Chicago Premiere

January 10 – March 18, 2018

“I chose my name. I chose it.”

A moving and poignant story, inspired by true events, about a search for personal identity and acceptance. In the 1960s, a surgical accident causes a well-intentioned doctor to convince the parents of twin boys to raise one as a girl. Two decades later, the repercussions of that choice continue to unfold, as those involved struggle to connect with each other and themselves, stuck between their hope for the future and their uncertainty about the past. BOY explores the beauty of finding love, the complexity of gender identity, and the consequences of the choices we make for those we love.

Now Playing

October 20 – December 16, 2017

“Leave behind the stranglehold of convention and loosen your corset, you will breathe much better.”

This intimate and humorous story of awakening, equality, and the need for connection was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award nominee for Best Play. It is the 1880s and Thomas Edison’s invention of the electric light has begun to change the fabric of daily life. Inspired by Edison’s discovery, scientist and inventor Dr. Givings experiments with a piece of machinery to treat the increasingly common affliction of female hysteria. When he starts to see a new patient regularly, his wife’s curiosity with the invention and what occurs “in the next room” grows, leading to discoveries of her own. Don’t miss this entertaining night of self-discovery which shows that human connection is not simply a means to an end, but a vital part of life itself.

Runs about 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission

The Apple Family Plays
That Hopey Changey Thing and Sorry

Chicago Premieres

Jan 13, 2015 - Apr 19, 2015

Richard Nelson’s celebrated series of four Apple Family Plays—first commissioned by The Public Theatre in New York where they premiered on the day they are set—explores politics, change, and family dynamics. TimeLine presents the Chicago debut of two of these remarkable works (the first and third in the series) on an alternating schedule.

Set in the American town of Rhinebeck, New York, That Hopey Changey Thing takes place as the polls close on the 2010 mid-term elections, and Sorry is set on the morning of the presidential election in 2012. Both explore how a family sorts through personal and political feelings of loss and confusion in the shadow of history as it is being made.

A discussion of The Apple Family Plays as part of the Sunday Scholars series.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Paradise Lost

Aug 21, 2007 - Oct 21, 2007

Reportedly considered by Odets himself to be his best and most significant work,Paradise Lost is an intense family drama set amid the vast landscape of social and economic challenges faced during the Great Depression. How will financial misfortune affect the values, personalities, relationships and aspirations of the well-educated, middle-class Gordons and their close circle of friends?

Odets’ passionate characters speak with a fast-talking language that sings with big dreams and optimism for the future, despite daunting odds.

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.