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Stage adaptation of Dybek book premieres in Chicago

Jan. 6, 2006

CHICAGO--Stories from "The Coast of Chicago" by award-winning author Stuart Dybek have been adapted for the stage and are scheduled for performances Jan. 12 through Feb. 19 at Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre in the Water Tower Water Works.

Originally published in 1990, "The Coast of Chicago" was a New York Times Notable Books selection and was the sixth book chosen for the award-winning One Book, One Chicago citywide reading program. A Western Michigan University faculty member since 1973, Dybek teaches creative writing at the university and has served as a permanent faculty member for WMU's Prague Summer Writers Seminars since 1997.

"The Coast of Chicago" is a production of the Walkabout Theater Company. Adapted for the stage by Laura Eason and directed by Gary Zabinski, performances of "The Coast of Chicago" focus on three of the book's short stories--"Chopin in Winter," "Hot Ice" and "Nighthawks"--and explore the human ability to transcend the effects of loss, poverty and prejudice with the power of myth, memory and imagination.

Shows begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays, beginning Thursday, Jan. 12, and running through Sunday, Feb. 19. Run time for the performances is about 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets range from $25 for Thursday performances to $40 for Saturdays. Student and group discounts are available. For more information or to order tickets, contact the Lookingglass Theatre at (312) 337-0665 or visit www.lookingglasstheatre.org.

Dybek's most-recent work of fiction, "I Sailed With Magellan," received critical acclaim and was named to the highly selective Notable Books List of the American Library Association for 2005.

He is also the author of the short fiction collection, "Childhood and Other Neighborhoods," and a chapbook, "The Story of Mist." In addition, he has two collections of poetry, "Brass Knuckles," and his most-recent book, "Streets in Their Own Ink." His work is frequently anthologized and appears regularly in magazines such as Harper's, The New Yorker, Atlantic, Poetry, Tin House, Ploughshares and Triquarterly.

During his career, Dybek has received numerous honors, among which are multiple O. Henry Prizes, a Lannan Award, a PEN/Malamud Award and a number of fellowships and grants. He is also one of only a few writers to have works included in both the Best American Fiction and Best American Poetry anthologies.

Related stories
Dybek returns to poetry with 'Streets in Their Own Ink'
Dybek's 'Magellan' makes ALA's Notable Books List

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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