Chicago's Stage Left Announces Season and Staff Changes

News   Chicago's Stage Left Announces Season and Staff Changes Drew Martin, artistic director of Chicago's Stage Left Theatre for eight years, resigned July 31 to focus on his family, but remains a part of the ensemble and board of directors as the troupe enters its 2000-2001 season.

Drew Martin, artistic director of Chicago's Stage Left Theatre for eight years, resigned July 31 to focus on his family, but remains a part of the ensemble and board of directors as the troupe enters its 2000-2001 season.

Ensemble members Jessi D. Hill and Kevin Heckman are now co-artistic directors of the Off-Loop company that focuses on socially and politically-conscious works. In Martin's time, the company more than doubled its annual budget and earned Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and citations. The theatre achieved a 200 percent increase in grants under his leadership, according to a statement.

The theme of the company's 2000-2001 season is "Communication: Beginning the Conversation." The slate includes:

• David Rush's multimedia play about communication breakdown between the hearing and deaf community, Police Deaf Near Far, a critical hit in its previous Chicago staging. The Storefront Theater, Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph St. Oct. 5-29. Call (312) 742-8497 for this show only.

Dimly Perceived Threats to the System, the Chicago premiere of Jon Klein's comedy about a post-modern American family struggling to communicate while battling their perceptions of each other. Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield. Nov. 3-Dec. 16. • The Memorandum, Vera Blackwell's translation of the 1965 play by Vaclav Havel, concerning corporate communication in an absurdist setting. Stage Left Theatre. March-April 2001 dates to be announced.

• A fourth play to be announced.

For subscription information, call (773) 883-8830.

In addition to a subscription series, Stage Left produces Downstage Left, a program for developing new plays in a collaborative environment.

-- By Kenneth Jones