Just over a week ago, TimeLine opened its 50th production — Lucy Prebble’s beautiful provocation called Enron, directed by Rachel Rockwell.
Whenever a show opens I admit that I have a period of odd withdrawal. In the weeks leading up to opening I am around the theatre all the time, around the clock. It’s one of the parts of my job I cherish the most — getting to play a hands-on role in pushing a show to its fullest potential and working with a great team to fine-tune every aspect for opening night. After that night comes and goes, while I certainly don’t just disappear back to my office, I definitely do step back to put the show in the hands of our incredibly capable cast and stage managers for a 13-week run.
But Enron is a hard show to step back from, because in so many ways the play is a provocation. It pricks your curiosity to learn more and talk more.
Now the show is up, and while the cast is responsible for serving up the story every night, the play is really in the hands of you now — the TimeLine audience.
The conversations I have already had with many of you speak directly to our intentions for producing this play — it’s gonna get people talking. As was evidenced with the disconnect between the response to the production in London (where it was a huge hit) and the one in New York (where it was not), this play can be polarizing. That is certainly not new information to us, and it’s a challenge we have relished since choosing to bring the play to Chicago for the first time and paring it down for our intimate space.
I can’t think of a conversation I’d rather be having right now in our theatre, as we venture deeper into the circus of the 2012 election. Lucy Prebble’s play — in all its audacious, theatrical glory — tees up a conversation that is both insightful and (10 years later) urgent.
Going into any production, we have a sense of the conversations that a play will ignite, but we’re never fully sure until all of you show up. It’s always thrilling to find out where we guessed right and where we guessed wrong — what things you grab hold of that maybe we weren’t expecting, and what you most want to talk about.
A few days ago I was on the sidewalk after a performance and saw a group in a heated — and I mean heated — debate about deregulation. I observed with great interest and satisfaction that we sent people home with things to think about and discuss.
So I’m curious to hear from those who have seen the show …
- What do you find most relevant about Enron?
- Do any of you have personal ties to the story?
- And have you found yourself rethinking — or better understanding — things about the collapse of Enron as a result of seeing the show?
We look forward to hearing about what’s on your mind!