Blizzard '67: 4 Men Struggle to Survive Chicago's Worst Storm
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The last date listed for Blizzard '67 was Sunday February 12, 2012 / 3:00pm.
Chicago Dramatists, known for developing and producing award-winning world premieres, is proud to present Blizzard ’67 by 2009 Julie Harris Playwriting Award winner, Resident Playwright Jon Steinhagen. This world premiere coincides with the 45th anniversary of the storm that shut down the city for five days.
“I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to see one of my works staged at Chicago Dramatists ever since I saw my first Chicago Dramatists production many years ago,” said Jon Steinhagen, author of Blizzard ’67 “and now, here it is, a Chicago story directed by Russ Tutterow, one of the finest Chicago directors, performed by a quartet of fierce Chicago actors, and my dreams are being exceeded. I can’t wait for everyone to share this amazing experience with us.”
“At Chicago Dramatists, we have an affinity for stories about real people in Chicago”, said Managing Director Brian Loevner. “This play, like our last show, The Kid Thing, is about four people with hard decisions to make. The blizzard of 1967 was a major disaster in Chicago and this play really nails it.”
Jon Stienhagen’s Blizzard ’67 takes us to the fast-paced, high-pressured, glamorous Loop of the late 1960s when ambitious, arrogant businessmen fought ruthlessly for power and respect. Lanfield, Henkin, Emery, and Bell spend their work days competing mercilessly with each other but when they find themselves trapped in the most fearsome blizzard Chicago has ever known, it is their survival, rather than promotion, on the line. If they don’t work together and overcome their corporate rivalries, they’ll be left out in the cold. For the 45th anniversary of the infamous blizzard that shut down Chicago for days, an ensemble of four actors will recreate that chilling Chicago memory and the surrounding frenzy.
Jon Steinhagen is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists whose work is enjoying three Chicago premieres this season: Aces (Signal Ensemble Theatre) and Dating Walter Dante (Raven Theatre) in addition to Blizzard ’67 at Chicago Dramatists. In 2009, his play The Analytical Engine took first prize in the Julie Harris Playwriting Awards. His musical, The Teapot Scandals (for which he wrote book, music and lyrics) was produced by Porchlight Music Theatre and was nominated for a Jeff Award in 2007 in the Best New Work category. He received a producer-author initiative grant from NAMT in 2005 and received an After Dark Award for Best New Work for The Teapot Scandals. His plays have been produced nationally, and include The Applewood Pistols (an “original Chekhov comedy” based on Chekhov’s notebooks) Vexations (2010 New York International Fringe Festival), Something More Comfortable (Syracuse University), Ponzi on Sunday (Chameleon Theatre Circle), and Boats Against the Current (a “prequel” to The Great Gatsby). A collection of his shorter plays, Typical Abnormal Behavior, premiered at the Midtown International Theatre Festival in 2009. Plays in development include Running with the Pack, Deb and Debra, and The Hundred Acres. His collection of short plays, Perfectly Natural, was produced at the Midtown International Theatre Festival in NYC the summer of 2009. Mr. Steinhagen has received four Jeff Awards and six After Dark Awards for musical direction, writing or acting.
Russ Tutterow, now in his 26th year as the Artistic Director at Chicago Dramatists, has directed countless new play readings, and nurtured the art and careers of hundreds of playwrights. In 2005, he received the Artistic Leadership Award from the League of Chicago Theatres for his “outstanding achievement in developing new plays and his long time contribution to Chicago theatre.” Most recently, Tutterow directed Chicago Dramatists’ hit production of A Steady Rain by Keith Huff which was produced on Broadway in 2009. He also directed recent Chicago Dramatists productions of Water by Alice Austen, Voyeurs de Venus by Lydia R. Diamond, Drawing War by Brett Neveu, and Since Africa by Mia McCullough. He served on the 2006 First Look Council at Steppenwolf Theatre and directed Prop Thtr’s acclaimed production of Rosemary by Jim O’Connor. He has directed, managed or taught for such Chicago theatres as Goodman, Victory Gardens, Royal George, Mercury, Briar Street, Prop, Zebra Crossing, Igloo, and Cullen, Henaghan & Platt Productions.
Blizzard ’67 stars John Gawlick, Andy Hager, Andy Lutz, and Chicago Dramatists Associate Artist Stephen Spencer. The design team features Grant Sabin (Set Design), Chicago Dramatists Associate Artist Jeff Pines (Lighting Design), Joseph Fosco (Sound Design), Samantha Jones (Costume Design), Emily Guthrie (Props Design), Paul Grigonis (Graphic Design), and Anna Henson (Projections Design). Blizzard ‘67’s artistic team also includes Rachel Edwards Harvith (Assistant Director) and Jenniffer Thusing (Stage Manager).
Chicago Dramatists is the only theatre in the country that is both a playwrights’ development center and a full producing theatre which continues to push the envelope with the newest plays and most promising playwrights. Through its long-standing Resident Playwright program, Chicago Dramatists seeks to nurture accomplished, Chicago-based dramatists who will make significant contributions to the American theatre repertory. Every year, Chicago Dramatists’ playwrights earn literally hundreds of productions, awards and other honors at large and small theatres in Chicago and around the world; enriching the lives of hundreds of thousands of theatre patrons, exporting Chicago voices across the globe, and significantly boosting Chicago Dramatists’ reputation as one of the nation’s foremost new play development theatres.