Profiles Theatre Concludes 22nd Season With Fifty Words, Previews May 13

Profiles Theatre concludes its 2010-2011 Season with the Midwest premiere of Fifty Words by Michael Weller, directed by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus. The production runs May 13-June 26, 2011 at Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway in Chicago. Please note the new opening date: Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 8:00pm.

While their nine-year-old son Greg is away for the night on his first sleepover, Adam and Jan have an evening alone together, the first in years. Adam's attempt to seduce his wife before he leaves on business the next day begins a suspenseful nightlong roller-coaster ride of revelation, rancor, passion and humor that explores a modern-day marriage on the verge of either a breakup or deepening love and understanding.

Fifty Words received its lauded World premiere at the MCC Theater in September 2008 where it was nominated for several Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play. Academy Award-nominee Michael Weller shot to stardom with his powerful anti-war drama, Moonchildren, in 1971. Weller's unique voice, at once moving and revelatory, garnered acclaim throughout three decades of productions at distinguished theaters such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company and New York's Circle-in-the-Square.

"The works of Michael Weller had a big impact on me as a young theatre artist," says director Joe Jahraus. "His writing explores the intricacies of relationships with such incredible attention to detail. The characters in Fifty Words are written with a past full of such passion, pain, joy and hurt. It's exactly the kind of honest, tough writing we are drawn to at Profiles, but ultimately, what compels me is its story of love and hope."

Directed by Profiles Artistic Director Joe Jahraus (Jailbait, Kid Sister), the cast of Fifty Words features Profiles' ensemble member Darrell W. Cox (reasons to be pretty, Killer Joe) along with guest artist Katherine Keberlein (Bordello with Chicago Dramatists).

The designers are Thad Hallstein (set), Lindsey Lyddan (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original music), Joshua D. Allard (costumes) and the stage manager is Jordan Muller.

Fifty Words is the final production of Profiles Theatre's 22nd season, following the Chicago premiere of reasons to be pretty, the Midwest premiere of Jailbait by Deirdre O'Connor (also featured in a return engagement at Profiles' The Second Stage) and the World premiere of Kid Sister by Will Kern.


Michael Weller (Playwright) studied music composition at Brandeis University with Irving Fine, Harold Shapiro and Martin Boykin, then worked as a jazz pianist before taking his graduate degree in theater at the University of Manchester, England. His best known plays are Moonchildren, Fishing, Loose Ends and Spoils Of War. His films include Hair and Ragtime (for Milos Forman) and Lost Angels (for Hugh Hudson) and a teleplay of his Broadway drama Spoils of War, starring Kate Nelligan. He co-founded (with Angelina Fiordelissi and Suzanne Brinkley) and serves now as supervising mentor of the Mentor Project of the Cherry Lane Theatre. Other recent plays include Approaching Moomtaj, Side Effects, Beast and the book for the musical Zhivago, from the novel by Boris Pasternak. His work has received an Academy Award nomination, an N.A.A.C.P. Outstanding Contribution Award, Critics Outer Circle Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant and a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, and has been honored by The Broken Watch Theatre Company which gave their playhouse his name. He is on the counsel of the Writer's Guild Fund, and the Dramatists Guild of America.

JOE JAHRAUS (Director) is the founder and Artistic Director of Profiles Theatre. He most recently directed Profiles' World premiere of Kid Sister by Will Kern. Previously, he directed the Midwest premieres include Jailbait by Deirdre O'Connor, The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute, Great Falls by Lee Blessing and The Thugs by Adam Bock. Joe also directed the Midwest premieres of Neil LaBute's In a Dark Dark House, Some Girl(s) and Fat Pig, for which he received a Jeff Award Nomination for Outstanding Director. Other directing credits for Profiles include the American premiere of Apple by Vern Thiessen, the award-winning Midwest premiere of Blackbird by Adam Rapp, Babylon Gardens by Timothy Mason, The Water Engine and Sexual Perverstiy in Chicago by David Mamet, and the award-winning Midwest premiere of Carnal Knowledge by Jules Fieffer, among others.

DARRELL W. COX (Adam) is an ensemble member of Profiles Theatre where he most recently appeared as Greg in the Chicago premiere of reasons to be pretty and as Cassius in Profiles' World premiere of Kid Sister by Will Kern. Prior to that, he was seen as Bobby Gould in Speed-the-Plow and John in Oleanna, as part of the Mamet Repertory at American Theatre Company. Darrell received his fourth Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role for his performance as Joe Cooper in Profiles' production of Killer Joe by Tracy Letts. Other recent Profiles credits include the Midwest premiere of The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute, the World premiere of Graceland by Ellen Fairey, and the Midwest premiere of Great Falls by Lee Blessing. Darrell has appeared at Steppenwolf in the World premiere of Men of Tortuga (where he originated the role of Taggart), the Midwest premiere of Orange Flower Water (which traveled to the Galway Arts Festival), and the World premiere of Wendall Greene. He has also been seen at the Goodman in The Shawl and Home as part of the David Mamet Festival, the Chicago premiere of The People's Temple at American Theatre Company as Jim Jones, and the World premiere of Martin Furey's Shot at TimeLine, among others. He has won four Joseph Jefferson Awards for Principal Actor for his work in Profiles' productions of Killer Joe, Blackbird, Some Voices, and Eye of God. In addition, he has received two After Dark Awards for Outstanding Performance for Profiles' productions of Popcorn, and Carnal Knowledge.

Katherine Keberlein (Jan) makes her Profiles debut with Fifty Words. She was most recently seen as Jewel in Bordello with Chicago Dramatists, Suzanne in Don't Dress for Dinner, produced by The British Stage Company at The Royal George, and as the Princess in Oak Park Festival's Love's Labour's Lost, where she also played Roxane in Cyrano and Elvira in Blithe Spirit. Katherine has also worked with BackStage Theatre Company in How I Learned to Drive and The Ruling Class, with Provision Theatre in The Wizard of Oz and roles with Remy Bumppo, Theater at the Center, Illinois Theatre Center, Light Opera Works, and Buffalo Theatre Ensemble. She is a proud member of SAG with numerous commercial and independent film credits. Katherine travels internationally to perform classic American music as a vocalist with TrioChicago & Friends.

Tickets for Fifty Words are $35 for Thursdays, $40 for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are available by phone, (773) 549-1815, or online, Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 5:00 and 8:00 pm, Sundays at 7:00 p.m.

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