Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:
Writers Theatre presents
Written by Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Kimberly Senior
February 22 – April 2, 2017
Here at ChiIL Live Shows, I'm elated to see another female playwright/director combo tipping the scales a bit more equitably in Chicago's still male dominated theatre scene. We'll be out to review at the press opening and can't wait to check it out. We've been wowed by Kimberley Senior's past directing and we're looking forward to experiencing Theresa Rebeck's work as well.
Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, continues its 2016/17 season with The Scene, written by Theresa Rebeck and directed by Kimberly Senior. The production runs February 22 – April 2, 2017 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe.
What starts off with an amusing exchange at a hip Manhattan party quickly turns into something more complex. When close friends Charlie and Lewis meet Clea, a determined young woman making her mark on the New York scene, it sets them off on an emotional roller coaster. This provocative comedy-drama explores the dark edges of commitment and the struggles of balancing authenticity with ambition.
WT Resident Director Kimberly Senior, who recently directed the Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced on Broadway and who has helmed past WT hits The Letters, Hedda Gabler, The Diary of Anne Frank and Marjorie Prime, takes on Theresa Rebeck’s wickedly biting and often hilarious play about the search for the ever elusive “place-to-be,” and the three old friends whose lives are irrevocably changed when they discover how fragile the foundations of their relationships really are.
Senior is the recipient of the 2016 Special Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for her Chicago career achievements as a trail blazer, champion and role model for emerging artists.
“I saw The Scene in its premiere at Actors Theatre of Louisville and fell in love with the play right there and then,” said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. “We explored getting the rights, but at that time it was Broadway bound and indeed, if it had not been for a cast scheduling conflict, it likely would have enjoyed a triumphant transfer. A decade later it has lost none of its bite and is ripe for revival. Kimberly Senior and I separately developed relationships with Theresa Rebeck, and both of us admire her tremendously. In a casual conversation about potential projects for this season we both suggested The Scene and Le Voila! The great challenge of the play is the character of Clea, and Kimberly has found a remarkable Clea for the Writers Theatre production in Deanna Myers. Smart, charismatic, vibrant and gifted, Deanna brings a fresh and contemporary take on the character and is matched in prowess by her fellow cast members: the powerful and poised Charin Alvarez (who, like Deanna, will be making her WT debut) and two Writers Theatre favorites, the talented and engaging La Shawn Banks and Mark Montgomery. Kimberly has also assembled a terrific team of designers to create the world in which word and the artist come together to tell this relevant and important story."
Prices: Prices for all performances range from $35 - $80. Purchase early for best prices.
Box Office: The Box Office is located at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe;847-242-6000; www.writerstheatre.org
The cast of The Scene includes: Charin Alvarez (Stella), La Shawn Banks (Lewis), Mark L. Montgomery (Charlie) and Deanna Myers (Clea).
The creative team includes: Brian Sidney Bembridge (Scenic Designer), Nan Zabriskie (Costume Designer), Sarah Hughey (Lighting Designer), Richard Woodbury (Original Music & Sound Designer), and Scott Dickens (Properties Master). Bobby Kennedy is the Dramaturg and David Castellanos is the Production Stage Manager.
This marks the fifth show for director Kimberly Senior at Writers Theatre where she previously directed Marjorie Prime, The Diary of Anne Frank, Hedda Gabler, and The Letters. Senior recently directed the Broadway production of Disgraced which ran at the Lyceum Theatre during the 2014-2015 season. Disgraced was nominated for the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play and was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Kimberly Senior (Director) returns to Writers Theatre, where she is a Resident Director, after directing Marjorie Prime, The Diary of Anne Frank, Hedda Gabler and The Letters. Other Chicago credits include: Support Group for Men, Disgraced, and Rapture, Blister, Burn (Goodman Theatre); Discord, 4000 Miles, and The Whipping Man (Northlight Theatre); Want, The North Plan (Steppenwolf); Inana, My Name is Asher Lev, All My Sons, and Dolly West's Kitchen (TimeLine Theatre); Disgraced (American Theatre Company); The Great God Pan, After the Revolution, Madagascar, The Overwhelming, and The Busy World is Hushed (Next); Waiting for Lefty (American Blues); Old Times, TheConquest of the South Pole, Uncle Vanya, Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, Fuddy Meers, and Knives in Hens (Strawdog); Cripple of Inishmaan, Bug, and The Pillowman (Redtwist Theatre); Thieves Like Us (The House Theatre); among others. New York Credits: Disgraced (2013 Pulitzer Prize, Broadway); Chris Gethard's Career Suicide (Judd Apatow Productions); Engagements (Second Stage Uptown); The Who and The What, and Disgraced (Lincoln Center Theater 3). Regional: Sex with Strangers (The Geffen Playhouse); Disgraced (Mark Taper Forum, Berkley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre); The Who and The What (La Jolla Playhouse); Little Gem (City Theatre); Games Afoot, Murder on the Nile, and A Few Good Men (Peninsula Players); Mauritius (Theatre Squared, Fayetteville, AR). Kimberly also directed Chris Gethard's Career Suicide for HBO/Funny or Die which will air May 6 on HBO. Kimberly was awarded the prestigious Alan Schneider Award at the 2016 TCG Conference. She is also a 2013 Finalist for the SDCF Joe A. Callaway Award. She is the recipient of the 2016 Special Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for her Chicago career achievements as a trail blazer, champion and role model for emerging artists.
Theresa Rebeck was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Omnium Gatherum.
Theresa Rebeck (Playwright) is a widely produced playwright throughout the United States and abroad. New York productions of her work include Dead Accounts (Music Box Theatre); Seminar (Golden Theatre); Mauritius (Biltmore Theatre in a Manhattan Theater Club Production); The Scene, The Water’s Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann and Spike Heels (Second Stage); Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection and Our House (Playwrights Horizons); The Understudy (Laura Pels Theater in a Roundabout Theatre Company production); and View of the Dome (New York Theatre Workshop). Omnium Gatherum (co-written, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003) was featured at the Humana Festival, and had a commercial run at the Variety Arts Theatre. Her newest work, Poor Behavior premiered at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 2011. Dead Accounts, commissioned by the Cincinnati Playhouse, premiered January 2012. Seminar ran on Broadway.
All of Ms. Rebeck’s past produced plays are published by Smith and Kraus as Theresa Rebeck: Complete Plays, Volumes I, II III, and IV and in acting editions available from Samuel French or Playscripts. Ms. Rebeck’s other publications are Free Fire Zone, a book of comedic essays about writing and show business. She has written for American Theatre magazine and has had excerpts of her plays published in the Harvard Review. Rebeck’s first novel, Three Girls and Their Brother, was published by Random House/Shaye Areheart Books in April 2008. Her second novel, Twelve Rooms With A View, was published by Random House/Shaye Areheart Books in May of 2010. Both novels are available online and at booksellers everywhere.
In television, Ms. Rebeck has written for Dream On (HBO, FOX), Brooklyn Bridge (CBS), L.A. Law (NBC), American Dreamer (NBC), Maximum Bob (ABC), First Wave (Syfy, Space), and Third Watch (NBC). She was the creator of the NBC drama Smash. She has been a writer/producer for Canterbury’s Law (FOX), Smith(CBS), Law and Order: Criminal Intent (NBC, USA, MyNetworkTV) and NYPD Blue (ABC). Her produced feature films include Harriet the Spy, Gossip, and the independent features Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker, an adaptation of her play, The Scene. Awards include the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award, the Writer’s Guild of America award for Episodic Drama, the Hispanic Images Imagen Award, and the Peabody, all for her work on NYPD Blue. She has won the National Theatre Conference Award (for The Family of Mann), and was awarded the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award in 2003 for The Bells. Mauritius was originally produced at Boston’s Huntington Theatre, where it received the 2007 IRNE Award for Best New Play as well as the Elliot Norton Award. Other awards include the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award, the Athena Film Festival Award, an Alex Award, a Lilly Award and in 2011 she was named one of the "150 Fearless Women in the World" by Newsweek.
Rebeck is originally from Cincinnati and holds an M.F.A. in Playwrighting and a Ph.D. in Victorian Melodrama, both from Brandeis University. She is a proud board member of the Dramatists Guild, a Contributing Editor to the Harvard Review, an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theatre Company, a Playwright Adviser and Board Member of the LARK and has taught at Brandeis University and Columbia University.
Charin Alvarez (Stella) returns to Writers Theatre where she previously appeared in the reading of Saint Joan in collaboration with The Chicago Inclusion Project. Theatre credits include 2666, Pedro Paramo, El Nogalar, Dollhouse and Electricidad (Goodman Theatre), Mojada, Oedipus El Rey, Anna in the Tropics andA Park in the House (Victory Gardens Theatre), In the time of the Butterflies, Our Lady of the Underpass, I put the fear of Mexico in ‘em, Dreamlandia, and Another Part of the House (Teatro Vista), Water by the Spoonful (Court Theatre), Work of Art (Chicago Dramatists) The Clean House (Remy Bumppo), What We Once Felt (About Face Theatre) Kita & Fernanda (16th Street Theatre), Esperanza Rising (Chicago Children’s Theatre), Two Sisters and a Piano (Apple Tree Theatre), Generic Latina (Teatro Luna) and La Casa de Bernarda Alba (Aguijon Theatre). Television credits include Shameless (Showtime), Chicago Fire (NBC), Chicago Code and Mob Doctor (FOX), and Boss (Starz). Film credits include Rooftop Wars, Arc of a Bird, Were the World Mine, Chicago Overcoat, First and Only Lesson, Eric’s Haircut, Dogwalker, Rogers Park, Olympia: Manual on how to live your life, Signature Move, En Algun Lugar, Princess Cyd, and Single File.
La Shawn Banks (Lewis) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in Isaac's Eye, The Liar, Travels With My Aunt, Old Glory, The Turn of the Screw, The Duchess of Malfi and To The Green Fields Beyond. Favorite Chicago productions include Short Shakespeare! Twelfth Night (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Le Switch (About Face Theatre), The Wheel (Steppenwolf Theatre Company) and A Year With Frog and Toad (Chicago Children's Theatre). Favorite regional productions include Around The World In 80 Days (Indiana Repertory Theatre), A Streetcar Named Desire, The Island, Edward Albee's Seascape, Troilus and Cressida, The Critic and Of Mice and Men (American Players Theatre). Television credits include Chicago Justice, Chicago PD (NBC), Shameless (Showtime) and The Exorcist (FOX). Film credits include The Merry Gentleman (directed by Michael Keaton) and Surprise Me!.
Deanna Myers (Clea) makes her Writers Theatre debut. Recent Chicago credits include: You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), the Chicago and Miami Productions of The Hammer Trinity (The House Theatre), SideShow (Porchlight Music Theatre), the New Stages Production of King of the Yees and The White Snake (Goodman Theatre), The Golden Dragon (Sideshow Theatre) and The Three Musketeers (Lifeline Theatre). Television credits include Chicago Fire (NBC) and The Drunk. Film credits include The Drunk. Deanna is a proud company member at Barrel of Monkeys, where she finds her favorite young playwrights among the students of CPS schools, and is a perpetual student at the Actors Gymnasium.
Mark L. Montgomery (Charlie) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in Hedda Gabler, The Letters and The Beats. Mark has appeared in more than a dozen productions with Chicago Shakespeare Theater including Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida and Rose Rage: Henry VI Parts 1, 2 and 3. Other Chicago credits include Camino Real, Stage Kiss, A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), Fascination (About Face Theatre), Want, The Time of Your Life (Steppenwolf Theatre), In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play, Equivocation (Victory Gardens), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Apple Tree Theatre), and In the Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison (The Journeymen Theater Company) as well as shows with Remy Bumppo and Northlight Theatre, among others. New York credits include The Seagull, Mamma Mia! (Broadway), Macbeth (The Public), The Runner Stumbles (The Actors Company Theatre) and The Madras House (Mint Theater Company). Regional credits include Julius Caesar (American Repertory Theater and French tour) and Emma (Cleveland Playhouse). Television credits include Boss (Starz), Law & Order (NBC) and Guiding Light (CBS).
This is the first Theresa Rebeck play to be produced at
Cast members Charin Alvarez (Stella)
and Deanna Myers (Clea) will be appearing at
Writers Theatre for the first time.
ASL-Interpreted performance: Friday, March 31, 2017 at 7:30pm
Open-Captioned performance: Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 7:30pm
Sunday Spotlight—Sunday, March 19, 2017
Are you curious about the world that surrounds your favorite plays? Sunday Spotlight offers access to the finest speakers, scholars and cultural leaders. This one-hour event extends the conversation on our stages by featuring an expert in an area connected to the play. Seating is limited. RSVP is required. Save the date!
The Making of… Series—Monday, March 27, 2017 at 6:30pm
Writers Theatre will once again host its popular The Making of… Series, providing insight into a different aspect of creating the productions seen on our stages. Enjoy a short and lively presentation by our actors, designers or other experts who will walk you through the process of preparing for and executing a production. The Making of… events are FREE and open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.
Post Show Conversation: The Word
Join us after every Tuesday evening performance (excluding previews and extensions) for a 15-minute discussion of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.
Post Show Conversation: The Artist
Join us after every Wednesday evening performance (excluding previews and extensions) for a 15-minute talk-back featuring actors from the production, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.
Pre-Show Conversation: Up Close
Join us at 6:45pm before every Thursday evening performance (excluding previews and extensions) for a 15-minute primer on the context and content of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.
For more information about Writers Theatre Audience Enrichment programs visit writerstheatre.org/events.
RIDE METRA TO WRITERS THEATRE
In an effort to promote taking public transit to the Theatre, Writers Theatre launched a new promotion in 2013. Any audience member who purchases a ticket to a Writers Theatre production and rides Metra’s Union Pacific North Line to the Theatre may snap a photo of themselves on the train and post it to their Facebook or Instagram page or their Twitter feed with a tag of @WritersTheatre and #[the title of the show], and upon showing the post at the Writers Theatre Box Office, receive $5 in cash to put toward the cost of your fare as a thank you for going green.
This promotion is available for a limited time only, and may end without warning. Ticket must have been paid for in advance. Not valid on comp tickets. More information available at writerstheatre.org/metra
WRITERS THEATRE PARTNERS
Writers Theatre is pleased to recognize BMO Harris Bank as the 25th Anniversary Season Sponsor for the 2016/17 season. ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor of the season. The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation provides Foundation Support and the Artists Council Sponsors are Gail and Tom Hodges. Additional support for The Scene provided by the Director’s Society Sponsors, Cindy and David Knapp, Michael and Christine Pope, Craig and Linda Umans, and Sallyan Windt.
For more information about Writers Theatre’s 2016/17 Partners, visit writerstheatre.org/our-supporters.
ABOUT WRITERS THEATRE
For 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.
Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues.
In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.
Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at Facebook.com/WritersTheatre or follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter. For more information, visit www.writerstheatre.org.