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.


Production Team

* Member of Actors Equity Association

# Member of United Scenic Artists

~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

+ TimeLine Company Member

^ TimeLine Associate Artist

§ TimeLine Playwrights Collective


  • Chicago Tribune

    August 23, 2011

    Classy and stimulating … Actress Janet Ulrich Brooks, one of the most formidable weapons in the TimeLine arsenal, shares the stage with David Parkes … These two actors are both honest, skillful players, and their dance of negotiation is certainly entertaining. Brooks, in particular, finds all kinds of shading, and there is not a false or artificial note in Parkes’ performance.

    —Chris Jones

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  • Daily Herald

    August 26, 2011

    TimeLine’s production has two very compelling reasons to recommend it. Brooks and Parkes — both of whom have appeared lately in supporting roles — deliver credible, expertly nuanced performances. … TimeLine’s “Walk” serves as a fine showcase for the talents of two of its most accomplished ensemble members.

    —Barbara Vitello

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  • Newcity

    Recommended … it’s not so much the actual details of the negotiations that matter as much as the desire for two human parties to connect and see a common ground. This philosophical dance is handled delicately and pointedly by TimeLine’s production …

    —Neal Ryan Shaw

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  • Chicago Reader

    August 25, 2011

    It’s a period piece. But director Nick Bowling has done a lot of ingenious things to keep the dust off, the most ingenious of them being to reimagine Botvinnik (originally a male character) as a woman and then to get Janet Ulrich Brooks to play her. … [she] is just plain brilliant. … [The play] still stands up as a portrait of two people trying to negotiate meaning under circumstances where it’s in awfully short supply and getting scarcer by the minute.

    —Tony Adler

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  • TimeOut Chicago

    August 23, 2011

    … with Blessing’s blessing, [Nick] Bowling’s production casts the Soviet negotiator as a woman; given Brooks’s masterful performance, it’s hard to imagine it any other way. … Both performances are skillful and nuanced …

    —Kris Vire

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  • Chicago Critic

    August 24, 2011

    This smartly written and deftly performed work is filled with humorous dialogue and deeply psychological character traits that engrosses us from the start by the intelligent and nuanced performances by the two top talents.

    —Tom Williams

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Discussions & Events

  • Sunday Scholars Series
    September 25, 4:00 pm

    This one-hour post-show panel discussion features experts on the themes of the play.

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