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Lifeline Theatre presents the world premiere of Her Majesty’s Will, adapted by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric (Non-Equity Jeff Awards: New Adaptation, The Island of Dr. Moreau and Neverwhere), and directed by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Chris Hainsworth, based on the 2013 novel by Chicago-based author/actor/fight choreographer (and Rogers Park resident) David Blixt, who will design the violence for the production.

Young William Shakespeare is hiding from the law in rural Lancashire, languishing as a simple school master. Christopher Marlowe is living the high life as a spy for the Crown. When a dastardly plot to assassinate the Queen draws these two unforgettable wits together, Will is swept up in a world of intrigue, treachery, and mayhem in an adventure that will define the rest of his life – if he can only manage to save Her Majesty. An irreverent comedy that imagines Shakespeare’s “lost years” as a rousing romp through the streets and across the stages of Elizabethan London. The production runs two and a half hours with one intermission. The novel will be on sale in the lobby.

Her Majesty’s Will runs May 26 – July 16 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. (free parking and shuttle; see below). Press opening is Sunday, June 4 at 4 p.m. Opening night is Tuesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. (Previews are Fridays, May 26 and June 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, May 27 and June 3 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, May 28 at 4 p.m.) Regular performance times (June 8 – July 16) are Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 4 p.m. Ticket prices are $40 for regular single tickets, $30 for active and retired military personnel (with ID), $30 for seniors, $20 for students (with ID), $20 for rush tickets (available half hour before show time, subject to availability), and $20 for previews. Group rate for 12 or more is available upon request. Tickets may be purchased at the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, or by visiting www.lifelinetheatre.com.

Accessible Performances: The Saturday, June 17, 4 p.m. performance will feature open captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The Saturday, June 24, 4 p.m. performance will feature a pre-show touch tour of the set at 2:30 p.m. and live audio description for patrons who are blind or have low vision. For more information about Lifeline’s accessibility services, please contact Accessibility Coordinator Erica Foster at 773.761.4477 x703 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The complete cast and production team for Her Majesty’s Will includes:

CAST: Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Peter Greenberg (Robert Greene); with guest artists Don Bender (Sir Francis Walsingham), Bryan Bosque (Christopher Marlowe), Heather Chrisler (Chorus, Helena of Snakenborg, Emily Ball), Dan Cobbler (Dick Tarlton, Sir Thomas Lucy), Javier Ferreira (William Shakespeare), LaQuin Groves (John Savage), Martel Manning (John Lyly), and Mike Ooi (Cutting Ball). With understudies Justin Harner, Maggie Patchett, and Cole Simon. 

PRODUCTION TEAM: Lifeline Theatre ensemble members Aly Renee Amidei (Costume Designer), Chris Hainsworth (Director), and Robert Kauzlaric (Adaptor); with guest artists David Blixt (Fight Choreographer), Diane D. Fairchild (Lighting Designer), Morgan Gire (Assistant Stage Manager), Lavina Jadhwani (Casting Director), Eleanor Kahn (Scenic Designer), Jeffrey Levin (Original Music & Sound Designer), Alec Long (Properties Designer), Jennifer McClendon (Production Manager), Caitlin McManus (Assistant Director), Annaliese McSweeney (Dramaturg), Sam Moryoussef (Master Electrician/AV Supervisor), Kate Reed (Stage Manager), Sarah Scanlon (Assistant Director), and Joe Schermoly (Technical Director).

Lifeline Theatre presents Her Majesty’s Will, running May 26 – July 16 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. (free parking and shuttle; see below). Opening night is Tuesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. (Previews are Fridays, May 26 and June 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, May 27 and June 3 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, May 28 at 4 p.m.) Regular performance times (June 8 – July 16) are Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 4 p.m. Ticket prices are $40 for regular single tickets, $30 for active and retired military personnel (with ID), $30 for seniors, $20 for students (with ID), $20 for rush tickets (available half hour before show time, subject to availability), and $20 for previews. Group rate for 12 or more is available upon request. Tickets may be purchased at the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, or by visiting www.lifelinetheatre.com.

Lifeline Theatre is accessible by CTA (Red Line Morse stop/busses) and free parking is available at the Field School parking lot (7019 N. Ashland St., entrance on Greenleaf between Ashland and Greenview) with free shuttle service before and after the show. Street parking is also available. Lifeline is accessible to wheelchair users and visitors who need to avoid stairs.

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Now in its 34th season, Lifeline Theatre is driven by a passion for story. Our ensemble process supports writers in the development of literary adaptations and new work, and our theatrical and educational programs foster a lifelong engagement with literature and the arts. A cultural anchor of Rogers Park, we are committed to deepening our connection to an ever-growing family of artists and audiences, both near and far. Lifeline Theatre – Big Stories, Up Close.

Lifeline Theatre’s programs are partially supported by Alphawood Foundation; A.R.T League Inc.; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Chicago CityArts, a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; The Chicago Community Trust: Persons with Disability Fund; The Common Cup; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; FGMK LLC; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; The Grover Hermann Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities Council; Lagunitas Brewing Co. Community Grant Program; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; The PAV Grant Fund; The Polk Bros. Foundation; Poubelle Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of Renaissance Charitable Foundation; Rogers Park Social; S&C Electric Company Fund; The Shubert Foundation; and the annual support of businesses and individuals.

 

 

Published in Upcoming Theatre

Lifeline Theatre is currently bringing to life the 1963 Madeline L’Engle award-winning, sci-fi novel for young adults, A Wrinkle in Time. It is the first in a series of five books that follow the escapades of Meg Murray, a thirteen-year-old student whom her teachers see as stubborn and difficult. The story follows Meg’s adventure as she and her younger brother, Charles Wallace (a prodigy child genius), search through space and time for their missing scientist father who has vanished after working on a mysterious project called a tesseract. It is during this pursuit that Meg and Charles Wallace, along with along with school friend, Calvin O’Keefe, run into a myriad of characters that get stranger and stranger along the way. 

Before long they find out their true enemy is a bodiless brain called IT, who controls the planet Camazotz and communicates through The Man with Red Eyes. IT’s mission is to robotize everyone by removing their free will. At the same time, another evil force lurks throughout the universe that is only known as The Black Thing. A tall order for the trio of children to conquer on their own, help comes to them in the form of the three Mrs. W’s – Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which – each of whom offers a special power, or insight, in their fight to save their father. It is an exploit where the impossible becomes possible and courage and love proves to be the strongest force of all.

Lifeline brought this classic story to the stage first in 1990 based on the adaptation of James Sie. It returned in 1998 and is back today, nineteen years later. Probably not the easiest story to adapt for the stage, Lifeline does a remarkable job in creating a futuristic world full of color and space age lighting as they do in creatively staging special effects such as flying through time. The set is skillfully designed to give us the appearance of being lost in the dark vastness when needed, or to find ourselves light years away on a strange planet in a strange universe. Finely-crafted original costumes and hi-tech sound effects sprinkle the final touches in fashioning this ultramodern world we are thrust into for two hours. 

Meg Murray needs an exterior that is defiant and bold, though underneath she is smart, confident and caring. Jamie Cahill is able to capture these qualities to give us a believable Meg, for without the play does not work. Cahill is bratty when called for, rebelliously shouting to get her way, she is appropriately emotional as she longs for her father and she is convincing as a teen who would be curious and astonished as a journey such as hers unfolds. 

Trent Davis took on the role of Charles Wallace for the play’s opener, taking turns during its run with Davu Smith also cast for the role. Davis exhibits some mature acting chops for such a young man, impressing the audience with his fitting facial expressions, natural line delivery and comic timing. Rounding out the well-cast triad of adventurous kids is Glenn Obrero as Calvin O’Keefe, who is fun to watch as the eldest of the three, kind of taking on a big brother role. 

Though his role wasn’t as expanded as many others in this production, Michael McKeogh still leaves an impression as Meg and Charles Wallace’s father, persuasively revealing the father-like qualities any kid would want to have in their own parents. Each of the three Mrs. W’s adds their own spark whether by oddities in their own character or in humorous musings with each other or the children - Mrs. Whatsit (Madeline Pell), Mrs. Who (Javier Ferreira) and Mrs. Which (Carmen Molina). Slightly changing from the novel, The Man with Red Eyes becomes known simply as Red Eyes, and is fiercely played by Naima Hebrail who towers over the stage and crowd with her commanding voice and tremendous presence. 

If unfamiliar with Madeline L’Engle’s novel, the stage version is easy enough to follow and enjoy as a new adventure. However, this production might be a bit more special for those who have read the book as we get to see an imaginative recreation of a story many of us have held so close to our hearts as young readers opened up to a new world.

Family-friendly and keenly directed by Elise Kauzlaric, A Wrinkle in Time is a true time traveling quest for some of us to fondly reminisce and for some of us to experience its magic for the first time. A Wrinkle in Time is being performed at Lifeline Theatre through April 9th. For more show information, click here.    

*Extended through April 23rd       

  

 

Published in Theatre in Review

CHICAGO – Lifeline Theatre Artistic Director Dorothy Milne and former Live Bait Theater Artistic Director Sharon Evans are pleased to announce the 20th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival, running January 13–29, 2017. Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline brings 15 storytelling collectives and numerous solo performers together for a three-week, multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories.

The 2017 Fillet of Solo festival will perform January 13-29, 2017, in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood at Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.) and Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.). Free parking and shuttle available. Performance times are Fridays at 7 and 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 4, 5:30, 7, and 8:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 4 and 5:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. Sunday performances only at Heartland Studio). Ticket prices are $10 for regular single tickets, and $50 for a Festival Pass (allows admission to any performance). Tickets may be purchased at the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, or by visiting www.lifelinetheatre.com.

FEATURED PERFORMERS

The 20th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival will feature the work of:

·         GayCo (gayco.com): An ensemble that specializes in creating sketch-comedy revues based on gay/lesbian themes. Since starting as a lesbigay focused workshop at the Second City Training Center in 1996, they’ve performed for massive, enthusiastic, sexy gay audiences in Chicago and across the country.
·         GeNarrations (goodmantheatre.org/Engage-Learn/education-programs/GeNarrations/)A personal narrative story performance workshop hosted at Goodman and in senior centers around Chicago.
·         the kates (thekates.org): An all-female comedy showcase that provides an intimate night of comedy dedicated to showcasing talented and hilarious female-identified performers by creating inclusive and positive environments. Artists are encouraged to express their comic point of view in unique and non-apologetic ways - proving that women are equal in the eyes of comedy.
·         The Lifeline Storytelling Project (lifelinestorytellingproject.com): The Lifeline Storytelling Project produces monthly live music & storytelling events designed to develop and showcase young artists affiliated with Lifeline Theatre.
·         Loose Chicks (theloosechicks.com): Loose Chicks is a collection of courageous women who share experiences that most women keep to themselves. Each show features six exceptional writers and performers who allow themselves to be vulnerable as they share with uncommon honesty.
·         OUTspoken (outspokenchicago.com): OUTspoken! is comprised of storytellers who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or queer recalling true personal events. Stories are often funny, heartfelt, and sometimes historically significant. 
·         Sappho’s Salon (facebook.com/sapphossalon2): A monthly performance salon at Chicago's Women and Children First bookstore featuring expressions of queerness, gender and feminism.
·         Serving the Sentence (facebook.com/servingthesentencechicago): Different storytellers take the same first sentence -- each in their own direction. At the end of the show, a new sentence is drawn that the next show's storytellers will embark from!
·         Stir-Friday Night! (stirfridaynight.org): One of the country’s premier Asian-American comedy troupes, Stir-Friday Night! is made up of an ensemble of Asian-American actors/writers that travel the nation performing improv and sketch shows that educate all audiences, from an Asian-American perspective.
·         The Stoop (facebook.com/StoopStyleStories): The Stoop is an off book (no notes/reading) storytelling show. Featured storytellers are given a theme. They take that theme and share a 7-10 minute story related to that theme. Hosted by Moth GrandSLAM champion Lily Be and Badass Clarence Browley. 

 Featured performers, continued:

·          Story Club (storyclubchicago.com): “We give you a mic and 8 minutes. You tell us a story.” Story Club is a non-fiction storytelling show. Story Club mixes the spontaneity  of an open mic with the experience of live theatre.  Each show has both featured performers and open mic performers.

·         Sweat Girls (sweatgirls.org): The Sweat Girls speak with honesty, authenticity and humor about the human condition as they’ve experienced it. They have been writing and performing storytelling shows in Chicago for over 20 years.
·         Tellin’ Tales Theatre, featuring Tekki Lomnicki (tellintalestheatre.org): Tellin' Tales Theatre builds community through story — adult solo performances as well as "Six Stories Up,” a mentoring program and show featuring kids and adults, with and without disabilities. Tekki Lomnicki is a solo performer, playwright, director and educator. 
·         That’s All She Wrote (thatsallshewrotechicago.com): Chicago's only live lit show held in a tattoo shop. They are a non-competitive venue for storytellers of all stripes, co-produced by Angela Benander and J.H. Palmer, who share the mic with a new lineup of readers on the second Sunday of every month at Great Lakes Tattoo.
·         You’re Being Ridiculous (yourebeingridiculous.com): “Good stories are better than good times!” A group of real people telling real funny stories about their lives with a theme as their guide. They laugh at themselves and with each other.
·         With solo performances by Nestor GomezKevin Krispin, and Annalise Raziq.
 

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

WEEK ONE (January 13-15):

 Friday, January 13

Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.)                   Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
7:00 p.m.      Story Club                                               7:00 p.m.         Lifeline Storytelling Project
8:30 p.m.      You’re Being Ridiculous                         8:30 p.m.         GayCo
 
Saturday, January 14
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.)                   Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
4:00 p.m.      Sweat Girls                                             4:00 p.m.         That’s All She Wrote
5:30 p.m.      The Stoop                                              5:30 p.m.         Stir-Friday Night!
7:00 p.m.      Annalise Raziq (“I Know A Place”)                      7:00 p.m.         OUTspoken
8:30 p.m.      Nestor Gomez (“Nestor Has Arrived:         8:30 p.m.         Kevin Krispin (“Invisible Now”)
                     Stories from the Front Seat”)
 
Sunday, January 15
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.)                   Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
4:00 p.m.      Tellin’ Tales Theatre/Tekki Lomnicki      4:00 p.m.         GeNarrations
                                                                                    5:30 p.m.         Serving the Sentence
WEEK TWO (January 20-22):
Friday, January 20
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.)                   Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
7:00 p.m.      the kates                                                 7:00 p.m.         Lifeline Storytelling Project
8:30 p.m.      You’re Being Ridiculous                         8:30 p.m.         GayCo
 
Saturday, January 21
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.)                   Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
4:00 p.m.      Sweat Girls                                             4:00 p.m.         That’s All She Wrote
5:30 p.m.      The Stoop                                              5:30 p.m.         Stir-Friday Night!
7:00 p.m.      Annalise Raziq (“I Know A Place”)                      7:00 p.m.         OUTspoken
8:30 p.m.      Nestor Gomez (“Nestor Has Arrived:         8:30 p.m.         Kevin Krispin (“Invisible Now”)
                     Stories from the Front Seat”)
 
Sunday, January 22
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.)                   Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
4:00 p.m.      Tellin’ Tales Theatre/Tekki Lomnicki      4:00 p.m.         GeNarrations
                                                                                    5:30 p.m.         Serving the Sentence
 
WEEK THREE (January 27-29):

                        

Friday, January 27
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.)                   Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
7:00 p.m.      the kates                                                 7:00 p.m.         Lifeline Storytelling Project
8:30 p.m.      You’re Being Ridiculous                         8:30 p.m.         GayCo
 
Saturday, January 28
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.)                   Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
4:00 p.m.      Sweat Girls                                             4:00 p.m.         That’s All She Wrote
5:30 p.m.      The Stoop                                              5:30 p.m.         Stir-Friday Night!
7:00 p.m.      Annalise Raziq (“I Know A Place”)                      7:00 p.m.         Loose Chicks
8:30 p.m.      Nestor Gomez (“Nestor Has Arrived:         8:30 p.m.         Kevin Krispin (“Invisible Now”)
                     Stories from the Front Seat”)
 
Sunday, January 29
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.)                   Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
4:00 p.m.      Tellin’ Tales Theatre/Tekki Lomnicki      4:00 p.m.         GeNarrations
                                                                                    5:30 p.m.         Sappho’s Salon
 

Lifeline Theatre presents the 20th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival, January 13-29, 2017, in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood at Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.) and Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.). Free parking and shuttle available. Performance times are Fridays at 7 and 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 4, 5:30, 7, and 8:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 4 and 5:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. Sunday performances only at Heartland Studio). Ticket prices are $10 for regular single tickets, and $50 for a Festival Pass (allows admission to any performance). Tickets may be purchased at the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, or by visiting www.lifelinetheatre.com.

 

#          #          #

 

Now in its 34th season, Lifeline Theatre is driven by a passion for story. Our ensemble process supports writers in the development of literary adaptations and new work, and our theatrical and educational programs foster a lifelong engagement with literature and the arts. A cultural anchor of Rogers Park, we are committed to deepening our connection to an ever-growing family of artists and audiences, both near and far. Lifeline Theatre – Big Stories, Up Close. 

 

Lifeline Theatre’s programs are partially supported by Alphawood Foundation; A.R.T League Inc.; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust: Persons with Disability Fund; The Common Cup; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; FGMK LLC; Flex Print, Inc.; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; The Grover Hermann Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; The Polk Bros. Foundation; Poubelle Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of Renaissance Charitable Foundation; Rogers Park Social; S&C Electric Company Fund; The Shubert Foundation; and the annual support of businesses and individuals.

Published in Theatre Reviews

I really enjoy seeing shows at Lifeline Theatre partly because they always have very cool and complex sets that they make the most of and partly because of the unique little touches they add to make the theatre more user-friendly, like a shuttle to take you to their free parking lot in a neighborhood where finding parking right before show time can be impossible.

I also like the way they put blankets on each seat in case you get chilly during the show! They also have the most reasonably priced snacks ever in a theatre where a soda or snack only costs one dollar instead of three for a bottle of water and five for a bag of trail mix like at the bigger theatres. All these details along with consistently quality productions make this a very welcoming theatre space to frequent as well!

“Soon I will Be Invincible” is based on the book by Austin Grossman and this dynamic production at Lifeline Theatre is no exception because set designers (Alan Donahue) and lighting (Becca Jeffords) have done a terrific job transforming the space into a multidimensional futuristic world with many visually exciting set, light and sound changes.

I thought the story would be more suited to young people and Comic Con nerds and in many ways the play was a comic book lover’s dream come true, but it also held a lot of interest for older playgoers in that it explored the psychological struggles of a team of superheroes who are past their prime and trying to make a comeback of sorts by saving the world once again from Dr. Impossible - played with a lot of great “evil” presence and humor by Phil Timberlake.

Fatale is a newbie to the superhero team, originally created by Dr. Impossible himself and is a replacement because one of their main members - Corefire- was missing in action and presumed dead. Fatale was played with great sensitivity and with a great singing voice by Christina Hall.

Fatale describes at length her sadness at not having an exciting and mythic “origin story” like the other super heroes. Fatale only remembers that she was in a car accident in Brazil and when she awoke had been implanted with a large numbers of bionic parts by Dr. Impossible. Fatale talks about the constant pain she is in from having all of these mismatched and unfixable, metal parts as part of her human/robotic clone body which I really think many of us older play goers also feel in our own bodies as we age and begin to lose our “superpowers” like running, playing certain sports and climbing stairs with ease, etc.

 Also, the whole theme of wanting to “save the world” and trying and failing to do so over and over again is a theme many theatre goers of my generation identify with.  Every day there is more news coverage of very real evil villains/people/ tyrants, but we as peaceful citizens with no apparent “superpowers” are thwarted from actually doing anything to help the victims around the world. Perhaps this is because of the “superpowers” to kill and destroy life that these criminals actually do have, including chemical warfare, heavy artillery, and now the prevalence of kidnapping, torture and rape (termed “child marriage” in third world countries), which is actually allowed by their judges and armed “police”.

I also enjoyed that the play introduces the element of magic as a power heretofore unrecognized by even the superheroes because it does not have the same clear destructive effects as a giant burning hot laser beam, for example.

In the end Fatale does help save the day and realizes that she is happy enough in the now moment to stop searching for her “origin story” and live amongst the superheroes with self-confidence and pride no matter whom she was originally created by or why.

I liked the songs in the play; I felt they really added a good flow and much more human and flowing emotional storytelling to what could have been an unpleasantly “robotic” and slightly stiff production in its execution.

I highly recommend this play for young and older viewers alike. I know that comic book enthusiasts will feel that they are seeing a rare treat created just for their enjoyment and others will appreciate the very important subtext in this play which is that you don’t have to be a successful “super heroine” twenty-four hours a day in order to feel good about yourself and whatever natural powers you do have for creating good in your life.

“Soon I will Be Invincible” is being performed at Lifeline Theatre through July 19th. For tickets and more information, visit www.lifelinetheatre.com.

Published in Theatre Reviews

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