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.

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.

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 Pitmen Painters

Chicago Premiere

Sep 6, 2011 - Dec 4, 2011

Heralded in London and on Broadway, this new play by the Tony Award- winning writer of Billy Elliot is based on a triumphant true story. A group of miners in Northern England taking an art appreciation class start experimenting with painting and soon build an astonishing body of work that makes them the unlikeliest of art world sensations. An arresting and hilarious salute to the power of individual expression and the collective spirit, The Pitmen Painters is a deeply moving and timely look at art, class and politics.

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.

To Master the Art

World Premiere

Oct 26, 2010 - Dec 19, 2010

Commissioned by TimeLine in 2008, this world premiere recalls the adventure and romance of Julia and Paul Child’s journey of discovery to Paris during the 1950s. From the bistro where Julia fell in love with food, to the kitchen table where she recreated everything learned during cooking class, to a room where Paul was grilled by U.S. agents about alleged Communist contact, this is the story of a larger-than-life culinary icon and her remarkable husband as they struggle to find themselves as Americans abroad.

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.

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.

"Master Harold"...and the Boys

Jan 20, 2010 - Mar 21, 2010

Acclaimed for both its universal themes of humanity and its unforgettable dialogue, this widely admired masterpiece explores life in South Africa during the 1950s era of apartheid. When a white 17-year-old and two black workers he has known all his life connect on one rainy day, their wide-ranging discussions illustrate all that unites us, and the gulf of what still divides us.

All My Sons

Aug 27, 2009 - Oct 4, 2009

A landmark classic from the legendary author of Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, this 1947 Tony Award winner for Best Play returns to the Chicago stage for the first time since an acclaimed Broadway revival last season. In the wake of World War II, a middle-class American family struggles with loss, love and an explosive secret from the past in this powerful drama about business ethics and responsibility.

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.

Weekend

Chicago Premiere

Aug 20, 2008 - Oct 12, 2008

Written and set during the 1968 presidential campaign, Weekend is a witty comedy about a Republican Senator who is about to announce his candidacy for his party’s nomination when his son arrives with shocking — and potentially politically damaging — news. Prejudice, blackmail, self-righteousness and opportunism become a potent mix as the candidate and his handlers conspire with well-calculated maneuvers to save the day.

Dolly West's Kitchen

Chicago Premiere

Jan 22, 2008 - Mar 22, 2008

During World War II in Ireland’s County Donegal, the close-knit West family has love and laughter in the safety of Dolly’s kitchen to distract itself from fears of the war nearby. But their plan to escape involvement is shattered when one of their own brings a British and two American soldiers across the border and into their midst. Soon clashes over issues of loyalty, jealousy, sexual identity and love invade the neutrality of Dolly West’s kitchen. This hilarious and poignant play invites us to feel the souls of its characters and reflect on the uncharted paths we’re led to by our choices.

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.

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.