Comrades Mine: Emma Edmonds of the Union Army
The world premiere of Comrades Mine: Emma Edmonds of the Union Army by Maureen Gallagher, the third production of City Lit Theater's ongoing series of annual productions commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the final show of City Lit's 2012-2013 season, begins previews at City Lit Theater on Friday, April 12, and opens for the press at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, April 16. The production, directed by Anna C. Bahow, runs through Sunday, May 19.
Comrades Mine is based on the true story of Emma Edmonds, who served for two years in the Union Army disguised as a man. As Private Franklin Thompson, she served at First and Second Battles of Bull Run, at Antietam, in the Peninsula Campaign, and at Fredericksburg, other battles. Decades after the war, limited in her ability to work because of lingering effects of wartime injury and disease, she found herself denied an Army pension because of the irregular nature of her service. The play focuses equally on her wartime exploits in the 1860s and her battle with federal bureaucracy in the 1880s.
Emma Edmonds was born in Canada in 1841, and was living in Flint, Michigan when President Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 enlistees following the Confederate firing on Fort Sumter. She had already been living as a manat first to escape her abusive father, and then to work as a traveling salesman of Bibles and other books. Medical examinations were not part of the enlistment process in 1861, and she was mustered into the Second Michigan Infantry. In her two years in the Army, she served as a combat soldier, field nurse, courier and spy. According to the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame, she infiltrated Confederate lines eleven times, sometimes by "disguising" herself in female attire. After concluding her military service, she lived the rest of her life as a woman. She spent the balance of the war as a nurse in a Washington D.C. hospital for wounded soldiers. After the war she published a memoir of dubious veracity, then married and had three children. She died in Texas in 1893.
Maureen Gallagher is the playwright of Martin Furey's Shot, produced at Timeline Theatre in 2005. She has been working as an actor in Chicago since 1974, and won the Jeff Award for Actress in a Principal Role for The Belle of Amherst at the old Body Politic Theatre, where she was an ensemble member. Comrades Mine is her second play.
Anna Bahow is an associate artist at Premiere Theatre and Performance, The Side Project and Chicago Dramatists, as well as a member of DirectorsLabChicago. She served as the 2011-2012 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow at Goodman Theatre. She directed Martin Furey's Shot at Timeline.
Every April through 2015, through its Civil War Sesquicentennial Project, City Lit Theater is commemorating the Civil War with a series of productionsmost of them world premieresthat explore the legacy of the war. The first two were 2011's Jeff-recommended first revival in fifty years of Augustus Thomas's The Copperhead, and 2012's Jeff-recommended Opus 1861, a world premiere music theatre piece. Future years of the Project will see the world premiere of The Bloodhound Law by Kristine Thatcher, about the effect of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law on Chicagoand the world premiere adaptation by City Lit artistic director Terry McCabe of the best-selling book Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz.
City Lit's world premiere of Comrades Mine begins previews on Friday, April 12, 2013, and runs through Sunday, May 19. Press opening is Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at 7:00 pm.
The cast for Comrades Mine is Brian Breau, Manny Buckley, Brad Harbaugh, Brian Hurst, Peter Eli Johnson, John Arthur Lewis, Nate Santana, Joe Stearns, and Justine C. Turner.
The design team is Diane Fairchild (lighting), Ian Anthony (props), Thomas K. Kieffer (costumes), Gaspard Le Dem (sound and original music), and Grant Sabin (set).
Comrades Mine will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM, April 12 through May 19, as well as two Thursdays at 8:00 PM, May 9 and 16.
Press night for Comrades Mine is Tuesday, April 16, 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 the 2012-2013 season from the Alphawood 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 at Francesca's Bryn Mawr restaurant across the street from City Lit. Discounted parking is available, 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
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|