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The Gift Theatre announces 2016 season

Written by
Kris Vire

The Gift Theatre will take a field trip away from its Jefferson Park home to kick off its 2016 season, the company's 15th, opening with a staging of Shakespeare's Richard III at the Steppenwolf Garage. The Gift's artistic director, Michael Patrick Thornton, will play the title role in director Jessica Thebus's production, running March 3–May 1.

The company returns to its Northwest Side storefront for a story that hardly seems like it could fit on its stage: Frank Galati's adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, directed by Erica Weiss for a June 16–August 14 run. The original production of Galati's adaptation at Steppenwolf in 1988, which transferred to Broadway in 1990 and won that year's Tony Award for best play, had a cast of more than 40 actors—nearly the size of the audience at the Gift.

The season's final entry is a new play reuniting director John Gawlik and playwright Melissa Ross (Thinner Than Water). A Life Extra Ordinary, a mystery about a pregnant woman who disappears from an Ohio town on Christmas Eve, runs September 29–November 20.

The Gift's current show, Body + Blood, continues through August 9.

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