American Theater Co launches program series with MEN ON BOATS in January

American Theater Company (ATC) launches its new Opening Weekend program initiative during the first weekend of performances for Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus, directed by ATC Artistic Director Will Davis, Jan. 6-8, 2017 (full run Jan. 6-Feb. 12, 2017). Throughout Season 32, ATC will encourage audiences to engage with its productions through a series of artist conversations and receptions the opening weekend of each show. ATC presents the regional premiere of Men on Boats immediately following the production’s acclaimed Off Broadway run at Playwrights Horizons, also helmed by Davis.

Men on Boats Opening Weekend programming will focus on the history of the show, gender identity and inclusive casting onstage. Special receptions will be held at local restaurants before and after shows with Davis, Backhaus, history and gender experts, and the Men on Boats cast. Telling the tale of ten explorers who set out on four boats to map the raging rapids of the Green and Colorado Rivers on the government’s first sanctioned expedition in the American West, Men on Boats is performed by a genderfluid cast of women and folks otherwise defined.

Single tickets for Men on Boats range from $20-$38 and are available by calling the ATC box office at 773-409-4125, or visiting www.atcweb.org. Opening Weekend programs are open to all ticketed patrons for the respective performances. Capacity is limited. Please RSVP to Emma Palermo at epalermo@atcweb.org or 773-409-4125 x102.

For more information and Opening Weekend program updates, visit www.atcweb.org/mob-opening-weekend.
Opening Weekend schedule of events:

Friday, January 6

6 p.m. Pre-Performance Special Reception at Big Bricks Restaurant, 3832 North Lincoln Avenue, with complimentary appetizers and cash bar.

Conversation with director Will Davis, playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, Dr. Amy Lippert, professor of history at University of Chicago, and Mollie Fullerton, education and programs manager of the John Wesley Powell River History Museum of Green River, Utah. Topic: the historical context of John Wesley Powell’s 1860 expedition. Generously hosted by Danny Sama and Sarah Slight.

8 p.m. Performance of Men on Boats

9:45 p.m. Post-Performance Reception at KICK Restaurant, 1943 W Byron St, with the director and cast. Honorary underwriters: John and Jennifer Bienko, in honor of John’s 10 years of ATC board service.

Saturday, January 7

6 p.m. Pre-Performance Special Reception at Big Bricks Restaurant, 3832 North Lincoln Avenue, with complimentary appetizers and cash bar.

Conversation with director Will Davis, playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, Dr. Amy Lippert, professor of history at University of Chicago, and Mollie Fullerton, education and programs manager of the John Wesley Powell River History Museum of Green River, Utah. Topic: the historical context of John Wesley Powell’s 1860 expedition. Generously hosted by Danny Sama and Sarah Slight.

8 p.m. Performance of Men on Boats

9:45 p.m. Post-Performance Reception at KICK Restaurant, 1943 W Byron St, with the director and cast. Honorary underwriters: John and Jennifer Bienko, in honor of John’s 10 years of ATC board service.

Saturday, January 7

6 p.m. Pre-Performance Special Reception at Big Bricks Restaurant, 3832 North Lincoln Avenue, with complimentary appetizers and cash bar.

Conversation with director Will Davis, playwright Jaclyn Backhaus and Megan Carney, director of the Gender and Sexuality Center University of Illinois at Chicago. Topic: inclusive casting and performing gender and identity onstage. Generously hosted by James D. and Lois J. Hobart.

8 p.m. Performance of Men on Boats

9:45 p.m. Post-Performance Reception at KICK Restaurant, 1943 W Byron St, with the director and cast. Honorary Underwriters: Jeff and Fran Morof, in honor of Jeff’s 9 years of ATC board service

Sunday, January 8

12:30 p.m. Pre-Performance Special Reception at Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, 3905 North Lincoln Avenue, with cash bar

Conversation with director Will Davis and playwright Jaclyn BackhausGenerously hosted by the Windy City Times.

2 p.m. Performance of Men on Boats 

3:45 p.m. Post-Performance Talkback with director Will Davis.

About American Theater Company

American Theater Company (ATC) challenges and inspires its community by exploring stories that ask the question, “What does it mean to be an American?” ATC’s Ensemble includes Patrick Andrews, Kareem Bandealy, Jaime Castañeda, Kelly O’Sullivan, Tyler Ravelson, and Sadieh Rifai.

American Theater Company is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, and the Shubert Foundation.