Showing posts with label Northlight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Northlight. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

OPENING: Midwest Premiere of The Book of Will at Northlight Theatre Through December 17th

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 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)
Fridays: 8:00pm
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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Theatre Thursdays Offer World Premiere Productions And Exclusive Access to Artists.

League of Chicago Theatres Announces
Theatre Thursdays Series for 2016-2017 Season

Series Includes Carroll Gardens (16th Street Theater), A Life Extra Ordinary (The Gift Theatre),
Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes (The Hypocrites),
The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular (Hell in a Handbag Productions),
Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth (Lookingglass Theatre Company),
The Wolf at the End of the Block (Teatro Vista), The Snare (Jackalope Theatre Company),
Linda Vista (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), and Relativity (Northlight Theatre)

The League of Chicago Theatres announces the Theatre Thursdays line-up for the 2016-2017 Chicago theatre season including world premiere productions of Carroll Gardens (16th Street Theater), A Life Extra Ordinary (The Gift Theatre), Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes (The Hypocrites), The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular (Hell in a Handbag Productions), Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth (Lookingglass Theatre Company), The Wolf at the End of the Block (Teatro Vista), The Snare (Jackalope Theatre Company), Linda Vista (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), and Relativity (Northlight Theatre).  Additional information for each event is available at

The Theatre Thursdays initiative, first launched in 2005, strengthens and diversifies the Chicago theatre community by encouraging Chicagoans to explore new venues and companies. Last season, the League revamped the program to focus on new work with twelve Theatre Thursday events, one per month. Each monthly event provides audiences with a world premiere production and an inside look at the creative process behind new works, including exclusive access to artists.

The 2016-2017 series includes:

Thursday, September 22
Written by A. Zell Williams
Directed by Ann Filmer
16th Street Theater at the Berwyn Cultural Center, 6420 16th Street in Berwyn
Event begins at 6:30 pm, Show begins at 7:30 pm
Tickets $18 at with promo code: THRTHURS

Join 16th Street Theater for a world-premiere of A. Zell Williams's comedy, Carroll Gardens. Theatre Thursday guests are invited to a pre-show beer tasting courtesy of Oak Park's Kinslahger Brewing Company at 6:30pm. Stay after the show for a conversation with director Ann Filmer and the cast.

Davis and Robby were childhood friends. But that was a long time ago. Now Davis lives in Brooklyn which is a long way from Stockton, CA, in all ways. When Robby shows up unexpected on Davis' doorstep, Robby's brash nature sparks conflicts amongst Davis' new circle spurring debates of race and class and forcing Davis to question who he has remade himself to be and where his loyalty lies.

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Written by Melissa Ross
Directed by John Gawlik
The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee in Jefferson Park
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Annabel Anderson McCafferty is an expectant mother who vanishes from her small Ohio town on Christmas Eve. Both mystery and memory play, A Life Extra Ordinary untangles and re-assembles the moments that make a life.

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Written by Andra Velis Simon
Based on Cendrillon and other compositions by Pauline Viardot-Garcia
Directed by Sean Graney
The Hypocrites at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Adapted from Pauline Viardot-Garcia’s 1904 opera Cendrillon, and many of her other compositions, Andra Velis Simon’s musical-play is an elegantly irreverent exploration of the classic fairy tale. Here, Cinderella’s version of happily-ever-after does not include acceptance by the Prince. In the actor-as-orchestra style of The Hypocrites’ Gilbert & Sullivan opera work, Artistic Director Sean Graney directs this fun holiday-time show, perfect for the whole family. From the co-adapter of H.M.S. Pinafore and director of All Our Tragic.

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Written by David Cerda
Directed by Steve Love
Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. in Andersonville
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

We close the year with an old friend and Handbag creation, Rip Nelson played by Handbag favorite, Ed Jones (think, the mutant love child of Paul Lynde, Rip Taylor and Charles Nelson Reilly) in The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular, a show that makes The Brady Bunch Variety Hour look like Citizen Kane.

It’s 1982 and a newly sober Rip (ensemble member Ed Jones) manages to land another TV special after the death of his arch-rival, Paul Lynde. Rip is determined to get his career back on track but can he handle the stress of a network television special and stay sober? Luckily he’s got help from a cavalcade of the hottest stars of 1982! Rip pulls every trick in the book to breathe some life in the dying variety series format and save his career but soon questions if his career is worth saving.

Thursday, January 26, 2017
Written and Directed by Ensemble Member Doug Hara
Puppetry by Blair Thomas
Lookingglass Theatre Company, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Downtown Chicago
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Traveling storytellers Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth captivate audiences with spell-binding tales. But one day, The Big Bad Wolf mysteriously dies before his story is complete. Fairytales disappear from the pages, characters are utterly forgotten, and Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth must journey through the stories to restore order before they are lost forever.

Written and directed by Ensemble Member Doug Hara, this world-premiere weaves an exceptional story of adventure, love, and unexpected endings. Influenced by Neil Gaiman and other fantasy writers, Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth is brought to life through the wondrous puppetry of Blair Thomas and reveals the transformational power of storytelling.

Thursday, February 9, 2017
Written by Ike Holter
Featuring Ensemble Members Sandra Márquez and Gabe Ruíz
Teatro Vista at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Park
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Chicago. Fall. One night, a boarded up bar on the dark side of the block becomes a terrifying crime scene. In the following 48 hours, the neighborhood digs deep into escalating mystery, working against time to separate fact from fiction. But as the clock ticks down, the clues spiral into a razor sharp jigsaw, and what began as a simple mystery quickly twists into a personal, pointed and political thriller. The Wolf at The End of The Block is a full-length play with five characters, three of which are Latino. The play explores the issues of racial profiling, media manipulation and family relationships. Highly charged, Holter’s story is brutally raw, funny and deftly pierces universal truths.

Thursday, March 9, 2017
Written by Samantha Beach
Directed by Elana Boulos
Jackalope Theatre Company at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway in Edgewater
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Ruth is your average eighth-grader, keeping busy with basketball, preparing for her school’s Civil War Day, and trying to be more like her babysitter. One night, in the quiet of her bedroom, Ruth hears the voice of the devil, telling her to take action. Unprepared, Ruth’s pastor mom and family struggle to walk a path between pragmatism and faith. In this world premiere play about good vs. evil, and growing up, the question is: who will you believe?

Thursday, April 13, 2017
A world premiere by ensemble member Tracy Letts
Featuring ensemble members Ian Barford and Tim Hopper
Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted in Lincoln Park
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Wheeler is 50. His marriage is over, his job is mundane, and the best years of his life appear to be behind him. A move from the cot in his ex-wife’s garage to his own apartment opens up new possibilities for love and sex—complicated, painful and hilarious. Full of opinions, yet short on self-examination, Wheeler is a modern misanthrope who must reconcile the man he has become with the man he wants to be.

Tracy Letts is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright, actor and member of the Steppenwolf ensemble. His works include August: Osage CountySuperior DonutsThe Man from NebraskaKiller Joe and Bug, among others. He is also known for his portrayal of Andrew Lockhart in Showtime's Homeland and can be seen in The Big Short and HBO’s Divorce. His play Mary Page Marlowe premiered at Steppenwolf, in March 2016.

Thursday, May 11, 2017
Written by Mark St. Germain
Directed by BJ Jones
Featuring Mike Nussbaum
Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd. in Skokie
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

In 1902 Albert and Mileva Einstein had a baby daughter. After 1904 she was never seen or spoken of again. Forty years later, a reporter interviews Einstein about this mysterious piece of his past, revealing shocking secrets about his family and his personal life. While the reporter questions Einstein on his theory of relativity and his decisions, she also poses a query of her own: to be a great man, does one first need to be a good man?

The author of Freud’s Last Session and Becoming Dr. Ruth showcases his signature blend of insight, intellect, humor and heart in this fictional account of a legendary figure.

Please note that Theatre Thursdays event information and dates are subject to change.  Theatre Thursday events for June, July and August will be announced later in the year.

The 2016-2017 Theatre Thursdays sponsors are the Chicago Reader and Chicago Splash.
About Chicago theatre
Chicago theatre is a leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In the 2014-2015 season, Chicago theatre companies produced more than 100 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year, Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.

About the League of Chicago Theatres
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals.

Additional information about Theatre Thursdays is available at

For a comprehensive list of Chicago theatre productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website,  Half-price tickets are available at or at one of three downtown locations.

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