REASONS TO BE HAPPY, HELLCAB, GENIUS & More Set for Profiles Theatre's 26th Season

REASONS TO BE HAPPY, HELLCAB, GENIUS & More Set for Profiles Theatre's 26th Season

Profiles Theatre Artistic Directors Darrell W. Cox and Joe Jahraus announce the titles for the 26th Season featuring a full slate of new and challenging works premiering at the Profiles Theatre Complex on North Broadway. The upcoming season features six productions including the Midwest premieres of Reasons to be Happy by Neil LaBute, the award-winning play The Other Place by Sharr White, the world premiere of Genius by Kate Walbert and a new premiere for spring 2015 to be announced soon. Additionally, Profiles' acclaimed production of Hellcab by Will Kern, one of Chicago theatre's longest running hits and a seasonal favorite at Profiles for the past two years, returns again for the holiday season. These six productions alternate between Profiles' two venues, The Main Stage at 4139 N. Broadway and The Alley Stage at 4147 N. Broadway.

"After an extremely rewarding 25th Anniversary, we couldn't be more thrilled with the selections for the 2014-15 season," Darrell W. Cox said. "We'll launch our twenty-sixth year with the Midwest Premiere of Resident Artist Neil LaBute's Reasons to be Happy, his companion piece to reasons to be pretty, which we produced in 2011. Our commitment to new work, and finding strong female voices in particular, continues with the World premiere of Genius by Kate Walbert - a powerful new play by the novelist and writer of A Short History of Women, named one of the ten best books of 2009 by the New York Times."

Joe Jahraus continued, "Some of our earliest years featured several plays by David Mamet and it's an honor to return to his work with The Cryptogram, now celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Seldom seen in Chicago, it's one of his most daring and personal stories. The award-winning drama, The Other Place, recently seen on Broadway, is an emotionally devastating and often surprising new work from talented playwright Sharr White. For the third consecutive year, we'll bring back our acclaimed production of the Chicago classic, Hellcab for another ride during the holidays. And for the final slot of the season, watch for our upcoming announcement of another exciting Midwest premiere."

Profiles Theatre concludes their acclaimed 25th Anniversary Season with the Midwest premiere of Annapurna, also by Sharr White, opening June 12, 2014 at The Alley Stage.

The 2014-2015 Profiles season includes:

REASONS TO BE HAPPY
Midwest Premiere
by Resident Artist Neil LaBute
directed by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox
The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
Previews: August 22 - 27, 2014
Press Opening: August 28, 2014
Run: August 28 - October 12, 2014

Reasons to Be Happy is the companion piece to Neil LaBute's widely praised, 2009 Tony-nominated reasons to be pretty, a long running hit at Profiles in 2011. Three years after a contentious break-up, Steph and Greg wonder if they can make a fresh go of it. Trouble is, she's married to someone else and he's just embarked on a relationship with Steph's best friend, Carly -a single mom whose jealous ex-husband, Kent, has trouble articulating his feelings. Navigating the rocky landscape of conflicting agendas and exploding emotions isn't going to be easy for any of them. Reasons to Be Happy, a funny, surprising, and poignant new comedy, explores the choices and sacrifices we make in the pursuit of that often elusive ideal - happiness.

Reasons to Be Happy, produced by MCC Theater and directed by LaBute, premiered off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theater in June 2013. The critically acclaimed production, starring Jenna Fisher, received an extended run along with a Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Fred Weller. This marks Profiles Theatre's eleventh premiere by Resident Artist Neil LaBute. Previous productions include the American premiere of In a Forest, Dark and Deep and acclaimed Midwest premieres of Wrecks, The Mercy Seat and Fat Pig as well as the World premiere of his revised stage version of In the Company of Men, recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Nomination for Best New Adaptation.

THE CRYPTOGRAM
20TH Anniversary Production
by David Mamet
directed by Artistic Director Joe Jahruas
The Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway
Previews: September 26 - October 1, 2014
Press Opening: October 2, 2014
Run: October 2 - November 16, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Mamet's rarely produced masterpiece, The Cryptogram, celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Profiles Theatre. Mamet combines mercurial intelligence with genuinely Hitchcockian menace as this gripping play journeys back into childhood and the moment of its vanishing - when the sheltering world suddenly reveals itself as a place full of dangers. One late evening in 1959, a young boy sits waiting up for his father in anticipation of their camping trip. While his mother urges him to go to sleep, a family friend tries to entertain them or perhaps distract them. Mamet re-creates a child's terrifying discovery that the grownups speak in code - a code that may never be breakable.

The Cryptogram received its world premiere in July 1994 at the Ambassadors Theatre in London, followed by US productions at the American Repertory Theater in February 1995 and Off-Broadway at the Westside Theater Upstairs in April 1995. Directed by Mamet, the play won the Obie Award for Best Play and Best Actress for Felicity Huffman. Arguably one of the most prolific and influential playwrights of the latter-20th century, David Mamet amassed an acclaimed, award-winning body of work including American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-the-Plow and Oleanna for the stage alongside his screenplays for The Untouchables, The Verdict and House of Games among many others.

HELLCAB
by Will Kern
Return of the Seasonal Favorite
directed by Ensemble Member Eric Burgher
The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
Previews: November 7 - 12, 2014
Press Opening: November 13, 2014
Run: November 13 - January 11, 2015

For the third consecutive season, Profiles remounts its acclaimed production of Will Kern's Hellcab for the holidays. During the longest night of his life, a cab driver transports a bizarre and mysterious array of customers through the gritty streets of Chicago. Kern draws from personal experience as a former cabbie to create this alternately frightening, hilarious and poignant journey. Throughout his long shift, the eclectic collection of passengers includes a trio of drug-addicts, a born-again couple, a smug lawyer, and a randy duo on their way to a motel. Set during a bitter cold Christmas Eve, Hellcab presents a rear-view image mirroring the passing parade of humanity.

First produced as a late-night show by Famous Door Theatre in 1992, the play, originally scheduled for twelve performances, ended up running for over nine years, becoming one of the longest running shows in Chicago theatre history. Hellcab, performed all over the U.S. and abroad, including Scotland, Israel, Singapore, and Ireland, won numerous awards, including a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and later adapted for the screen by Kern in 1998.

THE OTHER PLACE
by Sharr White
directed by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus
The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
Previews: February 13 - 18, 2015
Press Opening: February 19, 2015
Run: February 19 - April 5, 2015

In Sharr White's acclaimed new drama The Other Place, Juliana Smithton, a successful neurologist, finds her life coming apart at the seams. Her husband filed for divorce, her daughter eloped with a much older man and her own health hangs in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.

The Other Place received its world premiere Off-Broadway at MCC Theater in 2011. The production, starring Laurie Metcalf, was nominated for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play from the Outer Critics Circle Awards. It later premiered on Broadway in a production by Manattan Theatre Club in 2013, also starring Metcalf, who received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. The Other Place won the 2010 Playwrights First Award and the 2011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation's Theatre Visions Fund Award. White's plays have been developed or produced at theatres across the country, including South Coast Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Marin Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Theater's Directors Lab and Key West Theatre Festival.

GENIUS
by Kate Walbert
directed by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox
The Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway
Previews: March 13 - 18, 2015
Press Opening: March 19, 2015
Run: March 19 - May 3, 2015

Genius examines the secrets and alliances of two creative couples from different generations who find their lives changed forever one evening after an electric dinner party. Joel, a once highly regarded painter turned museum director caught in the midst of a very public indiscretion and his wife Sara, a formally famous journalist, venture to Brooklyn for dinner with their new friends Peter and Chelsea, a young filmmaking couple with rising careers and a baby on the way. After an evening riddled with illuminating discoveries, deceptions and perhaps too much wine, each couple deconstructs the evening's events as they grapple with their own uncertain futures. Using a constantly shifting timeline, playwright Kate Walbert turns her kaleidoscopic lens on two marriages battered by urgent ambitions.

Profiles' dedication to new works by acclaimed female playwrights continues with this World premiere by Kate Walbert. In 2009, Profiles' production of Graceland by Ellen Fairey received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Work and a subsequent production at Lincoln Center Theatre's LCT3 program in New York. Assisted Living by Deirdre O'Connor received its World premiere at Profiles in 2011 and also received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Work.

Kate Walbert, an award-winning novelist and playwright, is the author of A Short History of Women, chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2009 and a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. Other works include Our Kind, a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction in 2004, The Gardens of Kyoto, winner of the 2002 Connecticut Book Award in Fiction, and Where She Went, a collection of linked stories and a New York Times notable book. Her plays include an adapted version of A Short History of Women with readings at the Powerhouse Theater and the Roundabout Theater, Elsewhere, featured in readings at Playwrights Horizons and Ars Nova in New York as well as Year of the Woman, produced at the Yale Cabaret and the Lantern Theater in Philadelphia.

The season closes with a sixth premiere production, exact title to be announced soon. The final new play, scheduled to run May 14, 2015 through June 28, 2015, performs at The Main Stage.

Parking is available for $14 - $16 at 4100 N. Clarendon (one block east of the theatre at the corner of Clarendon and Belle Plaine). Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 5:00 and 8:00 pm, Sundays at 7:00 pm.

Ticket prices range from $30 - $40. Profiles Theatre offers a FLEX PASS for discounts on the season, now available at www.profilestheatre.org or (773) 549-1815. A Five Ticket Pass is $125; a Ten Ticket Pass is $200 (a savings of up to $200 off the price of tickets at the door) when ordered before August 31, 2014. Tickets can be used in any combination of quantity and date throughout the season with advance reservations.

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