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Lovers by Brian Friel
City Lit Theater
Chicago, IL
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Lovers by Brian Friel

August 3, 2010. For immediate release.
For more information, contact Terry McCabe or Brian Pastor.

The first production of City Lit Theater's 2010-2011 season, the first Chicago performances in 22 years of Brian Friel's modern Irish classic Lovers, will begin previews at City Lit Theater on Friday, August 27, 2010 and open for the press on Tuesday, August 31.  The production, directed by Terry McCabe, runs through Sunday, October 3, 2010.

Lovers is a play in two parts, "Winners" and "Losers."  "Winners" is a lyrical depiction of the young love of two teenagers who meet to study, but instead reveal to each other their hopes, fears and dreams. "Losers" is a farcical look at a middle aged couple's attempt to deal with an invalid mother who uses her saintliness as a weapon.  Written in 1967, the play was Friel's second international success.  Its last Chicago production was in 1988, at the old Chicago Cooperative Stage.

Brian Friel is Ireland's greatest living playwright, author of Dancing at Lughnasa, Faith Healer and the world masterpiece Translations.  He worked for ten years as a mathematics teacher before trying to establish himself as a writer.  His first play, A Doubtful Paradise, was produced in 1960 by the Ulster Group Theatre; its lack of success contributed to the demise of the company.  His breakthrough came in 1964 with Philadelphia, Here I Come!, which had hit productions in Dublin, London and New York.  It is considered a turning point in modern Irish drama, away from the "peasant plays" genre toward a contemporary sensibility.  Its Broadway production was nominated for five Tony Awards, including for Best Play.  

In 1968 Lovers was also an international hit and garnered Friel a second Tony nomination for Best Play.  In 1999 it was adapted into an opera called Ballymore by Richard Wargo.

On January 30, 1972, Friel was among the crowd of Derry protesters fired upon by British soldiers in what came to be called "Bloody Sunday;" thirteen were killed, four of whom had been shot from behind.  He had been working for months on a play about Northern Ireland's political strife; he reworked it to acknowledge the events of Bloody Sunday and it opened at Dublin's Abbey Theatre in 1973 as The Freedom of the City.   As an effort to promote a discourse of unity concerning the troubles in Northern Ireland, Friel co-founded the Field Day Theatre Company in Derry in 1980.  Its first production was his Translations, which uses its 19th-Century English and Irish characters' inability to understand each other's language as a metaphor for wider barriers.  

From 1987 to 1989 Friel served as a member of the Seanad Éireann, the upper house of Ireland's legislature.  In 1990 he wrote Dancing at Lughnasa, his most commercially successful play to date.  It won the Tony Award for Best Play in its 1992 Broadway production.  In 2006 he became one of seven living Irish artists to be named a Saoi ("wise one") by Aosdána, an association of distinguished artists under the auspices of the Arts Council of Ireland.  In July 2010 his portrait was placed in Ireland's National Gallery.

The cast for Lovers is Barbara Berndt, Walter Brody, Maggie Cain, Joey deBettencourt, Catherine Gillespie, and Kay Schmitt.

The design team is Angela Campos (properties), Roger Wykes (set), Ricky Lurie (costumes) and Jess Harpeneau (lighting).

Lovers will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM, August 27 through October 3, as well as two Thursdays at 8:00 PM, September 23 and 30.  Press opening is Tuesday, August 31 at 7:00 PM.  Ticket prices are $18 for previews and $25 after opening.  Discounts are available for seniors, students and groups of ten or more.  Tickets can be reserved by going to or by calling (773) 293-3682.

City Lit receives funding from the Alphawood Foundation, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs CityArts program, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.  Its outreach program is sponsored in part by A.R.T. League.

City Lit specializes in literate theatre, including stage adaptations of literary material.  City Lit Theater 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.



City Lit Theater
1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
United States


Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


Owner: City Lit Theater Company
On BPT Since: Jul 21, 2007
City Lit Theater

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