Griffin Theatre announces 30th ANNIVERSARY SEASON – featuring four productions

Griffin Theatre - 30th ANNIVERSARY PREVIEW

Griffin Theatre Company launches this fall with a revival of the Tony-nominated musical Violet, with book and lyrics by Brian Crawley, music by Jeanine Tesori, direction by Scott Weinstein and music direction by John Cockerill.  The rock, folk, and gospel-infused musical follows a young disfigured woman on her journey for a miracle.

Next spring, Griffin presents two tales in rotating repertory.  The Chicago premiere of Ghosts of War details a young soldier's tour of duty in Iraq following 9/11, based on Ryan Smithson’s best selling autobiographical novel, adapted for the stage by Artistic Director Bill Massolia and directed by Jason Gerace.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Griffin’s Letters Home puts the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. Written and directed by Bill Massolia, the critically acclaimed production returns home to Chicago after touring the U.S. for more than a decade.

The season concludes next summer with the Chicago premiere of The Harvest, Samuel D. Hunter’s drama about a group of young missionaries preparing to travel to the Middle East, directed by Jonathan Berry.

Griffin Theatre will also continue to nationally tour its productions of Letters Home, Ghosts of War, Frindle and Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. The Griffin’s national touring productions will reach 100,000 young people and adults during the 2017-18 theater season. Two concert-style readings, For Services Rendered by Somerset Maugham, directed by Robin Witt and Rutherford and Son by Githa Sowerby, directed by Elise Kauzlaric, will also be included. Dates and venues to be announced.



Book and lyrics by Brian Crawley
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed by Scott Weinstein
Music Direction by John Cockerill

Based on the short story The Ugliest Pilgrim by Doris Betts, this award-winning musical fuses a rock, folk and gospel score. With a ticket, a suitcase and a heart full of expectation, Violet Karl, facially disfigured since childhood, boards a bus and travels across the deep south in 1964 to see if a faith healer can transform her life. Along the way, she forms unlikely friendships with her fellow passengers, who teach her about beauty, love and courage and that it’s the journeys you take in life that help you discover who you are.

November 26th, 2017 – January 13th, 2018


From the novel by Ryan Smithson
Adapted by Artistic Director William Massolia
Directed by Jason Gerace

Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve when he was seventeen. Two years later, he was deployed to Iraq as an Army engineer. In this extraordinary and harrowing adaptation, follow one GI’s tour of duty inside a world that few understand. Based on Smithson’s best-selling novel, this story about combat, friendship, fear and a soldier’s commitment to his country peels back the curtain on the realities of war.

April 6th, 2018 – May 6th, 2018


Written and Directed by Artistic Director William Massolia

Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary, this critically lauded production puts the soldier experience in Iraq and Afghanistan front and center by bringing to life actual war letters written home.


By Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by Jonathan Berry

In the basement of a small evangelical church in southeastern Idaho, a group of young missionaries is preparing to go to the Middle East. When one of the missionaries – a young man – has a crisis of faith on his spiritual journey, it reminds us that faith doesn’t come easily, no matter where you look for it.

July 21st, 2018 – August 26th, 2018

Griffin Theatre's full 2017-18 Season will be presented by at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park.

Season subscriptions and single tickets for Violet are currently available.  For tickets and more information, visit The Griffin Theatre Website.

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