ATTENTION CHICAGO THEATER: WHERE IS YOUR PRODUCTION OF WILL ARBERY’S HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING?

 “Mr. Arbery (MFA Northwestern 2015) is a greatly talented writer who has given us a drama as exciting and challenging—nay, daring—as any new play I’ve ever reviewed. I intend to see “Heroes” onstage as soon as the pandemic ends and it starts to be produced by regional theaters. Don’t wait for that, though.”[i]

“I think Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning, which premiered in 2019, will be one of the few American plays of our time—perhaps the only one—that will enter the literary canon.”[ii]

The only exposure Chicago has had to Mr. Arbery’s play was  four reading performances of this Pulitzer-nominated play at staged reading at Northwestern’s Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts in 2023. This was “Heroes of the Fourth Turning”’s  Chicago so called “premiere”. Northwestern alumna Joan Sergay ’17, the assistant director on the original production in New York,  directed.

Victory Gardens had slated Mr. Arbery’s play for what would turn out to be its final season before administrative differences blew up the venerable theater.

Since then – nothing. Silence, Or as they say, “crickets”

Mr. Arbery’s play has been the victim of Covid, internal Chicago theater administrative machinations, and the death of his champion, the great Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout.

Won’t one of you theaters pick up a Pulitzer prize nominated play and present it to the Chicago theatre audience?

It is a disgrace that it hasn’t happened yet.

[i] Appeared in the December 11, 2020, print edition as ‘A Culture-War Conversation Piece’. https://www.wsj.com/articles/heroes-of-the-fourth-turning-review-a-culture-war-conversation-piece-11607629032

[ii] Tod Lindberg, “The Screech of Genius” https://www.commentary.org/articles/tod-lindberg/will-arbery-heroes-of-the-fourth-turning/


PORCHLIGHT’S SUNDAY IN THE PARK TOPS 23-24 CHICAGO THEATER SEASON

Our arrival at the gorgeous jewel box Studebaker Theater on South Michigan Avenue was a hall of mirrors experience. On the left hand side was the venerable Art Institute, home to George Seurat’s famous painting., the inspiration for the acclaimed musical Sunday in the Park with George we were about to see. The musical ‘s […]


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MET OPERA OFFERS RONDINE, PUCCINI’S FRAGILE BITTERSWEET DELICACY

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ELIJAH STILL SPEAKS THROUGH MENDELSSOHN’S GLORIOUS MUSIC AT CSO

  “Elijah is the peak of religious music between Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives (1802) and Wagner’s Parsifal (1882).” –Eduard Jacob Heinrich Elijah (1846), the second oratorio by Felix Mendelssohn, pays tribute  to Mendelssohn’s love and championship of the oratorios of Handel and Bach. Elijah is Mendelssohn’s reaffirmation of his Jewish heritage and […]