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TimeLine Theatre to open 2023-24 season with Chicago premiere production of
THE LEHMAN TRILOGY
2022 Tony Award Winner for Best Play
BY STEFANO MASSINI, ADAPTED BY BEN POWER, CO-DIRECTED BY NICK BOWLING AND VANESSA STALLING
PRESENTED AT BROADWAY IN CHICAGO’S BROADWAY PLAYHOUSE AT WATER TOWER PLACE, SEPTEMBER 19 – OCTOBER 29
TimeLine Theatre Company is pleased to announce that its Chicago premiere production of the internationally acclaimed and Tony Award-winning play THE LEHMAN TRILOGY by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power, will open the company’s upcoming 2023-2024 season.
Co-directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling and Vanessa Stalling, THE LEHMAN TRILOGY will run September 19 – October 29, 2023 at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. Opening Night is Wednesday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. Casting for THE LEHMAN TRILOGY, plus details of the three other productions planned for TimeLine’s 2023-2024 season, are still to be announced.
“TimeLine is elated to create a new production of the monumental play THE LEHMAN TRILOGY,” said TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. “Tailor-made for TimeLine’s mission of exploring history, the theatrical ambition of this play is thrilling, yet told in an astonishingly simple way, utilizing only three actors. The opportunity for Nick Bowling and Vanessa Stalling to envision a new production specifically for Chicago audiences is an honor—as is the furthering of our relationship with Broadway In Chicago, with whom we partnered on another epic Tony Award-winning play, Oslo, in 2019.”
Told in three parts over one evening, THE LEHMAN TRILOGY is the quintessential story of western capitalism, rendered through the lens of a single immigrant family. On a cold September morning in 1844, a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside dreaming of a new life in the new world. He is soon joined by his two brothers, and an American epic begins. 163 years later, the firm they establish—Lehman Brothers—spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy, triggering the largest financial crisis in history. Weaving together nearly two centuries of family history, this theatrical event charts the humble beginnings, outrageous successes, and devastating failure of the financial institution that would ultimately bring the global economy to its knees.
TimeLine’s production of THE LEHMAN TRILOGY is its Chicago premiere. The Italian theatre production had its world premiere in 2015 at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, directed by the late Italian theater innovator Luca Ronconi. THE LEHMAN TRILOGY made its English-language debut in London on July 12, 2018 at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre. On October 14, 2021, the play opened on Broadway. Both the London and Broadway premieres were directed by Sam Mendes.
Throughout its production history, THE LEHMAN TRILOGY has been met with extraordinary international acclaim. The Guardian proclaimed it “a kaleidoscopic social and political metaphor” and “an intimate epic about the shifting definition of the American Dream.” The Chicago Tribune praised it as “a masterwork” and The New York Times as “a vivid tale of profit and pain.” Vanity Fair raved that it is “true blockbuster theatre that will hold you captive until the final curtain call,” with Time Out New York saying “it leaves you dazzled.” And the Wall Street Journal declared that THE LEHMAN TRILOGY “surpasses all praise.”
THE LEHMAN TRILOGY received five 2022 Tony Awards, including Best Play, plus Drama League and Outer Critics Circle awards, and was nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Play.
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE AND LOCATION
TimeLine’s Chicago premiere of THE LEHMAN TRILOGY begins performances on Tuesday, September 19. Opening Night is Wednesday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through October 29, 2023 at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago.
The performance schedule is Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (also 2 p.m. matinees on October 4, 11, and 25), Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (except no 7:30 p.m. on October 8, 15, and 29).
The best way to secure seats to THE LEHMAN TRILOGY is to purchase a 2023-2024 TimeLine FlexPass Subscription. Four different tiers of 4-Admission FlexPasses, priced from $119 - $275, will go on sale soon (specific date to be announced). The three other productions of TimeLine’s 2023-2024 season are still to be announced. For more information, call (773) 281-8463 x6 or visit timelinetheatre.com.
THE LEHMAN TRILOGY will be part of the upcoming Broadway In Chicago season on sale in Spring 2023. Individual tickets for THE LEHMAN TRILOGY will go on sale in July 2023 (specific date to be announced). Group tickets for 10 or more are now on sale by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. For more information, visit or timelinetheatre.com.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Stefano Massini (Playwright) is an internationally renowned novelist and playwright who regularly contributes to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. For several years he has served as artistic consultant at Piccolo Teatro di Milano - Teatro d'Europa. His works, including The Lehman Trilogy, have been translated into 27 languages, and his plays have been performed in more theaters around the world than those of any other living Italian writer, produced as far afield as Iran and Korea, and staged by directors such as Luca Ronconi and Sam Mendes. His most acclaimed works, beyond The Lehman Trilogy, include Intractable Woman, a decades-long international success; Ladies Football Club, which premiered to wide acclaim in Spain; and 7 Minutes, hailed by LeMonde as a "masterpiece" at the Comédie Française. He has won numerous Italian awards, including the Premio Vittorio Tondelli and the Premio Ubu. Qualcosa sui Lehman (The Lehman Trilogy) was among the most acclaimed novels published in Italy in recent years and won the Selezione Campiello Prize, the Super Mondello Prize, the De Sica Prize, the Prix Médicis Essai and the Prix Meilleur Livre Stranger. He is currently creating a new multi-part play about the history of the atomic bomb, entitled Manhattan Project.
Ben Power (Adapter) is a writer for theatre and the screen. For the last 12 years he has worked at the National Theatre as associate director and deputy artistic director and was responsible for the temporary theatre The Shed. Work for the screen includes Munich: The Edge of War and The Hollow Crown (BAFTA nominations for Best Single Drama and Best Mini-Series). Work for the stage includes adaptations of DH Lawrence’s Husbands & Sons, Euripides' Medea and Ibsen’s Emperor & Galilean, all for the National; A Tender Thing for the RSC and Complicite’s A Disappearing Number (Olivier and Evening Standard Awards). He was associate director of Headlong where he adapted Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author and Marlowe’s Faustus. He is currently creating a television series for Working Title and is published by Faber & Faber.
Nick Bowling (Co-Director) was the founding Artistic Director and is now Associate Artistic Director and a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre, where he has directed more than 30 productions. He is the recipient of eight Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (The History Boys, The Normal Heart, Fiorello!, This Happy Breed, and The Crucible at TimeLine, Ragtime at Marriott Theatre, Sondheim on Sondheim at Porchlight Music Theatre, and Another Part of the Forest at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for Oslo, Blood and Gifts, The Farnsworth Invention, Hauptmann, and The Lion in Winter at TimeLine; Closer Than Ever at Porchlight Music Theatre; and The Sound of Music, City of Angels, The King and I, and Man of La Mancha at Marriott Theatre. Other recent credits at TimeLine include the Chicago premiere of J.T. Rogers’ Oslo at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse, Campaigns, Inc.; Master Class; The Audience; A Disappearing Number; The Last Wife; and Blood and Gifts. Other Chicago credits include Marriott’s Oliver! and The Bridges of Madison County, Paramount's A Christmas Story, Northwestern University’s Guys and Dolls and Cabaret, Porchlight’s A Catered Affair, Writers Theatre's Bach at Leipzig, and Shattered Globe Theatre's Time of the Cuckoo and Frozen Assets.
Vanessa Stalling (Co-Director) returns to TimeLine, where she previously directed the sold-out, extended production of A Shayna Maidel. She is the director and adaptor of the Jeff Award-winning play United Flight 232. Stalling was the Associate Artistic Director of Redmoon Theater in Chicago, a Michael Maggio Fellow at Goodman Theatre, and has been recognized as one of “The Fifty People Who Really Perform” for Chicago by Newcity magazine. Recent productions include Fen at The Court Theatre, The Great Leap at Asolo Rep, and Roe at the Goodman. She is also the Head of Directing at the University of California San Diego.
ABOUT TIMELINE’S CURRENT 2022-2023 SEASON
Now playing at TimeLine Theatre is the world premiere of Boulevard of Bold Dreams by LaDarrion Williams, a Los Angeles-based playwright new to Chicago audiences, directed by Malkia Stampley. Set on the night in 1940 that Hattie McDaniel made history at the Oscars, this is a story of dreamers striving to overcome considerable obstacles and fighting for recognition amidst the racism and inequity of Hollywood. Performances run through March 19. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (773) 281-8463 x6 or visit timelinetheatre.com.
Following Boulevard of Bold Dreams, TimeLine has added an exciting fourth production, the first Chicago-based production of What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck, directed by Helen Young, May 10 – June 24, 2023.
ABOUT TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY
TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. Currently celebrating its 26th season, TimeLine has presented 85 productions, including 12 world premieres and 39 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, which brings the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 58 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.
The company has long been bursting at the seams of its current leased home located at 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood, where the theatre has been in residence since 1999. In December 2018, TimeLine announced the purchase of property at 5033-35 North Broadway in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood to be the site of its new home. Plans feature an intimate black box theater seating up to 250 audience members, expanded area for the immersive lobby experiences that are a TimeLine hallmark, new opportunities for education and engagement, room to allow audience members to arrive early and stay late for theatergoing experiences that extend far beyond the stage, and more. TimeLine is working with HGA as architect for its new home project, which is expected to be completed in 2024.
TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Executive Director Mica Cole, and Board President John Sterling. TimeLine Company members are Tyla Abercrumbie, Will Allan, Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Charles Andrew Gardner, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Anish Jethmalani, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, and Maren Robinson.
Major corporate, government and foundation donors providing season support via TimeLine’s Annual Fund include: Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Crown Family Philanthropies; Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation; Laughing Acres Family Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince; National Endowment for the Arts; Polk Bros. Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; Van Dam Charitable Foundation; and Walder Foundation. TimeLine also acknowledges the support of a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
For more information, visit timelinetheatre.com or Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@TimeLineTheatre).
ABOUT BROADWAY IN CHICAGO
Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 22 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, Auditorium Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.
For more information, visit BroadwayInChicago.com or Facebook (@BroadwayInChicago), Twitter (@broadwaychicago), and Instagram (@broadwayinchicago), and #broadwayinchicago.