The Thugs by Adam Bock at Profiles Theatre Oct 29th

Profiles Theatre continues its 20th Anniversary Season
with the award-winning dark comedy
The Thugs by Adam Bock

Profiles production of The Thugs is making its Midwest Premiere at Profiles and will play in rep with the acclaimed comedy-drama Men of Tortuga

Profiles Theatre continues its 20th Anniversary Season with the OBIE Award-winning dark comedy The Thugs by Adam Bock, directed by Profiles Artistic Director Joe Jahraus.  he production runs October 29-December 14, 2008, at Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway. The play will run in repertory with Profiles’ production of Men of Tortuga, playing through December 7, 2008. The press opening for The Thugs is Wednesday, October 29, 2008, at 8:00 p.m.

The Thugs
is a dark comedy about the mysterious things that are happening on the 9th floor of a big law firm.  When a group of temps try to discover the secrets that lurk in the hidden crevices of their workplace, they realize they would rather believe in gossip and rumors than face dangerous realities.

The Profiles production marks the Midwest Premiere of The Thugs. The play received its critically-acclaimed 2006 world premiere at the Soho Rep in New York, winning an OBIE Award for outstanding playwriting and was named to Time Out New York’s “Top Ten” lists. Mr. Bock has also won the prestigious American Theater Critics Award, the Glickman Award and the Theater Critics Circle Awards for Best Original Script, among others.

This is the second production of Profiles Theatre’s 20th Anniversary Season. The Thugs follows the October 9 opening of Men of Tortuga by Jason Wells and the two shows will play in repertory.  The Thugs will play Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 4:00 p.m. 

“We’re very excited to open our 20th Anniversary Season with these two productions,” says Profiles Artistic Director Joe Jahraus.  “Both plays take a unique look at the people behind the scenes in the world of business, with Men of Tortuga giving us a portrait of the ruthless leaders who pull the strings and seek to destroy all who oppose them. Meanwhile The Thugs explores the lowly temps at a law firm who have lost their direction in life making gossip and rumor turn into paranoia and fear. These playwrights approach their subjects with their own distinct voice making them very unique experiences for the audience. Yet they will play together in rep beautifully.”

“The Thugs is about fear and how we get so afraid of something that we ignore the stuff that’s right in front of us,” says playwright Adam Bock. “It’s also about the idea that there are people who are disposable…How we treat each other and what passes as civility.” 

Profiles’ Artistic Director Joe Jahraus is the director for The Thugs. He was also the director of Profiles’ highly praised Midwest premieres of In a Dark Dark House, Some Girl(s) and Fat Pig all by Neil LaBute as well as the American premiere of Apple by Vern Thiessen and the Midwest Premiere of Profiles’ award-winning hit production of Blackbird by Adam Rapp.

The cast features Profiles ensemble members Somer Benson as Diane and Tyler Gray as Joey.  Also featured are Greta Honold, Caroline Dodge Latta, Jasmine McNeely, Bob Pries, Annie Slivinski, and Tori Ulrich.

The designers include Grant Sabin (set), Jessica Harpenau (lights), Kevin O’Donnell (sound), and Darcy Elora Hofer (costumes).  The assistant director is Bradley Bartolo and the stage manager is Nya Watkins.

Tickets for The Thugs are $15 for previews (October 25 – October 28); $25 for all regular performances. Tickets are available by phone, (773) 549-1815, or online, Performances are Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 4:00 p.m.

The Thugs will run in repertory with Men of Tortuga, which runs October 9 through December 7, 2008.  Men of Tortuga plays Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm.
Profiles 20th Anniversary Season also includes the Midwest premiere of Great Falls by Lee Blessing, the U.S. premiere of The Wonderful World of Dissocia by Anthony Neilson and the World premiere of Graceland by Ellen Fairey.

Profiles Theatre is a not-for-profit professional theatre company founded in 1988 by five Eastern Illinois University alumni and has since been continually producing plays. Profiles brings new works to Chicago that illuminate the determination and resiliency of the human spirit. The company produces World, US and Midwest Premieres by new playwrights, as well as established writers whose work has been seen across the country and around the world. Profiles is particularly drawn to playwrights with a unique narrative style and use of language and the company takes pride in carefully selecting scripts that combine integrity with risk. Profiles Theatre is committed to producing plays that tell a story in a captivating way with productions that complement the ensemble and speak to its audience.

Title:  The Thugs
Playwright: Adam Bock
Directed by: Profiles Artistic Director Joe Jahraus
Featuring: Profiles ensemble members Somer Benson and Tyler Gray along with Greta Honold, Caroline Dodge Latta, Jasmine McNeely, Bob Pries, Annie Slivinski and Tori Ulrich
Dates: Previews: October 25 and 26 at 4:00 p.m. October 27 and 28 at 8:00 p.m.
Press opening: October 29, 2008, at 8:00 p.m.
Regular run: October 29–December 14, 2008
Schedule: Sat, Sun:  4:00 p.m.   Wed:     8:00 p.m.
Location: Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway
Parking is available for $6-$10 at 4100 N. Clarendon
(One block east of the theatre at the corner of Clarendon and Belle Plaine)
Ticket prices: Regular performances, $25; Preview performances, $15; Students and Senior Citizens receive a $5 discount on all performances; Group rates are available.
Box Office:  Buy online at  or call (773) 549-1815

Notes of Interest:

•    Profiles Theatre, founded in 1988, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season.

•    The Thugs will run in repertory with Men of Tortuga, which runs October 9 through December 7, 2008. 

Adam Bock (playwright) won an OBIE for playwriting when THE THUGS premiered at NYC's Soho Rep in 2006 and was named to both of TimeOut NY's Top Ten lists. His most recent play, THE DRUNKEN CITY premiered at Playwrights Horizons in March 2008.  Other recent works include THE RECIPTIONIST which had its World premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in October 2007 and FIVE FLIGHTS which played Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Theater in 2004, after a five-month sold-out run at San Francisco's Encore Theater in 2002. The play won the Glickman Award, and was nominated for the American Theater Critics Award, the Elizabeth Osborn Award, and two BATCC Awards.  Shotgun Players' production of SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS won the 2000 Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards for Best Original Script, Best Production, and Best Ensemble.  Mr. Bock helped Jack Cummings III develop THE AUDIENCE, nominated for three 2005 Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical. His play THE SHAKER CHAIR, produced by Actors Theater of Louisville in the Humana Festival in 2005, was nominated for the Kesselring Prize.  THE TYPOGRAPHER’S DREAM has been produced in New York City and San Francisco, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and in Berkeley in 2006.  Mr. Bock is an artistic associate at Shotgun Players and Encore Theater, and is a resident playwright at New Dramatists.

JOE JAHRAUS (Director) is the founder and artistic director of Profiles Theatre. Joe most recently directed Profiles’ Midwest Premiere of IN A DARK DARK HOUSE by Neil LaBute.  Prior to that he directed the Midwest Premiere of SOME GIRL(S), by LaBute, the American Premiere of APPLE by Vern Thiessen and the Midwest Premiere of FAT PIG by LaBute, for which he received a Jeff Citation Nomination for Outstanding Director. Joe also directed Profiles’ award-winning Midwest Premiere of BLACKBIRD by Adam Rapp. Other directing credits with Profiles include, BABYLON GARDENS by Timothy Mason, THE WATER ENGINE and SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO by David Mamet, and the award-winning Midwest Premiere of CARNAL KNOWLEDGE by Jules Fieffer, among others.

SOMER BENSON (Diane) was most recently seen in "Coax," part of Profiles' Midwest premiere of THINGS WE SAID TODAY by Neil LaBute. Some of her other favorite productions include PROOF, COLLECTED STORIES, and COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN.  She was also the Assistant Director for Profiles' IN A DARK DARK HOUSE by Neil LaBute. Somer is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (CA), studied at Waubonsee Community College with Dr. Maria Bakalis, and Profiles Theatre.

Tyler Gray (Joey) is the newest member of Profiles Theatre. He was seen in "Long Division" as part of Profiles' Midwest premiere of AUTOBAHN by Neil LaBute, which received an After Dark Award for Outstanding Ensemble. Some of his other credits include THE LAST EXODUS OF AMERICAN MEN with Jackalope Theatre, PANDORA with Blue Moon Studio Theater, LANDSCAPE OF THE BODY at The Artistic Home and HANA’S SUITCASE with The Chicago Children's Theater. Tyler is a recent graduate of  Columbia College Chicago  where he appeared in THE PILLOWMAN, SWEET WATER TASTE, THE CHANGELING, INVENTING VAN GOGH, PARADISE LOST, and THE HOUSE OF YES.

Greta Honold (Daphne) is making her Profiles debut.  Most recently, she understudied and performed in Collaboraction's HEROES AND VILLAINS.  Prior to that, she played Hana in Chicago Children's Theatre's HANA'S SUITCASE and appeared in Sean Graney's production of TOP GIRLS at the University of Chicago, and in Redmoon's outdoor spectacle TWILIGHT ORCHARD.  Other recent productions include SKETCHBOOK 6 and 7 at Collaboraction, GREAT EXPECTATIONS and EURYDICE, both at Piven Theatre, and NO PLACE LIKE HOME and Tina Landau's MARIA ARNDT, both at Steppenwolf.  Greta has been heard on the radio, reading for WBEZ's STORIES ON STAGE, and seen on TV, in the sitcom WHAT ABOUT JOAN?  In June, she graduated from University of Chicago with a BA in Anthropology.

Caroline Dodge Latta (Mercedes) most recently appeared as Blanka in Citadel Theatre’s production of A NERVOUS SMILE.  Other favorite roles include Nancy in Albee’s SEASCAPE for City Lit Theater Company, Ursula in VINCENT IN BRIXTON for Journeymen Theater, and the Landlady in Orwell’s 1984 for Theatre Entropy.  She is a Distinguished Professor of Theater at Columbia College Chicago where she teaches acting. Directs and co-ordinates the internship program.  From 1994-2001 she served as Dean of the College.  She is delighted to be a part of Profile Theatre’s production and honored to be a former mentor/teacher of two of its ensemble members Eric Burgher and Tyler Gray.

Jasmine McNeely (Chantal), also affectionately known as Jeezy, is making her debut at Profiles Theatre. She was last seen parodying American Girl Dolls and natural disasters as Rita in the REFUGEE GIRLS REVUE as part of the 2008 New York Fringe Festival. Prior to her NY experience, Jasmine appeared in APOCALYPSE BLAOW ! at Gorilla Tango Theatre.  She studied Musical Theater Performance at Columbia College Chicago where she has been seen in WEST SIDE STORY, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, URINETOWN, WOYZECK, and THE MISER. Jasmine is also a choreographer and her work has been featured in PIPPIN and RUTHLESS at Columbia.  Other interests include modeling and she is the face for the “Second City Comedy Studies” brochure and Prestige Portraits.

Bob Pries (Bart), making his Profiles debut, is a veteran of more than 50 Chicago area productions and was last seen as Tom Bailey in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE at Porchlight.  Recent productions include THE HOUSE THAT SWIFT BUILT with Red Square, SUNSET BOULEVARD with Marriott Lincolnshire, BLACK MILK with European Rep and A WINTER'S TALE with Chicago Shakespeare.  He was one of Chicago's orginal NAKED BOYS SINGING at Bailiwick Repertory and his performance as Hucklebee in Pegasus Players' THE FANTASTICKS took him to Egypt and earned him his first Jeff nomination.

Annie Slivinksi (Mary) is working with Profiles Theatre for the first time.  She recently appeared as Amanda in THE GLASS MENAGERIE at The Playground Theatre in Oak Park and in the title role of THE LADY FROM DUBUQUE with Infamous Commonwealth where she is a company member.  Annie has also acted with Collaboraction, Remy Bumppo, Camenae, and New Leaf theatre companies and directed for Open Door Repertory.  She is Co-Advisor of the Student Directing Program at Oak Park and River Forest High School.

Tori Ulrich (Elaine), a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, is making her Profiles debut.  She was recently seen as Lorraine in Seanachai Theatre Company's production of WAR.  She also appeared in LAUNDRY AND BOURBON with the Oil Lamp theatre as well as in SORDID LIVES, LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR and BAREFOOT IN THE PARK with the Easy Street Players.

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