Chicago Shakespeare Theater is moving off of the Pier for its latest production. Black Watch, a story about soldiers who served in the war in Iraq, will be performed in the Broadway Armory in Edgewater. With loud explosions, strobe lights, and a plot that really hits home, Black Watch is back for a second run in this historical Chicago space that has a strong military past.
The critically-acclaimed play, which has received four Olivier Awards including one for Best New Play, is unlike any other military-themed production. Playwright Gregory Burke based Black Watch on a series of interviews he conducted with former soldiers who served in Iraq. Through these interviews, he built a story about Scottish soldiers in the British Army’s Black Watch regiment during the Iraq War, their struggles in overseas combat, and what it meant for those who got to return home.
The play is brought to the Chicago stage by the wonderful National Theatre of Scotland. Since the company’s launch in February 2006, the National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in producing more than 130 productions in over 120 different locations. The company’s lack of a building sets some unique challenges, but also means that NTS performances are enjoyed by a large number of unique audiences as the company tours throughout Scotland and internationally. Through collaborations with other theatre companies, NTS has created a variety of performances from large-scale productions to those more specifically designed for smaller venues during its six-year history.
So come see the play that the New York Times has declared, “one of the most richly human works of art to have emerged from this long-lived war.” Black Watch is truly a play for our times that touches on what it means to fight for home, family, country, and freedom.
Black Watch runs October 10-21 at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater. Tickets are $38 and can be ordered online at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater website.