Midwest Premiere of THE WHALE to Play Victory Gardens, 4/5-5/5

Victory Gardens continues its 2012-13 season with the Midwest Premiere of The Whale, written by Ensemble Playwright Samuel D. Hunter and directed by Joanie Schultz. The production runs April 5 - May 5, 2013 at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park. The Press Opening is Monday, April 15, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Since the death of his boyfriend, morbidly obese 600 pound Charlie has confined himself to his small Idaho apartment and is eating himself to oblivion. With his health quickly failing, Charlie becomes desperate to reconnect with Ellie, his estranged and angry teenage daughter whom he has not seen in 17 years. He would give her anything: his love, his money....maybe even his life. Written by Obie Award-winning playwright Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale is a tough, humorous and emotionally powerful play about how we cope with loss, and how new definitions of family, friends and religion shape our lives.

The cast includes: Leah Karpel (Ellie), Cheryl Graeff (Liz), Will Allan (Elder Thomas), Dale Calandra (Charlie) and Patricia Kane (Mary).

Previews: April 5 - April 14, 2013. Press opening: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm. Regular run: April 16 - May 5, 2013. Schedule: Tuesdays: 7:30 pm; Wednesdays: 7:30 pm; Thursdays: 7:30 pm; Fridays: 7:30 pm; Saturdays: 4:00 pm; and Sundays: 3:00 pm. All performances play Victory Gardens' Biograph Theater, located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Tickets: Previews: $20 - $40; Regular run: $20 - $60. Box Office: The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. Call 773.871.3000 or visit victorygardens.org.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. With Victory Gardens' first new Artistic Director in 34 years, the company remains committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, continuing the vision set forth by Dennis Zacek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens' core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city's and nation's culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city's active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Zacek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 299-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

In 2012, Victory Gardens Victory Gardens appointed new Ensemble PlaywrightsPhilip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter and Tanya Saracho, for seven-year residencies. The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens, www.victorygardens.org. Follow up on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens and Twitter @VictoryGardens.

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