Artistic director Michael Halberstam and executive director Kathryn M. Lipuma announced the company's 16th season (and three commissions) on March 22.
Halberstam will direct the Smith premiere, by the author of the Writers' Theatre's hit, The Uneasy Chair, which was also seen at Playwrights Horizons.
The Writers' Theatre season will also include The Turn of the Screw, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the story by Henry James, directed by Jessica Thebus; Shakespeare's As You Like It, featuring Tracey Arnold and directed by William Brown; and James Goldman's The Lion in Winter, featuring Shannon Cochran and directed by Rick Snyder.
Linda Kimbrough and Suzanne Lang will be featured in The Savannah Disputation, to play 325 Tudor Court Sept. 18-Nov. 25. Opening is Sept. 26.
According to Writers' Theatre, "The story revolves around two sisters who forget all about Southern charm when a young door-to-door evangelist comes proselytizing. Smith, known for his wildly eclectic and thematic writing, employs his trademark sharpness of wit and draws a compelling portrait of the conflicts between dogma, faith and the wildly variant interpretations of biblical texts depending upon the point of view of the reader." The season will also include the 12th annual one-man A Christmas Carol, adapted from the Charles Dickens story and performed by artistic director Michael Halberstam, Dec. 19-23.
In addition to its new season, Writers' Theatre announced commissions for the following projects: Josh Schmidt (music) and Jan Tranen (lyrics) are collaborating with artistic director Michael Halberstam on a yet-to-be-titled musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Candida, to premiere in the 2008-09 season; Chicago playwright Brett Neveu will be writing a yet-to-be-titled piece (now in its early stages) to be seen in workshops over the next two seasons; Chay Yew, the award-winning director and playwright, will write a play to be developed in workshops over the next two seasons.
Writers' Theatre performs in two performance spaces in Glencoe — its original 50-seat venue at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., and its 108-seat theatre at 325 Tudor Court in the Woman's Library Club.
For subscription information call the Writers' Theatre box office at (847) 242-6000 or visit www.writerstheatre.org.