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Anthony Fleming III stars as slave-rebellion leader Denmark Vesey in Charles Smith's new drama Denmark, opening October 14 as the inaugural production of Victory Gardens Theater's new space in the historic Biograph Theater.

Frank Galati One of the city's most eminent directors (Steppenwolf member, Goodman associate director, Northwestern University professor, and Tony-winning Broadway director) is dealing a pair of queens this season: The Pirate Queen, starting previews October 3 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre prior to moving to Broadway, and his puppet adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, playing at Victory Gardens in December. Also, City Lit Theater is mounting his chamber-theater adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Sean Graney The artistic director of the Hypocrites ensemble has stirred fierce controversy with his handling of sexually charged material; his first show this season is a December revival of Tennessee Williams's steamy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Building Stage.

Tracy Letts Equally accomplished as actor and writer, he's featured at Steppenwolf this season in Martin McDonagh's dark comedy The Pillowman and Harold Pinter's marital drama Betrayal, and Steppenwolf is premiering his new play August: Osage County next spring. William Friedkin's much anticipated screen adaptation of his hit Bug opens nationwide this December.

Brett Neveu has been favorably compared to Mamet, Pinter, and Albee. This season he has two world premieres: The Meek, at A Red Orchid Theatre (where he's an ensemble member), and Harmless, at TimeLine Theatre.

Mary Zimmerman The Tony-winning director and Galati protege brings the myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece to life in her rendition of Apollonius's Argonautika at Lookingglass Theatre in October; she remounts her version of the 12th-century Persian epic The Mirror of the Invisible World at the Goodman next summer.

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