Court Theatre Presents Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson's An Iliad 11/10-12/11


Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executive Director Stephen J. Albert present the regional premiere of An Iliad, adapted from Fagles' translation of Homer's Iliad by Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson, directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell. The production will run November 10 - December 11, 2011 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue. Press Opening is Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8 PM.

"Rage-Goddess, sing the rage of Achilles." Homer's Iliad, a ten-year account of the Trojan War, remains one of Western literature's most enduring legacies. In their one-man adaptation An Iliad, Denis O'Hare (TV's True Blood) and Lisa Peterson return Homer's epic poem to the voice of the lone poet as he recounts a story of human loss and folly that resonates across three millennia of war and bloodshed. Directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell, An Iliad illuminates an ancient classic by taking a harrowing look at the human cost of war.

"Homer's Iliad is among the oldest surviving works of Western literature, and as such I have long wanted to return to the classic text," says Artistic Director Charles Newell. "To work on Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare's fresh, challenging one-man adaptation is beyond thrilling for me. Court's 57th Season is all about bold, new adaptations and this adaptation, in the hands of an actor as brave and skilled as Timothy Edward Kane, is the perfect project for our theatre."

An Iliad features Timothy Edward Kane, most recently seen at Court Theatre in Tony Kushner's adaptation of Pierre Corneille's The Illusion, directed by Charles Newell. Other Court credits helmed by Charles Newell include The Wild Duck, Titus Andronicus, Uncle Vanya, The Romance Cycle: Cymbeline & Pericles, and Hamlet. Kane also starred in Newell's production of Stoppard's Rock ‘n' Roll at the Goodman Theatre in 2009.

The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Andre Pluess (sound design), Rachel Healy (costume design), and Keith Parham (lighting design). Sara Gammage is the Stage Manager and William Collins is the Production Stage Manager. Drew Dir is the Production Dramaturg.

Timothy Edward Kane (Poet) returns to Court Theatre having previously appeared in The Illusion, Wild Duck, Titus Andronicus, Uncle Vanya, The Romance Cycle, and Hamlet. Chicago credits include: The North Plan (Steppenwolf Garage), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Arms and the Man (Writers' Theatre), Rock ‘n' Roll (Goodman Theatre), The Miser, She Stoops to Conquer - After Dark Award (Northlight Theatre), The Comedy of Errors, Love's Labors Lost, King Lear, and ten other productions (Chicago Shakespeare). Regional credits include work at The Mark Taper Forum, Notre Dame Shakespeare, Peninsula Players, and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Education: BS, Ball State University; MFA, Northern Illinois University. Mr. Kane is married to actress Kate Fry.

Charles Newell (Director/Artistic Director) has been Artistic Director of Court Theatre since 1994, where he has directed over 30 productions. He made his Chicago directorial debut in 1993 with The Triumph of Love, which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production. Directorial highlights at Court include Porgy and Bess, Three Tall Women, The Year of Magical Thinking, The Wild Duck, Caroline, Or Change, Titus Andronicus, Arcadia, Man of La Mancha, Uncle Vanya, Raisin, The Glass Menagerie, Travesties, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Hamlet, The Invention of Love, The Little Foxes, Nora, and The Misanthrope. Charlie has also directed at the Goodman Theatre (Rock ‘n' Roll), the Guthrie Theater (Resident Director: The History Cycle, Cymbeline), Arena Stage, John Houseman's The Acting Company (Staff Repertory Director), the California and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals, Juilliard, and New York University. He is the recipient of the 1992 TCG Alan Schneider Director Award. He has served on the Board of Theatre Communications Group, as well as on several panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera directing credits include Marc Blitzstein's Regina at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Rigoletto at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Charlie is a multiple Joseph Jefferson Award (Chicago's highest theatrical honor) nominee and recipient. Recently, his production of Caroline, Or Change at Court was the recipient of four Joseph Jefferson Awards, including Best Production-Musical and Best Director-Musical.

Denis O'Hare (Co-Playwright) has appeared in numerous Broadway productions including Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out, Assassins, Sweet Charity, Inherit the Wind, Racing Demon and Cabaret. In 2003, he won a Tony Award for Best Actor for his performance in Take Me Out. In 2004, he played Charles J. Guiteau in the Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, for which he was nominated for the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Tony Award. He later won the 2005 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Oscar Lindquist in the Broadway revival of Sweet Charity. His feature film credits include The Anniversary Party, 21 Grams, Garden State, Derailed, Michael Clayton, A Mighty Heart, Half Nelson, Milk, Edge of Darkness and Charlie Wilson's War. O'Hare's television credits include Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Brothers & Sisters. He has also appeared in a recurring role as Judge Charles Abernathy on the television drama series The Good Wife. Most recently, O'Hare was cast as Russell Edgington in True Blood. He collaborated with Lisa Peterson to create An Iliad.

Lisa Peterson (Co-Playwright) directed The Model Apartment by Donald Margulies, Slavs! by Tony Kushner, Traps and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire by Caryl Churchill (Obie Award for Direction), The Waves adapted from Virginia Woolf (two Drama Desk nominations) and The Scarlet Letter adapted by Phylis Nagy. Regional credits include Collected Stories by Donald Margulies (DramaLogue Award), Ikebana by Alice Tuan (DramaLogue Award), The Batting Cage by Joan Ackermann, Tough Choices for the New Century by Jane Anderson, Trip's Cinch by Phylis Nagy, Good Person of Setzuan adapted by Tony Kushner, Triumph of Love adapted by James Magruder, Arms and the Man by G.B. Shaw, The Swan by Elizabeth Egloff, A Moon for the Misbegotten by OíNeill, My Children! My Africa! by Athol Fugard, Fefu and Her Friends by Irene Fornes and Reckless by Craig Lucas. A graduate of Yale College, Peterson is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Drama Department. She is currently Resident Director at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Robert Fagles (Translator) was an American professor, poet, and academic, best known for his many translations of ancient Greek classics, especially his acclaimed translations of the epic poems of Homer. His translations generally emphasize contemporary English phrasing and idiom but are faithful to the original as much as possible. Fagles was nominated for the National Book Award in Translation and won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets in 1991 for his translation of the Iliad. He taught English and comparative literature for many years at Princeton University, and died at his home in Princeton, New Jersey in 2008.

Previews are November 10 - November 18, 2011. The opening press performance is on Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. Curtain times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 3 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Ticket prices are $30 to $40 for preview performances; $40 to $60 for regular run performances. Tickets are available at the Box Office, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or online at Student and senior discounts available. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets by calling Kate Vangeloff at (773) 834-3243.

An Iliad is sponsored by Grant Thornton, Winston & Strawn LLP, and The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

Now in its 57th season, Court Theatre is guided by its mission to discover the power of classic theatre. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. Court revives lost masterpieces, illuminates familiar texts, and distinguishes fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.

Court Theatre is the professional theatre in residence at the University of Chicago continuing to discover the power of classic theatre. Court Theatre operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres and Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Productions are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; a City Arts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; and the Cultural Outreach Program of the City of Chicago. Court Theatre is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the American Theatre; the League of Resident Theatres; the Illinois Humanities Council; Arts Alliance Illinois; and the League of Chicago Theatres.

Title: An Iliad
Directed by: Charles Newell
Translation: Robert Fagles
Adapted by: Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson
Dates: Previews: November 10 - November 18, 2011
Press opening: Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8 PM
Regular run: November 20 - December 11, 2011
Schedule: Wed & Thurs: 7:30 PM
Fridays: 8:00 PM
Saturdays: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM
Sundays: 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM
Location: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Tickets: $30-$40 previews
$40-$60 regular run
Box Office: Located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or online

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