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Chicago, IL — TimeLine Theatre Company announces 9 additional performances of its acclaimed production of The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer, directed by Nick Bowling. Originally scheduled to close on December 22, The Normal Heart will now run through December 29, 2013, plus three additional Tuesday performances at 7:30 pm on December 3, December 10 and December 17, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Tickets to newly added performances are on sale starting today.

The Normal Heart features an all-star Chicago cast led by acclaimed actor and director David Cromer as Ned Weeks, Mary Beth Fisher as Dr. Emma Brookner, Patrick Andrews as Felix Turner and Marc Grapey as Ben Weeks, with Stephen Cone (David/Hiram Keebler/Examining Doctor/Ensemble), Joel Gross (Bruce Niles), Nik Kourtis (Donner/Grady/Ensemble), Stephen Rader (Mickey Marcus) and TimeLine Associate Artist Alex Weisman (Tommy Boatwright).

One of the most highly anticipated productions of Chicago’s fall theatre season, since opening in early November, TimeLine’s The Normal Heart has been listed among the best-reviewed plays running in Chicago, according to theatreinchicago.com. The Chicago Tribune called it “another formidable TimeLine production,” the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that “in this fast, furious and impassioned rendering … Kramer’s drama seems only to have gained in power,” and The Huffington Post called The Normal Heart “one of those rare instances where powerful, necessary playwriting meets a rock-solid production committed to telling this story in an unapologetic, emotionally raw way.”

The new performance schedule of The Normal Heart is Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. (12/3, 12/10 and 12/17 only), Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (except no performance 12/25), Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. (except no performance 11/28), Fridays at 8 p.m. (also 4 p.m. on 11/29 and 12/27), Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The production must close on Sunday, December 29, 2013.

Ticket prices are $37 (Tuesday – Friday), $47 (Saturday) or $50 (Sunday). Student discount is $10 off the regular ticket price with valid ID. Discounted group rates are also available. For more information and to purchase, call the Stage 773 Box Office at 773.327.5252 or visit timelinetheatre.com.

Only TimeLine FlexPass subscribers are offered priority access to tickets to The Normal Heart and TimeLine’s entire 2013-14 season. FlexPass subscriptions are now on sale, priced from $70 to $198.

For more information and to purchase, call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit timelinetheatre.com.

Set at the height of the public and private indifference to the AIDS plague in the early 1980s, The Normal Heart is a searing drama that follows a passionate activist, portrayed in TimeLine’s production by Cromer, as he leads the fight to awaken the world to the crisis. Along the way he, and the community he leads into battle, must face the deeply held fears that led so many to remain silent for too long.

UPCOMING DISCUSSION EVENTS

SUNDAY SCHOLARS PANEL DISCUSSION featuring guest speakers with expertise and experience related to the themes of The Normal Heart, on Sunday 12/1 from 4:40-5:40 p.m. (times approximate). This discussion takes place on World AIDS Day and is presented in partnership with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Information about guest speakers will be posted at timelinetheatre.com.

PRE-SHOW DISCUSSION with a TimeLine Company Member and the production dramaturg on Wednesday 12/4 from 6:30 – 7 p.m.

BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION with a TimeLine Company Member and the production dramaturg on Sunday 12/8 from 12:30 – 1:30 pm. Read selected excerpts of works by author, playwright and activist Larry Kramer in advance and then join for a group discussion of his work.

POST-SHOW DISCUSSION with a TimeLine Company Member, the production dramaturg, and members of the cast, on Thursday 12/12.

COMPANY MEMBER DISCUSSION with TimeLine’s Company Members, the collaborative team of artists who choose TimeLine’s programming and guide the company’s mission, on Sunday 12/15 from 4:40 – 5:10 p.m. (times approximate).

Further details about all discussions are available at timelinetheatre.com/normal_heart/events.htm

SEASON OF CONCERN FUNDRAISING DRIVE

In honor of World AIDS Day (December 1) and the subject matter of The Normal Heart, at the conclusion of all performances from November 20 through December 8, 2013, members of the cast are inviting audience members to make a contribution, large or small, to Season of Concern. All proceeds will benefit Season of Concern, which raises funds to provide care for those in the Chicago theater community afflicted with AIDS-related illnesses, other catastrophic illness or a health-related emergency or event. Cast member Stephen Rader is the executive director of Season of Concern.

Location/Transportation/Parking/Accessibility

The Normal Heart is running at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Stage 773 is located one-half block west of the corner of Belmont and Racine and immediately east of Theater Wit in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The theater is accessible via the CTA El stop at Belmont (Red/Brown/Purple lines). CTA bus #77-Belmont stops at Racine. Valet parking is available for $10 and there is also limited free and metered street parking nearby. Visit timelinetheatre.com for complete directions and parking information. Stage 773 is accessible for people with disabilities.

Production Staff

The production staff for The Normal Heart includes Brian Sidney Bembridge (Scenic and Lighting Design), Alex Wren Meadows (Costume Design), Michael Stanfill (Projections Design), Andrew Hansen (Sound Design), Maren Robinson (Dramaturgy), Linsey Page Morton (Assistant Director), Eva Breneman (Dialect Coach), Ana Espinosa (Stage Manager), Carrie Taylor (Production Assistant), Austin Pettinger (Associate Costume Designer) and Mac Vaughey (Master Electrician).

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 its first 16 seasons, TimeLine presented 55 productions, including nine world premieres and 19 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 50 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 10 times during 14 seasons of eligibility.

TimeLine kicked off its 2013-14 season with a hit production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, which received 4 stars from the Chicago Tribune, has played to numerous sold-out houses and was extended three additional weeks through December 7. TimeLine’s fall season also boasted the successful remount of the company’s 2010 hit To Master the Art by William Brown and Doug Frew, directed by William Brown, presented by the Chicago Commercial Collective and Broadway in Chicago, at the Broadway Playhouse.

Still to come this season is the Midwest premiere of The How and the Why by Sarah Treem, directed by Keira Fromm and running January 28 – April 6, 2014 (press opening 2/6 at 7:30 p.m.), and the Chicago premiere of the musical Juno, book by Joseph Stein, music and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein, based on the play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey, directed by Nick Bowling with musical direction by Doug Peck and Elizabeth Doran and running April 23 – July 27, 2014 (press opening 5/1 at 7:30 p.m.), both at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago.

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President Cindy Giacchetti. 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.

Major supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, The Crown Family, Forum Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at Prince, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation and The Shubert Foundation. TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group and the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.

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