Stage Left Theatre Presents Midwest Premiere of THE COWARD by Nick Jones, Now thru 10/5

Stage Left Theatre Presents Midwest Premiere of THE COWARD by Nick Jones, Now thru 10/5

Stage Left Theatre announces the upcoming Midwest premiere of The Coward written by Nick Jones and directed by Artistic Director Vance Smith. The Coward is the first production of Stage Left's 33rd season. Press opening is tonight, September 3 at 8:00 PM at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont. The show runs through October 5.

Lucidus is a cowardly young gentleman who has never been in a duel, to his father's dismay. When he initiates one, he then hires a common criminal to fight in his place, and the scoundrel makes a bloody mess of things. As duel follows duel with many shots fired, Lucidus finds his reputation growing beyond his wildest expectations. Set in the 1790's (sort of), The Coward is a ridiculous comedy that questions the very concept of honor.

The Coward was first produced in 2010 by Lincoln Center/LCT3. The production was nominated for 4 Lucille Lortel Awards, including Outstanding Play (Winner for Best Supporting Actress: Kristen Schaal and Best Costume Design: Gabriel Berr). The Coward is now being made into a motion picture with Big Beach/American Work. Stage Left's production is the the first since the world premiere.

In line with our mission to raise social and political debate, Stage Left offers patrons a Symposium Series for every production. Immediately following each Sunday matinee, we will invite the audience to stay for a discussion centered on a particular question raised by the performance. Admission to the Symposium Series is free, but it is recommended that attendees have seen the production in order to fully appreciate and participate in the discussion. The Coward raises debate about honor, masculinity, and the nature of violence in society.

The Coward runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm through 10/5/14. Tickets are $20-30 and will be available through the Theater Wit box office either online at or by calling 773-975-8150. Press Opening is Wednesday, September 3rd at 8:00pm. Previews are Saturday, August 30th at 8:00pm; Sunday, August 31st at 3:00pm; and Tuesday, September 2nd at 8:00pm. Preview tickets are $20. The Coward will be performed at Theater Wit at 1229 W. Belmont in Chicago. The theater is handicapped and CTA accessible via the Belmont El (Red & Brown).


Nick Jones is a performer and writer for theater, television and film. His most recent play was the critically acclaimed Trevor, about a has-been show biz chimp (produced in Chicago in 2013 at A Red Orchid Theatre). His previous play The Coward was produced at Lincoln Center/LCT3, where it was nominated for 4 Lucille Lortel Awards (winning 2) and is now being made into a motion picture with Big Beach/American Work. His show Jollyship the Whiz-Bang at Ars Nova, a puppet rock musical about pirates, also received an extended critically acclaimed run, was subsequently revived for the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater, and was nominated by the Jim Henson Foundation for a 2011-2012 Mid Atlantic Touring grant as part of their "American Masterpieces" series. Nick was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He earned his Literature/Creative Writing BA from Bard College and a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting degree from Juilliard, where he was a two time winner of the Lecomte du Nouy Prize. He has received theater commissions from Lincoln Center, Ars Nova, The Old Globe, Manhattan Theater Club, The Huntington, Center Theater Group and South Coast Rep. He currently works as a staff writer for the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black.

Vance Smith joined Stage Left Theatre as Artistic Director in the fall of 2009. His Stage Left credits include directing George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (a co-production with BoHo Theatre), Beau Willimon's Farragut North, Andrew Hinderaker's Kingsville, as well as Mother Bear (LeapFest 7) and Autonomy (LeapFest 10), both by Jayme McGhan. Stage Left performance credits include A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, and Fellow Travellers. Other directing credits include Another Day in the Empire, The End, and Camp Freedom! (Black Sheep Productions), Riverview (Theatre Seven of Chicago, part of The Chicago Landmark Project), and Cheaper by the Dozen (Fox Valley Repertory). As an actor Vance has worked with Steppenwolf, Mary Arrchie, Lifeline, Timeline, Hypocrites, Remy Bumppo, Northlight, Victory Gardens, Factory, and many others. He received a Jeff Nomination for best supporting actor for his performance as Lenny in The Homecoming at Mary Arrchie Theatre. Vance attended the School at Steppenwolf in 2004 and graduated from Tulane University.

The cast features Stage Left ensemble members Brian Plocharcyzk (Lucidus) and Kate Black Spence (Isabelle) with guest artists Steve Schine (Henry), Steve Walker (Father), Robert McLean (Friedmont), Ian McLaren (Gavin), Spenser Davis (Robert), and Eric Leonard (Earl)

The staff includes SLT company members Katherine Arfken (scenic design), Emmaline Keddy-Hector (production management), Jason A. Fleece (dialect coach) and Brian Plocharcyzk (fight choreography), with guest artists Claire Nelson (stage manager), Julian Pike (lighting design), Aly Rene Amidei (costume design), Alex Romberg, (sound design), Jeff Shields (properties master), and Skye Robinson Hillis (dramaturgy).

ABOUT STAGE LEFT - Founded in 1982, Stage Left Theatre is committed to developing and producing plays that raise debate and challenge perspectives on political and social issues. Through a full subscription season and our new play development program, Downstage Left, Stage Left strives to ask provocative social and political questions by producing a mix of new works, regional premieres and timeless classics.

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