DOUBT Begins Tonight at the Writers Theatre
Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce the Writers Theatre production of Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, directed by William Brown. The show runs tonight, April 28 - July 19, 2015 at Glencoe Union Church, 263 Park Ave, Glencoe. The Press Openings are Wednesday, May 6 and Thursday, May 7.
Writers Theatre is thrilled to bring audiences this riveting, Pulitzer Prize-winning play about authority, suspicion, ambiguity and religion in an exciting, site-specific production staged in the library of the Glencoe Union Church.
Set against the backdrop of a 1960s America in the midst of political and social change, a progressive young priest's conduct comes under question by Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the school principal whose beliefs are deeply rooted in tradition. As the actions and motivations of each are scrutinized and suspicion mounts, the two are drawn into a battle of wills that threatens irrevocable consequences for all involved.
The Writers Theatre production-directed by William Brown-will allow the audience to be a fly on the church wall, observing as battle lines are drawn, allegiances are formed and motives are called into question.
Michael Halberstam comments, "I saw Doubt on Broadway in its premiere and loved it. However, when a show has had a tremendous New York staging, I am always reluctant to give it a new production in Glencoe unless I feel that we can bring something fresh and original to the experience. When David Wood (Pastor at Glencoe Union Church) suggested that the congregation would be open to allowing us to produce a play in one of their spaces, it certainly seemed like a fresh and original option - after all what better conversation to have with this play than a site-specific staging?"
As Writers Theatre continues construction on its new theatre center, designed by renowned Chicago architect Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects, on the site of its former Tudor Court venue, this site-specific production helps the Theatre continue to produce an engaging season of work for its audiences through an expanded partnership with the Church, which has long provided a home for the Theatre's rehearsals.
The designers are Kevin Depinet (Scenic Designer), Rachel Anne Healy (Costume Designer), Sarah Hughey (Lighting Designer), Andy Hansen (Sound Designer) and D.J Reed (Properties Designer). The Stage Manager is Becky Pechter.
Steve Haggard (Father Flynn) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in Old Glory, The Subject Was Roses and Our Town. Chicago credits include Accidentally Like a Martyr and The Aliens (A Red Orchid Theatre), Tribes (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Wasteland (TimeLine Theatre Company), Season's Greetings and She Stoops to Conquer (Northlight Theatre), King Lear (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Regional credits include American Players Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Indiana Repertory Theatre. Steve is an ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre and a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Ann Joseph (Mrs. Muller) makes her Writers Theatre debut in Doubt: A Parable. Chicago credits include Time of Your Life, Wedding Band, I Never Sang for My Father and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), The Piano Lesson, Elmina's Kitchen, Playboy of the West Indies, Seven Guitars, Stick Fly and From the Mississippi Delta (Congo Square Theatre Company), Class Dismissed, Living Green, and The Lost Boys of the Sudan (Victory Gardens Theater), A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre). Regional credits include American Players Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Film and television credits include Hunter, Chicago Fire and Early Edition. Ms. Joseph is currently a member of the theatre faculty at Loyola University Chicago and is a founding ensemble member at Congo Square Theatre Company.
Eliza Stoughton (Sister James) makes her Writers Theatre debut in Doubt: A Parable. Chicago credits include Jane in Vieux Carre (Raven Theatre), Marjorie in Both Your Houses and Gloria in You Never Can Tell at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, where Ms. Stoughton is an ensemble member. Other local credits include TimeLine Theatre Company, Court Theatre, 16th Street Theater, Lifeline Theatre, and The Gift Theatre. Regional credits include Ophelia in Hamlet and Lady Teazle in School for Scandal (Riverside Theatre in Iowa City), Ophelia in Hamlet, Portia in Merchant of Venice, Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing, Olivia in Twelfth Night (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks) and Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Rosalind in As You Like It, Olivia in Twelfth Night (Montana Shakespeare in the Schools). Eliza is a proud graduate of Loyola University Chicago.
Karen Janes Woditsch (Sister Aloysius Beauvier) returns to Writers Theatre where she previously appeared in Yellow Moon, Heartbreak House, Do the Hustle, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Othello, Seagull, The Doctor's Dilemma, Rocket to the Moon, A Phoenix too Frequent, Butley, Spite for Spite, Fallen Angels, Candida, The Beats, Blake, A Play on Words, Love & Lunacy and In the Heart of Winter '93 - '96. Chicago credits include Julia Child in the world premiere of To Master the Art (TimeLine Theatre Company; Joseph Jefferson Nomination - Best Actress), Rapture, Blister, Burn, Other Desert Cities, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), M. Butterfly (Court Theatre), Chalk Garden, Pride and Prejudice (Northlight Theatre), Taming of the Shrew and Measure for Measure (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). She toured one season with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and has performed in eight seasons with Peninsula Players. Janes Woditsch can be seen on an episode of Crisis (FOX/NBC), various Onion webisodes and the feature film Johnson.
John Patrick Shanley (Playwright) has had his theatrical work performed extensively across the United States and around the world. For his play Doubt, he received both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In the arena of screenwriting, he has nine films to his credit, most recently Doubt with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis and Amy Adams, which was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay. The film of Doubt was also directed by Mr. Shanley. Other films include Five Corners (Special Jury Prize, Barcelona Film Festival), Alive, Joe Versus the Volcano (which he also directed) and "Live from Baghdad" for HBO (Emmy nomination). For his script of Moonstruck he received both the Writers Guild of America Award and an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The Writers Guild of America awarded Mr. Shanley the 2009 Lifetime Achievement in Writing.
William Brown (Director) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously directed Port Authority, The Liar, A Little Night Music, Heartbreak House, Do the Hustle, Old Glory, As You Like It, Another Part of the Forest, Arms and the Man, Our Town, Rocket to the Moon, Misalliance, Incident at Vichy and The Glass Menagerie. He has previously performed at Writers Theatre in Bus Stop, Nixon's Nixon, Candida, Private Lives, Dear Master and Butley. In addition to his directing work at Writers Theatre, Mr. Brown directed and wrote (with Doug Frew) To Master the Art for TimeLine Theatre Company where he is an Associate Artist and most recently directed the world premiere of Wasteland by Susan Felder. He has directed four plays at Northlight, including his own adaptation with music of She Stoops to Conquer and Tom Jones. He directed Skylight at Court Theatre and Fallen Angels at Indiana Repertory Theatre. He has directed 15 productions at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, including Travesties, The Importance of Being Earnest, All My Sons, Troilus and Cressida, The Critic, Hay Fever, The Comedy of Errors, Night of the Iguana, Antony and Cleopatra, All's Well That Ends Well and The Matchmaker. He has been associated with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks since 1980. As an actor, Brown has appeared as Ebenezer Scrooge in Goodman Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol, and has been seen in Henry IV, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Play's The Thing, The Barber of Seville (Court Theatre), Light up the Sky, Sunday in the Park with George, The Misanthrope, Wings (Goodman Theatre), Lonely Planet (Northlight Theatre), and The Unexpected Man (Apple Tree Theatre). Brown received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Director for The Liar and a Best Actor award for his portrayal of Henry Kissinger in Writers Theatre's Nixon's Nixon. He received a 2010 Spirit of Diversity Award from Actors' Equity Association and was named Chicagoan of the Year for Theater by the Chicago Tribune in 2003. williambrowndirector.com.
Curtain times are Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30pm; Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 4:00pm and 8:00 pm; Sundays at 2:00pm and 6:00pm. Select Wednesday matinees are at 2:00pm. Tickets are $35-$75 and are available at the Box Office, 321 Park Avenue, Glencoe; 847-242-6000 or online at writerstheatre.org.
Throughout the season, Writers will be offering post-show discussions on select Wednesday evenings following the performance. Post-show discussions provide a forum for audience members to ask questions of the artists in the production and gain new insight into the work.
In an effort to promote taking public transit to the Theatre, Writers Theatre launched a new promotion in 2013. Any audience member who purchases a ticket to a Writers Theatre production and rides Metra's Union Pacific North Line to the Theatre may snap a photo of themselves on the train and post it to their Facebook page or Twitter feed with a tag of @writerstheatre and #Doubt, and upon showing the post at the Writers Theatre Box Office, receive $5 in cash, in essence, paying the cost of the train ride from Downtown ($4.75). This promotion is available for a limited time only, and may end without warning. Ticket must be paid for in advance. Not valid on comp tickets. More information available at writerstheatre.org/metra.
Over the past twenty-three seasons, Writers Theatre has become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence. Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has been deemed the "best drama company in the nation" by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of 35,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry. Prized for the finest interpretations of classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues, Writers Theatre's acclaimed work includes Artistic Director Michael Halberstam's world premiere in Glencoe and subsequent productions of A Minister's Wife at Lincoln Center Theater and West Coast premiere at the San Jose Repertory Theatre; David Cromer's productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Picnic; and the commissioning, world premiere and New York premiere of Crime and Punishment, which has received more than 30 subsequent regional theater productions.
Writers Theatre continues with the $34 million On to a New Stage Campaign, which includes a cash reserve. The campaign has raised $28.8 million to date and will establish the company's first permanent home in a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. This will allow the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility will resonate with and complement the Theatre's neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.