Chicago's Court Theatre Announces Ambitious 5-Year Plan

News   Chicago's Court Theatre Announces Ambitious 5-Year Plan Three strong women will be at the center of the 1998-99 season at Chicago's Court Theatre. One's a character, another a playwright and a third a director.

Three strong women will be at the center of the 1998-99 season at Chicago's Court Theatre. One's a character, another a playwright and a third a director.

Starting things off (Sept. 18-Oct. 17, opening Sept. 28) will be an as-yet unnamed work by director Joanne Akalaitis, likely to be a an adapted classical piece (like her "Iphigenia Cycle" at the Court last season). Akalaitis was briefly the artistic director of NY's Public Theatre and has staged such works as Ti-Jean Blues and Woyzeck.

Nora, Ingmar Bergman's 1981 adaptation of A Doll's House, follows (Nov. 6-Dec. 6, opens Nov. 16). Bergman's version zeroes in on Nora, the pampered wife who discovers that her husband's adoration is more smothering than nurturing. Henrik Ibsen's text has been cut by a third (with minor characters excised), with the Torvald/Nora marriage taking center stage.

Artistic director Charles Newell directs a translation by Frederick J. Marker & Lise-Lone Marker. Kate Collins, of TV's "All My Children," stars.

Closing the season (Mar. 12-May 16 1999, opens Mar. 28, 1999) will be The Little Foxes, Lillian Hellman's drama of nasty familial squabbling in a turn-of-the-century Southern manse. Artistic director Newell directs this work by the author of The Children's Hour and Another Part of the Forest. A recent Broadway revival of Foxes starred Stockard Channing and Brian Murray. *

Court Theatre, the most vital Equity house on Chicago's South Side, announced Mar. 12 an ambitious five-year plan. The goal: to become a national center for classic theatre by the year 2002.

The project will entail five feats: a roster of seasonal resident artists, the commissions of new translations and adaptations, the establishment of an in-depth education and training programs, and opportunities for touring and co-productions.

"As one of America's few theatres dedicated to presenting exclusive classic works, this new plan represents a line of demarcation in Court Theatre's history," announced artistic director Newell.

For subscriptions ($90-$150) and information on the Court Theatre, 5535 South Ellis Ave., call (773) 753-4472.

-- By David Lefkowitz and Lawrence Bommer
Chicago Correspondent

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