Strawdog Theatre Company will produce eight shows in its 2014–15 season, the Lakeview theater announced this morning, including a remount of this season's acclaimed adaptation of Great Expectations. The Dickens show will be one of four in Strawdog's mainstage space, while the company's second-stage Hugen Hall programming will get leveled up, comprising four full productions and achieving Jeff Awards eligibility for the first time.
The mainstage season will open with Max Frisch's The Arsonists (August 15–September 27), directed by Matt Hawkins. Alistair Beaton's 2007 translation of the Swiss playwright's farce, perhaps better known in English as The Firebugs, had its Chicago debut in a 2012 Trap Door Theatre production. Jason Gerace will then restage Great Expectations (October 31–December 20), which on Monday received four Jeff nominations including Best Production—Play and Ensemble. Casting has not been finalized for the remount, but Strawdog says it hopes to have some of the 2013 cast back.
Marti Lyons will helm The Sweeter Option (February 13–March 28), a new play by Strawdog ensemble member John Henry Roberts, a comic thriller set in and around 1971 Chicago. Oracle Theatre artistic director will head a few doors up the street to make his Strawdog directing debut with Quiz Show (May 1–June 13), the U.S. premiere of Scottish playwright Rob Drummond's dark take on game shows and celebrity culture.
In Hugen Hall, Strawdog ensemble members Nikki Klix and Anderson Lawfer adapt the Cold War thriller Fail/Safe (September 14–October 14), from the 1964 Sidney Lumet film and the novel by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler; Lawfer directs. Darren Callahan's Desperate Dolls (November 23–December 23) is a lurid thriller about aspiring actresses under the thrall of a nefarious agent in 1968 Hollywood; Michael Driscoll will direct.
Titles remain to be announced for the third and fourth Hugen Hall shows: a literary adaptation by Ann Sonneville and Clint Sheffer of Bruised Orange Theater Company, directed by Mike Mroch, and a new family-friendly piece by the Forks and Hope Ensemble, which has previously mounted The Hunting of the Snark and Just So Stories in the space.