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Theater on the Lake celebrates 60th season

Updated: May 3, 2012 7:06PM

Chicago’s enduring summer theater festival, Theater on the Lake, housed in the building at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, is gearing up to celebrate its 60th season.

Not only has its new co-artistic curators (Michael Patrick Thornton, artistic director and co-founder of The Gift Theatre, and an actor on ABC’s “Private Practice”), and Meghan Beals McCarthy (associate artistic director at Chicago Dramatists), announced a season of eight remounts of successful productions by some of Chicago’s best smaller theater companies, but a slew of special events also are planned. In addition, the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee will be honoring Theater on the Lake with a special award for its commitment to “fostering live theater performed by local performing arts companies.” The award will be presented June 4 at Park West as part of the Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony.

The 2012 Theater on the Lake season will include productions by:

— The Sinnerman Ensemble in “Sweet Confinement” (June 13-17), Anna Carini’s look at a meeting of five people who have grown up and shared love and loss together, and who must now try to deal with a crisis. Brea Hayes directs.

— Caffeine Theatre in “Or” (June 20-24), Liz Duffy Adams’ bodice-ripping comedy about Aphra Behn, the rare female playwright of the English Restoration era, as she rushes to finish her breakthrough play just as her ex-lover and fellow spy delivers the news that there’s a plot to kill her current lover, King Charles II. Catherine Weidner directs.

— eta Creative Arts Foundation in “Broke-ology” (June 27-July 1), Nathan Louis Jackson’s tale of two brothers with very different takes on life who must deal with the matter of caring for their ailing father. Runako Jahi directs.

— Redtwist Theatre in “Opus” (July 4-8), Michael Hollinger’s story of a world-class string quartet torn by a clash of wills between the two leaders of the group, and the young woman, fresh out of school, who replaces one of them. Jason W. Gerace directs.

— TJ & Dave (July 11 - 15), featuring Second City long form improv veterans TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi, who walk out on stage without characters, dialogue or plot to create something wonderful on the spot.

— Stage Left in “Farragut North” (July 18-22), Beau Willimon’s zesty look at contemporary high-stakes politics, told by way of a story about a highly ambitious wunderkind press secretary and the backroom politics in a tight presidential primary race. Vance Smith directs.

— The Inconvenience in “Hit the Wall” (July 25-29), Ike Holter’s very adult play (the hit of Steppenwolf Theatre’s Garage Rep series this winter), that captures a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement when, during the summer of 1969, a riot erupts between customers of The Stonewall Inn, the underground gay bar in Greenwich Village, and the police. Eric Hoff directs and a live rock band is part of the action.

— The Building Stage in “Moby-Dick” (Aug. 1-5), director Blake Montgomery’s astonishingly inventive and accomplished adaptation of the Herman Melville classic about a man, a whale, and a death wish, with exceptional live musical accompaniment by a trio of percussionists.

Single tickets are $17.50; a season subscription to all eight plays is available at a discounted price of $110. All individual tickets go on sale June 5 at 2 p.m. at the Theater on the Lake box office, Fullerton Avenue and Lake Michigan, or by phone at (312) 742-7994. Beginning June 5, the box office will be open 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, and 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sundays.

For more information about the Chicago Park District, visit or call (312) 742-PLAY.

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