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Pudd'nhead Wilson
City Lit Theater
Chicago, IL
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Pudd'nhead Wilson

A world premiere City Lit adaptation of Mark Twains final novel set in America, Pudd'nhead Wilson, will begin previews on Friday, May 2 and open for the press on Monday, May 5.  The production, adapted by Terry McCabe and Brian Pastor, and directed by McCabe, runs through June 15.
Pudd'nhead Wilson is Twains last long look at America through the lens of his boyhood hometown of Hannibal, Missouri.  Set in a fictionalized version of that town during the same antebellum period as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pudd'nhead tells the story of Roxana, a woman whose ancestry is 1/16th African.  Even one drop of African blood designates her by law as black and holds her in slavery.  To save her son (by a white father, and hence of 1/32nd African ancestry) from the same fate, she switches him in the cradle with a legally white baby.

Twains most forceful depiction of the American original sin, Pudd'nhead Wilson explores the damage that slavery has done to both white and black.  Always fascinated by the themes of twinhood and exchanged identity, Twain began writing his tale of switched babies as part of Those Extraordinary Twins, a more purely comic piece about a pair of conjoined Italian twins visiting a small Missouri town.  He abandoned that piece when Roxanas more substantial tale emerged in the writing, though some of the adventures of the Italians remain in Pudd'nhead as a subplot.  The City Lit adaptation incorporates ideas and material from Those Extraordinary Twins.

The cast for City Lits production is as follows:  Jerry Bloom, Kingsley Day, Ehren Fournier, Noelle Hardy, Dan Howard, Randolph Johnson, Jim Morley, Craig J. Newman, Katy Nielsen, Mark Pracht, Adam Todd and Shawna Tucker.   The design team is Nathan Rohrer (costumes), Katie Claudnic (lighting) and Keith Pitts (set).  

Pudd'nhead Wilson will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM, May 2 through June 15.  Press opening is Monday, May 5 at 7:00 PM.  Ticket prices are $18 for previews and $25 after opening.  Discounts are available for seniors, students and groups of ten or more.  Tickets can be reserved by going to or by calling (773) 293-3682.

City Lit's production of Pudd'nhead Wilson is the fifth and final production of its twenty-eighth season.  City Lit receives funding from the Alphawood Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs CityArts program, the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, The Saints, and Polk Bros. Foundation.  Its outreach program is sponsored in part by A.R.T. League.

City Lit specializes in literate theatre, including stage adaptations of literary material.  

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 is available for theatre customers on Friday and Saturday evenings at Francesca's Restaurant, located across the street from City Lit.  Discounted self-parking is available for theatre customers on all performance days, with validation from the Edgewater Beach Cafe, located in the Edgewater Beach Apartments building one block east of the theatre.



City Lit Theater
1020 W. Bryn Mawr
Chicago, IL 60660
United States

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Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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