In 2012, Court Theatre mounted the world’s first production of Ralph Ellison’s epic novel Invisible Man. This National Book Award winner was the first novel to truly capture the African American experience in mid-century America and has inspired readers since it was first published in 1952. While there has been great interest in bringing this extraordinary novel to the stage for decades, Ellison’s estate did not permit this until now. In conjunction with an exhibition at the DuSable Museum of African American History and a high school essay contest, this production brought one of the greatest pieces of American literature to the stage.
Adapted by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Oren Jacoby, Invisible Man marked the first Chicago appearance by award-winning New York City director Christopher McElroen, a co-founder of the Classical Theatre of Harlem. To date, this production is the highest-selling play in Court Theatre's 40-year history.