Northlight Theatre continues its 2017-18 season
with the Midwest Premiere of
The Book of Will
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Jessica Thebus
November 9 – December 17, 2017
Here at ChiIL Live Show, we adore Shakespeare and can't wait to catch Northlight Theatre's latest, The Book of Will, by Lauren Gunderson, author of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, last year's Jeff nominated holiday hit at Northlight. We're also elated this production is both written and directed by women! We'll be seeing it on November 22nd, so check back shortly after for our full review.
Northlight Theatre recently received the 50/50 Applause Award for 2017 from the International Centre for Women Playwrights. The company was among 58 recipients honored for producing 50% or more plays by women playwrights during the 2016/17 season (which included the World Premiere of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon).
Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, presents the Midwest Premiere of The Book of Will, written by Lauren Gunderson and directed by Jessica Thebus. The Book of Will runs November 9 – December 17, 2017 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie.
William Shakespeare wrote some of the world’s most beloved plays – but without his friends, they may have been lost to history! Follow the members of Shakespeare’s own company as they cunningly navigate the production of the First Folio in 1623. They may not have any money or clear-cut rights to his work, but they’re armed with wit, humor, a deep camaraderie and a passion to preserve the plays that shaped their lives. With the help of their wives and colleagues, two actors set out not only to print a collection, but to uphold a legacy for the world. From the author of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.
Artistic Director BJ Jones comments, “Lauren Gunderson is one of America's most produced playwrights thanks to Miss Bennet and now The Book of Will. We are proud to have introduced her work to Chicago, and of the Jeff nomination she received for Miss Bennet. Our continued collaboration with her is a joy for us and, we're sure, for our audiences.”
In The Book of Will, playwright Lauren Gunderson imagines the backstory of the creation Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies – commonly referred to as The First Folio. Shakespeare’s fellow actors, John Heminges and Henry Condell, were responsible for and had to collect copies of the plays in the form of actors’ sides, prompt books, quarto texts and handwritten versions. Without them we may have forever lost plays such as Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Twelfth Night.
The cast of The Book of Will includes Rengin Altay (Rebecca Heminges/Anne Hathaway), Dana Black (Alice Heminges/Susannah Shakespeare), McKinley Carter (Elizabeth Condell/Emilia Bassano Lanier), Thomas J. Cox (Ralph Crane), William Dick (Ben Jonson/Sir Edward Dering), Sam Hubbard (Boy Hamlet/Marcus/Bernardo), Gregory Linington (Henry Condell), Jim Ortlieb (John Heminges), Luigi Sottile (Ed Knight/Isaac Jaggard) and Austin Tichenor (Richard Burbage/William Jaggard).
Austin Tichenor, playing Richard Burbage/William Jaggard), co-wrote Pop-Up Shakespeare, an illustrated pop-up book showing scenes and moments from all of Shakespeare’s plays. The book was released in early October. He wrote and performed in ten productions with the Reduced Shakespeare Company and hosts the weekly Reduced Shakespeare Company podcast.
The creative team includes Richard and Jacqueline Penrod (Scenic Design), Janice Pytel (Costume Design), Paul Toben (Lighting Design), and Rick Sims (Sound Design). The production stage manager is Kimberly Ann McCann.
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 (November 14 and 21 only); Wednesdays: 1:00pm and 7:30pm; Thursdays: 7:30pm (except Thanksgiving – November 23); Fridays: 8:00pm; Saturdays: 2:30pm (except November 11) and 8:00pm; and Sundays: 2:30pm and 7:00pm (November 12 and 26 only).
Northlight is continuing its popular special event series in conjunction with each production. All events are free.
Backstage with BJ: The Book of Will
Friday, November 3 at noon
at Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL
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 The Book of Will will last approximately one hour. The event is free but reservations are required. Visit https://northlight.org/events/backstage-with-bj/ to reserve your spot.
Inside The Book of Will
Thursday, November 30 at 2:00 pm
Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St., Skokie
Explore the inspiring true story of Shakespeare's First Folio and how that tale has been translated to the stage in a discussion and Q&A with artists related to the production.
Published in 1623, The First Folio contains approximately 900 pages and the following plays:
Comedies: The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Measure for Measure, The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Love's Labour's Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, All's Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, and The Winter's Tale
Histories: King John, Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, Henry V, Henry VI Part 1, Henry VI Part 2, Henry VI Part 3, Richard III, Henry VIII,
Tragedies: Troilus and Cressida, Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, and Cymbeline.
'Popping Up' with Austin
Tuesday, December 5 at 6:30pm
The Book Stall, 811 Elm St., Winnetka
Cast member Austin Tichenor will discuss his experiences with the Reduced Shakespeare Company, The Book of Will, and his own recent book: Pop-Up Shakespeare. Event includes a brief performance, book signing, and Q&A.
The Book of Will was commissioned by Denver Center Theatre Company and developed at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit.
Regular run: November 18 – December 17, 2017
Schedule: Tuesdays: 7:30pm (November 14 and 21 only)
Wednesdays: 1:00pm and 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm (except Thanksgiving – November 23)
Saturdays: 2:30pm (except November 11) and 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm and 7:00pm (November 12 and 26 only)
Location: Northlight Theatre is located at the North Shore
Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd,
Tickets: Previews: $30-$57
Regular run: $30-$81
Student tickets are $15, any performance
(subject to availability)
Box Office: The Box Office is located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie.