TimeLine announces The How And The Why

Apr 30, 2013
Timeline Theatre

TimeLine Theatre Company, dedicated to presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today's social and political issues, announces that The How and the Why by Sarah Treem (Netflix's House of Cards, HBO's In Treatment), directed by Keira Fromm and starring Janet Ulrich Brooks and Elizabeth Ledo, will be the third production of its 2013-14 season.

The How and the Why is a smart and provocative play about science, family and survival of the fittest. Two brilliant evolutionary biologists-one in her 50s and one in her 20s-meet for the first time on the eve of a national conference. The women share a zeal for science and a bold and contrarian approach to their male-dominated field, but the younger scholar is there to challenge the older woman's work with a radical new theory that she believes will change the way people regard sex. As mysteries unfold about the relationship between these two scientists, they clash over differing views on evolution, feminism and generational divides in modern America.

The How and the Why will feature TimeLine Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks and Elizabeth Ledo in the two-person cast. A five-time Jeff Award nominee for performances at TimeLine and a recipient of the Jeff Award for Solo Performance for her turn as Golda Meier in Golda's Balcony at Pegasus Players, Ulrich Brooks most recently appeared at TimeLine in 33 Variations. Ledo is a two-time Jeff Award nominated actress for her supporting roles in The Homosexuals at About Face Theatre (where she is an Artistic Associate) and Uncle Vanya at Court Theatre, and she has worked around Chicago and regionally, including more than 20 productions at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

The New York Times called The How and the Why "a smart, densely textured work about men and women, love and conflict, genes and destiny," and The Washington Post raved that the play "brims with ideas and emotional colors that eddy and refract like rivulets in a lively, plunging stream."

The How and the Why rounds out TimeLine's upcoming season of four plays-the company's 17th season-joining the previously announced Chicago-set classic A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, directed by Ron OJ Parson; Larry Kramer's Tony Award-winning Broadway play The Normal Heart, directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling and starring David Cromer; and the Chicago premiere of the musical Juno, with book by Joseph Stein, music and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein, based on the classic Irish play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey, directed by Nick Bowling with musical direction by Doug Peck and Elizabeth Doran.

Again this year, one production of TimeLine's season will be presented at an alternate location to accommodate the company's more than 3,300 subscribers and growing audience. The Normal Heart will be presented at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago, with the other three productions taking place at TimeLine Theatre's home just blocks away at 615 W. Wellington Avenue.