Belarus Free Theatre’s Being Harold Pinter Opens January 27-29 at Goodman Theatre

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Limited Chicago Debut Engagement continues at Northwestern University (February 4-6, 11-13) and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (February 18-20) 


Chicago, IL –  Goodman Theatre announces the performance schedule for Belarus Free Theatre’s Being Harold Pinter, adapted and directed by Vladimir Shcherban, produced by Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Koliada, at three Chicago venues, January 27 – February 20, 2011. This Chicago premiere is presented by Goodman Theatre in association with Northwestern University, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the League of Chicago Theatres.

Opening Night is Thursday, January 27 at Goodman Theatre. Being Harold Pinter runs 1 hour, 15 minutes and is presented in Belarusian and Russian with English supertitles. Tickets are $20 (some discounts apply); to purchase, contact the box office or visit the website of the respective venue.

January 27-29 at Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn)

312.443.3800 or

January 27 at 7:30pm (opening night – sold-out)

January 28 at 8pm

January 29 at 8pm

February 4-6 and 11-13 at the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University’s Mussetter-Struble Theater (1949 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL) 847.491.7282 or

February 4 at 8pm

February 5 at 8pm

February 6 at 2pm

February 11 at 8pm

February 12 at 8pm

February 13 at 2pm

February 18-20 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (800 E. Grand on Navy Pier)

312.595.5600 or

February 18 at 8pm

February 19 at 8pm

February 20 at 2pm (closing)

For an unprecedented artistic event with potential far-reaching international impact, Goodman Theatre invites Eastern Europe’s Belarus Free Theatre to Chicago for a limited engagement of Being Harold Pinter, January 27 – February 20, 2011. Presented in partnership with Northwestern University, the League of Chicago Theatres and

Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Being Harold Pinter arrives in Chicago on the heels of its sold-out engagement at New York’s Under the Radar Festival—for which the Belarus Free Theatre, facing persecution in their homeland, escaped imprisonment in December 2010. Hailed as “truly passionate, truly political theater (that) isn’t just admirable, it has virtues beyond its relevance and bravery” (The New York Times), Being Harold Pinter.

incorporates transcripts from Belarusian political prisoners with excerpts from Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter’s lifetime of writings. Belarus Free Theatre creates visually striking images with simple means and underscores the fierceness of Pinter’s words with the intense physicality of the actors.

Being Harold Pinter blurs the boundaries between art and reality, delivering a poignant contemporary commentary on violence, oppression, freedom and human dignity.

“We found it imperative to extend this brave, bold theater company’s stay in the United States by offering them the opportunity to perform in Chicago,” said Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls. “These are artists struggling against an oppressive state, and their work is both essential and powerful.”

Goodman Theatre, “the leading regional theater in the nation’s most important theater city” (Time), is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago, generating nearly $300 million in economic impact over the past decade in its state-of-the-art two-theater complex on North Dearborn Street. Founded in 1925 and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, “Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune), and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit resident theater has experienced unprecedented success over the past 10 years in its downtown facility, welcoming nearly 2 million patrons to productions and events—including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the biennial Latino Theatre Festival—serving students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs) and employing more than 3,000 artists and theater professionals. The Goodman has earned more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage—one of 25 new-work Goodman commissions in the last decade. The Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees is Patricia Cox, and Joan Clifford is President of the Women’s Board. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre.

“I think I speak for the entire Northwestern theater community—and the broader University community—when I say that we are thrilled to join the Chicago theater community in hosting this valiant and important group of artists and supporting the work that they create and the freedom of expression that they represent,” said Henry Godinez, Theatre and Interpretation Center Artistic Director, Northwestern University Theatre Department Associate Professor and Goodman Resident Artistic Associate.

The Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University produces and presents as many as 40 productions annually, in four theatres, for the School of Communication, and in partnership with the Departments of Theatre and Performance Studies, and the Dance Program. In addition, the Center produces the annual Waa-Mu Show, an original student written and performed musical, and is home for the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) that is dedicated to developing and producing new musicals by leading local and national artists. Celebrating its 30th anniversary and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Henry Godinez and Managing Director Diane Claussen, the Center is a rich laboratory for experimentation for 400 undergraduate and graduate students who create, design, direct and perform in classic and contemporary plays, dance performances and musicals directed by faculty, MFA students and guest professional artists. The Center reflects the academic mission and values of the University, the curricular needs of the Theatre and Performance Studies departments, the educational priorities of Communication students and seeks to engage through performance the campus and greater Metropolitan Chicago area communities in civic dialogue. The Dean of Northwestern University’s School of Communication is Barbara O’Keefe, Rives Collins is Chair of the Department of Theatre and E. Patrick Johnson is Chair of the Department of Performance Studies. President Morton Schapiro and Provost Daniel Linzer lead Northwestern University.

“We are thrilled that the Chicago theatrical community could come together in this way and offer this incredible company more time in the U.S.,” said Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “We know that we can count on our savvy and adventurous Chicago audiences to support this amazing company and further show how they are the best in the world.”

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry locally, nationally and internationally. The League’s membership includes more than 200 theatres, a vast majority of Chicago’s rich theatre community. Membership reaches into all regions of the metropolitan area, and range from storefront theatres with budgets under $10,000 to cultural centers with multi-million dollar shows. The League bridges the gaps between our members with programs and services that directly impact administrative and artistic operations, and promote awareness and visibility for live theatre as an art form.

“It is a rare privilege to speak collectively and directly to our community in support of important work, bringing it and its political context to a public forum,” said Chicago Shakespeare Theater Artistic Director Barbara Gaines. “Chicago Shakespeare’s World’s Stage program has hosted over 20 theater companies from around the globe, and we are honored to join our colleagues in welcoming Belarus Free Theatre to Chicago, thereby increasing the number of performances presented and encouraging more Chicagoans to see their work.”

Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) offers a broad spectrum of theatrical experiences year-round, engaging and entertaining audiences from all walks of life and from around the world. CST has garnered acclaim under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, including 55 Joseph Jefferson Awards and three Laurence Olivier Awards. The Theater has experienced record growth since moving to its current, state-of-the-art facility on Navy Pier in 1999, and will celebrate its 25th Anniversary next season. The 38-play canon of William Shakespeare forms the core of CST’s work and Subscription Series, complemented by other dramatic works—from traditional classical theater to new classics that resonate with Shakespeare’s timeless insights into the human condition. Through a 48-week season encompassing more than 600 performances, Chicago Shakespeare leads the community as the largest employer of Chicago actors. CST also contributes to an international community of creative exchange through its World’s Stage Series, which affords Chicago audiences prime opportunities to experience the cultural and artistic traditions of some of the world’s iconic theater troupes as well as sending some of CST’s best works abroad. Chicago Shakespeare is committed to making theater an expansive, ever-changing and lifelong relationship. For family audiences, CST Family presents abridged Shakespeare productions, timeless fables and fairy tales, interactive music concerts and world-premiere musical theater created with families in mind. CST’s education outreach program, Team Shakespeare, has served over 1 million students and teachers throughout the Midwest, introducing the Bard’s legacy to a new generation.

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