For its 31st season, the Saint Sebastian Players presents a moving drama, an original adaptation of a well-known author's works and a farcical comedy.
Opening the season is The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance, based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the 19th century. A horribly deformed man, victim of rare skin and bone diseases, he has become the star freak attraction in traveling sideshows. Found abandoned and helpless, he is admitted to London's prestigious Whitechapel hospital. Under the care of celebrated young physician Frederick Treves, Merrick is introduced to London society and slowly evolves from an object of pity to an urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati, only to be denied his ultimate dream: to become a man like any other. The Elephant Man won numerous Tony Awards including Best Play. Performances are October 21-November 13, 2011.
Mark Twain: Patriot, Teacher, Philosopher is a world premiere stage adaptation of Twain's stories, essays and other writings by SSP member John Oster. Works include The War Prayer, The Diaries of Adam and Eve, Letters from the Earth and more. "The emphasis of the text will be on Twain's patriotism, his philosophy and his lifelong quest to change the world and make it a better place as he tries to make the people in it better," commentEd Oster. Performances are February 17-March 11, 2012.
The farce Figments by Billy St. John closes the season. Rick Jacobs is a playwright with a wild imagination. As he attempts to overcome a massive case of writer's block, the audience sees four figments of his imagination play out the opening scene of his next murder mystery. He-and they-is/are interrupted by the arrival of his neighbor, Loni, with whom Rick is secretly, and hopelessly, in love. As Rick's thoughts bounce between his frustrating love life and his play, the real people and the figments of Rick's imagination clash riotously with the fictional characters in his play. Performances are April 27-May 20, 2012.
SSP began producing theatre in 1982 at its original home, the St. Sebastian parish, located at the corner of Halsted Street and Wellington Avenue on Chicago's North Side. When the parish closed, SSP relocated to its current home, St. Bonaventure, at 1625 W. Diversey. During its history, the company has produced original and previously produced dramas, comedies and musicals; original audience-participation murder mysteries for special events; and the Monologue Matchup Competition, as well as provided support for smaller Sebastian Studio Projects produced by company members. A complete history and a complete list of mainstage productions are available on SSP's website.
Performances of each production are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at Marshfield just west of Ashland, in Chicago. Free parking is available in two lots. Subscription packages for the three-play season are $30, $20 for seniors. Full-priced single tickets are $15, $10 for students with valid IDs and $7 for seniors and children younger than 12. Group rates also are available.
All programming is subject to change. For information, call 773-404-7922 or visit saintsebastianplayers.org.