The Director’s Haven gives directors in the earliest stages of their professional careers a rare opportunity to take risks, hone their crafts and talents and share their vision through a fully staged production of a short play. Giving directors support to produce during their formative years, which includes a full design team, budget, marketing support and more, allows these artists to create quality work as well as provides a platform to further their artistic visibility through the creation of said work.
ALL TICKETS $10 SUGGESTED DONATION
OCTOBER 14 — 30, 2019
The Den Theatre, Theatre 2A
1331 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60622
Previews: Monday, October 14 and Tuesday, October 15 at 7:30 pm
Run: Wednesday, October 16 – Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Sundays at 3 pm, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday at 7:30 pm
“This cohort of directors is more than ready to bring their work to the Chicago community, and Haven couldn't be more excited to facilitate and support them in this fifth year of our Directors Haven program. Each of these early-career directors have interests and visions that are specific, intelligent, and downright exciting. The pieces they have individually selected are glimpses of the kind of work we need to be seeing and making right now – work that asks us the difficult questions – work that makes space for the marginal and the marginalized. This is met with an articulated interest and commitment in intentional processes, which is becoming increasingly important at Haven. We are very much looking forward to bringing you this necessary work from the next generation of artists helping to find and define the future of our practice.”
— Ian Damont Martin, Artistic Director
THIS IS A CHAIR
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Lauren Katz
Mentor: Devon de Mayo
This is a Chair is composed of a series of individual vignettes, each including a headline that is meant to be clearly displayed or stated. Each title refers to a contemporary world issue, including “The War in Bosnia,” “Genetic Engineering,” and “Pornography and — titles that seemingly share no connection to the scene at hand. Caryl Churchill invites us to dig deep into our personal lives and relationships, exploring the depths of how we interact with the world around us.
Lauren Katz is a freelance director, dramaturg, and teaching artist. She served as the 2016-17 Artistic Apprentice at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and as a fellow in the 2018-19 Directors Inclusion Initiative at Victory Gardens. Recent directing projects include: Subjective is Beauty (Prop Thtr), Toni and Marcus: From Village Life to Urban Stress (Illinois Holocaust Museum) and Salena’s Story (iO Theater). As an assistant director and dramaturg in Chicago, Lauren has worked with various companies including About Face Theatre, Firebrand Theatre, Theater Wit, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Writers Theatre and Windy City Playhouse. As a teaching artist, Lauren works with Lookingglass Theatre and Mudlark Theatre.
2 x 2
By Sonia Sanchez
Directed by Aaron Mays
Mentor: Pemon Rami
Beverly Smith is watching her family fall apart. Her grandchildren are in need of her care while her daughter Ramona, once a fierce activist, struggles with addiction. When Beverly goes to take the kids home with her, she learns about Ramona’s past passion for activism and what led to her decline. This lyrical drama set in North Philadelphia explores social activism, generational differences and the hardships facing urban black communities through the lens of a mother-daughter relationship.
Aaron Mays is an emerging director and playwright in Chicago with a passion for stories of the African diaspora and the narratives of marginalized voices. Aaron’s most recent directing credits include Waiting for Godot (Tympanic Theatre) with an all-Latinx cast and Tug of War (CIRCA Pintig), a series of short plays on war, trauma and immigration. In addition, he has worked with Chicago’s top directors, serving as the assistant director for such productions as Sweat (Goodman Theatre), Mosque Alert (Silk Road Rising), Two Trains Running (Goodman Theatre) and Seven Guitars (Court Theatre).
HOW YOU KISS ME IS NOT HOW I LIKE TO BE KISSED
By Dan Giles
Directed by AJ Schwartz
Mentor: Monty Cole
It’s a love story that transcends labels. Two people meet, they fall in love, they U-Haul, life happens. A couple just like any other — well, almost. How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed innovatively addresses the urgent contemporary issue of straight representation in the arts. This groundbreaking and oh-so-needed play brings important visibility to the sorrows and joys — and even the inherent flaws — of the heterosexual lifestyle.
AJ Schwartz is a director living and making art in Chicago since 2013. As a theatremaker, they aim to use performance to explore the world through a radical, iconoclastic and undeniably queer lens. Their recent credits include Mike Pence Sex Dream, Refrigerator (assistant director, First Floor Theater), This Bitter Earth (dramaturg), Time Is on Our Side (assistant director, About Face Theatre), Zurich (assistant director, Steep Theatre Co.), and The Henry V Project (director, Loyola University Chicago).
The production team for DIRECTORS HAVEN 2019 includes Will Tople (scenic design), Angela Mix (costume design), Katelyn Le-Thompson (lighting design), Jonesy Jones (sound design) and Emily Boyd (resident props).