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Photo Flash: Signal Theatre Ensemble Presents THE BALLAD

Signal Ensemble Theatre opens its seventh season with Edward Albee's take on the Carson McCullers novella "The Ballad of the Sad Café," directed by Co-Artistic Director Ronan Marra. Albee's signature piercing dialogue propels this 1963 dramatic adaptation that centers on the question: is it better to be the loved, or the beloved? Amelia Evans is the despotic proprietor of The Sad Café, located in a small Georgia towns' center in the 1930s. Lymon - a strange hunchback that turns out to be a relative Amelia's never met - becomes the target of her unlikely affection, forming an unusual love triangle when her estranged husband Marvin returns. When Marvin threatens to leave (with Lymon) if Amelia doesn't acquiesce to his demands, she refuses, and the husband and wife settle the matter violently - and in front of the entire town - with their bare hands. The show runs about one hour and 45 minutes with one intermission. On Saturday, August 29, $5 of every ticket sold will be donated to Season of Concern (

Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division Ave., Chicago, IL 60622-3337
Street parking; Division Blue Line Division stop; #9, #70, and #56 busses
Free parking available at Holy Trinity Church (Division and Noble)

WHEN: Opens Sunday, August 9, 2009, 7 p.m.
Closes Saturday, September 12, 2009
Runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Previews on Friday, August 7, and Saturday, August 8 at 8 p.m.

TICKETS: Publish this number: 773-347-1350,
$15 on Thursdays and Sundays
$20 on Fridays and Saturdays
$10 for both previews and for industry members at all shows with resume/headshot/card
Student and senior (with ID) discounts available; also for groups of 15 or more
2-for-1 tickets on Labor Day weekend: September 5 at 8 p.m., and September 6 at 3 p.m.

STAFF: Ensemble Members Ronan Marra (Director), Stephanie Ehemann (Stage Manager), Tony
Ingram (Sound Design), Melania Lancy (Scenic Design) and Vincent Lonergan (Assistant Director); Artistic Associate Laura Dana (Costume Design); with guest artists Matt Hawkins (Fight Choreographer), Mark Hurni (Lighting Design), Elise Kauzlaric (Dialects), and Mary O'Dowd (Properties Design).

CAST: Ensemble Members MerEdith Bell Alvarez (Emma Hale), Vincent Lonergan (the Narrator), Simone Roos (Amelia), AaRon Snook (Cousin Lymon), Joseph Stearns (Henry Macy), Bries Vannon (Merlie Ryan) and Philip Winston (Marvin Macy); with guest artists Brigitte Ditmars (Mrs. Peterson), Ehren Fournier (Rainey 1), Eric Paskey (Stumpy MacPhail), and Charles Schoenherr (Rainey 2).

Next up: "Aftermath," written and directed by Ronan Marra, presented in spring 2010.
Part bio-play, part musical, "Aftermath" focuses on the dramatic side of rock n' roll that too often gets ignored: the rock n' roll. Perhaps most famous for his mysterious death by drowning at age 27, what is less known about Brian Jones is that he was the founder of The Rolling Stones. A master musician, Jones could literally pick up an instrument he's never touched before and have it down within the hour. His obsession with non-traditional instrumentation and the musicians of Joujouka would make an unheard of statement on the Stones' music and beyond. While his addictions and sexual escapades made the headlines, Jones' lasting impact on the musical landscape of the world -- not only on rock n' roll -- is masked behind his high profile relationships, his drug-induced arrests and the two members of the Stones that would become the face of his band.

Photo credit Johnny Knight

Photo Flash: Signal Theatre Ensemble Presents THE BALLAD
AaRon Snook and Simone Roos

Photo Flash: Signal Theatre Ensemble Presents THE BALLAD
Philip Winston and Joseph Stearns

Photo Flash: Signal Theatre Ensemble Presents THE BALLAD
Brigitte Ditmars, Ehren Fournier, AaRon Snook and MerEdith Bell Alvarez

Photo Flash: Signal Theatre Ensemble Presents THE BALLAD
MerEdith Bell Alvarez, Joseph Stearns, and Brigitte Ditmars

Photo Flash: Signal Theatre Ensemble Presents THE BALLAD
Charles Schoenherr, Bries Vannon, and Ehren Fournier

Photo Flash: Signal Theatre Ensemble Presents THE BALLAD
MerEdith Bell Alvarez and Brigitte Ditmars

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