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A Red Orchid Theatre announces 2017–2018 season

Written by
Kris Vire
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A Red Orchid Theatre has revealed the lineup for its 25th anniversary season, to include a world-premiere adaptation by ensemble member Brett Neveu of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, to be directed by Michael Shannon.

Neveu’s play, Traitor, is set on the North Shore in the present day, and will feature ensemble members Dado, Larry Grimm, Danny McCarthy, Guy Van Swearingen and Natalie West among its cast. Running January 11 to February 25, Traitor will precede Robert Falls’s Goodman Theatre production of An Enemy of the People opening in March. (The national service organization Theatre Communications Group doesn’t release its annual survey of the upcoming season’s most-produced plays until September, but Enemy and its variants seem likely to be high on the list as a response to the current political climate.)

Bookending Traitor in the three-show season will be the Chicago premieres of Wallace Shawn’s dystopian cocktail-party comedy Evening at the Talk House, directed by Shade Murray and featuring Lance Baker, Kirsten Fitzgerald and West (running October 5 to November 19), and 33 to Nothing, a play with rock music by Grant James Varjas (Accidentally, Like a Martyr) that takes the form of a band’s rehearsal; Steve Haggard will star, with a director to be announced.

In addition to the regular season, A Red Orchid announces two special presentations: In summer 2018, the company will revisit its 1995 production of Eugene Ionesco’s Victims of Duty, with Michael Shannon and Guy Van Swearingen reprising their roles and Shira Piven directing (exact dates TBA). And as previously announced in April, Shannon will also return to his role in A Red Orchid’s 2013 production of Sam Shepard’s Simpatico for a remount at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey. The entire cast and production team will reunite, with actors Shannon, Van Swearingen, Kristin Ellis, Jennifer Engstrom, Mierka Girten and Doug Vickers and designers Grant Sabin, Christine Pascual, Mike Durst, Joe Court joining director Dado and stage manager Christa van Baale for the New Jersey production this fall, September 8 to October 8.

A Red Orchid will also host the Roustabouts under AROT’s Incubator program, producing a new play by Ike Holter; further details remain to be announced.

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