The Chicago premiere of Frankenstein by Bo List, adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley and the first production of City Lit Theater's 2011-2012 season, will begin previews at City Lit Theater on Friday, September 28, 2012 and open for the press on Tuesday, October 2. The production, directed by City Lit artistic director Terry McCabe, runs through Sunday, November 4, 2012.
Victor Frankensteinhaggard, emaciated and nearly frozen to deathhas been rescued from the Arctic Sea by a British ship that is now trapped in ice. He tells the captain of his pursuit of the creature he created and by whom his life is now ruled.
Mary Shelley's novel was not the first horror novel, but its few predecessors do not survive in the popular imagination. She started writing itas part of a competition with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byronin June 1816, when she was eighteen years old, finished it in May 1817, and published it anonymously in January 1818. It has been in print ever since, and has been adapted for performance countless times, beginning with Richard Brinsley Peake's London stage version entitled Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein in 1823. The well-known confusion in the popular mind as to whether the Creature or his creator is named Frankenstein is frequently blamed on James Whale's 1931 film adaptation, but in fact had occurred before the novel was ten years old.
Bo List's plays City of Lights, Our Time, and Dracula...a variation had their premieres at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Frankenstein was commissioned for Kentucky Conservatory Theatre's SummerFest, where it was acclaimed by critics as "wildly atmospheric, emotionally haunting." He won the Father Jeff Hamblin Outstanding Playwriting Award for Canary Yellow, commissioned by Abingdon Theatre Company (an off-Broadway theatre committed to the development of new American plays) and a commission to create Mourning Glory: the Story of Mary Todd Lincoln for the Kentucky Humanities Council, touring the south through 2015. He returns to Chicago, having served as associate artistic director of the old Bailiwick Repertory in the early years of the new millennium.
Terry McCabe has been City Lit's artistic director since February 2005. This is his 32nd year directing plays professionally in Chicago. He won two Jeff Citations for directing at the old Stormfield Theatre and has been nominated for the Jeff Award for Best Director three times, for shows at Court Theatre, Victory Gardens, and the old Wisdom Bridge Theatre. He has directed at many Chicago theatres either long-gone or still with us, as well as off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and at Vienna's English Theatre. As an adaptor, his City Lit scripts for Holmes and Watson, Gidget (co-adapted with Marissa McKown), The Hound of the Baskervilles and Scoundrel Time were Jeff-nominated. His book Mis-Directing the Play has been denounced at length in American Theatre magazine and from the podium at the national convention of The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, but is used in directing courses on three continents.
The cast for Frankenstein is Eustace Allen, Sandy Elias, Linsey Falls, David Fink, Catherine Gillespie, Jennifer T. Grubb, Evan Johnson, Ed Krystosek, Daniel Pass and Mark Pracht.
The design team is Ian Anthony (props), Devin Carroll (lighting), Thomas Kieffer (costumes), Robert Kuper (makeup) and Ray Toler (set).
The extensive violence choreography is lovingly crafted by David Yondorf.
Frankenstein will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM, September 28 through November 4, as well as two Thursdays at 8:00 PM, October 25 and November 1. There will be a special Hallowe'en performance on Wednesday, October 31, at 8:00 PM.
Press opening for Frankenstein is Tuesday, October 2, at 7:00 PM. Ticket prices are $21.50 for previews and $28.50 after opening. Discounts are available for seniors, students, members of the military, and groups of ten or more. Tickets can be reserved by going to www.citylit.org or by calling (773) 293-3682.
City Lit receives funding during 2012 from the Alphawood Foundation, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs CityArts program, the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), and The Saints. Its outreach program is sponsored in part by A.R.T. League.
City Lit specializes in literate theatre, including stage adaptations of literary material. It is located in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, one block west of Sheridan Road and a block and a half east of the Bryn Mawr Red Line L stop. The 84 Peterson bus, the 147 Lake Shore Express bus, and the 151 Sheridan bus all stop near City Lit. Valet parking is available for theatre customers through the Valet Metro service at Francesca's Bryn Mawr restaurant across the street from City Lit. Discounted parking is available for theatre customers, with validation from the Edgewater Beach Café, in the Edgewater Beach Apartments' underground parking lot located one block east of the theatre. A limited amount of free parking is available for theatre customers who dine at That Little Mexican Café one block west of the theatre.
City Lit Theater (View)
1020 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago, IL 60660
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