Jon Robin Baitz's A Fair Country closes the 1996-97 Steppenwolf Theatre Company season in Chicago.
Performances began Sunday night, July 20; at 7 PM and conclude Aug. 24. In conjuction with the opening, Baitz will participate in an onstage interview July 20; at 3PM.
A Fair Country had its premiere at Lincoln Center Theatre (LCT) in February, 1996. It tells the story of a man who bends his principles too far in his attempts to make a better life for his family.
"One of the interesting things about [Baitz'] writing," said Scott Zigler, the director, "is how he looks at families in the context of the larger world. His families have an abundance of love and want what's best, but social, political and economic pressures force them to make choices that alienate them from one another."
Zigler, the artistic coordinator for the New Stages series at Harvard's American Repertory Theatre and who in his 13 year collaboration with David Mamet has directed the playwright's Oleanna and Sexual Perversity in Chicago, compared Baitz's writing "to the kind American theatre hasn't seen since Arthur Miller." Baitz's work includes The Film Society, which premiered at NY's Second Stage and just concluded an acclaimed revival co starring Cherry Jones and John Benjamin Hickey at the Williamstown (MA) Theatre Festival; The Substance of Fire, which debuted at NY's Playwrights Horizons with a subsequent run at LCT; and The End of the Day, with productions at PH and Williamstown.
The stars of the Chicago Fair Country are Steppenwolf ensemble member Robert Breuler as Harry Burgess and Barbara eda-Young as his wife, Patrice.
At 3 PM on July 20, Baitz will be interviewed at the Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 North Halsted Street, by Dr. Leland Roloff, professor emeritus of performance studies at Northwestern University. Admission to the interview is $5 and tickets are available through the Steppenwolf box office.
For information and tickets to performances and the interview, call (312) 335-1650.
-- By Ellis Nassour