The New Colony Announces MERGE To Conclude 2016 Season – October 7 – November 13, 2016 at The Den Theatre

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As it concludes its sell-out hit Byhalia, MississippiThe New Colony is pleased to announce the final production of its 2016 Season: the world premiere comedy MERGE, a fast-paced, heartfelt and uproarious journey inside the burgeoning 1970s video game industry. Written by Spenser Davis and directed by Co-Artistic Director Andrew HobgoodMERGE will play October 7 – November 13, 2016 at The New Colony’s resident home, The Den Theatre’s Upstairs Main Stage, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Casting will be announced at a later date. Tickets go on sale Monday, July 18, 2016 at www.thenewcolony.org.  

In 1978, Atari was the fastest growing company in the history of the United States, an arcade manufacturer with a workplace fueled by pot smoking, jacuzzi parties and nobody wearing socks. When they have to sell themselves to Warner Bros. to stay afloat, they quickly realize that corporate cash comes with baggage, as they lose a piece of the identity that made them who they were in the first place. And what’s worse… they have to start wearing socks. MERGE is the story of a small band of programmers who stand up and fight back against the very company that saved them from bankruptcy, in a battle that threatens to crash an entire industry.

“It is always our hope that playwrights in The New Colony’s Writers’ Room will submit a script that we want to develop further through our staged readings series at The Den,” comments Co-Artistic Director Evan Linder. “Merge was the rare instance of a story flying off the page with such ferocity that Andrew and I needed to get our ensemble in the room immediately. This story is now and this story is us. Spenser Davis’ hilarious and insightful script will welcome onstage the largest cast The New Colony has assembled since our first season and we could not be prouder that the script began its development in the first year of our newest education program.”

The remainder of The New Colony’s 2016 Season also includes the world premieres of the heartfelt drama EVEN LONGER AND FARTHER AWAY by Chelsea Marcantel, directed by Thrisa Hodits (April 15 – May 15, 2016) and the fantastical family drama KIN FOLK, by William Glick, directed by Evan Linder (July 8 – August 14, 2016), both at The Den Theatre.

PRODUCTION DETAILS:

Title: MERGE

Playwright: Spenser Davis

Director: Co-Artistic Director Andrew Hobgood

Cast: To be announced

Location: The Den Theatre Upstairs Main Stage, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Friday, October 7 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, October 8 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 9 at 3 pm

Press opening: Monday, October 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Thursday, October 13 – Sunday, November 13, 2016

Curtain times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

Tickets: Previews: $15; Regular run: Starting at $20. Students/seniors: 25% off. Tickets go on sale Monday, July 18, 2016 at www.thenewcolony.org.

About the Creative Team

Spenser Davis (Playwright) is the Director of Programming for Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can company, and Artistic Director of Hobo Junction, an ensemble dedicated to the new, original comedies. His adaptation of Man in the Iron Mask was commissioned by Theatre-Hikes last summer, and his short plays have been produced at American Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, Mary-Arrchie, Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre,and the Solas Festival in Scotland, among others, and have been published by Smith & Kraus. He also works around Chicago as an actor and director, and he is currently helming the World Premiere of A Phase by Elise Spoerlein, developed in The New Colony Writers’ Room and produced by Broken Nose Theatre.

Andrew Hobgood (Director) is the Founding Artistic Director of The New Colony and the Director of Strategy for Vosges Chocolate. His play 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche won Outstanding Production at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival before opening as an Off-Broadway production that Ben Brantley of the New York Times called “raw and magnetic dementia…destined to attract a cult following.” 5 Lesbians is now published with Samuel French. For The New Colony he has written and directed That Sordid Little StoryRise of The Numberless and reWILDing Genius, which was commissioned by the University of Chicago TAPS program and received its world premiere at the Steppenwolf Garage. His directing credits for The New Colony include Amelia Earhart: Jungle Princess, the original and commercial productions of FRATHearts Full of Blood, which won Outstanding Script at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival, B-Side Studio, produced in collaboration with The Inconvenience and the University of Chicago TAPS program, and most recently Orville and Wilbur Did It. He was last seen on stage in The Terrible and will be in this summer’s production of Kin Folk. In 2011, he and The New Colony were honored with the Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theater Award; and in 2013 he and Co-Artistic Director Evan Linder were two of six people on Chicago Magazine’s Cultural Power List of Theater Scene Stealers. When not directing, writing or acting, he can be found working in the Innovation Lab of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, or guest speaking and writing on the topics of Devised/Collaborative Theater, the future of playwrighting and theater, and the Art of Business/Business of Art.

About The New Colony

The New Colony, the 2011 recipient of the Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award, strives to contribute original material to the American artistic canon and develop a new kind of theater going audience. Through collaboration with emerging artists of all disciplines, The New Colony continually develops new work and fresh perspectives. With the goal of exploring enticing subject matter and the common language of experience, The New Colony will cultivate the next generation of arts supporters.