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Victory Gardens Theater has revealed a slate of five plays for its 2014-15 season, back up from the current season's truncated three titles. The company will stage world premieres by Lauren Yee and Marcus Gardley, along with Chicago premieres of works by Samuel D. Hunter, Colm Tóibín and Ayad Akhtar.
The season opens with ensemble playwright Hunter's Rest (September 12–October 12), about a retirement home in decline; it will reunite the playwright with director Joanie Schultz, whose VG production of Hunter's The Whale was my top pick of 2013.
Tóibín's The Testament of Mary, a solo play about the mother of Jesus, was a Tony nominee for best play last year. Former VG artistic director Dennis Začek returns to direct for the first time since stepping down in 2011 (November 14–December 14).
Seth Bockley will stage Yee's Samsara (February 6–March 8, 2015), a comedy about American parents-to-be using an Indian surrogate that was developed at VG's IGNITION Festival in 2012. Current artistic director Chay Yew will helm ensemble playwright Gardley's A Wonder in My Soul (April 3–May 3, 2015), a Bronzeville-set play with music about the bitter reunion of a ’60s soul group whose members have been feuding for decades. (Gardley's The Gospel of Lovingkindness opens at Victory Gardens tomorrow night.)
The season ends on Akhtar's The Who and the What (June 12–July 12, 2015), which focuses on the strain between tradition and progress in an Atlanta Muslim family. It'll be staged by Kimberly Senior, who directed Akhtar's Pulitzer-winning Disgraced in its world premiere at Chicago's American Theater Company and later again in its New York premiere at Lincoln Center Theater.