Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Angel Ysaguirre, Executive Director, continues its 2019/20 season with Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, translated by Nicholas Rudall and directed by Charles Newell. Oedipus Rex runs November 7 – December 8, 2019 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. The press opening is Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 7:30pm.
Oedipus seeks to cure his city of a mysterious plague by discovering the murderer of the former king. Captivating and cathartic, Sophocles’ seminal Greek tragedy brings to light enduring questions of identity, fate, and free will that reverberate in startling ways in the 21st century. Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell helms this production which begins Court’s Oedipus Trilogy, honoring the foundations of drama and Founding Artistic Director Nicholas Rudall’s vision for the way Court Theatre would invigorate the classic canon.
The second powerful installment in the Oedipus Trilogy begins in May 2020 with The Gospel at Colonus; the journey concludes with Antigone in the 2020/21 season. The trilogy will lay bare the themes of fate, redemption, and justice in Sophocles’ works, dynamically engaging participants with how these themes bridge cultures, cities, and communities.
The cast of Oedipus Rex includes Kelvin Roston, Jr. (Oedipus Rex), Timothy Edward Kane (Creon), Christopher Donahue (Teiresias/Chorus), Kate Collins (Jocasta), Stef Tovar (Theban Shepherd/Chorus), Kai Ealy (Death Messenger/Chorus), Wendy Robie (Corinth Shepherd/Chorus), Sheldon D. Brown (Priest of Zeus/Chorus), Mark Smith (Chorus Leader), Angie Shriner (Chorus), Jennifer Glasse (Chorus), Sonya Madrigal (Chorus), TayLar (Chorus), and Aeriel Williams (Antigone/Chorus).
The creative team includes John Culbert (Scenic Design), Jacqueline Firkins (Costume Design), Keith Parham (Lighting Design), Andre Pluess (Sound Design), and Christopher LaPorte (Co-Sound Design).
Individual tickets start at $28.50 and are available at the Court Theatre box off (5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago), by calling (773) 753-4472, or online at www.CourtTheatre.org.
Fact Sheet / Oedipus Rex
Title: Oedipus Rex
Directed by: Charles Newell
Dates: Previews: November 7 – 15, 2019
Press Opening: Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 7:30pm
Regular Run: November 17 – December 8, 2019
Schedule: Wed/Thurs/Fri: 7:30 p.m.
Sat/Sun: 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Location: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Tickets: $28.50-$66 previews
$37.50-$84 regular run
Box Office: Located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or www.CourtTheatre.org
About the Artists
CHARLES NEWELL (Director) is the Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director of Court Theatre. He was awarded the SDCF Zelda Fichandler Award, “which recognizes an outstanding director or choreographer who is transforming the regional arts landscape through singular creativity and artistry in theatre.” Charlie has been Artistic Director at Court Theatre since 1994, where he has directed over 50 productions. He made his Chicago directorial debut in 1993 with The Triumph of Love, which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production. Charlie’s productions of Man of La Mancha and Caroline, or Change have also won Best Production Jeffs. Other directorial highlights at Court include The Adventures of Augie March; All My Sons; The Hard Problem; Man in the Ring; One Man, Two Guvnors; Satchmo at the Waldorf; Agamemnon; The Secret Garden; Iphigenia in Aulis; M. Butterfly; The Misanthrope; Tartuffe; Proof; Angels in America; An Iliad; Porgy and Bess; Three Tall Women; Titus Andronicus; Arcadia; Uncle Vanya; Raisin; The Glass Menagerie; Travesties; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; The Invention of Love; and Hamlet. Charlie has also directed at Goodman Theatre (Rock ‘n’ Roll), Guthrie Theater (The History Cycle, Cymbeline), Arena Stage, John Houseman’s The Acting Company (Staff Repertory Director), the California and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals, Juilliard, and New York University. He has served on the Board of TCG, as well as on several panels for the NEA. Opera directing credits include Marc Blitzstein’s Regina (Lyric Opera), Rigoletto (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), Don Giovanni and The Jewel Box(Chicago Opera Theater), and Carousel (Glimmerglass). Charlie was the recipient of the 1992 TCG Alan Schneider Director Award, and has been nominated for 16 Joseph Jefferson Director Awards, winning four times. In 2012, Charlie was honored by the League of Chicago Theatres with its Artistic Achievement Award.
NICHOLAS RUDALL (Translator, 1940 – 2018) was the Founding Artistic Director of Court Theatre, having led the theatre from 1971 to 1994. He led the growth of Court from a community theatre to a leading professional Equity theatre. In addition to his achievements as an actor and director, Rudall was a Professor Emeritus in Classics at the University of Chicago, where he taught for over forty years. His translations for the theatre—known for their stage-friendly language and “playability”—are myriad and span many languages, but he is best known for his translations of ancient Greek tragedy. From 2014 to 2016, Court produced three translations by Rudall—The Greek Cycle began with his Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides, followed by the world premiere of Agamemnon by Aeschylus, and concluding in 2016 with Sophocles’ Electra. In 2017, Rudall accompanied the production of Iphigenia in Aulis to the Getty Villa in Los Angeles. That same year, Court Theatre established the Nicholas Rudall Endowed Fund to support the continued production of classical texts and to ensure that Rudall’s artistic legacy would endure.
TAYLAR (Chorus) make her Court Theatre debut as Ruby in August Wilson’s King Hedley II. A local and regional actress, TayLar’s performances include Goodman Theatre’s Sweat, The Little Foxes, Ruined, The Convert, Mary, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and The Cook. Other theatres she’s worked at include: Eclipse’s Blues for An Alabama Sky; Asolo Repertory, Manhattan Theatre Club, Writers, Steppenwolf, Black Ensemble, and ETA. Television appearances include: Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Empire. Feature film credits include: Southside With You, Teacher, and Ms. White Light. She also can be seen in numerous television commercials. TayLar is represented by DDO Artists Agency.
SHELDON BROWN (Priest/Chorus) is a 2014 graduate of Acting at Emerson College in Boston. His previous Court Theatre credit was the world premiere of Man in the Ring by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer. Other credits include This Bitter Earth, Time Is On Our Side (understudy) at About Face Theatre. The Shipment at Red Tape Theatre, 1980 or Why I Voted for John Anderson at Jackalope Theatre, A Wonder In My Soul at Victory Gardens, and more. He also has numerous credits in Boston including The Grand Inquisitor, directed by Peter Brook. Sheldon is also co-curator of Front Room Poetry, a monthly open mic series which aims to fill intimate spaces around the city with personal stories & soul bearing.
KATE COLLINS (Jocasta) has appeared at Court Theatre in All My Sons, The Real Thing, Nora, Miss Julie, Cloud Nine, and the Jeff Award-winning The Triumph of Love. Other favorite credits include Arcadia at Goodman Theatre, Doubles on Broadway and many wonderful years in the dual roles of Natalie and Janet on All My Children. She is married to Charles Newell, Court Theatre’s Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and they have two sons.
CHRISTOPHER DONAHUE (Teiresias/Chorus) has appeared at Court Theatre in On The Verge, The Philadelphia Story, Tartuffe, An Ideal Husband, The Cherry Orchard, and Iphigenia at Aulis. In Chicago, he has also been seen at Remains Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, and Stories on Stage. Over the last 25 years, it has been his good fortune to perform at many wonderful places across the country.
KAI A. EALY (Death Messenger/Chorus) is so grateful to be back at The Court Theater. He studied acting in Alabama before moving to Chicago to pursue his career. Kai was last seen as Manny Padilla in The Adventures of Augie March, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Auburn, at Court. Other credits include: Cardboard Piano (TimeLine Theater); A Raisin in the Sun (TheatreWorks Colorado); Shiller’s Mary Stuart (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Franklinland (Jackalope Theater); 30th Annual Young Playwrights Festival (Pegasus Theater Chicago); and Migration (eta Creative Arts Foundation). Television credits include Chicago Fire (NBC). Kai is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.
JENNIFER GLASSE (Chorus) is excited to make her Court debut! Jennifer is an Ensemble Member at The Gift Theatre where her credits include: Wolf Play, Doubt, Hang Man, and A Life Extra Ordinary. Jennifer has also worked at: Eclipse Theatre, 16th Street Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theatre, Steppenwolf Garage, and Prop Theatre. Television credits: Chicago Fire and The Chi. Jennifer has been a teaching artist with Court Theatre since 2013. She is an alum of the School at Steppenwolf class of 2010 and a graduate from North Central College. She is represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent.
TIMOTHY EDWARD KANE (Creon) is pleased to return to Court for his twelfth production. Other Chicago credits include Buried Child, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Arms and the Man (Writers); Faceless, Lost in Yonkers, and She Stoops to Conquer(Northlight); Blood and Gifts (TimeLine); The North Plan (Steppenwolf Garage) and 21 productions at Chicago Shakespeare including Tug of War: Civil Strife, and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (CST & RSC). Regional credits: The Mark Taper Forum, Notre Dame Shakespeare, Peninsula Players, and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. TV: Chicago Fire (NBC), Empire(FOX). Mr. Kane is married to actress Kate Fry and has two sons.
SONYA MADRIGAL (Chorus) is beyond thankful and excited to be returning to Court Theatre! She recently graduated with her BFA in acting from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Recent Credits include: HOPE: Part II of a Mexican Trilogy (Teatro Vista), The Adventures of Augie March (Court Theatre, Mimi, Ensemble, U/S who performed), and Electricidad (UIC). Sonya is a teaching artist with Steppenwolf Theatre and is currently the Assistant Director for Walkabout’s new work The Raveling. Sonya is represented by Lily’s Talent.
WENDY ROBIE (Corinth Messenger/Chorus) Oepidus Rex marks Robie’s first appearance at Court Theatre. Other appearances include Drury Lane, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Next Theatre, 2007 Stratford Festival, Ontario, Canada, and Northlight. Film: Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs and Vampire in Brooklyn; The Attic Expeditions; Lost Voyage; The Dentist II; Were the World Mine; and Dreaming Grand Avenue. Television credits include Star Trek DS9, Any Day Now, Party of Five, Quantum Leap, Dark Skies, Baywatch, A Place for Annie, and three seasons as “Nadine Hurley” in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and Twin Peaks, The Return. Wendy has been a proud member of AEA since 1985.
KELVIN ROSTON, JR. (Oedipus Rex) is grateful to be in this production! Court credits: King Hedley II, Five Guys Named Moe, Seven Guitars, Porgy and Bess, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Chicagoland: Congo Square, Paramount, Marriott Theatre, Goodman, ITC, eta Creative Arts, Writers, Black Ensemble, TimeLine, Northlight, Steppenwolf. Regional: The Black Rep, Fulton, New Theatre, MSMT, Baltimore Center Stage, Mosaic, Apollo. International: Orb (Tokyo, Japan), Festival Hall (Osaka, Japan). Television: Chicago Med, Chicago PD, KFC, Instant Care, Ace Hardware. Film: Get a Job, Princess Cyd, and Breathing Room. Awards: Jeff Award, three BTA Awards, two Black Excellence Awards, and a NAMI Award. AEA, Paonessa Talent.
ANGIE SHRINER (Chorus) makes her debut at Court. Chicago theatre credits include: The Tall GIrls, In the Heat of the Night, The Whaleship Essex, Mill Fire, Orpheus Descending, and Romeo + Juliet (Shattered Globe Theatre).Buffalo NY credits: Blood on the Cat’s Neck (Torn Space Theatre), Into the Woods (Second Generation Theatre), and School for Husbands (Irish Classical Theatre). Additionally, Angie has choreographed and danced in music videos, is a dance fitness instructor, voiceover artist, and writes and performs original music for her band, Hearts & Wands. She’s performed music and dance in concerts at Millennium Park, Double Door, and Daley Plaza. She is represented by Grossman Jack Talent.
MARK SPATES SMITH (Chorus Leader) is honored to be back at Court Theatre. He has been described as a “truly grounded thespian” (Stage and Cinema), “marvelous” (Chicago Theater Beat), and a “Standout” among his peers (Windy City Media). Gapers Block said his performances “deliver a scorpion’s sting”, and that he is a performer to “be seen, and rewarded”. Television credits: Chicago PD, Chicago Fire (NBC), Black Lightning (CW), and as “Mason Little, on The Chi. Theater credits include: Silk Road Rising (Bernard, The Lake Effect), Steppenwolf (Corey Booker, How Long Will I Cry), and Court Theatre (Martin Luther King, Jr. (us), The Mountaintop).
STEF TOVAR (Theban Shepherd/Chorus) is happy to be back at Court Theatre where he was seen in The Adventures of Augie March. Stef is a Jeff Award-winning professional actor with over twenty-five years in the business. In Chicago, he has worked at Drury Lane, Victory Gardens, Paramount, Marriott, Apple Tree, NorthLight, Chicago Shakespeare and Route 66 Theatre Company, which he founded and was the artistic director. Film and Television credits include Proven Innocent, Chicago Fire, Contagion, Widows, and The Aeriealist.
Three, four and five-play subscriptions to Court’s 2019/20 season range from $96 to $300 and are on sale now. To purchase a subscription or to receive more information, call the Court Theatre Box Office at (773) 753-4472, or visit Court’s website at www.CourtTheatre.org. Individual tickets for all shows will be available in Summer 2019.
Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to classic American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. The theatre revives lost masterpieces; illuminates familiar texts; explores the African American theatrical canon; and discovers fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.