Now Playing

World Premiere

May 8 – June 29, 2024

Take a remarkable trip back in time to witness this haunting story of climate change, migration, and family in the days leading up to a calamitous dust storm in 1930s Texas.

IT IS APRIL 1935 IN THE DUST-RIDDLED PLAINS OF TEXAS, and a family farm is struggling to keep afloat amidst a mounting series of ecological disasters. As Jesús, a farm worker with a secret, arrives in their midst, stubborn Pa refuses to believe his land is no longer viable, young Sunny dreams of a new life in bountiful California, and Ma has mysterious visions of the future. As everyone seeks respite from an increasingly uninhabitable environment, this powerful, atmospheric world premiere manifests a Dust Bowl beyond the familiar lore and viscerally confronts humanity’s disregard for nature in the days leading up to the infamous storm known as Black Sunday.

Black Sunday was developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective—joining Brett Neveu’s To Catch a Fish (2018); Tyla Abercrumbie’s Relentless (2022, Jeff Award for Outstanding New Work); and Will Allan’s Campaigns, Inc. (2022) to become the fourth play developed through the Collective to receive a full production. Black Sunday received its first public readings as part of TimeLine’s First Draft Playwrights Collective Festival in December 2021.

Runs approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission

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May 10 – July 2, 2023

The first Chicago-based production of the Tony Award-nominated Pulitzer Prize finalist!

Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful, and guttingly human debate-meets-play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the relationship between four generations of women—all while grappling with the founding document that, for better and worse, shapes their lives.

What the Constitution Means to Me is a “slyly crafted piece of persuasion and a tangible contribution to the change it seeks” (The New York Times) and a “singularly charming, politically urgent and cathartically necessary play” (Los Angeles Times) that shows “how broad concepts of law and governance effect individual lives in the most intimate ways” (The Guardian)

A sensation upon its premiere at New York Theatre Workshop in 2018, What the Constitution Means to Me went on to a five-month Broadway run. TimeOut New York declared: “Here is something that every citizen must see. It’s theater in the old sense, the Greek sense, a place where civic society can come together and do its thinking and fixing and planning.”

Today, What the Constitution Means to Me is bound to feel even more relevant, profound, and searing than during its original run and Broadway debut. In the end, Shreck’s personal stories reflect our own, as does her passion, her laughter, and her outrage at a document that deserves to be challenged as much as it is upheld.

“Here is something that every citizen must see”


HEALTH AND SAFETY: TimeLine is currently requiring mask-wearing at all Thursday evening, Sunday matinee, and Distanced Seating performances of What the Constitution Means to Me. While masking is no longer required at most performances, TimeLine will support an individual’s choice to mask. For more information, please visit our Health & Safety policies.


CONTENT ADVISORY: To learn more about the specific content and themes of this production, please visit our content advisory page.

What the Constitution Means to Me runs approximately 1 hour, 40 minutes with no intermission

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November 2 – December 18, 2022

A cutting yet humorous behind-the-curtain drama that examines pervasive racial dynamics within the American theatre and the tolls of superficial representation on stage.

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.”

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 flare between Wiletta, the Black actress in the starring role, and her white director about his interpretation of the play. What emerges is an explosive investigation of interracial politics and the need for a cultural shift in theatre and America.

Written by Alice Childress—the first Black woman to have a play professionally produced in New York City—Trouble in Mind 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).


PLEASE NOTE: TimeLine is currently requiring mask-wearing to attend. These protocols are subject to change as the pandemic evolves. For the most updated information about TimeLine’s Health & Safety policies, click here …


Trouble in Mind runs 2 hours, 15 minutes including one intermission

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World Premiere

August 3 - September 25, 2022

Based on the true story of Leone Baxter and Clem 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.”

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—Baxter and Whitaker work behind-the-scenes to methodically construct one of the most spectacular, unbelievable, and star-studded smear campaigns ever.

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. Campaigns, Inc. is the third play developed through the Collective to receive a full production, following Brett Neveu’s To Catch a Fish (2018) and Tyla Abercrumbie’s Relentless (TimeLine and Goodman Theatre, 2022). Campaigns, Inc. received its first public reading as part of our inaugural First Draft Playwrights Collective Festival in 2018.

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World Premiere

January 21 - February 26, 2022

Relentless is now playing at Goodman Theatre! Learn more …

In this world premiere play developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective, Tyla Abercrumbie weaves a mother’s past with her daughters’ present in a centuries-spanning tale of family, legacy, and progress.

Set in the Black Victorian era, Relentless looks at the deep personal secrets we keep to protect the ones we love most. The year is 1919. After the death of their mother, two sisters come home to Philadelphia to settle her estate. Annelle is a happy socialite desperate to return to the safe illusion of a perfect life with her husband in Boston. Janet is a single, professional nurse, determined to change history and propel Black women to a place of prominence and respect. After discovering diaries left by their late mother, they find themselves confronted with a woman they never really knew, exposing buried truths from the past that are chillingly, explosively Relentless.

Relentless is the second play developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective to receive a full production. The play received its first public reading as part of our inaugural First Draft Playwrights Collective Festival in December 2018.


PLEASE NOTE: Proof of vaccination and mask-wearing are required to attend.

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Chicago Premiere

November 6, 2019 - January 12, 2020

Named one of the “100 plays of the century” by the Royal National Theatre, Githa Sowerby’s rarely produced family drama is a smart and absorbing twist on a woman’s “place” in a male dominated society.

In the industrial north of England in 1912, the patriarch of the Rutherford family has spent decades building a respected glass works company to pass on to his children, without any say from them. Caught between passion, purpose, and expectation, John, Richard, and Janet struggle to break free from an oppressive and narrow-minded father dead set on writing their stories himself. Less entangled by these family expectations and with ambitions to give her son the life he deserves, John’s young wife Mary is determined to upend the cycle, whatever it takes.

Playing on the conventions of the period with wit and creative edge, Rutherford and Son is a play ahead of its time, asking us to question if our “place” in life should be anything but what we ourselves determine it to be.

The estimated run time is 2 hours and 10 minutes, including one intermission.
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