Friday, July 22, 2016


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar


TimeLine Theatre Company opens its 20th anniversary season with the Chicago premiere of BAKERSFIELD MIST. Inspired by a true story and featuring TimeLine Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks (TimeLine’s The Apple Family Plays and 33 Variations; Goodman Theatre’s 2666) and TimeLine Associate Artist Mike Nussbaum (TimeLine’s THE PRICE and THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS; Goodman’s SMOKEFALL) in the two-person cast, BAKERSFIELD MIST is “a perfect marriage of emotion and ideas that is rare indeed” (Los Angeles Times).
TimeLine’s Chicago premiere is presented at Stage 773 and runs August 26 – October 15, 2016 (previews 8/19 – 8/25). 

Written by Stephen Sachs and directed by Kevin Christopher Fox, BAKERSFIELD MIST is a provocative and hilarious look at what makes art—and people—authentic. Maude, an unemployed bartender living in a trailer park, has bought the ugliest thrift store painting she could get her hands on as a gag gift. However, when she is told that it might in fact be the “find of the century”—an undiscovered work by the famed Jackson Pollock—she invites a world-class art expert to decide if it’s a forgery or the real thing, worth millions.

BAKERSFIELD MIST had its world premiere at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles in 2011 and was named Best New Play by StageSceneLA. It has since enjoyed a run on London’s West End at the Duchess Theatre starring Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid. TimeLine is proud to present the Chicago premiere.
“Sachs’ short, clever play is a battle of wits,” said The New York Times. And the Orlando Sentinel declared that it is a “thought-provoking and cleverly funny examination of the value of art, self-worth, people’s ability to create their own reality, society’s reliance on ‘experts’ and the nature of criticism.”

“TimeLine is thrilled to welcome two of Chicago’s finest actors, Mike Nussbaum and Janet Ulrich Brooks, back to TimeLine to launch our 20th Anniversary season with BAKERSFIELD MIST,” said Artistic Director PJ Powers. “This hilarious and provocative play captures the class divide which permeates our country, while also exploring the nature and value of art. It’s a play that will surely get you thinking and talking—two of the goals that have fueled TimeLine for two decades. I can’t wait to see what TimeLine’s roaring 20s will hold."
TimeLine’s production of BAKERSFIELD MIST will be presented at the company’s alternate location, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. Previews start August 19. Press Preview is Thursday, August 25 at 7:30 p.m. 

Performances run through October 15. For tickets and information, visit or call the Stage 773 Box Office at (773) 327-5252.
The production team for BAKERSFIELD MIST includes Jeffrey D. Kmiec (Scenic Designer), Jared Gooding (Lighting Designer), Christine Pascual (Costume Designer), Andrew Hansen (Sound Designer), Mary O’Dowd (Properties Designer), Maren Robinson (Dramaturg) and Jinni Pike (Stage Manager).

PREVIEWS: Friday, August 19 at 8 pm.; Saturday, August 20 at 8 p.m; Sunday, August 21 at 2 p.m.; no show Monday, August 22; Tuesday, August 23 at 8 p.m.; and Wednesday, August 24 at 8 p.m.
PRESS PREVIEW: Thursday, August 25 at 7:30 p.m.
OPENING NIGHT: Friday, August 26 at 7:30 p.m.
REGULAR RUN: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m., through October 15, 2016. EXCEPTIONS: No performance on Saturday, August 27 at 4 p.m.; additional performance on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Post-Show Discussions: A brief, informal post-show discussion hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast on Wednesday, August 31, Thursday, September 8, Sunday, September 18, and Thursday, October 6.
  • Pre-Show Discussions: Starting one hour before these performances, a 30-minute introductory conversation hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and the production dramaturg with members of the production team on Wednesday, September 14 and Sunday, October 2.
  • Captioned Performance: The performance on Saturday, September 10 at 4 p.m. will be open captioned, with a text display of all of the words and sounds heard during the performance. Captioned performances are supported by Theatre Development Fund. 
  • Company Member Discussion: A post-show discussion with the collaborative team of artists who choose TimeLine’s programming and guide the company’s mission on Sunday, September 11.
  • Sunday Scholars Panel Discussion: A one-hour post-show discussion featuring experts on the themes and issues of the play on Sunday, October 9.         
All discussions are free and open to the public. For further details about all planned discussions and events, visit

Only TimeLine FlexPass Subscribers enjoy priority access to tickets to BAKERSFIELD MIST. 4-Admission FlexPass Subscriptions for TimeLine’s 2016-17 season are now on sale, priced from $80 to $204. For more information and to purchase FlexPass Subscriptions, call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit

Single ticket prices are $38 (Wednesday through Friday), $46 (Saturday evenings) and $51 (Saturday and Sunday matinees). Preview tickets are $22. Student discount is $10 off regular price with valid ID. Military Service Discount is $5 off regular price with valid military/veteran ID. Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Ticket buyers age 18-35 may join TimeLine’s free MyLine program to obtain access to discounted tickets, special events and more. Visit for details.
Advance purchase is recommended as performances may sell out. For tickets and information, visit or call the Stage 773 Box Office at (773) 327-5252.

BAKERSFIELD MIST will take place at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Stage 773 is located one-half block west of the corner of Belmont and Racine and immediately east of Theater Wit in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. The theater is accessible via the CTA El stop at Belmont (Red/Brown/Purple lines). CTA bus #77-Belmont stops at Racine. Valet parking is available for $10 and there is also limited free and metered street parking nearby. Visit for complete directions and parking information. Stage 773 is accessible for people with disabilities.

Playwright Stephen Sachs is an award-winning playwright, director, and the co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, which he co-founded with Deborah Lawlor in 1990. He is the author of 11 produced plays, including HEART SONG (Fountain Theatre, Florida Rep), CYRANO (LA Drama Critics Circle Award – Best New Play), BAKERSFIELD MIST (2012 Elliot Norton Award – Best New Play), MISS JULIE: FREEDOM SUMMER (Fountain Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse), GILGAMESH (Theatre at Boston Court), OPEN WINDOW (Pasadena Playhouse, Media Access Award), CENTRAL AVENUE (PEN USA Literary Award Finalist), SWEET NOTHING IN MY EAR (PEN USA Literary Award Finalist, Media Access Award), MOTHER’S DAY, THE GOLDEN GATE (Best Play Award – Dramalogue), and THE BARON IN THE TREES. He wrote the teleplay for SWEET NOTHING IN MY EAR for Hallmark Hall of Fame, which aired on CBS. Directing credits include the LA premiere of MY NAME IS ASHER LEV; the U.S. premieres of Athol Fugard's THE BLUE IRIS, THE TRAIN DRIVER and VICTORY (NAACP Award – Best Director); the world premiere of Fugard’s EXITS AND ENTRANCES (Ovation Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award – Best Director); the West Coast premiere of Fugard’s COMING HOME (Best Director – LA Weekly Award); the LA premiere of Fugard’s THE ROAD TO MECCA; Itamar Moses’ COMPLETENESS; Warren Leight's SIDE MAN; a three-city China tour of TOP SECRET (LA Theatre Works); Conor McPherson's SHINING CITY (LA Premiere); the world premiere of MISS JULIE: FREEDOM SUMMER; Arthur Miller's AFTER THE FALL (Ovation Award – Best Director); BAKERSFIELD MIST; SWEET NOTHING IN MY EAR; the inaugural production of HIPPOLYTOS; and many others. Sachs has twice been nominated for the SDC Zelda Fichandler Award, which recognizes outstanding directors who make unique and exceptional contributions to theatre in their region.

Director Kevin Christopher Fox returns to TimeLine after having directed the critically acclaimed production of WIDOWERS’ HOUSES by George Bernard Shaw, as well as multiple new play workshops and readings. Recent Chicago directing highlights include the Chicago premiere of THE BOOK CLUB (16th Street), the world premiere of ASSASSINATION THEATER in its five-month commercial run (Russell Lane, LLC at Museum of Broadcast Communications); the world premieres of GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES, THE GUN SHOW, PULL OF THE MOON and ACCIDENTAL RAPTURE (16th Street Theater, where he is also an Artistic Associate); LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY and HUGHIE (Irish Theatre of Chicago/Seanachai); WIDOWERS’ HOUSES and ANDROCLES AND THE LION (ShawChicago); ST. CRISPIN’S DAY (Strawdog, four Jeff Award nominations, including Outstanding Production); ARMS AND THE MAN and BETRAYAL (Oak Park Festival); THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT (Gift Theatre); BEGGARS IN THE HOUSE OF PLENTY (Mary-Arrchie); and his debut BUICKS (Precious Mettle). Regional highlights include the world premieres of THE SPIRITUALIST and SUNDOWN TOWN, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE and MACBETH (TheatreSquared); MACBETH (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Shakespeare in the Schools, adapted and directed) and THE STUDY (William Inge Festival and Center for the Arts). He has directed numerous new play development workshops for TheatreSquared and Chicago Dramatists, among others. 

TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 19 seasons, TimeLine has presented 67 productions, including nine world premieres and 27 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its 10th year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 52 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times. 

TimeLine Theatre’s 2016-17 season also includes: 
  • The U.S premiere of THE LAST WIFE by Kate Hennig, a new play with a modern take on the story of Katherine Parr, sixth wife to England’s King Henry VIII, directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, September 21 through December 18, 2016 at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Avenue in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood.
  • The Chicago premiere of A DISAPPEARING NUMBER by Complicité, originally conceived and directed by Simon McBurney and devised by the original company, in a new production to be directed at TimeLine by Nick Bowling presented January 11 – April 9, 2017 at TimeLine Theatre.
  • And the Midwest premiere of PARADISE BLUE, a dynamic and jazz-infused drama about what’s at stake when building a better future, written by Dominique Morisseau and directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson (the team behind TimeLine’s acclaimed production of Morisseau’s SUNSET BABY), April 26 – July 23, 2017 at TimeLine Theatre.
TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President John M. Sirek. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem. 

Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Crown Family, Forum Fund, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation and The Shubert Foundation.

TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce and Chicago’s Belmont Theater District.

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