The 22nd season is presented under the title, Tracing the Roots, featuring plays that have all developed in workshop performances through Downstage Left, Stage Left's new-works program, now in its eighth year.
According to its mission, "Stage Left cultivates political and social theatre by producing plays that raise debate on such issues; by providing audience forums to discuss those issues and encourage action; and by seeking out, inspiring and supporting playwrights to explore such themes through the Downstage Left new work development program."
The season, announced by artistic director Jessi D. Hill, includes:Cuttings, Downstage Left Level IV world premiere, by SLT ensemble member David Rush, directed by Jessi D. Hill (Sept. 27-Nov. 15). "Set in Stage Left’s Lakeview (Chicago) neighborhood, a former psychologist attempts to rescue a teen run-away to redeem a lifetime of wrongdoing, but ultimately spins a web of betrayal and destruction."
Prairie Lights, the second annual staging, lyrics by SLT ensemble member David Rush, book by Susan Lieberman, music by Rosalie Gerut, directed by SLT ensemble member David M. Schmitz (Nov. 21-Jan. 3, 2004). "This 2003 Jefferson Award-recommended musical, featuring the return of SLT ensemble member Larry Dahlke (who originated the lead role of Abe Birnbaum), is back at Theatre Building Chicago for its second annual presentation. In December 1905, two Jewish children take the orphan train west to Nebraska. Due to their heritage, Rose and Ben find themselves paired with Abe and Sophie, the only Jewish couple in town. This new family struggles to come together at home and at their business, Birnbaum's Emporium, as they and the townsfolk rediscover the true essence of the winter holidays. Based on the Emmy-nominated teleplay, Prairie Lights combines delightful music and a warm storyline into a multi-cultural holiday tradition for all audiences."Burying the Bones, world premiere, by Margaret Lewis, directed by SLT managing director Kevin Heckman (Feb. 14, 2004-April 3, 2004). "One woman faces the secrets of her shattered country as she searches for the truth about her 'disappeared' husband through South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission."
Leap Fest, world premieres of short plays (opening May 14, 2004). "Six works-in-progress for two performances each. These Downstage Left Level III, fully produced workshop productions will be announced December 1. New sociopolitical works-in-progress via the Downstage Left development program will be presented in rotation during this three-week festival. This will be the first annual festival, as Stage Left plans to make this a yearly event. The festival name stems from the Downstage Left logo, which features a frog." Three season productions will be presented at 3408 North Sheffield, Stage Left's "versatile, intimate" Lakeview storefront theatre, while Prairie Lights will be presented at Theatre Building Chicago's North Theatre at 1225 W. Belmont.
For season subscriptions, as well as single tickets, call (773) 883-8830.