"Woman School"

The Vintage Theater Collective updates Moliere's farce "School for Wives," in which a cynical man attempts to groom a young woman to be the submissive creature of his dreams. Katy Collins directs Eric Powell Holm's adaptation. Strawdog Theatre; Oct. 16-Nov. 9

"The Sound of Silence" and "Date Me"

Belgian company Salomee Speelt, in association with Shpiel Performing Identity, makes its local debut with Jean Cocteau's one-woman tale of a nightclub singer (inspired by Edith Piaf) and Salome Speelt founder Noemi Schlosser's comedy about two dateless women at a wedding reception.  Theater Wit; Nov. 16-Dec. 17


"The Kid Thing"

Local writer Sarah Gubbins ventures pens a world-premiere look at lesbian relationships turned sideways by a pregnancy and a potential sperm donor, co-produced by Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre. Chicago Dramatists; through Oct. 16

"A Behanding in Spokane"

Anglo-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh turns his scabrous wit stateside with his first play set in America, which makes its Chicago debut under Rick Snyder's direction.  Profiles Theatre; Oct. 16-Dec. 4

"The Beats"

16th Street Theater brings back Marilyn Campbell's hit from last winter, based on the finger-snapping, society-challenging wordsmiths of the 1950s.   16th Street Theater, Berwyn; Sept. 15-Oct. 15

"Bonhoeffer's Cost"

Based on the true story of a Lutheran clergyman who opposed Hitler — to the point of twice attempting to assassinate him — Mary Ruth Clarke's play, developed in association with director Tim Gregory, gets a world premiere at Provision.  Provision Theater; Sept. 17-Oct. 30

"The Great Fire"

In commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, Lookingglass remounts John Musial's 1999 meditation on the disaster. Lookingglass Theatre; Sept. 21-Nov. 20

"Becky Shaw"

Gina Gionfriddo's acclaimed comedy of warped manners and horrific first dates makes its local bow under Damon Kiely's direction.  A Red Orchid Theatre; Sept. 22-Nov. 6

"Maple and Vine"

The peripatetic Kiely also stages the Midwest premiere of Jordan Harrison's 2011 Humana Festival hit about a besieged 21st-century couple who retreat to a community of 1950s re-enactors.   Next Theatre, Evanston; Oct. 27-Dec. 4

"The Ugly One"