The Theatre School at DePaul University 2012-2013 Season

The Theatre School at DePaul University (John Culbert, Dean) has announced the 2012-2013 season. Founded as the Goodman School of Drama in 1925, The Theatre School presents public programming as a professional extension of the classroom. Under the leadership of an award-winning faculty and staff, theatre artists from all disciplines collaborate during their final years of training to offer new work, plays for families, as well as contemporary plays and classics.


“This season promises to be one of our biggest and boldest to date! We explore the politics of power and license – who determines the rules and what happens to those who break or challenge them.” -Dexter Bullard, Artistic Director. About the Artistic Director: Dexter Bullardis a Professor at The Theatre School at DePaul University, where he serves as the Head of Graduate Acting. He is an award-winning director dedicated to new plays and creating original theatre for Chicago. This season, in addition to Theatre School production activity, Dexter will direct the New York premiere of GRACE on Broadway.

The Theatre School Showcase opens with SPRING AWAKENING (books and lyrics by Steven Sater, music by Duncan Sheik, based on the play by Frank Wedekind) directed by Damon Kiely, with musical direction by Mark Elliott. Join the company to celebrate the official beginning of the season on opening night, September 28, 2012. SPRING AWAKENING will run through October 7, 2012. About the play: 1890s Germany. Winner of eight Tony Awards, this rock musical adaptation proves that Wedekind’s coming-of-age tragedy still has the power to shock. Spring Awakening pits the radiance of youth against the apathy of adulthood with a powerful rock score by Duncan Sheik. Due to adult situations and content, parental supervision is recommended for ages 17 and younger.

The second installment of the Showcase Series will open on February 8, 2013. Tony Kushner’s ANGELS IN AMERICA: PART TWO: PERESTROIKA, directed by Jane Drake Brody, will run through February 17, 2013. About the play: 1980s New York. An Angel of the Apocalypse crashes through a ceiling and hovers over the bed of Prior Walter, a gay New Yorker with AIDS. This collision sets in motion the reintroduction of characters from part one of Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-part epic as their lives intersect during the Reagan era. Tragic and hilarious, PERESTROIKA explores personal responsibility, the future of mankind, and the nature of God. Recommended for mature audiences.

In the spring, the Showcase Series will feature William Shakespeare’s MEASURE FOR MEASURE, directed by Catherine Weidner. MEASURE FOR MEASURE will open on April 19 and run through April 28, 2013. About the play: 1914 Austria. Shakespeare’s dark comedy of corruption and desire juxtaposes the pristine streets of Vienna with the beds, jails, and shadows of the city’s underbelly. When the Duke leaves his lord Angelo in charge of the city, Angelo begins a moral crackdown that threatens the life of Claudio and his marriage with Juliet. Can his sister Isabella-an aspiring nun-save his life without losing her virtue? Will the Duke intervene in time?

Concluding the 2012-2013 Showcase Series will be the MFA13 production. The Theatre School is pleased to present the world premiere of a new play, currently under development, by Chicago playwright and Theatre School Alumnus Ike Holter (HIT THE WALL). The production will be directed by Artistic Director Dexter Bullard. This play will be written specifically for the 2013 Master of Fine Arts in Acting candidates. The production will open on May 17, and run through May 26, 2013. More information will be announced.

All performances of Chicago Playworks & The Theatre School Showcase are held at DePaul’s historic Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo Drive. For specific performance dates and times, please check the website. Tickets to all performances are available online at or by calling the Box Office at (312) 922-1999. Single tickets for the Showcase Series are $15. For Chicago Playworks, single tickets are $10.

“Join our young heroes as they venture out into the far reaches of the universe and into the ocean’s deep to discover the power of their own voices within their communities.” -Lisa Portes, Artistic Director. About the Artistic Director:Lisa Portesis the Head of Graduate Directing at The Theatre School. Lisa’s recent credits include directing the world premieres of Ghostwritten at theGoodman Theatreand After A Hundred Years at Minneapolis’Guthrie Theatre. This season, in addition to Theatre School production activity, she will direct the Chicago Premiere ofNaomi Iizuka’s CONCERNING STRANGE DEVICLES FROM THE DISTANT WEST at TimeLine Theatre in Chicago.

Founded as the Goodman Children’s Theatre in 1925 and recognized as a pioneer of theatre for families, Chicago Playworks is dedicated to reflecting our audience’s experience in an urban, contemporary, and multi-ethnic environment. The 2012-13 season opens with A WRINKLE IN TIME, byMadeleine L’Engle, adapted by John Glore, and directed byErnie Nolan. A story that has been inspiring young minds for 50th years, since initial publication in 1962, A WRINKLE IN TIME will open October 23, and run through December 1, 2012. About the play: Heroine Meg Murry and her brotherCharles Wallacehave a mission: travel through space and time to save their scientist father. Will brains, bravery, love, and the help of neighbor Calvin O’Keefe make it possible to stand up to evil and save the universe? Based on the beloved Newbery Award-winning book, this classic tale reminds us that sometimes – even in the vastness of the cosmos-the right answer comes from within. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Themes include: Adaptation, Astronomy, Family Relationships, Female Role Models, Problem Solving, Power, Science-Fiction, Self Confidence.

Next, Chicago Playworks will present LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY, based on the Newbery Award-winning book by Gary D. Schmidt, adapted by Cheryl L. West, and directed by John Jenkins. LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY will open on January 19, and will run through March 2, 2013. About the play: It is 1912 in coastal Maine, and Reverend Buckminster’s son Turner is the new kid in town. Lonely and having trouble fitting in, he meets Lizzie Bright, an African-American girl from nearby Malaga Island who becomes his best friend. They share everything: secrets, worries, and the courage to take a stand against greed and racial prejudices in their community. When the townspeople try to force the residents off of Malaga Island, Turner and Lizzie’s friendship is tested, and they face life’s greatest challenges of loss and allegiance. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Themes Include: Community, Courage, Friendship, Geography, History, Leadership, Loss & Death, Legacy, Understanding Difference.

Chicago Playworks will conclude the season with THE CORAL KING, by James AmbRose Brown, directed byAnn Wakefield, running April 2 through May 25, 2013. About the play: A magical postcard from the salty sea, this original fairy tale is an enchanting story about mermaids, a blue cat, an acrobatic octopus, and the Majesty of the Ocean. Pierre works all the time to please his lazy siblings who grow greedier on an island of many treasures. But when he meets an intriguing stranger, Pierre makes choices that prove he is true of heart and respectful not only to others, but also to his surrounding environment – the sea. Recommended for all ages. Themes Include: Caring, Environment, Fairy Tales and Storytelling, Geography, Imagination, Respect, Thinking of Others.

All performances of Chicago Playworks & The Theatre School Showcase are held at DePaul’s historic Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo Drive. For specific performance dates and times, please check the website. Tickets to all performances are available online or by calling the Box Office at (312) 922-1999. Single tickets for the Showcase Series are $15. For Chicago Playworks, single tickets are $10.

The New Directors Series will feature the work of MFA Directors Mark Pinate and Ian Frank. These productions are directed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Fine Arts in Directing.

The series opens with Pinate’s production of IN THE RED AND BROWN WATER, byTarell Alvin McCraney. The production opens November 2 and runs through November 11, 2012. About the play: IN THE RED AND BROWN WATER is the story of Oya, an African-American teenager named for the Yoruba warrior-spirit of the wind. Oya is an up-and-coming star athlete, but postpones a university track scholarship in order to take care for her ailing mother. Written by award-winning playwright and Theatre School alumnusTarell Alvin McCraney, Oya’s story of womanhood and life unfolds in a dreamscape of street talk and poetry.

Ian Frank will direct THE ROYAL HUNT OF THE SUN, by Peter Shaffer, which opens on January 30 and runs through February 10, 2013. About the play: 16th Century Peru. In this epic adventure, Francisco Pizarro leads 168 Spaniards to conquer 8,000 Incan soldiers in the name of gold and religion. When the Spaniards capture Atahualpa, King of the Incas, a high-stakes bargain is made, and all notions of chivalry and faith are questioned. This quest for truth and immortality features pageantry and music in an imaginative look at history.

The New Playwrights Series features the world premiere of a play written by a current Theatre School student or recent graduate, selected by The Theatre School faculty. The 2012-13 selection is A TRIBUTE TO THICK LEONARD, by Gil Tanner (Class of 2013). About the play: Rita, a former roller derby queen and ex-leader of an all-female Thin Lizzy tribute band, tries to save the last chance Irish pub she owns from going under. When her niece Molly returns from serving in Iraq, Rita hatches a quixotic plan turn Rita’s Pub into the “entertainment capital of Central Florida”. THICK LEONARD is a hilarious rock-and-roller derby dark comedy-a southern Gothic THREE SISTERS about crazy American dreams. The production will open May 10 and run through May 19, 2013.

New Directors and New Playwrights productions will be presented at the Greenhouse Theater Center, located at 2237 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. These productions are FREE and open to the public. Reservations are recommended. For more information, or to reserve tickets, call (312) 922 – 1999.