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A Message from Cody

“I’m excited to present my first season as Artistic Director of Raven Theatre. It thrills me that, for the first time in the theatre’s history, each production features a female playwright, two of whom are Pulitzer Prize-winners.

“I am also pleased that the season brings three directors who are new to Raven Theatre, but are not new to Chicago audiences. The central characters in each play face critical moments of change in their lives. While always difficult, change opens the way to new beginnings. I look forward to sharing these characters’ new beginnings as we shepherd in a new beginning for Raven Theatre.”

– Artistic Director Cody Estle


October 4 – November 18, 2018

Brooklyn, 1950. Ernestine and Ermina Crump have moved to New York with their father, Godfrey, seeking spiritual guidance from a man called Father Divine. In the swirling, glamorous commotion of this new city, with calls for equal rights and communist rebellion hanging in the air, the girls begin a turbulent journey toward independence and a challenging future.

Raven Theatre opens its 18/19 season with this sharp and boisterous play from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynne Nottage (Sweat, Ruined) about family, faith, and revolution.

February 7 – March 24, 2019

Rural Maryland, 1960s. From behind the wheel of a Chevy ’56, a woman named Li’l Bit navigates the tangled boulevards of her adolescence, reflecting on her complex and troubling relationship with her family.  But old secrets and fresh discoveries abound as she struggles to accept her past and the demons that live there.

Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece makes its return to Chicago. An artful, surprising, and often-funny memory play that explores how we are shaped by the people who hurt us.

March 21 – May 5, 2019

London, right now. Two practically feral teenaged brothers live alone in their filthy flat with a dog named Taliban, perpetually bathed in the blue glow of their screens; playing video games, watching porn, waiting for the occasional visit from their detached mother, and surviving. But when a strange neighbor girl barges through the door, the boys’ little blue world begins to change color.

Raven brings Anna Jordan’s savage, unrelenting drama to Chicago for the first time. A play about growing up, opening the windows, and letting in the light.

May 2 – June 16, 2019

Chicago, 1992. The city and its culture are changing, but grungy old Hank’s Bar isn’t. The “soulless” noise of electronic music is on the rise. Hank, proprietor of a legendary rock club, must battle the rising tide of The Next Big Thing as it threatens to destroy his legacy and fracture his family.

Raven presents the Chicago premiere of Laura Eason’s poignant and potent portrait of those who can change with the times and those who get left behind.