Chance Theater Blog

Chance Theater Proudly presents the Southern California Premiere of MIDDLETOWN

Chance Theater, Anaheim’s official resident theater company, is pleased to announce the second show in our 19th Anniversary Season… Middletown. Written by Will Eno and directed by Trevor Biship, Middletown will preview from April 21 through April 28; regular performances will begin April 29 and continue through May 21 at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center on the intimate Fyda-Mar Stage.

Mary Swanson just moved to Middletown, eager to start a family and enjoy the neighborly bonds a small town promises. When she befriends resident John Dodge, she quickly discovers that below Middletown’s flinchingly honest exterior lies something much more complex. Middletown is a wry, human portrait of a town with two lives – one ordinary and visible, the other epic and mysterious.

Middletown premiered in New York City at The Vineyard Theatre in 2010, under the direction of Ken Russ Schmoll. The script later won the inaugural Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play, and was then produced at Steppenwolf Theatre.

Will Eno (Playwright) has been called “a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation” by The New York Times. He recently made his Broadway debut with his critically acclaimed new play, The Realistic Joneses. Eno’s internationally heralded play Thom Pain (based on nothing) had a successful year long run at the DR2 in New York, after a sold out run at the 2004 International Edinburgh Festival, where it won all the major awards, and was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Eno’s play The Flu Season received the 2004 Oppenheimer Award for the best debut production in New York by an American playwright. His play Gnit, an adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, in the Humana Festival, in the spring of 2013. Eno’s plays have also been produced by the Gate Theatre, the SOHO Theatre, BBC Radio, The Print Room and elsewhere. His plays are published by Oberon Books, TCG, and playscripts, and have appeared in Harper’s, The Antioch Review, The Quarterly, and Best Ten-Minute Plays for Two Actors. He has been commissioned by the Royal National Theatre in London and the Yale Repertory Theatre. He is a Helen Merrill Playwriting Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellow, a Fellow of the Cullman Center at the NY Public Library, and was awarded the first-ever Marian Seldes/Garson Kanin Fellowship by the Theater Hall of Fame, as well as the Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton. Will Eno lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Trevor Biship (Director) directs the works of diverse contemporary playwrights. This is Trevor’s sixth production at the Chance Theatre, including the premieres of Sarah Ruhl‘s Passion Play and Bridget Carpenter‘s Up. His production of the Southern California Premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera, earned the Ovation Award for Best Musical – Intimate Theatre, and Trevor received the Backstage Garland Award for Best Direction. World and regional premieres include Film, Grey Gardens, Just Say No, Bash: Latterday Plays and Psalms of a Questionable Nature. He has worked with numerous Los Angeles theatres, including South Coast Repertory, Circle X Theatre, Theatre of NOTE, California Repertory Company, Cornerstone Theatre Company and the Pasadena Playhouse. Biship’s productions have been lauded by every major press outlet in Southern California and have received nominations from the Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, LA Weekly Theatre Awards and Backstage Garland Awards. Trevor teaches directing at California State University, Long Beach, and received his M.F.A. in Directing from the University of California, Irvine.

The production team for Middletown also includes scenic designer Bruce Goodrich (Samsara, A Bright New Boise), lighting designer Karyn Lawrence, costume designer Megan MacLean, sound designer Ryan Brodkin (Claudio Quest, After the Revolution), projection designer Nick Santiago, and stage manager Bebe Herrera (The Big Meal).

Middletown will star Chance Theater Resident Artists James McHale (Samsara), Robert Foran (The Big Meal), Karen O’Hanlon (Passion Play), and Karen Webster (The Big Meal). Returning for this production are Lola Kelly (The Eight: Reindeer Monologues), Ahmed Brooks (The Eight: Reindeer Monologues) and Ned Liebl (Seminar).

Scott and Sandra Graham are the Executive Producers. Bette & Wylie Aitken are the Season Producers for the entire 2017 production schedule.

ABOUT CHANCE THEATER

Proud to be one of the leading ensemble-driven theatre companies in Southern California, CHANCE THEATER recently received a National Theatre Company grant from American Theatre Wing. The Chance has won six Ovation Awards, including two for Best Production of a Musical – Intimate Theater for its West Coast premiere of Triassic Parq – The Musical and Southern California premiere of Jerry Springer – The Opera, as well as four LADCC Awards, including the Polly Warfield Award for Outstanding Season. The Anaheim City Council named Chance Theater “the official resident theater company of Anaheim”, and Arts Orange County has twice named the Chance as “Outstanding Arts Organization”. Known for using bold and personal storytelling to promote dialogue and connection within the Southern California theatrical landscape, the Chance is committed to contributing to a more compassionate, connected and creative community. As a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Network of Ensemble Theaters, and the LA Stage Alliance, Chance Theater continues to bring national attention to the Southern California and Orange County theater scenes.

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