Adventure Stage Chicago Announces 2016 – 2017 Season:
Two New Works, an International Commission, and Its First Touring Production

(CHICAGO – May 31, 2016) – Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC), a Northwestern Settlement (the Settlement) program, announces its 2016 – 2017 season.  Kicking off its thirteenth season, ASC continues its commitment to new work and original storytelling in the spirit of service and community-building.

“New work is an integral part of ASC’s creative offering, and we are excited to share the development of two entirely new plays: a collaboration with the National Theatre of Scotland as the only commissioned U.S. participant of its Home Away international festival, and a commemorative piece to celebrate the Settlement’s 125th anniversary of continuous service to, and presence in, Chicago’s West Town community and beyond,” said Tom Arvetis, ASC Artistic Producing Director.  “In addition to these two new plays, we welcome back to the mainstage the second annual Chicago International Puppet Festival and a remount of our highly popular Six Stories Tall.”

ASC’s new season begins in September at the Vittum Theater.

Adventure Stage Chicago 2016-17 Season:

Harriet Vittum’s Violin (Title in progress)
Home Away Festival – National Theatre of Scotland
September 17-18, 2016
Ms. Harriet Vittum gave a violin to a young boy and told him to return it when he was done.  80 years later, he gave it back to Northwestern Settlement. What did he do with the violin for all of those years? And what made him know he was finished with it?  What does it mean to bring the object back to its home but not to its owner? The only U.S. company to be commissioned by the National Theatre of Scotland to participate in their Home Away festival, ASC, led by ensemble member Sarah Rose Graber, will tell the story of this decades-long community connection.

About the Harriet Vittum’s Violin production team:

Sarah Rose Graber (Director) Recently named one of 15 Women to Watch in 2015 by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine, Sarah Rose is a performer, director, and teaching artist working in both Chicago and the United Kingdom, and is an ensemble member with Adventure Stage Chicago.  She received a US-UK Fulbright Scholarship from 2013-14 to study devising theatre. Originally from Miami, FL, she attended Northwestern University, where she received her degree in Theatre and completed her thesis in Performance Studies. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, which piqued her interest in the international theatre scene.  This led to Graber winning the Circumnavigator Scholar Grant, with which she travelled completely around the world to Scotland, England, South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius, Western Australia, New South Wales, New Zealand, and Argentina to study theatre for social change.

John Szymanski (Composer/Music Director) is excited to be making his Adventure Stage Chicago debut. Recent credits include One Came Home (Lifeline Theatre, Jeff nomination for original music in a play), Ulysses (the Plagiarists), Trust Us/Screw You (the Neo-Futurists), and

The Whiskey Radio Hour (the Whiskey Rebellion).  John is an Artistic Associate with the Neo-Futurists, and is active as a musician, composer, audio engineer and producer throughout the Chicago area and beyond.

Jack’s House by Jessy Lauren Smith, Directed by Jess McCloud
October 29 – November 27, 2016
ASC celebrates the Settlement’s125th anniversary with a site-specific production, incorporating time travel and peering into the farthest recesses of Adventure Stage’s home building. Jack’s House asks the audience to choose how they can help those who need it the most.

About the Jack’s House production team:

Jessy Lauren Smith (Playwright) is a Chicago-based writer, educator, storyteller, and producer whose plays have been performed in Chicago, Boston, Colorado, and Texas.  She has been a finalist or semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Playwriting Conference, The Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, the Heideman Award, the Playwrights’ Center Core Apprentice Program, the Ingram New Works Lab, and Stage Left’s Playwright Residency, among others.  She has also been an artist-in-residence with Blast Theory (Brighton, UK) and the Ragdale Foundation.  Jessy received her MFA from Northwestern University and is Managing Director of the Chicago branch of Living Room Playmakers, a playwright-driven collective that writes plays for unusual spaces.

Jess McLeod (Director) Recent Chicago credits include Lauren Yee’s in a word (Strawdog Theatre), Blu Rhythm (Lyric Unlimited/Lyric Opera), Shawn Pfautsch’s Season on the Line (The House Theatre of Chicago); Babes In Arms (Porchlight Revisits); Kevin Coval’s L-vis Live! (Victory Gardens); Emily Schwartz’s Funeral Wedding: The Alvin Play (Strange Tree Group); Bathsheba Doran’s Kin (Griffin Theatre); Venus (Steppenwolf Next Up!); The Wedding Singer (Haven Theatre); The 48-Hour Musicals: Encore!, The Pajama Game, and Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen’s Fugitive Songs (The Music Theatre Company). Workshops include: Goodman Theatre, American Theater Company, Steep Theatre, American Music Theatre Project. Assistant/ Associate Director credits include: Gary Griffin (Dallas Theater Center, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, City Center Encores!), Anna D. Shapiro (Steppenwolf), Michael Rohd (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). McLeod served as Director of Programming, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (2005-08) and currently serves as a Teaching Artist with Storycatchers Theatre. M.F.A., Northwestern University. Upcoming: Idris Goodwin’s How We Got On (Haven Theatre) and Las Meninas (The Hypocrites).

Chicago International Puppet Festival
January 19-29, 2017
Following the sold out performances of Laurent Bigot’s Le Petit Cirque, ASC will participate in the second annual Chicago International Puppet Festival.

Six Stories Tall by Marco Ramirez
March 24 – April 29
ASC embarks on its first ever regional tour, reviving its electrifying production of Six Stories Tall, taking it to Memphis and New York, bookended by a remount in Chicago. Incorporating an eclectic mix of narrative influences–including comic books, video games, hip-hop dance, Latino folklore, and urban mythology–Six Stories Tall celebrates the heroic actions of young people. The show’s unique storytelling structure incorporates a DJ and dance to take the audience on a thrilling, heartfelt journey.

Media Contact: Mariaelena Morales
Adventure Stage Chicago

About Adventure Stage Chicago:

Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC) creates and tells heroic stories about young people.  Uniquely involving our West Town neighbors into the creation process, ASC’s original productions contain themes and ideas that are developed with input from community members.  ASC also offers: Neighborhood Bridges, the in-classroom arts residency program; Trailblazers, a youth mentoring program for ages 11-15; summer drama camps, and drama instruction in Head Start.

ASC is a program of the Northwestern University Settlement House (the Settlement), a community service organization founded in 1891, which provides Chicago’s West Town community and surrounding neighborhoods with wrap-around social service, educational, and arts programs.

Adventure Stage Chicago is a member of IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth), League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), and TYA/USA.