TimeLine Theatre announces 2010-11 season

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“Our 14th season builds on the success and excitement of TimeLine’s past year,” says TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. “As we did with The History Boys and The Farnsworth Invention, we’ll feature the local premiere of a widely renowned play. We’ll present the first production of a brand-new script that we commissioned. And we will dig into Chicago’s past for a revival of one of our town’s most fun and beloved tales. Plus we will soon be announcing a fourth production. It’s a big, ambitious season that will tell the stories of big, ambitious people, and we can’t wait to get started.”


The 2010-11 TimeLine Theatre Season



by Peter Moran
directed by Louis Contey
Chicago Premiere
August 21 – October 10, 2010
takes audiences inside the real-life 1977 television interviews between journalist David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. It has been three years since Nixon resigned from office in disgrace. The Watergate scandal is still on the minds of many, but the former commander-in-chief has yet to break his silence about his role in those events. Now Nixon has agreed to be interviewed by the up-and-coming British broadcaster David Frost. Behind-the-scenes it’s a battle of egos for the upper hand in controlling history, but as the cameras roll, the world is riveted by a remarkably honest exchange between one man who has lost everything and another with everything to gain.


Mastering the Art
by William Brown and Doug Frew
directed by
William Brown
World Premiere
October 30 – December 19, 2010
  Commissioned by TimeLine Theatre Company in 2008 and developed here in 2010, Mastering The Art is a look at the lives of Julia and Paul Child as they meet, fall in love and embark on a transatlantic journey of discovery together. Visiting pivotal moments in their lives — from the table in France where Julia fell in love with food, wine and Paul, to the table in their home where Julia recreated everything she learned in cooking class, to an interrogation room where Paul was grilled by U.S. agents about alleged Communist contacts — this play unfolds the true story of a larger-than-life culinary icon as she and her husband struggle to find themselves as Americans abroad. Mastering the Art marks the first production commissioned by TimeLine to be produced on the company’s stage. The development of Mastering the Art has been partially supported by The Dramatists Guild Fund.


Play #3 – TBA (Jan 22 – March 20, 2011)


The Front Page
by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
directed by Nick Bowling
April 16 – June 12, 2011
  The Front Page is a 1920’s classic Chicago comedy often considered responsible for defining the newspaper business. Drawn from Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s careers as journalists in Chicago, the play takes you inside the press room at Chicago’s Criminal Courts Building as a group of reporters cover a controversial execution and uncover the rampant corruption, scandal and hi-jinx associated with Chicago politics and journalism. TimeLine is thrilled to revive a quintessential Chicago classic and to highlight for audiences the wealth of local history embedded in this script.

Casting for all productions in TimeLine’s 2010-11 season is still to be determined.

TimeLine Theatre’s FlexPass subscription is an affordable, flexible and convenient option for Chicago theater-goers. Four-admission Anytime ($122) and Weekday ($90) FlexPasses are available. All FlexPasses offer up to 20% off regular ticket prices, the convenience of choosing a date for each show, the flexibility to choose when to use admissions, an easy reservation process, unlimited exchange privileges, TimeLine’s Backstory magazine provided in advance, discounts on additional tickets and with neighborhood partners, and access to exclusive news and events. To purchase and for more information, call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit timelinetheatre.com.

Performances take place at TimeLine’s home at 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago, near the corner of Wellington and Broadway in the Lakeview East neighborhood. Four-admission FlexPass Subscriptions are available for $90 – $122. For more information call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit timelinetheatre.com.

About TimeLine
Founded in April 1997, TimeLine Theatre’s mission is to present stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues. During its first 13 seasons, TimeLine has presented 43 productions, including six world premieres and 12 Chicago premieres. Recipient of the 2006 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the 2009 Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 42 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production seven times.


Nick Bowling (Director, The Front Page) was the founding artistic director and is now a Company member of TimeLine Theatre. He is the recipient of an Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Direction (The History Boys at TimeLine) and four Non-Equity Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (Fiorello!, This Happy Breed and The Crucible at TimeLine, Another Part of the Forest at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for Hauptmann and The Lion in Winter at TimeLine and for Closer Than Ever at Porchlight Music Theatre. Recent credits at TimeLine include When She Danced, Not Enough Air and Fiorello!. Other Chicago credits include Writers’ Theatre’s Bach at Leipzig, Shattered Globe Theatre’s Time of the Cuckoo and Frozen Assets, Rivendell Theatre’s Factory Girls and Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s Angels in America, among others. He is currently directing the Chicago premiere of Aaron Sorkin’s The Farnsworth Invention at TimeLine.

William Brown (Playwright and Director, Mastering the Art) returns to TimeLine where he previously directed Not About Nightingales (Non-Equity Jeff Awards – Outstanding Production and Direction) and the Chicago premieres of Halcyon Days and Paragon Springs. He recently directed the world premiere of Brett Neveu’s Old Glory at Writers’ Theatre, where he has directed many other productions, including As You Like It, Another Part of the Forest and Our Town. At Northlight Theatre he directed his own adaptation with original music of She Stoops to Conquer (After Dark Award). He has directed numerous productions at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and is the Associate Artistic Director of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. He directs A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre and recently made his Drury Lane Oakbrook directing debut with Curtains. Brown received an Equity Jeff Award for Actor in a Principal Role for his portrayal of Henry Kissinger in Nixon’s Nixon and the Chicago Tribune named him Chicagoan of the Year for Theatre.

Louis Contey (Director, Frost/Nixon) is an Associate Artist at TimeLine. He received a Non-Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Direction of Awake and Sing! and a Non-Equity Jeff Award nomination for It’s All True, both at TimeLine. Other TimeLine productions include A House With No Walls, The General from America and Copenhagen. He has directed more than 60 plays, among them Requiem for a Heavyweight, A View from the Bridge, A Streetcar Named Desire, All My Sons, Rocket to the Moon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Judgment at Nuremberg and Meet John Doe. He is an 11-time Jeff Award nominee and has received seven Non-Equity Jeff Awards. Contey has worked at The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Theatre at the Center, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Shattered Globe Theatre, Provision Theatre, Eclipse Theatre and American Theater Company, among others. He received his M.F.A. in directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University, where he is currently an adjunct instructor.

Doug Frew (Playwright, Mastering the Art) is a graduate of Northwestern University and has been a freelance writer in Chicago for many years. Works written with his late partner Patti McKenny include the musicals Becoming George (composer Linda Eisenstein); 90 North (composer Daniel Sticco), winner of ASCAP’s Outstanding New Musical Award and inaugural production of ASCAP’s “In the Works” new musicals program at the Kennedy Center in 2000; the lyrics for She Stoops to Conquer (adapted by William Brown, composer Andrew Hansen); the play Lady Lovelace’s Objection; and the revue Get Funny or You’re Fired. He has written special material for many revues, cabaret acts and theatre benefits. As a writer and creative director in corporate communications he has written and directed songs, sketches, videos, speeches and entire musical comedies in praise of everything from tractors to hamburgers to all manner of pharmaceutical products. He was for several seasons a regular contributor to Garrison Keillor’s radio program “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Ben Hecht (Playwright, The Front Page) was an American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright and novelist who during his prolific career is credited with writing more than 70 films, 35 books and numerous other works. Called “one of the most successful screenwriters in the history of motion pictures,” Hecht was the first to receive an Academy Award for Original Screenplay, for Underworld in 1927. Films that he wrote or worked on include many of the great classics, including Scarface, Twentieth Century, Stagecoach, Some Like It Hot, Gone with the Wind, His Girl Friday, Notorious, Angels Over Broadway and Mutiny on the Bounty, among others. He began his career as a journalist in Chicago, writing for the Chicago Journal and later the Chicago Daily News. It was from these early experiences that Hecht drew inspiration for The Front Page. Other works include the books 1001 Afternoons in Chicago, Erik Dorn and his autobiography A Child of the Century. Hecht died in 1964, at the age of 70.

Charles MacArthur (Playwright, The Front Page) was an American playwright and screenwriter best known for his collaboration with Ben Hecht on plays such as Ladies and Gentemen, Twentieth Century and The Front Page. Like Hecht, he spent part of his career as a journalist, including at the City News Bureau of Chicago. With Edward Sheldon, he also co-wrote the play Lulu Belle. His credits as a screenwriter include Wuthering Heights, Gunga Din, Angels with Dirty Faces and Barbary Coast, among others. MacArthur was married to the stage and screen actress Helen Hayes from 1928 until his death in 1956.

Peter Morgan (Playwright, Frost/Nixon) is British playwright/screenwriter whose uncanny ability to capture history’s most notable leaders has earned him both critical acclaim and numerous awards. Morgan’s credits include screenplays of The Deal, The Queen, The Last King of Scotland, Longford, The Special Relationship and The Other Boleyn Girl, and both the play script and screenplay of Frost/Nixon. Upcoming projects include writing the screenplay for the supernatural thriller Hereafter, being directed by Clint Eastwood, and being co-writer of the 23rd James Bond film.

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