The Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion
directed by Gabrielle Randle-Bent
April 27-June 5, 2022

In 2003, Joan Didion’s life irrevocably changed when she was stuck with a double tragedy. As she grieves, she finds herself gripped by a magical sense that the deceased could still somehow return. An adaptation of her own Pulitzer-prize nominated book, celebrated essayist Didion (Slouching Toward Bethlehem) writes a raw, stupefyingly personal account of loss. Bracingly lucid and spellbindingly poetic, The Year of Magical Thinking is an honest and unsparing depiction of mourning and a pain that must be looked at to be understood.

Passage by Christopher Chen


“Finely directed.”- Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review
“Heart-tugging moments.”- Kerry Reid, Chicago Reader
“Intensely introspective.” – Karen Topham, Chicago on Stage
“Annabel Armour beautifully portrays Joan Didion.”- Julia W. Rath, Around the Town Chicago

Production Photos


Annabel Armour (she/her)

Susie Griffith (she/her) – u/s


Gabrielle Randle-Bent (she/her) – Director
Jennifer Gregory (she/her)- Stage Manager
Dani Wieder (she/they) – Dramaturg
Bindu Poorori (she/they)- Dramaturgical Curator
Yeaji Kim (she/her) – Scenic Designer
Jos N. Banks (he/they) – Costume Designer
Heather Sparling (she/her) – Lighting Designer
Jeffrey Levin (he/him) – Sound Designer and Original Music
Paloma Locsin (she/her) – Properties Designer
Ellen Willett (she/they) – Production Manager
Harrison Ornelas (he/him) – Technical Director
Missy Preston (they/them) – Producer
Claudia Kinahan (she/her)- Assistant Director
Lucy Whipp (she/her) – Assistant Stage Manager
Ben Carne (he/him) – Head Electrician
Ellie Terrell – Scenic Fabricator
Avi Vodnoy Wolf (they/he) – Mental Health Consultant
Ellen Willet (she/they) – Covid Compliance Officers

About The Cast


ANNABEL ARMOUR (Joan Didion) is a Core Ensemble Member at Remy Bumppo where some of her favorite roles have been in Top Girls (2001 & 2020), Bloomsday, hang, Fallen Angels, The Clean House (Jeff Nomination), Northanger Abbey, Seascape, The Goat or, Who is Sylvia (Jeff Award), Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Power, A Delicate Balance and Hapgood. Other Chicago credits include Cabaret (Marriott Lincolnshire); At Home at the Zoo, and Before My Eyes (Victory Gardens); Picnic (Writers); Sunday in the Park with George (Chicago Shakespeare); Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Irish Rep); Angels in America Pts. I & II (Journeymen); and The First Look Series (Steppenwolf). Other credits include Clybourne Park (Asolo Rep); Pride and Prejudice (Cleveland Playhouse); and The Grapes of Wrath (Ford’s Theatre D.C). Film credits include The Amityville Horror, Conviction and Contagion. Annabel is the recipient of three Joseph Jefferson Awards and two After Dark Awards.

About The Director


Gabrielle Randle-Bent (Director) is a scholar, dramaturg and director in Chicago. Her recent collaborations include co-directing Court Theatre’s production of The Tragedy of Othello The Moor of Venice with Charles Newell and co-directing an adaptation of Eve L. Ewing’s 1919 for Steppenwolf for Young Adults. She also served as the dramaturg for Court’s Theatre’s The Oedipus Trilogy and Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s digital production of I, Banquo directed by Marti Lyons. Gabrielle is a co-founder of the Civic Actor’s Studio, a program of the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement and an Ensemble member of Sideshow Theatre Company. She is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University and the proud mama of two tiny humans.

About The Playwright

JOAN DIDION ( Playwright)

Joan Didion (Playwright) has spent her adult life in New York and Los Angeles. Winner of the 2005 National Book Award, The Year of Magical Thinking is one of 13 books by Joan Didion. Her other books include Play It As It Lays, Democracy, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, Salvador, Miami and Political Fictions. With her husband, John Gregory Dunne, she wrote the screenplays for such pictures as The Panic in Needle Park with Al Pacino, True Confessions with Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall, A Star Is Born with Barbra Streisand and Up Close & Personal with Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert Redford. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which awarded her its 2005 Gold Medal in nonfiction. She also received the 1996 Edward MacDowell Medal, the 1999 Columbia Journalism Award and the 2002 George Polk Book Award. She contributes to various periodicals, most frequently The New York Review of Books.

Administrative Office

3759 N. Ravenswood Avenue
Suite 124
Chicago, IL 60613

Performance Venue

Theater Wit
1229 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60657
Box Office: 773.975.8150

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