Chicago Premiere

September 10 - October 20, 2019

“A riveting political thriller.”
— Associated Press

Don’t miss TimeLine’s Chicago premiere of the 2017 Tony Award® winner for Best Play—a remarkable story about the unlikely friendships, quiet heroics, and sheer determination that pushed two foes to reach something neither thought truly possible—peace.

When the Israeli prime minister and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization shook hands on the White House lawn in 1993, the world had no idea what it took to orchestrate that momentous occasion. Behind the scenes, a Norwegian diplomat and her social scientist husband hatched an intricate, top secret, and sometimes comical scheme to gather an unexpected assortment of players at an idyllic estate just outside Oslo. Far from any international glare, mortal enemies were able to face each other not as adversaries, but as fellow human beings.

J.T. Roger’s’ Oslo is a humorous, surprising, and inspiring true story about the people inside politics, and the incredible progress that is possible when we focus on what makes us human—together.

The best way to secure seats to Oslo is to purchase a 2019-2020 TimeLine FlexPass Subscription! LEARN MORE …

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October 19 - December 9, 2018

This glorious, raw, and bittersweet look at one of opera’s most formidable talents was the Tony Award winner for Best Play in 1996.

Witness a master class conducted by legendary opera diva Maria Callas. Glamorous and demanding, Callas critiques and regales a new crop of opera’s finest. Both frustrated and amazed by the students thrust before her, she escapes into recollections of the glories and failures of her past, remembering her rise as one of opera’s biggest underdogs. This authentic and musically rich Master Class presents a portrait of a fading star who refuses to be anything but unapologetically herself.

TimeLine’s production stars Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks, a six-time Jeff Award nominee for roles at TimeLine (including 33 Variations, A Walk in the Woods, and All My Sons), where she mostly recently appeared last season as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience.

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Chicago Premiere

August 16 – December 3, 2017

“If you stick round long enough, the same ideas come round again and again. Wearing a different coloured tie.”

A portrait of a dynamic and provocative woman—the symbol of a nation—as she weathers decades of history and political strife. Every Tuesday afternoon for more than 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with her Prime Ministers in a private audience, a gesture of unity between government and Crown. Through moments of tension, negotiation, war, and unrest, these conversations with political leaders from Winston Churchill to Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher have remained a constant across the years. Playwright Peter Morgan re-imagines these meetings, giving us a glimpse at the queen’s role in guiding the circumstances that have shaped Great Britain, and a window into the mystery, compassion and humor of the woman behind the iconic crown.

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Chicago Premiere

Jan 11, 2017 - Apr 9, 2017

TimeLine presents a new and rare staging of this exquisite, internationally acclaimed play about love, math, and how the past and future connect. In 1913, a clerk in rural India named Srinivasa Ramanujan sends a letter to famed mathematician G.H. Hardy, filled with astonishing mathematical theorems. In the present, a math professor and a businessman fall in love. Told in a mesmerizing whirlwind of vignettes spanning history and time, A Disappearing Number is a love letter to numbers, blending the beauty of everyday relationships with the mysticism of the cosmos.

Winner of the 2007 Critics’ Circle Theatre, Evening Standard, and Laurence Olivier awards for Best New Play.

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U.S. Premiere

September 21 - December 18, 2016

“Do you think girls are smart enough to run a country?” … “Girls are smart. They just aren’t legal.”

Katherine Parr has just been crowned the sixth wife of King Henry VIII. In the process, she’s started an illicit affair, inherited three children, and begun her own political career. Now’s not the time to lose her head. The Last Wife is a bold and contemporary return to Tudor England that confronts issues as relevant today as they were 500 years ago.

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Chicago Premiere

May 3 - July 31, 2016

In June 1989, as the Chinese government cracked down on a pro-democracy rally in Tiananmen Square, the iconic image of one man standing alone in front of a military tank captivated the world. Twenty years later, a photojournalist searches for the truth about that mysterious “Tank Man” in an epic, global adventure that explores the complex relationship between twin superpowers China and the United States.

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A discussion of The Price as part of the Sunday Scholars series.

Chicago Premiere

Sep 23, 2014 - Dec 21, 2014

Acclaimed as a “rip-roaring, grit-your-teeth production” (Chicago Sun-Times), “a refreshingly political piece” (Chicago Tribune) and an “urgent, cinematic, and breathlessly intense … dose of thinking theater” (Stage and Cinema), this show is a political conspiracy thriller (based on true events) in the vein of House of Cards, Kill the Messenger and All the President’s Men.

Juno

Chicago Premiere

Apr 23, 2014 - Jul 27, 2014

Originally on Broadway in 1959, this timeless musical has never been seen in Chicago, until now!

During the Irish Civil War in the 1920s, the fearless matriarch of a destitute household holds her family together in the face of her husband’s carousing. With fortunes about to turn, the family strives to rise above the political and social unrest around them. This epic, humorous and heartbreaking tale of survival is told through honest and powerful anthems such as “I Wish It So,” “We’re Alive” and “On a Day Like This.”

The Normal Heart

Oct 26, 2013 - Dec 29, 2013

Originally premiered Off-Broadway in 1985, TimeLine’s production is the first Chicago staging of this landmark play that “blasts you like an open, overstoked furnace” (The New York Times) since its Tony-Award winning Broadway production in 2011. Set at the height of the public and private indifference to the AIDS plague in the early 1980s, this searing drama will feature acclaimed actor/director David Cromer in his return to the Chicago stage as a passionate activist leading the fight to awaken the world to the crisis. Along the way he, and the community he leads into the battle, must face the deeply held fears that led so many to remain silent for too long.

A discussion of The Normal Heart featuring guest speakers with expertise and experience related to the themes of The Normal Heart. This discussion takes place on World AIDS Day and is presented in partnership with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Blood and Gifts

Chicago Premiere

Apr 30, 2013 - Jul 28, 2013

This spy thriller—named one of the Top 10 plays of 2011 by The New York Times — goes deep inside the secret United States intrigue that powered the Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s. A CIA operative struggles against conditions on the ground and politics in the halls of Washington to stop the Soviet Army’s destruction of Afghanistan. As alliances shift and the outcome of the Cold War appears to hang in the balance, he and an Afghan warlord find that the only one they can trust is each other. This bold new play unmasks the actions of men behind one of recent history’s greatest events — the repercussions of which still shape our lives.

We hope you will join us for this special discussion, moderated by by Associate Artistic Director (and Blood and Gifts director) Nick Bowling.

33 Variations

Chicago Premiere

Aug 24, 2012 - Oct 21, 2012

TimeLine’s 2012-13 season opener is an elegant waltz between past and present, fact and speculation, a mother and daughter, and art and life. One of classical music’s enduring riddles is why Ludwig van Beethoven devoted four years of his diminishing life writing 33 variations of a mediocre waltz. Two hundred years later, a modern-day music scholar is driven to solve the mystery even as her own health and relationship with her daughter crumbles.

The result is an extraordinary new American play — accompanied throughout by a live pianist playing the variations themselves — about passion, parenthood, and the moments of beauty that can transform a life.

Sunday Scholars Series

Sunday, November 13 at 5 pm

A discussion of 33 Variations as part of the Sunday Scholars series,moderated by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director, Nick Bowling.

My Kind of Town

World Premiere

May 1, 2012 - Jul 29, 2012

My Kind of Town puts a human face on the police torture scandal that has plagued Chicago for more than three decades. Veteran investigative journalist John Conroy covered the story, challenging public indifference to become one of the leading voices drawing attention to the charges. My Kind of Town is his passionate, groundbreaking new drama revolving around one imprisoned man’s fight for justice, inspired by the stories of numerous victims, police officers, prosecutors and families whose lives have been poisoned by the allegations. With interlocking storylines that humanize the play’s issues of corruption and responsibility, My Kind of Town sets the stage for a new conversation about today’s culture of law and order.

We hope you will join us for a discussion on the themes in My Kind of Town, moderated by Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling.

A Walk in the Woods

Aug 18, 2011 - Nov 20, 2011

Lee Blessing’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama, filled with unexpected humor and extraordinary humanity, is an absorbing, revealing and brilliant debate on the eternal hope and relentless futility of high-stakes politics. Two superpower arms negotiators— one a witty but cynical Russian veteran and the other an idealistic American newcomer — meet informally in the woods after long, frustrating hours at the bargaining table. TimeLine’s production is presented with a twist: The two characters (originally written as two men) are portrayed by TimeLine Company Members Janet Ulrich Brooks and David Parkes.

The Front Page

Apr 12, 2011 - Jul 17, 2011

In this landmark comedy set inside the crowded pressroom at Chicago’s Criminal Courts Building during the 1920s, a group of reporters cover a controversial execution and expose the rampant corruption, scandal and hi-jinx associated with Windy City politics and journalism. TimeLine is thrilled to revive a quintessential Chicago classic and to highlight for audiences the wealth of local history embedded in Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s hilarious and semi-autobiographical script.

In Darfur

Chicago Premiere

Jan 19, 2011 - Mar 20, 2011

Playwright Winter Miller’s experiences accompanying Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in Sudan inform this provocative account of the horrors of genocide. In a camp for internally displaced persons in Darfur, three lives intertwine — an aid worker trying to save lives, a Darfuri woman searching for safety and a journalist who believes that one front-page story can help stop the madness. Together they tell an intense, inspired-by-real-life story that demands international attention.

The Farnsworth Invention

Chicago Premiere

Apr 14, 2010 - Jun 13, 2010

From Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing and A Few Good Mencomes this fascinating new play direct from Broadway. Two ambitious visionaries — Philo T. Farnsworth, an Idaho farmboy, and David Sarnoff, head of RCA — battle through corporate espionage, family tragedy, financial disaster and the thrill of discovery for the rights to one of the greatest inventions of all time: the television.

When She Danced

Nov 4, 2009 - Dec 20, 2009

Visit Paris in 1923 to eavesdrop on the bohemian life of international star Isadora Duncan — renowned as the “mother of modern dance” — in this evocative and incredibly funny portrait. A multi-lingual script of great heart mixes the high comedy of a colorful cast of characters with a poignant view of how art can move and inspire us.

The History Boys

Chicago Premiere

Apr 22, 2009 - Oct 19, 2009

The recipient of more than 30 major awards, including Tony and Olivier awards for Best New Play, The History Boys follows a rambunctious group of clever young men as they pursue higher learning, games, sexual identity and a place at university under the guidance of three wildly different teachers and a headmaster obsessed with results. Set during the 1980s in northern England, it is a hilarious and provocative play about the anarchy of adolescence and the purpose of education — specifically, how history should be taught.

The History Boys premiered in London at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre in May 2004. It played to sell-out audiences for an extended run before touring to Hong Kong, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia in 2006. The play premiered on Broadway in April 2006 and received six Tony Awards. It has also been adapted into a feature film.

Not Enough Air

World Premiere

Jan 21, 2009 - Mar 22, 2009

This world premiere drama Not Enough Air follows famed journalist-turned-playwright Sophie Treadwell as she is drawn into the real-life tragedy of Ruth Snyder’s 1928 murder trial. Treadwell is haunted by Ruth’s story and finds herself compelled to bring it to the stage in the form of her landmark play Machinal, acclaimed as one of the high points of expressionist theater on an American stage. In this astonishing exploration of media sensationalism and ethics as well as interpretation and manipulation in the creative process, Obolensky illuminates the lives of two women who pushed against the limitations and expectations imposed upon them by society.

Fiorello! (remount)

Apr 13, 2008 - Jul 20, 2008

Ahead of its time when it premiered in 1959 and now often called a neglected masterpiece, Fiorello! is a classic Broadway musical that features heartbreaking ballads (“When Did I Fall in Love”), rousing chorus numbers (“Politics and Poker”) and melodic showstoppers (“Little Tin Box”) to tell the story of one small, honest man’s struggle against corruption in big-city politics.

With guts and perseverance, Fiorello H. LaGuardia put a bright, new shine on “The Big Apple” and became one of the most enduring figures of the 20th century.

Tesla's Letters

Chicago Premiere

Nov 6, 2007 - Dec 23, 2007

Ideas about war and peace, the uses of science and the exercise of humanity reverberate in this witty, suspenseful, intellectual puzzle of a drama. An American student travels to the former Yugoslavia in 1997 to research the work of Nikola Tesla, the Croatian-born Serbian scientist who invented electricity as we use it today. But as she delves deeper into Tesla’s life and homeland, she is soon forced to make a decision about whether to get involved with the unexpected world of turmoil and suffering around her.

The Children's Hour

Oct 31, 2006 - Dec 17, 2006

Inspired by a 19th-century legal case, Lillian Hellman’s landmark drama premiered in 1934 to great acclaim amid tremendous controversy — the play was initially banned in several major cities and the Pulitzer committee refused to attend.

When an angry student accuses two female boarding school teachers of having an affair, the results are devastating. As their lives fall apart, the women struggle to clear their stained reputations amidst a flurry of attacks and questions about the basis of the allegations. Director Nick Bowling delivers a bold, innovative staging of this provocative classic.

Fiorello!

May 2, 2006 - Jun 18, 2006

Ahead of its time when it premiered in 1959 and now often called a neglected masterpiece, Fiorello! is a classic Broadway musical that features heartbreaking ballads (“When Did I Fall in Love”), rousing chorus numbers (“Politics and Poker”) and melodic showstoppers (“Little Tin Box”) to tell the story of one small, honest man’s struggle against corruption in big-city politics.

With guts and perseverance, Fiorello H. LaGuardia put a bright, new shine on “The Big Apple” and became one of the most enduring figures of the 20th century.

Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom

Chicago Premiere

Feb 7, 2006 - Mar 26, 2006

Originally produced to great acclaim in London in 2004 and a subsequent hit Off-Broadway, Guantanamo is based on interviews with the families of men detained in Guantanamo Bay. This stirring drama weaves together riveting personal stories, legal opinion and political debate, putting a human face on the world’s headlines and examining the divisive line between maintaining national security and protecting human rights.

This Happy Breed

Nov 3, 2004 - Dec 19, 2004

A rarely produced gem, THIS HAPPY BREED exposes a different side of Noel Coward. This touching and emotional drama focuses on the conflict, frustration and love within a middle class British family during 20 years of peace between the two World Wars.

The Lion in Winter

Sep 30, 2003 - Nov 23, 2003

Back stabbing, spying, double-crossing and rampant infidelity – just a typical family Christmas for the Plantagenets, England’s royal family. This ingenious drama pits King Henry II against his strong-willed wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and their three heirs in a 12th-century struggle for love and power.

Hauptmann

Feb 4, 2003 - Mar 23, 2003

Facing a nation that has already decided his guilt, Richard Hauptmann insists he is innocent of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. His case is simple: Public pressure forced investigators to pin the “Crime of the Century” on this naïve illegal immigrant. John Logan’s explosive and highly theatrical drama reveals the birth of media frenzy and the execution of a potentially innocent man.

The Crucible

Oct 9, 2001 - Nov 25, 2001

Faith, Fear, Lust and Longing combust in Arthur Miller’s retelling of one of the strangest and most horrible chapters of American history – the Salem Witch Trials. Jeff Citation winning director Nick Bowling returns to TimeLine to illuminate the tale of a repressed town plunged into deadly panic and a family fighting to stand up for the truth at any cost.

Streeterville

World Premiere

Feb 15, 2001 - Mar 18, 2001

On July 10, 1886 Cap Streeter and his wife Maria were returning to Chicago from Milwaukee in their steamboat, The Reutan, when they crashed into a sandbar just off the shore at the end of East Superior Street. He eventually laid claim to the 186 acres of beach bounded by Erie Street to the south, Oak Street to the north, St. Clair Street to the west, and Lake Michigan to the east. Cap’s notable neighbors did not agree that the land Cap claimed was his for the taking. Although Cap lost the the land, he left present day Chicagoans a legacy – the name of the Streeterville neighborhood and a wildly colorful story.

Gaslight

Oct 19, 1999 - Nov 21, 1999

Summit Conference

Apr 16, 1998 - May 24, 1998