Emmy-Nominated Writer Craig Wright Joins Storied Ensemble of Chicago’s “A Red Orchid Theatre”

A Red Orchid Theatre proudly welcomed Emmy-nominated playwright Craig Wright into its Ensemble at a celebratory gathering held on Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 at Eivissa.

Wright is the most recent addition to the A Red Orchid Theatre Ensemble, which includes Lance Baker, Dado, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Danny McCarthy, Brett Neveu, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers, and Tiffany Wilson.

“We at A Red Orchid are thrilled and honored to invite playwright and dear friend, Craig Wright to join our creative family in a more formal and ongoing capacity,” says Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald.

“With our firm belief that theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit, our past work with Craig could only lead to ongoing work. His plays are not only fantastic stories but penetrating explorations of human experience that relate to the personal, the public, the social and the political.

I have learned so much from my collaborations with Craig just as I learn from all of my co-Ensemble Members during every A Red Orchid production.”

“It is with a great sense of pride and homecoming that I accept A Red Orchid Theatre’s invitation to join their Ensemble. Even though I make a good portion of my living writing for television, my greatest loyalty will always be to the theater, since I am a firm believer in the immense value of the live, un-reproducible human moment.

In the theater, all the participants are there together, alive, betting the time of their lives on the potential for meaning within this moment, this play, this night — it’s an equal exchange, an equally shared risk,” says Craig Wright.

“A Red Orchid Theatre has demonstrated its commitment over the years to creating theater that is rich with risk, full of ideas, and infused from top to bottom with a faith in the magical mutuality of the live theatrical moment. I’m deeply honored to be invited to be a part of their ongoing journey.”

The World Premiere of Craig Wright’s Mistakes Were Made featuring A Red Orchid Theatre Ensemble Members Michael Shannon and Mierka Girten opened the company’s 2009-2010 Season and is currently extended through Oct. 31, 2009.

Wright’s The Unseen was produced last season at A Red Orchid Theatre, and Mistakes Were Made marks Craig Wright and Ensemble Member Michael Shannon’s third collaboration.

Wright was commissioned by Northlight Theater to pen Lady for Shannon and actor Paul Sparks in 2007. Shannon also appeared at Northlight in Wright’s award-winning play Grace in 2006.

Wright’s plays include Lady, Grace, The Pavilion, Melissa Arctic, Orange Flower Water, and Recent Tragic Events. He has received several awards for his writing, including the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award for Best New Play (Melissa Arctic) and has been the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For his work on Six Feet Under, he received an Emmy nomination, and a Writer’s Guild of America award for his work on Lost. He created Dirty Sexy Money for ABC.

He holds a Masters of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary and is currently creating a show about a minister for Showtime called Revelation.

About A Red Orchid Theatre Company

Since 1993, A Red Orchid Theatre has been an artistic mainstay of the Chicago theatre community; known and praised for its powerful ensemble, creative design and its gripping, intimate productions.

The resident Ensemble maintains the conviction that passionately committed theatre will draw passionately committed audiences, and the 2009-2010 subscription season promises to bring Ensemble and audience even closer together.

A Red Orchid Theatre is: Lance Baker, Dado, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Danny McCarthy, Brett Neveu, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers, Tiffany Wilson and Craig Wright.

The A Red Orchid Youth Ensemble includes: Chaz Allen, Najwa Brown, Jackson Chalinor, Jaiden Falllo, Paola Lehman, Melanie Nielan, Adam Rebora, Kara Ryan, Elenna Sindler and Aria Szalai-Raymond.

The 2009-2010 Season is dedicated in loving memory of, and with many thanks to, Donald Shannon, who has provided invaluable guidance and energy as an Advisory Board member since the beginning.

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