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Northlight Theatre Continues 2016-17 Season with World Premiere of FACELESS

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Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, presents the World Premiere of Faceless, written by Selina Fillinger and directed by BJ Jones. Faceless runs January 26 - March 4, 2017 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie. The press opening is scheduled for Friday, February 3 at 8 pm.

Eighteen-year-old Susie Glenn is on trial for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism, and recent Harvard Law grad and practicing Muslim, Claire Fathi, has been brought on to prosecute. Though pitted against one another in the courtroom, these two young women are fighting a similar battle to defend their morals, motives and religious freedoms in this riveting and timely new drama.

"It's amazing how much more potent Selina Fillinger's play has become since I read the first draft over a year ago. The sense of anger, of fear, of dismay is palpable," comments BJ Jones. "Selina has captured a moment as timely as any of the other new works we have produced in the last few seasons. We are excited to give her fresh new voice and keen vision this opportunity here at Northlight."

The cast of Faceless includes Joe Dempsey (Alan Glenn), Susaan Jamshidi (Claire Fathi), Timothy Edward Kane (Scott Bader), Ross Lehman (Mark Arenberg) and Lindsay Stock (Susie Glenn).

The creative team includes John Culbert (Set Design), Izumi Inaba (Costume Design), Heather Gilbert (Lighting Design), Andre Pluess (Sound Design), and Stephan Mazurek (Projection Design). The stage manager is Rita Vreeland (Stage Manager).

Northlight's production of Faceless is supported in part by Bridgeview Bank, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Freddi Greenberg & Dan Pinkert, The National Endowment for the Arts, RATIO Architects, and Room & Board. Northlight has also been awarded a 2017 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The $20,000 grant will support this world premiere production of Faceless.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

BJ Jones (Director) is in his 19th season as Artistic Director of Northlight, where he commissioned and directed the world premieres of White Guy on the Bus, Chapatti, Stella & Lou, The Outgoing Tide (Jeff Nomination - Best Director), Better Late, and Rounding Third. Notably he has directed productions of Outside Mullingar, Grey Gardens, The Price (Jeff Nomination- Best Director), A Skull in Connemara, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. As a producer he has guided the world premieres of Shining Lives, The Last Five Years, The Gamester, and Studs Terkel's 'The Good War'. From Second City to Shakespeare, BJ has directed Pitmen Painters (Jeff Nomination - Best Director, TimeLine), A Number (Next), 100 Saints You Should Know (Steppenwolf), and The Dresser (Body Politic). Regional: Glengarry Glen Ross (Suzie Bass Nominee - Best Director, Atlanta's ALLIANCE THEATRE), Enchanted April (Asolo Theatre), and productions at Cherry Lane Theatre NY, Galway Arts Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, and Utah Shakespeare Festival. As a performer, Mr. Jones is a two-time Joseph Jefferson Award winner and has appeared at Northlight, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court, and other theatres throughout Chicago. Film/TV credits include The Fugitive, Body Double, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Early Edition, Cupid, and Turks, among others.

SELINA FILLINGER (Playwright) is a Chicago-based actress and playwright. She is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied playwriting under the instruction of Laura Schellhardt. Her original work includes The Armor Plays, Three Landings and a Fire Escape, and The Coho Salmon Pub & Grub. Selina was a two-time winning playwright in the university's Agnes Nixon Festival. Three Landings and a Fire Escape was awarded the 2015 Judith Barlow Prize and received a reading in New York under the direction of Kathleen Chalfant. Selina is one of three Chicago playwrights currently writing for Sideshow Theatre's Freshness Initiative: her play, Something Clean, will receive a staged reading this June. ?

Joe Dempsey (Alan Glenn) returns to Northlight where he has appeared in The Mousetrap, Inherit the Wind, and All in the Timing. More recently, he acted in Twist Your Dickens (The Second City at Goodman); Blues Skies Process (Goodman); and West Side Story (Paramount). Around Chicago, he has also appeared at Steppenwolf, Court, Lookingglass, Remy Bumppo, many others, and regionally at Milwaukee Rep, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Centerstage (Baltimore), and City Theatre (Pittsburgh). TV credits include E.R., Early Edition, What about Joan?, and Chicago Fire. He is an alum of The Second City National Touring Company and the Neo-Futurists, writing and performing in their 28-year signature show, Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind.

Susaan Jamshidi (Claire Fathi) recently traveled to London and Toronto to perform the solo show Oh My Sweet Land with Silk Road Rising. She was last seen in Chicago as Virginia in The Life of Galileo with Remy Bumppo. Other Chicago credits include Lookingglass, Victory Gardens, Theater Wit, 16th Street, Chicago Dramatists, The Gift, Sideshow (Jeff Award-Ensemble), Lifeline, Collaboraction, Erasing the Distance, Stage Left, Oracle, and The Inconvenience, with workshops and readings at Goodman and Steppenwolf. Regional credits include Arena Stage, Berkeley Rep, The Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Pittsburgh Public Theater. TV and film credits include Chicago PD and Sirens, as well as Cicero in Winter, The Wallet, and A Cadaver Christmas. Susaan received her MFA in acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University, has studied with The Second City, and is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.

Timothy Edward Kane (Scott Bader) returns to Northlight having previously appeared in Lost in Yonkers, The Miser and She Stoops to Conquer (After Dark Award). Other Chicago credits include: One Man Two Guvnors, An Iliad (Jeff Award), The Illusion, Wild Duck, Titus Andronicus, Uncle Vanya, The Romance Cycle, and Hamlet (Court); Blood and Gifts (TimeLine); Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Arms and the Man (Writers); The North Plan (Steppenwolf Garage) and fifteen productions at Chicago Shakespeare including the recent Tug of War: Civil Strife. He has appeared on Chicago Fire and received his BS from Ball State University and MFA from Northern Illinois University.

Ross Lehman (Mark Arenberg) returns to Northlight. He has appeared on Broadway in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Tempest, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Chicago credits include As You Like It, Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, King Lear (Chicago Shakespeare); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Waiting for Godot, and Stage Kiss (Goodman); The Man Who Came to Dinner (Steppenwolf); A Man of No Importance, The Dresser, directed by Dr. Mark Lococo (Apple Tree); Hamlet and Bach at Leipzig (Writers) and One Man, Two Guvnors (Court). He has received five Jeff Awards, two After Dark Awards, and a Laurence Olivier Award Nomination. Last year, Ross was an "Artist in Residence" in Loyola's Department of Fine and Performing Arts.

LINDSAY STOCK (Susie Glenn) is making her Northlight debut. Chicago credits include Soup, Stews, and Casseroles 1976 (Goodman); Sketchbook 15 (Collaboraction); EL Stories and Art on Track (Waltzing Mechanics) as well as staged readings and workshops with The Gift Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and Pride Films and Plays. Additionally, she has appeared on NBC's Chicago PD and is represented by Big Mouth Talent.

The Box Office is located at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, in Skokie. Box Office hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm, and Saturdays 12:00pm-5:00pm. On performance days, the box office hours are extended through showtime. The Box Office is closed on Sundays, except on performance days when it is open two hours prior to showtime.

Curtain times are: Tuesdays: 7:30pm (January 31 only); Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except February 22) and 7:30pm; Thursdays: 7:30pm; Fridays: 8:00pm; Saturdays: 2:30pm (except January 28) and 8:00pm; Sundays: 2:30pm and 7:00pm (January 29 and February 26 only)

Northlight is continuing its popular special event series in conjunction with each production. All events are free.

Backstage with BJ: Faceless

January 20 at 12:00 pm

at Northlight Theatre

9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL

Backstage with BJ is a mid-day discussion with Artistic Director BJ Jones, featuring special guest artists, actors, directors and designers, offering behind-the-scenes insight into each production while it is still in rehearsal. Backstage with BJ for Faceless will be held on January 20 at 12:00pm and will last approximately one hour. Reservations are required, 847.679.9501 x3605 or specialevents@northlight.org.

Interfaith Community Panel

Following the performance January 31 at 7:30 pm

at Northlight Theatre

9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL

?Religious leaders from the community will discuss the play from the perspectives of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Moderated by Birch Burghardt, Interfaith Action of Evanston, panelists are Rev. Doctor Michael Nabor of Second Baptist Church, Muhammad Saiduzzaman of Dar-us-sunnah Masjid and Community Center, and Rabbi Andrea London of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue.

Inside Look: Faceless

February 7 at 2:00pm

at Skokie Public Library

?5215 Oakton St, Skokie IL

Explore the cultural and political context of Faceless, as well as the creative process of a new play, through a discussion and Q&A session with artists related to the production.

Muslims on Stage and Screen
February 12, 6:00-8:00pm

at Morton Grove Muslim Education Center
8601 N. Menard Ave. Morton Grove, IL

A community discussion on the portrayal of Muslims in plays and films, and how those portrayals affect perceptions of Muslim-Americans. Panelists include Faceless playwright Selina Fillinger, Omer M. Mozaffar (Loyola University Chicago professor and Muslim Chaplain, and Hollywood film consultant), and one additional panelist TBA. Reservations are required: MCCInterfaithTeam@gmail.com

Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community.

Now in its 42nd season, the organization has mounted over 200 productions, including nearly 40 world premieres. Northlight has earned 198 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 34 Awards. As one of the area's premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.

Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from Allstate Insurance; the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Robert & Isabelle Bass Foundation; BMO Harris Bank; Henrietta Lange Burk Fund; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust; ComEd, An Exelon Company; The Davee Foundation; Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award; Evanston Community Foundation; Full Circle Foundation; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Melvoin Award for Playwriting; Modestus Bauer Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Niles Township; The Offield Family Foundation; The Pauls Foundation; Room & Board; Sanborn Family Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Sullivan Family Foundation; Tom Stringer Design Partners; Turner Construction; and the Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation.


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