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Season 43

Join City Lit for our 43rd Season

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The Innocence of Seduction

written by Mark Pracht

directed by Mark Pracht

Aug. 25 - Oct. 8, 2023

(Previews Aug. 25-Sept. 2)



The second play in Mark Pracht's projected “Four-Color Trilogy” of plays set during the early years of the comic book industry.  The first play in the trilogy, The Mark of Kane, opened City Lit’s forty-second season.  The Innocence of Seduction examines the 1950s Congressional investigation into the supposed link between comic books and juvenile delinquency, and the effect of the investigation on the careers of three persons:  William Gaines, the originator of the horror genre of comic books; Matt Baker, a Black closeted gay artist of romance comics; and Janice Valleau, creator of a pioneering comics feature starring a woman detective.

The Night of

the Hunter

by Davis Grubb

adapted by Shawna Tucker

directed by Brian Pastor

Oct. 20 - Dec. 3, 2023

(Previews Oct. 20 - 28)

A world premiere stage adaptation of the noir novel The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb, adapted by Chicago adaptor Shawna Tucker.  Inspired by the crimes of West Virginia serial killer Harry Powers, who was executed in Grubb’s home town in 1932 for the murders of two widows and three children, The Night of the Hunter is about Henry “Preacher” Powell, who has LOVE tattooed on the knuckles of his right hand and HATE on those of his left, and preys on widows in Depression-era West Virginia.  He zeroes in on Willa Harper and her two children, John and Pearl, who he is convinced know where their late father has hidden ten thousand dollars.

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Two Hours

in a Bar

A double bill of one-acts

directed by Terry McCabe

Waiting for Tina Meyer

by Kristine Thatcher (with material by Larry Shue)

Text Me

music, lyrics & book by Kingsley Day

Mar. 8 - Apr. 21, 2024

(Previews Mar. 8 - 16)

The Chicago stage premiere of Waiting for Tina Meyer, the only collaboration between Thatcher, City Lit's resident playwright, and Shue, the late playwright of the farces The Nerd and The Foreigner.  Written while they were best friends and resident actors at Milwaukee Repertory Theater in the 1980s, it concerns a pair of best-friend actors sitting in a bar because one of them is expecting to be met there by Tina Meyer, a woman he doesn't know who sent him a note backstage earlier that evening.

The world premiere of Text Me, commissioned by City Lit as a companion piece to Thatcher and Shue's play, is a 21st Century look at the problem of meeting people.  In this version of the bar, two people come to try to make connections--on their phones.  Fittingly for our fractured times, all the songs in the show are solos. 

Murder in the Cathedral

by T.S. Eliot

directed by Terry McCabe

May 3 - June 16, 2024

(Previews May 3 - 11)

The first full production in Chicago since the early 1950s (though there have been concert readings from time to time) of Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot, author of Cats and a series of letters to Groucho Marx, among other works.  The play dramatizes the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Becket at the hands of knights loyal to Henry II in 1170.  Eliot wrote it on commission to be performed in the sanctuary at Canterbury Cathedral, the room where Becket was murdered; his depiction of the killing draws from the eye-witness account of Edward Grim, a monk who was wounded trying to protect the Archbishop.  This production will be staged in the sanctuary of Edgewater Presbyterian Church, the building in which City Lit resides.

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