Chicago's Gift Theatre Will Stage O'Neill, Chekhov, McDonagh, Coward and an Original Halloween Show in 2006-07

News   Chicago's Gift Theatre Will Stage O'Neill, Chekhov, McDonagh, Coward and an Original Halloween Show in 2006-07
The Gift Theatre Company, the troupe operating in Chicago's working class Jefferson Park neighborhood, announced a five-play 2006-2007 season.

Artistic director Michael Patrick Thornton and The Gift Theatre ensemble will present Long Day's Journey into Night featuring Gary Wingert as James Tyrone and directed by Michael Patrick Thornton; an original Halloween Show created by The Gift Theatre ensemble under the direction of Lynda Newton; Sheldon Patinkin directing Mary Ann Thebus in The Beauty Queen of Leenane; Noble Fool artistic director and The Gift Theatre member John Gawlik directing Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward; and Thornton directing Three Sisters.

"The incredible success of our first season in Jefferson Park was quite literally a dream come true, and we look forward to deepening our commitment to ensemble acting and presenting honest, simple storytelling for audiences old and new," Thornton said in a statement.

The Gift Theatre received a Jeff Citation Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Paul D'Addario for his portrayal of Eddie in Hurlyburly last season.

After the sudden closure of the Chicago Jewish Theatre, The Gift stepped in and is offering CJT subscribers a free subscription to the new Gift season, which begins Aug. 24 with the first preview of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey.

The Gift Theatre is located at 4802 N. Milwaukee in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood; two storefronts north of Lawrence, on the west side of Milwaukee. The Gift Theatre "is dedicated to telling great stories on stage with honesty and simplicity." Since its 2002 debut, "The Gift has consistently established itself as an actors' theatre, eschewing directorial cleverness for honest, powerful connections between the actors and the audience," according to company notes. "With the conception of The Lab—an ensemble-only forum dedicated to artistic growth and exploration—The Gift continues to deepen its commitment to the idea of 'ensemble' by training together on an ongoing basis." Previous and future instructors in The Lab include Sheldon Patinkin, Jeff Perry, and Dr. Eric Forsythe.

Previous Gift productions include The Good Thief, The Clearing, Hurlyburly, The Glass Menagerie, The Pavilion, A Young Man In Pieces, Language of Angels, 6, County Fair, The Countess, Orestes 2.0 and Boys' Life.

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