U.S. Premiere

September 21 - December 18, 2016

“Do you think girls are smart enough to run a country?” … “Girls are smart. They just aren’t legal.”

Katherine Parr has just been crowned the sixth wife of King Henry VIII. In the process, she’s started an illicit affair, inherited three children, and begun her own political career. Now’s not the time to lose her head. The Last Wife is a bold and contemporary return to Tudor England that confronts issues as relevant today as they were 500 years ago.

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Cast

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

Reviews

  • Chicago on the Aisle

    October 15, 2016

    5 STARS. Hennig’s dazzling play, supremely acted under the regal hand of director Nick Bowling … is a theatrical experience not to be missed.

    —Lawrence B. Johnson

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  • Chicago Sun-Times

    October 12, 2016

    The TimeLine production, directed by Nick Bowling (and cast with notable diversity) is vividly acted, with the power couple at its center capable of true fireworks. … it might just be a perfect reflection of the temper of our times.”

    —Hedy Weiss

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  • Buzz News Chicago

    October 1, 2016

    Director Nick Bowling’s cast teases out the nuances of Hennig’s complex script, creating a surprisingly compassionate image of a court known mainly for its beheadings. … For fans of the Tudor era, as well as people who enjoy intimate studies of ambitious families, The Last Wife is highly recommended.”

    —Jacob Davis

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  • Chicago Tribune

    October 4, 2016

    “The Last Wife” is certainly a fresh take on this bloody stretch of English history, and a very smart piece of writing.

    —Chris Jones

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  • Chicago Reader

    October 3, 2016

    RECOMMENDED. Hennig imagines a smart, funny screwball-style relationship between Parr and Henry, with a grim frisson: one lover can have the other executed at any moment. Steve Pickering is the perfect charming thug as Henry, while AnJi White pushes Parr to white-knuckle levels of nerve, always arrogant, always overreaching.

    —Tony Adler

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  • Stage and Cinema

    October 3, 2016

    Ending Catherine’s centuries-long silence over her superiority to the men in her world, Hennig provides a fine actress with a role well worth the wait.

    —Lawrence Bommer

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  • Newcity

    September 30, 2016

    RECOMMENDED. With its modern aesthetic, “The Last Wife” is more “House of Cards” than “A Man for All Seasons” and as a production takes some inspired risks. … A play of palpable intelligence.

    —Kevin Greene

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  • Third Coast Review

    September 30, 2016

    RECOMMENDED. Bowling succeeds in directing this family drama with awareness of its power. The entire cast is excellent. [Steve] Pickering is as always a delight to watch and [AnJi] White is a powerful protofeminist woman. The two youngest actors are both a revelation.

    —Nancy Bishop

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  • Around the Town Chicago

    September 30, 2016

    4 STARS. The king is played to perfection by Steve Pickering, and when I say, perfection, I mean with a capital P—He is dynamite in this powerful cat and mouse game … This is a powerful show.

    —Alan Bresloff

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  • Chicago Theatre Review

    October 18, 2016

    The production, directed with salience, style and spirit by Nick Bowling, floats through a fluid, impressionistic modern-day setting … Anji White is simply unforgettable. … Pickering’s performance is the stuff for which awards and accolades are created. … this production truly speaks to today’s audiences.

    —Colin Douglas

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  • Arts and About

    November 8, 2016

    A fascinating modern take on the House of Tudor … There’s no better way to get your English History refresher than to see 'The Last Wife'

    —Tom Mullaney

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Features

  • Rebellious Magazine

    October 12, 2016

    [A] first-rate production … The production couldn’t be any more relevant unless one of Hillary Clinton’s signature pantsuits was thrown into the mix.

    —Janet Arvia

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  • WBEZ Worldview

    October 28, 2016

    “In the English-speaking world, women have had to imagine their history, because history was written by men.” Nari Safavi discusses The Last Wife with playwright Kate Hennig and director Nick Bowling in this WBEZ radio feature.

    Listen to the interview

  • Chicago On the Aisle

    December 8, 2016

    “That is when you think to yourself, ‘I’m a queen. I’m going to survive this.’” Lawrence B. Johnson of Chicago On the Aisle sat down with THE LAST WIFE actor AnJi White to discuss her role as Kate, life in the rehearsal room, and “where history intersects the modern perspective.”

    Read the full feature

Discussions & Events

  • Open Captioned Performance
    Saturday, October 22 at 4pm

    Featuring a text display of words and sounds heard during the performance.

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  • PRE-Show Discussions
    Various dates

    Join us for an informal sneak peek into the show with members of the production team.

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  • Post-Show Discussions
    Various dates

    Informal discussion with cast members and production team of THE LAST WIFE.

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  • Sunday Scholars Series
    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 4:30 pm

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

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  • Company Member Discussion
    Sunday, November 20

    Join us for an informal chat with TimeLine’s Company Members after today’s performance.

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  • Belmont Theater District Theatre Night
    Thursday, December 8 at 6:45 pm

    A special reception and behind-the-scenes at THE LAST WIFE with Belmont Theater District

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  • THE LAST WIFE Closing
    Sunday, December 18 at 2pm

    The final performance of Kate Hennig’s contemporary return to Tudor England.

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