Here’s the press release from Profiles:
Profiles Theatre announces its
2009- 2010 Season
Midwest Premieres by Neil LaBute and Annie Baker,
a modern classic by Tracy Letts,
and an extended run of Graceland by Ellen Fairey
Chicago—Artistic Directors Joe Jahraus and Darrell W. Cox announce Profiles Theatre’s 2009-2010 Season. Profiles, one of Chicago’s longest-running ensemble theatres, is presenting its 21st season of new and challenging works, beginning with an extended run of the hit production of Graceland by Ellen Fairey.
The Profiles Theatre season also includes the Midwest premiere of The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute; the Midwest premiere of Body Awareness by Annie Baker, marking only the second production of this acclaimed new play since its World Premiere at the Atlantic Theatre Company this past season; and Tracy Letts’ modern classic Killer Joe, directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder.
Profiles Theatre is following up its celebrated 20th Anniversary season, which featured new works by acclaimed writers Lee Blessing, Anthony Neilson, Adam Bock and Ellen Fairey.
“Following our third record-breaking extension of Graceland by Ellen Fairey, we’re thrilled to be producing a highly anticipated work from Neil LaBute, The Mercy Seat. Considered the first major theatrical response to 9/11, the play has never been seen in the Midwest since its World Premiere at MCC in 2002,” says Profiles’ Artistic Directors Joe Jahraus and Darrell W. Cox. “Annie Baker is one of the hottest new writers in the country following her Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Nominations for the beautifully written Body Awareness. And following the Pulitzer Prize-Winning and Broadway triumph of Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County as well as his Broadway bound Superior Donuts, it’s the perfect time to revisit Letts’ raw and startling first work, Killer Joe, the kind of dark, bold, unflinching play that is an ideal match for Profiles.”
Profiles has renovated its theatre space for the 21st season by installing two spacious restrooms, improved theatre seats and other technical upgrades made possible by a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The 2009-2010 Profiles season includes:
By Ellen Fairey
Directed by Matthew Miller
Featuring ensemble members Somer Benson, Eric Burgher and Darrell W. Cox
with Cheryl Graeff and Jackson Challinor
Extended Run: Now through September 13, 2009
Chicago’s oldest cemetery is the backdrop for GRACELAND, the story of four lonely Chicagoans whose lives collide one August weekend while the Blue Angels airshow is in town. As fighter jets buzz the skies from dusk till dawn, estranged brother and sister Sam and Sara try to make sense of their father’s recent suicide. Sara’s one night stand with Joe, an aging lothario, brings further trouble in the form of Joe’s mercurial teenage son, Miles. GRACELAND is a World Premiere comedic drama about the loneliness of family, the tenderness of strangers and the unexpected benefits of bad decisions.
Graceland received its World Premiere at Profiles in June 2009 and has quickly become one of the theatre’s most successful runs. This is the third extension for the show, playing to continuous sold-out houses and critical acclaim.
THE MERCY SEAT
By Neil LaBute
Directed by ensemble member Joe Jahraus
Featuring ensemble member Darrell W. Cox
Previews: September 25- September 30, 2009
Press Opening: October 1, 2009
Run: October 1- November 15, 2009
In a time of national tragedy, the world changes overnight. On September 12, 2001, Ben Harcourt finds himself in the downtown apartment of his lover, Abby Prescott. Over the course of the night, Ben and Abby explore the choices now available to them in an existence different from the one they knew just the day before. LaBute presents the brutal realities of their relationship and explores whether one can be truly opportunistic in a time of universal selflessness.
The Mercy Seat was among the first major theatrical responses to the September 11, 2001 attacks. It premiered at MCC Theater in December 2002 and was both a commercial and critical success, selling out for the length of its run.
This is Profiles Theatre’s seventh Midwest Premiere of Mr. LaBute’s work following their acclaimed productions of In a Dark Dark House, This is How it Goes and Fat Pig, among others.
By Tracy Letts
Directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder
Featuring Profiles ensemble members Somer Benson and Darrell W. Cox as Killer Joe
Previews: January 8- 13, 2010
Press Opening: Thursday, January 14, 2010
Run: January 14- February 28, 2010
Killer Joe focuses on the Smith family, a greedy, vindictive clan of Texans who hatch a plan to murder their estranged matriarch to cash in on her insurance policy. Unable to bring themselves to do the deed, they hire Killer Joe Cooper, a full-time cop and part-time contract killer. Once he steps into their trailer, their simple plan quickly spirals out of control.
Written in 1991, the play premiered at the Next Lab Theater in Chicago two years later and was then presented at the 29th Street Rep in NYC. Since then, Killer Joe has been performed in at least 15 countries in 12 different languages. It won top honors at the Edinburgh, Scotland, Fringe Theater Festival in 1994, then played to sellout audiences at London’s The Buck and West Theater during a four-month run in which it won the Time Out Award as the Best Play of 1995. Tracy Letts was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play for August: Osage County.
By Annie Baker
Directed by ensemble member Darrell W. Cox
Featuring ensemble members Eric Burgher and Joe Jahraus
with Barb Stasiw
Previews April 23-28, 2010
Press Opening: April 29, 2010
Runs April 29- June 13, 2010
It’s “Body Awareness” week on a Vermont college campus and Phyllis, the organizer, and her partner, Joyce, are hosting one of the guest artists in their home, Frank, a photographer famous for his female nude portraits. Both his presence in the home and his chosen subject instigate tension from the start. Phyllis is furious at his depictions, but Joyce is actually rather intrigued by the whole thing, even going so far as to contemplate posing for him. As Joyce and Phyllis bicker, Joyce’s adult son, struggles to express himself physically with heartbreaking results.
Body Awareness received its lauded World Premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company in May 2008. It received a Drama Desk Nomination and Outer Critics Circle Nomination for Outstanding Play. Annie Baker is currently a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater’s Youngblood Playwrights Group and she was one of only seven playwrights selected to participate in the 2008 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab.
All productions are held at Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago. Parking is available for $10 at 4100 N. Clarendon (one block east of the theatre at the corner of Clarendon and Belle Plaine). Performances are Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m.
Ticket prices range from $25- $35. FLEX PASSES offer discounts on the season and are now available at www.profilestheatre.org or (773) 549-1815. A Three Ticket Pass is $80; Six Ticket Passes are available for $150 (a savings of over $60) when ordered before August 31, 2009. Tickets can be used in any combination of quantity and date throughout the season with advance reservations.
Profiles Theatre is a not-for-profit professional theatre company founded in 1988 by five Eastern Illinois University alumni and has since been continually producing plays. Profiles brings new works to Chicago that illuminate the determination and resiliency of the human spirit. The company produces World, US and Midwest Premieres by new playwrights, as well as established writers whose work has been seen across the country and around the world. Profiles is particularly drawn to playwrights with a unique narrative style and use of language and the company takes pride in carefully selecting scripts that combine integrity with risk. Profiles Theatre is committed to producing plays that tell a story in a captivating way with productions that complement the ensemble and speak to its audience.
For more information about Profiles and its 21th Season, visit www.profilestheatre.org.