Chicago's Raven Will Premiere Dark Comedy Misamerica in 2009

News   Chicago's Raven Will Premiere Dark Comedy Misamerica in 2009 Tom Patrick's Middle East-set Misamerica, billed as "an unapologetic look at our country's policies and priorities," will get its world premiere at Raven Theatre in Chicago in 2008-09.

The resident troupe announced its new season, which will also feature works by Henrik Ibsen and Stephen Adly Guirgis.

Greg Kolack will direct Misamerica, to run Jan. 27, 2009-March 28, 2009.

According to Raven, the "darkly humorous tale of American hubris" is set "somewhere in the Mid-east, in the near future." An "entrepreneurial American corporation is ready to tackle the next big market. Basic supplies are hard to come by and dangerous fighting continues throughout the area, but Starbucks and McDonald's are popping up everywhere, and the Operation American Sole sandal company isn't about to miss out."

Patrick is a playwright, actor and director. His plays, including Middleman, The Vow and Descent (A Darwinian Comedy), have been staged by Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left and other theatres in Chicago, as well as in Milwaukee and New York. As an actor and director, he has worked with Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Next, Shakespeare on the Green, and Shakespeare's Motley Crew, where he staged their critically acclaimed production of Twelfth Night.

Kolack, a recipient of numerous Jeff Citation and After Dark Awards, directed the Chicago premieres of columbinus (recent Jeff Award, Direction) and The Exonerated at Raven and Embedded at Prop Thtr. He served as co-artistic director of Circle Theatre for seven years, directing many plays, including the world premiere of Rebecca Gilman's The Crime of the Century. Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by Raven executive artistic director Michael Menendian, will play Oct. 7-Dec. 6. It centers on Angel Cruz, a young Latino man in jail for shooting a religious cult leader. Co-artistic director JoAnn Montemurro will play Mary Jane Hanrahan, "the lawyer uncontrollably drawn to Angel's case."

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Jon Robin Baitz and directed by Michael Menendian, will play April 28, 2009-June 27, 2009. "Ibsen's masterpiece depicts a woman's inevitable road to tragedy. Hedda has recently married a kind and reliable yet unexciting scholar. She is visited by two old acquaintances: a female schoolmate and another scholar. The former has saved the latter from an unsavory lifestyle, helping him find success as a writer; Hedda is resentful both of his talent and her schoolmate's influence on it. Out of jealousy and boredom, she proceeds to destroy each of the people around her, and finally herself."

Raven Theatre's annual gala, Star Raven Mad!, will be held Aug. 1. It's "an evening of outrageous comedy, presented by Raven's award-winning ensemble."

All performances take place on Raven Theatre's East Stage, 6157 N. Clark, in Chicago.

For more information visit www.raventheatre.com or call (773) 338-2177.

*

Founded in 1983, Raven Theatre "is dedicated to breathing new life into American classics and exploring other works that illuminate the American experience. In addition to its regular season, Raven produces a Workshop Series of new and experimental productions, as well as a Youth Program, including teaching partnerships with various Chicago Public Schools, summer youth classes and original children's shows performed at Raven Theatre."