask and stage in this exciting production adapted by Gerardo Cárdenas and directed by Sándor Menéndez, featuring a diverse cast of Latino actors.

 

Romeo_y_Julieta2

 

First Floor Theater presents Peerless

8/9-8/13 & 8/16-8/20

Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd.

Written by Jiehae Park | Directed by Hutch Pimentel

Admission is $10

In an ordinary Midwestern high school, twin sisters M and L are competitive with everyone—except each other. When the failsafe combination of perfect academics, killer extracurriculars, and calculated self-identification fails to impress The College’s early decision admissions board, they hatch a sinister Plan B to secure their future. 

PEERLESS is a blisteringly funny new riff on Shakespeare’s Macbeth about the unbreakable bond between sisters whose vaulting ambition will not be deferred at any cost.

TOTL_peerless_2

 

Staged Reading: Felons and Familias

August 28, 7:30 p.m.

Location TBA

A play in progress by Sandra Delgado

Admission to this play is FREE. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged.

In 2014 President Obama announced that in his new immigration policy "felons, not families" would be the target of deportation efforts. But what happens when these two identities intersect? A dark comedy with heightened movement, Felons and Familias is the story of a Chicago woman caught in the black hole of criminal immigration courts as she fights to remain mother and daughter in the city she calls home.

The complete performance schedule can be accessed through the My Chi ParksTM mobile application, which is available to download on Apple and Android devices.

Through this app, patrons can access to all 1,000+ Night Out in the Parks events on the go, helping them to plan a spontaneous night out. Exciting features of the app include a full event list, park list and geolocation to help users identify nearby activities.

While on the road, subscriptions and flex passes are once again being temporarily suspended.  For ticket and reservation information as well as background information about each participating theater company, call 312.742.7994 or visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/events/theater-on-the-lake.

Theater on the Lake’s Fullerton Street location is currently closed and is undergoing renovations that include a restaurant, event space, outdoor seating and patio, as well as a state ofthe art theater with increased capacity for both productions and audiences.

 

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