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TimeLine Theatre Extends The Pitmen Painters Thru 12/18

TimeLine Theatre Company has announced a two-week extension of its hit Chicago premiere of The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall, inspired by a book by William Feaver, directed by Northlight Theatre Artistic Director BJ Jones. Originally scheduled to close December 4, The Pitmen Painters will now run through December 18, 2011, at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago.

While single tickets to remaining performances in the original run are virtually sold out, there is still limited availability over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (reminder: no show Thursday, 11/24; special added 4 pm show on 11/25). For the extension, the regular performance schedule remains Wednesdays 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.

Tickets to newly added performances, on sale now, are $32 (Wednesday - Friday) or $42 (Saturday & Sunday). Student discount is $10 off the regular ticket price with valid ID. Discounted group rates for groups of 10 or more are available. To purchase tickets or for more information about The Pitmen Painters, call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6 or visit

Heralded in London, on Broadway, and now in Chicago, The Pitmen Painters by the Tony Award-winning writer of Billy Elliot is based on a triumphant true story about a group of miners in 1930's Northern England who took an art appreciation class, started experimenting with painting and soon built an astonishing body of work that made them the unlikeliest of art world sensations. An arresting and hilarious salute to the power of individual expression and the collective spirit, The Pitmen Painters is a deeply moving and timely look at art, class and politics.

In his original review, Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune awarded The Pitmen Painters 3 ½ stars, calling the show "smart, moving and strikingly thought-provoking" and correctly predicting "B.J. Jones' earnest, moving and unpretentious production will, I suspect, be a very big hit for this savvy and growing company." Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times hailed the production as "Highly Recommended ... receiving an altogether superlative U.S. regional premiere at TimeLine Theatre, where director BJ Jones and his spot-on cast sweep their powerful brushstrokes right across your heart."

The cast of The Pitmen Painters features Jordan Brown, Andrew Carter, William Dick, James Houton, Steven Pringle, Loretta Rezos, Amanda Schaar and Dan Waller. Note that starting December 3, the role of Robert Lyon (portrayed during the regular run by Andrew Carter) will be portrayed by Dennis Grimes. The production staff includes Timothy Mann (Scenic Design), Jacqueline Firkins (Costume Design), Charles Cooper (Lighting Design), Joshua Horvath (Sound Design), Mike Tutaj (Projections Design), Julia Eberhardt (Properties Design), Dina Spoerl (Lobby Design), Maren Robinson (Dramaturg) and Ana Espinosa (Stage Manager).

TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., is located near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood. CTA El stops at Wellington (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. The LAZ Parking Lot at 3012 N. Broadway is the closest parking and costs $6.25 for 3-5 hours. TimeLine also offers parking for $8 for up to 6 hours with validation at the Standard Parking garages at Broadway Center (2846 N. Broadway, at Surf) or the Century Mall (2836 N. Clark). There is also limited free and metered street parking and other paid parking lots nearby. Visit for complete directions and parking information. There are two flights of stairs (18 steps) between the street and the theater space, with no elevator.


Lee Hall (Playwright) is a British playwright and screenwriter, best known as the writer of the London and Broadway smash hit Billy Elliot, for which he also wrote the screenplay in 1999, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. His acclaimed play Spoonface Steinberg, a monologue for a nine-year-old autistic girl dying of cancer, was first broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in 1997. He was appointed Writer in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1999-2000 under the Pearson Playwrights Scheme Award. His play Cooking with Elvis premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2000 and transferred to London's West End. He has adapted Goldoni's The Servant with Two Masters (1999) and translated two plays by Bertolt Brecht: Mr Puntilla and His Man Matti (1998) and Mother Courage (2000). His adaptation of the Dutch play The Good Hope by Herman Heijermans opened at the Royal National Theatre in 2001. He adapted his own play, I Luv You Jimmy Spud, as a feature film starring Billy Connolly in 2000. Lee co-wrote the screenplay for the film Pride and Prejudice in 2005 and adapted The Wind in the Willows for television in 2006. The Pitmen Painters premiered at the Live Theatre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2007.

BJ Jones (Director) is in his 14th season as Artistic Director of Northlight Theatre, where he has piloted the world premieres of Bruce Graham's Outgoing Tide with John Mahoney and Rondi Reed, Craig Wright's Lady with Michael Shannon, Better Late by Larry Gelbart and Craig Wright and Rounding Third with George Wendt. As a director, BJ also has worked with Tracy Letts, Frank Galati, Judith Ivey and Dennis O'Hare, among a host of other artists. As a producer he guided the world premieres of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, The Gamester and Studs Terkel's ‘The Good War.' BJ has directed at Cherry Lane in New York City, Steppenwolf Theatre, Intiman Theatre in Seattle, ALLIANCE THEATRE in Atlanta, The Utah Shakespearean Festival, The Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, and Next Theatre in Evanston. This season he will direct A Skull in Connemara at Baltimore Center Stage. Other directorial work includes Northlight's Grey Gardens, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Lady with All the Answers, The Retreat From Moscow, Cripple of Inishman, as well as productions of A Number, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, Glengarry Glen Ross (Suzie Bass Award nominee - Director) and The Price (Equity Jeff Award nomination - Director). A two-time Jeff Award winner as an actor, BJ has performed at virtually every major theatre in Chicago, including the Goodman, Steppenwolf and Court. Film/TV credits include The Fugitive, Body Double and Law and Order: Criminal Intent, among others.


Only three weeks remain in TimeLine Theatre's critically acclaimed production of Lee Blessing's A Walk in the Woods, which must close November 20 at nearby Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Nominated for both a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award, A Walk in the Woods is about two superpower arms negotiators - one a witty but cynical Russian veteran and the other an idealistic American newcomer - who meet informally in the woods after long, frustrating hours at the bargaining table. TimeLine presents this "Highly Recommended ... finely acted revival-with-a-twist" (Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times) with the two characters, originally written as two men, portrayed by TimeLine Company Members Janet Ulrich Brooks and David Parkes.

To purchase tickets or for more information about A Walk in the Woods, call the Theater Wit Box Office at 773.975.8150 or visit


TimeLine Theatre Company was named the nation's theater "Company of the Year" by The Wall Street Journal in 2010, Best Theatre by Chicago Magazine in its "Best of Chicago" issue in 2011, and one of the nation's top 10 emerging theatres by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards, in 2011. The company is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers and Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, David Parkes, 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.

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. During its first 14 seasons, TimeLine has presented 46 productions, including seven world premieres and 13 Chicago premieres. Recipient of the 2006 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the 2009 Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 43 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production eight times.

Still on tap for the 2011-2012 15th Anniversary Season:
• Chicago premiere of ENRON by Lucy Prebble, directed by Rachel Rockwell, January 17 - April 15, 2012
• World premiere of MY KIND OF TOWN by John Conroy, directed by Nick Bowling, May 1 - July 29, 2012

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