That maddening box

Monday night was the first rehearsal for Aaron Sorkin’s The Farnsworth Invention. Wow! There were 16 actors, the director, assistant director, dramaturg and 3 members of the stage management team on stage — the ‘Master Harold’ set.  There were more actors in the audience (our fearless understudies), plus designers, TimeLine staff, Company and Board members.  It was an overwhelming sight. These 16 actors will play more than 70 roles, in a play with 40 scenes and dozens of locations that spans 70 years.  The Farnsworth Invention is a HUGE undertaking and we are fortunate to have Nick Bowling at the helm of this production.

I am a big Aaron Sorkin fan. I’m somewhat obsessed with The West Wing. I’ve been known to refer to a conference room as “the situation room.” I’ve quoted President Bartlett, Josh and CJ as if they were real people working in The White House. The West Wing had me thinking about moving to Washington. Surely I could be the Deputy Chief of Staff to a fictional President of the United States. You can imagine my delight when the Company started talking about The Farnsworth Invention.

Now more than a year later, in just 3 short weeks we will gather at Germania Place for our annual gala benefit, Step into Time. In honor of The Farnsworth Invention, this year it is aptly titled Step Into [Prime] Time: The Age of Television.

You are invited to Step Into Time!

We thought we could use this year’s event to share our excitement for this final show of the 2009-10 season. So on March 26, we will celebrate the invention of television — that sometimes maddening box that gave us Aaron Sorkin’s Sport’s Night, 7 seasons of The West Wing, and too short a run of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

As you have heard any number of people say, 2009 was an amazing year for TimeLine. We made many new friends and got to know some old friends better. And now we have a terrific group of friends planning Step Into Time for you. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to Jill Hurwitz and Board member Bobbie Schultz, who are chairing the event, and to our wonderful committee members  Robert Alpaugh, Nancy Bradt, Michelle Cucchiaro, Laurie Hamilton, Maureen Powers, Penny Shaw, Debbie Siegel and Rob Waters.

Step Into [Prime] Time: The Age of Television is Friday, March 26, 2010 at Germania Place in Chicago’s Gold Coast. Tickets are on sale now online.

I guarantee a unique and fun party.  I hope you see you on March 26!

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