CHICAGO (May 2, 2022) Raven Theatre is pleased to announce its 40th Anniversary Season, kicking off this fall with a fresh take on Noel Coward's iconic 1930 comedy Private Lives, directed by Ian Frank.
The 2022-23 season continues next winter with the Chicago premiere of Right To Be Forgotten, Sharyn Rothstein's smart and timely story about human forgiveness in the age of the internet, directed by Artistic Director Cody Estle.
Raven's 40th Anniversary Season concludes next spring with the Chicago premiere of The October Storm by Joshua Allen, a follow up to Allen's smash-hit The Last Pair of Earlies. Olivia Canaday and Wardell Julius Clark co-direct this riveting and edgy new drama set in the 1960s on the South Side of Chicago.
Raven Theatre is located at 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. A variety of flexible 2022-23 subscription packages are currently available at raventheatre.com or by calling (773) 338-2177.
Raven Artistic Director Cody Estle comments, "As we celebrate our 40th Anniversary Season, the 2022-23 season lineup is one of our most inspired. The season mixes an iconic revival with epic storytelling from two of today's most accomplished playwrights. Theatre is more alive than ever, and we are excited to bring these unique worlds to life. Audiences have embraced the return to in-person performances, and we are so thankful for our patrons and subscribers who continue to support Raven Theatre."
Raven Theatre's 2022-23 Season:
September 29 November 13, 2022
By Noel Coward
Directed by Ian Frank
Press opening: Monday, October 3, 2022 at 7:30 pm
In this sophisticated and wildly entertaining revival, once-married Elyot and Amanda cross paths on their unexpectedly adjoined honeymoons same hotel, same resentments, but with new spouses. Sharp words evolve into fresh sparks, followed by an endless roundabout of chaos and romance where enemies become lovers and lovers become fools. This timeless, witty and risqué play follows the ups, downs and all-arounds of passion and betrayal. Are they in it for love… or just for the thrill of it all?
February 9 March 26, 2023
Right To Be Forgotten Chicago Premiere!
By Sharyn Rothstein
Directed by Artistic Director Cody Estle
Press opening: Monday, February 13, 2023 at 7:30 pm
The internet never forgets, and Derril Lark's mistake at 17 haunts him online a decade later. Desperate for a normal life, he goes to extraordinary lengths to erase his indiscretion. But freedom of information is a big business, and the tech companies aren't going down without a fight. Secrets, lies and political backstabbing abound in this riveting new drama about one man's fierce battle to reclaim his privacy by Primus Prize winning playwright Sharyn Rothstein (By the Water, Northlight Theatre).
May 11 June 25, 2023
The October Storm Chicago Premiere!
By Joshua Allen
Directed by Olivia Canaday & Wardell Julius Clark
Press openings: Monday, May 15, 2023 at 7:30 pm
It's the fall of 1960 on Chicago's South Side. Rain pounds the city, but the real storm rages in the basement apartment where landlady Mrs. Elkins lives with her teenage granddaughter Gloria. Mrs. Elkins is a widow, and Gloria is essentially an orphan. For better or worse, all they have is each other. But when Louis, a troubled war vet, walks into their already fraught lives looking for shelter, both literal and figurative, the emotional whirlwind he sets off will change all their lives forever.
About the Artists
Noel Peirce Coward's (Playwright, Private Lives) breakthrough in playwriting was the controversial The Vortex (1924), which featured themes of drugs and adultery and made his name as both actor and playwright in the West End and on Broadway. During the frenzied 1920s and the more sedate 1930s, Coward wrote a string of successful plays, musicals and intimate revues including Fallen Angels (1925), Hay Fever (1925), Easy Virtue (1926), This Year of Grace (1928) and Bitter Sweet (1929). His professional partnership with childhood friend Gertrude Lawrence started with Private Lives (1931) and continued with Tonight at 8.30 (1936).
During World War II, Coward remained a successful playwright, screenwriter and director. His plays during these years included Blithe Spirit, which ran for 1997 performances, outlasting the War (a West End record until The Mousetrap overtook it), This Happy Breed and Present Laughter (both 1943). His two wartime screenplays, In Which We Serve, which he co-directed with the young David Lean, and Brief Encounter, quickly became classics of British cinema. In the post-war years, Coward re-invented himself as a cabaret and TV star, particularly in America, and in 1955 he played a sell-out season in Las Vegas featuring many of his most famous songs, including "Mad About the Boy," "I'll See You Again" and "Mad Dogs and Englishmen."
He enjoyed a renaissance in the early 1960s, becoming the first living playwright to be performed by the National Theatre when he directed Hay Fever there. Late in his career, he was lauded for his roles in a number of films, including Our Man In Havana (1959) and his role as the iconic Mr. Bridger alongside Michael Caine in The Italian Job (1968). His final West End appearance was Song at Twilight in 1966, which he wrote and starred in. He was knighted in 1970 and died peacefully in 1973 in his beloved Jamaica.
Ian Frank (Director, Private Lives) is an award-winning stage director, adapter, composer and the Managing Director of Commonwealth Theatre Center in Louisville, Kentucky. He was previously the Associate Artistic Director of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company where he directed Frankenstein (Jeff Awards Best Production, Best Director). Other Chicago credits include Incident at Vichy, Another Bone and Shipwrecked! (Redtwist) and Bob: A Life in Five Acts (LiveWire). Regionally, Ian has directed many times at Actors Theatre of Louisville including Remix 38 as part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays. He holds an MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University, directed Amadeus at the University of South Carolina and his own adaptation of Moby Dick at Centre College. He has assistant directed across the country at theatres including The Kennedy Center, Milwaukee Rep, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Sunday in the Park with George and Cyrano). His adaptation of Jack London's The Call of the Wild will be produced at the University of Montana this autumn.
Sharyn Rothstein (Playwright, Right To Be Forgotten) is an award-winning playwright and television writer. Her plays and musicals have been produced around the country, as well as internationally. Sharyn is currently writing for the spin-off of the sci-fi hit Orphan Black, soon to be on AMC, and was a writer and producer for the USA legal drama SUITS for many years. Her play By The Water was first produced by Manhattan Theater Club and Ars Nova and was the recipient of the American Theater Critic's Association Francesca Primus Prize. Her play All The Days was produced at the McCarter Theater Center, directed by Emily Mann, and her technology drama Right To Be Forgotten premiered at Arena Stage, directed by Seema Sueko. Her audio drama Deep Fake, commissioned by Audible, was released this past fall. Sharyn holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and a Masters in Public Health from Hunter College. She teaches television writing at NYU, and lives in Brooklyn and Maine.
Cody Estle (Director, Right To Be Forgotten) became the Artistic Director at Raven Theatre in November 2017, where he had previously served as the Associate Artistic Director. He and Raven Managing Director Markie Gray were recently named in Newcity's Players 2022: Fifty People Who Really Perform For Chicago. His directing credits include Sundown, Yellow Moon, How I Learned To Drive (named by Windy City Times as the best of Chicago theatre in 2019), The Gentleman Caller (2019 Jeff Award winning new play by Philip Dawkins), The Assembled Parties, A Loss of Roses (named by Chicago Tribune honorable mention as one of the year's best in 2016), Dividing the Estate, Vieux Carré (named by Chicago Tribune as one of the year's best in 2014), Good Boys and True, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Boy Gets Girl and Dating Walter Dante at Raven Theatre; Damascus at Strawdog Theatre; Five Mile Lake at Shattered Globe Theatre; By the Water (named by Chicago Sun-Times honorable mention as one of the top theatre productions of 2017) at Northlight Theatre; American Hero at First Floor Theatre; Scarcity at Redtwist Theatre; The Seagull and Watch on the Rhine at The Artistic Home; Don't Go Gentle at Haven Theatre; Uncle Bob at Mary-Arrchie Theatre and Hospitality Suite at Citadel Theatre. He is a member of SDC, serves on the board of directors of the League of Chicago Theatres and is an alumnus of Columbia College Chicago.
Joshua Allen's (Playwright, The October Storm) plays include The October Storm, The Last Pair of Earlies, Chrysalis and About Monday Morning. His work has been produced and developed at Raven Theatre, Hudson Stage, Cape Cod Theater Project, Primary Stages, The Lark's Playwrights' Week and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. An alumnus of New Dramatists, he has also been a member of the Ars Nova Play Group and the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers' Group at Primary Stages. His television writing and producing credits include Empire (FOX), From Scratch (Netflix), In Treatment (HBO) and The Morning Show (Apple TV). Joshua is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the Juilliard School.
Olivia Canaday (Co-Director, The October Storm, she/they) is a director, actor, and writer from St. Louis Missouri, and is thrilled to be making their directing debut with Raven Theater. They had the pleasure of working as a directing assistant on The Last Pair of Earlies, Directed the Quill reading of The October Storm, and so excited to continue the world created by Joshua Allen. They are also an artistic associate with Sideshow Theater Company, and you can see them in an upcoming short film Yellow Circus. TV credits include Chicago Med.
Wardell Julius Clark (Co-Director, The October Storm, King/He/Him) is an award-winning actor, director, producer and activist who hails from Fairfield, Alabama but now calls Chicago home. He earned his BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Wardell is a company member with TimeLine Theatre and an ensemble member at Sideshow Theatre. His directing credits include Williamstown Theatre Festival's world premieres of Black Moon Lilith; A Ghost in Satin and don't get got. Chicago directing credits include The Last Pair of Earlies and Hoodoo Love (Raven Theatre); Michael Jackson and the Devil's Book; Whitney Houston and the Devil's Book (Jackalope Theatre Company); Kill Move Paradise (TimeLine Theatre, 2020 Jeff Award Winner for direction); Sheepdog (Shattered Globe); The Shipment (Red Tape) and Dutch Masters (Jackalope). Select acting credits include Gem of the Ocean (Goodman Theatre); Flyin' West (American Blues); Suddenly Last Summer (Raven); Silent Sky (First Folio); Othello (Theater at Monmouth) and The Gospel According to James (Victory Gardens). His television and film credits include Proven Innocent; Shameless and Chicago Fire Seasons 1 & 4. Wardell was the Newcity Magazine's 2020 "New Player of the Moment" and a recipient of the 2021 3Arts Foundation "Make a Wave" grant. wardelljuliusclark.com
About Raven Theatre
Raven Theatre tells stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape. Through its plays as well as its educational programming, Raven is committed to serving our communities' needs through the arts.
Raven Theatre Company is funded in part by the The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince, Polk Bros Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, S&C Electric Company Fund, Paul M. Angell Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.