New Chicago Theatre The Bridge to Open with THE GOLF BALL, 6/13

Bridgeport's first neighborhood theater company, The Bridge, 643 W. 31st Street, opens its doors with the World Premiere of "The Golf Ball", Friday, June 13. Chicago writer, director and actor Kestutis Nakas started The Bridge as a means to bring professional quality theater and performance to the Bridgeport neighborhood at reasonable prices. The premiere production penned by Nakas, "The Golf Ball, is a contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov's classic play "The Seagull" and is set in Chicago. "The Golf Ball", directed by Nakas, runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. June 13 through July 6. For tickets and information visit or phone 312-307-5194.

"I want to bring high quality theater to my own neighborhood," said Nakas, a Bridgeport resident since 2005. "A theater company will contribute to the growing arts scene in Bridgeport and I feel the community will support it. This is a neighborhood like none other and The Bridge will be right in step with this community. The space we are staging the play has the atmosphere of a vibrant working class auditorium from the stockyard days. The vibe is perfect for my vision of staging Chekhov. Chekhov himself never wanted his plays to come off as exotic or foreign. He wrote in plain language about real people from all strata of society. The old country farmhouses he set his plays in were as familiar to his audiences as Chicago apartment buildings are to us. 'The Golf Ball', set in today's Chicago, will bring this same immediacy to our present-day audience."

Set in modern-day Chicago, "The Golf Ball"tells the tale of a young writer (Ian) and his obsessive love for actress Sheena. Troubles ensue when the successful older writer (Ray) enters the picture. To complicate matters, Ray is already having an affair with Ian's mother. Passions erupt and dysfunction runs rampant as fragile artists strive to realize their visions and find true love.

"The Golf Ball"cast includes Audre Budrys (Audra), Karen Vance (Sheena), Nick Druzbanski (Ian) and Kestutis Nakas (Ray) .

Nakas' work has been presented at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Yale Rep, La Mama, Dixon Place, P.S. 122, St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, 8BC, The Kitchen, Highways, Prop Theatre and other venues around the country.. Recently, his performance text about urban beekeeping, "No Bees for Bridgeport", was published in "Animal Acts, Performing Species Today", an anthology of new performance edited by Una Chaudhuri and Holly Hughes. Currently, he is a Professor of Theatre at The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

The Bridge plans to present a variety of new plays, especially contemporary adaptations of early modern classics by Ibsen, Strindberg, O'Neil and others along with edgy original performance works. In addition, The Bridge will present a monthly performance cabaret called "Followspot", featuring short original theater, dance, music and spoken word performances by some of Chicago's brightest young artists. "Followspot" opens at The Bridge on July 12 at 8pm. Aso in the works are plans to offer professionally-taught theater classes for young people at affordable prices. Details will be announced soon.

The Bridge, 643 W. 31st Street, presents the World Premiere of The Golf Ball Friday June 13 through Sunday, July 6. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $10 for students and seniors. This production is not recommended for children under 17 years old. For tickets and information visit or phone 312-307-5194.

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