Chicago's Organic Touchstone Company announces its 1997-98 season, beginning its second season of the Organic and Touchstone companies merger.
Tamra Powell, a company spokesperson, told Playbill On-Line the merger, "Is going well. We spent the past year combining forces and finding our artistic path." The company is now in the process of moving its administrative offices to its performing space, the Touchstone Theatre, at 2851 North Halsted.
The Steward of Christendom begins previews Sept. 16 and opens the season Sept. 22. Producing Artistic director Ina Marlowe directs Sebastian Barry's drama, based on the life of his great-grandfather, Thomas Dunne, an inmate of a mental home in 1932 Ireland. Superintendent of the Dublin Metropolitan Police before civil war divided the country, in the play Dunne is haunted by his memories and embarks on an interior journey to recall his country's struggle for independence.
Lawrence McCauley (The Night of the Iguana) is Dunne and leads a cast that includes Moira Brennan, Rohanna Doylida, Rebecca Ennals, Thomas Gebbia, Christopher Grobe, Melinda Moonahan, Marc A. Nelson and Joe Sikora. Designing the production are Joseph P. Tilford (sets), Patricia Hart (costumes), Heather Gilbert (lighting) and Daniel Linka (properties). The Steward of Christendom runs through Nov. 9.
As part of a free play-reading series highlighting other works by featured playwrights, the company will present a reading of Barry's The Only True History of Lizzie Finn, Sept. 2 at 7PM. Local actors will read and a discussion will be led by director Marlowe. The company will host Too Good To Be Typecast, a benefit featuring Mike Nussbaum and other Chicago actors performing bits of roles they have longed to play, Sept. 26 at 6:30PM. A special performance of The Steward of Christendom will follow at 9PM. Tickets are $50 (performance only) and $65 (benefit and performance) and can be reserved by calling (773) 477 5779.
As part off Organic Touchstone's free play-reading series, a new work by an emerging playwright will be presented Oct. 28 by the Chicago Dramatists Workshop.
Anne Meara's playwriting debut After-Play, winner of an Outer Critics Circle Award, is scheduled for Nov. 18 - Jan. 18, 1998. In this Off-Broadway hit, show-biz couples meet at a trendy Manhattan restaurant after viewing the latest must-see play on Broadway and reflect on how they've lived their lives.
Taking Sides, by Ronald Harwood, recounts the ethical confrontation between German conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler, accused of being a Nazi sympathizer, and American officer Major Steve Arnold, in 1 iin. Runs Jan. 27 - March 22. A reading of Harwood's The Dresser will be held Jan. 13.
Rising playwright Keith Glover's Coming of the Hurricane will be directed by Jonathan Wilson, March 31 - May 17. Glover tells the story of Crixus, a former slave who returns to the boxing ring to fight John "the Hurricane" Blaine, a white symbol of the South, as a means of providing for his pregnant wife Kazarah. A reading of Glover's Dancing On Moonlight will be held Feb. 24.
Harold Pinter's Moonlight will shine May 26 - June 27, closing the season with Pinter's first full-length play since 1978's Betrayal. Set in two bedrooms and an indefinite dark space, Moonlight finds a father lying on his death bed, reminiscing about his past. At the same time, his sons examine their conflicting feelings about him. Only their sister Bridget is able to bridge the gaps between youth and age, death and life. A reading of Pinter's The Homecoming will be held May 5.
Organic Touchstone subscriptions are $65-$106, with new $50 memberships entitling members to purchase $10 tickets to any production, any night with a reservation. For more information or to purchase a subscription or membership, call (773) 404-4700. All performances are at the Touchstone Theatre Building, 2851 North Halsted.
--By Laura MacDonald