WSR is only 5 years old this season and in our continued effort to grow and develop into one of Chicagoland’s premiere professional regional theatres, we created LAB Series as a way of developing contemporary work, telling diverse stories and engaging our audiences in exciting new dialogues.
What better way to begin than with award-winning playwright Aurin Squire’s RUNNING ON FIRE, a timely, incendiary play about race and the nature of perception.
RUNNING ON FIRE was directed by Pat Henderson. The cast included Blake Henderson, Jyreika Guest (Chicago Slam Works), Barton Fitzpatrick (Chicago PD), Todd Neal & Shaina Summerville (Gypsy, WSR). Stage directions were read by James Knight (Streetcar Named Desire, WSR).
LAB Series is produced by James Knight, Caitlin I. Quinn, Mike Vandercook, and Michele Vazquez. The foursome were all members of Generous Company and WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory and share a passion for new play development along with WSR founding artistic director, Richard Kuranda.
Kuranda met Squire when the budding playwright was a grad student at the New School in NYC. ” I was a senior director and representative to the board of the New School that produced a bunch of high profile items such as Inside the Actors Studio on BRAVO and the annual Rep season which featured some of his work, ” Kuranda explains. “I love the fact that Aurin and I can discuss sports, modern media and politics–get into heated debates and still appreciate each others perspectives. That’s the way he writes, too. With a thoughtfulness that examines all sides of an issue. He’s always able to distill the human condition in complex situations. His voice is startling and unique. His characters are full of life. ”
Aurin Squire is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and reporter. He is a two-time recipient of the 2014 Lecomte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center and a recent graduate of The Juilliard School and its Lila Acheson Wallace Playwright Fellowship. In 2014-2015 he has fellowships at The Dramatists Guild of America, National Black Theatre, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the Royal Court Theatre’s US Writers’ Residency in London. Squire is the winner of the 2014 Act One Writing Prize Lincoln Center Theatre. He graduated with honors from Northwestern University and has been a reporter for the Miami Herald, The New Republic, Talking Points Memo, ESPN, and Brooklyn Rail.
His comedy “Obama-ology” was developed at Juilliard New Play Festival in September 2014, before receiving a critically acclaimed European premiere at London’s Finborough Theatre in December 2014, and being remounted in May 2015 at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. In the fields of film and multimedia, Squire adapted the novel ‘Velocity’ into a screenplay for Moxie Pictures, and has served as a writer/producer for numerous web and multimedia projects. Squire wrote Dreams of Freedom, the installation video about Jewish immigrants in the 20th century for the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Dreams won 3 national museum awards and is currently in the permanent exhibit at NMAJH.
Squire’s plays, movies, and multimedia art has been produced across Europe, the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. His plays have been developed and produced at venues like Ars Nova, Abingdon Theatre, Cherry Lane, Lincoln Center Lab, National Hispanic Cultural Center.
LAB Series is devoted to artist-driven, risk-taking, boundary-pushing work and creating a forum for audiences and theatre artists to come together to discuss the issues at play in the stories we tell. Making connections. Engaging the imagination, provoking discussion & communication across cultures and experiences is what LAB Series is all about and what Williams Street Rep is dedicated to cultivating in our community.
Next LAB reading with be TECHNICOLOR LIFE by Jami Brandli (Kilroy’s List 2014), a poignant comedy about the Iraq War, euthanasia, and the trial and tribulation of growing up. Join us Monday Oct 26 at 7pm | Raue Center for the Arts!