Writers Theatre Extends Stephen Sondheim's COMPANY
Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, announces a one-week extension to Company, featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth. The production is directed by William Brown. Company features original orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, Orchestral Reductions by Ian Weinberger, music direction by Tom Vendafreddo and choreography by Brock Clawson. The show, originally slated to run through July 31, 2016, will add an additional week, through August 7, in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 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, Bobby is forced to consider relaxing his determined grip on bachelorhood as he begins to explore 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 Sondheim's best-known songs, including "Side by Side by Side," "Marry Me a Little," and "Being Alive," Company is considered a true masterpiece by one of the finest composers of our time.
Directed by William Brown, who previously helmed WT's hit production of Sondheim's A Little Night Music, Company continues the Theatre's tradition of breathing fresh life into great American musicals.
The cast of Company includes Thom Miller (Robert), Bernard Balbot (Paul), Jess Godwin (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).
The designers are Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Designer), Rachel Anne Healy (Costume Designer), Jesse Klug (Lighting Designer) and Josh Horvath (Sound Designer). The Production Stage Manager is David Castellanos and the CFM Contractor is Nick Moran.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Stephen Sondheim (Music & Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994) and Road Show (2008) as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) and Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting it Together (1993/99) and Sondheim on Sondheim (2010). He composed the scores of the films Stavisky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (1990) and the television production Evening Primrose (1966). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: Finishing the Hat (2010) and Look, I Made A Hat (2011). In 2010, the Broadway theater formerly known as Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed in his honor.
George Furth (Book) has worked extensively as an actor, appearing in many feature films, including The Best Man, Oh God!, Doctor Detroit, Young Doctors in Love, The Man with Two Brains, Cannonball Run, Hooper, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Blazing Saddles, Shampoo, Sleeper, The New Interns and Myra Breckinridge; he has also acted in many major television shows. In addition to Company, he has written the Broadway shows The Act, Twigs, The Supporting Cast, Merrily We Roll Along, Precious Sons and Getting Away With Murder. George Furth was born in Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University; he did postgraduate work at Columbia University.
William Brown (Director) returns to Writers where he directed Doubt: A Parable, Port Authority, The Liar, A Little Night Music, Heartbreak House, Do the Hustle, Old Glory, As You Like It, Another Part of the Forest, Arms and the Man, Our Town, Rocket to the Moon, Misalliance, Incident at Vichy and The Glass Menagerie and appeared in Bus Stop, Nixon's Nixon, Candida, Private Lives, Dear Master and Butley. He directed and wrote (with Doug Frew) To Master the Art for TimeLine Theatre Company where he is an Associate Artist and most recently directed the world premiere of Wasteland by Susan Felder. He has directed four plays at Northlight Theatre, including his own adaptation with music of She Stoops to Conquer. He directed Skylight at Court Theatre and both Around the World in Eighty Days and Fallen Angels at Indiana Repertory Theatre. He has directed 17 productions at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Travesties, The Importance of Being Earnest, All My Sons, Troilus and Cressida, The Critic, Hay Fever, The Comedy of Errors, Night of the Iguana, Antony and Cleopatra, All's Well That Ends Well and The Matchmaker. Bill has been closely associated with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks since 1980. As an actor, Brown has appeared as Ebenezer Scrooge in Goodman Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol, and has been seen as Falstaff in Henry IV, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Play's The Thing, The Barber of Seville (Court Theatre), Light Up the Sky, Sunday in the Park with George, The Misanthrope, Wings (Goodman Theatre) and Lonely Planet (Northlight Theatre). Brown received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Director for The Liar and a Best Actor award for his portrayal of Henry Kissinger in Writers Theatre's Nixon's Nixon. He received a 2010 Spirit of Diversity Award from Actors' Equity Association and was named Chicagoan of the Year for Theater by the Chicago Tribune in 2003.
Tom Vendafreddo (Music Direction) previously music directed Sweet Charity for Writers Theatre. Other Chicago credits include West Side Story, Hairspray, A Christmas Story, Oklahoma!, LES MISERABLES, The Who's Tommy, Mary Poppins, In the Heights (Paramount Theatre), Pinocchio, On the Town, Godspell (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire), Road Show, Shrek: The Musical (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Spitfire Grill (Bohemian Theatre Ensemble). Select regional credits include Odyssey (The Old Globe), Rent (San Diego Musical Theatre), Forever Plaid (Chestnut Fine Arts Center) and The Wedding Singer (Red Mountain Theatre Company). In 2014, Tom became the founding artistic director of the Chicago Artists Chorale. Tom holds a B.M. from Eastman School of Music and a M.F.A. from San Diego State University. He is a proud member of both Actors' Equity Association and the American Federation of Musicians. Later this summer, he will star as "the Suspects" in Murder for Two (Mason Street Warehouse).
Brock Clawson (Choreographer) is an award-winning Chicago-based choreographer. He has worked with such prestigious companies as the Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and Giordano Dance Chicago. He is known for his athletic movement and emotionally sophisticated choreography. After a successful career as a dancer for various Chicago companies, Clawson's choreographic career developed during his time as a dancer and as the Artistic Associate for Thodos Dance Chicago. Brock's first work for Thodos Dance Chicago in 2005 marked the beginning of a series of four works over the next five years with this company and the establishment of Clawson as a distinguished choreographer. In recognition of these works, Clawson received the Dance Chicago 2005 Outstanding Choreography Award and the Cliff Dwellers Arts Organization's 2006 Choreographer of the Year Award. Clawson's work for this company was called "daring and athletic" and "a real stunner" by the Chicago Sun-Times. His works Along the Way and Nine were selected to be performed by Thodos Dance Chicago as a part of Dance for Life Chicago in 2006 and 2008. Clawson continued to create works for various other companies, including Dance Kaleidoscope, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, The Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and The Dance Center of Columbia College. Clawson's diverse choreographic style further developed with his creation of the world premiere Give and Take for Giordano Dance Chicago in 2009. Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times called this piece "a work of impressive polish, complexity and emotional sophistication." Giordano Dance Chicago selected Give and Take to represent their company at The Jazz Dance World Congress in 2009 and as a part of Dance for Life Chicago, 2010. Clawson's choreography was also featured in the Emmy Award winning PBS documentary for Dance for Life Chicago. In 2012, Clawson made his choreographic debut with the Milwaukee Ballet who commissioned him to create Crossing Ashland, a one-act contemporary ballet. Milwaukee Magazine referred to this work as a "physically charged and thoroughly modern take on the power of desire, both expressed and repressed." The Joffrey Ballet performed Crossing Ashland in its 2013-2014 season. In the winter of 2015, Brock choreographed The Who's TOMMY at the Paramount Theatre.
Ian Weinberger (Orchestral Reductions) is a New York-based music director. Broadway credits include Hamilton, The Book of Mormon and Kinky Boots. New York credits include A New Brain (Encores! Off-Center), Titanic (Lincoln Center) and Nobody Loves You. Regional credits include Titanic (Westchester Broadway Theatre, Hangar Theatre), My Fair Lady, Fanny Brice: America's Funny Girl (Asolo Repertory Theatre), Merrily We Roll Along and Pippin (The Music Theatre Company). His orchestrations of Titanic were heard last season in the Griffin
Theatre Company production at Theater Wit in Chicago, as well as in productions in London, Tokyo and Toronto. Broadway/Off-Broadway orchestras include Rocky, Side Show, Chaplin, Little Miss Sunshine and
Death Takes a Holiday. Television credits include Peter Pan Live and The Sound of Music Live (NBC). Proud native of Evanston and graduate of Northwestern University.
Bernard Balbot (Paul) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in She Loves Me. Chicago credits include You Can't Take It With You (Northlight Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks), Short Shakespeare! Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); We Are Proud to Present a Presentation... (Victory Gardens Theater); Rich and Famous (Jackalope Theatre Company); The Original Grease, Yeast Nation, It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (American Theater Company) and A Christmas Carol (Drury Lane Theatre). Regional credits include American Conservatory Theater, Asolo Repertory Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Television and film credits include Chicago Fire and Warrior. Mr. Balbot is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama and National Theater Institute's Moscow Art Theatre Program.
Jess Godwin (April) makes her Writers Theatre debut with Company. She couldn't be happier to be working with such a dream cast and production team! The past 10 years, she has jumped back and forth between theatre and the music industry. She can't decide which world she loves more, so she's currently working on paving her own path down the middle. Jess has been seen onstage in Shining Lives, Snapshots (Northlight Theatre), Gypsy, Sunday in the Park with George, Wonderful Life (Porchlight Music Theatre), Carousel (Court Theatre), Lady Madeline (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Wild Party, Songs for a New World and The Life (Bohemian Theatre Ensemble). As a songwriter, 2015 was a great year of music placements (Dance Moms, Michelle Phan), exciting duets (Kristin Chenoweth, Chloe Lukasiak) and DIY videos (Godwin Anthology). The biggest win of 2016 so far has been realizing that she finally fell into the group of friends that she always wanted. Jess is signed to Razor & Tie Direct, LLC, as a writer.
Allison Hendrix (Amy) makes her Writers Theatre debut with Company. She is Co-Artistic Director of Kokandy Productions, where her credits include Loving Repeating (Director, Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination-Direction), Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme in Assassins (Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination-Ensemble), Cathy in The Last Five Years (Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination-Principal Actress in a Musical) and The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Music Director). Other credits include Baker's Wife in Into the Woods (The Hypocrites), Music Director/"Jimmi" in Cities of Light (Piven Theatre Workshop), Associate Music Director/Conductor of Floyd Collins (Bohemian Theatre Ensemble), Music Director of Zanna Don't (Bailiwick Chicago) and Music Director of Floyd Collins (Towle Theatre, recipient of Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation Award for Best Vocal Direction). Allison also works as a vocal coach and accompanist for the Music Theatre program at Northwestern University.
James Earl Jones II (Harry) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in Sweet Charity. Regional credits include the title role in the world premiere of Carlyle (Goodman Theatre), Ben Weatherstaff in The Secret Garden, Man 1 in The Good Book, Crown (later taking over the title role of Porgy) in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, Sondheim on Sondheim (Porchlight Music Theatre), Shrek: The Musical (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Cymbeline (First Folio Theatre), Dreamgirls, The Full Monty, the world premiere of October Sky (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire), Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting (Lookingglass Theatre), The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (Court Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera), The Wiz (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination, Theatre at the Center), Aida, Spamalot, Ragtime (Drury Lane Theatre), A Civil War Christmas (Northlight Theatre), Annie Get Your Gun (Ravinia Festival), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Broadway In Chicago, Mason Street Warehouse), Dessa Rose (Apple Tree Theatre), Aspects of Love (Jedlicka Performing Arts Center), I Pagliacci (Intimate Opera), On the Town (New Classic Singers), The Gondoliers, Patience, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance. National tour credits include the first national tour of Tony Award-nominated The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. Television and film credits include Pokerhouse, Chicago Fire (NBC) and Empire (FOX).
PatRick Martin (David) makes his Writers Theatre debut in Company. Chicago credits include South Pacific (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Porchlight Music Theatre) and Merrily We Roll Along (The Music Theatre Company), as well as productions at Theatre at the Center, American Theater Company, Chicago Children's Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago and others. Regional credits include The Drowsy Chaperone and Promises, Promises (STAGES St. Louis) and HMS Pinafore (Actors Theatre of Louisville with The Hypocrites). Patrick is a proud graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music's B.F.A. Musical Theatre Program.
Christine Mild (Marta) makes her Writers Theatre debut in Company. Credits include Beaches (Drury Lane Theatre), Godspell, Evita, Sister Act, 9 to 5, Pirates of Penzance, LES MISERABLES (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire), Always, Patsy Cline (Peninsula Players, Florida Studio Theatre, Big Sky Repertory Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof (Paramount Theatre), Nunsense (Cape Playhouse, Theatre by the Sea, Official Cast Album), Stand-in/understudy for Patti LuPone in Annie Get Your Gun (Ravinia Festival), My Fair Lady (Asolo Repertory Theatre), Cats (Maine State Music Theatre), White Christmas (Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre) and Nunset Boulevard (national tour, starring Cindy Williams). Christine's most treasured credit is originating Galati/Flaherty's Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein (About Face Theatre, original cast album).
Thom Miller (Robert) makes his Writers Theatre debut in Company. Regional credits include Reasons To Be Pretty (Studio Theatre), The Last Five Years (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), Love's Labour's Lost and Richard II (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), Hair (Prince Music Theater), Macbeth, Cymbeline (Texas Shakespeare Festival), Mad Love, Boeing Boeing, Dancing at Lughnasa (Northern Stage), The Music Man and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (New London Barn Playhouse). Off-Broadway credits include Camp Wanatachi (La MaMa), Mental: The Musical (Cherry Lane Theatre) and Only a Lad (New York International Fringe Festival). Thom received a B.F.A. in Acting from North Carolina School of the Arts and an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Illinois.
Chelsea Morgan (Kathy) makes her Writers Theatre debut in Company. Chelsea was last seen in Paramount Theatre's production of Oklahoma. Other Chicago credits include LES MISERABLES (Paramount Theatre), Golden Boy, Gifts of the Magi (Porchlight Music Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Drury Lane Theatre) and Alice in Wonderland (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire). Chelsea obtained her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University. When she is not performing, she is also an avid painter and baker.
Lia Mortensen (Joanne) makes her Writers Theatre debut in Company. Chicago credits include Julianna in the Midwest premiere of The Other Place (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination-Principal Actress), Annapuma (Profiles Theatre); Dionysa in Pericles, Isabella in Measure for Measure, Helena in All's Well That Ends Well (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); An Inspector Calls, Night and Day (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company); Cymbeline (First Folio Theatre); Faith Healer (The Den Theatre); Becca in Rabbit Hole (Goodman Theatre); Big Meal (Joseph Jefferson Award-Ensemble, American Theater Company); Lynne Fontanne in Ten Chimneys, Lady Windermere's Fan, Sky Girls, Sally in Talley's Folly (Northlight Theatre); Closer, Faith Healer (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Fighting Words (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); Well, Nora in A Doll's House, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, The Illusion (Next Theatre Company); Jacob, Hiding Place, Spoon River Anthology, Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey (Provision Theater); Ghosts, All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Serious Money (Court Theatre); No Wake (Route 66 Theatre Company) and Merchild (16th Street Theater). Directing credits include Bus Stop, Quality of Life (The Den Theatre) and Jacob (Provision Theater). Film credits include Consumed (2015), Resurrecting McGinn(s) (2015), A View from Tall (2015), Imperfections (2015), Market Value (2015), Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) and Blink (1994). Television credits include Shameless (Showtime), Empire (FOX), Crisis (NBC), Easy Abby (Webisode), Chicago Fire (NBC), The Onion, Chicago Code (FOX), Family Practice, Early Edition (CBS) and Missing Persons (ABC). Lia is an ensemble member of Provision Theater and The Den Theatre.
Blair Robertson (Jenny) has appeared in Chicago in two seasons of The Snow Queen, My Children! My Africa! (Victory Gardens Theater), A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), Seussical (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), McMeekin Finds Out, High Fidelity (Route 66 Theatre Company), Kiss Me Kate, The Romeo and Juliet Story (Notre Dame Summer Shakespeare Festival), Mahal (Bailiwick Chicago) and The Arsonists (Strawdog Theatre Company). She has also appeared in The Games Afoot (New Theatre Restaurant, Kansas City) and in the film Contagion.
Alexis J. Rogers (Sarah) returns to Writers Theatre where she previously appeared in The Old Settler. Ms. Rogers made her playwright and directorial debut with A Nativity Story: More Than A Miracle (Congo Square Theatre Company). Other Chicago credits include Crowns, Ain't Misbehavin' (Goodman Theatre), The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, Spunk, The Piano Lesson (Court Theatre), Hairspray (Drury Lane Theatre), Hair (Paramount Theatre), Shrek: The Musical (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Dreamgirls (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire), Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, If All The World Were Paper (Chicago Children's Theatre), The Colored Museum, The Nativity, Seven Guitars (Congo Square Theatre Company), Godspell, The Wiz (Theatre at the Center), Lady Day At Emerson's Bar and Grill (2013 Joseph Jefferson Award, Black Excellence Award and Black Theater Alliance Award), Ragtime (Porchlight Music Theatre) and Don't Make Me Over-A Tribute To Dionne Warwick (Black Ensemble Theater). Regional credits include The Color Purple (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), Smokey Joe's Café and Weekend Comedy (New Theater Restaurant). Television credits include Chicago PD (NBC) and Chicago Code (FOX). She is an ensemble member of Congo Square Theatre Company and holds a B.F.A. from Howard University.
Gabriel Ruiz (Peter) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in Arcadia. Gabriel is a proud ensemble member of Teatro Vista. Chicago credits include Agamemnon (Court Theatre), City of Angels (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire), The Upstairs Concierge (Goodman Theatre), White Tie Ball (Teatro Vista), Creditors (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company), How Long Will I Cry?, The Motherfucker with the Hat (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Sita Ram (Chicago Children's Choir), After (Profiles Theatre), Working: The Musical (Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place), Richard III, Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Arabian Nights (Lookingglass Theatre Company). Regional credits include Native Gardens (Cincinnati Playhouse), Harvey (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them (Forward Theater Company) and Blood and Gifts (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts). He can also be seen as Dilip Singh in both seasons of Boss (Starz).
Patrick Sarb (Larry) makes his Writers Theatre debut in Company. Chicago credits include Cliff in Cabaret, Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof and the Purser in Anything Goes (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire), Kristian in Immediate Family (Martian Entertainment), Winston in Animal Crackers, Musician in The Beard of Avon (Goodman Theatre), Joe/Jerry in Grey Gardens (Northlight Theatre), Edwin in Unlock'd (Ravinia Festival), George in Winesburg, Ohio (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Charlie in Tintypes (American Theater Company), Huck in Big River (Apple Tree Theatre), Patrick in Undone, Synonymous in Xena Lives! (About Face Theatre), Short Shakespeare! Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Bertram in All's Well That Ends Well, Lysander/Flute in Midsummer Night's Dream and Lucentio in Taming of the Shrew (Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre). Regional credits include the Las Vegas and Broadway companies of Mamma Mia! Television credits include Shameless and Chicago Fire. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Tiffany Scott (Susan) returns to Writers Theatre where she previously appeared in Hedda Gabler, Heartbreak House and A Little Night Music. Chicago credits include Carlyle (world premiere and New Stages 2014), A Christmas Carol, The Edward Albee Festival (Goodman Theatre), Sense and Sensibility, The Two Noble Kinsmen (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination-Supporting Actress), Short Shakespeare! The Comedy of Errors (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Beast on the Moon (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination-Principal Actress, Provision Theatre) and work with Court Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, TimeLine Theatre Company and others. Regional credits include Berkeley Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival and Utah Shakespearean Festival. Scott has spent four seasons at American Players Theatre, where her favorite roles include Regina Hubbard in Another Part of the Forest, Celia in As You Like It, Sorel Bliss in Hay Fever and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream.