Writers Theatre Presents A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN

Writers Theatre Presents A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, presents A Moon for the Misbegotten, written by Eugene O'Neill and directed by WT Resident Director William Brown. A Moon for the Misbegotten runs February 7 - March 18, 2018 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. The Press Opening is Wednesday, February 14 at 7:30 p.m.

In 1920s rural Connecticut, Phil Hogan cobbles together a living on rented farmland that he hopes to someday own outright, when his landlord Jim Tyrone comes into his inheritance. Hogan has driven away his three sons, but his towering daughter Josie understands her father and can hold her own. When the two learn that the land may be sold out from under them, they concoct a plan to save it that ultimately reveals the secret desires that two lonely souls have kept hidden for years.

This bittersweet elegy from four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Nobel laureate Eugene O'Neill offers a moving and powerful exploration of humanity at its basest and most beautiful. Directed by WT Resident Director William Brown (Company, Doubt: A Parable, The Liar, A Little Night Music and many more), this soaring powerhouse of a play is simultaneously intimate and epic, touching on themes of desire, family and the things we sacrifice for those we love.

"We're all excited to be exploring Eugene O'Neil for the first time in our 26-year history," said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. "Bill Brown has articulated such a beautiful, passionate, personal and clear vision for the piece. At Writers, it is our mission to take classics down from the shelf and dust them off a breathe new life into them. A. Smith, Bethany Thomas and Jim DeVita (in fact the whole cast) are some of the finest actors in the city and therefore the country. They bring original and refreshing voices to the conversation about the play and their endless reservoirs of creativity and emotional sophistication will make for a compelling take on the narrative. Furthermore, Bill's design team has created a wonderful connection between intimate and epic in the beautiful Nichols Theatre. The lives of these disenfranchised characters demand such an intimate and empathic engagement while their emotional turmoil lives at an epic scale. Lean forward and engage!"

The cast includes: Jim DeVita (James Tyrone, Jr.), Eric Parks (T. Stedman Harder), Cage Sebastian Pierre (Mike Hogan), A.C. Smith (Phil Hogan) and Bethany Thomas (Josie Hogan).

The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic), Rachel Anne Healy (costumes), Jesse Klug (lighting), Andrew Hansen (sound), Regina Victor (dramaturg), Elizabeth Laidlaw (violence & intimacy director) and Karen Janes Woditsch (assistant director). The production stage manager is David Castellanos.

Tickets are priced $35 - $80. Subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased online at www.writerstheatre.org, by phone at 847-242-6000 or in person at the box office at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe.

Eugene O'Neill (Playwright) began writing for the stage early in the 20th century; the American theatre was dominated by vaudeville and romantic melodramas. Influenced by Strindberg, Ibsen and other European playwrights, O'Neill vowed to create a theatre in America, stripped of false sentimentality, which would explore the deepest stirrings of the human spirit. In 1914, he wrote: "I want to be an artist or nothing." During the 1920s, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for three of his plays-Beyond the Horizon, Anna Christie and Strange Interlude. Other popular successes, including The Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape, Desire Under the Elms, The Great God Brown and Mourning Becomes Electra, brought him international acclaim. In 1936, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature-the only American playwright to be so honored. O'Neill experimented with new dramatic techniques and dared tackle such controversial issues as interracial marriage, the equality of the sexes, the power of the unconscious mind, and the hold of materialism on the American soul. In each of his plays, he sought to reveal the mysterious forces "behind life" which shape human destiny. Three of his final works, written at Tao House, tower over the others: The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey into Night and A Moon for the Misbegotten. These autobiographical plays portray, with "faithful realism," the haunting figures of his father, mother and brother who loom in the background of most of his other plays. He was awarded a fourth Pulitzer Prize, posthumously, in 1956 for Long Day's Journey into Night. In a career which spanned three decades, Eugene O'Neill changed the American theatre forever.

William Brown (Director) returns to Writers where he previously directed Company, 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. As an actor he appeared in Writers Theatre productions of Bus Stop, Nixon's Nixon, Candida, Private Lives, Dear Master, and Butley. Bill has directed 17 productions at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, including Three Sisters, King Lear, 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, You Never Can Tell and The Matchmaker. 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 Susan Felder's Wasteland. He has directed four plays at Northlight, including his own adaptation with music of She Stoops to Conquers. He directed Skylight at Court Theatre and at Indiana Rep, Around the World in Eighty Days and Fallen Angels. Recently he directed Singing in the Rain at Marriott Lincolnshire. He is the Associate Artistic Director of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, where he has directed and acted since 1980. He regularly teaches and directs at universities across the country, most recently University of Houston, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern. As an actor Brown has appeared in over a hundred productions. He appeared as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre where he also appeared in Light up the Sky, Sunday in the Park with George, The Misanthrope and Wings. At Court Theatre, he appeared as Falstaff in Henry IV, Jack in The Importance of Being Earnest and Almady in The Play's The Thing. He created the role of Jody in Steven Dietz's Lonely Planet (Northlight Theatre). Brown received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Director for The Liar (Writers Theatre) and a Best Actor award for his portrayal of Henry Kissinger in Nixon's Nixon (Writers Theatre). He received a 2010 Spirit of Diversity Award from Actors' Equity Association and was named Chicagoan of the Year for Theatre by the Chicago Tribune in 2003.

Jim DeVita (James Tyrone, Jr.) is a native of Long Island, NY, an author, actor and theater director. Jim is primarily based in Wisconsin where he has been a core-company member of American Players Theater (APT) for twenty-three years. Some directing credits include Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Gift of the Magi, The Desert Queen and Cyrano de Bergerac. Recent acting credits Eddie in A View from the Bridge (APT), Poet in An Iliad (Milwaukee Reperatory, APT) and Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons (ACT Theater). Along with his novels, A Winsome Murder, The Silenced and Blue, Jim has also worked extensively as a playwright. Some of his adult plays include Learning to Stay, Christmas in Babylon, Gift of the Magi (musical adaptation), In Acting Shakespeare, The Desert Queen (the life of Gertrude Bell), Dickens in America and a new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac. Jim has also worked for many years as a playwright for young audiences. His work in the field has been acknowledged with The Distinguished Play Award from The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), The Intellectual Freedom Award and The AATE honored his body of work with the Charlotte B. Chorpenning Award. Jim's education began as a first mate on the charter boat JIB VII out of Captree Boat Basin, NY. He then studied theater at Suffolk County Community College, Long Island, and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He also attended Madison Area Technical College where he was licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician. Jim is a member of The Dramatists Guild and Actors Equity Association, and a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Fiction.

Eric Parks (T. Stedman Harder) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in As You Like It. He has worked in Chicago at Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Northlight Theater and Drury Lane Oakbrook. Regionally he has worked with American Players Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theater, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival and The Utah Shakespearean Festival. Eric holds a BFA from Pacific Lutheran University and an MFA from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

Cage Sebastian Pierre (Mike Hogan) has appeared in Chicago in Short Shakes! Romeo and Juliet at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. His upcoming credits include Macbeth at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Regional credits include American Players Theatre. Mr. Pierre received his BFA from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program.

A.C. Smith (Phil Hogan) returns to Writers Theatre where he previously appeared in East Texas Hot Links. In Chicago, Smith considers the Court Theatre to be his home where he has worked for the past eight years or so in productions ranging from Moliere to the great August Wilson and a host of other classic works. Smith received the Joseph Jefferson Award for his portrayal of Troy Maxson in Court Theatre's production of Fences. Regional credits include Clarence Brown Theatre (Knoxville, TN), Portland Stage Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Peninsula Players Theatre and The Black Rep, where he has been a company member for 21 years and is a nine-time Woodie King, Jr. Award winner. National tour credits include The Piano Lesson directed by Lloyd Richards. Off-Broadway credits include the title role in Jelly Belly (Audelco Award Nomination-New Federal Theatre). Smith has appeared on film, television, radio, voice-over, commercials and in Ebony and Jet magazines.

Bethany Thomas (Josie Hogan) returns to Writers Theatre where she previously appeared in She Loves Me. A Chicago-based actor and singer, her credits include Marry Me A Little, Into The Woods, Nine, In Trousers (Porchlight Music Theater), The Tempest (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Porgy and Bess (Court Theatre), Hairspray, Charlotte's Web (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Hair (Paramount Theatre), Fiorello! (TimeLine Theatre) also work with Second City, About Face Theatre, The Inconvenience, Theo Ubique, Congo Square, Theatre at the Center, Marriott Lincolnshire, Hell In A Handbag and American Theater Company. Regional credits include Iphigenia In Aulis (Getty Villa), The Color Purple, Ain't Misbehavin', Ragtime, Man Of La Mancha, A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Reparatory Theatre) and Little Shop of Horrors (Geva Theatre). Bethany appeared in the second seasons of Empire (FOX) and You're So Talented (OpenTV). She is the proud recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Award, an After Dark Award and a Black Theatre Alliance Award. As a singer/songwriter, Bethany is a regular contributor at Salonathon and The Paper Machete, and has done several performance residencies at The Hideout and Steppenwolf's LookOut series. She's done concerts for WBEZ, WFMT, WTTW and the Chicago Humanities Festival, and was a featured local artist in Renee Fleming's Chicago Voices Project at the Lyric Opera. Most recently, she's been touring the country as one quarter of the alt-country project on Langford's Four Lost Souls, (self-titled album out on Bloodshot Records) and she released an EP of her own music called First.

For 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called "America's No. 1 theatre company" by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry-providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues.

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home-a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre's neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at Facebook.com/WritersTheatre or follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter. For more information, visit www.writerstheatre.org.

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