World Premiere of CAMPAIGNS, INC. & More Announced for TimeLine Theatre Company 2022-23 Season

TimeLine’s 2022-23 season will feature two previously announced plays that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By: May. 12, 2022
World Premiere of CAMPAIGNS, INC. & More Announced for TimeLine Theatre Company 2022-23 Season

TimeLine Theatre Company has announced its 26th season.

After celebrating its 25th Anniversary in residence at Theater Wit-a season that featured the world premiere, acclaimed hit Relentless, which went on to an extended run at Goodman Theatre-the company will return to its longtime home in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood, located at 615 W. Wellington Avenue, for three productions.

TimeLine's 2022-23 season will feature two previously announced plays that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a world premiere developed through the same TimeLine Playwrights Collective that nurtured Relentless and a landmark classic that recently enjoyed a Tony Award-nominated production on Broadway. The third is an exciting world premiere from a Los Angeles-based playwright new to Chicago.

TimeLine's 2022-23 subscription season includes three riveting plays that link past, present and future:

The world premiere of Campaigns, Inc. by TimeLine Company Member Will Allan, developed through TimeLine's Playwrights Collective and directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, is a hilarious and timely true story about the power that persuasion, deceit, and perception hold in the U.S. electoral system.

Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress, directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson, a scathingly funny backstage drama about interracial politics and the complex, difficult, and often emotional way people talk about race.

The world premiere of Boulevard of Bold Dreams by LaDarrion Williams, directed by Malkia Stampley, set on the night in 1940 that Hattie McDaniel made history at the Oscars, is a story of dreamers striving to overcome considerable obstacles and fighting for recognition amidst the racism and inequity of Hollywood.

Save on tickets to TimeLine's 2022-23 season with a i??3-Admission FlexPass Subscription. Four different tiers, priced from $74.50 to $178, are now on sale. For more information and to purchase, call (773) 281-8463 x6 or visit

"These quintessential American stories, set in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, explore the intersection of politics, race, and entertainment and brim with humor and poignancy about our culture today," Artistic Director PJ Powers said. "Following the success of TimeLine's homegrown play Relentless, we're proud to feature another new work developed during the same cohort of our Playwrights Collective-Will Allan's Campaigns, Inc. This hilarious political comedy was originally planned to coincide with the 2020 presidential election. Following a COVID delay, it hasn't lost any of its resonant irony as we head into a contentious midterm election season."

Powers continued: "Another previously delayed play finally makes it to our stage-Alice Childress' Trouble In Mind. It's a story that is both funny and searing in its exploration of power and representation both within the American theatre and outside its walls. And we'll further that conversation with the world premiere of Boulevard of Bold Dreams, shining a light on the trailblazing Hattie McDaniel on the historic night she won her Oscar for Gone With the Wind, introducing the powerful voice of LaDarrion Williams to Chicago through his play about dreamers, obstacles, and the not-so-changing landscape of Hollywood from the 1940s to today."


Campaigns, Inc.

World Premiere

by TimeLine Company Member Will Allan

directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling

August 11 - September 18, 2022 (previews 8/3 - 8/10)

Based on the true story of Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker, who formed the first political consulting firm in U.S. history, Campaigns, Inc. is a hysterical and jaw-dropping inside look at the underbelly of politics through the lens of two of the undeniable founders of "fake news."

It is 1934, and famous novelist Upton Sinclair is all but guaranteed to become the first Democratic governor of the state of California-until a young, unknown pair of consultants from the shadows of the challenger's campaign attempt to take him down. As Frank Merriam and Sinclair battle it out in the spotlight-seeking endorsements from the likes of Charlie Chaplin and FDR-Baxter and Whitaker work behind-the-scenes to methodically construct one of the most spectacular, unbelievable, and star-studded smear campaigns ever.

Previously announced as the season opener for TimeLine's 2020-21 season, this world premiere play was developed through TimeLine's Playwrights Collective, launched in 2013 to support Chicago-based playwrights in residence and create new work centered on TimeLine's mission of presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today's social and political issues. Campaigns, Inc. is the third play developed through the Collective to receive a full production, following Brett Neveu's To Catch a Fish, presented at TimeLine in 2018; and Tyla Abercrumbie's Relentless, presented in an acclaimed world premiere run at TimeLine followed by an extended sold-out run at Goodman Theatre in 2022. Campaigns, Inc. received its first public reading as part of TimeLine's inaugural First Draft Playwrights Collective Festival in December 2018.

Trouble in Mind

by Alice Childress

directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson

November 10 - December 18, 2022 (previews 11/2 - 11/9)

Acclaimed by The New York Times as "a rich, unsettling play that lives up to its title [and] lingers in one's memory long after its conclusion," this scathingly funny backstage drama about interracial politics explores the complex, difficult, and often emotional way people talk about race.

On stage at a Broadway theater in New York City in the mid-1950s, a group of actors has gathered for their first day rehearsing a new play called Chaos in Belleville, an anti-lynching Southern drama. But as the cast rehearses, tensions flair between Wiletta, the Black actress in the starring role, and her white director about his interpretation of the play. The result is an explosive conversation about equality, power, and how race is portrayed in the American theatre.

Written by Alice Childress (the first Black woman to have a play professionally produced in New York City) and featuring a play-within-a-play structure, Trouble in Mind is a groundbreaking

backstage satire of egos and attitudes and an insightful look at the importance of honest representation. It was previously announced to take place in TimeLine's 2020-21 season, and most recently enjoyed an acclaimed Broadway production nominated for four 2022 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play. The critics raved that this "masterpiece of astonishing power" (New York Magazine) is "the play of the moment" (The New York Times) and "will take your breath away" (Associated Press).

Boulevard of Bold Dreams

World Premiere

by LaDarrion Williams

directed by Malkia Stampley

February 16 - March 26, 2023 (previews 2/8 - 2/15)

It is February 29, 1940, the night of the Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Bartender Arthur Brooks, an ambitious Black man from rural Alabama, dreams of becoming a movie director. His best friend, Dottie Hudson, is a maid at the Ambassador Hotel who finds herself to be a cynic of all dreams. But when the actress Hattie McDaniel stops in at the bar and decides not to attend the biggest event in show business, Arthur and Dottie must do everything in their power to convince her to go and claim her historic win-all while confronting their dark past and making their own dreams come to life.

This play about race, class, gender, and the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood has previously had public readings at The Echo Theatre Company (featuring TimeLine Company Member Mildred Marie Langford) and Morgan-Wixson Theatre's New Works Festival. TimeLine's production will be its world premiere.

Casting for all plays will be announced at a later date.



TimeLine is currently requiring proof of vaccination for entry and mask-wearing to attend. Patrons are asked for their vaccination card or a picture of their vaccination card when they arrive along with valid photo ID, and are asked to wear a mask over their nose and mouth throughout their visit. These protocols are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve. For more information about TimeLine's Health & Safety policies, visit


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. Currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary season, TimeLine has presented 82 productions, including 11 world premieres and 38 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, which brings 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 58 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.

The company has long been bursting at the seams of its current leased home located at 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood, where the theatre has been in residence since 1999. In December 2018, TimeLine announced the purchase of property at 5033-35 North Broadway in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood to be the site of its new home. Plans feature an intimate black box theatre seating up to 250 audience members, expanded area for the immersive lobby experiences that are a TimeLine hallmark, new opportunities for education and engagement, room to allow audience members to arrive early and stay late for theatergoing experiences that extend far beyond the stage, and more. TimeLine is working with HGA as architect for its new home project, which is expected to be completed in 2024.

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Executive Director Mica Cole, and Board President John Sterling. TimeLine Company members are Tyla Abercrumbie, Will Allan, Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Wardell Julius Clark, Behzad Dabu, Charles Andrew Gardner, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Anish Jethmalani, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, and Maren Robinson.

Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Arts Consulting Group, Bayless Family Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, City of Chicago, Crown Family Philanthropies, Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Forum Fund, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, National Endowment for the Arts, Polk Bros. Foundation, Pritzker Traubert Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, United States Small Business Administration, and Walder Foundation.

For more information, visit or Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@TimeLineTheatre).



Will Allan (Playwright, Campaigns, Inc.), a TimeLine Company Member and member the 2017-18 Playwrights Collective, is a former Chicago actor and playwright who is now based in Los Angeles. His Chicago debut was as a member of the original cast of TimeLine's Chicago premiere of The History Boys (directed by Nick Bowling, Equity Jeff Awards-Production and Ensemble). Campaigns, Inc. is his first full-length play, and he is thrilled that the place he got his start as an actor is the place he'll get his start as a professional playwright. During his decade in Chicago, he performed in numerous productions with Steppenwolf, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Victory Gardens, Remy Bumppo, Theater Wit, and more. Regionally, he has performed with Milwaukee Repertory, Indiana Repertory, Cardinal Stage, and The Human Race Theatre Company. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Allan studied at Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia and earned his BA degree in Theatre Performance from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.


Nick Bowling (Director, Campaigns, Inc.) was the founding Artistic Director and is now Associate Artistic Director and a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre, where he has directed more than 30 productions. He is the recipient of eight Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (The History Boys, The Normal Heart, Fiorello!, This Happy Breed, and The Crucible at TimeLine, Ragtime at Marriott Theatre, Sondheim on Sondheim at Porchlight Music Theatre, and Another Part of the Forest at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for Oslo, Blood and Gifts, The Farnsworth Invention, Hauptmann, and The Lion in Winter at TimeLine; Closer Than Ever at Porchlight Music Theatre; and City of Angels, The King and I, and Man of La Mancha at Marriott Theatre. Other recent credits at TimeLine include the Chicago premiere of J.T. Rogers' Oslo at Broadway In Chicago's Broadway Playhouse, Master Class, The Audience, A Disappearing Number, The Last Wife, and Blood and Gifts. Other Chicago credits include Marriott's The Sound of Music, Oliver!, and The Bridges of Madison County; Paramount's A Christmas Story, Northwestern University's Guys and Dolls and Cabaret, Porchlight's A Catered Affair, Writers Theatre's Bach at Leipzig, and Shattered Globe Theatre's Time of the Cuckoo and Frozen Assets.


Alice Childress (Playwright, Trouble in Mind, 1916-1994) was raised during the Harlem Renaissance under the watchful eye of her beloved maternal grandmother and grew up to become first an actress and then a playwright and novelist. A founding member of the American Negro Theatre, she wrote her first play, Florence, in 1949. The script was written in one night on a dare from her close friend, the actor Sidney Poitier, who had told Alice that he didn't think a great play could be written overnight. She proved him wrong, and the play was produced Off-Broadway in 1950. In 1952, Childress became the first African American woman to see her play (Gold Through the Trees) professionally produced in New York. In 1955, Childress' play Trouble in Mind opened Off-Broadway at the Greenwich Mews Theatre. The production was a critical and popular success and immediately drew interest from producers for a Broadway transfer. In an ironic twist echoing the tribulations of the characters in the play itself, the producers wanted changes to the script to make it more palatable to a commercial audience. Childress refused to compromise her artistic vision, and the play never opened on Broadway, ending her chance of being the first African American woman playwright to have a play on Broadway. Trouble in Mind received a well-reviewed Off-Broadway revival in 1998 by the Negro Ensemble Company and has since been produced by a multitude of prestigious theatres such as Yale Repertory Theatre, Centerstage, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and Arena Stage, and in a Tony Award-nominated revival in 2022. Childress is known for A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich, her 1973 novel about a 13-year-old Black boy addicted to heroin, which was subsequently made into a movie in 1978. Her other plays include Just a Little Simple (1950), Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (1966), and Gullah (1984). Throughout her career, Childress examined the true meaning of being Black, and especially of being Black and female. As she herself once said, "I concentrate on portraying have-nots in a have society."

Ron OJ Parson (Director, Trouble in Mind) became a TimeLine Company Member in 2016. His TimeLine credits include Relentless (also at Goodman Theatre), Too Heavy for Your Pocket, To Catch a Fish, Paradise Blue, Sunset Baby, and A Raisin in the Sun. He is a native of Buffalo, New York, and a graduate of the University of Michigan's professional theater program. He is the co-founder and former Artistic Director of Onyx Theatre Ensemble of Chicago and a co-founder and co-director of Ripe ManGo Productions. Parson is a Resident Artist at Court Theatre and an Associate Artist with Teatro Vista, and an Associate Artist at Writers Theatre. Since moving to Chicago from New York in 1994, he has worked as both an actor and director. His Chicago credits include work with The Chicago Theatre Company, Victory Gardens, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight, Court, Black Ensemble Theatre, Congo Square, Northlight Theatre, Urban Theatre Company, City Lit Theater, ETA Creative Arts, and Writers. Regionally, Parson has directed shows at Studio Arena Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory, South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Virginia Stage, Roundabout Theatre, Wilshire Theatre, The Mechanic Theatre, CenterStage, St. Louis Black Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Signature Theatre (New York), Kansas City Rep, and Portland Stage, among others. In Canada, he directed the world premiere of Palmer Park by Joanna McClelland Glass at the Stratford Festival. He is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. For further information, visit

Malkia Stampley (Director, Boulevard of Bold Dreams) was born and raised in Milwaukee where she attended Marquette University for Theater Arts. She joined Goodman Theatre as Producer in October 2021 after serving as founding Artistic Producer for the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival. Directing credits include Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (Farmer's Alley Theatre); The Gift of the Magi (American Players Theater); Black Nativity (Black Arts MKE, three years); Stew (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre); Nunsense (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); Five Guys Named Moe (Skylight Music Theatre); Antarctica, WI (First Stage), IN:FLUENCE/SPIRATION (University of Wisconsin-Madison) with workshops and readings at American Players Theatre, Northern Sky, Milwaukee Fringe Festival, #ENOUGH and Texas State University Black and Latino Playwright Celebration. As a budding playwright, Stampley co-authored Lines, commissioned by Theatre LILA in 2018. Stampley is a founder of Milwaukee Black Theater Festival and Bronzeville Arts Ensemble, a theater established in Milwaukee, where she served as Producing Artistic Director for three seasons. She is also an actor for television, film, and stage. She currently has a guest star recurring role on AMC's 61st Street and her last stage performance was 9 Circles at Next Act Theatre, directed by Michael Cotey.

LaDarrion Williams (Playwright, Boulevard of Bold Dreams) is a Los Angeles based-playwright, filmmaker, author, and screenwriter whose goal is to cultivate a new era of Black fantasy, providing space and agency for Black characters and stories in a new, fresh and fantastical way. His first play, Katrina, won first place at the Alabama State Thespian Conference. It was also a part of A Noise Within Theatre for their Noise Now Reading Series. His adaptation of the best-selling memoir, Feeding A Monster, was directed by award-winning actor and director Art Evans at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood, CA. In 2019, he was invited to be a guest writer for Center Theatre Groups' August Wilson Monologue Competition. His play Black Creek Risin' was a part of the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. In September 2019, his play, Coco Queens, was a part of The Sundance Institute's Playwriting Intensive and was also a semi-finalist for the 2020 Eugene O'Neill National Playwriting Conference. In 2021, his play Boulevard of Bold Dreams was a part of the New Works Festival at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica, California. After TimeLine's production, it will also premiere at Greater Stage Boston in March 2023. Williams is currently a resident playwright/co-creator of The Black Creators Collective where his play UMOJA made its West Coast premiere in January 2022, and he also produced North Hollywood's first Black playwrights festival at the Waco Theater Center. Serving as a writer-producer, Williams has curated three short films on YouTube. His viral and award-winning short film Blood at the Root is anticipated to become a Young Adult fantasy novel.


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