Remy Bumppo’s 2024-2025 Season

“In our 2024-2025 season at Remy Bumppo we explore the power of connection. From Sarah Ruhl’s exquisite piece, Dear Elizabeth to the plays in our Readings on Ravenswood series to Yasmina Reza’s witty and biting work, Art, each examines how connections are formed and tested.

Together, these pieces consider the bonds that transcend time and place, the ties that hold no matter what the world may throw our way, and the relationships that stand the test of time. We look forward to connecting with our audiences through the experience of these beautiful works in the year ahead.”

– Remy Bumppo Artistic Director, Marti Lyons

Dear Elizabeth

by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Creative Producer Christina Casano

October 17 – November 17, 2024

In 1947, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell’s first letters sparked a friendship that spanned 30 years, crossing continents and filling countless pages. Their correspondence, a blend of poetry and personal musings, became the anchor of their tumultuous lives. Despite rare meetings, their connection transcended the bounds of a traditional love story, evolving into a profound friendship.

Dear Elizabeth peeks into the private lives of two literary giants, revealing their vulnerabilities, insecurities, and the intimacy of their bond. Sarah Ruhl creates a poignant narrative by weaving the poets’ letters together, providing a window into their extraordinary connection, the enduring power of their words, and, ultimately, the transformative power of language and art.

Christina Casano is a theatre artist based in Chicago. Her training includes a BA in Theatre from Miami University, Victory Gardens Theater’s Director’s Inclusion Initiative, and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Summer Professional Training Program. Selected directing credits: I Build Giants and Poison (The Plagiarists), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stone Soup Shakespeare), Socks & Co. (workshop, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre), Work in Progress (workshop, The Plagiarists) How To Murder… (workshop, Bramble Theatre), Blood of My Mother’s (workshop reading, Wayward Sisters), Plaid As Hell (Babes With Blades), Deep Shadows (audio drama, EFCT), Fame Heaux (staged reading, Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival). Other favorite projects: Short Shakes! Romeo & Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Some Like It Red and The Epic of Gilgamesh, etc. (The Plagiarists), How To Defend Yourself (Victory Gardens), Bury Me (Dandelion Theatre), The Light Fantastic (Jackalope Theatre). www.cmrcasano.com

Sarah Ruhl is an award-winning American playwright, author, essayist and professor. Her plays include Orlando, The Oldest Boy, Dear Elizabeth, Stage Kiss, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2010); The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2005; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play (Pen American Award, Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center); Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play); Melancholy Play; Demeter in the City (nine NAACP Image Award nominations); Scenes From Court Life; How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday; Eurydice; Orlando and Late: a cowboy song. Her plays have been produced on Broadway and across the country as well as internationally, and translated into fourteen languages. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her M.F.A. from Brown University, where she studied with Paula Vogel. She is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a PEN Center Award for mid-career playwrights, a Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award and a Lilly award. She is a member of 13P and New Dramatists and won the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. She teaches at Yale School of Drama and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

ART

by Yasmina Reza, Translated by Christopher Hampton, directed by Artistic Director Marti Lyons

May 1 – June 1, 2025

When Serge splurges on a controversial painting, it sparks a lively debate among his best friends, Marc and Yvan. What begins as playful banter soon escalates into heated arguments. As tensions build, their discussion of the subjective nature of art begins to expose the raw nerves at the center of the friendship. Will a piece of art sever their connection or bring them closer than ever?

Art examines the quirky dynamics of friendship and the enigmatic world of art through Yasmina Reza’s sharp wit and clever dialogue. This hilarious and thought-provoking comedy navigates the fine line between laughter and introspection, exploring the true value of both art and friendship.

Marti Lyons most recently directed Love Song by John Kolvenbach and Galileo’s Daughter by Jessica Dickey at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. Lyons also directed Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley at Northlight Theatre, Wife of a Salesman by Eleanor Burgess at Milwaukee Rep, Sense and Sensibility adapted by Jessica Swale at American Players Theatre and the world-premiere of John Proctor is the Villain by Kimberly Belflower at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. Selected other credits include: The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess at Writers Theatre; Cymbeline at American Players Theatre; The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe and Kings by Sarah Burgess at Studio Theatre; the world-premiere of How to Defend Yourself by Liliana Padilla, a Victory Gardens and Actors Theatre of Louisville co-production; Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee at Victory Gardens and City Theatre; Witch by Jen Silverman at Geffen Playhouse and Writers Theatre (LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Direction); Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías at Victory Gardens; Botticelli in the Fire by Jordan Tannahill at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; I, Banquo at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Title and Deed by Will Eno at Lookingglass Theatre Company and Laura Marks’ Bethany and Mine at The Gift Theatre. Lyons is also an ensemble member at The Gift Theatre and a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Yasmina Reza is a French playwright and novelist, based in Paris, whose works have all been multi-award-winning, critical and popular international successes, produced worldwide and translated into 35 languages. She has written seven plays including Conversations After a Burial, The Passage of Winter, Art, The Unexpected Man, Life X 3, A Spanish Play, God of Carnage, How You Talk the Game and six novels: “Hammerklavier,” “Une Desolation (Desolation),” “Adam Haberberg,” “Dans la Luge d’Arthur Schopenhauer,” “Nulle Part” and “L’Aube, le Soir ou la Nuit (Dawn Dusk or Night)“. Her films include “Le Pique-Nique de Lulu Kreutz,” directed by Didier Martiny, and “Chicas,” written and directed by the author.

Christopher Hampton’s plays and musicals have so far garnered four Tony Awards, three Olivier Awards, four Evening Standard Awards and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award; prizes for his film and television work include an Oscar, two BAFTAs, a Writers’ Guild of America Award, the Prix Italia, a Special Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Hollywood Screenwriter of the Year and The Collateral Award at the Venice Film Festival for Best Literary Adaptation. Original plays include Appomattox, The Talking Cure, White Chameleon, Tales From Hollywood, Treats, Savages, The Philanthropist, Total Eclipse, and When Did You Last See My Mother? Adaptations from novels: Youth Without God (Horváth), Embers (Márai) and Les Liasons Dangereuses (Laclos). Musicals: Stephen Ward, Dracula: The Musical and Sunset Boulevard. Libretti: “Appomattox,” “The Trial” and “Waiting for the Barbarians” (all for Philip Glass).

Translations include plays by Chekhov, Ibsen, Molière, Horváth, Yasmina Reza and Florian Zeller. His films include: “Ali and Nino,” “A Dangerous Method,” “Chéri,” “Atonement,” “The Quiet American,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Good Father,” “The Honorary Consul,” “Total Eclipse,” “Mary Reilly,” “Tales From The Vienna Woods” and “A Doll’s House.” He wrote and directed “Imagining Argentina,” “The Secret Agent” and “Carrington.” His television credits include: “The Thirteenth Tale,” “The Ginger Tree,” “Hôtel Du Lac,” “The History Man” and “Able’s Will.”

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Chicago, Illinois 60657
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