TimeLine Theatre Company was founded in 1997 as a theater “dedicated to presenting stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues.” The company presents four main stage shows per season as well as a TimePieces play reading series. TimeLine is located in the Lakeview East neighborhood, and operates its own 87-seat theater. Since 1997, TimeLine has since received 43 Jeff Awards, including eight for best production. It was named the nation’s theater “Company of the Year 2010” by Terry Teachout in The Wall Street Journal. It has also received recognition as a leading nonprofit organization in the Chicago area.
TimeLine Theatre Company was founded in 1997 by Nick Bowling, PJ Powers, Pat Hofmann, and Juliet Hart. In 1999, PJ Powers became artistic director with Nick Bowling as associate artistic director. Under their leadership, TimeLine expanded its programming to include a four-play annual subscription series as well as the TimePieces play reading series. In 2006, TimeLine received the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence of a small company, and was the first arts organization to receive the award. TimeLine then received the 2009 Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award in the Non-Profit category from the Association for Strategic Planning.
Production history available here.
“TimeLine Theatre Company presents stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues. Our collaborative artistic team produces provocative theatre that engages, educates, entertains and enlightens.”
Leadership (Past and Present)
PJ Powers (Company Member & Artistic Director) was a co-founder of TimeLine in 1997 and became Artistic Director in 1999. He has been involved in producing more than 45 productions, including seven world premieres and 13 Chicago premieres. These productions have garnered 43 Jeff Awards, including eight for Outstanding Production. During his tenure TimeLine has also been awarded the 2006 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the 2009 Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award. While leading the artistic initiatives of TimeLine, PJ also continues to work as an actor. He has appeared in numerous productions at TimeLine. A graduate of the Theatre School at DePaul University with a BA degree in Acting, PJ also served for six years on the Board of Directors for the League of Chicago Theatres. He has been featured three times as one of “Chicago Theatre’s 50 Leading Characters” in Newcity, and in 2008 was awarded the Meier Achievement Award for mid-career artists.
Nick Bowling (Company Member & Associate Artistic Director) is well known to TimeLine Theatre audiences. He was the founding artistic director of the company and directed the inaugural production of “SUMMIT CONFERENCE.” His extensive TimeLine credits include the long-running hit “THE HISTORY BOYS” (Equity Jeff Award – DIrection, Play) the world premiere of “NOT ENOUGH AIR,” the 2006 and 2008 productions of “FIORELLO!” (Non-Equity Jeff Award – Direction, Musical), “THE CHILDREN’S HOUR,” “GUANTANAMO: HONOR BOUND TO DEFEND FREEDOM,” “THIS HAPPY BREED” (Non-Equity Jeff Award – Direction, Play), “THE LION IN WINTER” (Non-Equity Jeff Award nomination – Direction, Play), “HAUPTMANN” (Non-Equity Jeff Award nomination – Direction, Play), “THE CRUCIBLE” (Non-Equity Jeff Award – Direction, Play) “STREETERVILLE” (World Premiere), “GASLIGHT” and concert productions of “THE CRADLE WILL ROCK” and “THRILL ME: THE LEOPOLD & LOEB STORY.” Nick was previously the associate artistic director and casting director at The Court Theatre for three years. He holds a BA degree in musical theatre from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and received his MFA degree in directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University, where he has also served on the directing faculty.
Productions of Note
“The Farnsworth Invention” (2010): Production – Play (Midsize Theatre)
“The History Boys” (2009): Production – Play (Midsize Theatre); Ensemble; Director – Play, Nick Bowling; Actor in a Supporting Role – Play, Alex Weisman; Scenic Design (Midsize Theatre)
– Brian Sidney Bembridge
“Fiorello!” (2007): Production – Musical or Revue; Director, Nick Bowling; Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical or Revue, Terry Hamilton; Music Direction, Doug Peck
“This Happy Breed” (2005): Production; Ensemble; Director, Nick Bowling; Actor in a Principal Role, Terry Hamilton; Costume Design, Nicole Rene Burchfield; Original Incidental Music, Andrew Hansen
History in the Making: How TimeLine Theatre landed the Chicago premiere of a Tony-winning play, and what they are doing with it
Sophie’s Choices: Timeline’s Not Enough Air explores the writing of the play Machinal
To see all Newcity reviews and other coverage, click here.
Artists of Note:
Kathleen Ruhl: Actress in a Supporting Role – Play, “Dolly West’s Kitchen” (2008)
Michael Tutaj: Projections Design, Martin Furey’s “Shot” (2006)
Nick Bowling: Director – Play, “The History Boys” (2009); Director, “Fiorello!” (2007); Director, “This Happy Breed” (2005)
Terry Hamilton: Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical or Revue, “Fiorello!” (2007); Actor in a Principal Role, “This Happy Breed” (2005); Actor in a Supporting Role, “Pravda” (2005)
TimeLine Theatre is an 87-seat space and is located inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building.
“The Pitmen Painters” by Lee Hall, directed by BJ Jones
“Enron” by Lucy Prebble, directed by Rachel Rockwell
“My Kind of Town” by John Conroy, directed by Nick Bowling
“33 Variations” by Moises Kaufman, directed by Nick Bowling
“Wasteland” by Susan Felder, directed by William Brown
“Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West” by Naomi Iizuka, directed by Lisa Portes
“Blood and Gifts” by J.T. Rogers, directed by Nick Bowling
Full season announcement here.
Box Office: (773) 281-8463 x6
Tickets range from $10-38
$10 off tickets with student ID
615 W. Wellington Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
Unless otherwise noted, all biographies and quotations are from the theater’s website.