Cor Theatre’s 2017 Season

First, right after the New Year, Cor will present a scorching revival of Cuban-American writer María Irene Fornés’s seminal play What of the Night? Acclaimed Chicago director and playwright Carlos Murillo will stage Fornés’ epic, Pulitzer Prize-nominated, four-part play about poverty in America in a co-production with Stage Left Theatre.

In June, Cor will introduce Chicago to Canadian playwright, director, and filmmaker Jordan Tannahill, currently enjoying a meteoric ride to the top of Canada’s gay arts community, with the Midwest premiere of Late Company. Cor Artistic Director Tosha Fowler will star with Cor Ensemble Member Ernie Nolan in Tannahill’s shockingly funny, scathingly painful family drama, set in suburban Chicago, about LGBTQ youth and the scourge of teen suicide. Jessica Fisch directs.

Both productions serve Cor’s mission to explore the inner truth of the human experience through storytelling that defies convention and to engage audiences by telling stories that take courage to tell.


What of the Night?

By María Irene Fornés
Directed by Carlos Murillo
A co-production with Stage Left Theatre
Presented at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago
January 8-February 12, 2017
Previews: Sun., January 8 at 3 p.m.; Tues. and Wed., January 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Press opening: Thursday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Performances through February 12: Thurs., Fri. and Sat. at 7:30 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m.
Note: For mature audiences only. Contains sex, violence and partial nudity.

Celebrated Cuban-American writer María Irene Fornés’s play What of the Night? is about sex, power, institutional failure, human frailty, betrayal, dreams, and madness. A 1990 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Fornés’s lyrical work is both an epic, yet deeply intimate meditation on American poverty made up of four interwoven one-acts that follow an extended family whose lives are intricately intertwined even as they try to escape the ties that bind them.

When the just-married 14-year- old Birdie leaves her impoverished home to seek a better life, she unwittingly sets in motion a sprawling epic spanning time and geography. Her daughter Rainbow finds love. Her son Charlie finds solace in loyalty. Her son Ray finds the trappings of success. For each character, survival and the preservation of loved ones is the name of the game. Though their yearnings are briefly rewarded, Fornés’s story lays bare the difference between the hunger of the soul and the hunger of the ego.

What of the Night? is among the most important plays in María Irene Fornés’s oeuvre, and I am thrilled by the prospect of giving it the theatrical life it deserves,” said guest director Carlos Murillo, a Chicago-based, internationally produced and award-winning playwright, director and teacher. “I first met Irene in the early 1990s when we were both in residence at New York Theatre Workshop’s summer retreat at the Hotchkiss School. Her warmth and encouragement, especially important to me at the time as I was a baby playwright, went a long way to building my confidence. I later studied with her at Theatre for the New City, where her life-changing workshops helped shape both my writing and teaching of playwriting to this very day. I count her as one of my greatest influences and mentors.”

“By combining Carlos’s passionate vision, Fornés poetically primal voice, Cor’s fearless aesthetic, and Stage Left’s strong commitment to artists, What of the Night? promises to be our biggest leap yet,” added Cor Theatre Artistic Director Tosha Fowler.


Late Company

By Jordan Tannahill
Directed by Jessica Fisch
Featuring Cor Artistic Director Tosha Fowler and Ensemble Member Ernie Nolan
At The Buena (Pride Arts Center), 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago
June 2017 Press opening Monday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Note: For mature audiences only.

One year after a gay teen’s suicide, two suburban Chicago families sit down to dinner. Pleasant mealtime chatter quickly turns into fierce interrogation as each person at the table confesses their real or imagined part in the tragedy. As blame shifts, layers of parental, sexual, and political hypocrisy are revealed. Scathingly funny and heartbreakingly real, award winning Jordan Tannahill’s Late Company asks, “How well can a parent ever really know their child?”

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