About Cicada:  Chicago Premiere


Set in rural Mississippi, this coming of age ghost story is deeply rooted in the life of a small southern family on the verge of transformationThe unrelenting July heat presses in on seventeen-year-old Ace and his mother Lily as they dig their way out of the past.

It’s a story about letting go and shedding what is no longer necessary in a world full of secrets, ghosts, and memories that hold on tight. Poetic, dynamic, lyrical and hard-hitting, this unique piece of theater sheds light on the enduring southern spirit and the ties that bind.

Winner of Bryan Family Foundation Award for Dramatic Literature from the Fellowship of Southern Writers (2011)

“An accomplished playwright, director, performer, designer, and teacher, Jerre Dye is a vibrant force in American Theatre.  Dance, poetic images, music, and lyrical language are used to evoke the tender world of [Cicada]. 
Jerre Dye has an undeniable Southern sensibility.”

“Steeped in the mythology and romance of rural Southern culture, the play captures a magnificent sense of atmosphere without resorting to old sorghum stereotypes. Only a company so devoted to the literary “voice of the South” can produce a drama so densely packed with Welty-esque prose . . . and also make you feel completely connected to it. Like Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” the broken home in “Cicada” is a place everyone knows in their hearts, even if they’ve never been there.”


“It is a work of great energy and beauty, full of surprises and humor and heart, and seeing it and getting to study it a little did nothing to diminish its charm, or its power. It is simply marvelous theater, full of juicy parts for actors, and with the kind of poetry that the playgoer doesn’t realize is washing over him, but simply watches in fascination as the story of memory and loss and ghosts and love, and all those things that link us and tear us apart, unfolds. And then the drama is done and the cumulative force of it, one realizes, is exactly that of a beautifully realized poem.”


The Producers of Cicada

Route 66 Theatre Company

Route 66 Theatre Company introduces, develops, produces, and exports new work for the stage. The road begins with our new play development process and reaches west, where our World and Chicago Premiere shows are given an advocate for further regional productions along the road less traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles.  For more information, click here>>



Hear/Tell Productions

HEAR/TELL PRODUCTIONS is committed to exploring new voices in the theatre by lending production support to immersive performance experiences that celebrate a desire for human connection.

Cicada Production History

CICADA is developed and work-shopped with Voices Of the South theatre company in Memphis , TN. Voices of the South creates, performs, and produces theatre from diverse Southern perspectives. Artists include:
Joyce Bamman, Leslie Barker, Alice Rainey Berry, Todd Berry, Elaine Blanchard, Gloria Baxter, Susan Chrietzberg, Scott Duff, Ondine Geary, Kate Goodwin, Amanda Hill, Jonathon Hill, Ashley Clybourne Inerarity, Jared Land, Laurie Land, Jenny Odle Madden, Adam Maldonado, Tiffany Hall McClung, Gayle Moore, David Newsome, Virginia Ralph, Steve Swift, Cecelia Wingate

2010:  Voices of the South presents CICADA in Memphis in a revival performance.

2011:  Jerre Dye receives the prestigious Bryan Family Award for Dramatic Literature from The Fellowship of Southern Writers.

2012:  First informal reading of CICADA in Chicago with Susan Felder, Christopher Tiffany, Cassandra Bissell, Janet Ullrich Brooks, Amy Matheny, Ed Porter, Jerre Dye and Scott Duff

2013:  Route 66 includes CICADA in its Monthly Reading Series at Murphy’s Irish Bistro.  Cast includes: Annabel Armour, Amy Matheny, Steve Pringle, Sean Cooper, Ian McLaren, Patricia Kane, Millie Hurley, Melissa Reimer, Scott Duff, Alexis Atwill, and Cecelia Wingate, and directed by Erica Weiss.

2014:  Route 66 and Hear/Tell Productions produce the Chicago premiere of CICADA  by Jerre Dye with a newly re-worked script