CHICAGO— Invictus Theatre, a theater company that emerged in November 2017 with an intimate production of OTHELLO and followed it with Shakespeare's comedy LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST in November 2019, has announced its expansion into a season of two full productions for 2019-20.
The season will open in October with a production of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, directed by Artistic Director Charles Askenaizer. Askenaizer, who has previously directed the company's OTHELLO, as well as THE TEMPEST and WHEN LOVE SPEAKS, O VILLAIN! for Invictus and Shakespeare in the Courts, says his concept for THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will shed new light on that classic story of revenge, justice, and mercy. The production will be set in 1938 Italy during the Racial Laws where Italian Jews were disenfranchised and discriminated against during the rise of European Fascism.
Invictus's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will be performed on the Buena stage of the Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway. It will open to the press on Monday October 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm, following previews from October 17-20. It will play Thursday-Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm and Mondays at 7:30 pm ( no performance Monday 11/4 ) and will close on Sunday November 17.
The season will continue in February with the seminal American drama, A RAISIN IN THE SUN, by Lorraine Hansberry. Hansberry's drama of an African American family living on Chicago's south side in the 1950s will be directed by Aaron Reese Boseman, co-founder and artistic director of PULSE Theatre Chicago. Boseman is a Jeff Award-nominated actor and a Black Excellence Award and Black Theatre Alliance Award nominated director and designer.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN will be performed on the Buena stage of the Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway. It will open to the press on Monday February 17, 2020 at 7:30 pm, following previews from February 13-16. It will play Thursday-Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm and Mondays at 7:30 pm and will close on Sunday March 15.
Directed by Charles Askenaizer. The Buena, Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway., Chicago.
Previews Thursday October 17 — Saturday October 19 at 7:30 pm and Sunday October 20 at 3 pm
Press opening Monday, October 21 at 7:30 pm.
Regular run October 21 — November 17
Thursday-Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm and Mondays at 7:30 pm ( no performance Monday 11/4 )
Tickets: $25 Regular Run; $15 Previews and Students
Tickets will be available starting September 9 at invictustheatreco.com and at the door ( subject to availability )
Shakespeare's story of the lender Shylock who proposes collateral of a pound of flesh against a loan will be set in 1938 Italy, when racial laws disenfranchised and discriminated against Italian Jews during the rise of European Fascism. The concept promises to shed new light on a classic story of revenge, justice, and mercy.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
By Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Aaron Reese Boseman
The Buena, Pride Arts Center
4147 N. Broadway, Chicago
Previews Thursday February 13 — Saturday February 15 at 7:30 pm and Sunday February 16 at 3 pm
Press opening Monday, February 17 at 7:30 pm.
Regular run February 17 — March 15, 2020
Thursday-Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm and Mondays at 7:30pm
Tickets: $25 Regular Run; $15 Previews and Students
Tickets will be available starting January 8 at invictustheatreco.com and at the door ( subject to availability )
Set on Chicago's South Side in the 1950s, this 20th Century classic concerns the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of an African American family. When her deceased husband's insurance money comes through, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Her son Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Daughter Beneatha dreams of medical school. The family's heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.
Charles Askenaizer ( Director, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE ) is the Artistic Director of Invictus Theatre Company. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Theatre and Communications. He has worked professionally in Chicago as an actor and director for 10 years. Recent Invictus directing credits include Shakespeare in the Courts' THE TEMPEST, OTHELLO, WHEN LOVE SPEAKS, O VILLAIN!, and Shakespeare in the Courts' ROMEO AND JULIET. Other directing credits include TITUS ANDRONICUS ( Bare Knuckles Theater ), JULIUS CAESAR ( Brown Paper Box ), TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA ( Reutan Collective ), and THE DIFFERENCE ( Piccolo Theater ). Charles has worked with Citadel Theatre, the Artistic Home, City Lit, Raven, Brown Paper Box, and many more.
Aaron Reese Boseman ( Director, A RAISIN IN THE SUN ) is a Chicago native and a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Direction and Acting. Reese Boseman is a Jeff Award nominated actor, Black Excellence Award and Black Theatre Alliance Award nominated director and designer. He is also co-founder and artistic director of PULSE Theatre Chicago where his directing credits INCLUDE IN THE BLOOD, THE COLORED MUSEUM, FABULATION, OR THE RE-EDUCATION OF UNDINE, and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. Other directing credits include THE TIGER WHO WORE WHITE GLOVES ( eta Creative Arts Foundation ), THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT, S'KIN, and THE PHILADELPHIA ( Columbia College Chicago ). Recent Acting Credits include BIG RIVER ( TATC ), SHREK THE MUSICAL ( Windy City Performs ), IN THE HEIGHTS ( The Miracle Center, SLATE ), VIOLET, BALM IN GILEAD ( Griffin Theatre and Loyola University ) , GOLDEN BOY, DO RE MI ( Porchlight Music Theatre ), RENT ( CCC ).
About Invictus Theatre Company:
At Invictus Theatre Company our mission is to create theatre that promotes a better understanding of language: its poetry, its rhythm, its resonance; through diverse works by diverse artists. We respect the power of heightened language: spoken, written, sung; to express the breadth of the human condition. We work to harness the power of language: to promote diversity, to engender respect, to foster collaboration; and to empower our communities to share their voices.
Invictus Theatre Company incorporated in January 2017 and received its 501 ( c )( 3 ) nonprofit status in February 2017. A diverse group of Chicago actors and directors founded Invictus with the vision to empower their communities through theatrical productions of heightened language. We are committed to the idea that our productions should reflect the communities we represent, and, to that end, we are committed to non-discriminatory hiring practices. In working with local artists, designers, and production teams, Invictus Theatre Company does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, nationality, citizenship, religion, or any other protected status by law.
—From a press release