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Lookingglass Theatre's THE LAST ACT OF LILKA KADISON Closes

Lookingglass Theatre Company, in association with Abbie Phillips, presents the World Premiere of The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, an original story about a spirited woman in the twilight of her life, written by Nicola Behrman, Ensemble Member David Kersnar, Abbie Phillips, and Ensemble Members Heidi Stillman and Andrew White; David Kersnar directs. The production runs June 1 - July 24, 2011 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. The press opening is Saturday June 11 at 7:30pm.

The Last Act of Lilka Kadison is inspired by the life and work of Johanna Cooper and the Public Radio International series One People, Many Stories.

At age seventeen, Lilka Kadison flees Poland on the eve of World War II. Seventy years later in America, she's spending her afternoon hassling her son, wrestling her caregiver, and arguing with the ghost who keeps rearranging her furniture-and her memories. Join Lookingglass on this journey about the power of story, humor, and grace in the face of danger.

Script development and production of The Last Act of Lilka Kadison is funded by a generous grant from the Righteous Persons Foundation. This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award. Additional support provided by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Inaugural consortium support provided by Board Member Richard Ditton.

"Simultaneously haunting and hilarious, The Last Act of Lilka Kadison presents four characters, each with very different stories and secrets. They all must grapple with whether to reveal those secrets and to whom, and it is this grappling, their wrestling with hidden truths, that I believe our audiences will find meaningful and powerful," says Artistic Director Andrew White. "Lilka is a great way to complete a season that has been about the central role that story plays, and the power it has, during our different seasons of life."

The Last Act of Lilka Kadison features Usman Ally (Menelik Kahn), Chance Bone (Ben Ari Adler), Nora Fiffer (Lilka Kadison), and Marilyn Dodds Frank (Lilith Fisher).

Designers include Jacqueline and Richard Penrod, scenic; Mara Blumenfeld, costume; Christine Binder, lighting; Rick Sims, sound design/composition; and William Anderson, properties; and Tracy Otwell, toy theater designer.

As with many previous productions, most recently Trust, Lookingglass is partnering with organizations to enhance the audience experience with additional education and outreach programming. Community Partners for The Last Act of Lilka Kadison include: Facing History and Ourselves, Kartemquin Films, The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, The Raven Foundation, The Spertus
Institute, The US Holocaust Memorial Museum Midwest Regional Office, and The Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The schedule for Community Partner Special Events follows. Events are open to the public.

Lookingglass and The US Holocaust Memorial Museum Midwest Office present
First Person: A Conversation with Holocaust Survivor Estelle Laughlin
moderated by Hal Gershowitz
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 6:00pm
Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
A survivor's eyewitness account unites personal experience with history in a way that is extraordinary in its immediacy and power. This moderated conversation will be followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

Lookingglass, The Spertus Institute, and Kartemquin Films present
Memory and Reflections: Viewing the Holocaust on Stage and Screen
Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 6:30pm
Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
A compelling evening examines the impact and complexity of memory in the lives of Holocaust survivors. Live scenes from Lookingglass Theatre's world premiere production The Last Act of Lilka Kadison and select clips from Kartemquin Film's documentary Prisoner of Her Past will be paired with a discussion on the topic. Panel participants include artistic director and founding member of Kartemquin Films Gordon Quinn, Lookingglass Theatre founding ensemble member and director, David Kersnar, and David Bier, MSW of the Holocaust Community Services Program at Jewish Child and Family Services, Chicago.

Lookingglass Theatre and The Raven Foundation present
Sandor Goodhart's Lecture on The Last Act of Lilka Kadison
Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 1:30pm
Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA), 820 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
This free lecture will be offered by Professor Sandor Goodhart, specializing in Dramatic Literature and Jewish Studies at Purdue University.

Lookingglass, Kartemquin Films, and The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center present
Their Stories: Reflections of Survival on Stage, on Screen
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 6:30pm
The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, 9603 Woods Dr., Skokie
Live scenes from The Last Act of Lilka Kadison and select clips from Kartemquin Film's documentary Prisoner of Her Past will be accompanied by a Survivor's recollections.

Lookingglass will also offer free, panel discussions following Sunday performances of The Last Act of Lilka Kadison on the following dates: Sunday, June 19 and 26; and Sunday, July 10, 17 and 24.
Panelists are TBA.

The Last Act of Lilka Kadison -Dates, Times and Ticket Information

Tickets are available online,; by phone, (312) 337-0665; or at the Lookingglass Theatre box office, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. For more information and box office hours, visit

Previews of The Last Act of Lilka Kadison are June 1 - June 10, 2011. The press opening is Saturday, June 11, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. The production runs through July 24, 2011. Tickets are $20-$62.

Target Saturday Matinees offer a limited number of buy one, get one free tickets which are available to all 3:00 p.m. Saturday matinees. This program is made possible with the generous support of Target, working with Lookingglass to make the arts accessible to all. A limited number of student tickets are available the day of the show for $20 with valid student ID. (See FACT SHEET for full performance schedule.)

Lookingglass Theatre is located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile shopping district inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. Discounted parking is available for Lookingglass patrons at both the nearby John Hancock Center and Olympia Centre Self Park (161 E. Chicago Ave.). To purchase tickets, call the Lookingglass Theatre box office at (312) 337-0665 or visit

About Lookingglass Theatre Company

Inventive. Collaborative. Transformative. Lookingglass Theatre Company was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. 2010-2011 marks the company's 23rd anniversary season. Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. Lookingglass has staged 55 world premieres at 23 venues across Chicago, and garnered 52 Joseph Jefferson Awards and Citations. Lookingglass Theatre is the recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award.

Work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis. Arabian Nights played at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in December 2010 and Washington DC's Arena Stage in 2010. Lookingglass Alice played recently at The Actors Theatre of Louisville; Syracuse Stage and The ALLIANCE THEATRE in Atlanta. Around The World in 80 Days recently played at Centerstage in Baltimore and at Kansas City Repertory in Kansas City. Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States. The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago's landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003. In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year.

Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 22-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Lisa Naparstek Green. For more information, visit

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