The University of Chicago News Office
June 3, 2004

Court Theatre’s celebrates silver anniversary with classics

Bill Massolia
Director of Marketing and Communications
Court Theatre
(773) 702-7242

Box Office:
Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago
(773) 753-4472

News and reviews:
“Working the season's jigsaw puzzle”
[chicago sun-times]
May 27, 2004

“'Cyrano' shuns tradition with panache”
[chicago tribune]
May 31, 2004


Edward Albee’s lacerating look at relationships, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; a beautifully re-imagined production of a classic musical; a provocative look at Les Liasons Dangereues, Heiner Müller’s Quartet; a revival of Court Theatre’s 1995 hit Travesties; and Samuel Beckett’s finest and wittiest parable of human fate, Endgame

Court Theatre’s Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executive Director Diane Claussen have announced plans for the theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season, an ambitious and exciting line-up of re-imagined classic plays that honor the company's mission, artistry and history. The season is a collection of plays that are bold, outrageous, and joyful celebrating Court’s fifty years of artistic excellence and the theatre’s exciting future.

Court Theatre, the professional theatre in residence at the University of Chicago, is located at 5535 S. Ellis Ave. in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Five and four play subscriptions to Court’s 50th Anniversary Season are on sale now ranging from $46 to $250. To purchase a subscription or receive more information, call the Court Theatre Box Office, (773) 753-4472, or visit Court’s website,

Court Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season schedule is as follows:

Directed by Charles Newell with Music Direction by Doug Peck
November 18 – December 26, 2004 (Press opening November 27, 2004)
Court Theatre presents another imaginative look at musical theater with a production directed by Charles Newell with Music Director Doug Peck, the talent behind last season’s James Joyce’s “The Dead” and Guys and Dolls.
Written by Edward Albee
Directed by Charles Newell

September 23 – October 24, 2004 (Press opening October 2, 2004)
A professor at a small college and his wife invite a young married couple to stop by for a nightcap. Late night pleasantries and fun and games turn into a lacerating look at the older couple’s existence, where the emotional brutalizing they inflict upon each other fill an unspeakable void at their center. Edward Albee’s masterpiece of American drama combines the banal, the vulgar and the poetic. A harrowing theatrical experience of brilliant depth and pathos that is ultimately unforgettable. Featuring Chicago favorites Barbara Robertson and Kevin Gudahl.
Written by Heiner Müller
Edited and Translated by Carl Weber
Directed by JoAnne Akalaitis
February 3, 2005 – February 27, 2005 (Press opening February 12, 2005)
Performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Court Theatre continues its relationship with acclaimed director JoAnne Akalaitis with the third production of the season. Ms. Akalaitis, who brought her unique vision to Court’s productions of Philip Glass’ In the Penal Colony, Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart and Racine’s Phèdre now puts her artistic mark on a riveting and wicked version of Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liasons Dangereues entitled Quartet by Heiner Muller. German playwright Müller, who pioneered the European avant-garde movement of the 50’s, brings a startling new dimension to this famous story of lust, scheming and seduction. A terrifying and grotesque view of human fate brought to Court’s stage by one of the country’s leading directors.
Written by Tom Stoppard
Directed by Charles Newell
March 24, 2005 – April 24, 2005 (Press opening April 2, 2005)

Springing forth from the faulty memory of Henry Wilfred Carr, a minor official of the British consul, Travesties is the witty and brilliant collision of three major historical figures: Lenin, James Joyce and the Dadaist poet Tristan Tzara in 1917 Zurich. Jumping time and space in a dazzling fashion, this historical jaunt is the intelligent and hilarious creation of one of the world’s most notable playwrights. Directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell, Stoppard’s play is replete with limericks, puns, word play, contradiction and paradoxes that will excite the intellect.
Written by Samuel Beckett
Directed by Christopher Bayes
June 2, 2005 – June 26, 2005 (Press opening June 11, 2005)

The world is coming to an end and it may be less a terror than a relief. Beckett’s 1957 modernist classic finds the blind, bullying Hamm and his shambling, idiotic servant Clov trapped in a strange room. Nagg and Nell, Hamm’s elderly parents, are kept in ashbins, left to their feeble memories. In the barren world of Endgame , love and joy are elusive and illusory memories. Beckett’s finest and wittiest parable of human fate in a falling world is brought to life by celebrated director Christopher Bayes, who made his Court directorial debut with last season’s hilarious production of Scapin. Instead of the angst-ridden world usually associated with Beckett, Bayes envisions a world that, while at times sad and frightening, offers us glimpses of happiness and beauty amidst Beckett’s ironic humor and clown-like characters.

Flex-subscriptions and discounted student subscriptions to Court’s 50th Anniversary Season are available. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets after June 1 by calling Court’s Group Sales Office at (773) 753-4472. Single tickets go on sale August 1, 2004.

About to begin its 50th season, Court Theatre is nationally acclaimed for artistic excellence and vibrant stagings of the classics. Court’s mission is to celebrate the immutable power of classic theatre, defined by timeless themes and universal truths. Court strives to reveal these truths in works from the past, as well as advocate the discovery of new classics.

Court Theatre is partially supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; by a CityArts Program IV grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
Last modified at 12:07 PM CST on Wednesday, June 09, 2004.

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