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Writers Theatre Announces Casting for 2015-16 Season

Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce casting for the Inaugural Season in the company's new theatre center. Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison, directed by Kimberly Senior, kicks off the season at Books on Vernon with cast members Aaron Todd Douglas, Kate Fry, Erik Hellman and Mary Ann Thebus. Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam will be the inaugural production in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre and will feature Greg Matthew Anderson, Chaon Cross, Kate Fry, Torrey Hanson, Nathan Hosner, Callie Johnson, Scott Parkinson, Gabriel Ruiz, Alistair Sewell, Christopher Sheard, Elizabeth Stenholt and Rod Thomas. The Gillian Theatre will open with a new collaboration with Chicago's The Second City entitled Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody, by Tim Sniffen, with additional material by Tim Ryder, directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Stuart Carden, featuring Jennifer Engstrom, Sean Fortunato, Marc Grapey, John Hoogenakker, Michael Perez and Karen Janes Woditsch. Company, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, directed by William Brown with musical direction by Tom Vendafreddo, will follow Arcadia in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre and will include cast members Bernard Balbot, Jessie Fisher, Allison Hendrix, James Earl Jones II, Patrick Martin, Christine Mild, Thom Miller, Chelsea Morgan, Lia Mortensen, Blair Robertson, Alexis J. Rogers, Gabriel Ruiz, Patrick Sarb and Tiffany Scott.

The Inaugural Season of the new theatre center includes:

Marjorie Prime
By Jordan Harrison
Directed by Kimberly Senior
Featuring Aaron Todd Douglas (Jon), Kate Fry (Tess), Erik Hellman (Walter) and Mary Ann Thebus (Marjorie)
October 21, 2015 - February 21, 2016
Performed at Books on Vernon: 664 Vernon Ave, Glencoe

It's the age of artificial intelligence, but 86-year old Marjorie is worried that her memory may be fading. That is, until the appearance of Walter, a mysterious and charming young visitor programmed to help Marjorie uncover the intricacies of her own past. As Walter's true nature is revealed, new levels of complexity emerge, leading to profound questions about the limits of technology and whether memory might be a purely human invention.

This clever and captivating new drama explores what it means to be human, the complicated nature of familial relationships and the moments in life that we might choose to forget, if given the chance. Directed by Kimberly Senior in the Writers Theatre bookstore venue, Marjorie Prime will take audiences on a twisting journey into uncharted theatrical terrain.

Arcadia
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam

Featuring Greg Matthew Anderson (Septimus Hodge), Chaon Cross (Lady Croom), Kate Fry (Hannah Jarvis), Torrey Hanson (Jellaby), Nathan Hosner (Captain Brice), Callie Johnson (Chloe Coverly), Scott Parkinson (Bernard Nightingale), Gabriel Ruiz (Richard Noakes), Alistair Sewell (Gus Coverly/Augustus Coverly) Christopher Sheard (Valentine Coverly), Elizabeth Stenholt (Thomasina Coverly) and Rod Thomas (Ezra Chater).
March 16, 2016 - April 24, 2016
Performed in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre: 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

In the heart of a 19th century English country estate awash in secret desires, illicit affairs and professional rivalries, a brilliant young student proposes an earthshaking scientific theory. Two hundred years later at that same estate, academic adversaries Hannah and Bernard race to unravel the enticing mysteries left behind in a heated battle for intellectual and sexual dominance.

Part detective story and part comedy of manners, Tom Stoppard's elegant, time-jumping masterpiece forges a complex comedy of wit, romance, poetry, sex and scientific theory, introducing characters whose lives and passions intersect across the centuries.

Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam, who previously helmed WT's hit productions of Stoppard's The Real Thing and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Arcadia serves as an ideal first production in Writers Theatre's new home, serving as bridge between the Theatre's celebrated past and its exciting future.

Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody
By Tim Sniffen
With additional material by Tim Ryder
Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Stuart Carden
Featuring Jennifer Engstrom (Blanche DuBois), Sean Fortunato (The Stage Manager), Marc Grapey (Willy Loman), John Hoogenakker (George), Michael Perez (Stanley Kowalski) and Karen Janes Woditsch (Martha).
April 27, 2016 -July 10, 2016
Performed in The Gillian Theatre: 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

This hilarious result of a collaboration between Writers Theatre and Chicago's world-renowned comedy theatre, The Second City, asks the intriguing question: What happens when the most recognizable characters from some of the greatest American plays of the 20th century suddenly find themselves sharing the same stage?

When a mysterious invitation brings Blanche DuBois back to New Orleans, she finds herself once again face-to-face with the smoldering Stanley Kowalski. That would be challenge enough, but they are soon joined by luckless salesman Willy Loman and hard-drinking, hard-fighting couple George and Martha, and suddenly all bets are off. Add a folksy Stage Manager and the comic genius of The Second City team, and the question quickly becomes: Will the American Theatre ever be the same?

Co-directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and former Associate Artistic Director Stuart Carden, this deliciously satirical mash-up of A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Our Town opens The Gillian Theatre with a tongue-in-cheek salute to the celebrated icons of American drama.

Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody was commissioned by The Second City and developed in partnership with Writers Theatre, under the guidance of co-director Stuart Carden and featuring a cast of veteran WT actors.

Company
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Originally Produced and Directed on Broadway by Harold Prince
Original Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Directed by William Brown
Musical Direction by Tom Vendafreddo
Featuring Thom Miller (Bobby), Bernard Balbot (Paul), Jessie Fisher (April), Allison Hendrix (Amy), James Earl Jones II (Harry),Patrick Martin (David), Christine Mild (Marta), Chelsea Morgan (Kathy), Lia Mortensen (Joanne), Blair Robertson (Jenny), Alexis J. Rogers (Sarah), Gabriel Ruiz (Peter), Patrick Sarb (Larry) and Tiffany Scott (Susan).
June 15, 2016 - July 24, 2016
Performed in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre: 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

It's Bobby's 35th birthday and he's still single, trying to find a way to have a serious relationship, without a serious commitment. But as his friends-all couples at different stages in their marriages-impose their unique perspectives of relationship function and dysfunction on him over the course of a hilarious series of dinners and cocktail hours, Bobby is forced to consider relaxing his determined grip on bachelorhood and begin exploring one of life's greatest questions-what does it mean to be alive?

Winner of seven Tony Awards, Company is a witty, sophisticated and deeply honest look at contemporary relationships. Featuring some of Stephen Sondheim's best known songs, including "Side by Side by Side," "Marry Me a Little" and "Being Alive," this brilliant musical comedy is considered a true masterpiece by one of the finest composers of our time.

Directed by Writers Theatre favorite William Brown, who previously helmed WT's hit production of Sondheim's A Little Night Music, Company will continue the Theatre's tradition of breathing fresh life into great American musicals.

Writers Theatre will hold its Grand Opening and related events for the new theatre center, designed by internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, at 325 Tudor Court in early 2016. Arcadia will begin performances on March 16, 2016, in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre, an intimate 250-seat thrust stage venue. The first performance in The Gillian Theatre, a 50 to 99-seat flexible theatre space, will be Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody, beginning April 27, 2016.

Writers Theatre is pleased to announce that longstanding corporate partner, BMO Harris Bank, will serve in the distinguished capacity of Inaugural Season Sponsor for this exciting first season in the company's new theatre center.

From its very first season, Writers Theatre has brought quality and excellence to the stage while maintaining the company's hallmark intimacy. The last 23 years have been marked by unprecedented growth in both the artistic and business arenas and have garnered national acclaim and recognition. With a reputation for consistent artistic excellence and with strong ties to the community, Writers Theatre has built an award-winning repertoire and serves as a vital and highly regarded company in the Chicagoland theatre community.

Season packages ranging from $179 - $259 are available at the Box Office, 321 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-242-6000 and on writerstheatre.org.

For the 2015/16 Season, Writers Theatre will be performing in two separate locations in Glencoe - the 60-seat venue at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave, and in its new, two-theatre complex at 325 Tudor Court.


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