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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Chicago Premiere

May 8, 2022 - Jun 18, 2022

This story of the first Chinese woman to arrive in the United States unearths hidden history with humor and insight, asking us to explore the way we consider both ourselves and others.

Brought to the United States at age 14 from China in 1834 by enterprising American merchants, Afong Moy is put on display so the American public can get its first view of an authentic “Chinese Lady.” Over the course of 55 years, she performs an ethnicity that both defines and challenges her own views of herself, as she witnesses stunning transformations in the American identity. As these dual truths become irreconcilable, Afong must reckon with herself and the history of her new home with startling discovery and personal revelations.

During this piercing and darkly poetic portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman, “this quiet play steadily deepens in complexity,” wrote The New York Times. “By the end of Mr. Suh’s extraordinary play, we look at Afong and see whole centuries of American history. She’s no longer the Chinese lady. She is us.”


The Chinese Lady was available for remote viewing on demand. Access ended on Sunday, June 19 at 11:59pm.
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