Urbanite Theatre to present US Premiere of Award-Winning “Chicken Shop”
(Sarasota) – Urbanite Theatre, Sarasota’s newest downtown theatre, will present the United States premiere of Chicken Shop, by Anna Jordan, between April 10 and May 3. The production is directed by Barbara Redmond.
In 2014, Chicken Shop received its debut production at the Park Theatre in London, presented by Epsilon Productions. The play quickly reeled in rave reviews, and was named the Fringe Production of the Year by the West End Frame Awards.
Urbanite Theatre pursued the rights to the American premiere with a mind on adapting the play for an American audience. “We felt it was crucial to tell this story in a direct, relatable way,” says Urbanite Co-Artistic Director Brendan Ragan. “We didn’t want to let our audiences off the hook. The issues this play addresses, societal expectation of masculinity, objectification of women, and the tragic world of human sex trafficking, they’re devastatingly important in the US, and in Florida specifically. We didn’t want to present these issues as alien or exclusive to the UK. They’re immediate and they’re here.
In the fall, Urbanite Theatre and London-based playwright Anna Jordan began discussing an American adaptation, and collaborated on a new script. “It’s been fun making the changes,” said playwright Anna Jordan. “Getting into the American speech rhythms and adjusting the characters language accordingly.”
Jordan was flattered that her play will be the first ever produced at Urbanite Theatre. “It’s tremendously exciting. To be the first play ever performed in a theatre, that goes down as one of my proudest moments so far as a playwright. I love Brendan and Summer’s vision and passion for Urbanite – I hope Chicken Shop goes down a storm.”
Student tickets to the production are available for just $5. “This is a crucial play for younger audiences. They’ll immediately relate to the humor, the family issues, and the battle most youth currently face with sexual feelings and identity,” said Ragan. “We’re offering this experience at a cheaper rate than going to the movies. And I’m certain they’ll find it twice as rich.”