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Court Theatre reschedules The Gospel at Colonus to the 2020-2021 season
2020-03-31

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Chicago, IL - Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Angel Ysaguirre, Executive Director, announces new dates for its production of The Gospel at Colonus, featuring book and lyrics by Lee Breuer, and music by Bob Telson. Originally slated to close the 2019-2020 season, The Gospel at Colonus will now run November 5 — December 6, 2020 in place of the previously-announced Violet. This production is directed by Charles Newell, associate directed by TaRon Patton, with music direction and orchestrations/arrangements by Mark J.P. Hood.

Artistic Director Charles Newell comments, "With so many unknowns about how this virus will continue to impact public gatherings, it has been a difficult time for all of us. Even so, in every hard conversation, prioritizing our patrons, staff, and artists has helped to guide all artistic decision-making. We have made the decision to move The Gospel at Colonus, originally slated for performances in May, into our 2020/21 Season. We will be postponing our production of Violet, with the intention of including it in a future Season. A key component of our ambitious Oedipus Trilogy, The Gospel at Colonus and the dynamic community engagement work surrounding it will provide vital opportunities to connect as we all work towards collective healing in the wake of this pandemic."

Soulful and stirring, The Gospel at Colonus reimagines the story of Oedipus as the centerpiece of an African American Pentecostal church service. A redemptive celebration, this one-of-a-kind theatrical event breathes new life into a classic myth with a score of powerful gospel music. A bold collaboration from an extraordinary team of artists led by Charles Newell, Mark J.P. Hood and TaRon Patton, The Gospel at Colonus builds upon the strengths and experiences of its directors to bring this nationally-touring Broadway smash hit to life with new clarity on Chicago's South Side.

Current season subscribers and ticket holders will be contacted by the Court Theatre box office to arrange new performance dates, ticket exchanges, and refunds as necessary.

In light of COVID-19, Court's Box Office staff members are currently working remotely. This has necessitated adjusting the ways patrons can get in touch about ticket matters. Court appreciates patrons' patience and understanding as its staff works to serve patrons in the face of a high volume of calls. Patrons can visit Court's website for details at www.courttheatre.org .

Court's 2020-2021 Season Lineup

August Wilson's

Two Trains Running

Directed by Ron OJ Parson

Performance Dates: September 3 - October 4, 2020

Press Opening: September 12, 2020

Amidst the Civil Rights Movement, Memphis Lee's restaurant is slated for demolition. While Memphis fights to sell his diner for a fair price, the rest of the restaurant's regulars search for work, love, and justice as their neighborhood continues to change in unpredictable ways. Two Trains Running explores Black identity in the 1960s with passion, humor, and prescience, demonstrating why Wilson is one of America's most essential voices. With his singular point of view, Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson directs the penultimate play in Court's ongoing commitment to staging all of Wilson's American Century Cycle.

The Gospel at Colonus

Conceived and Adapted by Lee Breuer, Music Composed by Bob Telson

Original Lyrics by Lee Breuer, Adapted Lyrics by Bob Telson and Lee Breuer

Directed by Charles Newell

With Associate Director TaRon Patton

Performance Dates: November 5 - December 6, 2020

Press Opening: November 14, 2020

Soulful and stirring, The Gospel at Colonus reimagines the story of Oedipus as the centerpiece of an African American Pentecostal church service. A redemptive celebration, this one-of-a-kind theatrical event breathes new life into a classic myth with a score of powerful gospel music. A bold collaboration from an extraordinary team of artists led by Charles Newell, Mark J.P. Hood and TaRon Patton, The Gospel at Colonus builds upon the strengths and experiences of its directors to bring this nationally-touring Broadway smash hit to life with new clarity on Chicago's South Side.

Antigone

by Sophocles

Directed by Seret Scott

Performance Dates: January 21 - February 21, 2021

Press Opening: January 30, 2021

In the aftermath of a civil war, Creon shames the rebel Polynices by leaving him unburied on the battlefield. In defiance of the Theban ruler, Antigone plans to bury her brother's body, risking her life in the process. With intellect and unstinting vision, director Seret Scott stages Sophocles' exploration of notions of justice. Antigone concludes Court's Oedipus Trilogy, which ambitiously linked three ancient Greek dramas to bridge cultures, cities, and communities.

Fen

by Caryl Churchill

Directed by Vanessa Stalling

Performance Dates: March 18 - April 18, 2021

Press Opening: March 27, 2021

On the foggy fens of England, the ghosts of the past haunt the women laboring in the fields. Seizing on a new relationship as a potential path to escape, Val leaves the stultifying constraints of work and family behind, only to be confronted with the repercussions of her decision. Employing astonishing theatrical imagery, Caryl Churchill's Fen interrogates issues of gender, class, and exploitation with grace, humor, and anger. Jeff Award-winning director Vanessa Stalling ( Photograph 51 ) returns to Court Theatre to bring her striking clarity and fresh perspective to the play that won Churchill the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Othello

by William Shakespeare

Adapted and Directed by Charles Newell

Performance Dates: May 13 - June 13, 2021

Press Opening: May 22, 2021

Othello, the great Venetian general, unknowingly seals his fate when he fails to select his standard-bearer, Iago, for a military promotion. Implicating Othello's wife, Desdemona, in an affair, Iago sets forth a series of irreversible events that spell catastrophe for Othello and his country. Kelvin Roston, Jr. and Timothy Edward Kane who sparred in Oedipus Rex return to Court to star in this intimate new take on Shakespeare's tragedy about jealousy, ego, and betrayal. Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell combines Shakespeare's words with exhilarating movement and elements of the 16th-century story by Cinthio that inspired Othello, crafting a production that physicalizes the poetry of the original text with raw immediacy.

Subscription Information

Three, four and five-play subscriptions to Court's 2020/21 season range from $96 to $300 and are on sale now. To purchase a subscription or to receive more information, call the Court Theatre Box Office at ( 773 ) 753-4472, or visit Court's website at CourtTheatre.org . Individual tickets for all shows will be available in Summer 2020.

Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and»community service. Functioning as the University's Center for Classic Theatre, Court and its artists mount theatrical productions and audience enrichment programs in collaboration with faculty. These collaborations enable a re-examination of classic texts that pose the enduring and provocative questions that define the human experience. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to classic American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. The theatre revives lost masterpieces; illuminates familiar texts; explores the African American theatrical canon; and discovers fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.

—From a press release


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