Broken Nose Theatre's FROM WHITE PLAINS Begins Tonight at Greenhouse Theater Center
Broken Nose Theatre (BNT) is continues its second season with the Chicago Premiere of From White Plains, written by Michael Perlman - in collaboration with Aaron Rossini, Craig Wesley Divino, Karl Gregory, and Jimmy King, the actors in the original production - which from its initial run went on to receive the GLAAD Award for Best New Off-Off Broadway Play. Directed by BNT Ensemble Member Spenser Davis, From White Plains will run in the Downstairs Studio at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 North Lincoln Ave., tonight, January 24th - February 23rd.
The show runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Preview performances are from January 24th - 26th and 29th - 30th, with Press Opening on January 31st. Tickets to From White Plains range from $15 - $25 and are available online at www.greenhousetheater.org or by calling the box office at 773.404.7336.
On the heels of their acclaimed Bechdel Fest, a two-week festival that involved nine short plays featuring a diverse ensemble of actresses, BNT is excited to spring forward in their second season with this sharp, timely, and empathetic Chicago premiere about bullying, vengeance, and whether or not we ever truly forgive and forget.
Dennis Sullivan has just won an Academy Award for his film, "White Plains," about a gay teenager who takes his own life after being bullied relentlessly by his high school classmates. In his acceptance speech, Dennis dedicates the award to his late friend Mitchell, whose story the film was based on, before calling out Ethan Rice, the bully whose action Dennis firmly believes led his friend's suicide. Like millions of other people that night, the now-grown Ethan is at home watching the speech live on TV, and he soon realizes that Dennis has made him the face of intolerance in the middle of a worldwide anti-bullying campaign. As Dennis and Ethan engage in an internet feud that quickly spirals out of control, they find themselves entrenched in a media firestorm that changes not only their lives but the lives of those closest to both men.
"What Michael Perlman has managed to do with From White Plains is nothing short of a balancing act," says director Spenser Davis. "It would have been tempting for any writer to take such sensitive subject matter, select 'the right side' of the argument to ally with, and press forward without a second thought. Instead, his writing pushes the audience to re-evaluate the complex situation with each passing scene."
"As soon as I read this play, I knew Broken Nose had to bring it to Chicago," says BNT Artistic Director Benjamin Brownson. "Not only does it address an important and timely topic with heart and eloquence, but it does so without preaching or providing easy answers. Scripts about social issues often tend to paint the world in black and white; From White Plains isn't afraid to live in the gray, to really explore and give weight to the complexities and flaws of its deeply human characters and the world they, and we, in habit."
"When we first started discussing the play as a company, we would find ourselves at odds with each other about which character deserved our support at any given moment," says Davis, who also serves as BNT's Literary Manager. "Hopefully the dialogue that we had about the material is a sign of the conversations that will spark amongst audience members as they leave the theater every night."
The complete cast and production team of From White Plains are listed below. Asterisks denote Broken Nose company members.
CAST: David Weiss* (Dennis), Adam Soule (Ethan), John Lewis III (John), Ben Burke (Gregory) Understudies: Matthew Harris and Brian Scannell
CREW: Spenser Davis* (Director), Benjamin Brownson* (Producer), Elise Spoerlein* (Associate Producer), Caitlin Boylan (Production Manager) Kiley Morgan (Stage Manager), Tianyu Qiu (Set Design), Ivy Reid* (Lighting Design), Rachel Parent (Costume Design), Mitchell Hampton (Sound Design), Max Lawson (ME), Conor Clark (TD)
Broken Nose Theatre presents the Chicago Premiere of From White Plains in the Downstairs Studio at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 North Lincoln Ave., January 24th - February 23rd. The show runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Preview performances are from January 24th - 26th and 29th - 30th, with Press Opening on January 31st. Tickets to From White Plains range from $15 - $25, with discounts for seniors, students, industry, and veterans. Tickets are available online at www.greenhousetheater.org or by calling the box office at 773.404.7336. For more information about the play or Broken Nose Theatre, visit www.brokennosetheatre.com.