TIMELY. ENTERTAINING. EMOTIONAL.
RIVETING STORIES THAT LINK PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE. 

TimeLine returns to our long-time home on Wellington Avenue for a season of plays that unveil tales from the past about politics, race, and entertainment, shedding new light on society today. Featuring a world premiere developed through the same TimeLine Playwrights Collective that nurtured our smash-hit Relentless, a landmark classic that recently enjoyed a Tony Award-nominated production on Broadway, and another exciting world premiere from a Los Angeles-based playwright new to Chicago—TimeLine’s upcoming season offers all the humor, humanity, and thought-provoking stories you’re seeking from a night out at the theatre.

It’s a season filled with schemes and dreams, offering plenty of laughter, drama, and empowering insight. Don’t miss it!


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Get priority access to these limited-run shows, pick the dates you want, use admissions as you choose in any combination—plus enjoy free exchanges—with a FlexPass.

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A hysterical and jaw-dropping inside look at the underbelly of politics through the lens of two of the undeniable founders of “fake news.”

IT IS 1934, and famous novelist Upton Sinclair is all but guaranteed to become the first Democratic governor of the state of California—until a young, unknown pair of consultants from the shadows of the challenger’s campaign attempt to take him down. As Frank Merriam and Sinclair battle it out in the spotlight—seeking endorsements from the likes of Charlie Chaplin and FDR—Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker work behind-the-scenes to methodically construct one of the most spectacular, unbelievable, and star-studded smear campaigns ever.                                            

Based on the true story of Baxter and Whitaker, who formed the first political consulting firm in U.S. history, Campaigns, Inc. is a hysterical and jaw-dropping inside look at the underbelly of politics through the lens of two of the undeniable founders of “fake news.”

Previously announced as the season opener for TimeLine’s 2020-21 season, this world premiere play was developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective, launched in 2013 to support Chicago-based playwrights in residence and create new work centered on TimeLine’s mission of presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today’s social and political issues. Campaigns, Inc. is the third play developed through the Collective to receive a full production, following Brett Neveu’s To Catch a Fish, presented at TimeLine in 2018; and Tyla Abercrumbie’s Relentless, presented in an acclaimed world premiere run at TimeLine followed by an extended sold-out run at Goodman Theatre in 2022. Campaigns, Inc. received its first public reading as part of TimeLine’s inaugural First Draft Playwrights Collective Festival in December 2018.

Campaigns, Inc. runs August 11 – September 18, 2022 (previews 8/3 – 8/10)

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A groundbreaking backstage satire of egos and attitudes that explores the complex and often emotional way people talk about race.

ACCLAIMED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES as “a rich, unsettling play that lives up to its title [and] lingers in one’s memory long after its conclusion,” this scathingly funny backstage drama about interracial politics explores the complex, difficult, and often emotional way people talk about race.

On stage at a Broadway theater in New York City in the mid-1950s, a group of actors has gathered for their first day rehearsing a new play called Chaos in Belleville, an anti-lynching Southern drama. But as the cast rehearses, tensions flair between Wiletta, the Black actress in the starring role, and her white director about his interpretation of the play. The result is an explosive conversation about equality, power, and how race is portrayed in the American theatre.

Written by Alice Childress (the first Black woman to have a play professionally produced in New York City) and featuring a play-within-a-play structure, Trouble in Mind is a groundbreaking backstage satire of egos and attitudes and an insightful look at the importance of honest representation. It was previously announced to take place in TimeLine’s 2020-21 season, and most recently enjoyed an acclaimed Broadway production nominated for four 2022 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play. The critics raved that this “masterpiece of astonishing power” (New York Magazine) is “the play of the moment” (The New York Times) and “will take your breath away” (Associated Press).

Trouble in Mind runs November 10 – December 18, 2022 (previews 11/2 – 11/9)


Set on the night in 1940 that Hattie McDaniel made history at the Oscars, a story of dreamers striving to overcome considerable obstacles and fighting for recognition amidst the racism and inequity of Hollywood.

IT IS FEBRUARY 29, 1940, the night of the Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Bartender Arthur Brooks, an ambitious Black man from rural Alabama, dreams of becoming a movie director. His best friend, Dottie Hudson, is a maid at the Ambassador Hotel who finds herself to be a cynic of all dreams. But when the actress Hattie McDaniel stops in at the bar and decides not to attend the biggest event in show business, Arthur and Dottie must do everything in their power to convince her to go and claim her historic win—all while confronting their dark past and making their own dreams come to life.

This play about race, class, gender, and the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood has previously had public readings at The Echo Theatre Company (featuring TimeLine Company Member Mildred Marie Langford) and Morgan-Wixson Theatre’s New Works Festival. TimeLine’s production will be its world premiere.

Boulevard of Bold Dreams runs February 9 – March 19, 2023 (previews 2/1 – 2/8)


HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID Screening ChecklistHEALTH AND SAFETY: TimeLine is currently requiring proof of vaccination for entry and mask-wearing to attend. Patrons are asked for your vaccination card or a picture of your vaccination card when you arrive along with valid photo ID, and are asked to wear a mask over your nose and mouth throughout their visit. These protocols are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve.

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