INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH Extends at 16th Street Theater

INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH Extends at 16th Street Theater

16th Street Theater's 10th Anniversary Season continues with the National New Play Network rolling world premiere of INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH by KAREN ZACARÍAS adapted from the novel by LUIS ALBERTO URREA and co-directed by Ann Filmer and MIGUEL NUÑEZ, April 13 - June 3, 2017 at North Berwyn Park District's 16th Street Theater, 6420 16th Street in Berwyn, with Press Opening on Thursday, April 20 @ 7:30 PM.

Inspired by the classic film The Magnificent Seven, a young woman and her companions leave their small Mexican town and venture across the border. Nayeli, Tacho and Vampi are determined to bring back seven good men to protect their village from the invasion of narco-traficantes and the risk of extinction. Playwright Karen Zacarías (author of The Book Club Play) has crafted Luis Alberto Urrea's bestselling novel into a fast-paced comical tale full of colorful characters that surprise and delight. A funny and heartwarming look at the dreams shared on both sides of the border.

16th Street is honored to be bringing in actor Esteban Andres Cruz from Los Angeles to play the role of Tacho while Laura Crotte (who played the mother in 16th Street's Yasmina's Necklace) plays powerful bowling champion Tia Irma. Newcomer Ilse Zacharias takes on the leading role of Nayeli. They are joined by actors Allyce Torres, Miguel Nuñez, Brandon Rivera, Andrés Enriquez, Juan Munoz and designers Joanna Iwanicka, Cat Wilson, Barry Bennett, Rachel Sypniewski, Jessica Mondres.

INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH is the second offering in 16th Street's Season Ten 2017: The Journey following the sold-out, extended run of BLIZZARD '67. This production is a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere with Milagro in Portland, Central Works in Berkeley, and San Diego Rep.

16th Street is thrilled to welcome back KAREN Zacarías (author of The Book Club Play) who was recently hailed by the National Endowment for the Arts as the most-produced Latina playwright in the country and will have three major productions in Chicago in 2017: at Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens and 16th Street. She had five world premieres in the 2016 season: Destiny of Desire at Arena Stage (coming to Goodman spring 2017); Native Gardens at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (coming to Victory Gardens summer 2017); Oliverio: A Brazilian Twist at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Ella Enchanted: The Musical at First Stage and Into the Beautiful North in a rolling world premiere with Milagro Theatre, Central Works, San Diego Rep and 16th Street. Her other award-winning plays including The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, the adaptations of Helen Thorpe's Just Like Us and Julia Alvarez's How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and many more. She collaborated on the libretto for Sleepy Hollow and Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises for The Washington Ballet and wrote ten theatre for young audiences musicals with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma. She is one of the inaugural resident playwrights at Arena Stage and is a core founder of the Latino Theatre Commons. She is the founder of Young Playwrights' Theater; an award-winning theatre company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, D.C. She has BA with distinction from Stanford University and a Masters in Creative Writing from Boston University. Born in Mexico, Karen lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and three children.

Co-director Ann Filmer is a director, adaptor and producer of new plays. She founded 16th Street Theater in 2007 where she has developed and produced over 50 new plays including most recently directing Yasmina's Necklace, Carroll Gardens and Blizzard '67. Ms. Filmer also has directed at such theatres as Goodman (Chicago Boys; Almost Done, Reunion, and Dark Pony), Remy Bumppo (The Clean House), Victory Gardens (Disconnect), Red Orchid (Eric LaRue), Shattered Globe (The House of Blue Leaves), Live Bait (Us and Them), Stage Left (Spare Change, In Times of War), Circle (Golf), Emerald City, The Aardvark (The Last Barbecue). While Producing Director of Chicago Dramatists, Ann co-produced the National Showcase of New Plays, won an After Dark Award for her direction of The Liquid Moon, and edited the anthology New Plays from Chicago. She adapted and directed The Midnight City-her fourth collaboration with renowned visual artist Tony Fitzpatrick and Stan Klein at The Steppenwolf Garage. She was named on New City's List of The Players: "50 people who really perform for Chicago."

Co-director MIGUEL NUÑEZ is an Artistic Associate at 16th Street Theater. He was last seen there as Imam Rafi in the world premiere of Yasmina's Necklace. Other selected Chicago credits include What Of The Night? (Stage Left/Cor Theatre), Bobby Clearly (Steep Theatre), The Play About my Dad (Raven Theatre), El Pasado Nunca Se Termina (Lyric Opera of Chicago and national tour), Romulus (Oracle Theatre), Death and the Maiden, Oedipus El Rey (Victory Gardens); PINKOLANDIA (16th Street Theatre); The Three Musketeers, The Blue Shadow (Lifeline Theatre); I Put the Fear of Mexico In 'em (Teatro Vista); The Ghost is Here (Vitalist Theatre). He has also worked at the Goodman Theatre, ATC, Gift Theatre and many more. His work can be seen in numerous films and national commercials. Miguel has trained at Black Box in Chicago and at the National Theater University in Caracas, Venezuela.

Esteban Andres Cruz was born in Berwyn and grew up in Cicero, IL; a graduate of J. Sterling Morton East High School. Esteban was last seen on stage in the West Coast premiere of Philip Dawkins' Charm at Celebration Theater in Hollywood. Last season Mr. Cruz debuted at Steppenwolf, in Bruce Norris's Domesticated. His feature film Spa Night premiered at Sundance Film Festival and won Best US Feature at Outfest, Los Angeles and is currently nominated for a GLADD award and two Independent Spirit Awards. In theatres this May, Mr. Cruz is featured in the action thriller; Valley of Bones, distributed by Will Smith/SONY Pictures. Esteban is the 2009 Joseph Jeff Award recipient; Actor in a Principal Role at Raven Theater for his portrayal of Angel Cruz in Jesus Hopped the A Train. Other theater credits include Angel in RENT at A.T.C., Puck in Benjamin Britten's Midsummer Nights Dream at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, David Cromer's Streetcar Named Desire at Writers Theater, Cousin Julio in Motherf*#@er with the Hat at Cygnet Theatre in San Diego. Corps de ballet: Cincinnati Ballet, Company Member: RTG Dance, Hedwig Dances and Thread Meddle Outfit. Other Film: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, The Thin Line, Nancy Picks and Chooses. TV: You're the Worst (FX), Awkward (MTV), Chicago Fire (NBC), Idiot Sitter (Comedy Central), The Bridge (FX), Super Clyde (CBS pilot), Cop Show (Steppenwolf Theatre Film Productions).

Hailed by NPR as a "literary badass" and a "master storyteller with a rock and roll heart," Author LUIS ALBERTO URREA is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. A 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, Urrea is the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 16 books, winning numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer though he says, "I am more interested in bridges, not borders." Nearly 100 cities and colleges have chosen Into the Beautiful North, The Devil's Highway or The Hummingbird's Daughter for a One Book community read. Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

National New Play Network is the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays. NNPN strives to pioneer, implement, and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has supported over 200 productions nationwide through its innovative NNPN Rolling World Premiere program; granted more than a million dollars to its Member theaters, their staffs, and affiliated artists; and provided hundreds of playwrights and other theater-makers with developmental workshops, commissions, and paid residencies. Now, after eighteen seasons, hundreds of thousands of audience members around the world have seen plays that were created and honed with support from NNPN.



Written by Karen Zacarías
Adapted from the novel by Luis Alberto Urrea
Directed by Ann Filmer and Miguel Nuñez

FEATURING: Esteban Andres Cruz, Laura Crotte, Allyce Torres, Miguel Nuñez, Brandon Rivera, Andrés Enriquez, Juan Munoz and Ilse Zacharias as Nayeli

DESIGNS BY: Joanna Iwanicka (scenic), Cat Wilson (lights), Barry Bennett (sound), Rachel Sypniewski (costumes), Jessica Mondres (props), Victor Bayona of R&D Choreography (violence design), stage managed by Wendye Clarendon

RUNNING TIME: Two hours including one intermission.

PERFORMANCES: April 13 - June 3, 2017
Previews: April 13 & 14 @ 7:30 PM, April 15 @ 8:00 PM
No 4pm Sat April 15
Press Opening: Thursday, April 20 @ 7:30 PM
Regular Run: Thursdays & Fridays @ 7:30 PM, Saturdays @ 4:00 & 8:00 PM
Moderated post-show dialogues follow Thursday and Friday performances.

At 16th Street Theater, 6420 16th Street in Berwyn

Online -
By Phone - (708) 795-6704
In Person - at North Berwyn Park District, 1619 Wesley Ave., Berwyn

General Admission: $22, Berwyn Residents: $18
Group Ticket Discounts for 8+

Free parking one block west in lot at 16th & Gunderson across from Lincoln School

North Berwyn Park District's 16th STREET THEATER is Berwyn's professional equity theater. Located just 17 minutes from downtown Chicago, 16th Street is a two-time recipient of the National Theatre Grant from American Theatre Wing and Chicago Magazine's 2013 Best Emerging Theater. Just west of Ridgeland, the theater is one mile southwest of the Austin exit off the Eisenhower Expressway/290 and the Austin Blue line.

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