The Arc Theatre has announced plans to base its operations permanently Evanston, starting with the production of Artistic Director Mark Boergers’ “The Things We Keep”, Feb. 4 through 28.

“We have so enjoyed our six years at ‘Shakespeare on the Ridge’ and feel a real connection to the Evanston community,” said Boergers. “With the closing of Next Theatre, we perceived a real lack in a community that seems to enjoy theatre so much. We can’t wait to deepen our connection with Evanston and build an artistic home here to expand our programming as well as what we can offer to the community.”

Teddy Boone and Kirsten D’Aurelio in “The Things We Keep”. Photo by Emily Schwartz.

This play is a natural fit for the Arc, both artistically and as a complement to the Evanston move. “‘The Things We Keep’ is our first new work, and as we stretch and grow as a company, it seems only natural to share that show as a part of our new artistic home,” said Boergers.

The play is a family drama exploring aging and repressed emotion, all through the in-depth exploratory dramatics of the Arc, a company which has already tackled plenty of Shakespeare, as well as Caryl Churchill.

“The Things We Keep” centers on a collage artist, an art form which, in Boergers’ words, “creates something from items that are already created; that have some history or emotional resonance intrinsically associated with them. In the same way, our relationships with other people are pulled together from past experiences or emotions that we bring to the table as a part of the fabric of our unique human experience.”

“I find this nature of collage art to be inspiring and provide unique insight into the human condition, particularly when applied to familial relationships that are already complex aggregates of history and emotion on their own,” he says.

“’The Things We Keep’ feels like such a specifically “Arc” production that it is almost a love-letter to the theater community of Evanston, as well as a deeply personal offering to the audiences that will come to see the show,” said Boergers.

Adrienne Matzen and Teddy Boone in “The Things We Keep”. Photo by Emily Schwartz.

This production at the Noyes Center will open a new chapter for the Arc, but they are confident that their old work will continue through their short play festival and their work on the Ridge. “Shakespeare on the Ridge remains a vital part of our season,” said Boergers. “With our permanent move to Evanston, we hope our programming even further integrates the Shakespeare summer offerings into a season structure that ruminates on a theme and encourages dialogue across performances and throughout the year.”

Productions in the rest of the Arc Theatre season will include the annual “arciTEXT” short play festival on the topic of the “Prodigal Daughter”; “As You Like It” at Shakespeare on the Ridge; and “Steel Magnolias”.

Tickets for “The Things We Keep” are currently available at Performances are at the Noyes Street Theatre in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.

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