Photo Flash: First Look at THE HAMMER TRINITY at The House Theatre of Chicago

The House Theatre of Chicago presents its multi-play fantasy epic, The Hammer Trinity, in its entirety with all-day marathon performances, including the world premiere of the all-new final chapter Part Three: The Excelsior King and revised versions of Part One: The Iron Stag King and Part Two: The Crownless King, playing at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., February 20 - May 3, 2015. The House Theatre of Chicago Artistic Director Nathan Allen directs the world premiere of the series that he and Company Member Chris Mathews have co-written. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!

For the second time in The House Theatre of Chicago's history, Artistic Director Nathan Allen employs an epic format and creates a multi-year play cycle. Now presented as a full series in both repertory and marathon performances, The Hammer Trinity tells the story of young Casper Kent recovering the lost Hammer and taking the Crown, defending it against pirates and the Crownless faction, and ultimately relinquishing the Hammer's great power for the greater good.

Reaching a milestone in the legacy of the land of New Plymouth and The House Theatre of Chicago, the company engages 16 actors to bring 54 characters to life in a tale spanning three full-length plays. Almost 120 scenes developed from 500 pages of original work overseen by an artistic team comprised of 16 of Chicago''s greatest established and emerging artists and designers to create an unparalleled experience for audiences who have enjoyed The Hammer Trinity since its journey began in 2012.

The result of a five-week residency workshop conducted at the University of Chicago in the summer of 2014, The Hammer Trinity features reworked versions of The Iron Stag King andThe Crownless King and the all-new, trilogy ending The Excelsior King introducing a new chapter to stalwart fans and those new to the legend.

PART ONE: THE IRON STAG KING
Our unsuspecting hero, Casper Kent, is the son of a poor farmer. When an old storyteller, Hap the Golden, reveals that Casper is the rightful heir to the Crown, his life is threatened from all sides. Young Casper must escape the Crownless, choose compatriots and question what is good and right for the land. Part one of The Hammer Trinity follows him on his quest to lift the magical Hammer that will unite or destroy them all.

PART TWO: THE CROWNLESS KING
After a hard-fought battle, young Casper Kent takes his place as the ruler of the Folk. Yet King Casper soon finds himself buffeted by forces on all sides. Seizing for control, the exiled black dragon, Irek Obsidian (voiced by Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Tracy Letts,) cunningly lures Casper away from the throne. Our band of heroes ventures to the sea where the hooded pirate Davy Boone commands a fleet of Crownless rebels. All the while, Hap the Golden wrests to maintain his hold over the royal tale. Storytellers Hap the Golden and Irek Obsidian each seek to impose their versions of the story. But a third Storyteller will emerge to speak a new story....

PART THREE: THE EXCELSIOR KING
New Plymouth is thrust into Civil War as the Folk choose sides in the conflict between Hap the Golden and Irek Obsidian. With Queen Rienne potentially murdered, and King Casper nowhere to be found, our remaining heroes have narrowly escaped the conflict in the Capital but find themselves scattered and at cross-purposes. It is up to the novice storyteller, July of the Seven Foxes, to speak a tale that can unite them again and save the Land from self-destruction. But a threat worse than dragons is encroaching from The Glaze, a darkness more powerful than even Hap and Irek had anticipated.

New to the core cast of The Hammer Trinity is House Company Member Kevin Strangler, who takes over the role of the young King Casper Kent formerly played by Company Member Brandon Ruiter, William Dick replaces Company Member Cliff Chamberlain (now a regular on NBC''s State of Affairs) as Hap the Golden, and Kara Davidson replaces Company Member Paige Collins as Rienne Boileau.

Players returning include Tracy Letts (as the voice of the dragon Irek Obsidian), Benjamin Hertel (Pepper Tintype, Ensemble), John Henry Roberts (Hollow Thom), Ada Grey (Ginny Girl), House Company Member Joey Steakley (Henley Hawthorne, Ensemble), Christopher M. Walsh (Abraham Pride), Patrick Falcon (Patrick, Ensemble) and Kay Kron (July of the Seven Foxes).

Additionally, Isabell Liss steps into the role of Lady Olympia, previously played by House Company Member Brenda Barrie, and House Company Member Abu Ansari joins as Ebon Kent and Remy Boileau. Other cast members include J.J. Phillips (Wilke Forsbrand), Krystal Worrell (Virginia), Christopher Hainsworth (Kaelan Wayne), Deanna Meyers (Kathryn Grey), and Joe Bianco (Davy Boone). Understudies include Matt Edmons (U/S for Casper, Pepper, Henley and Patrick), Aaron Latterell (U/S Wilke, Davy, Eben and Remy), Gaby Labotka (U/S Rienne and Katherine) and Monnie Aleahmad (U/S Hap and Abraham).

The artistic team is comprised of House Company Members Artistic Director Nathan Allen (director/co-writer), Chris Mathews (co-writer), Collette Pollard (scenic designer), Melissa Torchia (costume designer), Lee Keenan (lighting designer), Joshua Horvath (sound designer), Kevin O''Donnell (composer), Matt Hawkins (fight choreographer) and Tommy Rapley (movement director). Guest artists include Lee Fiskness (associate lighting designer), Daniel Carlyon (associate sound designer), Jesse Mooney-Bullock (puppet designer), Derek Matson (dramaturg), Jesse Roth (assistant director), Sally Weiss (assistant scenic designer), Emily Breyer (assistant puppet designer), and Raquel Adorno (assistant costume designer).

Tickets to all Friday single shows and Saturday and Sunday marathon performances are on sale now and are available at www.thehousetheatre.com or 773.769.3832. Tickets to individual parts of The Hammer Trinity during weekend marathon performances will be subject to space availability and are offered to single ticket buyers closer to the performance date.

Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow

high res photos

Photo Flash: First Look at THE HAMMER TRINITY at The House Theatre of Chicago
The ensemble lifts the Hammer in THE IRON STAG KING.

Photo Flash: First Look at THE HAMMER TRINITY at The House Theatre of Chicago
Brandon Ruiter (Casper) in THE IRON STAG KING.

Photo Flash: First Look at THE HAMMER TRINITY at The House Theatre of Chicago
Kay Kron (July of the Seven Foxes) in THE CROWNLESS KING.

Photo Flash: First Look at THE HAMMER TRINITY at The House Theatre of Chicago
Front: Morgan Maher (Wilke) and John Henry Roberts (Hollow Thom Gadsden); Back: Christopher M. Walsh (Abraham), Brandon Ruiter (Casper), Cliff Chamberlain (Hap the Golden), Patrick Falcon (Ensemble), Paige Collins (Rienne) and Kara Davidson (Ensemble) in THE CROWNLESS KING.

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