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Timeline Presents Series A Of MACHINAL Concert Readings

In conjunction with its world premiere production of Not Enough Air by Masha Obolensky, TimeLine Theatre Company will present a series of concert readings of the landmark play that inspired Obolensky's work, MACHINAL by Sophie Treadwell. Machinal will be directed by Rachel Walshe and will run for eight performances only, opening Sunday, February 8 at 7 p.m. and running Sundays and Mondays at 7 p.m. through March 2, 2009. Performances will be held at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. The Press Opening performance is Sunday, February 8 at 7 p.m.

Machinal will feature actress Mechelle Moe in her return to the leading role of The Young Woman, for which she received a Non-Equity Jeff Award and After Dark Award in The Hypocrites' acclaimed 2003 production of the play. This is also the role she portrays in Obolensky's Not Enough Air. The rest of the Machinal cast includes Tom Bateman (Prosecuting Attorney/Ensemble), Tim Curtis (Husband), Ian Paul Custer (Filing Clerk/Ensemble), Maris Hudson (Telephone Girl/Ensemble), Greg Isaac (Young Man/Ensemble), Laurie Larson (Mom/Ensemble), Ian Maxwell (Adding Clerk/Ensemble), Julie Partyka (Nurse/Ensemble), Dana Scott (Stenographer/ Ensemble) and Michael Peters (Defense Attorney/Ensemble).

All tickets are $15. Advance purchase is recommended as readings may sell out. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 773.281.TIME (8463) or visit

Sophie Treadwell's Machinal is one of the most acclaimed dramas of the 20th Century and is regarded as a highpoint of expressionist theater on the American stage. Inspired by the real-life murder trial of Ruth Snyder that snared sensational headlines during the 1920s, this emotional play tells the story of Everywoman through nine episodes. Each scene depicts a subsequent phase in a young woman's life, and as Treadwell notes in her stage directions: "The plan is to tell this story by showing the different phases of life that the woman comes in contact with, and in none of which she finds any place, any peace. The woman is essentially soft, tender, and The Life around her is essentially, hard, mechanized." Told in true Expressionist style, this thought-provoking story was hailed by the New York Times upon its Broadway debut in 1928 as "a triumph of individual distinction, gleaming with intangible beauty."

"Masha's play Not Enough Air is a thrilling look into the events that inspired Machinal and a stirring portrait of playwright Sophie Treadwell," said TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. "TimeLine is thrilled to enhance our audience's experience of this world premiere by offering these special concert readings of Machinal. And in an exciting bit of casting, both plays feature actress Mechelle Moe as Treadwell's muse, the character of The Young Woman."

Sophie Treadwell (Playwright, 1885 - 1970) was a leading female playwright and American journalist of the first half of the 20th century. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a Bachelor of Letters degree in 1906. Her early career included freelance teaching jobs, working in vaudeville as an actress and writing for newspapers, including the San Francisco Bulletin, where she met her husband, the noted sportswriter William O. McGeehan. As a journalist, Treadwell won acclaim for her serial exposé "An Outcast at the Christian Door," in which she disguised herself as a homeless prostitute and attempted to seek aid at numerous churches and aid societies. During World War I, she was one of a small number of female war correspondents, and in 1920 she covered the Mexican Revolution for the New York Tribune and was granted an exclusive two-day interview with revolutionary leader Pancho Villa. Although best known for Machinal, Treadwell wrote numerous other plays and novels, including Lone Valley, A Hope for a Harvest, The Settlement, Sympathy, Gringo, O Nightingale, Ladies Leave, A Million Dollar Gate, Plumes in the Dust, A String of Pearls, One Fierce Hour and Sweet and For Saxaphone. She died in Arizona and willed the copyrights of her work to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson.

Rachel Walshe (Director) is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University, where she earned an MFA degree in directing in 2008. Her directing credits at The Theatre School include Machinal, The Bald Soprano, Eurydice, Living Out and Breath, Boom. She recently directed These Shining Lives at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, served as associate director for The Hypocrites' critically acclaimed Our Town, and was the assistant director for the world premiere of Brett Neveu's Gas For Less at the Goodman Theatre. She also has directed and been dramaturg for productions at the Goodman, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Caffeine Theatre and Rivendell. She is a member of Rivendell's ensemble and heads their New Play Development program. She will next direct The Changeling for Caffeine Theatre, opening in March.

Mechelle Moe (The Young Woman) previously appeared at TimeLine Theatre in The Children's Hour and Paradise Lost. She is a founding member of The Hypocrites, where she has performed in The Bald Soprano, Machinal, Angels in America, 4.48 Psychosis, The Glass Menagerie, Arcadia, Rhinoceros and The Cherry Orchard. She also has worked with Steppenwolf, Court, Goodman, Writers', A Red Orchid, Factory, Lifeline and PROP theaters. Moe was awarded both a Non-Equity Jeff Award and After Dark Award for her portrayal of The Young Woman in Machinal with The Hypocrites.

The production staff of Machinal includes Ben Thiem (Producer) and Jennifer Martin (Stage Manager).


TimeLine Theatre is located in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood, easily accessible via car, taxi and public transportation. Nearby CTA El stops are the Diversey stop on the Brown and Purple lines and the Belmont stop on the Red Line. CTA busses #36-Broadway, #76-Diversey, #77-Belmont, #22-Clark and #8-Halsted stop nearby. There is very limited street parking available. Drivers should beware of posted neighborhood permit restrictions. There are several paid parking lots nearby. There are two flights of stairs totaling 18 steps between the street and the theatre space, with no elevator.

Also Playing

Concert readings of Machinal will be presented on off-nights opposite TimeLine's world premiere production of Masha Obolenky's Not Enough Air, directed by Nick Bowling. Not Enough Air runs January 24 - March 22 (previews 1/21 - 1/23) at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. To purchase tickets, visit or call 773.281.TIME (8463).

About TimeLine Theatre Company

TimeLine was founded in April 1997 by six graduates of The Theatre School at DePaul University. The company's mission is to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. TimeLine's first 11 seasons featured 35 productions, including five world premieres and eight 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, TimeLine has received 37 Joseph Jefferson Citations, including a Citation for Outstanding Production six of the last eight seasons: Not About Nightingales (2001); The Crucible (2002), Awake and Sing! (2003), Hannah and Martin (2004), This Happy Breed (2005) and Fiorello! (2007).

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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