Cleage's A Song for Coretta Will Get Midwest Premiere by Chicago's Eclipse

News   Cleage's A Song for Coretta Will Get Midwest Premiere by Chicago's Eclipse
Plays by Rebecca Gilman, Pearl Cleage, John Guare and Romulus Linney will be presented in Eclipse Theatre Company of Chicago's 2009 season.
Pearl Cleage
Pearl Cleage

The slate represents alumni writers of past seasons; Eclipse is known for its one-playwright-per-season mission, exploring the breadth of a writer's career. This will be the second and final year of celebrating Eclipse's past writers.

The season is billed as "Eclipse Theatre's 2009 Season: Celebration Series Part II." The season will play Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., in Chicago.

Eclipse artistic director Nathaniel Swift stated, "The Eclipse ensemble is pleased to continue the celebration of the remarkable writers we have featured since 1997. The second year of this two-year celebration — our first four-show season since 1997-1998 — will honor the contemporary writers featured by Eclipse over the last decade…"

Eclipse Theatre's 2009 season at a glance:

  • A revival of Rebecca Gilman's Blue Surge (March 19–May 3, 2009), directed by ensemble member Anish Jethmalani. "The story of two small-town cops who try to arrest and then help a pair of prostitutes working at a local massage parlor, Blue Surge examines issues of class and social dynamics with brutal honesty and surprising humor. Gilman explores the small space between hope and hopelessness as her characters struggle to find an American Dream in which they can believe."
  • The Midwest premiere of Pearl Cleage's A Song for Coretta (June 4–28, 2009), directed by ensemble member Sarah Moeller. "Inspired by the long line of mourners who came by Ebenezer Baptist Church to pay their respects to Coretta Scott King, A Song for Coretta introduces five fictional African-American women, aged 17 to 57, waiting in the rain to say their final good-byes. Cleage shows the impact that Mrs. King had on the lives of these women, and the connections that they build with one another through her memory and legacy."
  • John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation (July 23–Aug. 30, 2009), directed by ensemble member and Goodman Theatre associate producer Steve Scott. "Inspired by a true story, the play follows the trail of a young black con man, who insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple, claiming that he is the son of actor Sidney Poitier. Captivated by his intelligence and his fascinating conversation, the couple invites him to stay, but slowly discover that not everything is what it seems on the surface. In this award winning, off-beat play, Guare examines the threads of chance that link one person to another and the consequences of lives that collide unexpectedly."
  • Romulus Linney's Democracy (Nov. 12-Dec. 20, 2009), directed by ensemble member Steven Fedoruk. "In Washington's political society of spring 1875, two beautiful American women must decide whether to marry two dashing American men, knowing they will also marry what their men believe about America, religion, truth and success. Linney's theatrical adaptation of two novels mixes Henry Adams' tales of love and ambition in Washington with scandals from the Ulysses S. Grant administration. This insightful vision of American democracy is scathing, passionate and funny." *

    The alumni writers being celebrated in the current 2008 season include Neil Simon (the Jeff-recommended Plaza Suite, to Aug. 31); Lillian Hellman's The Autumn Garden, directed by Eclipse artistic director Nathaniel Swift (Nov. 13–Dec. 21, 2008).

    The Eclipse ensemble is Cecil Averett, Cheri Chenoweth, Chris Corwin, Julie Daley, Steven Fedoruk, Anish Jethmalani, Thomas Jones, CeCe Klinger, Sarah Moeller, Kevin Scott, Steve Scott, Nathaniel Swift, Katie Vandehey and Frances Wilkerson.

    A non-profit organization founded in 1992, Eclipse Theatre Company presents the work of one playwright each season. Eclipse "offers the audience an opportunity, unique in the Midwest, to journey with them through the playwright's works. They explore the breadth and depth of a playwright's artistic worlds. One playwright, one season, one illuminating journey."

    Playwrights that have been featured with Eclipse include Jean Cocteau, Tennessee Williams, Lillian Hellman, Romulus Linney, John Guare, Neil Simon, Keith Reddin, Lanford Wilson, Rebecca Gilman and Pearl Cleage.

    For more information about the company, please visit

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