2008 season: celebration series part I

We are proud of having been able to celebrate the works of ten remarkable writers since 1997. We’ve always wanted to give our audiences the opportunity to go back and revisit the works of all of these distinguished playwrights, covering the breadth of the 20th century. Our audiences will get to experience a side of familiar writers that they have not know before from the humble beginnings of legendary writer Tennessee Williams in Candles to the Sun to Lillian Hellman’s introspective piece The Autumn Garden. This two-year celebration will honor these writers’ artistic contributions to the theatrical world at large in portraying the human condition”

– The Eclipse Ensemble

For the past ten years, Eclipse Theatre Company has taken you on annual journeys through the works of some of the most powerful and acclaimed storytellers in theater.

Join us as we celebrate this milestone as we revisit all ten of our amazing past featured playwrights in the 2008 and 2009 seasons with mainstage productions, staged readings, discussions, films and events that build on the experience of the past ten seasons and dig even deeper into the worlds that each of these distinguished writers have imagined.

Eclipse’s 2008 Season: Celebration Series part I begins with a year-long celebration of five of Eclipse’s past featured playwrights: Jean Cocteau (1997-1998), Tennessee Williams (1999), Lillian Hellman (2000), Neil Simon (2003) and Lanford Wilson (2005).

Eclipse’s 2009 Season: Celebration Series part II will feature works from past Eclipse featured playwrights Romulus Linney (2001), John Guare (2002), Keith Reddin (2004), Rebecca Gilman (2006) and Pearl Cleage (2007). Details surrounding our 2009 season will be announced in the near future!

Candles to the Sun
by Tennessee Williams
Eclipse’s 1999 featured playwright
Directed by ensemble member Steven Fedoruk

March 20 – May 4, 2008
at the Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater
2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
Thurs, Fri, Sat at 8PM; and Sun at 3PM

Eclipse Theatre’s 2008 Season: Celebration Series part I begins by honoring the life and work of Tennessee Williams and opens with the Chicago premiere of Candles to the Sun. Before he became famous as Tennessee, Thomas Lanier Williams wrote Candles to the Sun, his first full-length play. This piece first opened on March 18, 1937, and was produced by The Mummers, a semi-professional and socially aware theatre troupe in St. Louis. Set during the great Depression in the Red Hills coal mining section of Alabama, Candles to the Sun deals with both the attempts of the miners to unionize and the bleak lives of their families. About the premiere, the St. Louis Dispatch said, “Williams is revealed not only as a writer of unusual promise but one of considerable technical skill.” Recent Jeff-award winning director Steven Fedoruk who directed Eclipse’s hit production of Blues for an Alabama Sky will return to direct Williams rarely produced piece!

Plaza Suite
by Neil Simon
Eclipse’s 2003 featured playwright
Directed by ensemble member Steve Scott

July 17 – August 31, 2008
at the Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater
2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
Thurs, Fri, Sat at 8PM; and Sun at 3PM

One of Neil Simon’s most popular and celebrated plays, Plaza Suite details the misadventures of three very different couples as they face crucial moments in their respective lives – all in the same hotel room in the world famous Plaza Hotel. Plaza Suite showcases Simon at his best – witty, clever and relentlessly funny. Goodman Theatre Associate Producer and long-time eclipse ensemble member, Steve Scott, will return to direct Simon’s rip-roaring comedy!

The Autumn Garden
by Lillian Hellman
Eclipse’s 2000 featured playwright
Directed by new artistic director Nathaniel Swift

November 13 – December 21, 2008
at the Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater
2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
Thurs, Fri, Sat at 8PM; and Sun at 3PM
Added 3pm Saturday matinees on
November 22, 29; December 6, 13, and 20
No performance on Thanksgiving Day

First produced in 1951, The Autumn Garden is Hellman’s most mature and emotionally honest play, with a rich cast of imperfect yet noble characters struggling to find comfort amidst the simple tragedy of being human. In this introspective and rarely produced play, old friends gather in a summer home to rediscover connections, rekindle lost relationships, and find peace – only to find that they can’t escape from the choices of their past. Newly appointed and Jeff Award winning Artistic Director Nathaniel Swift returns to direct Hellman’s masterpiece!

Also in our 2008 season:

The 2008 playwright scholar series:

The Jean Cocteau festival
Eclipse’s 1997 featured playwright

April of 2008 – specific dates and time TBA

Join us as we explore the films, plays and poems of Jean Cocteau with a series of performances, film showings and discussions focused on the French artist’s fascinating life and tremendous body of artistic work. More details about this event will be announced soon!

The Lanford Wilson readings
Eclipse’s 2005 featured playwright

December of 2008 – specific dates and time TBA

Lanford Wilson has been a prolific and powerful writer throughout the second half of the twentieth century, exploring themes of alienation, loneliness and crumbling illusions. Join us for staged readings and discussions of Wilson’s works and career. More details about this event will be announced soon! The playwright scholar series is a free program for all Eclipse subscribers!
For additional information concerning our 2008 season, please contact us at 312-738-0704


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