Jean Adamak Gottlieb has lived in Downers Grove for eight years–long enough to persuade herself and others that it could use a nonprofit professional theater. Gottlieb was an artistic director of Chicago’s feminist Footsteps Theatre Company from 1991 to ’99; when that group split up, she went to graduate school for a degree in directing. In January she recruited Chicagoans Laura St. John and Melissa Van Kersen and founded New World Repertory Theater to “produce theatrical works that examine the idea of family in this new world.” For NWR’s first production she’s chosen the dysfunctional-family chestnut A Streetcar Named Desire. Gottlieb will direct, with her partners in lead roles. Does that smack of vanity theater? “I hope not,” she says. “They are two out of a cast of twelve. And when we’re up and running [next year], we’ll have four shows a year and guest directors.” Streetcar won’t open until October, but the company’s staging a benefit on Saturday, July 12, at Two Way Street Coffee House, 1047 Curtiss in Downers Grove. The entertainment will include four singer-songwriters doing original work–Marlon St. John, Erin O’Toole, Greg Steele, and Khris Nichols–and a scene from Streetcar. It starts at 8; tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Call 630-663-1489 for more information.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Johnny Knight.