Thursday, June 6, 2013

BoHo Announces Its 10th Season!

BoHo Theatre is excited to announce its milestone 10th season line-up for 2013/2014. For this landmark anniversary, BoHo renews its artistic focus towards the Bohemian Pillars— Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love— and how they are experienced through the lens of human relationships. The season will explore Freedom with Ira Levin’s Veronica’s Room, Truth with Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, Beauty with Adam Guettel’s Myths and Hymns, and Love with Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown’s Parade.


Tom Samorian and Stephen Genovese at the opening of Yerma in 2006.

Peter Robel helps renovate the Heartland Studio in 2006.

Bohemian Theatre Ensemble was first conceived in 2003 by a group of friends— including founding Artistic Director Stephen M. Genovese, founding Executive Director Thomas Samorian, and Associate Artistic Director Peter Robel— who were looking to fill what they perceived to be a void in the Chicago theatre scene: multi-disciplinary, artistically rich non-Equity theatre. The mission for the company was to bring together diverse forms of art, including music, dance, and poetic language, in a nurturing theatrical environment that put the artists’ process front and center. Fittingly, the company’s first production was Yasmina Reza’s Art, which ran March 18 through April 17th, 2005, at the Bailiwick Studio, followed by the Chicago premiere of Andrew Lippa’s musical The Wild Party and William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

As the company grew, it found a home at the Heartland Studio in Rogers Park. Balancing the intimacy of the small space with runs of larger productions at the Theater Building (now Stage 773), Bohemian Theatre Ensemble rose to acclaim with such shows as Side Show (which received six Joseph Jefferson Awards), Jekyll & Hyde, Songs For a New World, and The Glorious Ones. In 2009, the company, now known primarily by its nickname BoHo Theatre, became an inaugural resident theatre company at the Theater Wit space under the leadership of new Artistic Director Peter Marston Sullivan and new Executive Director Peter Blair. BoHo went on to receive national attention the following year with its revival of Floyd Collins, which the Wall Street Journal called “a masterpiece... BoHo Theatre’s revival brings [Floyd Collins] to impassioned life for the first time in far too long.” Last year, with new Executive Director Kaela Altman producing, BoHo found continued success with a popular co-production of Pygmalion with Stage Left Theatre, universal praise for its staging of John Logan’s Hauptmann, and 14 Jeff nominations—more than any other non-Equity company in the city for the 2012-2013 season.


Looking to the future, the company has reaffirmed its dedication to creating a nurturing and supportive artistic environment for directors, designers, and performers to create their best work. By using bold and innovative theatre to examine Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love, BoHo seeks to create a shared community of artists and patrons in which all members are moved through art to make thoughtful, well-examined, caring relationships the highest priority in their lives.

To this end, BoHo’s 2013/2014 Season will include:


By Ira Levin
September 28 – October 27, 2013 at the Heartland Studio
Representing the Bohemian Pillar of Freedom

This thriller from the author of Rosemary’s Baby and Deathtrap explores the thin line between fantasy and reality. Students Susan and Larry find themselves enticed to an old New England mansion by its dissolute caretakers to meet Cissie, the sole surviving member of the family. They insist that Susan bears a striking resemblance to Veronica, Cissie’s long-dead sister. If she will agree to briefly impersonate Veronica, they believe it will comfort the dementia-afflicted Cissie and allow her to die in peace. But what begins as a simple errand of mercy quickly spirals into a nightmare cycle of guilt, sacrifice, and murder.


By Peter Schaffer
February 15 – March 16, 2014 at Stage 773
Representing the Bohemian Pillar of Truth

BoHo presents Peter Schaffer’s masterpiece about genius, jealousy, and lies. In his twilight years, the composer Antonio Salieri explores his tempestuous rivalry with the boorish but brilliant Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Alternating between trusted confidant and devious backstabber, Salieri wrestles with his place in a conflict that may have resulted in murder. Amadeus is a rich period drama, told as much through music as it is dialogue, questioning the reliability of memory in the search for truth.


Music and lyrics by Adam Guettel
June 13 – July 13, 2014 at the Heartland Studio
Representing the Bohemian Pillar of Beauty

A seldom-produced song cycle from the composer behind Floyd Collins and The Light in the Piazza, this sophisticated work explores nothing less than man’s search for meaning in the universe. Guettel has drawn inspiration from Greek mythology and Christian hymns, as well as electronic jazz, piano ballads, gospel, and musical theater, to create a work steeped in longing, fear, doubt, and transcendence. The loose structure of the piece will allow BoHo’s artists to craft an intensely personal and intimate piece which explores the beauty in our search for the eternal.


Book by Alfred Uhry, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
September 13 – October 12, 2014 at Theater Wit
Representing the Bohemian Pillar of Love

BoHo’s tenth season culminates in Uhry and Brown’s heart-breaking musical about race, prejudice, and violence in the American South. When Leo Frank, a northern Jew, is accused of raping and murdering a young girl in his factory, the entire town turns against him, and if they cannot be appeased, they threaten to take justice into their own hands. Against insurmountable opposition, Leo finds his only solace in the love of his wife— who is herself unsure of her husband’s innocence. Following on its success with complex musicals such as Floyd Collins and Kiss of the Spider Woman, BoHo will deliver this epic real-life story with attention to the relationships that help us keep our world together.


As part of BoHo’s 10th season, the company will be launching a new membership subscription program to connect the company’s patrons to the art in a more meaningful way. The program will feature flexible discount tickets, access to the artists through exclusive events, and more. Memberships will be available to purchase beginning in August.

BoHo Theatre’s mission is to create bold theatre that challenges convention through innovative storytelling and unites artist and audience in the examination of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love through the lens of human relationships. Its vision is to create a shared community of artists and patrons in which all members are moved through art to make thoughtful, well-examined, caring relationships the highest priority in their lives.