Tennessee Williams' Escape Will Dance in Chicago World Premiere by American Theater Co.

News   Tennessee Williams' Escape Will Dance in Chicago World Premiere by American Theater Co.
American Theater Company's 27th season in Chicago will feature a world premiere dance-theatre piece called Escape, melding modern dance with the words of Tennessee Williams.

The Chicago premiere of Jessica Dickey's forgiveness-themed The Amish Project and revivals of K2 and Rent are also planned by the ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question, "What does it mean to be an American?"

It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, directed by Jason W. Gerace, will return for a tenth and final holiday season.

The world premiere of Williams' "recently discovered" Escape in March 2012 will be directed by ATC artistic director PJ Paparelli, with choreography by DanceLoop's Paula Frasz.

Here's how ATC bills the work: "America. 1940. Recently discovered in the vaults of America's most prolific playwright, ATC pushes the boundaries of theatre by merging groundbreaking works from Tennessee Williams with the power of modern dance. ATC artistic director PJ Paparelli teams up with DanceLoop Chicago artistic director Paula Frasz to stage three theatrical explorations of escape in America: from white oppression in the Bible Belt, from a co-dependent mother and son in New England, to the bacchanal of Mardi Gras in New Orleans."

The Amish Project in September will be directed by Paparelli and feature ATC ensemble member Sadieh Rifai. According to ATC, "Five years ago, a 30-year old man walked into a one-room Amish schoolhouse and opened fire, killing five girls and himself. In a decision that shocks the world, the Amish community later the same day forgives his crime and offers aid to his grieving widow. Rifai performs this devastating tour-de-force through the mystical world of the Amish and the ultimate limits of forgiveness."

Patrick Meyers' K2, in January 2012, will be directed by ATC ensemble member Jaime Castañeda and feature ATC ensemble members Usman Ally and Kareem Bandealy. In the 1983-set drama, "two American climbers face the unimaginable after an accident cripples them near the top of the world's most treacherous mountain."

The actors will dangle high above the audience "for this 75-minute theatrical heart-stopper that explores the boundaries of the human spirit." This production offers "100 standard theatre seats as well as 20 supine position seats directly underneath the actors."

Jonathan Larson's Rent, as previously announced, will be a co-production with About Face Theatre, directed by AFT artistic director Bonnie Metzger and Paparelli. It plays May 2012.

For more information about the season, visit www.atcweb.org.

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