UIC Theatre spotlights transformative power of drama

Luigi Salerni 1

Luigi Salerni directs UIC Theatre’s “Eurydice.”

The newly designated School of Theatre and Music, directed by actor/playwright Christine Mary Dunford, invites audiences to experience what Dunford calls “the transformative power of great theatre” during a transformative season.

“The four plays in our season explore changing identity in one way or another,” Dunford says. “We’re on the brink of a new identity as we become the School of Theatre and Music, committed to building our programs, faculty and facilities.”

Dunford and Yasen Peyankov, head of the theatre program, plan to make one play each season a new work in development.

This year, it is “i wonder if it’s possible to have a love affair that lasts forever or things I found on craigslist” by christopher oscar pena, playwright in residence at the Goodman Theatre, who eschews capital letters for this production about making meaning in our cyber-dominated lives.

Tickets to all productions are $16 for the general public, $14 for UIC faculty and staff, and $11 for UIC students. To order, call 312-996-2939.

• “Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Luigi Salerni, professor of theatre. Oct. 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 6, 9 and 13 at 2 p.m.

Orpheus braves the underworld to rescue his bride, Eurydice, who has died on their wedding day. But is she ready to leave her father, Hades? MacArthur fellow Sarah Ruhl tells her version of the Greek myth of doomed lovers from the woman’s point of view.

• “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare, directed by Rob Clare. Nov. 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 17, 20 and 24 at 2 p.m.; November 19, noon.

In Shakespeare’s comedy of twins, triangles and mistaken identity, a young woman disguises herself as a man to be near the man she loves, but gets more than she bargained for.

Clare is an internationally known Shakespearean scholar whose directing credits range from the Royal Shakespeare Company to Hindi productions.

Derrick Sanders

Derrick Sanders, assistant professor of theatre, directs “Clybourn Park.”

• “Clybourn Park” by Bruce Norris, directed by Derrick Sanders, assistant professor of theatre. Feb. 21, 22, 27, 28 and March 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 23, 26 and March 2 at 2 p.m.; Feb. 25, noon.

This Pulitzer- and Tony-winning satire begins in 1959, when white homeowners try to stop a bungalow in their neighborhood from being sold to a black family — apparently, the Youngers from “A Raisin in the Sun.” Fifty years later, black neighbors try to stop the same house from being sold to a white family attracted by the area’s impending gentrification.

• “i wonder if it’s possible to have a love affair that lasts forever or things I found on craigslist” by christopher oscar pena, playwright-in-residence, Goodman Theatre, directed by Marti Lyons, literary manager, Lookingglass Theatre Company; April 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m.; April 13, 16 and 19 at 2 p.m.

A group of 20-somethings face their 10-year high school reunion with insecurities over finding a purpose in life, finding love, and being stuck in their past and online lives. This play, by a member of the Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unity, has been called “the Big Chill for millennials.”

Lyons is directing “9 Circles” at Chicago’s Storefront Theater. She directed a staged reading of “Prowess” at the Goodman Theatre and the world premieres of “Cities of Light” at Piven Theatre Workshop and Lucas Neff’s “The Last Duck” with Jackalope Theatre Company. 

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