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  A Swell In The Ground at The Gift Theatre

A Swell In The Ground

The Gift Theatre
4802 N. Milwaukee Ave Chicago

In intimate rooms throughout New York and Michigan, four friends from college fight through 17 years of love affairs, shattered dreams and compromised lives. Flipping back and forth through time like a photobook, this play-whose title is from a line of Emily Dickinson poetry- is equally breathtaking and heartbreakingly spare as Olivia, Nate, Abagail, and Charles try to reconcile the lives they imagined with the lives they live.

Thru - Dec 10, 2017

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 3:30pm & 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:30pm

Price: $30-$40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-283-7071

Nearby Restaurants

  A Swell In The Ground Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...There is a haunting, even a mournful, quality to the play, which is the aspect of this work that I liked best. A lot of us are bad at relationships when we are young, and we do serious damage to the people we love even when these should be the most exciting years of our professional lives. With Neagle her aptly annoying foil, Charles, a very versatile Chicago actress, captures that quality very well. You feel some sadness behind her character’s eyes — a disconnect between the outer facade and the inner insecurity, a worry that nothing is stable. It’s rich work."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...The actors, under the airtight direction of Chika Ike, are ideal, and as those who have been to The Gift know, they are up close and personal - barely a couple of feet from the audience."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Like many young contemporary playwrights, Nabers seems convinced her job begins and ends with letting characters stew, fret, seethe, and occasionally wax quirkily poetic, as though the expression of reasonably injured feelings is compelling drama. The talents of director Chika Ike's admirably thoughtful cast make the 105 minutes of this Gift Theatre production more compelling than they ought to be."
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Justin Hayford

NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...It’s always frustrating to watch a play with such potential fall a touch flat. The cast is impeccable and their performances are remarkable (especially the incredible Sydney Charles, who has taken Chicago theater by storm with her remarkable acting prowess, and Keith Neagle, whose specificity in performance is virtuosic), despite a script that feels, if anything, overwrought. One wonders if the text might have been served better through film rather than the stage. In the end, “A Swell in the Ground” feels as though it has miscalculated the number of steps on a staircase—that there ought to have been something else there."
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Emma Couling

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...The sociologists Michael Omi and Howard Winant write about how racism in America is “bred in the bone,” how it is less the outcome of bigotry than the product of structures and socialization. These are big, important topics, and I salute Nabers and the Gift Theatre team for their willingness to tackle it in such a nuanced, careful way."
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Peter Thomas Ricci

Chicago On Stage - Recommended

"...The inside of the intimate theatre has been transformed for this play. With seating along two sides, the cleverly designed set by Eleanor Khan consists of two stories with a fold-out wall for several different location opportunities that the director, ensemble member Chika Ike, takes full advantage of. Actors make set changes a vista and in character, adding to the theatricality of the piece and allowing the audience to journey with them not only to other places, but other times: this play is a collage of scenes from various times and places around New York in the first two decades of the 21st Century and jumps back and forth in time effortlessly, projecting the season and year on a side wall. (One overlapping moment has two scenes in the same location but in different years: one the birth of a relationship, the other its death. This is brilliant, but not everything is; more on that later.)"
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...A SWELL IN THE GROUND speaks to a vast majority of audience members and leaves us questioning whether the choices we make early on are the right ones or if we'll end up somewhere beyond what we imagined."
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Alexis Bugajski

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