TimeLine Names Five New Company Members, Plus Additions To Board And Associate Artists

TimeLine Theatre Company is pleased to announce the addition of several new artists and community leaders to its ranks. Chicago artists Tyla Abercrumbie, Will Allan, Wardell Julius Clark, Charles Andrew Gardner, and Anish Jethmalani have been named Company Members at the theater, effective immediately. Additionally, the theater is welcoming JoAnne Dobrick, Anne Voshel, Richard G. Weinberg, and Nicholas Yassan to its Board of Directors, and Jared Bellot as a new Associate Artist.

TimeLine Theatre's Company Members are the artistic leaders of the company, working together collaboratively to shape the artistic vision and choose the programming for the organization. These five artists have extensive histories with TimeLine, working in a variety of capacities including acting, directing, playwriting and teaching, and they bring a tremendous range of experience, strengths, and perspectives to the team:

- Tyla Abercrumbie is an actor, playwright, and director who has appeared in numerous productions in Chicago and around the country (including Paradise Blue and In Darfur at TimeLine) and in film and television (recently Showtime's The Chi and FOX's Proven Innocent). She is the author of multiple plays and the book Red Wine and the Bles'sed Monkey, a collection of prose and poetry. She is a current member of TimeLine's Playwrights Collective and directed the TimePieces reading of Repairing A Nation.

- Will Allan is an actor and writer who made his Chicago professional acting debut as part of the award-winning ensemble of The History Boys at TimeLine, going on to appear in productions at Steppenwolf, Goodman, Victory Gardens, and Greenhouse Theater Solo Celebration, among many others locally and regionally. He is a current member of TimeLine's Playwrights Collective.

- Wardell Julius Clark is an actor, director, teaching artist, and social justice activist whose recent credits in Chicago include directing acclaimed productions of The Shipment (Red Tape) and Insurrection: Holding History (Stage Left) and acting in Suddenly Last Summer(Raven), Silent Sky (First Folio), and the upcoming Flyin' West (American Blues). He first appeared in A Raisin in the Sun at TimeLine and works as a Teaching Artist with TimeLine's Living History Program in Chicago Public Schools.

- Charles Andrew Gardner is an actor, teaching artist, arts education advocate, and entertainment industry leader whose career spans television, film, theatre, commercials, and voice over. He appeared on stage at TimeLine in Paradise Blue and the world premiere of My Kind of Town and is a Teaching Artist with TimeLine's Living History Education Program. As the President of Chicago Local SAG-AFTRA, he travels the country representing the interests of Chicago artists within the entertainment industry.

- Anish Jethmalani is an actor, director, and arts administrator whose career spans three decades in the Chicago theatre community. He has appeared in countless productions at the city's leading theatres (including In the Next Room or the vibrator play, A Disappearing Number, Blood and Gifts, and Inana at TimeLine) and directed a variety of plays at theatres such as 16th Street, Eclipse, Rasaka, and, most recently, TimeLine for the TimePieces reading of Lions and Tigers. He is the former Artistic Director of Eclipse Theatre Company and Rasaka Theatre Company, in addition to having served on the board of The League of Chicago Theatres.

"These five artists have forged remarkable careers through their undeniable talent, personal values, and commitment to Chicago Theatre," TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers said. "At TimeLine, they have provided significant thought leadership and represented our mission, vision and values in the community through their work on productions, the development of new work, and our Living History Education Program in Chicago Public Schools. We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome each of them as a part of the team."

Powers continued: "This expansion of our core team will not only further diversify the skills and viewpoints of our current group of Company Members, it will also play an important role in our ongoing artistic development. As we celebrate TimeLine's 22nd season and continue to plan for a new home, we are furthering the vision of TimeLine's founders-to build a collective of artists with varied backgrounds, points of view, and aesthetics who work to shape seasons that are unique, inclusive, and mission-centric."

Abercrumbie, Allan, Clark, Gardner, and Jethmalani join current Company Members Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Ben Thiem. To view complete biographies for all of TimeLine's Company Members, visittimelinetheatre.com/people/company.

Jared Bellot NAMED A TIMELINE ASSOCIATE ARTIST

Working closely with TimeLine's Company Members, Associate Artists contribute to TimeLine's artistic programming and growth, serving as non-voting advisers and contributors to artistic planning. TimeLine's newest Associate Artist is:

- Jared Bellot is a theatre artist, dramaturg, and educator who has worked at TimeLine as dramaturg for The Audience, Paradise Blue, The Last Wife, Sunset Baby, and the upcoming production of Cardboard Piano, as well as serving as assistant director for In the Next Room or the vibrator play. Bellot currently serves as Education Manager at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and also has worked around Chicago for theatres such as Definition (where he is also Literary Manager), Stage Left, Porchlight, Jackalope, and The Yard (where he serves as Resident Artist Mentor).

"Jared has made enormous contributions to the work on TimeLine's stage through his dramaturgy work and has also been a leader off stage, making TimeLine a better place to work for our artists," said Powers. "We're very excited to welcome him to the TimeLine family in this new capacity."

Bellot joins an already distinguished group of Associate Artists that includes Brian Sidney Bembridge, Eva Breneman, William Brown, Aaron Carter, Andrew Carter, Louis Contey, Charles Cooper, John Culbert, Mikhail Fiksel, Megan Geigner, Dennis William Grimes, Terry Hamilton, Andrew Hansen, ] Jerod Haynes, Josephine Kearns, Kymberly Mellen, Danica Monroe, Mike Nussbaum, Keith Parham, Andre Pluess, Collette Pollard, Mark Richard, Chris Rickett, Kimberly Senior, Demetrios Troy, Mike Tutaj, Ann Wakefield and Alex Weisman. To view complete biographies for all of TimeLine's Associate Artists, please visittimelinetheatre.com/people/associates.

FOUR NEW LEADERS NAMED TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

TimeLine Theatre also is pleased to recognize four business and community leaders who joined its Board of Directors in September:

- JoAnne Dobrick, now retired, was the Founder and Director of the Dobrick Gallery of Art for more than a decade, and also worked extensively as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools. Previous board experience has included the Chicago Art Dealers Association, the Contemporary Museum of Art, the Women's Board of Steppenwolf Theatre, the Chicago Film Festival, and the Industrial Water, Waste & Sewage Group.

- Anne Voshel founded AVA Consultants in 1999 and was formerly a Senior Vice President with LaSalle Partners, Ltd. (now JLL) and co-head of the Development Management Group, responsible for cultural, performing arts, corporate and retail facilities. Voshel is also the Chair of the State Street Commission (SSA #1-2015) and a member of the Auditorium Theatre Facilities Committee, the Fourth Presbyterian Church Facilities and Building Committees, and the LUMA8 Board. She is an Emeritus Board Member of Landmarks Illinois.

- Richard G. Weinberg, has been President of Judd Enterprises, Inc., a private investment firm, for the past 33 years. Prior to that, he worked in television and feature production at Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., and CBS. He has served on many other boards, including The Sundance Institute, USC School of Dramatic Arts, and American Jewish Committee, and has invested in numerous artistic projects, including The Producers, Hairspray, and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, among others.

- Nicholas Yassan is a Principal at Rany Management, LLC (RANY), a privately owned business specializing in commercial and residential real estate investment and property management in the Chicago area since 1979. He is committed to being active in his community, participating in various boards and chambers of commerce. In addition, he is the Ravenswood Commissioner, where he consults on community improvements.

"This impressive group has joined TimeLine's Board of Directors at a critical juncture in the company's history," said Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman. "Guided by our long-term strategic plan, we are planning for a future that supports our unique mission and can serve an inclusive audience. There is much work to do and we couldn't be more pleased to have these leaders at the table."

TimeLine's Board of Directors is led by Eileen LaCario (President), Philip E. Cable (Vice President), Brian Douce (Treasurer) and Thaddeus J. Malik (Secretary), and also includes Elizabeth K. Auman, J. Robert Barr, Karen B. Case, Behzad Dabu, Lawrence Gill, Tom Gosline, Sondra Healy, Alvin Katz, Michael J. Kennedy, William A. Obenshain, Susan A. Payne, PJ Powers, Matthew R. Reilein, Elizabeth Richter, John M. Sirek, and Renée L. Zipprich. To view complete biographies for all of TimeLine's Board of Directors, please visittimelinetheatre.com/people/board.

ABOUT TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY

TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 21 seasons, TimeLine has presented 75 productions, including 10 world premieres and 33 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its 12th year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 54 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.

Now playing at TimeLine is the 4-STAR (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times) production of Barbara Lebow's A Shayna Maidel, directed by Vanessa Stalling, a poignant story about two sisters reunited after years of separation brought on by the rise of the Nazis, throughNovember 4, 2018.

Also still to come during the 2018-19 season:

- Master Class, Terrence McNally's acclaimed play about the formidable opera star Maria Callas, inspired by a series of classes she taught at Julliard in the 1970s, directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, music directed by Doug Peck, and starring TimeLine Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks, presented at Stage 773, October 19 - December 9, 2018.

- The Chicago premiere of Cardboard Piano by Hansol Jung, a powerful story of faith, love, and the human capacity for forgiveness set amidst violent conflict in northern Uganda, directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe, January 9 - March 17, 2019.

- The Chicago premiere of Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jiréh Breon Holder, a hopeful and moving story taking place at the height of the Civil Rights Movement that explores family, responsibility, and the personal sacrifices that enable progress, directe by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson, April 24 - June 29, 2019.

PLUS, TIMELINE PARTNERS WITH FIREBRAND THEATRE ON THEIR PRODUCTION OF CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, STARTING THIS WEEKEND:

TimeLine is excited to be partnering with Firebrand Theatre-Chicago's new musical theatre company committed to employing and empowering women-on the Tony Award-nominated musical Caroline, or Change, featuring music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Tony Kushner, and direction by Lili-Anne Brown. This production is presented at Firebrand's resident home, The Den Theatre, located at 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, September 22 - October 28, 2018.

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