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Profiles Theatre Announces 2015-2016 Season
Jun 4, 2015


Profiles Theatre ChicagoProfiles Theatre Artistic Directors Darrell W. Cox and Joe Jahraus announce the titles for the 27th Season featuring a full slate of new and challenging works premiering at the Profiles Theatre Complex on North Broadway. The upcoming season features five productions including the Midwest premieres of The Jacksonian by Beth Henley, Tony Award winner Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth and The Village Bike by Penelope Skinner; the World and Midwest premieres of two evenings of short works by Neil LaBute in rotating repertory, titled Vices & Virtues. Additionally, Profiles' acclaimed production of Hellcab by Will Kern, one of Chicago's longest-running hits and a seasonal favorite at Profiles for the past three years, returns for the holiday season. The five productions alternate between Profiles' two venues, The Main Stage at 4139 N. Broadway and The Alley Stage at 4147 N. Broadway.

"We're extremely pleased to open and close our 27th season with the strong and unique voices of female playwrights Beth Henley and Penelope Skinner," said Joe Jahraus. "We've always admired Henley's southern perspective on the peculiarities of the human condition and The Jacksonian finds her writing in top form. Then, we're looking forward to introducing our audiences to the witty, provocative and insightful writing of Penelope Skinner. The Village Bike takes on sexual identity and the quest for personal freedom using dark humor and surprising candor."

Darrell W. Cox continued, "We have respected Jez Butterworth's work for years and are thrilled to produce his bold new play Jerusalem-a sprawling, exhilarating ride through 21st century shires England. Our ongoing collaboration with Resident Artist Neil LaBute continues with Vices & Virtues, two full evenings of his short works examining the many facets of love from differing perspectives. The evenings include World and Midwest premieres from one of the most prolific writers of our generation. For the fourth consecutive year, our acclaimed production of Will Kern's Chicago classic Hellcab returns for another spin through the holiday season with one of the largest ensembles in the city."

Profiles Theatre currently concludes its 26th Anniversary Season with the acclaimed Midwest premiere of Our New Girl by Nancy Harris, now playing through June 28, 2015 at Profiles' Main Stage.

The 2015-2016 Profiles season includes:

THE JACKSONIAN
by Beth Henley
Midwest Premiere
directed by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus
The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
Previews: August 21 - 26, 2015
Press Opening: August 27, 2015
Run: August 27 - October 11, 2015

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley's eerie new play The Jacksonian transports audiences to Jackson, Mississippi, 1964. When his wife kicks him out, respectable dentist Bill Perch moves into the unsettling world of the seedy Jacksonian Motel. There, his downward spiral is punctuated by encounters with his teenage daughter, a gold-digging motel employee, a treacherous bartender and Perch's now-estranged wife. Revolving around the night of a murder, The Jacksonian, brims with suspense and dark humor as the subversive becomes commonplace and the passage of time becomes hauntingly unpredictable.

In The Jacksonian, Beth Henley returns to the Southern Gothic storytelling that made her reputation with both critics and audiences. The darkly humorous play premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in February 2012 in a production directed by Tony Award winner Robert Falls with a cast featuring Ed Harris, Glenne Headly, Amy Madigan and Bill Pullman. It later played in New York with the New Group in November 2013 with the same creative team. Beth Henley's best- known plays include Crimes of the Heart, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and The Miss Firecracker Contest. Her screenplay for Crimes of the Heart was nominated for an Oscar as Best Adapted Screenplay.

Profiles' dedication to new works by acclaimed female playwrights continues with this Midwest premiere. In addition to last season's World premiere of Genius by Kate Walbert and Midwest premiere of Our New Girl by Nancy Harris, other recent collaborations with female playwrights include Midwest premieres by Johnna Adams, Leslye Headland and Annie Baker, as well as Penelope Skinner with the upcoming The Village Bike in 2016. In 2009, Profiles' World premiere production of Graceland by Ellen Fairey received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Work and a subsequent production at Lincoln Center Theatre's LCT3 program in New York. Assisted Living by Deirdre O'Connor received its World premiere at Profiles in 2011 and also received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Work.

HELLCAB
by Will Kern
Return of the Seasonal Favorite
directed by Ensemble Member Eric Burgher
The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
Previews: November 6 - 11, 2015
Press Opening: November 12, 2015
Run: November 12, 2015 - January 10, 2016

For the fourth consecutive season, Profiles remounts its acclaimed production of Will Kern's Hellcab for the holidays. During the longest night of his life, a cab driver transports a bizarre and mysterious array of customers through the gritty streets of Chicago. Kern draws from personal experience as a former cabbie to create this alternately frightening, hilarious and poignant journey. Throughout his long shift, the eclectic collection of passengers includes a trio of drug-addicts, a born-again couple, a smug lawyer, and a randy duo on their way to a motel. Set during a bitter cold Christmas Eve, Hellcab presents a rear-view image mirroring the passing parade of humanity.

First produced as a late-night show by Famous Door Theatre in 1992, the play, originally scheduled for twelve performances, ended up running for over nine years, becoming one of the longest-running shows in Chicago theatre history. Hellcab, performed all over the U.S. and abroad, including Scotland, Israel, Singapore, and Ireland, won numerous awards, including a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and later adapted for the screen by Kern in 1998.

VICES & VIRTUES
by Resident Artist Neil LaBute
World and Midwest Premieres
directed by Various Directors
The Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway
Previews: January 15 - 20, 2016
Press Opening: January 21, 2016
Run: January 21 - March 6, 2016

An Evening of Vices. An Evening of Virtues. Running in rotating repertory, Profiles presents two full evenings of short works by Neil LaBute, each filled with many surprises, both virtuous and otherwise. Each evening features stories of lust and hate, humor and sadness, virtue and depravity. Through them all, "love" is the dominant theme-what it is, what it's not and how far it can be stretched.

This marks Profiles Theatre's thirteenth collaboration with Resident Artist Neil LaBute. Previous productions include the American premiere of In a Forest, Dark and Deep and acclaimed Midwest premieres of Wrecks, reasons to be pretty, The Mercy Seat and Fat Pig as well as the World premiere of his revised stage version of In the Company of Men, recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Nomination for Best New Adaptation.

JERUSALEM
by Jez Butterworth
Midwest Premiere
directed by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox
The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
Previews: February 12 - 17, 2016
Press Opening: February 18, 2016
Run: February 18 - April 3, 2016

On St George's Day, the morning of the local county fair, Johnny "Rooster" Byron is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his son wants his dad to take him to the fair, and a motley crew of locals want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol. A comic, contemporary vision of rural England, Jez Butterworth's wildly original epic play is both a lament about the erosion of country life, as well as a rebuff to the antiseptic modern world.

Following successful runs at London's Royal Court Theatre and transfer to London's West End, Jerusalem opened on Broadway in 2011 receiving a Tony Award nomination for Best Play and the award for Best Actor in a Play for Mark Rylance.

Jez Butterworth's other plays include Mojo and The Night Heron, both premiering at London's Royal Court Theatre with American debuts at New York's Atlantic Theater Company. His play The River received a 2014 Broadway premiere in a production featuring Hugh Jackman. Butterworth's film works include writing and directing Mojo in 1998 and Birthday Girl in 2002. He wrote and produced Fair Game in 2009 and co-wrote the screenplays for Edge of Tomorrow and Get on Up. He is currently writing the screenplay for London Calling about the British punk rock band, the Clash. He has won two Evening Standard Awards as well as the Olivier, Critics' Circle, Writers' Guild, George Devine Awards and the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Village Bike
by Penelope Skinner
Midwest Premiere
directed by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus
The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
Previews: May 6 - 11, 2016
Press Opening: May 12, 2016
Run: May 12 - June 26, 2016

Becky, newly pregnant yet sexually frustrated, finds her husband is more interested in baby books than her provocative new nightie, so she turns to fantasy created by the old porn stash under the bed. As the summer heats up, Becky takes matters into her own hands by purchasing a used bike meant to burn off energy, but ends up embarking on an adventure much, much further than she ever expected to go.

A darkly comic look at fantasy and romance, The Village Bike by Penelope Skinner premiered at London's Royal Court Theatre in June 2011 where it enjoyed a sold-out, twice-extended run followed by the American premiere at New York's MCC Theater in 2014 featuring Golden Globe Award-nominated actress Greta Gerwig.

Penelope Skinner, a graduate of Royal Court's writing programs prior to her debut with The Village Bike, received the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2011. Her credits elsewhere include productions at the National Theatre, the Bush Theatre and Hampstead Theatre's Heat & Light Group.

Parking is available for $14 - $16 at 4100 N. Clarendon (one block east of the theatre at the corner of Clarendon and Belle Plaine). Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 5:00 and 8:00 pm, Sundays at 7:00 pm.

Ticket prices range from $30 - $40. Profiles Theatre offers a FLEX PASS for discounts on the season, now available at www.profilestheatre.org or (773) 549-1815. A Five Ticket Pass is $125; a Ten Ticket Pass is $200 (a savings of up to $200 off the price of tickets at the door) when ordered before August 31, 2015. Tickets can be used in any combination of quantity and date throughout the season with advance reservations.


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