Thursday, September 5, 2013

ACT OUT OPENING: 4000 Miles at Northlight Theatre 9/14

Northlight Theatre presents the Chicago Premiere of
Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles
Directed by Artistic Associate Kimberly Senior

September 14-October 20, 2013

Josh Salt/Mary Ann Thebus  Production Photo

ChiIL Live Shows will be there to review opening night.  Tickets are currently on sale for this award winning Chicago premier.   It's sure to be a stunning season opener.

Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, opens its 2013-2014 season with the Chicago Premiere of 4000 Miles, the acclaimed play by Amy Herzog, directed by Northlight Artistic Associate Kimberly Senior.  The production will run at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie, from September 14-October 20, 2013. 

At the end of an arduous cross-country bike trip, a rudderless 21 year-old seeks refuge in his elderly grandmother’s West Village apartment.  Though they face ideological differences, these two outsiders ultimately find their way together to build a cross-generational relationship.

4000 Miles was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist; Time Magazine's #1 Play of 2012; the winner of the Obie Award, Best New Play (2012); and received The New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award (2012).

BJ Jones comments, “Amy Herzog, one of America's most insightful and sensitive writers has given us, in 4000 Miles, a meditation on mortality and intergenerational connection. Kimberly Senior, Northlight's new Artistic Associate, directs this Pulitzer Prize nominated play with the grace and intelligence she brought to last season’s The Whipping Man. With humor and bittersweet sensibility, Amy Herzog brings two disparate generations together in an enlightening and thoughtful evening.”

The cast of 4000 Miles includes Emjoy Gavino (Amanda/Lily), Caroline Neff (Bec), Josh Salt (Leo Joseph-Connell) and Mary Ann Thebus (Vera Joseph).

The creative team includes Jack Magaw (Set Design), Rachel Laritz (Costume Design), Christine A. Binder (Lighting Design) and Christopher Kriz (Sound Design).

About the Artists
Amy Herzog (Playwright) This is the first of Amy’s plays to be produced at Northlight Theatre. Her works include: After the Revolution (Williamstown Theater Festival; Playwrights Horizons; Lilly Award), 4000 Miles (Lincoln Center; Obie Award for the Best New American Play, Pulitzer Prize Finalist), The Great God Pan (Playwrights Horizons), and Belleville (Yale Rep; New York Theatre Workshop; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist; Drama Desk Nomination). Amy is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, the Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Helen Merrill, the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity, and the New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award. She is a Usual Suspect at NYTW and an alumna of Youngblood, Play Group at Ars Nova, and the SoHo Rep Writer/Director Lab. She has taught playwriting at Bryn Mawr and Yale.  MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Kimberly Senior (Director) returns to Northlight where she previously directed The Whipping Man.  Other Chicago credits include The Letters (Writers Theatre); Want, The North Plan (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); After the Revolution, Madagascar, The Overwhelming (Next Theatre Company); Cripple of Inishmaan, Bug, The Pillowman (Redtwist Theatre); Disgraced (American Theater Company); Waiting for Lefty (American Blues Theater); Old Times, Uncle Vanya, Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters (Strawdog Theatre Company); Thieves Like Us (The House Theatre of Chicago); All My Sons, Dolly West's Kitchen (TimeLine Theatre Company). Regional: Disgraced (Lincoln Center Theater); The Game's Afoot, Murder on the Nile, A Few Good Men (Peninsula Players Theatre); Mauritius (TheatreSquared). Founder: Collaboraction Theatre Company. Artistic Associate: Northlight Theatre, Next Theatre Company, Strawdog Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists. Kimberly lives in Evanston with her husband, scenic designer Jack Magaw and her two children, Noah and Delaney.

Emjoy Gavino (Amanda) makes her Northlight Theatre debut. Recent Chicago credits include The Drunken City (The Garage at Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Failure: A Love Story (Victory Gardens Theater), Seascape (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company), Hair (Paramount Theatre), Wait Until Dark (Court Theatre), Working (Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place), Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), Wilson Wants it All (The House Theatre of Chicago), Cooperstown (Theatre Seven of Chicago), Arabian Nights (Lookingglass Theatre Company), Neo-Futurist Christmas Carol (The Neo-Futurists), and is a proud company member and teaching artist with Barrel of Monkeys.  Regional credits: The Violet Hour (Repertory Actors Theatre), Miss Saigon (5th Avenue Theatre), and Searching 4 Y (Village Theatre). Film/TV: Chicago Fire, Mob Doctor, Boss, and Freudian Slip. Emjoy is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf, WP10.

Caroline Neff (Bec) makes her debut at Northlight Theatre. Other select Chicago credits include: Three Sisters (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Annie Bosh is Missing, Where We’re Born (The Garage at Steppenwolf); The Knowledge, The Receptionist, Under the Blue Sky, Pornography, A Brief History of Helen of Troy, Harper Regan, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings (Steep Theatre Company); Port, Stage Door, Be More Chill (Griffin Theatre); The Petrified Forest, St. Crispin's Day (Strawdog Theatre Company); Cherrywood, Saved (Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company); 25 Saints (Pine Box Theater Company); The Metal Children (Next Theatre Company); Moonshiner (Jackalope Theatre Company). Film/TV credits: Older Children, Open Tables, and Chicago Fire. She is an ensemble member at Steep Theatre Company and holds her BA from Columbia College.

Josh Salt (Leo Joseph-Connell) makes his first appearance at Northlight Theatre. He recently played Stag Lee in Yellow Moon at Writers Theatre directed by Stuart Carden, and Tim in Teddy Ferrara at Goodman Theatre directed by Evan Cabnet. This is his second time working with Kimberly Senior; the first was when he played Cripple Billy in The Cripple of Inishmaan at Redtwist Theatre. Other credits include Eric in Making Noise Quietly at Steep Theatre Company directed by Erica Weiss, and Melchior Gabor in Spring Awakening at Griffin Theatre directed by Jonathan Berry. He is a co-founder of a long-form dramatic improvisation ensemble called The Character Project.

Mary Ann Thebus (Vera Joseph) returns to Northlight Theatre where she was previously seen in Inherit the Wind and Cat Feet. She is a longtime Chicago actor first seen in 1981 in Close Ties (Victory Gardens Theater). In the ensuing years she has frequently been seen on Chicago stages, most recently in Elizabeth Rex (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), After the Revolution (Next Theatre Company), and The Three Sisters (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). Last spring she codirected the critically acclaimed Collected Stories at American Blues Theater with her daughter Jessica. She is a frequent Joseph Jefferson Award nominee, received the 2002 After Dark Award for Painting Churches (Organic Theater Company), and has been active in film and television shot locally such as Rudy, Cupid, and The Untouchables. She conducts a master class at The Artistic Home and coaches privately.

The Box Office is located at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, in Skokie.  Box Office hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm, and Saturdays 12:00pm-5:00pm. On performance days, the box office hours are extended through showtime. The Box Office is closed on Sundays, except on performance days when it is open two hours prior to showtime.

Curtain times are: Tuesdays: 7:30pm; Wednesdays: 1:00pm and 7:30pm; Thursdays: 7:30pm; Fridays: 8:00pm; Saturdays: 2:30pm and 8:00pm; Sundays: 2:30pm and 7:00pm.

Northlight is continuing its popular special event series in conjunction with each production.  All events are free for subscribers and ticket holders. 

Community Conversations is a series of post-show discussions.  Local experts join a Northlight facilitator, engaging audiences in a dialogue about the play's themes and the creative process behind live theatre! The post-show discussions for 4000 Miles will be held on Sundays, September 15 and 29 after the 2:30 pm performances; Tuesday, September 17 after the 7:30 pm performance; Wednesday, September 18 after the 7:30 pm performance; and Wednesdays, September 25 and October 9 after the 1:00 pm performances.

Backstage with BJ is a mid-day discussion with Artistic Director BJ Jones, featuring special guest artists, actors, directors and designers, offering behind-the-scenes insight into each production while it is still in rehearsal.  Backstage with BJ for 4000 Miles will be held on September 6 at 12:00pm and will last approximately one hour.  Reservations are required, 847.679.9501 x3555 or

Public Library Appearances will feature scene selections and conversation with the director and cast members of 4000 Miles.  Events will take place on Tuesday, September 24 at Skokie Public Library, 5215 W Oakton, at 3pm; Tuesday, September 24 at Highland Park Public Library, 494 Laurel Ave, at 7:00pm; and Tuesday, October 1 at Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington, at 7:00pm.

Salon Series is a pre-show panel discussion series that delves into the deeper context surrounding each production. Panels are led by Northlight artistic staff and feature local experts and academics. The 4000 Miles Salon will be held Wednesday, September 25 at 6:15pm (preceding 7:30pm performance; tickets to the performance are not required to attend the Salon). Panelists are to be announced. 

Title:                      4000 Miles
Written by:              Amy Herzog
Directed by:            Artistic Associate Kimberly Senior
Featuring:               Emjoy Gavino, Caroline Neff, Josh Salt and
Mary Ann Thebus
Dates:                         Previews September 14-19, 2013

                                   Regular run: September 21-October 20, 2013

          Schedule:                         Tuesdays: 7:30pm (Sept. 17 and Oct. 8 only)
Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except Oct. 2) and 7:30pm (except Oct. 9)
                                      Thursdays: 7:30pm
                                      Fridays: 8:00pm (except Opening on Sept. 20 at 7:30pm)
                                      Saturdays: 2:30pm (except Sept. 14) and 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm, and 7:00pm (except Sept. 22, Oct. 6 & 20)

Location:                     Northlight Theatre is located at the North Shore
                             Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd,

Tickets:                  Previews: $25-$54
                                    Regular run: $25-$75
                             Student tickets are $15, any performance,
(subject to availability)

Box Office:              The Box Office is located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie.

Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community.

Now in its 39th season, the organization has mounted nearly 200 productions, including over 40 world premieres.  Northlight has earned 151 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 28 Awards.  As one of the area’s premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.

This production is sponsored in part by Wheel & Sprocket.
Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from The Allyn Foundation; Arts Midwest; Blackman Kallick Bartelstein, LLP; BMO Harris Bank; Draft FCB; the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; ComEd, An Exelon Company; Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award; Ernst & Young; Evanston Community Foundation; Gand Music & Sound; The Homestead Hotel; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; The Irving Harris Foundation; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Madison Dearborn Partners; Melvoin Award for Playwriting; Modestus Bauer Foundation; North Shore Center for the Performing Arts Foundation; The Offield Family Foundation; The Pauls Foundation; Pioneer Press; Quince at the Homestead; Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation; Room & Board; Sanborn Family Foundation; Shubert Foundation; Skokie Fine Arts Council; Sullivan Family Foundation; Target; and Tom Stringer Design Partners.

Notes of Interest:
·         Kimberly Senior joined Northlight’s staff last season as Artistic Associate.  She has a long relationship with the theater as a teaching artist and directed last season’s The Whipping Man.

·         In addition to 4000 Miles, this season Kimberly will be directing Hedda Gabler at Writers; The Who and The What, a new play by Ayad Akhtar, at La Jolla Playhouse and Lincoln Center 3; and Great God Pan by Amy Herzog at Next.

·         Evanston couple Kimberly Senior and Jack Magaw frequently work together as a director/designer team.  They previously worked together at Northlight for The Whipping Man.

·         The character of Vera Joseph is based on the playwright’s own grandmother.  The character also appears in After the Revolution, Herzog's first full-length Off Broadway work, which was also directed by Kimberly Senior at Next Theatre with Mary Ann Thebus in the role of Vera.

·         This season, Northlight is working with a number of early-career playwrights, including Amy Herzog, Dominique Morisseau and Christian O’Reilly.  The season opens with Herzog’s Pulitzer Prize Finalist and closes with Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy.

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