Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:
Northlight Theatre concludes its 2017-18 season with
Cry It Out
Written by Molly Smith Metzler
Directed by Jessica Fisch
Featuring Laura Lapidus, Gabriel Ruiz, Darci Nalepa,
and Kristina Valada-Viars
May 10 – June 17, 2018
I'll be out for the press opening on May 18th, so check back soon for my full review. Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we've long enjoyed Northlight Theatre's acclaimed productions and new work. There's still a gender gap in the theatre world, so we're elated this show is written and directed by women and deals with an intense and all too common collective experience. We're eager to catch Cry It Out.
Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, concludes its 2017-18 season with Cry It Out, written by Molly Smith Metzler and directed by Jessica Fisch. Cry It Out runs May 10 – June 17, 2018 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie.
Cooped up on maternity leave and eager for conversation, Jessie invites the funny and forthright Lina for coffee on their neighboring patios. They become fast friends, quickly bonding over their shared “new mom” experience—and arousing the interest of a wealthy neighbor hoping for a similar connection. This insightful comedy takes an honest look at the absurdities of new motherhood, the dilemma of returning to work versus staying at home, and how class impacts parenthood and friendship.
“Northlight has always been interested in new work. Last year one of the hits of The Humana Festival was Cry It Out, the story of young women struggling with the exhausting adjustment to one of the most difficult jobs of all—motherhood. The work/life balance is a challenge for all of us, but it becomes a psychological battle for women who prepare for their careers, only to have to make a choice, to stay home or leave their babies with caregivers. The guilt inherent in the latter is so powerful it can distract from focusing on their professional career,” comments BJ Jones. “At the helm is director Jessica Fisch whose husband is also our lighting designer Paul Toben. Their daughter Olivia is not yet a year, but she is already broken in as a green room baby. Jess knows the geographical and emotional territory because she is living it in real time. And Molly Smith Metzler's writing is both familiar and surprising, fresh and resonant, the kind of conversations that I hear in my home, between my children and their friends.”
Previews: May 10 – 17, 2018
Regular run: May 19 – June 17, 2018
Schedule: Tuesdays: 7:30pm (May 15 only)
Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except May 30) and 7:30pm
Saturdays: 2:30pm (except May 12) and 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm and 7:00pm (May 13 and June 3 only)
Northlight Theatre is located at the North Shore
Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd,
Regular run: $30-$81
Student tickets are $15, any performance
(subject to availability)
The Box Office is located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie.
Cry It Out premiered at The Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville where dramaturg Lauren Shouse brought it to the attention of BJ Jones. Jessica Fisch also saw it at Humana. Then in her first trimester with her daughter, Jessica immediately connected with the play and said, “I was seeing so much of my future self on stage. I ended up laugh-crying through the whole play. So much so that the man next to me put his hand on me and asked, ‘Are you okay?’ To which I exclaimed, ‘Yes, I’m pregnant!’ I wasn’t showing yet and I think he was afraid I was having a nervous breakdown. I just felt so immediately seen by the play because those characters were having conversations that at that point I was only having with myself. It was surreal, I felt like I knew these people.”
Cry It Out was commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville and premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in spring 2017. Northlight's production, directed by Jessica Fisch, will be the first outside of the Festival.
The cast of Cry It Out includes Laura Lapidus (Lina), Gabriel Ruiz (Mitchell), Darci Nalepa (Jessie) and Kristina Valada-Viars (Adrienne).
The creative team includes Andrew Boyce (Scenic Design), Stephanie Cluggish (Costume Design), Paul Toben (Lighting Design) and Kevin O’Donnell (Sound Design). The stage manager is Rita Vreeland.
Northlight’s production of Cry It Out is supported in part by Room & Board, Edward Jones, Plante Moran, MB Financial, Coldwell Banker, John J. Cahill Inc., Uline, Mary Ann and David Grumman, and Greg and Anne Taubeneck Fund at Chicago Community Trust.
The entire cast including Laura Lapidus (Lina), Gabriel Ruiz (Mitchell), Darci Nalepa (Jessie) and Kristina Valada-Viars (Adrienne) will be making their Northlight debuts in Cry It Out. This also marks the first production at Northlight for playwright Molly Smith Metzler and director Jessica Fisch.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Molly Smith Metzler (Playwright) is the author of Cry it Out, Elemeno Pea, The May Queen, Carve, Training Wisteria and Close Up Space. Regional credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana Festival, South Coast Repertory, The Kennedy Center, The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Chautauqua Theater Company, City Theatre, Play Makers Rep, Geva Theatre Center, and many more. Off-Broadway credits include Manhattan Theatre Club. Metzler’s awards include the Lecomte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center, the National Student Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s David Mark Cohen Award, the Mark Twain Comedy Prize, and a finalist nod for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is currently under commission at Manhattan Theatre Club and South Coast Repertory. In television, Metzler has written for Casual (Hulu), Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Codes of Conduct (HBO), and is currently a writer/co-producer on Shameless (Showtime). She is also a screenwriter, currently adapting Ali Benjamin’s award-winning novel The Thing About Jellyfish into a film for OddLot and Pacific Standard (Reese Witherspoon’s company). Metzler was educated at SUNY Geneseo, Boston University, New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, and The Juilliard School. She lives in Los Angeles.
Molly Smith Metzler is currently under commission at Manhattan Theatre Club and South Coast Repertory. In television, Metzler has written for Casual (Hulu), Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Codes of Conduct (HBO), and is currently a writer/co-producer on Shameless (Showtime). She is also a screenwriter, currently adapting Ali Benjamin’s award-winning novel The Thing About Jellyfish into a film for OddLot and Pacific Standard (Reese Witherspoon’s company).
Jessica Fisch (Director) has previously directed You Across From Me (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival); Late Company (Cor Theatre); The Firebirds Take The Field (Rivendell); Straight White Men (Associate Director, Steppenwolf); Trudy, Carolyn, Martha and Regina Travel to Outer Space (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival); The Rosenkranz Mysteries: An Evening of Magic (The Royal George); Fefu and Her Friends (Goodman /Rivendell Latinx Celebration); Opulent Complex and That Thing That Time (Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Tens); Psychodramatic (A Red Orchid, Incubator Series); and Traces (Feast Productions/Jackalope). Select New York credits include The Realm (The Wild Project); strive/seek/find (Abingdon Theatre); the 2009 Playwrights Horizons’ Stories on 5 Stories Benefit, Personal History (Ensemble Studio Theatre); The Redheaded Man (Barrow Street Theatre/Fringe NYC/Fringe Encores); Dressed In Your Dreams (Public Theater/Emerging Writers Group); and an adaptation of the cult 1960’s gothic vampire soap opera Dark Shadows (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Jessica was a resident director at Ensemble Studio Theater, the Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident, and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. She holds an MFA from Northwestern University.
Laura Lapidus (Lina) previously appeared at the North Shore Center as Daphna in Theater Wit’s Bad Jews. She later reprised the role in other productions at DC’s Studio Theatre and New Jersey’s George Street Playhouse. Other credits include Stay Lit (Steppenwolf LookOut Series); Balm in Gilead, Golden Boy, Port (Griffin Theatre); The Seagull (The Artistic Home); Pains of Youth (Odradek/Oracle); and breaks & bikes (Pavement Group). Film/Television credits include Chicago PD and The Two (co-writer, producer). She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Michigan. Laura is the winner of a 2018-19 Fulbright Award and will pursue a Masters in Classical Acting at LAMDA this fall.
Gabriel Ruiz (Mitchell) is a proud ensemble member of Teatro Vista, Chicago credits include You Got Older, The Rembrandt, The Way West, How Long Will I Cry? and The Motherfucker with the Hat (Steppenwolf); Native Gardens (Victory Gardens); Agamemnon and Man in the Ring (Court); Arcadia and Company (Writers); City of Angels and Singin’ in the Rain (Marriott); The Upstairs Concierge (Goodman); The Wolf at the End of the Block and White Tie Ball (Teatro Vista); Creditor (Remy Bumppo); Sita Ram (Chicago Children’s Choir); Working: The Musical (Broadway Playhouse); Richard III and Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chicago Shakespeare) and Arabian Nights (Lookingglass). His regional credits include Native Gardens (Cincinatti Playhouse), Harvey (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them (Forward Theatre Company), and Blood and Gifts (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York). He has composed music and lyrics for Don Chipotle performed at DCASE, and Epic Tale of Scale for Chicago Children’s Theater. He has appeared on television in Boss, APB, Electric Dreams, Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, and Chicago PD.
Darci Nalepa (Jessie) is a proud ensemble member of The Gift Theatre where she has appeared in A Swell In the Ground, A Life Extra Ordinary, and Good for Otto. Other Chicago credits include: Queen (Victory Gardens), Kill Floor (American Theatre Company), Northanger Abbey (Remy Bumppo), and The Drunken City (Steppenwolf). Darci appeared in Stephen Cone’s film Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party and is the co-creator of the upcoming web series The Force. Television credits include Patriot, Shameless and Chicago Fire. She is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf and proudly works as an Instructor at Black Box Acting. Darci is represented by Gray Talent Group.
Kristina Valada-Viars (Adrienne) is a theatre artist living in Chicago. As an actor and director, her work has been primarily devoted to new work development and first and second productions of new American plays. Most recently, she was seen in Steppenwolf for Young Audience’s production of The Crucible, the independent web series The Force, and served as Assistant Director on The Doppleganger (Steppenwolf). Acting credits include: Steppenwolf (Jeff Nomination, Time Stands Still), Goodman, New Dramatists, The New Group, 13P, Writers, Theater Wit, Route 66, About Face. Film/TV credits include Molly’s Girl (Best Actress in a Feature, Iris Prize), Black Box, Shameless, Empire. She is an activist, freelance writer, teacher and a member of the Chicago Green Theatre Alliance. She is working to foster artist-led exchange with performer-based communities outside of traditional commercial theatre circuit cities and actively works to expand casting boundaries within traditional narrative forms. She is the recipient of the 2017 Princess Grace Award and Fellowship in residence with Steppenwolf Theatre Company for the 2017-2018 season.
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 (May 15 only); Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except May 30) and 7:30pm; Thursdays: 7:30pm; Fridays: 8:00pm; Saturdays: 2:30pm (except May 12) and 8:00pm; and Sundays: 2:30pm and 7:00pm (May 13 and June 3 only).
Northlight is continuing its popular special event series in conjunction with each production. All events are free.
Backstage with BJ: Cry It Out
Friday, May 4 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 Cry It Out 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 Look: Cry It Out
Tuesday, May 22
at Wilmette Public Library
1242 Wilmette Ave, Wilmette, IL
and Wednesday, May 30
at Highland Park Public Library
494 Laurel Ave, Highland Park, IL
Explore the context of Cry It Out through a discussion and Q&A session with artists related to the production.
Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community.
Now in its 43rd season, the organization has mounted over 200 productions, including nearly 40 world premieres. Northlight has earned 207 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 36 Awards, as well as nine Edgerton Foundation for New Play Awards. As one of the area’s premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.
Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from Allstate Insurance; the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Robert & Isabelle Bass Foundation; BMO Harris Bank; Henrietta Lange Burk Fund; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust; ComEd, An Exelon Company; The Davee Foundation; Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award; Evanston Community Foundation; Full Circle Foundation; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Melvoin Award for Playwriting; Modestus Bauer Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Niles Township; The Offield Family Foundation; The Pauls Foundation; Room & Board; Sanborn Family Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Sullivan Family Foundation; and Tom Stringer Design Partners.