Lookingglass Theatre Company Presents THE NORTH CHINA LOVER, 9/25 - 11/10
Kicking off its 26th Season, Lookingglass Theatre Company presents the World Premiere stage adaptation of Marguerite Duras' The North China Lover, translated by Leigh Hafrey and adapted and directed by Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman. The North China Lover runs September 25 - November 10, 2013 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. The Press Opening is Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 7:30 p.m..
You never forget your first lover. The affair plays like a moving picture over and over in your mind: passionate, consuming, secret, taboo.
Fade in: the seamy French Quarter of Southern Indochina in the 1930s where the impoverished schoolgirl who will someday be French novelist Marguerite Duras is about to meet and captivate a wealthy 27-year-old Chinese aristocrat.
With the older Duras as our guide, The North China Lover transports us on a provocative and haunting journey of awakening and sacrifice, revealing the delicate and indelible effect of life on art.
The cast includes: Deanna Dunagan (M), Ensemble member Tracy Walsh (Woman in Red); Walter Owen Briggs (Pierre), Amy J. Carle (Mother), Tim Chiou (The Lover), Rae Gray (The Child), JJ Phillips (Paolo), Allison Torem (Helene) and Betti Xiang (Musician).
"When I first read the book, probably around twenty years ago, I couldn't believe what I was reading. There was something about the voice of the novel that was so striking, so original, and that shook me so thoroughly that I kept putting the book down, so my first time reading it wouldn't end," says adaptor and director Heidi Stillman. "Duras's writing, for me, is incandescent and mysterious. The subject matter too: sexual, familial, social and political complexities thrown down seemingly without agenda, layers and layers of complexity that one may never truly get to the bottom of; the material strikes me as deeply real, human and messy."
"A theme that underlies this 26th Season is discovery, and The North China Lover features two people taking radical risks, stepping outside the comfort zones of their own backgrounds, their families, even their own hearts -- compelled, in part, by this urge to discover. They embark on a journey with no map, not knowing where they will land or if they will end up together or apart, and they do so with the appropriate mix of both fear and fearlessness, breath and breathlessness, says Artistic Director Andrew White. "In a way, this perfectly mirrors the experience Lookingglass strives to provide both artists and audiences with every original show we bring to the theater -- the thrill of striking out for new ground, stretching beyond our usual boundaries, encountering a different viewpoint, looking through a new lens."
The creative team for The North China Lover includes: Ensemble member Daniel Ostling (Scenic/Lighting), Ana Kuzmanic (Costumes), Artistic Associate Rick Sims (Sound), Maria DeFabo (Properties), Sheila Schmidt (Stage Manager) and Amanda Weener (Assistant Stage Manager). Live music is performed by Betti Xiang and Ensemble member Tracy Walsh is Choreographer.
About the artists
Heidi Stillman (Director/Artistic Director of New Work/Ensemble Member) co-created/directed Cascabel with Rick Bayless and Tony Hernandez. Other Lookingglass writing/directing credits include The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, Trust with David Schwimmer, Hephaestus with Tony Hernandez at the Goodman,The Brothers Karamazov, Hard Times (5 Jeff Awards, also traveled to the Arden in Philadelphia), and The Master and Margarita (with David Catlin). Directing credits at Lookingglass include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Rajiv Joseph), The Wooden Breeks (by Glen Berger), and Hillbilly Antigone (book, music and lyrics by Rick Sims). She also recently staged Laura Eason's Around the World in 80 Days at Kansas City Rep and Mary Zimmerman's The Arabian Nights at Berkeley Rep. Other Lookingglass adaptation credits include The Old Curiosity Shop co-written with Ray Fox and Laura Eason (Jeff Award), and The Baron in the Trees with Larry DiStasi. She was last seen on stage in The Arabian Nights. Heidi was awarded the 2010 Raven Award for Excellence in Arts and Entertainment for The Brothers Karamazov.