A young woman seeking to understand her mother’s disappearance joins the ranks of a ragtag group of misfits and scientists who serve at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Amidst janitorial duties, never-ending daylight, and subzero temperatures, this lonely and rugged bunch finds an escape from the world and a home for each other. A striking and luminous story about why we run away and what happens when we finally come face to face with what we’ve been running away from.
An immensely touching, quirky, tragicomic surprise. - Chicago Sun-Times
The Royal Society of Antarctica runs
Aug 24 through Sep 24
Fridays & Saturdays 8:00
Pay What You Can performances are Aug 27 & Aug 31
Mat Smart writes plays about his hometown (Naperville, a suburb of Chicago) and his travels (he’s been to all 50 states and all of the continents). He received the 2015 Equity Jeff Award for Best New Work in Chicago for The Royal Society of Antarctica (Gift Theatre), which was developed at the Playwrights’ Center in PlayLabs 2013 and inspired by his three-month stint working as a janitor at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Mat’s newest plays include Midwinter (commission from the Denver Center Theatre Company, workshop at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit) and Eden Prairie, 1971, inspired by his three years living in Minneapolis from 2008 to 2011. He recently returned from South America where he spent time volunteering on an organic farm outside Mendoza, Argentina. Other plays include: Naperville (Slant Theatre Project, upcoming at Theatre Wit), Tinker to Evers to Chance (Geva, Merrimack Rep), Samuel J. and K. (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Steppenwolf), The Hopper Collection (Magic Theatre, Huntington), The 13th of Paris (City Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre), and The Debate over Courtney O’Connell of Columbus, Nebraska (Slant, Chalk Rep, Bryant Lake Bowl, and Theatre 502). Awards & Fellowships: 2014 Otis Guernsey New Voices Award from the William Inge Center for the Arts, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, two Jerome Fellowships and a McKnight Advancement Grant. Commissions: South Coast Rep, Huntington, Denver Center, and Geva. He is an alumnus of the Writer/Director Lab at Soho Rep, Play Group at Ars Nova, the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. He is a co-Artistic Director of NYC’s Slant Theatre Project. Undergrad: University of Evansville. MFA: UCSD.