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Tony Award winner Richard Nelson's widely celebrated series of four The Apple Family Plays explores politics, change, and family dynamics. Set on dates of historic significance between 2010 and 2013, the plays have been heralded by The New York Times as "a rare and radiant mirror on the way we live … no previous works of theater have been topical in the resonant and specific ways of The Apple Family Plays." Now TimeLine brings two of these remarkable plays (the first and third from the series) to Chicago to be presented on alternating nights.
That Hopey Changey Thing is set as the polls close on the 2010 mid-term elections, and Sorry is set on the morning of the presidential election in 2012. Both explore how a family sorts through personal and political feelings of loss and confusion in the shadow of history as it is being made. "One of Mr. Nelson's points with this series is how world events are refracted and reflected in our own living and dining rooms in ways we're not always aware of" wrote The New York Times, and the New York Daily News raved that "the big picture illuminates and informs what's happening close to home and vice versa."
When the Lafayettes descend upon a crumbling Arkansan plantation to liquidate their dead patriarch's estate, his three adult children collide over clutter, debt, and a contentious family history. But after a disturbing discovery surfaces among their father's possessions, the reunion takes a turn for the explosive, unleashing a series of crackling surprises and confrontations. Acclaimed director Gary Griffin (Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Sunday In The Park With George and Follies) directs a potent and exciting play about the trouble with inheritance and the art of repression. Appropriate was developed and workshopped through Victory Gardens' IGNITION New Play Festival in 2012.
Strawdog Artistic Associate Matt Hawkins (Red Noses, Big Love) returns to Strawdog to helm The Arsonists, a parable about society's capacity to accommodate the very thing that destroys it. Bidemann (Rob Kauzlaric), a prominent businessman, is living in a city that has been the scene of mysterious fires. When two strangers ask him for shelter on a rainy evening, Bidemann does what all good citizens should do and offers them his home. As the evidence begins to mount indicating his guests are the men setting the fires, Bidemann must choose what to do, turn out his guests or help them light the match.
The Arsonists, originally called the The Firebugs (was first published in German as Herr Biedermann und die Brandstifter, and sometimes translated in English as Biedermann and the Firebugs), is one of Frisch's most enduring plays and written in the years following World War II. It was first conceived of in a short entry in one of Frisch's diaries and the devised for a radio play in 1951.
A refugee from the Armenian Genocide seeks to build a new family with his mail-order bride in 1920's and 1930's Milwaukee. He succeeds in unexpected ways. Staged in conjunction with observances of the Genocide's 100th Anniversary.
From Vicki Quade, the co-author of the smash hit Late Nite Catechism, comes a new interactive comedy about why we love bingo!
Audience members actually play seven games of bingo, all built around funny stories from the Bible and from the way religion fits in our society.
Add to that a box of wacky prizes and a lot of audience interaction.
You don't have to be Catholic to love this show. But it pays to love bingo!
An adult son with a disability must deal with the needs and demands of his aging parents. This tragicomedy by Chicago playwright Todd Bauer that captures both the pain and love between parents and children.
This thriller is based on the true story of Danny Casolaro, a freelance reporter investigating high-level corruption in the Reagan/Bush Justice Department. A year into uncovering information, Casolaro was found dead in a Virginia motel room, his arms slashed more than a dozen times. The authorities called it suicide, but a host of conspiracy theorists—and the House Judiciary Committee—disagreed. Casolaro's recovered notes detailed his plan to expose several major players behind numerous clandestine activities, including the Iran hostage situation, Nicaragua arms-for-drugs deals, and much more. Playwright Dominic Orlando—a cousin of Casolaro—pulls the curtain back on Danny's journey and the ultimate price he paid trying to find the truth.
George Orwell's revolutionary masterpiece comes to the stage with Steppenwolf for Young Adults' world premiere adaptation of Animal Farm. After revolting against the reign of their negligent human master, the animals of Mr. Jones's farm create their own ideal society in which all animals are equal and rules are set by democratic vote. It's all working pretty well, until the allure of power leads the animals to a chilling fate. Animal Farm illustrates how new tyranny replaces old and power corrupts even the noblest of causes.
In this highly original world premiere play, Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson (An Iliad) weave stories of devotion and doubt into their very own creation myth about the place where human faith and divine inspiration intersect: the Bible. As thirteen year-old Connor struggles to reconcile his identity with his dream of becoming a priest and modern-day Biblical scholar Miriam wrestles to resolve her crisis of faith, they lead us through an incredible exploration on how the Bible was conceived. From ancient Judea to medieval Ireland to suburban America, The Good Book is a powerful and exuberant journey through the most influential book in Western history.
follows Williams' rise from his humble beginnings to his triumphs on the Grand Ole Opry stage, to his self-destruction at the age of twenty-nine. This unforgettable tribute includes more than 20 Williams hits, such as "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Move It on Over," "Hey, Good Lookin'", and "Jambalaya." Featuring Ensemble members Matt Brumlow as Hank Williams, Austin Cook, James Leaming, Michael Mahler, Suzanne Petri, Artistic Affiliate Dana Black, and guest artists John Crowley, John Foley, Greg Hirte, and Cora Vander Broek.
On the eve of the United States' invasion of Baghdad in 2003, an Iraqi museum curator plots to save treasured antiquities, including the statue of ancient mother goddess Inana—metaphorically, the soul of the country—from destruction. Fleeing to London with his young bride, he makes a life-altering deal to ensure the statue's preservation. Against a background of international and personal intrigue, playwright Michele Lowe opens a window of hope and healing with her poignant and beautiful love story.
Inana was commissioned and received its world premiere at Denver Center Theatre Company in 2009, and TimeLine's production is the play's Chicago premiere. "By introducing us to human and complex Iraqi characters … Michele Lowe's play wants to smooth the border that separates our nations like a line of sand in the desert," praised The Denver Post. "[It] allows us to consider our 'enemy' in new and more humane ways. To consider the infuriating plight of Middle Eastern women. To reflect on the unconscionable desecration of a country's sacred heritage … All while escaping into an unlikely but eventually sweet romance."
Inspired by the incredible success of An Iliad, Artistic Director Charles Newell takes on Euripides' ancient tale of power and sacrifice in Iphigenia in Aulis. As the Greek army restlessly paces the silent shores of Aulis, King Agamemnon is faced with a harrowing decision. In return for the winds that would carry his army to victory over Troy, the goddess Artemis has demanded the impossible: the sacrifice of the King's own daughter, Iphigenia. In a translation by Court's Founding Artistic Director Nicholas Rudall, Iphigenia at Aulis is the first installment in a three-year cycle of Greek plays, followed by Aeschylus' Agamemnon and Sophocles' Electra.
For 13 years, the American Blues Ensemble has treated Chicagoland audiences to holiday classic featuring Clarence, George, and the delightful characters of Bedford Falls. They once again take you back to a 1940s radio broadcast of Frank Capra's holiday classic It's A Wonderful Life: Live In Chicago! in a full-scale production with Foley sound effects, an original score, and a stellar cast of eight. After each performance, milk and cookies are served. Featuring the entire cast of the sold-out hit including Ensemble members Dara Cameron, Kevin Kelly, Michael Mahler, John Mohrlein, Gwendolyn Whiteside, Artistic Affiliates Ian Paul Custer, James Joseph and guest artist Shawn Goudie.
After a troubled childhood, Jane Eyre searches for new purpose as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But a fragile peace gives way to turbulent passion when she meets Mr. Rochester, a man concealing a dark secret. Their unconventional relationship leads to a terrible revelation, and Jane must forge a new future from the ashes of her ravaged dreams. As she struggles to free herself from the ghosts of her past, Jane realizes that her only hope is to find love on her own terms. A highly theatrical exploration of one woman's independent spirit in a beloved adaptation based on the classic 1847 novel by Charlotte Brontë.
After a troubled childhood, Jane Eyre searches for new purpose as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But a fragile peace gives way to turbulent passion when she meets Mr. Rochester, a man concealing a dark secret. Their unconventional relationship leads to a terrible revelation, and Jane must forge a new future amid the ashes of her ravaged dreams. As she struggles to free herself from the ghosts of her past, Jane realizes that her only hope is to find love on her own terms. A highly theatrical exploration of one woman's independent spirit in a beloved adaptation freshly updated for its first appearance on the Lifeline stage in thirteen years.
It's 1953 and the writers of The Max Prince Show are hard at work creating comedy gold for NBC. With pressure from the network to make changes and budget cuts, amongst the political tensions of communism and a volatile tempered Max Prince, the writers have quite a task ahead of them. This diverse group of writers provides endless laughs with constant one-upmanship, mayhem, and individual neuroses.
Based on Neil Simon's early television career working with Sid Caesar, this group of social misfits will have you laughing from start to finish as they navigate through the changing world of TV in the 50's. Come see this laugh out loud comedy New York Times calls "undeniably funny".
Based on the best-selling novel and set in post-war Brooklyn, My Name is Asher Lev follows the journey of a young Jewish painter torn between his Hasidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his artistic promise. When his genius threatens to destroy his relationship with his parents, young Asher realizes he must make difficult choices between his passion and his faith. This stirring adaptation of a modern classic presents a heartbreaking and triumphant vision of what it means to be an artist at any cost—against the will of family, community and tradition.
The kindness of strangers comes with complications. Tommy is getting by—kind of: he is crashing in his uncle's ramshackle house in Dublin, dodging his estranged family, and plotting a parade of get-rich-quick schemes with his buddy Doc. Then one day he defends a destitute woman against a violent attack, and a fragile glimmer of hope appears as Tommy tends to her in his run-down room. From the author of The Weir, Shining City and The Seafarer comes this compelling new drama—by turns funny and frightening, but always deeply human.
During the great passenger pigeon migration of 1871, throngs of strangers descend upon Placid, Wisconsin, bringing prosperity in their wake. But as the skies clear, tragedy strikes and Georgie Burkhardt's sister goes missing. When a body is found and the town goes into mourning, Georgie sets out on her own to uncover the truth behind Agatha's disappearance. The journey that follows, both humorous and heartbreaking, will test the limits of her courage and the strength of her character. A powerful coming-of-age tale combines live music with historical events in a world premiere adaptation based on the 2013 novel by Chicago-based author Amy Timberlake, a Newbery Honor Book and Edgar Award finalist.
Marion's husband wants her dead, but she's too busy to notice. The North London real estate market is booming, and she's out to make a killing. When Marion discovers she can't buy out a family from one of her properties, she takes ownership of their most prized possession.
At a beachside apartment complex, a group of friends gathers for their regular evening of food, drink, drugs and partner-swapping. When Chris and Kristy attempt to become the newest members, the evening does not go as planned. The artichoke dip grows cold as the party devolves into a territorial battle over mating privileges. Does sex ruin everything? And what is the purpose of monogamy? Bruce Norris's comedy explores the eternal struggle for power, status and getting laid.
In the hazy aftermath of a wild campus party, dawn breaks on what appears to be just another day in the undergrad carnival that revolves around a circle of friends. But when morning-after gossip about privileged Davis and ambitious Leigh turns ugly, the veneer of loyalty and friendship is peeled back to reveal a vicious jungle of sexual politics, raw ambition and class warfare where only the strong could possibly survive.
Spanning three decades, Side Man is the heartbreaking story of a splintered family as told through the eyes of Clifford, the only son of Gene, a jazz trumpet player, and Terry, an alcoholic mother. Alternating between their New York City apartment and a smoke-filled music club, Clifford narrates the story of his broken family and the decline of jazz as popular entertainment. Featuring Broadway actors and Ensemble Kate Buddeke and Jim Ortlieb.
Based on the novel An Unsocial Socialist by George Bernard Shaw
A millionaire socialist vanishes from his bride, fearing his passion for her will prevent his plan to overthrow the British government. Disguised as a laborer, he infiltrates the all girls' school Alton College, planting the seeds of socialism in the minds of future consorts of cabinet ministers and kings. Yet it is he who receives a progressive education from a sixth-form student with an agenda of her own. Equal parts political comedy and comedy of manners complete with love triangles, mistaken identities, pistols and position – this stylish and cunning hybrid sparkles with wit and wiles, making even the reddest socialist blush with laughter.
On a lonely country road, beneath a barren tree, two vagabonds wait for a man named Mr. Godot. As the evening unfolds, a desperate, humorous, and unchanging universe is revealed that has delighted and challenged audiences for over half a century. Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson (Seven Guitars) returns to direct this absurdist classic with an all-star cast featuring Court Theatre favorites A.C. Smith, Allen Gilmore, and Alfred Wilson. As elusive as it is illuminating, Waiting for Godot offers a haunting meditation on the meaning of human existence.
The jukebox inside the Yankee Tavern stopped in the middle of "Bye, bye, Miss American Pie" as the first hijacked plane impacted the north tower of the World Trade Center on September 11. Inside the walls of this crumbling New York tavern, a young couple finds themselves caught up in conversations of what happened that day and who is telling the truth. Dietz's acclaimed and dramatic thriller is a fierce, funny and ultimately mind-bending work of theatrical power that grips the audience until the final word. Creative team to be announced.