Season 25 was announced on May 20 by artistic director PJ Paparelli, who will direct Lisa Loomer's play about attention deficit disorder, Distracted, as well as Yeast Nation (the triumph of life) by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, creators of the Tony Award-winning musical Urinetown.
Back for the holiday season will be It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, directed by Jason Gerace.
Also, currently in development is the original work The Project(s), a collaboration between American Theater Company, Congo Square Theatre Company and the National Public Housing Museum. The Project(s) is a documentary style exploration of the rise and fall of public housing in Chicago.
According to ATC production notes, "A multicultural team of scholars, sociologists, and ensemble members are in the process of interviewing former and current residents, Housing Authority administrators, and community leaders to shatter myth and misconception and reveal the true stories of the people who lived in and shaped public housing in Chicago."
Commissioned by a $75,000 grant from the Chicago Community Trust, The Project(s) is slated to make its World Premiere in the 2012-2013 season. Here's the 2009-10 American Theater Company season at a glance.
Yeast Nation (the triumph of life)
Music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann
Book and lyrics by Greg Kotis
Directed by PJ Paparelli
Sept. 10-Oct. 18
"The Primordial Soup. 3,000,458,000 B.C. The world's first family, a colony of salt-eating yeasts, float in the brine of the primordial soup under the rule of a tyrannical baritone. When resources deplete and fear pervades, the faith of a single-celled dreamer starts an evolutionary chain reaction that changes the course of existence forever. ATC brings together an all-star Chicago cast including Barbara Robertson, Gary Houston, Michael Mahler, Phil Ridarelli and many more."
It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play
Based on the Frank Capra film
Directed by Jason Gerace
Nov. 27-Dec. 27
"Bedford Falls. 1948. ATC transforms into a 1940s radio studio to tell Capra's classic story of one man's affect on his community. This year ATC brings new life to this holiday tradition with a new cast, new Foley sound, and new scenes. Free milk and cookies are served after every show."
Written by Lisa Loomer
Directed by PJ Paparelli
Jan. 28-Feb. 28, 2010
"America. Today. When Mom and Dad's problems with Junior escalate, the advice from the world around them is to medicate. Does Jesse have Attention Deficit Disorder, or is he just a kid growing up in an A.D.D. world? This fast-paced theatrical comedy explores the challenges of modern parenting in suburban America."
Welcome to Arroyo's
Written by Kristoffer Diaz
Directed by Jaime Castañeda
Featuring Ensemble Members Joe Minoso and Sadieh Rifai
April 15-May 16, 2010
"New York. Today. Two DJ narrators spin a heartwarming and hilarious tale of two siblings' desire to transform their family-run bar into New York City's cultural sensation. Combining the adolescent wit of Season 23's Speech & Debate with the music and world of Broadway's Tony Award-winning In the Heights, ATC premieres this groundbreaking celebration of the urban rhythms of life and love."
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American Theater Company is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question, "What does it mean to be an American?"