House Theatre of Chicago's SEASON ON THE LINE Will Now Open 9/22

The House Theatre of Chicago presents Season on the Line, the first production of the company's 13th season, at the Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Friday, Sept. 12 - Sunday, Oct. 26. The play, a world premiere adaptation of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, is written by Company Member Shawn Pfautsch and directed by Jess McLeod, in her House debut. Previews begin Friday, Sept. 12 and run through Sept 20 Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. The press opening is Monday, Sept 22. Regular performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays and Mondays at 7 p.m. The running time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes. Preview tickets are $15, regular run tickets range from $25 to $35. $10 for student and industry same-day discounted tickets are available for all dates, seats permitting. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call 773.769.3832.

Pfautsch's modern adaptation, Season on the Line, is a love letter to American theater featuring a 19 person cast. Melville's story of the hunt for the white whale is transformed into the Bad Settlement Theatre Company, beleaguered by a dilapidated building, strained finances and a tyrannical artistic director with a singular focus: the first-ever perfect production of Moby-Dick. A novice assistant stage manager joins the ranks at the top of the company's make-or-break season and is thrown quickly into the fray. Mirroring Melville's unconventional form, Season on the Line is the young narrator's look back at the industry he has grown to love, even as those around him pay the ultimate price in pursuit of their own great white whale. The cast for Season on the Line features Equity guest artists Thomas J. Cox* as Artistic Director Ben Adonna, and Maggie Kettering* as his right-hand and stage manager, Day Starr. Guest artist Ty Olwin steps into the role of our narrator, mirroring the reflections of Melville's Ishmael. House Company Member Marika Mashburn (last seen in Death & Harry Houdini) steps into the role of Elizabeth, a company director helming a wacky avant-garde production in the company's season. House Company Member Abu Ansari (also last seen in Death & Harry Houdini) appears as a Ugandan actor and voice of reason. Returning guest artists Christopher M. Walsh and Mary Hollis Inboden both play designers stretched to their limits by the outrageous demands of the season. Guest artists Danny Bernardo, Tiffany Yvonne Cox, Shane Kenyon, Bob Kruse, Andy Lutz, Molly Lyons, Marvin Quijada, Jessica Dean Turner, and Rawson Vint fill the ensemble with actors, designers, and technicians. Sean Sinitski completes the ensemble as the primary object of obsession, the chief theater critic. The production team features work from House company members Shawn Pfautsch (Playwright), Lee Keenan (Scenic and Lighting design), Kevin O'Donnell (Composer/Sound Designer); with guest artists Jess McLeod (Director), Izumi Inaba (Costume Designer). ABOUT SHAWN PFAUTSCH Pfautsch is a veteran company member with The House Theatre of Chicago having joined the company in 2000. Two of Pfautsch's full-length plays have been produced at The House: Hatfield & McCoy and The Attempters. His short plays and one-acts have been produced in Chicago as well as Texas, Florida and Iowa.

With The House, he has worked or starred in Death & Harry Houdini (all incarnations), The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan, all three entries in the Valentine Trilogy, Cave With Man, The Boy Detective Fails, the first production of Dave DaVinci Saves the Universe, Thieves Like Us and Cyrano. He has also travelled with The House to the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami twice, taking the stage with The Sparrow and Death & Harry Houdini.

As a member of The Hypocrites avant garde Gilbert & Sullivan Rep, Pfautsch has been performing The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado to audiences in Chicago (at the Chopin Theatre and Steppenwolf Garage) and around the country (at American Repertory Theatre in Boston and Actors Theatre of Louisville) since 2010.

Elsewhere in Chicago and abroad, he has been on stage with: Steppenwolf Theatre (Theatrical Essays), Chicago Shakespeare (Julius Caesar), Chicago Childrens' Theatre (A Year With Frog and Toad), Lakeside Shakespeare in Michigan (Henry V, Love's Labors Lost, King Lear, As You Like It), Signal Ensemble (Old Wicked Songs) and the Dallas Theatre Center (South Pacific). Pfautsch also had a role as the recurring character Alan Devlin on FOX's "Mob Doctor."

McLeod directs for the first time with The House Theatre of Chicago. She is an Associate Artist at The Music Theatre Company, where her credits include The Pajama Game, Fugitive Songs in Concert, and the Young Artist Program productions of Mill Girls, Zanna, Don't! and YAPbook '11. Other Chicago: Funeral Wedding: The Alvin Play (Strange Tree Group), L-Vis Live! (Victory Gardens), Kin (Griffin Theatre), The Wedding Singer (Haven Theatre), and Venus at Steppenwolf, co-produced by Northwestern's M.F.A. directing program, through which McLeod also directed In Trousers and Mourning Becomes Electra and co-created "Master Clash," the M.F.A. Writer/Director short play festival. From 2005-08, McLeod served as Director of Programming for The New York Musical Theatre Festival, where she oversaw all curating and directed pop/musical theatre fusion concerts including The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds. She has also directed workshops of new plays and musicals for American Theater Company, The Music Theatre Company, The American Music Theatre Project and The House, and heads Timber Lake Playhouse's Summer Playwrights Lab.

Leonora Dickson is the Production Sponsor for Season on the Line. Development of Season on the Line has been supported in part by the Boeing Company and University of Chicago's Summer, Inc. residency.

Related Articles

Chicago THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW Chicago  Follow BWW Chicago

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...