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CHICAGO, IL — TimeLine Theatre Company concludes its 2012-13 season with a play that was named among the Top 10 of 2011 byThe New York Times. The Chicago premiere of Blood and Gifts by J.T. Rogers, directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, runs May 9 – July 28, 2013 (previews April 30 – May 8) at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave, Chicago.

Blood and Gifts brings together a stellar Chicago cast to tell a gripping behind-the-scenes story of international intrigue in Afghanistan during the pivotal 1980s. The cast, led by Timothy Edward Kane as CIA operative James Warnock, also features Kareem Bandealy, Raymond Fox, Anish Jethmalani, Craig Spidle, Owais Ahmed, Behzad Dabu, TimeLine Associate Artist Terry Hamilton, Josh Odor, TimeLine Company Member David Parkes, Emily Ariel Rogers, Andrew Saenz, Peter Sipla and Don Tieri. After June 9, Jethmalani takes over the role previously portrayed by Bandealy, and Demetrios Troy joins the cast in the role previously portrayed by Jethmalani.

This spy thriller goes deep inside the secret United States intrigue that powered the Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s. A CIA operative struggles against conditions on the ground and politics in the halls of Washington to stop the Soviet Army’s destruction of Afghanistan. As alliances shift and the outcome of the Cold War appears to hang in the balance, he and an Afghan warlord find that the only one they can trust is each other. This bold new play unmasks the actions of men behind one of recent history’s most important events—the repercussions of which still shape our lives.

Blood and Gifts had its world premiere at the National Theatre of London’s Lyttelton Theatre in 2010 and its U.S. premiere at Lincoln Center Theater in 2011. The New York Times raved that the play “has the taut grip of a spy novel … [Playwright J.T. Rogers’] knowledge of the hearts and minds of his characters is as deep as his grasp of the geopolitical games being played.”

“TimeLine is excited to bring J.T. Rogers’ provocative and insightful play to Chicago for the first time,” Artistic Director PJ Powers said. “Since reading his play about Rwanda, The Overwhelming, in 2008, we have admired J.T.’s bold international playwriting scope and were determined to bring his work to TimeLine. Building a relationship over the last five years has been an honor and a pleasure, as our mutual admiration for each other’s work has grown. We were thrilled when he shared the script for Blood and Gifts with us and said that he thought TimeLine would be a great home for it. We hope this is the first of many collaborations together.”

Blood and Gifts is supported in part by The Pauls Foundation. Additional support provided by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6 or buy online at timelinetheatre.com.

Performance Schedule/Events

Previews: Tuesday, April 30; Wednesday, May 1; Friday, May 3; and Saturday, May 4 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Wednesday, May 8 at 8 p.m.

OPENINGS: Press Opening on Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Opening Night on Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Regular Run: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except no performance on June 30) through July 28, 2013.

Post-Show Discussions: Free post-show discussions led by a TimeLine Company Member, featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast, will be held on Wednesday, May 15; Thursday, May 23; Wednesday, May 29; Thursday, May 30; Sunday, June 2; Thursday, June 6; Thursday, June 13; Wednesday, June 19; Wednesday, June 26; and Sunday, July 7, 2013.

Sunday Scholar Series: A free hour-long post-show panel discussion with experts on the themes and issues of the play will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2013.

Company Member Discussion: A free post-show discussion with TimeLine Company members will be held on Sunday, June 23, 2013.

Buying Tickets

Tickets are $32 (Wednesday through Friday) or $42 (Saturday and Sunday). Preview tickets are $22. Student discount is $10 off the regular ticket price with valid ID. Special rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Advance purchase is recommended as performances may sell out. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6 or buy online at timelinetheatre.com.

Location/Transportation/Parking/Accessibility

Blood and Gifts will take place at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. TimeLine Theatre is located near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. The location is served by multiple CTA trains and buses. The LAZ Parking Lot at 3012 N. Broadway is the closest parking and costs $6 for 1-5 hours. TimeLine also offers discounted parking at the Standard Parking garages at Broadway Center ($8 with validation; 2846 N. Broadway, at Surf) or the Century Mall ($9 with validation; 2836 N. Clark). There is also limited free and metered street parking. There are two flights of stairs (18 steps) between the street and the theater space, with no elevator.

Production Staff

The production staff for Blood and Gifts includes Collette Pollard (Scenic Design), Jenny Mannis (Costume Supervisor), Jesse Klug (Lighting Design), Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Design and Original Music), Mike Tutaj (Projections Design), Julia Eberhardt (Properties Design), Joshua Altman (Dramaturg), Peter Andersen (Assistant Director), Eva Breneman (Dialect Coach), Habibullah Wardak (Cultural Consultant), Michelle Bradley (Assistant Dramaturg), Andrew Carter (Assistant Dialect Coach), Lauren Hickman (Stage Manager), Shelbi Cox (Production Assistant), John Kearns (Production Manager), Caleb Charles McAndrew (Technical Director), Meg Grgurich (Scenic Painter) and Mac Vaughey (Master Electrician).

Biographies

J.T. Rogers (Playwright) is an American playwright. His play Blood and Gifts premiered at the National Theatre in London and had its American debut last season at Lincoln Center Theater. In Chicago, his playsThe Overwhelming (National Theatre premiere, United Kingdom tour with Out of Joint and BBC Radio; Roundabout Theatre, New York City) and Madagascar have been staged by Next Theatre, and White People was seen at the Gift Theater. As one of the original playwrights for the Tricycle Theatre of London’s Great Game: Afghanistan, he was nominated for a 2009 Olivier Award. His works have been seen throughout the United States and in Germany, Canada, and Israel, and are published by Faber and Faber and Dramatists Play Service. Rogers’ essays have appeared in American Theatre and in London’s Independent and The New Statesman. He is a member of New Dramatists and the Dramatist Guild and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Nick Bowling (Director) was the founding Artistic Director and is now Associate Artistic Director and a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre. He is the recipient of five Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (The History Boys, Fiorello!, This Happy Breed and The Crucible at TimeLine, Another Part of the Forest at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for The Farnsworth Invention, Hauptmann and The Lion in Winter at TimeLine and for Closer Than Ever at Porchlight Music Theatre. Recent credits at TimeLine include 33 Variations, My Kind of Town, A Walk in the Woods, The Front Page and In Darfur. Other Chicago credits include Porchlight Music Theatre’s A Catered Affair, Writers’ Theatre’s Bach at Leipzig, Shattered Globe Theatre’s Time of the Cuckoo and Frozen Assets, Rivendell Theatre’s Factory Girls and Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s Angels in America, among others.

About TimeLine Theatre Company

TimeLine Theatre Company, named one of the nation’s top 10 emerging professional theatres (American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®), Best Theatre in Chicago (Chicago magazine, 2011) and the nation’s theater “Company of the Year” (The Wall Street Journal, 2010), was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues. Over 16 seasons, TimeLine’s history includes more than 50 productions, including nine world premieres and 19 Chicago premieres; launching the Living History Education Program, bringing the company’s mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools; and completing each season operating in the black. 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 47 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production nine times.

TimeLine Theatre is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers and Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem.

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