The New Colony is stepping way from its “comfortable comedic roots.”
According to their press release issued today, that is, announcing their second season.
This highly promising new Chicago off-loop theatre company, which successfully concluded its inaugural season this year, has quickly made a name for itself by producing cutting, satirical comedies with titles such as Amelia Earhart Jungle Princess and their critically-praised Frat. I caught their season’s closing production, Tupperware: An American Musical Fable, and reviewed it for Edge here. In short – a solid production of a wonderfully inventive and affecting musical comedy.
So – while they enjoyed success producing mostly comedic pieces, The New Colony is moving toward more serious stuff. Or, in their own words, they are:
“…opting for a season that opens with an emotionally charged, four person drama, follows with a study into a new generation’s faith in modern Christianity, and closes with a meta-epic told with an ensemble of 20 actors, including a live blue-grass band.”
See? Much different. However, the common theme here is “new.” New works, new direction, new season, New Colony.
Their corporate jargon-friendly press release, that seems to want me to care about structural changes in their group more than their upcoming season, details some really promising — and risky! — stuff in the pipeline for their sophomore season. Perhaps one of the more exciting 2009-2010 seasons I’ve seen from a Chicago theatre company yet. Details below:
The New Colony 2009-2010 Season:
Calls to Blood
Written by James Asmus, Directed by Andrew Hobgood
At the Royal George Studio Theater
October 12th to November 7th, 2009
Based on an extraordinary true story, Calls to Blood tells the darkly comic tragedy of the perfect American couple and their seemingly impenetrable happiness – even as they struggle to conceive the child they want so desperately. But in trying to find a solution to this continual failure, they unearth the one truth that can destroy everything upon which their perfect lives have been built. Staged in the intimate environment of the Royal George’s studio theater, the audience will be no more able to escape the emotionally powerful debate over the couple’s future than the couple’s own best friends and family.
Written by Evan Linder and Tara Sissom, Directed by Meg Johns
On the eve of the first day of camp, a group of young, Christian camp counselors give in to the temptations of summer’s last night of freedom, and in the process, unknowingly drug themselves. As the evening unravels, secrets are shared about life, love, sexuality and, ultimately, the doubts of young Christian leaders. Forced, for the first time, to make decisions without the guidance of their parents and elders, the counselors find themselves naked without their usual comforts, and afraid of the unknown. Inspired by the experiences of the playwrights and ensemble, and the evolving beliefs of their peers, 11:11 asks an age-old question of a new generation: why are we willing to fight for something we cannot see or define? And how will the answer to that question affect our country as this new generation matures into becoming its new leaders?
That Sordid Little Story
Written by Will Cavedo and Andrew Hobgood, Music by Thea Lux, Henry Riggs and Tara Sissom, Directed by Andrew Hobgood
A DCA Incubator Selection to be Workshopped in March, 2010
A concept album from 1963 within a stage play within a live performance of the concept album, That Sordid Little Story mixes modern American story-telling devices with the traditions of Greek theater to bring you the hilarious and heart-wrenching tale of a boy in search of his past. Upon hearing the first two tracks on the new, self-titled album by the band ‘That Sordid Little Story,’ Jack realizes that they have written the story of his life, thus far, in song. Believing that the band must be connected in some way to the father he has never met, he leaves home and travels the American Bible Belt in hopes of finding the band, and ultimately the whereabouts of his father. As he stumbles along, his journey begins to shape to the rest of the album. But is he a slave to his own fate, or really its master?
More information at TheNewColony.org.