As we settle in to the New Year, we’re making note of exciting happenings in, around, and based out of Chicago!
For the final show in what has been a wonderful season, Black Eyes Productions is looking North for its crowning jewel with Canadian playwright Jonathan Christenson’s Nevermore – The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. Jonathan (an accomplished playwright, composer, and director) was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and is now based in Edmonton, Alberta. He has taught in the M.F.A., B.F.A., and B.A. Programs at the University of Alberta’s Department of Drama.
His productions have been seen at more than fifty different theatres across England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, the United States and Canada, including the Barbican in London; the Traverse in Edinburgh; the Playhouse in Liverpool; the Tron in Glasgow; the New Victory in New York; the Winter Garden and Bluma Appel Theatres in Toronto; Theatre Calgary’s Max Bell; Citadel Theatre’s Shoctor Theatre in Edmonton; and the Vancouver Playhouse. His work has also appeared at the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), Le Carrefour international du theater (Quebec City), PuSh International Performance Arts Festival (Vancouver), Luminato (Toronto), and Magnetic North Theatre Festival.
“I think what the author excels at is weaving together Poe’s poetry and excerpts from his stories into the text and music while using rhyming verse very similar to Poe’s writing,” says Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, who also directs Nevermore. “It’s an exploration of Poe’s life but also his vivid imagination. How as a child he might have interpreted some people and events and how these would have haunted him throughout his life.” Rutherford said, “It’s important for me to feel like I’m adding to the conversation in Chicago as far as doing work that not everyone else is doing. I want to get these stories that have gotten under my skin out in front of people in new and creative ways.”
Kevin Webb portrays Poe. Megan DeLay, Jessica Lauren Fisher, Ryan Lanning, Matt McNabb, Maiko Terazawa and Jeremy Trager co-star.
Tickets for the show, which runs January 5-28, start at $30 ($15 for students). For more information, visit nevermorechicago.brownpapertickets.com.
We’re also excited to watch the rise of one of our own Chicago talents! Chicago Actress Carrie Coon is breaking out like never before. This Wicker Park resident and expectant mother became an instant star last year after she was featured in Fargo on FX and The Leftovers on HBO. Her exceptional performance in each of these popular series has led to hundreds of new fans, elegant photo shoots, and coverage in prominent fashion magazines. Prior to these appearances, Coon played a talented, witty, and influential news reporter named Meg Greenfield in the movie The Post (directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks). She also performed the lead role in Amy Herzog’s New York-based play Mary Jane, a heartfelt, family-oriented story about a loving and courageous single mother of a special-needs child.
Coon claims that few people recognize her from her newfound fame, and that she is still very much connected to her Midwestern roots. However, she admits that her recent breakthrough has given her access to better scripts, directors, and more challenging material. It has also led to the need for a publicist, who now places her calls and generates yet even more interest in her work, personal life, and future appearances.
Regarding motherhood, Coon indicated that she and her husband would be taking turns as they care for their new bundle of joy. She also noted that the arrival of their baby might cause her to become a bit more particular about upcoming roles and projects. However, no matter what, Coon knows that she will have to remain competitive and continue to fight for what she wants as an actor.
Carrie Coon’s upcoming appearances include The Humans, which opens January 30 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre; Traitor, which opens January 12 at A Red Orchid Theatre; and A Moon for the Misbegotton, which opens February 7 at Writers Theatre.