Apple Tree Theatre Presents Works by Grant, Lippa and Wasserstein in 2008-2009

News   Apple Tree Theatre Presents Works by Grant, Lippa and Wasserstein in 2008-2009
The Jefferson Award-winning Apple Tree Theatre will present the musicals Wings and John & Jen as well as the Wendy Wasserstein drama Third during its 2008-2009 season.

The first offering will be Tony nominee David Marshall Grant's Pen, running Sept. 24-Oct. 19. Kurt Johns directs Jefferson Award winner Hollis Resnik in the work that "follows a Long Island family at a pivotal moment in their lives. Confined to a wheelchair, Helen and her son, Matt, are locked in a relationship where love, guilt, recriminations and the ever-present desire to make things right all share center stage... The relationship between mother and son takes a mysterious turn, allowing the three of them to consider options that were up to now impossible."

Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald's musical John & Jen will run through the holiday season, playing Dec. 10, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009. The two-hander chamber musical "is the story of Jen and her relationships with the two Johns of her life: her younger brother, who was killed in Vietnam, and his namesake, her son who is trying to find his way in a confusing world."

The second musical offering is Wings, featuring book and lyrics by Arthur Perman and a score by Jeffrey Lunden. Based on the original Arthur Kopit play, Wings will run March 10-April 1, 2009, and feature Jefferson Award winner Mary Ernster under the direction of Mark Lococo. Wings "tells the story of Emily, who, in her adventurous youth, was an aviatrix who fearlessly walked on the wings of the family biplane. Just as she once plummeted dizzyingly through space, she is now falling through inner space as the result of a stroke."

The last production of the Apple Tree season will be Third, by the late Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wasserstein. The Chicago premiere of Third runs June 2-28, 2009. Wasserstein's work "refers to the nickname of Woodson Bull III, a student at a prestigious East Coast liberal arts college. Surrounded by students coming out as gay or vegan, he is considered a 'retro heterosexual.' Third gets off on the wrong foot with his Shakespeare professor, Laurie Jameson, when he says he can't attend a screening of a film of King Lear because of a wrestling meet. When Third turns in a paper that appears to be the work of an advanced scholar, Laurie accuses him of plagiarism. Third claims that he did in fact write the paper, accusing her of harassment and reverse discrimination."

The Apple Tree Theatre will also stage youth productions of The Giver (Oct. 8-31), Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry (Feb. 2-24, 2009), and The Devil's Arithmetic (April 14-May 1, 2009). Subscriptions for the 2008-2009 Apple Tree season are currently available by phoning (847) 432-4335, or by visiting

The Apple Tree Theatre is located at 1850 Green Bay Road in Highland Park, IL.

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