Gene Weygandt Will Star in UNCLE PHILIP'S COAT at Greenhouse Theater Center

Greenhouse Theater Center will continue its popular Solo Celebration! series with the Chicago premiere of UNCLE PHILIP'S COAT, Matty Selman's hilarious and heartbreaking show about a Jewish man's search for his place in his family's history, starring veteran Broadway and Chicago actor and three-time Jeff Award-winner Gene Weygandt.

Directed by Elizabeth Margolius, UNCLE PHILIP'S COAT will play November 27 - December 31, 2016 at The Greenhouse Theater Center (Downstairs Studio), 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. Solo Celebration! flex passes and single tickets are currently available at greenhousetheater.org, in person at the box office or by calling (773) 404-7336. The press opening is Friday, December 2 at 7:30 pm.

When Matty, an unemployed actor, inherits an old, decrepit coat from his recently deceased great-uncle Philip, he is unsure whether he has been given an heirloom or a heap of rags. Through his attempts to find the answer he travels across time, territories and tragedies in an effort to uncover the history of an unfaltering dreamer. Uncle Philip's Coat takes Matty on a journey of self-discovery that poses larger questions of family, mythology and the inheritance of a Jewish son. How did a man who made it to the land of opportunity become a homeless wanderer, and what can he teach us about the stories that we tell to surround ourselves and keep away the cold?

"This play questions the ways in which we inherit our history, and asks us to follow Matty as he discovers a past that his parents would rather remain a distant yesterday," comments Greenhouse Artistic Director Jacob Harvey. "I am thrilled to have the incomparable Gene Weygandt in this series and with Elizabeth Margolius at the helm, Uncle Philip's Coat promises to be a vibrant and haunting production."

The production team for UNCLE PHILIP'S COAT includes: Kurtis Boetcher (scenic design), Kate Setzer Kamphausen (costume design), Erik Barry (lighting design), Mealah Heidenreich (props design), Daren Leonard (asst. director), Josh Prisching (technical director) and Lynne Harris (stage manager).

About The Artists

Matty Selman (Playwright) is an Emmy Award-winning composer, lyricist and playwright who has written numerous stage musicals and plays with such collaborators as HAIR's Galt MacDermot and and Agnes of God playwright John Pielmeier. His musical Gefilte Fish Chronicles, written with Iris Burnett, was selected to be performed at the White House for Jewish Heritage Month in May of 2013. Recently, Matty was commissioned to write Touched by Blood a play about the Dutch poet, scientist and artist, Leo Vroman, who narrowly escaped the Nazi invasion of Holland in 194O only to be imprisoned for years by the Japanese. In 2015, Touched by Blood was performed at the 100th Anniversary of Dr. Vroman's birth in Gouda, Netherlands. Currently, Matty is developing the new musical, La Dottoressa, about the life and work of the famous educator, feminist and advocate for world peace, Maria Montessori. He is thrilled to be working on La Dottoressa with Tony Award-winner Daisy Eagan and Music Director, Caryl Fantel. For more information about Matty, please visit his website mattyselman.com.

Elizabeth Margolius (Director) has worked with theaters and universities in various capacities throughout the country, including the Santa Fe Opera, Florida Studio Theatre, the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, New York's Encompass New Opera Theatre, Millikin University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Nebraska. In 2015, Margolius was invited back to her alma mater, Converse School of Music in Spartanburg, SC, to direct the world premiere of a new opera/oratorio, Troiades. Her Chicago directorial credits include Sitayana (Gift Theatre's TEN Festival), L'Occasione Fa Il Ladro (A Thief by Chance) and Twelfth Night (DePaul Opera Theatre), The Girl in the Train, The Land of Smiles and The Cousin from Nowhere (Chicago Folks Operetta), Goldstar, Ohio (American Theater Company), The Ballad of Baby Doe (North Park University), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Assistant Director to Barbara Gaines), The Mikado (Savoyaires), The Last Cyclist (Genesis Theatrical Productions), Death Takes a Holiday for Circle Theatre and Opus 1861 (City Lit Theater; nominated for three Joseph Jefferson Awards) Violet (Bailiwick Chicago; nominated for five Joseph Jefferson Awards), Broadway Sings the Silk Road (Silk Road Theatre Project) and Bernarda Alba and Songs for a New World (Bohemian Theatre Ensemble). Margolius has also directed works at Harper College, Theatre Building Chicago/New Musical Development, Theatre on the Lake, Stage Left Theatre, Live Bait Theater and the Center for Cultural Interchange. Margolius is an alumna of the 2004 and 2005 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York, a 2007 recipient of a full directorial scholarship at the Wesley Balk Opera-Music Theater Institute in Minneapolis, a 2009 respondent and workshop artist for the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival, and a 2010 finalist for the Charles Abbott Fellowship. She is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of DirectorsLabChicago, a forum for emerging nationally and internationally based stage directors.

Gene Weygandt is best known as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in Wicked here in Chicago, and on Broadway. More recently, he starred as Jean Shepherd in A Christmas Story, the musical. Also on Broadway, Mr. Weygandt originated the role of Paul in Big: The Musical. He is a three-time Jefferson Award recipient for A Day in Hollywood/A Night in The Ukraine, and Me and My Girl at The Marriott, and for Little Shop of Horrors. He received an After Dark Award for his role as Max in the long-running hit, Lend Me a Tenor at The Royal George Theatre. Other credits include Inspecting Carol at Steppenwolf Theatre, The Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and principal roles in Old Jews Telling Jokes, The Miser, Arthur: the Musical, The Light In The Piazza, Hairspray, The Music Man, Don't Dress for Dinner, Little Me, and The Man Who Came To Dinner. Film; The Birdcage, The Babe, and The Pager. Television; Chicago Fire, Betrayal, Boss, Mind Games, The Beast, Home Improvement, Cybill, Murphy Brown, Drew Carey, Ellen, Coach, U.S.A. High, University Hospital, and Oh, Baby. www.geneweygandt.com.

About Solo Celebration!

Uncle Philip's Coat is one of 12 plays featured in Greenhouse's "Solo Celebration!," which includes ten full productions, two limited engagements and other special events running June 2016 through February 2017. Among the other directors connected to solo series are Goodman Theatre Producer and Artistic Collective Member Steve Scott, Writers Theatre Resident Director Kimberly Senior, Directors Lab Chicago Artistic Director Elizabeth Margolius and Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate Linda Gillum. Some of the performers confirmed to star in solo works include Jeff Award-winners Kate Buddeke, Gene Weygandt, Linda Reiter, acclaimed British actor Simon Slater, Will Allan and Carin Silkaitis. Most productions will be produced in their entirety by Greenhouse, while other plays will be stated with co-producers including Sideshow Theatre Company and The Other Theatre Company. Greenhouse's "Solo Celebration!" is co-produced by Forum Productions and underwritten by the Wendy and William Spatz Charitable Foundation.

About the Greenhouse Theater Center

The Greenhouse Theater Center is a nonprofit performance venue located at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Our complex offers two newly remodeled 190-seat main stage spaces, two 60-seat studio theaters, an in-house rehearsal room and Chicago's only dedicated used theatre book store.

Our mission at the Greenhouse is first and foremost to grow local theatre. We strive to cultivate a fertile environment for local artists, from individual renters to our bevy of resident companies, to develop and produce their work. In 2014 alone, The Greenhouse Theater Center provided space for almost 1,000 ticketed performances, serving more than 54,000 patrons. Among these events were at least 30 productions by our resident companies, including the celebrated American Blues Theater and Remy Bumpo Theatre Company. Through our Trellis Program, we offer the community affordable access to our work by housing Chicago's only dedicated used theatre bookstore, located on the second floor of our complex, as well as offering a free reading series each Tuesday night where local artists workshop their latest scripts. Additionally, we also continue to play an active role in cultivating and nurturing our community through continued partnerships with the League of Chicago Theaters and local Chambers of Commerce.

As of 2016, the Greenhouse Theater Center embraced the true spirit of growth and launched its producing entity. With the announcement of our eight month long Solo Celebration Series, helmed by Artistic Director Jacob Harvey, we will produce 12 solo plays from June 2016 to February 2017. Through this inaugural effort, we hope to expand the solo play cannon while also cultivating a larger conversation about the possibilities of the one-person play.

With new ideas always incubating, the Greenhouse Theater Center is flourishing. Come grow with us!



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