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THE HISTORY BOYS Makes Chicago Premiere At TimeLine 4/25

TimeLine Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere of the Tony and Olivier award-winning play The History Boys by Alan Bennett. Directed by TimeLine Company member Nick Bowling, The History Boys will open April 25 and run through June 21 (previews April 22 - 24), 2009, at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave. in Chicago. Press opening performances are Saturday, April 25 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m. For tickets, visit or call 773.281.TIME (8463).

The recipient of more than 30 major awards, including Tony and Olivier awards for Best New Play, The History Boys follows a rambunctious group of clever young men as they pursue higher learning, games, sexual identity and a place at university under the guidance of three wildly different teachers and a headmaster obsessed with results. Set during the 1980s in northern England, it is a hilarious and provocative play about the anarchy of adolescence and the purpose of education - specifically, how history should be taught. After its premiere, the Daily Telegraph reviewer raved that The History Boys is "a play that strikes me as one of the finest Bennett has ever written, packed with superb one-liners. A play of depth as well as dazzle, intensely moving as well as thought-provoking and funny."

The History Boys premiered in London at The National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in May 2004; the cast of 12 featured Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Dominic Cooper and Samuel Barnett. It played to sell-out audiences for an extended run before touring to Hong Kong, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia in 2006. With its original cast still intact, the play premiered on Broadway in April 2006 and received six Tony Awards. It also was adapted into a feature film, again featuring the original cast, which premiered in the United States in November 2006.

"The History Boys is one of the most celebrated new plays of this decade, and TimeLine is honored to be the first to bring it to Chicago," said Artistic Director PJ Powers. "Alan Bennett's provocative script tackles essential questions we regularly grapple with as we explore TimeLine's unique mission - ‘how do we benefit by dissecting, studying and examining history?' Whether audiences have seen this production in London, on Broadway or on film, or are coming to it for the first time, The History Boys will have a fresh and powerful impact at TimeLine's intimate theater."

The cast of TimeLine Theatre's production of The History Boys features Will Allan (Scripps), Donald Brearley (Hector), Brad Bukauskas (Timms), Andrew Carter (Irwin), Behzad Dabu (Akthar), Rob Fenton (Lockwood), Joel Gross (Dakin), Terry Hamilton (Headmaster), Govind Kumar (Crowther), Michael Peters (Rudge), Ann Wakefield (Mrs. Lintott) and Alex Weisman (Posner).

Performance Schedule/Events

Preview performances are Wednesday, April 22 through Friday, April 24 at 8 p.m. The History Boys opens Saturday, April 25 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m. then runs Wednesdays (6/3, 6/10, & 6/17 only) and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through June 21, 2009.

POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS: Free post-show discussions led by a TimeLine Company Member and featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast on Thursdays, April 30, May 7 and 14; Sundays, May 17 and 24; and Wednesday, June 3.

SUNDAY SCHOLARS SERIES: A free hour-long post-show panel discussion with experts on the themes and issues of the play on May 10.

DISCUSSION WITH TIMELINE COMPANY MEMBERS: Free post-show discussion with TimeLine Company members on Sunday, May 31.

Buying Tickets

Tickets are $25 (Wednesday - Friday) or $35 (Saturday & Sunday). Preview tickets are $15. Student discount is $10 off the regular ticket price with valid ID. Group rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Advance purchase is recommended as performances may sell out. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 773.281.TIME (8463) or visit


TimeLine's 2008-09 season is sponsored in part by the McCormick Foundation.


TimeLine Theatre is located at 615 W. Wellington Ave., inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, near the corner of Wellington and Broadway in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood. CTA El stops at Diversey (Brown/Purple lines) and Belmont (Red/Brown/Purple lines) are nearby. CTA busses #36-Broadway, #76-Diversey, #77-Belmont, #22-Clark and #8-Halsted stop nearby. There is limited street parking, but several paid parking facilities are located nearby. Visit for complete directions and parking information. There are two flights of stairs totaling 18 steps between the street and the theater space, with no elevator.

Production Staff

The production staff for The History Boys includes Brian Sidney Bembridge (Scenic Design), Lindsey Pate (Costume Design), Keith Parham (Lighting Design), Andrew Hansen (Sound Design & Original Music), Mike Tutaj (Projections Design), Julia Eberhardt (Properties Design), Maren Robinson (Dramaturg), Jo Ann Flores (Stage Manager), James Ogden (Production Manager/Technical Director), Mac Vaughey (Master Electrician), Bridget Dehl (Assistant Director), Cheney Tardio (Assistant Stage Manager), Kristin Eaves (Wardrobe Supervisor), Robert Coleman and James Keister (Graphic Design), Lara Goetsch (Director of Marketing and Communications), PJ Powers (Artistic Director) and Elizabeth K. Auman (Managing Director).


Alan Bennett (Playwright) is regarded as one of the premiere English dramatists of his generation. He has been a household name in British theater since 1960, when he starred in and co-authored the satirical review Beyond the Fringe with Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Peter Cook at the Edinburgh Festival. His first stage play, Forty Years On, was produced in 1968, and he has since worked prolifically as a writer, actor, director and broadcaster for stage, television, radio and films. He adapted his play The Madness of George III into the Academy Award-nominated film The Madness of King George in 1994. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Bennett resides in London.

Nick Bowling (Director) was the founding artistic director and is now a Company member of TimeLine Theatre. He is the recipient of four Non-Equity Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (Fiorello!, This Happy Breed and The Crucible at TimeLine, Another Part of the Forest at Eclipse Theatre). He also was nominated for TimeLine's Hauptmann and The Lion in Winter, and for an Equity Jeff Award for Closer Than Ever at Porchlight Music Theatre. At TimeLine, he most recently directed Not Enough Air and Fiorello!. Other Chicago credits include Writers' Theatre's Bach at Leipzig, Shattered Globe Theatre's Time of the Cuckoo and Frozen Assets, Rivendell Theatre's Factory Girls and Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's Angels in America, among others.

About TimeLine Theatre Company

Founded in April 1997, TimeLine Theatre Company's mission is to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. TimeLine has presented 38 previous productions, including six world premieres and 10 Chicago premieres. Praised as "a must-see company" (Chicago Sun-Times) and a "fast-rising Chicago company" (The New York Times) and recipient of the 2006 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the 2008 Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 37 Non-Equity Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production in six of the past eight seasons. TimeLine's 2008-09 season is presented under contract with Actors Equity Association.

Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, David Parkes, Maureen Powers, PJ Powers and Benjamin Thiem. TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group and the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.

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