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2013-2014 Season Subscription
City Lit Theater
Chicago, IL
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2013-2014 Season Subscription
William Shakespeare's final play and three world premiere literary adaptations will make up City Lit Theater's thirty-fourth season, artistic director Terry McCabe announced today. The shows will run in serial repertory, each rotating performances on City Lit's stage with at least one other show in the season.   During most weeks of the season, City Lit will have two productions running at once.  

City Lit's season consists of Shakespeare's The Tempest directed by Sheldon Patinkin with a score by Kingsley Day; the world premiere stage adaptation of the award-winning novel A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne, adapted by James Glossman and directed by McCabe; the world premiere stage adaptation of the
acclaimed horror novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, adapted and directed by Paul Edwards; and the world premiere adaptation of Confederates in the Attic by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Horwitz, adapted by McCabe and directed by Andrea J. Dymond.  Confederates in the Attic continues City Lit's five-part Civil War Sesquicentennial Project.

The Tempest opens the season, beginning preview performances January 31, 2014.  During its run, on February 28, A Crime in the Neighborhood will begin previews; the two shows will run in repertory thereafter, through The Tempest's closing date of March 16.  Twelve days later, on March 28, The Haunting of Hill House will preview; it will then run in rep with Crime through that show's closing on April 13.  Confederates in the Attic, the season's final production, will begin previews April 25 and run in rep with Haunting until that show closes on May 11, then finish out its run through June 7.

The Tempest is thought by scholars to be the final play Shakespeare wrote alone, and it is the only one that seems to some to be set in the New World, being based in part on first-person accounts of a famous 1609 shipwreck at Bermuda.  It is generally considered that the character Prospero is a stand-in of sorts for Shakespeare himself and that Prospero's renunciation of his life as a magician constitutes the playwright's farewell to the theatre.  

It has more music in it than any other Shakespeare play, having been written not for the open-air Globe Theatre but for the indoor Blackfriars Theatre, where Shakespeare's company produced in the winters toward the end of his career.  City Lit's production will feature a new score composed for the play by Kingsley Day.  Press opening for The Tempest is Monday, February 3, 2014, at 7:00 pm.
A Crime in the Neighborhood won the 1999 Orange Prize, given each year to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English.  It was also a New York Times Notable Book.  Set in a suburb of Washington D.C. in the summer of 1972, the book tells of three events that shatter the serenity of ten-year-old Marsha's life:  her father runs away with her mother's sister; a young boy of her acquaintance is molested and murdered; and the Watergate
scandal begins to unfold.  Living in a world no longer safe or familiar, Marsha turns increasingly to her "book of evidence" in which she records the doings of the neighbors, especially of shy Mr. Green next door.

The book is written in the voice of the adult Marsha recalling the events that changed her life that summer.  Glossman's adaptation breaks the character into two:  the 10-year-old girl she was when the events happened, and the adult woman who is looking back at it.  Press opening for A Crime in the Neighborhood is Monday, March 3, 2012, at 7:00 pm.

The Haunting of Hill House is widely considered one of the best literary ghost stories published during the twentieth century; it is number three on Stephen King's list of his ten favorite horror novels.  Its plot concerns Dr. Montague's hope to find scientific evidence of the existence of the supernatural. He rents Hill House, an empty eighty-year-old mansion thought to be haunted, for a summer and invites as his guests people he has chosen because of their past experience with paranormal events.

The book has been filmed twice, both times as simply The Haunting.  The 1963 film was faithful to the book and received favorable reviews; the 1999 version took significant liberties with the story and was widely panned.  The novel depends for its effects on psychological terrorfear of what might happenrather than on the shock value of explicit horror.

Paul Edwards also adapted and directed City Lit's previous production of a Shirley Jackson novel, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, two seasons ago. He won the 2013 Non-Equity Jeff Award for adapting City Lit's Peyton Place last season.  Press opening for The Haunting of Hill House is Monday, March 31, 2014, at 7:00 pm.

City Lit's thirty-fourth season concludes with Confederates in the Attic, an adaptation of first-person journalism by an acclaimed war correspondent and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.  In the mid-1990s, author Tony Horwitz set out on an odyssey across the South with little more in mind than to ask people what they thought about the Civil War.  

Among other adventures, Horwitz enters the subculture of hardcore Civil War re-enactors who starve themselves to attain the gauntness of underfed Confederates, spends an afternoon on a street corner with Ku Klux Klan recruiters, covers a killing sparked by the display of a Confederate battle flag, and sits in one classroom where white children are taught that slaves loved their masters and in another where black children believe that Abraham Lincoln owned slaves.  Two years later, he emerges with the story he subtitles "Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War."

Every April through 2015, through its Civil War Sesquicentennial Project, City Lit Theater is commemorating the Civil War with a series of productions-most of them world premieres-that explore the legacy of the war.  Confederates in the Attic is the fourth production in the series, following 2011's The Copperhead, 2012's Opus 1861, and 2013's Comrades Mine, all three Jeff-recommended.  It replaces the previously announced world premiere of The Bloodhound Law by Kristine Thatcher, which will open in April 2015 as the concluding production of City Lit's Civil War Project.  Press opening for Confederates in the Attic is Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at 7:00 pm.

City Lit Theater is located in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, one block west of Sheridan Road and a block and a half east of the Bryn Mawr Red Line L stop. The 84 Peterson bus, the 147 Lake Shore Express bus, and the 151 Sheridan bus all stop near City Lit. Valet parking and discounted self-parking are available for theatre customers.

City Lit receives funding from the Alphawood Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Saints, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Its outreach program is sponsored in part by A.R.T. League.

City Lit specializes in literate theatre, including stage adaptations of literary material.  Subscriptions to City Lit Theater cost $85, for tickets during the regular run, and $65 for tickets during previews.  They can be purchased online at or by phone at 773-293-3682.



City Lit Theater (View)
1020 W Bryn Mawr
Chicago, IL 60660
United States


Arts > Theatre

Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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