Obie Award-winning theatre director David Cromer, a former Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department student and faculty member now based in New York, will return to Chicago for a one-night-only reading of the classic Thornton Wilder drama Our Town, which he directed for The Hypocrites theatre company in Chicago in 2008. That production won a Joseph Jefferson “Jeff” Award — Chicago’s top theatrical prize — for Production of a Play, and Cromer received a Jeff Award for his direction as well. The Chicago hit that went on to a triumphant off-Broadway run in 2009-2010, winning Cromer both an Obie Award and a Lucille Lortel Award for directing.
Besides directing Our Town, Cromer will play the Stage Manager who narrates the story, as he did in its original Chicago staging and then in its Off-Broadway run.
The performance takes place Sunday, January 22, at 7:30 PM at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, Chicago. The event will be a benefit for The Hypocrites, which recently announced that financial woes were forcing it to curtail its 2016-17 season. All proceeds from this $100-per-ticket benefit will support future productions by The Hypocrites, whose artistic director, Sean Graney, is a former Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department faculty member. Steppenwolf’s artistic director is Columbia College Chicago alum Anna D. Shapiro ’90, HDR ’15, a Theatre Department classmate of Cromer’s. For tickets, click here.
Many of the original 2008 Our Town cast will return for the January 22 performance, including former Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department faculty member Jonathan Mastro, who is also the production’s musical director.
Cromer’s latest directing project is an Off-Broadway staging of Man From Nebraska, by Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago playwright Tracy Letts, who is a Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member. The show begins previews January 26 and officially opens February 15 at the Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 W. 43rd St., New York. Cromer recently directed the world premiere of The Band’s Visit, a musical by David Yazbek and Itamar Moses, starring Tony Shalhoub at the off-Broadway Atlantic Theatre Company.