Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Writers Theatre presents
Written by Sam Shepard
Directed by WT Resident Director Kimberly Senior
Featuring Shannon Cochran, Allen Gilmore, Arti Ishak, Timothy Edward Kane,
Shane Kenyon, Mark L. Montgomery and Larry Yando
May 9 – June 17, 2018
I'll be ChiILin' just north of Chi, IL in Glencoe, with the acclaimed Writers Theatre, for the press opening of Buried Child on May 16th. Writers Theatre has long been a favorite of mine, for stellar seasons, award winning productions, and world class talent. I'm eager to catch their latest since Kimberly Senior is directing and I've long enjoyed her work. With the incomparable Larry Yando as Dodge, and an excellent cast all around, this is sure to be one to see.
On a cross-country trip from New York to the west coast, Vince and his girlfriend Shelly decide to make a stop at his grandparents’ rural Illinois home. But when they arrive, neither his grandparents, Dodge and Halie, nor his father Tilden and uncle Bradley seem to recognize or remember him. As Vince searches for answers, truths begin to emerge that reveal a deep corrosion of this fragmented family living in a forgotten America.
This Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece will be newly invigorated for the WT stage by Resident Director Kimberly Senior (Hedda Gabler, The Diary of Anne Frank, Marjorie Prime, The Scene), drawing audiences deeply into the story of a family fighting to come to grips with an America that may have left them behind.
First performance: Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Press opening: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 7:30pm
Closing performance: June 17, 2018
Tuesdays – Fridays: 7:30pm
(with select 3:00pm Wednesday matinees)
Saturdays: 3:00pm and 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm and 6:00pm
The Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre
325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
Prices for all performances range from $35 - $80
Purchase early for best prices
The Box Office is located at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe;
WT’s production of Buried Child represents the first major Chicago production of a Sam Shepard play since his death in July of 2017.
“Part of the Writers Theatre mission is to revive plays from the existing dramatic canon,” says artistic director Michael Halberstam “As a company that eschews overly conceptual stagings, the opportunity to look at that canon with fresh eyes is essential to keeping these plays relevant. Shepard’s writing has a decidedly masculine perspective and yet, thematically, his play seems to signal the death of the patriarchy, the dwindling of the American Dream and it offers empathic insight into a segment of the population that the mainstream largely ignored, until they made themselves viscerally heard in the most recent election. It is therefore very worthy of revival.
Buried Child is Director Kimberly Senior’s sixth production at Writers Theatre. She previously directed The Scene, Marjorie Prime, The Diary of Anne Frank, Hedda Gabler and The Letters.
Two cast members are making their Writers Theatre debuts in this production: Arti Ishak (Shelly) and Shane Kenyon (Vince).
The cast of Buried Child includes: Shannon Cochran (Halie), Allen Gilmore (Father Dewis), Arti Ishak (Shelly), Timothy Edward Kane (Bradley), Shane Kenyon (Vince), Mark L. Montgomery (Tilden) and Larry Yando (Dodge).
In creating the set for Buried Child, the WT production team imported 150 cubic yards of “stover” a mix of dirt and corn debris that is left over after a field has been harvested but not cleared for the next crop. That 150 cubic yards represents 350 plowed stalks of corn, which is cured and treated for bugs before use on stage.
The designers are Jack Magaw (scenic), Mieka van der Ploeg (costumes), Heather
Gilbert (lighting), Mikhail Fiksel (sound) and Scott Dickens (props). The fight director is Matt Hawkins and the production stage manager is David Castellanos.
Tickets are priced $35 - $80. Subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased online at www.writerstheatre.org, by phone at 847-242-6000 or in person at the box office at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe.
Sam Shepard’s Buried Child premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in 1978 and had its New York premiere at Theater for the New City later that year. The play won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as Shepard the 1979 Obie Award for Playwriting. The 1996 Broadway production, directed by Gary Sinise, was nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Play. Buried Child was revived Off-Broadway by The New Group in 2016. The production was nominated for two Lucille Lortel Awards, for Outstanding Lead Actor (Ed Harris) and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Paul Sparks). It transferred to the West End for a limited engagement in November 2016 starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan of the Off-Broadway production.
Sam Shepard (Playwright) ranks as one of America's most celebrated dramatists. Prior to his death in 2017, he wrote nearly 50 plays and saw his work produced across the nation, in venues ranging from Greenwich Village coffee shops to regional professional and community theatres, from college campuses to commercial Broadway houses. His plays are regularly anthologized, and theatre professors teach Sam Shepard as a canonical American author. Outside of his stage work, he achieved fame as an actor, writer and director in the film industry. With a career that spanned nearly 40 years, Sam Shepard gained the critical regard, media attention and iconic status enjoyed by only a rare few in American theatre. Throughout his career Shepard amassed numerous grants, prizes, fellowships and awards, including the Cannes Palme d'Or and the Pulitzer Prize. He received abundant popular praise and critical adulation. While the assessment of Shepard's standing may evidence occasional hyperbole, there can be little doubt that he has spoken in a compelling way to American theatre audiences and that his plays have found deep resonance in the nation's cultural imagination.
Several members of the Buried Child cast and creative team (including director Kimberly Senior, scenic designer Jack Magaw, lighting designer Heather Gilbert, and actors Shane Kenyon and Larry Yando) have personal connections to Shepard’s work and Buried Child, specifically, and have noted the influence Shepard’s work has had on their careers.
Kimberly Senior (Director) returns to Writers where she previously directed The Scene, Marjorie Prime, The Diary of Anne Frank, Hedda Gabler and The Letters. Chicago credits include: Disgraced and Rapture, Blister, Burn (Goodman Theatre), Discord, 4000 Miles, The Whipping Man (Northlight Theatre), Want, The North Plan (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Inana, My Name is Asher Lev, All My Sons, Dolly West's Kitchen (TimeLine Theatre Company), Disgraced (American Theatre Company), among others. New York credits include: Disgraced (2013 Pulitzer Prize, Broadway), Chris Gethard's Career Suicide (Judd Apatow Productions), Discord (Primary Stages), Engagements (Second Stage Uptown), The Who and The What and Disgraced (Lincoln Center Theater 3). Regional credits include: Sheltered (Alliance Theatre), The Niceties (Contemporary American Theatre Festival), Other Than Honorable (Geva Theatre Center), Sex with Strangers (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, A Few Good Men (Peninsula Players), among others. Upcoming shows include Support Group for Men (Goodman Theatre), The Niceties (Huntington Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre) and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Milwaukee Repertory). Kimberly also directed Chris Gethard's Career Suicide (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.
Returning to Writers Theatre are Shannon Cochran (Halie), Allen Gilmore (Father Dewis), Timothy Edward Kane (Bradley), Mark L. Montgomery (Tilden) and Larry Yando (Dodge).
Shannon Cochran (Halie) has previously appeared at Writers Theatre in The Importance of Being Earnest, The Dance of Death, Hamlet, A Little Night Music, The Lion in Winter, The Father and Private Lives (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination). Her recent theatre work includes the world premiere of A Doll's House, Part 2 (South Coast Repertory), The Christians (Steppenwolf Theatre Company) and the Roundabout National Tour of Cabaret. She performed in the National Tour of August: Osage County, for which received a Helen Hayes nomination and Chicago Theatre award. She is an Obie and TheatreWorld Award winner for the role she created in Bug (Gate Theatre-London, Barrow Street Theatre). Other theatre credits include The Old Globe, Long Wharf Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Geffen Playhouse, Court Theatre, Victory Gardens, Route 66 Theatre, The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Playhouse on the Square, Barbican (London). Her directing credits include Fallen Angels (Remy Bumppo), Dirty (Zephyr Theatre, West Coast premiere), Bug (Barebones Productions), The Rivalry, The Real Dr. Strangelove and Judgement at Nuremberg (LA Theatreworks), Therese Raquin (greasyjoan) and Private Passage (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble). Film credits include Captive State (in production), The Ring, Star Trek: Nemesis, Be Good for Rachel, The Perfect Family, Flowers and Weeds, and Fenton Black. Television credits include Modern Family, Scandal, Grey's Anatomy (ABC), NCIS: LA, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (CBS), The Office, Law and Order: SVU (NBC) and others.
Allen Gilmore (Father Dewis) previously appeared at Writers Theatre in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Most recently, Allen was seen in An Enemy of the People, as Alternate Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Yasmina’s Necklace, Objects in the Mirror (all at Goodman Theatre) and Man in the Ring (Court Theatre). Last summer he was A Clown in The 39 Steps and The Duke in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Santa Cruz Shakespeare). He began the 2017/18 season at The Jewel Theater in Santa Cruz as Joe Keller in All My Sons. Allen has performed at theaters in Chicago and across North America including Lookingglass Theatre Company, Congo Square Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, The Shakespeare Theater DC, Arena Stage, Portland Stage, Citadel Theater in Edmonton, National Arts Center in Ottawa, Atlantic Theater Festival in Nova Scotia and on Broadway. He is a native of Houston, a US Army Infantry veteran, a 2015 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow and a 2015 3Arts awardee.
Director Kimberly Senior has noted that in the context of today’s world, Buried Child feels more like it is “Shelly’s play” to her in ways different than before, emphasizing the themes of gender and generational power politics. In the Writers Theatre production, Shelly is played by Arti Ishak in her WT debut.
Arti Ishak (Shelly) is an actor, writer and teaching artist originally from Detroit. Recent Chicago credits include Men On Boats (American Theater Company), Johnny 10 Beers’ Daughter (Chicago Dramatists), Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre), Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno (The Second City), Harbur Gate (16th Street Theatre) and A Story Told in Seven Fights (The Neo-Futurists). She is a graduate of Western Michigan University's Theatre and Business schools.
Timothy Edward Kane (Bradley) previously appeared at Writers Theatre in Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Arms and the Man. Other Chicago credits include All My Sons, Harvey, One Man Two Guvnors, An Iliad (2011 & 2013), The Illusion, Wild Duck, Titus Andronicus, Uncle Vanya, The Romance Cycle, Hamlet (Court Theatre), Faceless, Lost in Yonkers, The Miser, She Stoops to Conquer (Northlight Theatre), Blood and Gifts (TimeLine Theatre Company), The North Plan (Steppenwolf Garage) and fifteen productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theater including Tug of War: Civil Strife, The Comedy Of Errors, A Flea In Her Ear and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (CST and at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-Upon-Avon). Regional credits: The Mark Taper Forum, Notre Dame Shakespeare, Peninsula Players and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. TV: Chicago Fire (NBC). Education: BS, Ball State University; MFA, Northern Illinois University. He is the recipient of a Joseph Jefferson award and an After Dark award.
Shane Kenyon (Vince) recently appeared in Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare in Love and As You Like It (Utah Shakespeare Festival). Shane has a Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actor in If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet (Steep Theatre). Other Chicago credits include Buzzer (Goodman Theatre), Where We’re Born, Hushabye, Betrayal, Sex With Strangers (u/s) (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), The Who and The What (Victory Gardens Theater), Shining City, The Seafarer (Jeff Award Winner – Best Ensemble), Shadow of a Gunman (Irish Theatre of Chicago, Ensemble Member), Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight (Windy City Playhouse), Season on the Line (The House Theatre of Chicago), Trainspotting USA (Book & Lyrics), Big Love (Strawdog Theatre), and Mary’s Wedding (Rivendell Theatre). Regional theatre credits include Hedda Gabler (Studio Theatre), Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre). Shane has been on screen in Chicago Med, Chicago Justice, Chicago PD (NBC), Empire, Chicago Code (Fox), Mind Games (ABC) along with multiple SAG independent films and commercials. Shane received his BFA in Theatre Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
Mark L. Montgomery (Tilden) has appeared at Writers Theatre in The Scene, 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, 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, Law & Order and Guiding Light.
Larry Yando and Shannon Cochran play opposite each other for the first time on a WT stage since their Joseph Jefferson Award-winning performances in the 2014 production of The Dance of Death by August Strindberg, adapted by Conor McPherson and directed by Henry Wishcamper.
Larry Yando (Dodge) has appeared at Writers Theatre in The Dance of Death, Hamlet, As You Like It, Bach at Leipzig, Rocket to the Moon and Nixon’s Nixon. Chicago credits include Ebenezer Scrooge in nine productions of A Christmas Carol, The Little Foxes, The Jungle Book, Candide (Jeff Award) (Goodman Theatre), Titus Andronicus (Defiant Theatre), Shakespeare in Love, The Tempest, King Lear, Julius Caesar, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Cymbeline, Timon of Athens, All’s Well That Ends Well, Henry IV Parts I and II, Antony and Cleopatra, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Angels in America (Jeff Award), Travesties, An Ideal Husband, Ghosts, Electra, Measure for Measure, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travels with My Aunt (Court Theatre), Fake, Mother Courage and Her Children (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Pegasus Players, Jeff Award), I Hate Hamlet and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Royal George Theatre). Regional credits include Angels in America, Arcadia and Amadeus at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Mr. Yando performed as Scar in the national tour of The Lion King for three years. He was honored as Chicago magazine’s Best Actor in Chicago, received DePaul University’s Excellence in the Arts Award and was the recipient of the 2014 Sarah Siddens Award for Chicago’s Leading Man. Mr. Yando has taught advanced acting classes at The Theatre School at DePaul University, Northwestern University, Columbia College Chicago and Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Classical Training Program. In 2010, he was one of nine actors chosen for the Lunt- Fontanne Fellowship Program, an acclaimed program serving regional theater actors and the future of American theater.
ASL-Interpreted performance: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 7:30pm
Open-Captioned performance: Friday, June 15, 2018 at 7:30pm
Sunday Spotlight — Sunday, June 3, 2018 after the matinee performance
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, June 11, 2018 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 First Week 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 First Week 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 First Week 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 2017/18 Season Sponsor and ComEd as the Official Lighting Sponsor of the 2017/18 Season. The Corporate Sponsor for Buried Child is United. Major Production Sponsors are Jennifer and Alec Litowitz. The Artists Council Sponsors are Susan and Don Belgrad and Gail and Tom Hodges. Additional support for Buried Child is provided by the Director’s Society Sponsors.
For more information about Writers Theatre’s 2017/18 partners, visit writerstheatre.org/our-supporters.
ABOUT WRITERS THEATRE
For more than 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, follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter or @Writers_Theatre on Instagram. For more information, visit www.writerstheatre.org.