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Toasters and basketballs in Shattered Globe’s 2016-2017

Joseph Wiens (from left), Kevin Viol, Rebecca Jordan and Rob Frankel will be in the Shattered Globe Theatre production of Sam Shepard's "True West," at Theater Wit this Fall. (Photo: Courtesy of Shattered Globe)

Shattered Globe Theatre has announced two of its three productions for the 2016-2017 season, along with casting for the initial show, Sam Shepard’s wild and rowdy classic, “True West.” All productions will be staged at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont.

Here’s the lineup so far:

+ “TRUE WEST” (Sept. 8 – Oct. 22): Sam Shepard’s play about estranged brothers, to be directed by James Yost, will feature Joseph Wiens as Lee, Kevin Viol as Austin, and Rebecca Jordan as Mom, with Rob Frankel as film producer Saul Kimmer.

In their childhood home, reckless, unhinged Lee, who threatens to obliterate everything around him, faces off against Austin, his more genteel brother, a screen writer and family man, and they proceed to claw their way toward the American Dream, and freedom from each other, while their mother travels in Alaska.

Yost explained: “As a director I have always been fascinated by the idea of double nature and duality. Shepard’s play introduces us two of the most interesting characters to ever live on a stage [and now], more than 30 years later, this play still resonates with its mix of humor and intensity, and the kind of raw, dirty, in-your-face theater Chicago audiences have come to know and love.”

+ “THE TALL GIRLS” (Jan. 12 – Feb. 25, 2017): This Chicago premiere by Meg Miroshnik (the Minneapolis-bred, Los Angeles-based playwright whose “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls,” was a hit for Chicago’s Trap Door Theatre last season), is an ensemble piece about five young women in the rural Midwest of the 1930s who find a way to escape their crumbling town by playing basketball.

When Jean gets off the train in Poor Prairie – a dusty speck on the map during the Depression – she meets a handsome man holding a cloth bag that conceals a brand new basketball. Jean has been exiled to what she fears is her “grave town” to serve as caretaker for her wild younger cousin. Haunt Johnny has a checkered past of his own, but he knows how to coach. In true pioneering spirit, the town’s girls build a basketball team that just might be their means of escape to a better life in this story inspired by the 1930’s basketball teams in the rural Midwest.

As Sandy Shinner, Shattered Globe’s producing artistic director, explains: “Meg’s play looks back to a time when a pioneer like Babe Didrikson Zaharias was carving her name in sports history and challenging culturally accepted ideals of beauty and femininity.”

The season’s final production, set for next April/May, will be announced shortly. Tickets for “True West” go on sale Aug. 1. Call (773) 975-8150 or visit http://www.shatteredglobe.org.

The facade of Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, where Shattered Globe Theatre is in residence. (Photo: Courtesy of Theater Wit)
The facade of Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, where Shattered Globe Theatre is in residence. (Photo: Courtesy of Theater Wit)