ENORMOUS CRITICAL AND POPULAR ACCLAIM CATAPULTS NOAH HAIDLE’S SMOKEFALL, “THE BEST OF CHICAGO THEATER IN 2013” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE), TO THE GOODMAN’S MAINSTAGE FOR AN ENCORE PRODUCTION,
DIRECTED BY ANNE KAUFFMAN
***THE ORIGINAL COMPANY—CATHERINE COMBS, ANNE FOGARTY, KATHERINE KEBERLEIN, GUY MASSEY, MIKE NUSSBAUM AND ERIC SLATER—RETURNS FOR THE ALBERT THEATRE OPENER, SEPTEMBER 20 – OCTOBER 26***
Last year, ChiIL Live Shows was blown away by Smokefall, at the press opening, and we were not alone. Critics and audiences alike raved about this stellar drama which broke ticket sales records and will now be remounted as a mainstage production to open the fall 2014 season.
Smokefall launches the Goodman’s All-New Fall, celebrating nine decades with new inspiration: three months of new American plays, each developed in the Goodman’s new play programs.
Exactly one year after its world premiere in the Owen Theatre, Noah Haidle’s Smokefall, directed by Anne Kauffman, makes its Albert Theatre debut—becoming the third production in Goodman Theatre’s 90-year history to transfer from the theater’s smaller stage to the mainstage in order for more audiences to experience an acclaimed new play.
An exploration of the power and fragility of love through three generations of family life, Smokefall in its debut set the record of highest number of individual tickets sold in Owen Theatre history, and the production topped the “Best of 2013” lists among major Chicago media. The original six-member company remains intact for the play’s Albert Theatre premiere—including Chicago favorite Mike Nussbaum as The Colonel, whose performance “just weeks from his 90th birthday…had my chin on the floor” (Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune) was hailed as “miraculous…so emblematic of the play’s homage to the life force itself…a rare treat” (Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times).
Smokefall runs September 20 – October 26 in the Albert Theatre (opening night is Monday, September 29). Tickets ($25-$81; subject to change) are on sale now at GoodmanTheatre.org/Smokefall, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). The Goodman is grateful for the generosity of its production supporters, including Abbott Fund, the Sponsor Partner; the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Foundation Partner; and Mayer Brown, the Corporate Sponsor Partner.
“Smokefall is an artistic triumph. From its auspicious beginnings to an outstanding fully-realized mainstage production, this project perfectly exemplifies what we hope to achieve in our new play development efforts,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Noah’s voice is unique among American theater artists; his imagination, sense of playfulness and honest emotion are an unusual combination. To produce Smokefall again with the same fine company of artists is the rare opportunity to revisit, or experience for the first time, a singular ephemeral moment.”
Smokefall’s page-to-stage journey began in 2006 during Haidle’s production of Vigils at the Goodman, when he conceived and developed Local Time—a 12-play cycle spanning one 24-hour period in the life of a Midwestern family, each act named for the time in which it took place (11am to 1pm and 5 to 7pm, etc). Falls was drawn to the project and commissioned Haidle to develop it, including a workshop of three of the 12 plays in the Goodman’s New Stages festival. Working with the Goodman’s Director of New Play Development Tanya Palmer (for whom the play is dedicated), Haidle further reworked the project and ultimately created a single play—Smokefall, whose title refers to the time of day immediately before nightfall—that tackles thematic questions about the meaning of life and the nature of love and commitment. The Goodman’s 2013 world-premiere co-production with South Coast Repertory appeared in the Owen Theatre (October 5 – November 3) and was hailed as “achingly sad, transcendently lovely” (Chicago Sun-Times) “relentlessly honest and believable” (Chicago Tribune), “one of the best plays of the year” (New City) and “echoing of Wilder with a dram or two of whimsy” (Time Out Chicago).
“To do the play again with this remarkable group of people is a blessing in a really wonderful way,” said playwright Noah Haidle. “Annie has a true gift, and is one of the lights of her generation; she is as much a creator of this show as I am. And as a writer, I can’t imagine anyone supporting my work more than Bob Falls, Tanya Palmer and the entire Goodman.”
Change is in the air as Violet (Keberlein) prepares to bring twin boys into the world. Inside her womb, her unborn sons (Massey and Slater) contemplate life after birth, the fragility of love and the meaning of home, while outside her body her world is in transformation: her husband, Daniel (Slater) is making plans of his own, her father The Colonel (Nussbaum) is slipping into senility and her daughter, Beauty (Combs) has taken a vow of silence. In the third act, one of the twins—now an old man—reflects on his life and family when an unexpected visitor arrives. The design team includes Kevin Depinet (set), Lindsay Jones (sound), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes) and David Weiner (lighting). Joseph Drummond is the production stage manager and Briana J. Fahey is the stage manager. Tanya Palmer is the dramaturg for the production.
More Glimpses at Goodman’s All-New Fall, celebrating nine decades with new inspiration: (three months of new American plays, each developed in the Goodman’s new play programs.)
In the Owen is Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s The World of Extreme Happiness directed by Eric Ting, September 13 – October 12 (opening night is September 22). In addition, six new plays—three workshop productions and three staged readings, all free of charge—appear as part of the annual New Stages Festival in the Owen, October 29 – November 16, with a weekend for industry professionals taking place November 14-16 (titles and artists TBA).
The Goodman is grateful for the generosity of its New Work Sponsors, including The Davee Foundation, Major Supporter of the Expansion of New Stages; Time Warner Foundation, Lead Supporter of New Play Development; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and the Pritzker-Pucker Foundation, Major Supporters of New Play Development; The Glasser and Rosenthal Family, the Scenemakers Board and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Supporters of New Work Development; The Joyce Foundation, Principal Support of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives; Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Festival Sponsor. Edelman is the Major Corporate Sponsor for the Owen Theatre Season.
Artist Encounter at Goodman Theatre
Sunday, September 28 at 5pm |$5 general public, FREE Subscribers, Donors, students
Artist Encounters bring together audiences and Goodman artists in an intimate environment for a behind-the-scenes look at the plays and the playmaking process. Join playwright Noah Haidle and director Anne Kauffman as they discuss the process of bringing Smokefall to life.
College Night: Pizza and Play
Enjoy pizza, pop and the opportunity to mingle with other students and meet the Goodman artists before a performance.
Wednesday,October 1 at 6pm – preshow reception; 7:30pm - performance | $10 with promo code COLLEGE (must redeem with valid student ID)
Post-Show Discussions at Goodman Theatre
Goodman Theatre | FREE
Stay late for discussions about the play with members of the artistic team every Wednesday and Thursday evening throughout the run of the show.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Polarity Ensemble Theatre Presents the World Premiere Play
MIRACLES IN THE FALL
By Chuck O’Connor
Directed by Richard Shavzin
September 3 – October 5, 2014
Laura Berner Taylor (Clare Connelly) and Rian Jairell (Father Peter Lentine).
Polarity Ensemble Theatre kicks off its 2014 -15 season with the world premiere of MIRACLES IN THE FALL, a searing drama in which a family must surmount the lies and betrayals that have twisted their lives. MIRACLES IN THE FALL is written by Dionysos Cup Award Winner Chuck O'Connor and directed by Jeff Award Winner Richard Shavzin.
MIRACLES IN THE FALL features: Laura Berner Taylor, Rian Jairell, Mickey O’Sullivan and Fred Wellisch plays September 3 – October 5, 2014 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, where Polarity begins its eleventh season and the second year of its new residency.
Regular Run: Sunday, September 7 – Sunday, October 5, 2014
Curtain Times: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM
Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $25. Students: $10, Seniors: $20. Tickets are available at www.petheatre.com and 773-404-7336
The story at the heart of MIRACLES IN THE FALL centers on the life of Clare Connelly, a nun in 1968 Detroit who discovers secrets about her family that have driven their collective shame and disastrous life decisions. Deep betrayals of the past twist the lives of the Connellys, but faith, family and forgiveness allow redemption for some.
MIRACLES IN THE FALL was developed in POLARITY ENSEMBLE THEATRE 2013 DIONYSOS CUP FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS. It is the eighth Polarity-developed play by a Chicago-area playwright to reach its world premiere on a Chicago stage.
The production team for MIRACLES IN THE FALL includes Charles C. Palia, Jr. (set design), Jessica Smith (costume design), Benjamin L. White, USA (light design), Aaron Stephenson (sound design), Maggie Speer (props) Rachel Ramirez (managing director), Nicole Smith (production manager), Jamie Crothers (stage manager) and Richard Engling (artistic director).
About the Playwright:
Chuck O’Connor is a Network Playwright with Chicago Dramatists. His work has been selected as a Heideman Award Finalist with Actor’s Theater of Louisville and as winner of the 2013 Dionysos Cup at Polarity Ensemble Theatre. Recently, Chuck turned his focus to international issues, working with the United Nations “Stop Rape Now” program, developing pieces that empower woman in Ukraine and Turkey. Cheryl Coons, Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and board member at Porchlight Theater, described Chuck’s writing as, “. . . sophisticated, dramatic, thoughtful, and heartfelt. He writes about big ideas, and yet his stories are firmly grounded in his authentic and dimensional characters.” Chuck holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree from Loyola University-Chicago. He lives in Evanston with his wife and two small children.
About the Director
Richard Shavzin is delighted to return to Polarity after directing last season's Never The Bridesmaid, especially to do another new play. Other world premiere credits include Marisa Wegrzyn’s Ten Cent Night (Chicago Dramatists); Defamation, Tops or Bottoms, and Fallout (Canamac Productions); Beat The Jester and Slaphappy (Beat The Jester Productions); Changing Rainbows (Red Wolf Theatre); Klub Kokomo (PS Theatricals); and Studs Terkel's Race (adapted by Jamie Pachino) at Strawdog Theatre, where he was Artistic Director from 1993-1998. Also at Strawdog he won a Jeff for Direction for Burn This, and directed the Jeff Nominated productions of Criminal Hearts; Cat's-Paw; The Big Funk; A Mother, A Daughter and A Gun; Skeletons and Hurlyburly, which won 4 Jeffs. Other credits include the Chicago premiere of Vick’s Boy for American Theater Company (American Blues), Endangered for Stage Left’s Leapfest, and the workshop production of the musical Any Someone At All at Second City’s Skybox Theater.
Richard is an Associate Artist at Chicago Dramatists and an Artistic Affiliate at American Blues Theater. He served on the Board of Directors of the League of Chicago Theatres from 1994-2000, and served two terms, one as chair, on the Theatre Peer Review Panel of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. He currently serves on the National Council of Actors Equity Association, and on the National Board of Directors of SAG-AFTRA.
About Polarity Ensemble Theatre
Founded in 2004, Polarity Ensemble Theatre is a professionally diverse group of artists who strive to advance the state of Chicago theater for both local and international audiences by developing new works and bringing new life to the classics through live performance, workshops, and publishing.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Rubblebucket's NEW Survival Sounds is officially out and we couldn't be more excited to share it with you. These guys have long been favorites of ours here at ChiIL Live Shows. We've shot pit photos of them in action at North Coast Music Fest, Lincoln Hall, Double Door and more. Did you just catch them last week at Chicago's Boulevard Fest? They're coming back soon. Spend a rockin' Halloween night with them at Metro. Tickets on sale 8/29!
Rubblebucket can't wait to play the new tunes for you on their massive tour that starts next week!
8/26: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (SOLD OUT)
8/27: Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade (intimate release show – couple tickets left!)
9/6: Toronto, ON @ Riot Fest
9/10: Providence, RI @ Fete *
9/11: Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall *
9/12: Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theatre *
9/13: Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt *
9/14: Albany, NY @ The Hollow *
9/16: Fairfield, CT @ Stage One *
9/18: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
9/19: Washington, DC @ U Street *
9/20: Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre *
9/21: Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theatre *
9/24: Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West *
9/25: Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel *
9/26: Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Fest
9/27: Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig *
9/28: Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon *
9/30: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street *
10/1: Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose Tap House *
10/3: Denver, CO @ Bluebird *
10/4: Salt Lake City, UT @ State Room *
10/6: Boise, ID @ Neurolux *
10/7: Bozeman, MT @ The Zebra *
10/8: Missoula, MT @ The Badlander *
10/10: Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey #
10/11: Vancouver, CAN @ Media Club %
10/12: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir #
10/15: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent #
10/16: Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre #
10/17: San Diego, CA @ The Casbah #
10/18: San Diego, CA @ The Casbah #
10/20: Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room &
10/21: Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad &
10/23: Austin, TX @ Red 7
10/24: Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald's Downstairs
10/25: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada &
10/27: Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar &
10/28: St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House &
10/29: Nashville, TN @ High Watt
10/31: Chicago, IL @ Metro & (Tix on Sale 8.29)
11/1: Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater &
11/6: Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground #
11/7: Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground #
11/9: Boston, MA @ Paradise #
* Body Language supports
# Royal Canoe supports
% co-headline with Royal Canoe
& Landlady supports