The House Theatre of Chicago Presents DORIAN, Now thru 5/18

The House Theatre of Chicago Presents DORIAN, Now thru 5/18

The House Theatre of Chicago presents DORIAN, a modern adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray." This famous thriller of Dorian's ill-fated portrait is performed in promenade style. This original play is intended for mature audiences only, and is written by Company Members Ben Lobpries and Tommy Rapley. Company Member Kevin O'Donnell provides the score. Rapley directs and choreographs. The production previews today, April 4 - 13 and opens on Monday April 14 at 7pm at the Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division St, Chicago). DORIAN will run through May 18, 2014.

Tickets are available at or over the phone at (773) 769-3832. PRESS OPENING: MONDAY APRIL 14, 2013 at 7:00PM at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division, Chicago.

ABOUT THE PLAY: Oscar Wilde's love/hate affair with youth and beauty is captured in this visually arresting contemporary adaptation. The House seamlessly blends theatre and dance, revealing the unsightly truth behind each character's outer beauty. Dorian Gray's ill-fated portrait comes vividly to life, only to encourage his wicked and irreverent indulgences.

A multi-talented ensemble of 12 blend dialogue with dance and swirling movement throughout every scene. The production stars several Chicago theatre favorites including Patrick Andrews (Timeline's The Normal Heart, Goodman's Red), Alex Weisman (Timeline's History Boys,) Manny Buckley (Inconvenience's Hit the Wall), and relative newcomer Cole Simon in the title role of Dorian Gray.

New to the big city, a young, beautiful, and rudderless Dorian Gray is greedily embraced by a group of artists and art critics. Frustrated and sensitive painter Basil Howard creates a stunning portrait of of his new muse. Dorian casts a wish that he could forever be as beautiful as his two-dimensional counterpart. As he is exposed to the hedonistic ideals and bold come-ons of those in the art world, Dorian embraces beauty as the only meaningful part of life. He pushes boundaries, putting other's suffering aside for his own aesthetics. Wild parties, heart-broken lovers, and desperate violence wreak havoc on the portrait, reflecting the scars on Dorian's soul. Yet the man himself remains flawless for decades. What crime can ultimately break the spell?

DORIAN contains adult themes and is recommended for ages 16 and up.

Featuring: Patrick Andrews*, Cole Simon, Manny Buckely, Alex Weisman, Lauren Pizzi, Kelley Abell, Ben Burke, Ally Carey, Bryan Conner, Blake McKay, Monica Thomas, and Donnell Williams. *member of Actor's Equity Association

Production Team: Company Members Collette Pollard (Scenic), Lee Keenan (Co-Lights), Kevin O'Donnell (Composer/Sound Design), with guest artists Mieka van der Ploeg (Costumes), Rebecca Barrett (Co-Lights) and Keely Haddad-Null (Stage Management).

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: DORIAN is written by Ben Lobpries and Tommy Rapley, based on the novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. Tommy Rapley directs and choreographs and Kevin O'Donnell lends the score.

Originally developed as part of the since-dissolved Bailiwick Repertory's 2006 festival of new works, Lobpries and Rapley earned high praise from critics and audiences for their adaptation and production. Building on those successes, the playwrights reimagined the visual world, adapted scenes, and rewrote dialogue for a completely fresh production.

Director/Choreographer/Co-Writer Tommy Rapley is a Company Member with The House where he regularly directs and choreographs, including the annual production of The Nutcracker, movement/choreography for Rose and the Rime, The Crownless King, Death & Harry Houdini, and The Sparrow. A member of Actor's Equity Association, he has appeared recently in The Magnificents (as Boy) and Death & Harry Houdini (as Death and Hilmar) and has performed around Chicago on stages such as Drury Lane Oakbrook, The Marriott, The Court and The Goodman Theatre. Tommy teaches at Chicago Academy for the Arts and Northwestern University.

Co-Writer Ben Lobpries is a Company Member with The House. Six of his plays have been produced in both Dallas and Chicago, and multiple readings of his fiction have been performed in and around Boston, where he has been living since 2009. Other works for The House stage include Hope Springs Infernal and Ellen Under Glass. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. He is the current Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Wheaton College in Norton, MA and an Adjunct Professor in the First-Year Writing Program at Emerson College.

Cole Simon, a Chicago newcomer, takes on the title role of Dorian. Patrick Andrews (Timeline's The Normal Heart) returns to The House in the role of Basil, having worked with Rapley and Lobpries on Hope Springs Infernal and Ellen Under Glass. Manny Buckley (recently featured in Hit the Wall) appears as the seasoned art critic, Harry. Alex Weisman joins the cast as Alan, one of the broken hearts in Dorian's wake. Recent DePaul MFA grad Lauren Pizzi appears as Gladys, a prominent mixer in the art scene. Actor-dancers Kelley Abell, Ben Burke, Ally Carey, Bryan Conner, Blake McKay, Monica Thomas, and Donnell Williams complete the ensemble.

Company Member Collette Pollard designs the promenade set, reflecting an art gallery space inside the Chopin Theatre where audience and actors share the fluid stage space. Costume designer Mieka van der Ploeg creates hip, urban looks that evolve over the three decades of the play. Company Member Lee Keenan and guest artist Rebecca Barrett shift time and place with stark lighting. Lights will also create the abstract works of art surrounding the space. Jeff Award-winning composer and Company Member Kevin O'Donnell shares a dark and involving score.

The onstage portrait of Dorian will be created in a collaboration with photography artist Jeff Klapperich.


PREVIEWS: April 4 - 13
PREVIEW SHOWTIMES: Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sunday at 7:00pm.

Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division, Chicago
DORIAN is intended for mature audiences

REGULAR RUN: April 18 - May 18, 2014
REG RUN SHOWTIMES: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 7:00pm

LOCATION: The Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre (1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL)

RUN TIME: 2:20 including 2 intermissions

AGES: DORIAN is intended for mature audiences, and is not recommended for audiences under 16.

TICKETS: Previews are $15. Regular Run tickets range from $20 to $39 at or by phone at 773.769.3832, $10 Student and Industry Same-Day discounted tickets available for all dates, space permitting.
Tickets are now on sale.

ABOUT THE HOUSE THEATRE OF CHICAGO: The House is Chicago's premier home for original works of physical and spectacle storytelling. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago's next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.

The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 60 Joseph Jefferson Awards (19 wins) and became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago's Emerging Theater Award in 2007. Now in its 12th year of original work, The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.

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