Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre, announces a return to live theatrical programming with its 2021/22 Season. The 2021/22 Season has Court returning to the stage with The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice which will now open the 2021/22 Season in October, specifically conceived for a smaller audience and co-directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell and Gabrielle Randle-Bent. The season will continue with the triumphant return of Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea in a new translation from Richard Nelson directed by Shana Cooper. The 2021/22 Season will culminate with August Wilson’s Two Trains Running, directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson.
Reflecting on the new season, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell shares, “After more than a year apart, I cannot wait to welcome audiences back to the Abelson Auditorium to experience these three stories together. Classic plays continue to speak to our current moment, and our 2021/22 season investigates themes of race, gender, and activism at a time when these topics couldn’t be more of the moment. As we transition out of the pandemic, it is my hope that each play in our 2021/22 season keeps these issues front-of-mind for audiences, as we envision a brighter future for all through ambitious theatrical programming.”
Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre echoes that excitement, saying that “One of the greatest strengths of theatre is the way it brings people together. As a cultural institution grounded in live performance, we have much to offer those who can now engage with us in-person after such a fraught year away. I couldn’t be more excited to begin providing vital cultural sustenance once again.”
The 2021/22 Season up close:
THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE
by William Shakespeare
- Directed by Charles Newell and Gabrielle Randle-Bent
- Featuring Kelvin Roston, Jr as Othello
- Preview Performances: October 7 - October 15, 2021
- Press Opening: October 16, 2021
- Regular Run: October 17 - November 21, 2021
- In addition to live performances, a digital version will be available to stream on-demand.
Othello—the noble general, husband, scholar, and traveler—fights for his life, right to love, and position in society. When Othello’s closest confidant objects to his actions, their brotherhood is shattered, provoking a series of tragic events for Othello and everyone around him.
Co-directors Charles Newell and Gabrielle Randle-Bent helm this theatrical examination of humanity and tragedy in Shakespeare’s fraught and famous work. Through scenic design that place audiences in the middle of the action, this telling grapples with how complex notions of race, gender, and complicity at the heart of the play’s murderous events speak to a world on the brink of change.
Othello is sponsored by Michael Charles Litt.
THE LADY FROM THE SEA
by Henrik Ibsen
- In a New Translation by Richard Nelson
- Directed by Shana Cooper
- Preview Performances: February 3 - February 11, 2022
- Press Opening: February 12, 2022
- Regular Run: February 13 - March 6, 2022
When a sailor returns to fulfill their promise, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter must choose between her landlocked marriage and the mesmerizing allure of the sea. Hailed as a watershed moment in Ibsen’s writing, The Lady from the Sea dissects issues of duty, marriage, and agency with raw emotion and disarming resonance.
Canceled in March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Lady from the Sea makes a triumphant return to Court’s stage in a new translation from playwright Richard Nelson starring Chaon Cross (Photograph 51, The Hard Problem). Director Shana Cooper injects Nelson’s text with a visceral physicality that thrillingly reflects and refracts Ibsen’s structure and characterization.
TWO TRAINS RUNNING
by August Wilson
- Directed by Ron OJ Parson
- Preview Performances: May 12 - May 21, 2022
- Press Opening: May 22, 2022
- Regular Run: May 23 - June 12, 2022
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 and humor, 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.
Subscription and Ticket Information
Subscriptions are available for purchase now by calling the Court Theatre Box Office at (773) 753-4472, or by visiting Court’s website at CourtTheatre.org.
Court Theatre remains committed to following all government guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in order to maintain the safety of our artists, staff, and patrons. To that end, dates and programming are subject to change based on rights acquisition, pandemic conditions, and other developments in order to remain responsive to evolving circumstances. As in-person gatherings resume, we will communicate information about COVID safety protocols to ensure everyone’s safety at Court Theatre.
Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. 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. In all of this work, we are committed to recognizing, addressing, and eradicating racism, as we strive to better serve our South Side community.