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Haven Theatre Company plans Chicago premieres by Idris Goodwin, Young Jean Lee

Written by
Kris Vire
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Haven Theatre Company has announced a new slate of two full productions, a new group of early-career directors for its Director’s Haven initiative, a new residency at the Den Theatre and a new focus for the four-year-old company: emerging artists.

“We are committing to championing voices—in playwriting, direction and beyond—that are establishing themselves as the immediate future of the American Theatre,” artistic director Josh Sobel said in a written statement. “We are committing to providing structured space for artists in their earliest stages of professional development—our future artistic leaders—as we began last season with our Director’s Haven initiative.” 

The two full productions are Idris Goodwin’s How We Got On (September 29–November 13) and Young Jean Lee’s We’re Gonna Die (May 8–June 18). Goodwin's coming-of-age story about affluent suburban teens discovering hip-hop in the 1980s, first seen at the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New Plays in 2012, will be staged by Jess McLeod. Lee’s piece, a sort of cabaret performance about our inevitable ends, will be directed by Sobel.

For the Director’s Haven, young artists Carol Ann Tan, Alyssa White and Sammy Zeisel will be given support to stage short works to be determined; they'll be presented on a shared bill October 28–November 9. All performances will take place at the Den.

Haven concludes its current season with the U.S. premiere of The Distance, by British playwright Deborah Bruce. In the 2014 work, Bea's friends don't know what to make of her return to England, having left behind the family she moved to Australia to start five years earlier. Staged by Elly Green, it runs May 20–June 26 at Raven Theatre.

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