Northlight Theatre Presents TEN CHIMNEYS, 3/9-4/15

Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, presents Ten Chimneys by Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by Artistic Director BJ Jones.  The production runsMarch 9 – April 15, 2012 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd.  The press opening is on Friday, March 16, 2012.  

The show centers around "Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, who entertained the most influential artists of their time-from Noel Coward to Sydney Greenstreet- at Ten Chimneys, their legendary Wisconsin retreat. When a young Uta Hagen arrives to rehearse the Lunts' latest production, she sparks an offstage romantic triangle that rivals any onstage drama.  Life imitates art in this comically revealing take on the private lives of these very public figures."

"In July of 2009, I took playwright Jeff Hatcher and Arizona Theatre Company Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein to Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne's estate, Ten Chimneys.  As we visited the grounds, the spirits of the American theatre surrounded us – whispering their secrets, sharing their stories and inspiring us to call them to life.  The likes of Laurence Olivier, Noel Coward, Helen Hayes, show business greatest stars, visited Ten Chimneys, seeking the shelter of the couple's love and sharing their passion for art," comments BJ Jones.  "David Ira recalls that I murmured something about Jeff writing a play for us.  Jeff's creative wheels started turning.   Before we left Ten Chimneys, I decided we would put the then unwritten play Ten Chimneys into our Interplay New Play Development program, thus giving  Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne's spirits flight onstage once again." 

The cast includes Lance Baker (Carl), Janet Ulrich Brooks (Louise), Sara Griffin (Uta Hagen), V Craig Heidenreich (Alfred Lunt), Lia Mortensen (Lynn Fontanne), Linda Kimbrough (Hattie), Steve Pringle(Sydney Greenstreet).

Designers include Tom Burch (Set Design), Rachel Laritz (Costume Design), JR Lederle (Lighting Design) and Joe Cerqua (Sound Design).

Jeffrey Hatcher (Playwright) Broadway: Never Gonna Dance (book).  His work has been produced Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club and others.  Plays include: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Northlight, 2008),Ella (Northlight, 2007), Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie (Northlight, 2003), Three Viewings, A Picasso, Scotland Road, The Turn of the Screw, Murder by Poe, The Spy, Neddy, Fellow Travelers, Louder Faster,Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Mercy of a Storm, Smash, Armadale, Korczak's Children, To Fool the Eye, The Falls, A Piece of the Rope, All the Way with LBJ, The Government Inspector. His work has been performed in theatres throughout the U.S. and abroad.  Film/TV: Stage Beauty,Casanova, The Duchess and episodes of Columbo.  Grants/Awards:  NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, Edgerton Grant, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and Barrymore Award Best New Play.  He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists

BJ Jones (Director) is in his 14th season as Artistic Director of Northlight Theatre, where he has piloted the world premieres of last season's hit The Outgoing Tide with John Mahoney and Rondi Reed, Craig Wright'sLady, Larry Gelbart and Craig Wright's Better Late, Rounding Third with George Wendt, and Sky Girls.  As a producer he guided the world premieres of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, The Gamester, andStuds Terkel's 'The Good War'. Mr. Jones has directed at Steppenwolf, Cherry Lane Theatre NY, Atlanta's ALLIANCE THEATRE, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Asolo Theatre, Intiman Theatre, TimeLine and Next Theatre in Evanston.  Directorial work includes Northlight's Season's Greetings, Grey Gardens, The Lady with All the Answers, The Retreat From Moscow, A Skull in Connemara, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore, as well as productions of A Number, Twelfth Night, Glengarry Glen Ross (Suzie Bass Nominee - Best Director), Pygmalion, The Price (Jeff Nomination - Best Director), and 100 Saints You Should Know.  A two-time Jeff Award winner, he has appeared at Northlight in dozens of productions and has performed at virtually every major theatre in Chicago, including The Guys, House & Garden (Goodman),The Royal Family and Playboy of the Western World (Steppenwolf), and Candide and Comedy of Errors(Court).   Film/TV credits include The Fugitive, Body Double, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Early Edition,Cupid and Turks, among others.  

Lance Baker (Carl) returns to Northlight, where he last appeared in Mauritius. He has also appeared in Craig Wright's Lady at Northlight; He recently received a Jeff nomination for his performance as Charlie inSpeed-The-Plow at American Theater Company. Other recent credits include Becky Shaw at A Red Orchid Theatre (where he is an ensemble member), Invisible Man at Court Theatre; Lookingglass Theatre Company's production of Around the World in 80 Days at Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Amadeus at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Film credits include Unsettled, Public Enemies, The Express, and Road to Perdition.

Janet Ulrich Brooks (Louise) has performed at Timeline Theatre, Writers' Theatre, Live Bait, City Lit, Pegasus Players, Stage Left, Chicago Jewish Theatre, and is the past artistic/education director for Child's Play Touring Theatre where she taught arts integrated curriculum in local and national venues. She continues as a teaching artist with Writers' Theatre and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She spent years entertaining in Branson, MO, and holds an M.F.A. in acting. 

Sara Griffin (Uta Hagen) is a recent MFA graduate of the Professional Theatre Training Program of theUniversity of Delaware. Regional credits include Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, Lady Anne inRichard III, Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, and Lydia Bennett in Pride and Prejudice with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Alice Fletcher in the World Premiere of Teresa Rebeck's O Beautiful, Emily Webb inOur Town, Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Chris in Dancing at Lughnasa with the Resident Ensemble Players. Other credits include Imogen in Cymbeline, Speed in Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Elma in Bus Stop.

V Craig Heidenreich (Alfred Lunt), originally from Woodstock, IL, was last at the Northlight as Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility. V has directed or appeared throughout the country in more than 160 professional productions including 14 seasons with Actors' Theatre of Louisville, three seasons with the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, three with Shakespeare Santa Cruz and three years as artistic director of the Complete Theatre Alliance and Infinite Space. Representative roles include Macbeth, Hamlet, Richard III, Henry IV, Iago, Jacques, Petruchio, Edgar, Bottom, Malvolio and Caliban. Most recently, V directed and/or performed in productions of Betrayal, Don Juan in Hell, Lion in Winter, Sea Marks, Hedda Gabler, Rough Crossing and Jon Jory's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. 

Lia Mortensen (Lynn Fontanne) was recently seen at American Theatre Company in The Big Meal. Other Chicago credits include A Doll's House, Macbeth and The Illusion (Next Theatre); Rabbit Hole (Goodman);Fighting Words (Rivendell); Lady Windermere's Fan, Sky Girls and Talley's Folly (Northlight); All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Closer and Faith Healer (for which she received a Jeff Nomination and the Sarah Siddons - Actress of the Year Award) at Steppenwolf; Night and Day (Remy Bumppo); Aristocrats (Organic Theatre); Voice of the Turtle (Classic American Theatre); andSerious Money and Ghosts (Court Theatre). Film credits include Blink. Television credits include Early Edition, Missing Persons, the TV Pilot of Family Practice and Chicago Code. 

Linda Kimbrough (Hattie) has appeared at Northlight in A Life, Better Late (both opposite John Mahoney),She Stoops to Conquer, Red Herring, Gamester, Hearts and The Old Neighborhood.  Most recently, she played Marie in The Gospel According to James at Victory Gardens and Indiana Repertory.  Other recent roles: Mrs. Lintott in The History Boys (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre) and Dotty in Noises Off(Cleveland Play House).  She has originated roles in four of David Mamet's plays: Edmond, Reunion, The Water Engine, Squirrels, and his adaptation of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard.  Movies include Spartan,State & Main, Red Belt, Homicide, and the upcoming Phil Specter Story (starring Al Pacino) for HBO. 

Steve Pringle (Sydney Greenstreet) is making his debut with Northlight.  Chicago theater credits: The Pitmen Painters (Timeline), Faith Healer (Buffalo Theater Ensemble), Madness of King George, Taming of the Shrew, Richard III (Chicago Shakespeare), Without a Parachute (Pasta Fazool Players); The Passion of Dracula (First Folio). Regional theater:  The Rainmaker (Guthrie Theater); Arms and the Man, Custer, The Farm (Actors Theater of St. Paul, founding member); Mousetrap, Pajama Tops (Old Log Theater); Guys and Dolls, Robber Bridegroom, On Golden Pond (Chanhassen Dinner Theater). Film credits: That Was Then, This Is Now. Television credits:  Quincy (CBS); The Police, (PBS). Recipient of the Edwin Booth Award from the American College Theater Festival, by The Players' Club of New York, 1970.

Tickets for Ten Chimneys, $25-60, are available by phone at 847.673.6300, or online at Young Adult tickets (25 and under) are $10 (one per person with valid ID).

The Box Office is located at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, inSkokie.  Box Office hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm, and Saturdays 12:00pm-5:00pm. On performance days, the box office hours are extended through showtime. The Box Office is closed on Sundays, except on performance days when it is open two hours prior to showtime.

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