image001 TEN, The Gift Theatre’s annual season kickoff celebration of ten 10-minute plays, returns January 9-19, 2014. This year’s ten-minute play premieres by The Gift and guests were curated by artistic director Michael Patrick Thornton and associate artistic director Paul D’Addario. Tickets to TEN are free for all athttp://thegifttheatre.org/, however subscribers have the first opportunity to reserve.

2014’s TEN plays include world and Chicago premieres:

Good for Otto by David Rabe enjoyed a benefit staged reading at a 1999 fundraiser with Meryl Streep, Jill Clayburgh, Sam Waterston, Edward Hermann and Henry Gummer. Its Chicago premiere is directed by Gift Ensemble member Jay Worthington.

Screenwriter-director J.C. Chandor, who penned 2013’s critically acclaimed Robert Redford movie All Is Lost and the Academy Award-nominated 2011 Wall Street drama Margin Call, world-premieres his new play Despacito.

The Corn Queen of Lakeford Falls is by Melissa Ross, whose first play Thinner Than Water opens The Gift’s 2014 season on March 27. Genesis Ensemble’s Libby Ford directs this world premiere.

Laura Marks, who wrote last season’s critically acclaimed maternity drama Mine, returns to The Gift with Winsor McCay, directed by Kay Martinovich. Marks’ powerful Recession-era play Bethany will close The Gift’s 2014 season in September.

Also on the slate is: Body & Blood by The Gift co-founder Will Nedved and directed by Kathryn Walsh; William Shakespeare’s The Sonnets, adapted and conceived by Filament Theatre Ensemble and directed by Julie Ritchie; performances by giftED, giftLIT, giftFILM and the Natural Gas improv troupe.

This spring, the Gift Theatre season continues with the Chicago premiere of Melissa Ross’s dysfunctional family comedy-drama Thinner Than Water, directed by Gift Ensemble member John Gawlik (2013 Jeff Award winner for When the Rain Stops Falling at Circle Theatre), March 27-May 25. Director Jonathan Berry (Dirty) returns for The Gift’s first Shakespeare production together; Othello runs July 10-August 31 and is dramaturged by Shakespeare scholar Michael Petersen, PhD. The season closes with the Chicago premiere of Laura Marks’ new shocker Bethany, directed by Marti Lyons, September 25-November 23. Subscriptions for the entire 2014 season, which includes two Chicago premieres, are available for as little as $75. The Gift subscribers (“Gifters”) receive admission to three shows, free parking at Gale Street Inn, free admission to all Wednesday night “Natural Gas” improv shows and invitations to special subscriber-only special events.
The Gift offers a Thursday night dinner theater subscription series that includes three dinners at the neighboring Gale Street Inn (tax included) and three Gift shows for $170. New for 2014 is a three-show/three-meal Sunday dinner theater subscription series with The Portage Restaurant for $190.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Gift Theatre,” says The Portage proprietor Quay Tao. “The Gift is an absolute gem in the Chicago theater scene.”

Subscribe at http://thegifttheatre.org/ or call 773-283-7071. Single tickets for all shows will be $35.

The Gift Theatre is conveniently located at 4802 N. Milwaukee, in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood, and is easily accessible by the CTA Blue Line, the Lawrence and Milwaukee Avenue buses and the Kennedy Expressway. For more information about The Gift Theatre’s productions and programs, visit www.thegifttheatre.org.