TimeLine Theatre Company announces all Chicago Premieres for 2014-15 Season; Plus Season Opener for 2015, The Price

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CHICAGO , IL — TimeLine Theatre Company, acclaimed for presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today’s social and political issues, announces its 2014-15 season, featuring all Chicago premieres, one slot dedicated to two plays presented on alternating nights, and the TimeLine debut of legendary Chicago actor Mike Nussbaum.
TimeLine Theatre’s upcoming 2014-15 season includes:

  • Aaron Posner’s acclaimed adaptation of the Chaim Potok novel MY NAME IS ASHER LEV, directed by Kimberly Senior;
  • Dominic Orlando’s based-on-true-life conspiracy thriller DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU, directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling;
  • Two of Richard Nelson’s landmark THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS: THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING and SORRY, directed by TimeLine Associate Artist Louis Contey, featuring Mike Nussbaum with the most TimeLine Company Members ever assembled on stage in one cast;
  • And Michele Lowe’s award-winning story of Middle Eastern intrigue and romance INANA (director to be announced).
TimeLine is also pleased to confirm the season opener for its subsequent 2015-16 season:

  • THE PRICE by Arthur Miller, directed by TimeLine Associate Artist Louis Contey with Mike Nussbaum returning to play the central role of a wily, 90-year-old antique dealer. THE PRICE will be presented in the fall of 2015 as part of a nationwide commemoration of the 100th birthday of playwright Arthur Miller. Further details and tickets for THE PRICE will become available when TimeLine’s 2015-16 season goes on sale in early 2015.
Once again, one production of TimeLine’s upcoming 2014-15 season will be presented at an alternate location to accommodate the company’s more than 3,000 subscribers and growing audience. MY NAME IS ASHER LEV—the season opener—will be presented at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. All other productions will be staged at TimeLine Theatre’s home just blocks away at 615 W. Wellington Avenue.
4-Admission FlexPass Subscriptions for TimeLine’s 2014-15 season are now on sale, priced from $86 to $198. Subscribers who are interested in seeing all five plays offered during the 2014-15 season, including both APPLE FAMILY PLAYS, may purchase additional admissions at a discounted price. For more information and to purchase, call (773) 281-8463 or visit timelinetheatre.com.
THE 2014-15 TIMELINE THEATRE SEASON IS:
Chicago Premiere MY NAME IS ASHER LEV by Aaron Posner, adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok directed by Kimberly Senior August 23 – October 18, 2014 (Press Opening 8/28 at 7:30 pm) Presented at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave
Based on the best-selling novel and set in post-war Brooklyn, MY NAME IS ASHER LEV follows the journey of a young Jewish painter torn between his Hasidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his artistic promise. When his genius threatens to destroy his relationship with his parents, young Asher realizes he must make difficult choices between his passion and his faith. This stirring adaptation of a modern classic presents a heartbreaking and triumphant vision of what it means to be an artist at any cost—against the will of family, community and tradition.
MY NAME IS ASHER LEV received its world premiere in January 2009 at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia and recently closed a heralded 10-month run Off-Broadway in New York City, receiving the Outer Circle Critics Award for Best New Off-Broadway play. TimeLine’s production is the play’s Chicago premiere.
Chicago Premiere DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU by Dominic Orlando directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling September 23 – December 21, 2014 (Press Opening 10/2 at 7:30 pm) Presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave.
This thriller is based on the true story of Danny Casolaro, a freelance reporter investigating high-level corruption in the Reagan/Bush Justice Department. A year into uncovering information, Casolaro was found dead in a Virginia motel room, his arms slashed more than a dozen times. The authorities called it suicide, but a host of conspiracy theorists—and the House Judiciary Committee—disagreed. Casolaro’s recovered notes detailed his plan to expose several major players behind numerous clandestine activities, including the Iran hostage situation, Nicaragua arms-for-drugs deals, and much more. Playwright Dominic Orlando—a cousin of Casolaro—pulls the curtain back on Danny’s journey and the ultimate price he paid trying to find the truth.
DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU received its world premiere at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre in Massachusetts in 2010 and is being adapted into a feature film scheduled to begin production in 2014. TimeLine presents the play’s second production and its Chicago premiere.
Chicago Premiere / presented on alternating nights THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS: THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING and SORRY by Richard Nelson directed by TimeLine Associate Artist Louis Contey January 20 – April 19, 2015 (Press Openings 1/31 at 4 pm and 8 pm) Presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave.
Tony Award winner Richard Nelson’s widely celebrated series of four THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS explores politics, change, and family dynamics. Set on dates of historic significance between 2010 and 2013, the plays have been heralded by The New York Times as “a rare and radiant mirror on the way we live … no previous works of theater have been topical in the resonant and specific ways of THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS.” Now TimeLine brings two of these remarkable plays (the first and third from the series) to Chicago to be presented on alternating nights.
THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING is set as the polls close on the 2010 mid-term elections, and SORRY is set on the morning of the presidential election in 2012. Both explore how a family sorts through personal and political feelings of loss and confusion in the shadow of history as it is being made. “One of Mr. Nelson’s points with this series is how world events are refracted and reflected in our own living and dining rooms in ways we’re not always aware of” wrote The New York Times, and the New York Daily News raved that “the big picture illuminates and informs what’s happening close to home and vice versa.”
THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS’ cast of six will feature the TimeLine debut of legendary Chicago actor Mike Nussbaum and more TimeLine Company Members on stage together than at any time in the company’s history: Janet Ulrich Brooks, Juliet Hart, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes and Artistic Director PJ Powers.
Chicago Premiere INANA by Michele Lowe director to be announced May 13 – July 26, 2015 (Press Opening 5/21 at 7:30 pm) Presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave.
On the eve of the United States’ invasion of Baghdad in 2003, an Iraqi museum curator plots to save treasured antiquities, including the statue of ancient mother goddess Inana—metaphorically, the soul of the country—from destruction. Fleeing to London with his young bride, he makes a life-altering deal to ensure the statue’s preservation. Against a background of international and personal intrigue, playwright Michele Lowe opens a window of hope and healing with her poignant and beautiful love story.
INANA was commissioned and received its world premiere at Denver Center Theatre Company in 2009, and TimeLine’s production is the play’s Chicago premiere. “By introducing us to human and complex Iraqi characters … Michele Lowe’s play wants to smooth the border that separates our nations like a line of sand in the desert,” praised The Denver Post. “[It] allows us to consider our ‘enemy’ in new and more humane ways. To consider the infuriating plight of Middle Eastern women. To reflect on the unconscionable desecration of a country’s sacred heritage … All while escaping into an unlikely but eventually sweet romance.”
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 56 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 over 14 seasons of eligibility.
Now playing at TimeLine is the new play THE HOW AND THE WHY by Sarah Treem, directed by Keira Fromm, through April 6, 2014. Then TimeLine’s 2013-14 season finale is 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 (note re-scheduled press opening is 5/2 at 7:30 p.m.), 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, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, 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, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce and Chicago’s Belmont Theater District.
BIOGRAPHIES (in alphabetical order)
Nick Bowling (Director, DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU) was the founding Artistic Director and is now Associate Artistic Director and a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre. He is the recipient of an Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Direction (THE HISTORY BOYS at TimeLine) and four Non-Equity Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (FIORELLO!, THIS HAPPY BREED and THE CRUCIBLE at TimeLine, ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for BLOOD AND GIFTS, 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 THE NORMAL HEART, 33 VARIATIONS and MY KIND OF TOWN. Other Chicago credits include Northwestern University’s CABARET, Porchlight Music Theatre’s A CATERED AFFAIR, Writers Theatre’s BACH AT LEIPZIG, Shattered Globe Theatre’s TIME OF THE CUCKOO and FROZEN ASSETS and Rivendell Theatre’s FACTORY GIRLS, among others.
Louis Contey (Director, THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS) is an Associate Artist at TimeLine Theatre, where he received a Non-Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Direction for AWAKE AND SING! and a Non-Equity Jeff Award nomination for IT’S ALL TRUE. Other TimeLine productions include FROST/NIXON, A HOUSE WITH NO WALLS, TRUMBO, PARADISE LOST, LILLIAN, THE GENERAL FROM AMERICA, COPENHAGEN and PRAVDA. He has directed more than 60 plays, among them REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT, A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, ALL MY SONS, ROCKET TO THE MOON, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG, MEET JOE DOE, BOYS NEXT DOOR and MARRIAGE PLAY. He is a 12-time Jeff nominee and has received seven Jeff Citations. Contey has worked at the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Theatre at the Center, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Shattered Globe, Provision, Eclipse and American Theater Company, among others. He received his MFA in directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University, where he is currently an adjunct instructor.
Michele Lowe (Playwright, INANA) is the recipient of the 2010 Francesca Primus Prize for INANA. She also was a finalist for both the 2010 Steinberg/ATCA New Play award for INANA and VICTORIA MUSICA—which marked the first time in that award’s 33-year history that a playwright had been independently nominated for two plays in one season—and the 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for INANA. Lowe is also the author of the MAP OF HEAVEN, SMELL OF THE KILL (Broadway debut), STRING OF PEARLS (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination—Outstanding Off-Broadway Play), BACKSLIDING IN THE PROMISED LAND and MEZZULAH, 1946. She is the librettist and lyricist for the musical A THOUSAND WORDS COME TO MIND, which she wrote with composer Scott Richards. Lowe has been commissioned by the Cincinnati Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre, Arden Theatre and Geva Theatre. Her plays have been produced by the Vineyard Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Florida Stage, Reykjavik City Theatre (Iceland), Berkshire Theatre Festival and Asolo Repertory Theatre, among dozens of others. Her work has been developed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Eugene O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, New Harmony Project, PlayLabs, New York Stage & Film, Hartford Stage’s Brand: New Festival, the ACT & Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival and the Lark Play Development Center. Her work appears in New Playwrights/the Best Plays of 2005, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2005 and Monologues for Women by Women.
Richard Nelson (Playwright, THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS) is an acclaimed and award-winning playwright whose plays include NIKOLAI AND THE OTHERS; THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS: THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING, SWEET AND SAD, SORRY and REGULAR SINGING; FAREWELL TO THE THEATRE; CONVERSATIONS IN TUSCULUM; FRANK’S HOME; HOW SHAKESPEARE WON THE WEST; RODNEY’S WIFE; FRANNY’S WAY; MADAME MELVILLE; GOODNIGHT CHILDREN EVERYWHERE (Olivier Award—Best Play), THE GENERAL FROM AMERICA (produced at TimeLine Theatre in 2006); NEW ENGLAND; TWO SHAKESPEAREAN ACTORS (Tony Award nomination—Best Play); and SOME AMERICANS ABROAD (Olivier Award nomination—Best Comedy). His musicals include JAMES JOYCE’S THE DEAD (with Shaun Davey, Tony Award—Best Book of a Musical) and MY LIFE WITH ALBERTINE (with Ricky Ian Gordon). He has adapted and/or translated numerous classical and contemporary plays; his films include HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, ETHAN FROME and SENSIBILITY AND SENSE. He is an Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the PEN/Laura Pels ‘Master Playwright” Award.
Dominic Orlando (Playwright, DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU) is a playwright whose other works include an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s HAMMER AND SICKLE for ArtsEmerson; book and lyrics for THE WORKING BOYS BAND, premiering in spring 2014 at The History Theatre in St Paul, Minn.; and book and lyrics for THE BARBARY COAST for Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Orlando is a two-time Jerome Fellow and McKnight Fellow to the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, where he is a founding producer at The Workhaus Collective, the Center’s company-in-residence. With them he has co-produced 18 world premieres since 2007, including his SHORT PLAY ABOUT GLOBALIZATION, THE SENSE OF WHAT SHOULD BE and A SHORT PLAY ABOUT 9/11. Other fellowships include The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The Edward Albee Foundation and The Atlantic Center for the Arts (with Paula Vogel). He is a co-creator of FISSURES (lost and found), which was commissioned by the Center and Actors Theatre of Louisville and had its world premiere at the 2010 Humana Festival of New American Plays. Other plays include JUAN GELION DANCES FOR THE SUN and REPARATIONS. DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU has been optioned by Caliber Media/Aviation Films, and Orlando is currently working on the screenplay.
Aaron Posner (Playwright, MY NAME IS ASHER LEV) is an Associate Artist at Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C., and at Milwaukee Rep. He has directed more than 100 productions at major regional theatres around the country and received awards including a Barrymore Award for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Arden Theatre) and Helen Hayes Awards for THE TWO GENTLEMAN OF VERONA, MEASURE FOR MEASURE and THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (Folger Theatre). As a playwright, his adaptations include two novels by Chaim Potok: THE CHOSEN, which has had more than 50 professional productions around the world, and MY NAME IS ASHER LEV. Other plays and adaptations include STUPID FUCKING BIRD; CYRANO (with Michael Hollinger); WHO AM I THIS TIME? (AND OTHER CONUNDRUMS OF LOVE) (adapted from Kurt Vonnegut); THIRD & INDIANA (adapted from Steve Lopez); BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN (adapted from David Foster Wallace) and SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION (adapted from Ken Kesey). His musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s A MURDER, A MYSTERY & A MARRIAGE (with James Sugg) premiered at the Delaware Theatre Company and was nominated for 10 Barrymore Awards and the Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play for its production at Round House Theatre. Posner is a co-founder of the Arden Theater and former Artistic Director of Two River Theatre Company.

Kimberly Senior (Director, MY NAME IS ASHER LEV) is a Chicago-based director and the director of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play DISGRACED by Ayad Akhtar at American Theater Company in Chicago and Lincoln Center Theatre 3 in New York City. She is also a 2013 Finalist for the SDCF Joe A. Callaway Award. She previously directed ALL MY SONS and DOLLY WEST’S KITCHEN at TimeLine. Other Chicago credits include 4000 MILES (Northlight), HEDDA GABLER (Writers Theatre), THE NORTH PLAN (Steppenwolf), AFTER THE REVOLUTION, MADAGASCAR and THE OVERWHELMING (Next), WAITING FOR LEFTY (American Blues), OLD TIMES, THE CONQUEST OF THE SOUTH POLE and UNCLE VANYA (Strawdog), CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN, BUG and THE PILLOWMAN (Redtwist) and THIEVES LIKE US (The House Theatre), among many others. Regional directing credits include THE WHO AND THE WHAT (La Jolla Playhouse), LITTLE GEM (City Theatre), MURDER ON THE NILE and A FEW GOOD MEN (Peninsula Players) and MAURITIUS (Theatre Squared, Fayetteville, AR). As an educator, Senior spent 10 years as an administrator and Resident Artist with Steppenwolf for Young Adults, and also ran programs or taught at Court, Northlight, Redmoon, Roadworks Productions, Victory Gardens and others. She is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College, where she received the college’s 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award. She also has served as Program Director and as a dramaturg for Steppenwolf’s First Look Repertory of New Work. Senior is an Artistic Associate at Northlight Theatre, Next Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, and Chicago Dramatists. Her work has received multiple Joseph Jefferson nominations.

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