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.

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Chicago Premiere

January 10 – March 18, 2018

Boy explores the beauty of finding love, the complexity of gender identity, and the consequences of the choices we make for those we love. In the 1960s, a surgical accident causes a well-intentioned doctor to convince the parents of twin boys to raise one as a girl. Although Adam transitions back to a male identity at age 14, the repercussions of his parents’ choice continue to reverberate as those involved struggle to connect with each other and themselves, stuck between hope for the future and uncertainty about the past.

The story follows Adam as a young adult in the 1980s finding love for the first time, with glimpses of his childhood that provide a window into what it’s like to grow up in an identity that doesn’t fit.

TimeLine brings Chicago its first view of this “insightful, gut-wrenching, and beautiful play” that is “dazzlingly, deliciously alive from start to finish” (Talkin’ Broadway), and that “has both the white hot issue of gender identity and the simple fact that it’s very, very good in its favor” (Huffington Post).

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Frost / Nixon

Chicago Premiere

Aug 17, 2010 - Oct 10, 2010

Three years after the Watergate scandal ended his presidency, Richard Nixon has agreed to break his silence in a series of interviews with up-and-coming British broadcaster David Frost. Behind-the-scenes it’s a battle of egos for the upper hand in controlling history, but as the cameras roll, the world is riveted by a remarkably honest exchange between one man who has lost everything and another with everything to gain.

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.

Trumbo

May 4, 2008 - Jun 2, 2008

TRUMBO is based on the letters of Dalton Trumbo, the legendary screenwriter who stood up to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 and was subsequently jailed and blacklisted as one of the “Hollywood Ten.” Through his brilliant and razor-sharp letters to friends, former friends and family, Trumbo is a fascinating and often spellbinding look at how the author of Spartacus, Roman Holiday and Exodus took on Congress, Hollywood and the Red Scare — and won.

Widowers' Houses

May 5, 2007 - Jun 1, 2007

Written and set in 1892, Widowers’ Houses is a hilarious yet scathing look at the ethics of making money. When a young doctor learns that his future father-in-law has earned his wealth by renting slum housing to the poor, the doctor refuses the dirty dowry that awaits him. But he must reconsider his righteous stance when he discovers alarming news about the source of his own income. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see George Bernard Shaw’s first play — the one that launched his career as one of the wittiest and most widely produced writers of his generation.

Harmless

World Premiere

Jan 16, 2007 - Mar 18, 2007

One of the most acclaimed playwrights to emerge in Chicago in the last decade, Brett Neveu has a reputation for blistering dialogue, complex characters and haunting stories. Described as a “master at establishing mood” (Chicago Sun-Times) and “perhaps the city’s closest equivalent to a young [David] Mamet” (Chicago Tribune), with Harmless, he delivers a gripping three-character drama about a crisis unfolding on a small Midwestern college campus.

A creative writing professor is called to the office of the college president for questioning. What has been going on in his classroom to provoke a growing controversy and attract the attention of the United States military? Is there a real threat, or is it imagined?

The General from America

Chicago Premiere

Aug 22, 2006 - Oct 8, 2006

Tony Award-winning playwright Richard Nelson’s powerful drama about the early, uncertain birth of America introduces us to the new country’s most notorious traitor, General Benedict Arnold. Betraying his reputation as a Revolutionary War hero, Arnold makes an uncharacteristic decision to defect to the British and surrender West Point, a plot that threatens to derail the war. What caused this founding father to betray his fellow colonists? The General from America delves into the complex story of one man’s life, his honor, and the stunning choice that would make him infamous.

Time praised The General from Americaas one of the 10 best plays of 2002, calling it “politically savvy, morally complex and theatrically cunning” and The Spectator praised it and its author as “a rich, rare and remarkable triumph on the stage … in play after play, Nelson has established himself as that contemporary stage rarity, a civilized, urbane, literate, acidic ironist in an age of urban thuggery.”

A Man for All Seasons

Nov 1, 2005 - Dec 18, 2005

First staged in 1960, Robert Bolt’s masterpiece is a ferocious battle between church and state, faith and politics, and one man’s struggle to maintain his principles when he is pressured to abandon them. When England’s Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, is asked by Henry VIII to annul his marriage so he can re-marry, More is torn between serving his King or staying true to his beliefs. His defiance of Henry ignites a political firestorm and forces More to pay the price of his disloyalty.

Pravda

Chicago Premiere

Feb 8, 2005 - Mar 26, 2005

Set in the booming 1980s, PRAVDA is the hilarious battle between an unscrupulous newspaper magnate and his idealistic editor over the integrity of the press. After Lambert Le Roux buys up London’s Fleet Street papers, he uses them to serve his political and financial whims, testing Andrew May’s willpower and principles. This hard-hitting satire by two of the most provocative playwrights of our time examines the public’s hunger for sensationalism and the objectivity of our news.

Hannah and Martin (remount)

Aug 24, 2004 - Oct 10, 2004

Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt is thrown into turmoil when her lover and mentor, the renowned philosopher Martin Heidegger, develops ties to the Nazi party and becomes a vocal supporter of Hitler. After the war, she returns to Germany and must weigh the consequences of forgiving Martin for his actions and question whether or not love can truly conquer all.

It's All True

Chicago Premiere

Apr 27, 2004 - Jun 6, 2004

Art and politics collide when the government’s Works Progress Administration shuts down director Orson Welles’ new pro-union musical THE CRADLE WILL ROCK in 1937. With the theatre doors padlocked, the cast and company must work frantically to make sure their voices are heard. This fast-paced and brilliantly witty comedy brings to life a defining moment in the history of American theatre.

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.

Hannah and Martin

World Premiere

Apr 29, 2003 - Jun 1, 2003

Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt is thrown into turmoil when her lover and mentor, the renowned philosopher Martin Heidegger, develops ties to the Nazi party and becomes a vocal supporter of Hitler. After the war, she returns to Germany and must weigh the consequences of forgiving Martin for his actions and question whether or not love can truly conquer all.

Winner of six Joseph Jefferson Awards.

August 28 – October 10, 2004

Awake and Sing!

Oct 8, 2002 - Nov 17, 2002

Clifford Odets’ masterpiece is as robust, emotional and gritty as the Great Depression itself. As Odets describes it, each of the characters share a fundamental activity — a struggle for life amidst petty conditions. Crowded together in a cramped Bronx tenement and laid low by the Great Depression, this moving portrait of a Jewish family is both funny and heartbreaking as they cope with survival and cling to dreams of a brighter future.

Halcyon Days

Feb 5, 2002 - Mar 17, 2002

In 1983, the world’s most powerful nation – the United States – invaded the smallest country in the Western Hemisphere – Granada. This cunning and dark comedy takes us behind the scenes of this bizarre moment in history to the speechwriters spinning furiously to win America’s first “public relations” war. William Brown, who won the Jeff Citation for Direction for TimeLine’s smash hit Not About Nightingales returns with this comic excursion into power, ideals and American politics.

February 9 – March 24, 2002

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.

Not About Nightingales

Midwest Premiere

Oct 17, 2000 - Dec 3, 2000

Gaslight

Oct 19, 1999 - Nov 21, 1999