DORIAN GREY Moves to '70s NYC in City Lit Adaptation

DORIAN GREY Moves to '70s NYC in City Lit AdaptationPaul Edwards's world premiere adaptation of THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, Oscar Wilde's story of a man who sells his soul for unaging beauty, transports the story from the novel's setting of Victorian-era England to 1970's New York City, during the dawning of the AIDS and crack cocaine epidemics. THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, to be directed by Andrea J. Dymond, will feature Javier Ferreira (Shakespeare in HER MAJESTY'S WILL and Henry Olney in NORTHANGER ABBEY, both at Lifeline) in the title role. Gabriel Fries, who recently appeared in Nothing Without a Company's THE KID THING, will be Basil, the painter of the eponymous portrait that on the canvas not only shows its subject aging, but also shows Gray's sins, while in life Gray himself remains young and attractive.

Scott Olson (FORTY-TWO STORIES and THE GILDED AGE, both at City Lit) has been cast as Gray's hedonist friend Henry Wotton. Gray's love interest - the actress Sybil - will be played by Alyssa Thordarson, who will also take on the roles of Cecily and others. Thordarson was recently seen in CHALK with Sideshow Theatre Company. Ryan Leonard Will play Sybil's brother James, Alan Campbell and others. Stephen Rosenberger will play Victor, an actor in Sibyl's theater, and a male prostitute.

McCabe contacted Edwards earlier this year to request permission for City Lit to produce his DORIAN, but Edwards instead went back to the novel, ignoring his earlier script entirely, and wrote the completely new adaptation that will premiere at City Lit in March. While it sets the story in a different time and place, it is no less faithful to the heart and soul of Wilde's novel. McCabe says, "Paul's new adaptation sees Dorian as a Patient Zero who shows none of the results of either epidemic; they show up in the picture instead. This restores the vitality of Wilde's story, which can sometimes be lost in Victorian classicism." THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY will run from March 2 - April 15, 2018.

Andrea J. Dymond (Director) has directed extensively in the Chicago area. At Victory Gardens, where she was a Resident Director, she directed LIVING GREEN, YEAR ZERO, BLUE DOOR and TREE. Her credits also include SPEAKING IN TONGUES: THE CHRONICLES OF BABEL for MPAACT; and MUD, RIVER, STONE for Eclipse. Regionally, she has credits with Madison Repertory Theatre and the Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington.

Paul Edwards (Adapter) has directed more than forty original stage adaptations of fiction for campus and professional production. With City Lit, he has adapted and directed THE SUNDIAL, A STUDY IN SCARLET, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, PEYTON PLACE, and WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE; and adapted Mark Twain's THE GILDED AGE: A STORY OF TODAY. Edwards is a three-time Jeff Award winner, for his adaptations of THE END OF THE ROAD, PEYTON PLACE and WAS.
He is an associate professor in the School of Communication at Northwestern University, where he teaches courses on Shakespeare in performance, stage and screen adaptations of narrative fiction, and postwar American popular culture.

Oscar Wilde's only novel ranks with FRANKENSTEIN and THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE as a defining excursion into psychological horror. Dorian Gray expresses the desire that his newly painted portrait, rather than he, will age and fade. This idle, destructive wish is granted: Dorian stays young and beautiful while his portrait ages and takes on the weight of his sins. He is both fascinated and trapped by this fatal freedom from responsibility, and enters a life of hedonism. Three-time Jeff Award winner for Best Adaptation Paul Edwards moves Wilde's story to New York City from 1970 to 1984, against the backdrop of the dawning of the AIDS and crack cocaine epidemics. This will be Edwards's eighth production for City Lit.

For thirty-eight years, City Lit Theater has been dedicated to the vitality and accessibility of the literary imagination. City Lit produces theatrical adaptations of literary material, scripted plays by language-oriented playwrights, and original material.

City Lit is in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue. We are two blocks east of both the Bryn Mawr Red Line stop and the #36 Broadway and the #84 Peterson buses. We are one block west of the #147 Sheridan and #151 Sheridan buses. Divvy bike stations are located at Bryn Mawr & Lakefront Trail, and at Broadway & Ridge at Bryn Mawr. The metered street parking pay boxes on Bryn Mawr have a three-hour maximum duration and are free on Sundays. $10 valet service is available at Francesca's Bryn Mawr at 1039 W Bryn Mawr diagonally across the street from us on the SW corner of Kenmore and Bryn Mawr and is available whether you are dining at the restaurant or not. There are additional details about parking and dining options at

City Lit is supported by the Alphawood Foundation, the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Ivanhoe Theater Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and is sponsored, in part, by A.R.T. League.

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