Idle Muse Theatre Company to Stage Chicago Premiere of THE WOMAN WHO AMUSES HERSELF

Idle Muse Theatre Company will produce the Chicago premiere of The Woman Who Amuses Herself, by Victor Lodato, directed by Idle Muse ensemble member Nathan Pease. The Woman Who Amuses Herself will run June 23rd through July 24th, 2016 with previews June 23rd and 24th and will be presented at Edge Theater, 5451 N Broadway Ave, Chicago, IL 60640. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Run time is approximately 2 hrs including 1 ten-minute intermission. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $15 for students/seniors. Tickets for previews are $10. Every Thursday is Industry Night with $10 tickets for industry members with headshot/resume. Tickets may be purchased by visiting or by calling 773-340-9438.

In 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia, a worker at the Louvre, committed the crime of the century by walking out with the Mona Lisa hidden under his coat. Peruggia then spent two years in his Paris apartment alone with the mysteriously smiling woman as his muse. But was he an Italian patriot who believed "La Gioconda" should be returned to her native Italy, was he a not-so-common thief seeking his fortune, or was this the strangest story of unrequited love ever told? The Woman Who Amuses Herself is produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. ( Nathan Pease directed last season's Jeff nominated production, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

"This is a play that speaks about the power of art. We're asking what it means to own art; does it necessitate physical possession or can it be something more subjective, something that's in the heart of each viewer? Great art is a mirror for getting to know oneself to the core and that's the common thread for all of the characters in this show. We get to experience this introspection not only within the narrative of Peruggia's frayed psyche, but through the lenses of others who also feel a kinship with the mysterious smiling lady. I believe the audience will see something of themselves in these characters. Finding a way to make theatre that connects to the audience and reflects our world is a huge part of what Idle Muse attempts with all of our productions and what makes The Woman Who Amuses Herself the perfect show to conclude our 10th season," said director Nathan Pease.

Victor Lodato is the recipient of the Weissberger Award for Motherhouse and the PEN USA Award for Arlington(a collaboration with composer Polly Pen). Other plays include Wildlife, Dear Sara Jane, The Bread of Winter, and Slay the Dragon. Other honors include the Helen Merrill Award, John Golden Prize, Roger L. Stevens Award from The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, and the Julie Harris Playwriting Award.

The cast features ensemble members Brian Bengtson, Cat Hermes , Mara Kovacevic, and Nathan Thompson, artistic associate Joel Thompson, and guest artists Almanya Narula, Rodrigo Arreola and Erin Gordon.

The design team features ensemble members Erin Gallagher (Costume Designer), Sara Robinson (Production Stage Manager and Scenic Designer), Tristan Brandon (Dramaturgy), Shellie DiSalvo, and Laura Wiley (Lighting and Projection Designer) Wiley was nominated for Best Lighting Design last season for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Idle Muse Theatre Company. Guest artists include Robert P Lloyd (Sound Designer) and Allison Asher (Dialect Coach).

Idle Muse Theatre Company presents The Woman Who Amuses Herself, running June 23 - July 24, 2016 at Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway Ave. Street parking is available and the venues is handicapped and CTA accessible (Edge Theater is CTA accessible by Red Line Berwyn/Bryn Mawr stop/ 36 Broadway Bus).

Photo by Steven Townshend

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