Victory Gardens Theater’ 2019–2020 season will launch September 6 with the Chicago premiere of Nia Vardalos’ Tiny Beautiful Things. Directed by Vanessa Stalling, the production, based on Cheryl Strayed best-selling book about a struggling writer asked to take over the anonymous position of an advice columnist, will continue through October 13.
Tiny Beautiful Things debuted at Off-Broadway's Public Theater in 2016 in a sold-out run starring Vardalos, who will return to the role of Sugar next month at the Pasadena Playhouse. Casting for the Chicago premiere will be announced at a later date.
The world premiere of The First Deep Breath by Lee Edward Colston II will follow, running November 15-December 22. Directed by Malika Oyetimein, the new work concerns the First Family of Mother Bethel Baptist Church, who is forced to confront long-buried secrets on the sixth anniversary of daughter Diane's death.
Lily Padilla’s How to Defend Yourself, a co-world premiere with Actors Theatre of Louisville, will kick off the new year, playing January 24-February 23, 2020, under the direction of Marti Lyons. Winner of the 2019 Yale Drama Series Prize, the play concerns seven college students who take a self-defense workshop after a sorority sister is raped.
Madhuri Shekar’s Dhaba on Devon Avenue (a family drama about a decades-old, but failing Indian restaurant in Chicago) will be presented March 27-April 26 under the direction of Artistic Director Chay Yew, and the season will conclude with the Chicago premiere of Sharyn Rothstein’s Right to Be Forgotten (about an internet that never forgets and a man who tries to hide an earlier indiscretion), scheduled for May 29–June 28. The Color Purple’s Gary Griffin will direct the latter.
“From an African American family grappling with a daughter’s death to a South Asian immigrant battling his children over the fate of their family restaurant in Chicago, we are also giving a home to powerful plays that courageously address the issues of our country’s rape culture, and the right to privacy on social media. These relevant works speak truth to power and celebrate the best in our diverse nation, and inspire us to be better citizens,” Yew said in a statement.