Victory Gardens' 2012-13 Season in Chicago Will Feature World Premieres of Failure and Chicago Is Burning

By Michael Gioia
21 Mar 2012

Bill Cain
Bill Cain

Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater, under the artistic direction of Chay Yew and executive direction of Jan Kallish, has announced the lineup for its 2012-13 season, which includes the world premiere productions of Phillip Dawkins' Failure and Marcus Gardley's Chicago Is Burning.

Kicking off the season is the Chicago premiere of Equivocation by Bill Cain, which runs Sept. 14-Oct. 14 with an official opening set for Sept. 24. Directed by Sean Graney, the award-winning play, according to Victory Gardens, "reveals the cat-and-mouse games in politics and art, and the craft of learning how to speak the truth in difficult times."

The world premiere of Dawkins' Failure: A Love Story, directed by Seth Bockley, will run Nov. 16-Dec. 30. Here's how the work is described: "1928 is the last year of each of the Fail Sisters' lives. Nelly was the first of the Fail girls to die, followed soon after by her sisters Jenny June and Gerty. As with so many things in life—blunt objects, disappearances and consumption—they never saw death coming. Failure: A Love Story is a magical, musical fable that traces the sisters' triumphs and defeats, lived out in the rickety two-story building by the Chicago River that was the Fail family home and clock shop." Opening night is set for Nov. 26.

In 2013 Anupama Chandrasekhar's Disconnect, directed by Dexter Bullard, will run Jan. 25-Feb. 24, 2013, with an official opening set for Feb. 4. In Disconnect, according to Victory Gardens, "Fortysomething Avinash is hopelessly out of step in a company that demands success, energy and youth. To bring his game up, he is transferred to work with the bright young graduates in Illinois—down on the fourth floor. In the windowless, nighttime offices of a call center in Chennai, India, is a bustling world of energetic Indian workers dreaming the American Dream and faking U.S. accents to target their American 'marks' maxed out on credit cards."



Following Disconnect will be Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale, which will be directed by Joanie Schultz and run April 5-May 5. Opening night is set for April 15. "Since the death of his boyfriend, morbidly obese 600 pound Charlie has confined himself to his small Idaho apartment and is eating himself to oblivion," according to press notes. "With his health quickly failing, Charlie becomes desperate to reconnect with Ellie, his estranged and angry teenage daughter whom he has not seen in 17 years. He would give her anything: his love, his money… maybe even his life."

The world premiere of Gardley's Chicago Is Burning, directed by Yew, will conclude Victory Garden's season, running May 31-June 30. Here's how the work is billed: "Set in Bronzeville in Chicago, the exhilarating drama with music Chicago Is Burning takes you to the underground ball competitions where anyone in the communities in this African American and Latino, gay and transgender subculture can be a star or a supermodel for one night. They've come to strike a pose, vogue, walk, dance, compete, love, bitch and be themselves." Opening night set for June 10.

Victory Gardens Theater features the work of its own 14-member Playwrights Ensemble as well as that of playwrights who are changing theatre in the U.S. and abroad. Since 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theatre and received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.

The Victory Gardens Biograph Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For more information and tickets, call (773) 871-3000 or visit www.victorygardens.org.