Northwestern Theatre in April
Tickets available for ”The Exonerated” and National Theatre Live broadcast of “People”March 18, 2013 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- A powerful play that tells the true stories of six innocent former Death Row survivors and their efforts to rebuild their lives will launch the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University’s spring theater season.
Performances of Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s play, “The Exonerated,” which TIC is co-producing with Next Theatre Company, is presented in partnership with Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions. Directed by Northwestern alumna Cat Miller, the production opens April 19 and runs through May 5, at the Josephine Louis Theater. The opening night performance will include a post-show discussion and reception with acclaimed author Scott Turow, exoneree Juan Rivera and Northwestern University School of Law faculty member Jeffrey Urdangen, director of the Law School’s Center for Criminal Defense.
TIC also is hosting an April 22 one-night-only National Theatre Live broadcast of “People,” at the Josephine Louis Theater. The new staged comedy by award-winning writer Alan Bennett is directed by Nicholas Hytner and stars Olivier Award-winning actress Frances de la Tour, with whom Hytner worked on “The History Boys” and “The Habit of Art.”
Except where otherwise indicated, tickets for all productions may be purchased at www.tic.northwestern.edu or through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282.
Other events include an April 4 lecture by Carol Bleackley Sills presented in conjunction with “Viola Spolin: Improvisation and Intuition,” a Northwestern University Library exhibit running from April 1 through Aug. 16. Bleackley Sills was the long-time editor of Spolin’s highly influential books on improvisational theater techniques and was married to Paul Sills, Spolin’s son and co-founder of Chicago’s famed Second City theater. Multi-media performances of “La Gente de Papel,” presented by the School of Communication, will take place April 19 and 20.
A three-year construction project underway on the southeast end of the Northwestern University campus has closed Arts Circle Drive to traffic. Free parking for evening and weekend events remains available, but the project impacts handicapped parking and patrons requiring special access to Evanston campus theaters, as the parking structure is not accessible to patrons unable to climb stairs. For the most current information on the construction project and drop-off locations for patrons requiring special access to our theaters, visit www.tic.northwestern.edu/construction.
APRIL 2013 MAINSTAGE PRODUCTIONS
“The Exonerated,” 8 p.m. Friday, April 19; 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 20; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25; 8 p.m. Friday, April 26; 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2; 8 p.m. Friday, May 3; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Based on real interviews conducted by playwrights Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, “The Exonerated” follows six former Death Row prisoners whose convictions were reversed. From their trials and incarceration to their eventual release, this award-winning play uses the words of these innocent men and women as they share the stories of what they lost as a result of their wrongful convictions and how they are rebuilding their lives. Directed by Northwestern University alumna Cat Miller and co-produced with Next Theatre Company, “The Exonerated” will be staged at TIC in partnership with Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions and will feature a cast of professional and student artists. The opening night performance will include a post-show discussion and reception featuring “Presumed Innocent” author Scott Turow, exoneree Juan Rivera and Clinical Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Law School’s Center for Criminal Defense Jeffrey Urdangen. Proceeds from single ticket sales for this performance will benefit the center. Post-show discussions and talk-backs with the audience will follow each performance. This program is partially sponsored by a grant from the Evanston Community Foundation. The production is supported in part by a grant from the Alumnae of Northwestern University. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for seniors over 62 and Northwestern faculty and staff and educators; $10 for full-time students at door; or $5 for Northwestern students with advance purchase only. To purchase tickets by phone or for information on discounts for groups of eight or more, contact the TIC box office at (847) 491-7282. Tickets are also available online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.
NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE BROADCAST
National Theatre Live broadcast, “People,” a new play by Alan Bennett, directed by Nicholas Hytner, 7 p.m. Monday, April 22, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Experience the best of British theatre. Britain’s most celebrated comic playwright, Alan Bennett (“The History Boys,” “Habit of Art”) debuts his hilarious new play at the National Theatre. Nicholas Hytner (“The History Boys,” “Habit of Art,” “One Man, Two Guvnors”) directs a cast that includes Tony and Olivier Award-winner Frances de la Tour (“The History Boys,” “Habit of Art”). People spoil things; there are so many of them and the last thing one wants is them traipsing through one’s house. But with the park a jungle and a bath on the billiard table, what is one to do? Dorothy (Frances de la Tour) wonders if an attic sale could be a solution. Tickets are $20 for the general public and for $10 full-time students. To purchase tickets by phone or f or information on discounts for groups of eight of more, contact the TIC Box Office at 847-491-7282. Tickets are also available online at www.tic.northwestern.edu.
Performance Hours, hosted by Northwestern University’s School of Communication’s department of performance studies, are hourlong public performances directed by a graduate or undergraduate student. They provide a forum for students to express themselves and a place for all production members -- cast, staff and designers -- to learn and practice their crafts.
(NEW) Krause Performance Hour, “Le Gente de Papel,” 8 p.m. Friday, April 19, and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, Annie May Swift Hall, Room 103, 1920 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. More than two years in the making, “La Gente de Papel’ is an adaptation that tells two stories: one of a man and his daughter in exile from their home country of Mexico, and one of an author’s desperate struggle with self-worth, mortality and the vulnerability of the written word. The multimedia performance is intended to bring the cultural richness and typography of its source material to the stage. It will be directed by Grace Wright, a performance studies major. Admission is free and open to the public.
Viola Spolin -- known in theater circles as the “High Priestess of Improv” -- shaped a generation of performers whose careers, in turn, shaped today’s entertainment landscape. Now the legendary drama teacher is the subject of a new exhibit at Northwestern University Library that opens April 1, the same day the Chicago Improv Festival launches in Chicago.
Free and open to the public, “Viola Spolin: Improvisation and Intuition,” runs from April 1 through Aug. 16 at Northwestern University Library, 1970 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus. It draws from an extraordinary collection of Spolin’s papers that are housed in the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections. In conjunction with the Spolin exhibit is the following free and public lecture:
(NEW) “The Theatre of Viola Spolin and Paul Sills,” a lecture by Carol Bleackley Sills, 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4, McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. Bleackley Sills worked alongside her husband and Spolin’s son, Second City co-founder Paul Sills, in the creation of The Game Theater, Story Theater, The Body Politic, The Learning Theater and other theater companies. She also served as editor of Spolin’s influential books about improvisation exercises and theater games. Admission is free and open to the public.