Appropriate, The Gospel of Lovingkindness and Sandra Oh Will Appear at Chicago's Victory Gardens in 2013-14

By Kenneth Jones
06 Mar 2013

Marcus Gardley
Marcus Gardley

The 2013-14 season of Victory Gardens Theater — the Tony Award-winning Chicago company devoted to new works, many from its own Playwrights Ensemble — will include the co-world-premiere staging of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Appropriate and the world premiere of Ensemble Playwright Marcus Gardley's new work, plus a revival of Death and the Maiden starring Sandra Oh, of TV's "Grey's Anatomy."

The coming season represents a reduction in the number of VG-produced plays, from five to three. Resident Chicago storefront theatres will rent space at VG's Lincoln Park home in the coming season, offering subscribers a sampler of four or five local productions by smaller troupes that don't have permanent homes. That roster will be announced.

Appropriate, directed by Gary Griffin, is currently appearing at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Gardley, who was named a VG Ensemble Playwright in 2012, will be represented in the coming season with a South Side Chicago-set drama, The Gospel of Lovingkindness.



Here's the 2013-14 Victory Gardens season at a glance:

Appropriate
A Co-World Premiere
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Gary Griffin
In association with Actors Theater of Louisville
Nov. 8-Dec. 8, 2013
Opening: Nov. 18, 2013

"When the Lafayettes descend upon a crumbling Arkansan plantation to liquidate their dead patriarch's estate, his three adult children collide over clutter, debt, and a contentious family history. But after a disturbing discovery surfaces among their father's possessions, the reunion takes a turn for the explosive, unleashing a series of crackling surprises and confrontations. Acclaimed director Gary Griffin (Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Sunday in the Park with George and Follies) directs a potent and exciting play about the trouble with inheritance, memory loss, and the art of repression. Appropriate was developed and workshopped through Victory Gardens' IGNITION New Play Festival in 2012." It was also developed, in part, at Vineyard Arts Project and the 2012 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort.

The Gospel of Lovingkindness
A World Premiere
By Marcus Gardley
Directed by Chay Yew
Feb. 21-March 23, 2014
Opening: March 3, 2014

"It is 1996 and the streets of Bronzeville are set ablaze by crime, evictions, gun and gang violence. No one knows this better than Reverend Isaac Seer and his wife, both who just lost their only son to a senseless homicide. Now, they must decide whether to leave their home in the embattled Ida B. Wells Projects, or stay to lead their community towards an uncertain future. Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwright Marcus Gardley pens this powerful, poetic, gospel-inspired drama about life, love and loss in Chicago's South Side community."

Death and the Maiden
By Ariel Dorfman
Directed by Chay Yew
Featuring Sandra Oh
June 13-July 13, 2014
Opening: June 23, 2014

"Ariel Dorfman's explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a rocky new democracy. Gerardo has just been chosen to head the commission that will investigate the crimes of the old regime when his car breaks down and he is picked up by a kind doctor. Sandra Oh (the award-winning star of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy") plays Gerardo's wife, Paulina, who thinks she recognizes the doctor as the man who tormented her as she lay blindfolded in a military detention center years before. Death and the Maiden is a riveting, haunting play about revenge, trauma and forgiveness."

Victory Gardens' artistic director Chay Yew also announced a new board of National Artistic Advisors. "These artists and ambassadors are passionate about supporting Victory Gardens' artistic vision, mission and endeavors," according to the March 6 season announcement. The supporters are Luis Alfaro, Nilo Cruz, Eve Ensler, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner, David Lindsey-Abaire, John Logan, Craig Lucas, Sandra Oh, Suzan-Lori Parks, Jose Rivera, Anika Noni Rose, Sarah Ruhl, Jeanine Tesori, Paula Vogel, George C. Wolfe and B.D. Wong.

For subscription information, visit victorygardens.org. Victory Gardens Theater at The Biograph is at 2433 N. Lincoln in Chicago.

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Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theatre, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.

In 2012, Victory Gardens Victory Gardens appointed new Ensemble Playwrights Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter and Tanya Saracho, for seven-year residencies. The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.