Court Theatre in Chicago will present the world premiere production of Philip Glass' new opera, In the Penal Colony, as part of its 2000 2001 season.
The season also includes the Chi premiere of Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love, Noel Coward's Hay Fever, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Trevor Griffiths' Piano.
In the Penal Colony is a co-production with Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre. Based on a story by Franz Kafka, the piece ("an alarming story about justice") has music by Glass (for two singers and a string quintet) and a libretto by Rudolph Wurlitzer. JoAnne Akalaitis directs, Nov. 1-Dec. 10, with an official opening of Nov. 11.
Court artistic director Charles Newell and managing director Diane Claussen announced the season July 10.
The American premiere of Piano, by Trevor Griffiths, is based on the film, "Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano," which was based on plays and short stories by Anton Chekhov. It begins a three-month run in March 2001. The complete season schedule is as follows:
• Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love, directed by Charles Newell, featuring Paxton Whitehead as an inquisitive, aged A.E. Housman, the Oxford scholar and poet. Sept. 6-Oct. 15.
• Hay Fever, directed by Gary Griffin, Coward's bright comedy about a selfish, insular, artistic family named Bliss. Jan. 24-March 4, 2001.
• Twelfth Night, directed by Karin Coonrod, April 7-June 15, 2001. It plays in repertory with Piano.
• Piano, directed by Newell, a play by Trevor Griffiths based on the film "Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano." The play is "a tribute to Anton Chekhov's style of comic tragedy" and is "a poignant look at the painful recognition of one's own mediocrity" seen through "a series of alternately amusing and heartbreaking love triangles." March 30-June 17, 2001. In repertory with Twelfth Night.
For subscription information, call the Court at (773) 753-4472.
The mission of Court Theatre is to "celebrate the immutable power and relevance of classic theatre, defined by timeless themes and universal truths. Through innovative collaborations, Court strives to reveal these truths in works from the past as well as advocate the discovery of new classics. In the passionate pursuit of this mission, Court aspires to become a National Center for Classic Theatre."
-- By Kenneth Jones