Victory Gardens Theater to Present Rest, The Testament of Mary and More in Upcoming Season

By Carey Purcell
07 Mar 2014

Victory Gardens Theater has announced its 40th anniversary season. The Chicago-based theatre will present five plays, all of which are receiving Midwest or world premieres.



"As Victory Gardens Theater enters our 40th season, we celebrate four decades of adventurous, thrilling and luminous new American plays," artistic director Chay Yew said in a statement. "This season, we continue to deepen existing artistic partnerships, forge new ones and invite more Chicago communities into our family to create vital, entertaining and relevant stories that speak to our lives."

The season at-a-glance follows. 

The Midwest Premiere of
Rest
by VG Ensemble Playwright Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by Joanie Schultz
Sept. 12-Oct. 12
Press Opening: Sept. 19

"A retirement home in northern Idaho is being shut down, and only three residents and a bare-bones staff remain. When a record breaking blizzard blows into town and an elderly resident disappears into the storm, everyone is brought to face their own mortality. Samuel D. Hunter (from last season's hit The Whale) returns with a tender and heartbreakingly funny play about life's unexpected beginnings and endings."

The Midwest Premiere of
The Testament of Mary
by Colm Tóibín
Directed by Dennis Začek
Nov. 14-Dec. 14
Press Opening: Nov. 21

"A 2013 Tony Award nominee for Best Play, this incisive, intelligent and profoundly challenging work recounts in riveting detail Mary’s narrative of the last days in the life of her son, Jesus. Hailed as 'beautiful and daring' by the New York Times, acclaimed author Colm Tóibín brings the world’s most famous mother to life in this fiercely lyrical solo play."

The World Premiere of
Samsara
by Lauren Yee
Directed by Seth Bockley
Feb. 6, 2015-March 8
Press Opening: Feb. 13

"Americans Katie and Craig are having a baby with Suraiya, a surrogate from India. As all three 'parents' anxiously await the baby's due date, Katie and Suraiya are attacked by flights of their imagination: a seductive Frenchman and a sharp-tongued fetus. Originally developed at Victory Gardens' IGNITION New Play Festival in 2012, this smart world premiere comedy takes us on a hilarious and highly theatrical journey into 21st century parenthood and modern-day colonialism."

The World Premiere of
A Wonder In My Soul
by VG Ensemble Playwright Marcus Gardley
Directed by Chay Yew
April 3-May 3
Press Opening: April 10

"A Wonder In My Soul, by the author of The Gospel of Lovingkindness, centers on the feuding members of the Soul Singers, Chicago's 1960's rhythm and blues music sensation, who unwillingly reunite after 35 years for a concert to raise money for a community center. Set in the Bronzeville neighborhood, this hilarious and heartrending musical play about ambition, passions and the unbreakable bonds of family premieres in Spring 2015."

The Midwest Premiere of
The Who and the What
by Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Kimberly Senior
June 12-July 12
Press Opening: Jun 19

"Raised in a conservative Muslimim family in Atlanta, the outspoken and brilliant Zarina recently completed a book about women and Islam. When her traditional father and sister discover the manuscript, it threatens to tear her family apart. With humor and ferocity, 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar and director Kimberly Senior examine the giant chasm between our traditions and our contemporary lives."

Visit victorygardens.org for more information.