Remy Bumppo’s 2022 Season
Passage by Christopher Chen, directed by Kaiser Ahmed
March 2 – April 10, 2022
Theater Wit – Theater 2
Q is building a new life in Country X, having immigrated from Country Y. But it’s hard to make friends in Country X — the history between the two countries is fraught, and political tensions are running high. As Q tries to navigate interpersonal dynamics, the past and present collide in a complex geopolitical landscape. And no one is off the hook.
Christopher Chen’s deeply humane, exquisitely theatrical play is a kaleidoscopic examination of colonization, inspired by E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India. Tense, fascinating, delicate, and dangerous, you’ll be on the edge of your seat as this political drama unfolds.
Christopher Chen (Playwright) is an international award-winning playwright whose works have been produced across the United States and abroad. His play The Headlands received its world premiere at Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 in winter 2020. His play Passage received its world premiere at the Wilma Theater in 2018, and its NY premiere at Soho Rep in spring 2019. His play Caught (NYT Critics’ Pick) received its world premiere at the Interact Theater and NY premiere at The Play Company. Chen received a 2017 OBIE Award for his work on Caught. Additional honors include: 2021 USA Fellow; 2020 Steinberg Award (co-winner); 2017 Lanford Wilson Award (co-winner); 2015-2016 Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship for theater; Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, through which he was 2013-2014 playwright-in-residence at The Vineyard Theatre; Barrymore Award for “Outstanding New Play”; Glickman Award; Rella Lossy Playwriting Award; shortlist for the James Tait Black Award; the inaugural Ollie Award. He is currently under commission at various regional and NY theatres, including Audible, Cutting Ball Theater, Playwrights Horizons and Portland Center Stage. Chen also has an overall deal at Amazon TV.
Kaiser Ahmed (Director) is a Chicago-based theatre director, producer, teacher, and actor. Kaiser is a co-founder and the current Artistic Director of Jackalope Theatre Company. A Bangladeshi-American, Kaiser was recently named on NewCity’s “Players 2019: Fifty People Who Really Perform For Chicago”. At Jackalope, Kaiser directed Fast Company, 1980 (or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson), The Raid, and many others. Chicago credits also include the Midwest Premiere of The Late Henry Moss (The Artistic Home), Language Rooms (Broken Nose Theatre), Washer/Dryer and VANYA (or That’s Life!) (Rasaka Theatre). Regional credits include the World Premiere of Stoo’s Famous Martian-American Gumbo, an interactive and touring TYA play commissioned by Peppercorn Theatre in Winston-Salem, NC. Kaiser assistant directed Amy Morton on Guards at the Taj (Steppenwolf) and Gary Griffin on Hand to God (Victory Gardens). Kaiser is a 2015-16 Eugene O’Neill National Directors Fellowship Finalist, a 2016-17 Victory Gardens Directors Inclusion Initiative recipient, and an Associate Member of SDC. A member of SAG-AFTRA and proudly represented by Gray Talent, Kaiser has made television appearances on Fargo, Chicago Med, and others. As a teaching artist, Kaiser works with Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre & Mudlark Theatre. Kaiser holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago’s Theatre Directing program. http://kaiserahmed.org
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, directed by Gabrielle Randle-Bent
April 27 – June 5, 2022
Theater Wit – Theater 3
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.
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.
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.
2022 Season Subscriptions will be on sale soon!
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