These plays were presented as part of the TimePieces Play Reading Series during the 2008-09 season:

• • • • •

by Arthur Schnitzler | adapted by Samuel Adamson
directed by Andrea J. Dymond

Reading held Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 7 p.m. 

Arthur Schnitzler’s work has come to define Vienna at the turn of the last century. Set in a hospital in Vienna in 1900, Professor Bernhardi exposes the violent prejudices lurking beneath the city’s glittering surface. In the interests of a dying patient, Jewish doctor Professor Bernhardi prevents a Catholic priest from administering the last rites to a girl who is blissfully unaware of her imminent death. The result is a witch-hunt that sets medical etiquette against religious orthodoxy and the Christian establishment against Jews, creates a funding crisis for the teaching hospital, and even has Bernhardi convicted of agitating the Catholic religion. This acclaimed new adaptation by National Theatre playwright Samuel Adamson recently was the first production of Professor Bernhardi to appear on a London stage in more than 70 years, and TimeLine was delighted to bring it to Chicago audiences for the first time.

• • • • •

by Michael Frayn
directed by Jonathan Berry 

Reading held Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 7 p.m. 

Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, Democracy is Michael Frayn’s follow-up to his landmark work Copenhagen. This play re-imagines the interactions and motivations of Willy Brandt and those in his political circle as he became chancellor of West Germany in 1966. It also follows Günter Guillaume, a functionary who became Brandt’s personal assistant and who was eventually exposed as an East German spy in a discovery that helped force the chancellor from office. What circumstances allowed Brandt to become the first left-wing chancellor in 40 years? And why, given his progressive policies, did the East German secret police feel it necessary to plant a spy in his office and risk bringing down his government? Inspired by known events of 20th Century history, Frayn has created a drama of extraordinary urgency and subtlety.

• • • • •

by John Galsworthy 
directed by Paul S. Holmquist

Reading held Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 7 p.m. 

During the first decade of the 20th Century, John Galsworthy was widely regarded as one of England’s leading writers, as both a novelist and playwright and the winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize for Literature. Yet he is rarely produced in the United States today. Galsworthy built his reputation by dealing regularly with the unequal division of wealth and the unfair treatment of poor people, and in Windows he examines that issue once again. Written in 1922, Windows is subtitled “A Comedy in Three Acts for Idealists and Others.” The play takes us inside the home of Geoffrey and Joan March, an idealistic and liberal middle-class couple living with their young daughter and World War I-veteran son. Their home, lives and even their cultural viewpoints are turned upside down when they hire a new maid, recently released from prison for a highly publicized and scandalous crime, who possesses many secrets.