Iraq War's Impact on Americans Examined in Old Glory, Starting Feb. 3 in IL

News   Iraq War's Impact on Americans Examined in Old Glory, Starting Feb. 3 in IL
 
Brett Neveu's Old Glory, one-third of a trilogy about how the Iraq War affects six interconnected people, gets its world premiere Feb. 3-March 29 from Writers' Theatre in Glencoe, IL.

Commissioned through the Writers' Theatre Literary Development Initiative, the production is directed by William Brown, with a cast that includes LaShawn Banks, Steve Haggard, Philip Earl Johnson, Tom McElroy, Penny Slusher and Marcus Truschinski.

Opening is Feb. 12.

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"Shrouded in mystery, the circumstances surrounding six ordinary people grappling with the emotional casualties of war unfold in the latest work from Brett Neveu, one of Chicago's hottest young playwrights," according to Writers' Theatre. "[The play] explores with fierce wit and gritty honesty what happens when you play by the rules — and lose."

Old Glory is part three of Neveu's three-play series, "Trilogy: '04-'05-'06" (Part I: Harmless, Part II: Weapon of Mass Impact). Neveu said in production notes, "The subject matter, the general tone of the play and how war affects people at home are the linking devices. The plays are about regular people and how they're dealing with what the American government has done in Iraq and what people ask of each other in times of crisis. The trilogy is a response to terrorism, people not trusting each other and deceit within the American government. If the plays were only about the Iraq War it would ground them too specifically in time. I think they speak past the present day to a place where people relate to each other."

Director Brown stated, "What I love about this play is that it's six strangers getting emotionally naked in front of each other, and the event that brings them all together is the death of a soldier. A large extent of the play is about transparency, what we're willing to reveal and what we need to hide from each other, which fuels the mystery. You don't know who's telling the truth or how much of the truth they're willing to tell."

The designers are Keith Pitts (scenic), Rachel Anne Healy (costume), Charles Cooper (lighting), Meredith Miller (properties design) and Andy Hansen (sound).

Neveu wrote the recently produced plays American Dead (Rouge Machine) and Gas for Less (Goodman Theatre). His work has also been produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company, A Red Orchid Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, American Theatre Company, Spring Theatreworks, Aardvark Theatre and 29th Street Rep. He is the recipient of the Ofner Prize for New Work, the Emerging Artist Award from The League of Chicago Theatres and has developed plays with The New Group, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theatre, The 42nd Street Workshop, The Marin Theatre and is a resident-alum with Chicago Dramatists. He is also an ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre and has been commissioned by The Royal Court Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club (Sloan Commission), Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, Strawdog Theatre and has several of his plays published through Broadway Play Publishing. Neveu has taught writing at Northwestern University, DePaul University, Second City Training Center and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Tickets are $40-$65 and are available at the box office, 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe, IL. The performance space is 325 Tudor Court. For more information call (847) 242-6000 or visit www.writerstheatre.org.

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Writers' Theatre (artistic director Michael Halberstam and executive director Kathryn M. Lipuma) announce is a professional company focusing on the Word and the Artist. Remaining true to the intention of the playwright and nurturing the artist stand at the center of the mission. Now in its 17th season, the company both revives classic scripts and cultivates new works and adaptations while invigorating them with fresh energy in the intimacy of its venues. Founded in 1992, Writers' Theatre performed exclusively at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Avenue for the first 12 years. In fall 2003, the organization opened a new 108-seat performance venue at 325 Tudor Court. Today, Writers' Theatre continues to produce in both spaces, maintaining an intimate theatrical experience for audiences. Since 2000, the subscriber base has grown almost 250 percent from 1,500 to more than 5,300. With an operating budget of $3.4 million, Writers' Theatre is supported by a staff of 16 full-time employees and a 29-member Board of Trustees.

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