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Victory Gardens Theater Presents the
Chicago Premiere of
If I Forget
By Steven Levenson
Directed by Devon de Mayo
Through July 7, 2019
Victory Gardens Theater continues its 44th season with the Chicago Premiere of If I Forget, written by Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen) and directed by Devon de Mayo. If I Forget runs June 7 – July 7, 2019, with press performance on Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7:30pm at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue.
In the final months before 9/11, liberal Jewish studies professor Michael Fischer has reunited with his two sisters to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. Each deeply invested in their own version of family history, the siblings clash over everything from Michael’s controversial scholarly work to the mounting pressures of caring for an ailing parent. As destructive secrets and long-held resentments bubble to the surface, the three negotiate—with biting humor and razor-sharp insight—how much of the past they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning. If I Forget tells a powerful tale of a family and a culture at odds with itself.
If I Forget “speaks to both the head and the heart.” – The New York Times, Critic’s Pick
"We are proud to give a Chicago home to Steven Levenson's poignant play, If I Forget. This explosive family drama deftly explores the power and complexity of history, legacy, gentrification and identity," says Chay Yew. "The play centers on a Jewish American family as they are forced to grapple with an ever-changing world, and how their histories inform the present, and how they embrace their past as they move towards the future. I'm thrilled to share this powerful and timely work with our Chicago audiences."
The cast of If I Forget includes Alec Boyd (Joey Oren), Daniel Cantor (Michael Fischer), David Darlow (Lou Fischer), Keith Kupferer (Howard Kilberg), Elizabeth Ledo (Sharon Fischer), Gail Shapiro (Holly Fischer), and Heather Townsend (Ellen Manning).
The creative team includes Andrew Boyce (scenic design), Izumi Inaba (costume design), Heather Sparling (lighting design), Kevin O'Donnell (sound design), and Rachel Watson (props design).
About the Artists
Steven Levenson (Playwright) is the Tony Award-winning book writer of Dear Evan Hansen. His plays include If I Forget, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, Days of Rage, and The Language of Trees. Honors include the Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award, and the Helen Hayes Award. He worked for three seasons as a writer and producer on Showtime’s Masters of Sex and is a founding member of Colt Coeur and an alumnus of MCC’s Playwrights Coalition and Ars Nova’s Play Group. His work has been published by Dramatists Play Service and Playscripts. A graduate of Brown University, he is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. and the WGA. Upcoming projects include the limited series Fosse/Verdon (FX) and the film adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s tick, tick…boom!
Devon de Mayo (Director) has directed twice at Victory Gardens as part of their Ignition Festival of New Plays. Most recently she directed the world premiere of The Scientific Method by Jenny Connell Davis at Rivendell Theatre and First Love is the Revolution at Steep Theatre. Other Directing credits include: Women Laughing Alone With Salad (Theatre Wit); The Burn (Steppenwolf Theatre), Harvey (Court Theatre), Sycamore (Raven Theatre), You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Animals Out of Paper (Shattered Globe Theatre), You Can’t Take it With You, and Lost in Yonkers (Northlight Theatre), Jet Black Chevrolet (side project); Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next); Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, and Clouds (Dog & Pony). Directing and devising credits: Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back (Pivot Arts); Guerra: A Clown Play (La Piara, Mexico); The Whole World is Watching, As Told by the Vivian Girls and The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony). She received her MFA from Middlesex University in London and did further studies at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali, Indonesia.
Alec Boyd (Joey Oren) Victory Gardens debut. Chicago: The Cryptogram (Profiles Theatre), Damn Yankees (Music Theater Works). Film & TV: “Another Yesterday”, "Chicago Med". Education/training: Interlochen Arts Camp.
Daniel Cantor (Michael Fischer) Victory Gardens: Relatively Close, Jacob and Jack. Chicago: Rabbit Hole, Fishmen, Chicago Boys (Goodman), Water by the Spoonful (Court,) Comedy of Errors (Chicago Shakespeare), Boeing Boeing, Deathtrap (Drury Lane), Paulus (Silk Road Rising), Return to Haifa (Next). Off-Broadway: Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight (Promenade) Tuesdays With Morrie (Minetta Lane), Strictly Personal (Soho Playhouse). National Production: Picasso at the Lapin Agile (San Francisco). Regional: A.C.T., Milwaukee Rep., Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, Studio Theater, Barrington Stage, Hartford TheatreWorks, Arkansas Rep., Contemporary American Theater Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Notre Dame Shakespeare, Worcester Foothills Theater, Mill Mountain Theater, National Shakespeare. Film: The Auteur Theory, Alternative Universe: A Rescue Mission, Alchemy, Justice, House of Satisfaction. TV: "Empire," "Chicago Fire," "Chicago PD," "Law and Order," "Law and Order: CI," "Law and Order: SVU," "Conviction," "Sopranos" (Webisode), "As the World Turns," "Asphalt Man" (Korea). Education: Wesleyan, A.C.T.Teaching: Head of BFA Performance, University of Michigan.
David Darlow (Lou Fischer) Indecent, Among Friends (Victory Gardens). Chicago: Le Puff, Pygmalion, Heroes, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Best Man, Major Barbara (After Dark Award), The Father, A Delicate Balance, Power and Hapgood (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company); Endgame (American Theater Company, Jeff Award); Tug of War, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Timon of Athens and Othello (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Regional: Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Barter Theatre and Syracuse Stage. Film & TV: “The Fugitive”, “Road to Perdition”, “Hoodlum”, “Let’s Go to Prison”, and “High Fidelity”; “Empire”, “Chicago Fire”.
Keith Kupferer (Howard Kilberg) Victory Gardens: Hillary and Clinton, Never the Sinner, and Appropriate. Sweat, Support Group for Men, God of Carnage, Passion Play (Goodman Theater); The Mystery of Love and Sex, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Wolf (Writers Theatre); The Qualms, Good People, Middletown, Carter's Way, Things Being What They Are (Steppenwolf Theatre);The Humans (American Theatre Company); Gypsy (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Legend of Georgia McBride (Northlight Theatre); Big Lake, Big City, Trust (Lookingglass Theatre). Dada Woof, Papa Hot (About Face). The Cake, Cal in Camo (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble). Film credits: “Widows”; “Monuments;” ”The Dilemma;” “Dark Knight;” “Public Enemies;” “The Express;” “Stranger Than Fiction;” “Road to Perdition;” “Finding Santa;” “Fred Klaus;” “The Last Rights of Joe May;” and “The Merry Gentleman.” TV credits: “The Chi”; “Proven Innocent”; “Better Call Saul”; “Empire”; “Chicago P.D.”; “Betrayal”; “Crisis”; “Chicago Fire”; and “Detroit 187”.
Elizabeth Ledo (Sharon Fischer) Victory Gardens Debut. Chicago: Mamma Mia, Barefoot in the Park, (Drury Lane Oakbrook) Tug of War: Civil Strife, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Amadeus (Chicago Shakespeare) One Man Two Guvnors, Secret Garden, Tartuffe, The Illusion, The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, Uncle Vanya (Court Theatre) The Matchmaker, Boleros for the Disenchanted, A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre) Homebody/Kabul, Morningstar (Steppenwolf Theatre) Charm, The Chalk Garden (Northlight Theatre) Bright Half Life, Le Switch, The Homosexuals (About Face Theatre) Isaac's Eye, Arms and the Man (Writers Theatre) The How and the Why (Timeline Theatre) The Old Curiosity Shop (Lookingglass Theatre). Regional: Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Shakespeare at Notre Dame. Film & TV: "Boss", "Doubt", "Chicago Fire". "The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas". Elizabeth is a 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow.
Gail Shapiro (Holly Fischer) Victory Gardens Debut. Diary of Anne Frank (Steppenwolf Theatre), The Book of Joseph (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). National: Los Angeles; Country Wife, Romeo and Juliet, The Seagull, Cymbeline, Major Barbara, The Importance of Being Earnest (A Noise Within). The Game of Love and Chance (San Jose Rep), Sidney Bechet Killed A Man (South Coast Rep). TV: “Chicago Med” recurring (ABC). Natalie Schaffer Award, numerous Ovation and Backstage West awards. MFA Yale School of Drama. Gail teaches acting at Northwestern University and is a private coach for actors and non-actors.
Heather Townsend (Ellen Manning) Victory Gardens Theater debut. Chicago: Orpheus Descending (Shattered Globe), Roadkill Confidential (Dog & Pony), Macbeth (City Lit), On Golden Pond (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble), A Christmas Story (Theatre Wit); Icarus, Hello Again (BoHo), Company (Venus Cabaret Theatre), Hairspray (Paramount), Nine, Sunday in the Park with George, 1776, Gifts of the Magi (Porchlight), A Grand Night for Singing (Mercury), Boojum (Chicago Opera Vanguard). Film & TV: “Empire”.
Full Performance Schedule:
Previews for If I Forget are June 7-13, 2019. Previews are $20-$45. The Press opening is Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7:30pm. Regular performances run June 15 – July 7, 2019: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3pm. Regular performances are $27-$60.
Accessible Performance Schedule:
ASL Interpreted Performance: Friday, June 21 at 7:30pm
Word for Word (open captioning): Friday, June 21 at 7:30pm, Saturday, June 22 at 3:00pm and Wednesday, June 26 at 2:00pm
Audio Description/Touch Tour: Friday, June 21 at 7:30pm (Touch tour at 6:00pm), Sunday, June 30 at 3:00pm (Touch tour at 1:30pm)
Performances are at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.victorygardens.org. Ask the Box Office about discounts for students, seniors, and those with access needs. Groups of 10 or more, call 773.634.9862 for discounted rates.
Cast: Alec Boyd (Joey Oren), Daniel Cantor (Michael Fischer), David Darlow (Lou Fischer), Keith Kupferer (Howard Kilberg), Elizabeth Ledo (Sharon Fischer), Gail Shapiro (Holly Fischer), and Heather Townsend (Ellen Manning)
Creative Team: Andrew Boyce (scenic design), Izumi Inaba (costume design), Heather Sparling (lighting design), Kevin O'Donnell (sound design), and Rachel Watson (props design).
Previews: June 7 - 13, 2019
Press Performance: Friday, June 14, 2019
Regular run: June 15 – July 7, 2019
Schedule: Tuesdays - Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm; 7:30pm
Performances: Word for Word (open captioning): Friday, June 21 at 7:30pm, Saturday, June 22 at 3:00pm and Wednesday, June 26 at 2:00pm
ASL Interpreted: Friday, June 21 at 7:30pm
Audio Description/Touch Tour: Friday, June 21 at 7:30pm (Touch tour at 6:00pm), Sunday, June 30 at 3:00pm (Touch tour at 1:30pm)
Location: Victory Gardens Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue,
in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood
Tickets: Previews: $20 - $45
Regular run: $27 - $60
Box Office: The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.
2018/19 Season Sponsors: REAM Foundation, The Harvey L. Miller Supporting Foundation, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, Helen Zell
Season Sponsor Partners: Conant Family Foundation; George A. Joseph; Marcelle McVay and Dennis Zacek; Jeffrey Rappin and Penny Brown; Jane M Saks, Nathan Cummings Foundation
Major Production Sponsor: The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust
The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Lois Morrison and Justin Daab
Bruce and Jacki Barron; Paul Lisnek; Linda Garrison,
Brienne Letourneau and Richard Bailey, Tony and Anne Ruzicka;
Anuradha Behari and Anjan Asthana, Chanel W. Coney,
E. Patrick Johnson and Stephen J. Lewis
Student Matinee and
Exelon, AllState, Capital Group Private Client Services
Travel Sponsor: Southwest Airlines
In-Kind Sponsor: Whole Foods Market
Major Season Support: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, Wallace Foundation.
About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.
Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.
Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.
Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.
Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The REAM Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, Wallace Foundation. Additional major funding comes from Crown Family Philanthropies, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Polk Bros. Foundation.
Major funders also include: Allstate, Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, Field Foundation of Illinois, The Harvey L. Miller Supporting Foundation, David Rockefeller Fund, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Time Warner Foundation, Inc.
Additional funding this season Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation Inc., Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Capital Group Private Client Services, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, ComEd, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Golden Country Oriental Foods, Goldman Sachs, John R. Halligan Foundation, Illinois Humanities Council (with support from the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety + Justice Challenge), ITW, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Metropolitan Capital Bank and Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Negaunee Foundation, Roberta Olshansky Charitable Fund, Origin Ventures, Pauls Foundation, PNC Financial Services Group, Prince Charitable Trusts, Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Wrightwood Neighbors Foundation.
In-kind support is provided by: Italian Village Restaurants, Southwest Airlines, Roy’s Furniture, Suite Home Chicago, Taco Joint, and Whole Foods Market.
Capital improvement support from the Performing Arts Venue Fund at the League of Chicago Theaters, with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and Capacity Building support by Compass-Chicago.
Victory Gardens Theater 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. Book your next show today at ChicagoPlays.com.
For more information about Victory Gardens, visit www.victorygardens.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram @victorygardenstheater.