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Pictured: Sean Parris, Mike Nussbaum, Kayla Carter and Heidi Kettenring.
Northlight Theatre has announced its 44th season, opening with Rache Bonds’ CURVE OF DEPARTURE, directed by Artistic Director BJ Jones and featuring Mike Nussbaum and Sean Parris. The season continues with the world premiere of MANSFIELD PARK, Kate Hamill’s new adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, directed by Stuart Carden, and featuring Kayla Carter and Heidi Kettenring; followed by the world premieres of THE JANICE by Sharyn Rothstein and Christina Ham’s NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN. The season concludes with INTO THE BREECHES! by George Brant.
“From the genius of Nina Simone to the brilliant and witty Jane Austen, next season spans centuries and themes by celebrating women’s voices,” comments BJ Jones. “Kate Hamill, whose PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and SENSE AND SENSIBILITY were the talk of New York, gives us the seldom seen MANSFIELD PARK in a world premiere commissioned by Northlight. Mike Nussbaum stars in Rachel Bonds’ fresh look at the nuclear family in CURVE OF DEPARTURE. Sharyn Rothstein, whose BY THE WATER moved our audience, has given us THE JANICE, a world premiere about a single mother’s struggle to create a safe home. Christina Ham fashions an evening of Civil Rights history laced with songs by Hall of Fame inductee Nina Simone. And Morton Grove and Northwestern alum George Brant pens INTO THE BREECHES!, a touching comedy about a group of women rallying to keep theatre alive during WWII. This season tells diverse stories spanning historical moments of sociological impact, both electrifying and entertaining.”
The Northlight Theatre 2018-19 Season (from the press release):
CURVE OF DEPARTURE
By Rachel Bonds
Directed by BJ Jones
Featuring Mike Nussbaum and Sean Parris
September 13 – October 21, 2018
In a cramped motel room in New Mexico, a “ragtag little group of humans” gathers in anticipation of the funeral of a man they loved but did not like. But the dearly departed is not their only concern, as they grapple with the demands of ordinary life and the decisions of an uncertain future. Northlight favorite Mike Nussbaum returns as the patriarch of an unconventional family in this delicate and gently comic drama.
By Kate Hamill
Based on the novel by Jane Austen
Directed by Stuart Carden
Featuring Kayla Carter and Heidi Kettenring
November 8 – December 16, 2018
When shy but clever Fanny Price is sent away by her overburdened parents, she must learn to navigate life as the poor relation at her aunt and uncle’s wealthy estate. Playwright Kate Hamill, known for her “rollicking, heartfelt ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and a naughty and frantic ‘Vanity Fair’” (New York Times), brings her unique sense of playfulness and theatricality to Jane Austen’s classic tale of social satire and the quest for romance.
By Sharyn Rothstein
January 24 – March 2, 2019
Self-made landlord Marti and her new tenant Christine strike up a complicated relationship in this compelling world premiere. Despite a tentative friendship, neither can afford the luxury of forgetting her own best interests. Faced with impossible dilemmas of fairness versus kindness, honesty or eviction, these two women reveal the vulnerability as well as the ingenuity of people who know the value of having a home, and the threat of losing one.
NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN
By Christina Ham
March 14 – April 20, 2019
In the aftermath of 1963’s 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, Nina Simone rocked the nation with “Four Women,” her tribute in song to the four little girls lost in the tragedy. Powerful anthems such as “Mississippi Goddam,” “Old Jim Crow,” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” followed, fueling the Civil Rights movement and transforming her public persona from songstress to activist. Celebrate Ms. Simone’s lasting legacy in this provocative and personal musical journey.
INTO THE BREECHES!
By George Brant
May 9 – June 16, 2019
It’s 1942 and with the men off at war, the Oberon Play House is lacking its director and leading men. The season will be canceled… until the director’s wife rallies the troops at home for an all-female production. With the opportunity to move from the sidelines to centerstage, the women forge ahead with a spirit of collaboration, dauntless enthusiasm, and a belief in the power of art to move us forward. This surprisingly modern comedy proves that the show not only must, but will go on.
More information at northlight.org.