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World Premiere of CAMPAIGNS, INC. to Debut in August at Timeline Theatre

Campaigns, Inc. is a timely, fast-paced, and funny screwball comedy about the serious power that persuasion, deceit, and perception hold in the U.S. electoral system. 

World Premiere of CAMPAIGNS, INC. to Debut in August at Timeline Theatre

TimeLine Theatre Company will return to its longtime home at 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood for its 26th season opener, the world premiere of Campaigns, Inc.

Written by TimeLine Company Member Will Allan and directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, Campaigns, Inc. is a timely, fast-paced, and funny screwball comedy about the serious power that persuasion, deceit, and perception hold in the U.S. electoral system.

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," Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker. The year is 1934, and Baxter and Whitaker have just formed the first political consulting firm in U.S. history. Famous novelist Upton Sinclair is all but guaranteed to become the first Democratic governor of the state of California-until this young, unknown pair of consultants from the shadows of the challenger's campaign attempt to take him down. As Republican nominee 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 political smear campaigns ever.

Campaigns, Inc. co-founders are played by Tyler Meredith (she/her), in her TimeLine debut as Leone Baxter, and Yuriy Sardarov (he/him) as Clem Whitaker. Chicago theatre fans will recall Sardarov performing in TimeLine's memorable 2009 production of The History Boys before landing the role of Otis on NBC's Chicago Fire.

The cast also features TimeLine Company Member Anish Jethmalani (he/him) as Upton Sinclair and David Parkes (he/him) as FDR/Louis B. Mayer/Douglas Fairbanks/others, and TimeLine Associate Artist Terry Hamilton (he/him) as Frank Merriam. Jacqueline Grandt (she/her) as Eleanor Roosevelt/Mary Pickford/others, Matt Mueller (he/him) as Charlie Chaplin, and Mark Ulrich (he/him) as George Hatfield complete the cast.

Campaigns, Inc. begins previews August 3, 2022. Press Night is Wednesday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m. Opening Night is August 11. Performances run through September 18 at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood. For tickets and information, visit timelinetheatre.com or call the TimeLine Box Office at (773) 281-8463 x6.

"Campaigns, Inc. is the story of America, or really, it's the story of how screwed up our political system is," said director Nick Bowling. "The true story of Baxter and Whitaker is the center of the play, but it is also about the right and left of America-the dirty dealings of politics that pushes those two groups further and further from each other. It's about the power of winning and what people will do to achieve that."

"I think my favorite response to this play is 'wait ... is that real?' And while I have taken some dramatic liberties, a lot of it is very real. I also want people to laugh. The current political climate is so volatile that I wanted a play about politics that is fun to watch," said playwright Will Allan. "Baxter and Whitaker are relatively unknown and they changed the game of politics forever, especially Leone Baxter, a woman being president of a company and accomplishing what she did in the 1930s, it is truly remarkable."

Campaigns, Inc. was developed through the same TimeLine Playwrights Collective that brought Tyla Abercrumbie's break-out new play, Relentless, to its acclaimed world premiere run last season at TimeLine, followed by a transfer and extended sold-out run at Goodman Theatre.

TimeLine's Playwrights Collective was 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 now the third play developed through the Collective to receive a full production, after Relentless and Brett Neveu's To Catch a Fish, which premiered at TimeLine in 2018.

TimeLine's production team for Campaigns, Inc. includes Sydney Lynne (Scenic Designer, she/her), Sally Dolembo (Costume Designer, she/her), Jared Gooding (Lighting Designer, he/him), Forrest Gregor (Co-Sound Designer, he/him), Andrew Hansen (Co-Sound Designer, he/him), Rowen Doe (Properties Designer, they/them/), Anthony Churchill (Projections Designer, he/him), Katie Cordts (Co-Wig and Hair Designer she/her), Megan Pirtle (Co-Wig and Hair Designer and Associate Costume Designer, she/her), Sammi Grant (Dialect Director, she/her), Alka Nayyar (Associate Director, she/her), Maren Robinson (Dramaturg, she/her), and Miranda Anderson (Stage Manager, she/her).

CAMPAIGNS, INC. PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE/EVENTS

Previews of Campaigns, Inc. are Wednesday, August 3 through Friday, August 5 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, August 6 at 4 p.m.; Sunday, August 7 at 2 p.m.; and Tuesday, August 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Press Night is Wednesday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Opening Night is Thursday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. Regular performances continue through September 18: 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. Exceptions: No 4 p.m. performance Saturday August 13. Show time Sunday, August 21 is 4 p.m.


BUYING TICKETS

Single tickets to Campaigns, Inc. go on sale Wednesday, July 6 at timelinetheatre.com or by calling the TimeLine Box Office at (773) 281-8463 x6.

Preview tickets are $25. Single tickets to regular performances start at $42 (Wednesday through Friday), $49 (Saturday evenings) and $57 (Saturday and Sunday matinees). Student discount is 35% off regular price with valid ID. TimeLine is also a member of TCG's Blue Star Theatre Program and is offering $25 tickets to U.S. military personnel, veterans, first responders, and their spouses and family.
Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Ticket buyers age 18-35 may join TimeLine's free MyLine program to obtain access to discounted tickets, special events and more. Visit timelinetheatre.com/discounts for more about available discounts.


LOCATION/TRANSPORTATION/PARKING

Campaigns, Inc. will take place at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., in Chicago's Lakeview East neighborhood, near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the former Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, now Chabad East Lakeview.

TimeLine is served by multiple CTA trains and buses. There are multiple paid parking options nearby, plus limited free and metered street parking. Visit timelinetheatre.com/timeline-theatre for details and available discounts.

DISCUSSIONS, EVENTS, AND ACCESSIBILITY

TimeLine's schedule of post-show discussions, pre-show discussions, a Company Member discussion, and Sunday Scholars panel discussion, plus accessibility services such as distanced performances, captioned performances, and an audio-described performance, are still to be announced. Event dates and details will be posted on TimeLine's website at timelinetheatre.com once available.

TimeLine Theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. Two wheelchair lifts provide access from street level to the theatre space and to lower-level restrooms. Audience members using wheelchairs
or who need to avoid stairs, and others with special seating or accessibility needs should contact the TimeLine Box Office in advance to confirm arrangements.


HEALTH AND SAFETY

Since returning to live performances in January 2022, TimeLine has been ensuring COVID-19 vaccination and mask requirements for audiences, artists, and staff. In general, protocols have required that patrons be masked and fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine in order to attend. These protocols are subject to change as the pandemic evolves. For current information about TimeLine's COVID-19 safety protocols, visit timelinetheatre.com/health-and-safety.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

TimeLine's 2022-23 subscription season includes two more riveting plays that link past, present and future: a landmark classic that recently enjoyed a Tony Award-nominated production on Broadway, and another exciting world premiere from a Los Angeles-based playwright new to Chicago.

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. Previews start November 2, 2022. Press Night is Wednesday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through December 18.

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, this is a story of dreamers striving to overcome considerable obstacles and fighting for recognition amidst the racism and inequity of Hollywood. Previews start February 1, 2023. Press Night is Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through March 19.

Save on tickets to TimeLine's 2022-23 season with a 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 timelinetheatre.com.

All three 2022-23 productions will be presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.

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. Currently launching its 26th season, TimeLine has presented 84 productions, including 11 world premieres and 39 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.




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