2014/2015 MAINSTAGE SEASON
The 14/15 Mainstage season of plays and musicals at the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts invites you to explore the different circumstances that unite families, strengthen their communities and the evolving definition of the two.
Subscriber renewal period: Now through July 28
New subscriptions on sale: July 29
Single Tickets on sale: September 16
THE LARAMIE PROJECT
Oct 24 - Nov 2, 2014 | Ethel M. Barber Theater
By Moises Kaufman and the Members of the Tectonic Theatre Project
Directed by Rives Collins
Beginning in 1998, members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie, Wyoming over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Matthew Shepard. During the visits, they conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the small western town, some directly connected to the case. Named by Time Magazine as "one of the ten best plays of the year,” the breadth of the community’s reactions to the crime is crafted into a fascinating theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable. Led by Northwestern University faculty member Rives Collins (The Hundred Dresses, The Bluest Eye), a new generation of actors bring to life a living mosaic of one community’s response to a tragedy that became a catalyst of cultural and social change in America.
LITTLE WOMEN: THE MUSICAL
Nov 7 – 23, 2014 | Josephine Louis Theater
Book by Allan Knee, Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and Music by Jason Howland
From the novel by Louisa May Alcott
Directed by Dominic Missimi
With her father away at war, the indomitable Jo March tucks herself away in the attic and begins writing a joyful and heartbreaking coming of age story while drawing inspiration from her colorful family, including her loving mother and three memorable sisters. Directed by Northwestern faculty emeritus, Dominic Missimi (The Waa Mu Show, Rent), Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel is reimagined in this lush musical featuring a powerful score soaring with the sounds of personal discovery, tragedy and hope -- the sounds of a young America finding its voice and one family’s astonishing journey to love and acceptance.
FABULATION, OR THE RE-EDUCATION OF UNDINE
Jan 30 - Feb 8, 2015 | Josephine Louis Theater
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Jerrell L. Henderson
Undine is a quick-witted, sharp-tongued and incredibly successful businesswoman who rules every aspect of her world in downtown Manhattan. That is until her “perfect” husband suddenly disappears, running off with all of her money. Now pregnant and on the brink of social and financial ruin, she must return to her childhood home in Brooklyn and cope with the crude new reality of transforming her setbacks into small victories, all the while trying to reconnect to a family she has purposefully forgotten in pursuit of her own ambitious rise to self-perceived glory. This social satire, written by Lynn Nottage, is a classic comeuppance tale with a devilishly comic twist described by Variety as “clever and consistently entertaining.”
Andrew Lippa’s WILD PARTY
Feb 13 - Mar 1, 2015 | Ethel M. Barber Theater
Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Directed and choreographed by Matt Raftery
Lovers Queenie and Burrs decide to throw the party to end all parties in their Manhattan apartment. After the colorful arrival of a slew of guests living life on the edge, Queenie's wandering eyes land on a striking man named Black. As the decadent party reaches a climax, so does Burrs' jealousy which sends him into a violent rage. Gun in hand and inhibitions abandoned, Burrs turns on Queenie and Black. The gun is fired, but who's been shot? Andrew Lippa's raucous musical is a steamy prohibition tale steamrolling and roaring its way across the stage with direction and choreography from Matt Raftery (All Shook Up, Marriott Theatre’s Guys & Dolls).
DANCEWORKS 2015: TIES THAT BIND
Feb 27 - Mar 8, 2015 | Josephine Louis Theater
Artistic Direction by Jeff Hancock
Choreography by Kevin Durnbaugh, Jeff Hancock, Darrell Jones,
Amanda Lower, Sophia Rafiqi, Amy Swanson, Joel Valentin-Martinez
Danceworks 2015: Ties that Bind will create a full evening of cutting-edge dance that explores the connectivity of families and communities through a variety of unique and entertaining dance vocabularies including contact improvisation, dance theatre, West African, Modern, Jazz, and Salsa. Seven amazing choreographers will each share their individual viewpoints on the powers of social unity and deconstruction using personal narratives as well as shared experiences from within their own community and drawing on a variety of themes including culture, gender, pride, and tradition.
THE GRAPES OF WRATH
Apr 24 - May 3, 2015 | Ethel M. Barber Theater
By Frank Galati from the novel by John Steinbeck
Directed by Aaron Snook
Reduced to poverty by the loss of their Oklahoma farm during the Dust Bowl, the Joad family piles their few possessions into a battered old truck and head west for California, hoping to find work and a better life. Led by the willful Ma Joad and her volatile young son Tom, the entire family encounters an epic journey, testing their resilience and calling on the strength in a community that is innately American. John Steinbeck’s classic novel comes to breathtaking life through song, movement and gritty portrayals in a theatrical adventure that is a soaring and deeply moving affirmation of the essential goodness that is the foundation of the American spirit and family.
IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY
May 15 – 24 | Josephine Louis Theater
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Lauren Shouse
In a seemingly perfect, well-to-do Victorian home, proper gentleman and scientist Dr. Givings has innocently invented an extraordinary new device for treating "hysteria" in women: the vibrator. Adjacent to the doctor's laboratory, his young and energetic wife tries to tend to their newborn daughter—and wonders exactly what is going on in the next room. When a new "hysterical" patient and her husband bring a wet nurse and their own complicated relationship into the doctor's home, Dr. and Mrs. Givings must examine the nature of their own marriage and how the doctor’s radical new therapy affects the entire household. This electrifying comedy questions the nature of relationships and intimacy, and what it really means to seek connection.