Theatre Seven of Chicago will be in residence at High Concept Labs for its entire 2012-13 season. The award-winning company’s seventh season includes four new-to-Chicago plays which explore the diverse Chicago experience, a monthly reading series and other auxiliary programming.
In November, the company opens American Storm, a Chicago premiere from Carter Lewis, where in the summer of 1962, a small Ohio town discovers a prize thoroughbred in the stables of the local track. With big business promising to take Weldon Downs corporate, the track workers learn soon enough that not even hope comes for free. In February 2013, Theatre Seven participates in Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep with the Chicago Premiere of Blacktop Sky, by Christina Anderson. After police rough up a resident of the local housing projects, Ida takes an interest in the homeless man who sleeps by her favorite bench. Blacktop Sky explores the intersection of violence and seduction while investigating an institution with a haunting Chicago legacy: the public housing project.
In June 2013, Artistic Director Brian Golden pens Johnny, about a twelve year old paperboy disappears without a trace on a cool September morning in 1982. Fifteen years later, he returns to his mother’s front porch to tell the tale of his lost childhood. Or does he? Johnny is a new play about a haunting mystery and the limits of grief. And throughout the year, Theatre Seven embarks on Unwilling and Hostile Instruments: 100 Years of Extraordinary Chicago Women a celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s sufferage in Illinois. As Chicago women lobbied legislators for the right to vote in 1913, one opponent declared the entire female sex ‘merely the unwilling and hostile instruments by which humanity is created.’ 100 years later, we celebrate women’s suffrage in Illinois with seven new short plays about extraordinary Chicago women from the last century.
Throughout the year, Theatre Seven will also produce Shikaakwa, a monthly reading series designed to offer the public a look at new-to-Chicago plays throughout the year, and introduce them to some of Chicago’s best actors and directors. Shikaakwa is named for the Miami Illinois word for the wetlands region which eventually became Chicago.
Theatre Seven of Chicago produces new and original work that speaks directly to the diverse Chicago community with imagination and clarity. Since 2007, the company has produced sixteen standout offerings, greeted over 12,000 audience members, paid 200+ artists for their contributions and been a three-time finalist for and the 2012 winner of the League of Chicago Theatres’ Emerging Theatre Award. The company’s noted World Premieres include The Chicago Landmark Project, We Live Here, Diversey Harbor (“Hottest Ticket in Town” – Chicago Tribune), Yes, This Really Happened To Me (Critic’s Choice – Chicago Reader), as well as Cooperstown, which earned the company nominations for one Jeff Award and two Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The company’s 2009 remount of Marisa Wegrzyn’s Diversey Harbor was featured in NewCity’s “Greatest Hits of the Decade,” and 2011’s The Chicago Landmark Project capped Theatre Seven’s fifth season by bringing together over 75 artists to create World Premiere short plays about twelve different Chicago neighborhoods. The plays were called “as good a portrait of the diversity of this city as you can currently find” by the Chicago Tribune and published in a collection now for sale across the nation. Recently, We Live Here was honored with Jeff Award nominations for Best New Work and Video Design & Cinematography. The company also hosts a robust menu of auxiliary programming, including a monthly reading series, Shikaakwa, showcasing new-to-Chicago plays and one of the best post-show discussions in town. In each of its six seasons, Theatre Seven has produced at least one play set in Chicago, and is a resident company at the historic Greenhouse Theater Center in the heart of Lincoln Park. The company is funded with the generous support of the Chicago Community Trust, Richard M. Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Saints, Broadway in Chicago and the Community Arts Assistance Program. Learn more about Theatre Seven of Chicago at