Having its U.S. premiere June 4 in Skokie, IL, Michael Gow's Away explores social class, love and death through the Christmas vacations of three families of different social classes. Directed by David Petrarca, the production began previews May 28 at Chicagoland's Northlight Theatre.
The play opens with two high school students saying goodbye after a school production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream. The two students and their families, plus the headmaster of their school and his wife, all leave for a vacation by the sea. While there, a "Shakespearean Tempest" causes strife among the families as well as bringing them together, changing their opinions of life.
Gow is one of the best-known contemporary playwrights in Australia. Written in 1986, Away won the NSW Premiere's Award, the Sydney Theatre Critic's Circle Award and the 1987 AWGIE Award.
This production marks Petrarca's return to Northlight Theatre where he made his Chicago debut in 1987. Since then, he has directed many productions both in and beyond Chicago, including Marvin's Room which was produced Off-Broadway. In 1996 Petrarca was chosen by the Chicago Tribune as a "Chicagoan of the Year."
Away runs June 4-22 at Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 N. Skokie Blvd., Chicago. For more information: (847) 673-6300.-- By Honey Freilich