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Northlight Theatre concludes its 2018-19 season with
Into the Breeches!
Written by George Brant
Directed by Jessica Thebus
Featuring Mitchell Fain, Molly Hernandez, Annie Munch, Darci Nalepa, Hollis Resnik, Penny Slusher, Penelope Walker and Fred Zimmerman
May 9 – June 16, 2019
I'll be out to review in mid May, so check back with ChiIL Live Shows like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, concludes its 2018-19 season with Into the Breeches!, written by George Brant and directed by Jessica Thebus. Into the Breeches! runs May 9 – June 16, 2019 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie.
It’s 1942 and with the men off at war, the Oberon Play House is lacking its director and leading men. The season will be canceled…until the director’s wife rallies the troops at home for an all-female production. With the opportunity to move from the sidelines to centerstage, the women forge ahead with a spirit of collaboration, dauntless enthusiasm, and a belief in the power of art to move us forward. This surprisingly modern comedy proves that the show not only must, but will go on.
“Playwright George Brandt is a Morton Grove native and alumnus of Northwestern. In fact, George has set the play against the backdrop of Evanston during the Second World War,” comments BJ Jones. “In Shakespeare's time as you know, women's roles were played by young men, as women on stage were deemed scandalous and inappropriate. Brandt has flipped this around, casting women in men's roles through necessity during the Great War, and not just in service of humor, but taking the opportunity to discuss issues of gender we focus on today. In fact, theatrical funding, racial issues, class structure all are examined through the lens of history. The celebration of theatre that is Into the Breeches! is a refreshing finish to this wonderful 44th season.”
The cast of Into the Breeches! includes Mitchell Fain (Stuart Lasker), Molly Hernandez (June Bennett), Annie Munch (Grace Richards), Darci Nalepa (Maggie Dalton), Hollis Resnik (Celeste Fielding), Penny Slusher (Winifred Snow), Penelope Walker (Ida Green) and Fred Zimmerman (Ellsworth Snow).
The creative team includes Arnel Sancianco (set design), Samantha C. Jones (costume design), JR Lederle (lighting design) and Kevin O’Donnell (sound design). The dramaturg is Lauren Shouse and the stage manager is Rita Vreeland.
Northlight’s production of Into the Breeches! is supported in part by John J. Cahill, J. Douglas Gray/Marshall Street Capital, Carol & Steve Mullins, The Pauls Foundation, Plante Moran, and Room & Board.
Into the Breeches! is the first of George Brant’s plays to be presented at Northlight. Brant is from Morton Grove and is a graduate of Northwestern University. The play is set in Evanston, IL.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
George Brant (Playwright) has had plays produced in the Chicago area including Grounded (produced at American Blues Theatre, Theater of Thought, ETOPiA, and Northwestern’s Jewish Theatre Ensemble), Any Other Name (Williams Street Rep) and Grizzly Mama (Rivendell Theatre). His work here in the ‘90s included One Hand Clapping, Tights on a Wire and Night of the Mime. His plays have been produced internationally and received a Lucille Lortel Award, an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, and the Keene Prize for Literature. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and received his MFA in Writing from the Michener Center at UT-Austin. Upcoming work includes the world premiere of The Prince of Providence at Trinity Repertory Company and an operatic version of Grounded at The Met.
This is Director Jessica Thebus’s seventh production with Northlight Theatre. She is Director of the Graduate Directing Program at Northwestern University.
Mitchell Fain (Stuart Lasker) was born in Providence, Rhode Island and moved to Chicago 25 years later to grow up. He has had the opportunity to work with many wonderful people and companies here in Chicago including the Bailiwick, The Factory, Streetsigns, Roadworks, Chicago Shakespeare, Second City Theatricals, Eclipse, Pegasus Players, Northlight, and many more. He has appeared in a number of TV shows and commercials and several independent films. In addition, he is a member of Chicago’s own celebrated Midnight Circus where he flips, flops, and occasionally flies with his best friends and colleagues. Mitchell won an After Dark award for his performance as William Shakespeare in the Circus’s production of All the World’s a Stage. Most recently, Mitchell played Puck in Indiana Repertory’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Theatre Guy in the premiere of Stilettos, Circus, and Soul at Northlight Theatre. Favorite roles include Henry VI, Horatio, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara, Stephen Daedelus, Peter Van Daan, and a killer cheerleader named Pepper in the long running hit Bitches.
Molly Hernandez (June Bennett) has enjoyed performing for others since the age of 9 when she debuted as Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Shortly after, she worked professionally with the Court Theater in Wait Until Dark and has since worked in film, video, voice over, print ads and commercials. Regionally, Molly portrayed Maria Elena Santiago in American Blues Theater’s production of The Buddy Holly Story. Molly also played Rosabella in the Jeff Recommended production of The Most Happy Fella at Theo Ubique, for which she was nominated for the Best Actress in a Principal Role in a Musical. She has also appeared in multiple productions with Collaboraction Theatre Company and played Julie Jordan in Carousel as a member of the 2017 Resident Company at Timber Lake Playhouse. On television, Molly can be seen as Elisa Rodriguez on episode 512 of Chicago PD and as Maya Ruiz on episode 105 of APB. She has also been featured in a number of films and commercials.
Molly Hernandez (June Bennett) and Annie Munch (Grace Richards) are making their Northlight debuts in Into the Breeches!
Darci Nalepa (Maggie Dalton) 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: Cry It Out (Northlight), 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 works as an Instructor at Black Box Acting.
Hollis Resnik (Celeste Fielding) returns to Northlight after having been seen in Grey Gardens as Big/Little Edie, You Can’t Take It With You, The Immigrant and Enter the Guardsman. She was last seen as Miriam in Court’s The Good Book. National tours include: Les Miserables, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Sister Act. Recipient of the 2012 Lunt/Fontaine Fellowship, several Jeff awards, 2 Sarah Siddons Awards and a Helen Hayes Award.
Penny Slusher (Winifred Snow) last appeared at Northlight in By the Water. Other Northlight productions include You Can’t Take It With You, Chapatti, Sense & Sensibility and A Life. Chicago credits include: Sweet Bird of Youth (Goodman); Uncle Vanya (After Dark Award), The Importance of Being Earnest, James Joyce’s “The Dead” (Court); Old Glory, Another Part of the Forest (Jeff Award), Bus Stop, The Subject Was Roses (Writers). Regional credits include: Chapatti and The Hollow (Peninsula Players), My Fair Lady (Asolo Repertory), and Sense & Sensibility (Actors Theatre of Louisville and Saint Louis Repertory). International Theatre credits include: Chapatti and Stella & Lou (Northlight at Galway International Arts Festival, Ireland), August: Osage County (Steppenwolf at Sydney Theatre, Australia). Film and television credits include: Virginia, Meet the Browns, Grace is Gone, and The Connie Banks Show.
Penelope Walker (Ida Green) returns to Northlight after previously appearing in Curve of Departure, Eclipsed, Gee’s Bend, and Bee Luther Hatchee. Other Chicago credits include Life Sucks, Black Diamond, The Years the Locusts Have Eaten (Lookingglass); The House That Will Not Stand, No One As Nasty (Victory Gardens); A Christmas Carol, The Story, Crowns, (Goodman); Love & Information (Remy Bumppo); We’re Gonna Be Okay, The Projects, Agnes of God, Doubt, People’s Temple (American Theatre Company); Will You Stand Up (Erasing the Distance Theatre Company); Seven Homeless Mammoths Wandering New England (Theatre Wit); Love Lies Bleeding (Steppenwolf); 10 Virgins, Voyeurs de Venus (Chicago Dramatists); and The Clink (Rivendell Theatre). She created and performed her own solo show How I Jack Master Funked The Sugar in My Knee Caps. Film/Web/TV credits include: Dubious Ruffians, Olympia, Flowers, Matching Pursuit, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, and Boss.
Fred Zimmerman (Ellsworth Snow) has appeared at Court, Northlight, and Goodman, and around the country in the National Touring Companies of Show Boat, Ragtime, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes (as Santa, of course). You may also have caught him last season on NBC’s Chicago Fire, or you may have had your mind read during one of his regular corporate-event appearances as Fred Zimmerman – The Chicago Mentalist.
Written for the ensemble of Trinity Repertory Company it is a perfect vehicle for the amazing ensemble that is the Chicago theatre community. Northlight welcomes back some favorite artists, as well as some exciting new faces, under the gifted direction of Jessica Thebus, who guided Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The Book of Will and next season The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley.
Curtain times are: Tuesdays: 7:30pm (May 14 only); Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except May 29); and 7:30pm; Thursdays: 7:30pm; Fridays: 8:00pm; Saturdays: 2:30pm (except May 11); and 8:00pm; and Sundays: 2:30pm; and 7:00pm (May 12 and June 2 only).
Backstage with BJ: Into the Breeches!
Friday, May 3 at noon
at Northlight Theatre
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 Into the Breeches! 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.
Post Show Discussions will be held after the following performances:
May 14, May 30 and June 6 following the evening performances and May 12, May 22, May 26, and June 5 following the matinees.
An Open Captioning performance will be held on Saturday, June 8 at 2:30pm.
Previews: May 9 – 16, 2019
Regular run: May 18 – June 16, 2019
Tuesdays: 7:30pm (May 14 only)
Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except May 29); and 7:30pm
Saturdays: 2:30pm (except May 11); and 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm; and 7:00pm (May 12 and June 2 only)
Location: Northlight Theatre is located at the North Shore
Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd,
Regular run: $30-$88
Student tickets are $15, any performance
(subject to availability)
The Box Office is located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie.
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 44th season, the organization has mounted over 200 productions, including more than 40 world premieres. Northlight has earned 207 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 36 Awards, as well as ten 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.
Northlight Theatre is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres.