Cast Announced for The Gift Theatre's A SWELL IN THE GROUND World Premiere

Cast Announced for The Gift Theatre's A SWELL IN THE GROUND World Premiere

The Gift Theatre concludes its 2017 season with the world premiere of Janine Nabers' time-hopping love story A SWELL IN THE GROUND directed by ensemble member Chika Ike, playing October 13 - December 10, 2017 at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago.

Tickets are currently available by calling the Gift's box office at 773-283-7071 or visiting The press opening is Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 pm.

In intimate rooms throughout New York and Michigan, four friends from college fight through 17 years of love affairs, shattered dreams and compromised lives. Flipping back and forth through time like a photobook, this play - whose title is from a line of Emily Dickinson poetry - is equally breathtaking and heartbreakingly spare as Olivia, Nate, Abigail and Charles try to reconcile the lives they imagined with the lives they live.

A SWELL IN THE GROUND will feature ensemble members Keith Neagle as Nate and Darci Nalepa as Abigail with guest artists Sydney Charles as Olivia and Andrew Muwonge as Charles.

The production team for A SWELL IN THE GROUND includes: Eleanor Kahn (scenic design), Rachel Lambert (costume design), Eric Watkins (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Ellie Terrell (props design), Gaby Labotka (violence/intimacy design), Smooch Medina (video/projections design) and Corine James (stage manager).



By Janine Nabers

Directed by ensemble member Chika Ike

Cast: Ensemble members Keith Neagle (Nate) and Darci Nalepa (Abigail) with guest artists Sydney Charles (Olivia) and Andrew Muwonge (Charles).

Location: The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Friday, October 13 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, October 14 at 7:30, Sunday, October 15 at 2:30 pm and Wednesday, October 18 at 7:30 pm.

Press opening: Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Friday, October 20 - Sunday, December 10, 2017

Curtain Times: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2:30 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Thursday, November 23 (Thanksgiving) or Friday, December 1.

Tickets: $30 - $40 Tickets are currently available at or by calling the box office at (773) 283-7071.

Janine Nabers (Playwright) is a native of Houston, Texas and a 2013 graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship at Juilliard and winner of the 2014 Yale Drama Series Prize for her play Serial Black Face. She currently writes for Lifetime's Unreal and Bravo's Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce under Marti Noxon. Her play Annie Bosh is Missing premiered in August 2013 at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Janine won the 2013 NYFA Playwriting fellowship and was the 2013-2014 AETNA Playwriting Fellow at Hartford Stage, a 2012-2013 New York Theatre Workshop Playwriting Fellow, and Page 73's 2011 Playwriting Fellow. Janine is working on commissions from Primary Stages, the Alley Theatre, and Hartford Stage. Her new musical Mrs. Hughes was developed as the 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival fellowship musical and was part of the 2013 Yale Institute for Musical Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club's 7@7 series, and the Theatreworks New Works Now Festival.

Chika Ike (Director) is a Gift ensemble member, where she also served as the? assistant director of The Royal Society of Antarctica. Ike has worked artistically with many Chicago and regional theatre companies, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, American Blues Theatre Company, Eclipse Theatre, and Prologue Theatre Company. Upcoming directing projects include Lloyd Suh's Franklinland for Jackalope Theatre Company and Dontrell who Kissed the Sea by Nathan Alan Davis for First Floor Theatre Company, as well as reading of Tori Sampson's This Land was Made for Victory Garden's Ignition Festival of New Plays. She is a former SDCF Gielgud Fellow, a member of the inaugural Victory Garden's Directors Inclusion Initiative class, and the 2016-2017 Berkeley Repertory Theatre Bret C. Harte Directing Fellow.

The Gift's 16th season consists of three world premieres and kicked off in February with Mona Mansour's war-torn drama Unseen, directed by ensemble member Maureen Payne-Hahner, followed by Claire Kiechel's Pilgrims, co-directed by ensemble member Michael Patrick Thornton and guest artist Jessica Thebus. The season closes with Janine Nabers' time-hopping love story A Swell in the Ground, directed by ensemble member Chika Ike. Season subscriptions are available for as little as $75. The Gift subscribers ("Gifters") receive admission to three shows, free parking at Gale Street Inn, free admission to all Wednesday night "Natural Gas" improv shows and invitations to special subscriber-only special events. Subscribe at or by calling (773) 283-7071.

Pictured: The cast of The Gift Theatre's world premiere of A SWELL IN THE GROUND (left to right) ensemble members Keith Neagle and Darci Nalepa with guest artists Sydney Charles and Andrew Muwonge.

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