Director and actor David Cromer and much of the original cast of his 2008 staging of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town will reunite for a one-night-only return to Grovers Corners on January 22 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, as a benefit for the Hypocrites, the company that originally produced Cromer’s revival.
The 2008 Our Town marked a crucial growth moment for both the Hypocrites, for whom Cromer conceived the production in the Chopin Theatre’s basement space (and performed the role of the Stage Manager), and for Cromer’s own career—the director’s clout got a level-up after Our Town was picked up for an Off Broadway production at New York’s Barrow Street Theatre, taking some of the Hypocrites cast with it. Our Town ran for a year and a half at the Barrow Street; the same month that it closed there, September 2010, Cromer was named a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” grant.
All proceeds from the staged reading at Steppenwolf, announced this afternoon, will go to the Hypocrites’ future productions. The company announced two weeks ago that it would be canceling the final two productions of its 2016–17 season due to financial shortfalls, and in an interview with the Chicago Reader published earlier this week, artistic director and founder Sean Graney said the Hypocrites would shift from a subscription-season model to focusing on a single project at a time. Tickets for the January 22 reading of Our Town, $100 a seat, are on sale now.
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