Raven Artistic Director Looks for ‘Current’ Plays, Both Old and New,

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When choosing plays for the next season, Raven Theatre Artistic Director Estle thinks about a lot of things, including his Edgewater and Rogers Park neighbors.

“Most of our subscribers live within walking distance to the theater,” he said. “It’s a theater that is accessible. Our doors are open and we are welcoming, in bringing in our neighbors to see plays.” 

The last two plays for the 2019-2020 season are “A Doll’s House” and “Eden Prairie, 1971.” One play about feminism in the late 19th century (runs through March 22) and the other about a man avoiding the draft (opens May 7). 

As Raven’s 37th closes in on the end of its 37th season, Estle shared his thoughts on how he picks shows, including the classical play “A Doll’s House.” . 

“In this era #MeToo, a strong woman who has strong opinions is as relevant as it is today as it was in the 1800s when the play was originally done,” Estle said. “There is a feminist lens this play that has been considered a feminist play for many many years.” 

Estle, who has been artistic director for two years, said he wants to continue doing plays from the past, but to also look for new playwrights in the area. He wants to have a healthy mix of the past and the future when programming for future seasons. 

I think we are producing some visceral, exciting theater that I would love to see as many people as possible come to check out,” Estle said. “If you have been to the theater before I was the artistic director I would encourage individuals to come see what it is I have cooking.”

 

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