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  The Children's Hour at Flat Iron Arts Building

The Children's Hour

Flat Iron Arts Building
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago

Written in 1934, The Children's Hour is based on a true story, and was originally banned in Chicago and not seen here until the 1950s. Karen and Martha are two school teachers who are on the verge of personal and professional success. Karen is engaged to be married to Tom, and the small boarding school she and Martha founded is on the verge of financial stability. However, when one student is disciplined, she makes a statement which is repeatedly endlessly, and everything changes.

Presented by Pride Films and Plays

Thru - Feb 9, 2014

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 7:30pm
Sundays: 3:00pm

Price: $15-$30

Show Type: Drama

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

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  The Children's Hour Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Bertelsen also makes effective use of the other girls in the school, who move furniture during the scene changes while delivering a stylized dumb show involving pointing fingers and hands over their mouths, providing both a silent Greek chorus of disapproval and proof that, as Mark Twain once observed, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." This thoughtful and sturdy take on "The Children's Hour" written 50 years before the 1980s "Satanic panic" hysteria unleashed by the McMartin Preschool trial in California, among others shows that Hellman's observations on the corrosive effects of a vicious lie remain relevant, even if our attitudes toward same-sex relationships have evolved."
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Kerry Reid

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Bertelson has instructed his ensemble of actors to retain the mystery surrounding the events that Hellman describes. Even during the scene changes, marked by the children reaffirming their silent oath of secrecy, we are reminded that injustice leading to tragedy is a group crime, much as costume designer Chrystle Morman reminds us that white gloves and cuddly cardigans are not always accurate indicators of "feminine" personalities, but a teenage WASP in hair-ribbon bows will proclaim a bully every time."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...It's a surprisingly engrossing two-and-a-half hours, and very well-paced. While The Children's Hour clearly fits Pride's mission to put LGBT themes onstage (and film), the production doesn't imbue the play with a 21st-century sensibility, and even manages to contend with Hellman's questionable introduction of shame in the suffering in the play's third act. We are simply watching what happened to people when they were accused of being what was considered "unnatural" in the past. And there is a lot to learn from that. This play may be about a lie, but the reverberations of the ounce of truth in it continue to be felt eight decades later."
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Megan Powell

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...This production does justice to Lillian Hellman's classic look at love, lies and the effects false charges can have on an entire community. The ensemble acting here is terrific and the staging and pace works to establish the dramatic arch and enough tension to deliver the work's powerful message. 2014 is starting off nicely with this gem."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...It's always exciting to revisit a theatrical classic that is still meaningful and powerfully speaks to the human condition. Lies, gossip, bullying and scandal are, unfortunately, just as prevalent and damaging now as when Lillian Hellman wrote this play. PF&P can be proud of this production because it's both artistic, entertaining and still very relevant."
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Colin Douglas

  The Children's Hour Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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