Chicago theater elder statesman Mike Nussbaum returns to Skokie's Northlight Theatre -- which he co-founded with director Frank Galati and producing director Greg Kandel -- for the opening of its 44th season in September.

Nussbaum plays the patriarch of an unconventional family in Rachel Bonds' "Curve of Departure," which begins performances Sept. 13 and runs through Oct. 21.

Monday's announcement revealed an upcoming season showcasing mostly female playwrights and telling stories mostly centered around women. To that end, Northlight will premiere "Mansfield Park" (Nov. 8-Dec. 16), Kate Hamill's adaptation of Jane Austen's social satire about an impoverished girl sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle and treated poorly by relatives.

Next up is the world premiere of "The Janice," Sharyn Rothstein's drama about a landlord and her tenant who cannot allow their burgeoning friendship to trump their own economic self interests. It runs Jan. 24 to March 2, 2019.

Northlight salutes the legacy of songwriter, chanteuse and civil rights activist Nina Simone in "Nina Simone: Four Women." Christina Ham's play with music examines Simone's transformation to activist following the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham that killed four African American girls. The production runs March 14 to April 20, 2019.

The season concludes with George Brant's backstage comedy "Into the Breeches!" (May 9-June 16, 2019). It's set in 1942 and all the male actors at the Oberon Play House are fighting overseas, allowing the company's female artists to move from the wings to the center stage under the direction of the director's wife.

Performances take place at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Subscriptions range from $99 to $250 and are available at the box office, by phone at (847) 673-6300 or online at