Chicago’s venerable, award-winning Raven Theatre, whose artistic director is Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alumnus Cody Estle ’11, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Theatre Directing program, has announced exciting news: it will return to live performance with its 2021-22 season beginning in October, with three productions previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021-22 season will also mark Raven’s transition to Equity theatre status.
Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alum Tyla Abercrumbie ’98 will direct the season’s opening production — the world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies by Joshua Allen, running October 27 through December 12, 2021. Estle will direct the season’s final production, the Chicago premiere of The Luckiest by Melissa Ross, running May 4 through June 19, 2022.
As previously reported in this blog, Abercrumbie has also been selected as the inaugural playwright in Raven Theatre’s new $25,000 play development initiative, which will provide financial support to Abercrumbie as she develops new work and will also support ongoing workshops with actors and private or public readings during the development process.
“Raven Theatre will be coming back stronger than ever,” says Estle. “Joining Actors Equity Association has been a goal for the theatre since I became the artistic director in 2017. This leap would not have been possible without the dedicated support and guidance of our board. Becoming Equity will allow the theatre to continue working with many of the artists we have had the pleasure of working with in the past, while also opening our doors to new talent. The season includes a world premiere by a Chicago native, a new understanding of a revival, and a Chicago premiere with a fresh perspective on life. This is going to be an exciting season. I cannot think of a better way to return to live theatre!”