Announcing our 2017-2018 Season!

For our 35th Anniversary Season, Raven is thrilled to give Chicago audiences their first looks at plays by three of America's most acclaimed young playwrights.

Choir Boy
Tarell Alvin McCraney

By Tarell Alvin McCraney, Directed by Michael Menendian

CHICAGO PREMIERE

September 27 – November 12, 2017 on our East Stage

Determined to make his mark like those before him, Pharus is hell-bent on being the best choir leader in his school's fifty-year history. First he must gain the respect of his peers, but he's an outsider in a world steeped in rites and rituals, a community that demands he conform.

Tarell Alvin McCraney is well-known to Chicago audiences for his acclaimed trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays: The Brothers Size, In the Red and Brown Water, and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, which were performed at Steppenwolf Theatre in 2010. He was named a Steppenwolf ensemble member that year, and his play Head of Passes received its world premiere there in 2013, the year he received a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant.” On February 26 of this year, he shared an Academy Award with Barry Jenkins for “Best Adapted Screenplay” of Moonlight, which was also named “Best Picture” of 2016 by the Academy. The screenplay was based on McCraney’s short play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.


Nice Girl
Melissa Ross

By Melissa Ross, Directed by Lauren Shouse

CHICAGO PREMIERE

January 24 – March 11, 2018 on our East Stage

Josephine has a dead-end job, still lives with her mother, and has settled into the uncomfortable comfort of unintended spinsterhood. But when she’s given the possibility of change, she takes tentative steps towards a new life. A play about the tragedy and joy of figuring out who you are and letting go of who you were supposed to be.

Ross’s play Of Good Stock was produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in June/July 2015, in a production directed by MTC’s Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and starring Alicia Silverstone. Chicago’s Gift Theatre produced the world premieres of Ross’ A Life Extra Ordinary in fall 2016 and her Thinner Than Water in spring of 2014. The Chicago Reader’s Jack Helbig said of the latter play, “Playwright Melissa Ross has a gift for creating vivid, believable characters” and the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones called it “superb.” The Chicago Sun-Times’ Hedy Weiss said Ross’s A Life Extra Ordinary was a “gripping, heartbreaking new play.”


The Gentleman Caller

By Philip Dawkins, Directed by Cody Estle

WORLD PREMIERE

March 28 – May 13, 2018 on our West Stage

A world premiere play by Philip Dawkins (Charm, Le Switch), that imagines what happened behind closed doors in 1944 when Tennessee Williams met critic William Inge, who, like Williams, would later become one of America’s greatest dramatists.

Philip Dawkins is a Chicago playwright whose plays have been produced throughout the country and the world. His works Miss Marx: or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living (Strawdog Theatre) and Charm (Northlight Theatre at the Steppenwolf Garage) both won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work. His critically-acclaimed plays The Homosexuals, Le Switch (both produced by About Face Theatre) and Failure: A Love Story (Victory Gardens Theater), all received Joseph Jefferson Nominations for New Work. Charm will be produced by New York City’s MCC Theatre in fall of 2017. Philip is an Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre and Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens. He teaches playwriting at Northwestern University as well as at his alma mater, Loyola University Chicago. 

 

Tennessee Williams Suddenly, Last Summer

By Tennessee Williams

May 2 – June 17, 2018 on our East Stage

Raven’s final play of the season will be Tennessee Williams’s stark and poetic Suddenly Last Summer.  Wealthy New Orleans socialite widow Violet Venable is trying to silence her niece Catherine, who, as the only witness to the murder of Violet’s son Sebastian, has been giving a horrifying description of the circumstances under which he was killed. Unwilling to accept either that account or other assertions about her son’s life, Mrs. Venable pursues extraordinary measures to keep Catherine quiet.

Suddenly, Last Summer originally opened on Broadway in 1958, toward the end of a 15-year period in which Williams produced his greatest and most popular works, from The Glass Menagerie (1944) through Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). The 1959 film adaptation starring Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift was a box office hit and earned Academy Award nominations for Hepburn and Taylor.

SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGES ARE AVAILABLE

Order your subscription online here or by phone at 773-338-2177.

4-Show Preview Plus:   $95                       

One ticket to any performance during the first two weeks of each show (previews plus the first weekend of the regular run) in the 4-show subscription season.
 

4-Show Anytime:        $125

One ticket to any performance of each show in the 4-show subscription season.