Saturday, January 10, 2015

OPENING: Northlight Theatre presents The World Premiere of White Guy on the Bus 1/23

 Northlight Theatre presents
The World Premiere of
White Guy on the Bus
by Bruce Graham
directed by Artistic Director BJ Jones

January 23-February 28, 2015

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Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, presents the world premiere of White Guy on the Bus by Bruce Graham, directed by BJ Jones. The production will run at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie, from January 23-February 28, 2015.  

*The cast is an all-star Chicago company, including Francis Guinan, Mary Beth Fisher, Jordan Brown, Amanda Drinkall and Patrese D. McClain*

A wealthy white businessman and a struggling black single mom ride the same bus every Saturday. As they get to know each other, the threads that tie these disparate individuals together gradually unravel in a complex web of moral ambiguity, revenge, and racial biases. This world premiere play provides a candid and surprising perspective on the racial and socioeconomic divide.
Dates: Previews: January 23-January 29, 2015
Regular run: through February 28, 2015

Tuesdays: 7:30pm (except Feb. 3, 10 and 24)

Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except Feb. 11)
and 7:30pm (except Feb 18)

Thursdays: 7:30pm

Fridays: 8:00pm (except Opening on January 30 at 7:30pm)

Saturdays: 2:30pm (except January 24) and 8:00pm

Sundays: 2:30pm and 7:00pm (except Feb. 1 and 8)

Open Captioned performance Sunday, March 22 at 7:00pm

Location: Northlight Theatre is located at the North Shore
Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd,

Tickets: Previews: $25-$54
Regular run: $25-$78
Student tickets are $15, any performance
(subject to availability)

Box Office: The Box Office is located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie.

Bruce Graham, the award-winning playwright and screenwriter behind Northlight’s highly successful The Outgoing Tide and Stella & Lou, has never been sharper than in this fresh, surprising, and gutsy world premiere.

*This is Bruce Graham’s third world premiere at Northlight.  His other Northlight world premieres are The Outgoing Tide and Stella & Lou, which both then transferred to the Galway Arts Festival. Graham’s relationship with Northlight has been ongoing since the production of his play Belmont Avenue Social Club in 1992.*

“The challenge of new work is always exciting, mysterious and even scary. But when I'm working with Bruce Graham, whom I’ve known for many years and worked on several of his plays, the process is familiar, well oiled, but never less than surprising,” comments BJ Jones. “With White Guy on the Bus, Bruce fearlessly plunges into the country's racial psyche, stripping away liberal hypocrisy and exposing the raw nerve that is race in America. With a blue-chip cast headed by Francis Guinan and Mary Beth Fisher, White Guy on the Bus continues Northlight's fruitful relationship with one of America's most prolific and ambitious playwrights.”

The creative team includes John Culbert (scenic), Rachel Laritz (costumes), JR Lederle (lighting) and Andrew Hansen (sound).  Rita Vreeland is the stage manager.

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.

*In the current season, Northlight is producing two world premiere works (White Guy on the Bus and Shining Lives: A Musical), the second-ever productions of two plays (The Commons of Pensacola and Outside Mullingar) and a classic rarely produced in the US (The Mousetrap).  In addition, Northlight has a number of new works in development throughInterplay, a program that has sent 25 out of 29 scripts on to full professional productions throughout the country and developed Northlight’s three best-selling plays: Better Lateby Larry Gelbart and Craig Wright, The Outgoing Tide by Bruce Graham and Chapatti by Christian O’Reilly.*

Northlight is continuing its popular special event series in conjunction with each production.  All events are free. 

Post-Show Discussions with a Northlight facilitator, engaging audiences in a dialogue about the play's themes, will follow every performance of White Guy on the Bus.

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 White Guy on the Bus will be held on Friday, January 16 at 12:00pm and will last approximately one hour.  Reservations are required, 847.679.9501 x3605 or

Community Events
Thursday, January 29, 6:00-7:30pm
Curt's Café, 2922 Central Street, Evanston
A panel of civic leaders and social service representatives will address the local impact of issues raised in the play. Panelists include representatives from: City of Evanston, Curt's Café and Literature for All of Us.

Tuesday, February 3, 3:00-4:00pm
Wilmette Public Library, 1242 Wilmette Ave, Wilmette
Northlight artists and cast members engage in audience Q&A following scene selections from the play.

Thursday, February 5, at Northlight Theatre following the 7:30pm performance (Panel is free, tickets to the preceding performance required)
A panel of civic leaders and social service representatives will address the local impact of issues raised in the play. Panelists include representatives from: Connections for the Homeless, The James B. Moran Center, Youth Job Center of Evanston and YWCA Evanston/North Shore. 

Wednesday, February 11, 10:30-11:30am
Highland Park Public Library, 494 Laurel Ave, Highland Park
Northlight artists and cast members engage in audience Q&A following scene selections from the play. 

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 40th season, the organization has mounted nearly 200 productions, including over 40 world premieres.  Northlight has earned 188 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 31 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.
The 40th Anniversary is supported by season sponsor BMO Harris Bank and lighting sponsor ComEd.

White Guy on the Bus is sponsored in part by The Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Room & Board and Tom Stringer Design Partners.

Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from the Paul M. Angell Fund; BMO Harris Bank; Cramer-Krasselt; The  Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; ComEd, An Exelon Company; Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award; Evanston Community Foundation; First Bank &  Trust; Full Circle Foundation; The Homestead Hotel; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; KinderMorgan Foundation; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Melvoin Award for Playwriting; Modestus Bauer Foundation; North Shore Center for the Performing Arts Foundation; NorthShore University HealthSystem; The Offield Family Foundation; The Pauls Foundation; Plante Moran; The Pritzger Pucker Family Foundation; Quince at the Homestead; The Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation; Room & Board; Sage Products; Sanborn Family Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; Skokie Fine Arts Council; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Sullivan Family Foundation; Tom Stringer Design Partners; the Venturous Theater Fund; and The Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation.

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