Victory Gardens Blossoms: Five World Premieres Will Play Restored Biograph in Chicago in 2006-07

News   Victory Gardens Blossoms: Five World Premieres Will Play Restored Biograph in Chicago in 2006-07
Victory Gardens Theater's first full season of works at its new $11.3 million mainstage at Chicago's historic Biograph Theater, will boast a collection of world premieres, the Tony Award honored troupe announced March 28.

VGT's mission is to produce new works by its pool of ensemble member playwrights, as well as giving voice to outsiders or plays that have not been seen in Chicago.

Five consecutive new plays, four by members of the theatre's own Playwrights Ensemble, make up the 2006-07 season.

Victory Gardens artistic director Dennis Zacek announced the plays for the Biograph, the former movie house notorious at the spot where criminal John Dillinger was gunned down.

Denmark, by VGT ensemble member Charles Smith, about freed slave and insurrectionist Denmark Vesey, will be the Biograph's inaugural work (Sept. 29-Nov. 12.) Zacek will direct.

Victory Gardens will present the world premiere holiday season musical The Snow Queen, based on the book by Hans Christian Andersen, by legendary folk musician Michael Smith in collaboration with acclaimed director Frank Galati, with visual and puppet design by Blair Thomas & Company (Dec. 1-Jan. 7, 2007). Smith and Galati are not members of VGT's playwrights ensemble. VGT ensemble member Jeffrey Sweet's Court-Martial at Fort Devens, a new fact-based drama about a newly discovered legal battle involving young black female soldiers in World War II, will premiere under the direction of Andrea J. Dymond (Feb. 2-March 11, 2007).

Victory Gardens' fourth premiere is Cynical Weathers, ensemble member Douglas Post's new contemporary drama about a Republican Texas congressman caught in the crossfire between his liberal wife, a scientist studying global warming, and his evangelical chief of staff (April 6-May 13, 2007).

VGT's inaugural season at the Biograph ends with the world premiere of ensemble member Claudia Allen's new adaptation of I Sailed with Magellan, based on the popular collection of short stories by Stuart Dybek, "rooted in the stark urban landscapes of Chicago" (June 8-July 15, 2007).

In addition to its all-world premiere season at the Biograph, Victory Gardens will co-present with Gilyard Productions LLC a sixth play at its current home at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue: Athol Fugard's drama My Children, My Africa, starring stage, TV and film actor Clarence Gilyard. It will be directed by VGT founder Cecil O'Neal, as the debut production in the newly-rechristened Victory Gardens Greenhouse (May 3-June 10, 2007).

Initial 2006-07 VGT casting includes Velma Austin, Anthony Fleming III and A.C. Smith (in Denmark), Cheryl Lynn Bruce (in The Snow Queen).

For more information, call (773) 871-3000 or visit

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