Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker in Amanda Peet's The Commons of Pensacola at Manhattan Theatre Club. Northlight Theatre Company's 40th season will include the play's first regional production.
Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker in Amanda Peet's The Commons of Pensacola at off-Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club. Northlight Theatre Company's 40th season will include the play's first regional production.
(© Joan Marcus)

Northlight Theatre Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans have announced the first four productions to join the Chicagoland theater's 40th season.

The lineup begins with a production of Amanda Peet's hit off-Broadway drama, ''The Commons of Pensacola, in the play's inaugural regional mounting. The show follows Judith, a woman in exile in a Florida condo after her husband's financial scandal expels her from her former life of luxury. The production is scheduled to run from September 12-October 19.

Agatha Christie's murder mystery The Mousetrap will follow with a run from November 7-December 14. Set on a snowy night at Monkswell Manor, newlyweds Mollie and Giles welcome a group of strangers into their guest house, only to learn that a murderer is in their midst. The classic whodunit stands as the world's longest-running play, now in its 62nd year on London's West End.

The world premiere of Bruce Graham's White Guy on the Bus will be the first Northlight production of 2015, running from January 23-March 1. The play follows Ray, a successful white business executive who befriends a young black woman named Shatique on his weekly Saturday bus ride past the state penitentiary. Issues of racial biases are examined as the thread that ties these two individuals together gradually unravels.

The final production announced for the 2014-15 season is the world premiere of Shining Lives: A Musical, adapted from Melanie Marnich's play These Shining Lives. Featuring music by Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert and a book and lyrics by Jessica Thebus, the musical follows the women of Chicago's Radium Dial Company in 1922. After years of hand-painting watch dials, the so-called "harmless" radium that allowed the women to earn their steady wages brings tragic consequences. Developed through Northlight's Interplay Series, the production will run from May 8-June 14, 2015.