Stage Left Theatre to Present Chicago Premiere of Robert Schenkkan's BUILDING THE WALL

Stage Left Theatre to Present Chicago Premiere of Robert Schenkkan's BUILDING THE WALL

Stage Left Theatre announces the upcoming Chicago premiere of Building the Wall, written by Robert Schenkkan and directed by co-artistic director Amy Szerlong. Building the Wall is the first production of Stage Left's 36th season. Press opening is Thursday, September 21, at 8 PM at Athenaeum Theatre Chicago, 2936 N. Southport Ave. The show runs through October 22nd.

From Pulitzer and Tony winner Robert Schenkkan (All The Way, Hacksaw Ridge - Academy Award nomination), comes a provocative 80-minute theatrical event written in a white-hot fury. In a time when shocking campaign rhetoric turns into real policies, Building the Wall urgently reveals the power of theater to question who we are and where we might be going.

The cast features SLT ensemble member Kanomé Jones (Gloria) and guest artist Tony Bozzuto (Rick).

The staff includes SLT company members John Kohn III (lighting design), Joe Schermoly (scenic design), and Brenda Winstead (costume design), with guest artists Stephen Gawrit (sound design), Tanuja Jagernauth (dramaturg), Liann Nicholson (stage management), Matt Super (production management), Hannah Trice (assistant director), and Arielle Valene (properties design).

In line with its 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. Building the Wall raises questions about immigration reform, the privatization of prisons, and the current political moment.

Building the Wall runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM, and 3:00 PM performances on Saturdays in October from 9/16/17 through 10/22/17. Tickets are $22-32 and will be available through the Athenaeum Theatre's box office either online at or by calling 773-935-6875. Press opening is Thursday, September 21, at 8:00 PM. Previews are Saturday, September 16, at 8:00pm; Sunday, September 17, at 3:00 PM; and Wednesday, September 20, at 8:00 PM. Preview tickets are $20-22. Building the Wall will be performed at Athenaeum Theatre Chicago at 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. The theater is accessible and convenient to CTA via the Belmont El (Wellington Brown Line).

Robert Schenkkan (Playwright), Pulitzer Prize, Tony, and WGA Award winner, three-time Emmy nominated writer. Author of sixteen plays: All the Way, The Great Society, Building the Wall, Hanussen, Shadowplay, By the Waters of Babylon, Handler, A Single Shard, Devil and Daniel Webster, Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates, Final Passages, The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune, Heaven on Earth, Tachinoki, The Dream Thief, and The Kentucky Cycle (Pulitzer prize, Tony and Drama Desk nominations). Also a collection of one-act plays, Conversations with the Spanish Lady, and a musical, (book and co-lyrics) The Twelve, winner of the 2015 Henry Award. The 2014 Broadway production of All The Way swept the Awards season winning the Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Drama League, and Tony Award as well as the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Award, the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Award, and Boston's Elliot Norton Award. It also set two box office records on Broadway. It aired in May, 2016 as a film for HBO, with Steven Spielberg producing, directed by Jay Roach, and was nominated for eight Emmys and the Humanitas Award. There are plans to bring the stage sequel, The Great Society, to NYC in 2019. Film: Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson and starring Andrew Garfield. The Quiet American directed by Phillip Noyce. TV: The Pacific (HBO miniseries - WGA Award, two Emmy and Humanitas Award nominations), The Andromeda Strain, Crazy Horse, Spartacus. Currently, Robert is writing a movie about the Manhattan Project for Robert Redford, and another film about the Klan for Joseph Gordon Levitt and Netflix. Visit or follow Twitter: @ROBERTSCHENKKAN.

Amy Szerlong (Director) is the co-Artistic Director of Stage Left, alongside Jason A. Fleece. Amy's Stage Left credits include directing the world premiere of The Bottle Tree in Fall 2016, the LeapFest workshops of Handled and The Bottle Tree, the Belarusian Dream Theater Festival, and Drekfest. She also served as the Assistant Director for Impenetrable and the LeapFest workshops of Witches Vanish and Blue Whitney. Outside of SLT, Amy has directed for the Saturday Series and 28-hour workshops at Chicago Dramatists and various short play festivals at American Theatre Company, the side project, and something marvelous. Amy has also worked as an Assistant Director at Step Up Productions (Barefoot in the Park), Redtwist Theater (Opus), Theater on the Lake (Opus), and American Theatre Company (The Amish Project, The Original Grease - Jeff Award for Outstanding Musical, Midsize). By day, Amy works in Development at Goodman Theatre. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond, where she majored in theatre with a concentration in arts management.

Founded in 1982, Stage Left Theatre inspires debate by cultivating new work and producing plays that explore political and social landscapes. 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. The 2017/2018 season will be Stage Left's first at the Athenaeum Theatre.

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