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“I’m proud to present my second season as the Artistic Director of Raven Theatre. It is a season which features a mixture of contemporary playwrights – Rachel Bonds, Katori Hall and Mat Smart – and a revival by a great of the modern dramatic canon – Henrik Ibsen. The season also brings director Henry Wishcamper for the first time to Raven Theatre, as well as returning directors Lauren Shouse and Wardell Julius Clark. Leaving or returning home is a central issue which the characters in each of these plays confront; the impact of our past shapes the texture of our present as we face the unknowns of our future. I look forward to sharing these characters with you and the captivating stories you have come to expect from Raven Theatre.”

– Artistic Director Cody Estle


October 3 – November 17, 2019

a Chicago premiere by Rachel Bonds music & lyrics by The Bengsons directed by Cody Estle

In the misty heat of a small southern town, two sisters have come home to handle a crisis. Twins Joey and Ray have just taken their first steps into adulthood while their newly divorced father, Tom, has been suspended from his job. But deep, honest communication doesn’t come easy. Seemingly stuck between the future and the past, this family of musicians sings what they can’t bring themselves to say.

Now making its Chicago premiere, Rachel Bonds’s warm, delicate play with music is an honest look at the hard work of holding a family together and re-connecting with what we’ve left behind.

October 31 – December 22, 2019

by Katori Hall directed by Wardell Julius Clark

A young woman named Toulou arrives in depression-era Memphis with dreams of becoming a blues singer. Almost immediately, she falls in love with a rambling musician named Ace of Spades while her born-again brother, Jib, is hot on her heels. Desperate to claim Ace’s love for herself, Toulou lays a hex on him with the help of a Hoodoo practitioner, setting in motion a devastating chain of events.

Katori Hall’s spellbinding, blues-filled tale about the danger of our desires makes its return to Chicago on Raven’s intimate West Stage.

February 6 – March 22, 2020

a Chicago premiere by Henrik Ibsen newly translated & adapted by Anne-Charlotte Hanes Harvey & Kirsten Brandt directed by Lauren Shouse

Nora, a spirited young housewife, is a radical thinker trapped in the patriarchal world of 1870s Norway. Life with her husband, Torvald, is comfortable, if uninteresting. But when an old acquaintance reappears, threatening to bring Nora’s secrets to light, everything changes. As her marriage, her relationships, and her world crumble, she begins to speak her mind and question what she really wants for herself.

This revival of Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece comes to Raven’s stage in the Chicago premiere of a vibrant and progressive new adaptation from Anne-Charlotte Hanes Harvey and Kirsten Brandt.


a World premiere by Mat Smart directed by Henry Wishcamper

On the same night Apollo 15 lands on the moon, draft-dodger Pete steals home to Eden Prairie, Minnesota, after a 300 mile walk from Canada. He risks arrest, but has an important message to deliver to an old friend. In a moment of national and interpersonal tension that mirrors our own, Pete must defend his choices and grapple with the sacrifices he’s made.

Mat Smart’s stark, passionate drama – making its world premiere at Raven – confidently questions our notions of bravery and responsibility.


SEE all four of Raven’s stunning productions with priority seating, SAVE up to 30% on individual tickets, SHARE discounts with friends and family, SUPPORT your friendly neighborhood theatre