Chicago's Lifeline and Stage Left Honored With Special Jeff Awards Citations

News   Chicago's Lifeline and Stage Left Honored With Special Jeff Awards Citations The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee announced May 14 two Chicago area troupes — Stage Left and Lifeline Theatre — that will receive Special Citations awards this year.

Wrigleyville's Stage Left Theatre and Rogers Park's Lifeline Theatre are being honored for their contributions to theatre over the years. Both are mainstays of Chicago's non-union theatre community "and exemplify dedication to presenting new material."

Stage Left Theatre recently concluded its 25th anniversary season "with a mission to develop and produce plays that raise debate and challenge perspectives on political and social issues, seeking to activate audiences to discuss and act on issues raised in the plays, and inspiring playwrights to address political and social themes through their Downstage Left new work development program."

Stage Left has been honored over the years with many Jeff Citations nominations and 14 Citations awards. Three of these were for New Works – Police Deaf Near Far (2000) by David Rush, Chagrin Falls (2002) by Mia McCullough, and Fellow Traveller (2006) by Margaret Lewis. For 1993's Leander Stillwell Stage Left was honored with Citations for Outstanding Production – Play and for Outstanding Ensemble.

As announced on May 2, two of four New Work nominations for 2007 Citations awards also went to Stage Left productions: In Times of War by David Alan Moore, about "the pre-emptive incarceration of an enemy combatant in World War II, with themes echoing today's debates on the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay"; and One Fine Day by David Rush, "on the continuing themes of academic freedom, First Amendment rights, anti-Semitism, respect for the memory of the Holocaust; and inter-personal sensitivity."

Lifeline Theatre, soon to enter its 25th anniversary season, "was a lonely theatre pioneer in the Rogers Park neighborhood when it took over a former Commonwealth Edison substation on North Glenwood Avenue in 1986, which it calls home to this day and where it serves as an anchor of the Glenwood Avenue Arts District." Lifeline Theatre specializes in "original literary adaptations, using imaginative, unconventional staging to portray sprawling stories in an intimate space. The theatre aspires to be a creative nest for new work that reflects and engages our community."

Lifeline has received numerous Citations nominations and awards, including four Citations awards for Outstanding New Works (including a 2006 New Musical – Queen Lucia, by Christina Calvit and George Howe); and five Citations awards for Outstanding New Adaptations – most recently for John Hildreth's Johnny Tremain (2006). Lifeline also received an award from the committee's Equity wing in 1996 for Christina Calvit's adaptation of The Talisman Ring. This year, Lifeline has been nominated for two new adaptations – Christina Calvit's A Room with a View, and Frances Limoncelli's Gaudy Night, which also garnered a nomination for Outstanding Production – Play.

The Special Awards will be presented at the Jeff Awards Citations Ceremony, which will be held June 11 at Park West, 322 W. Armitage, Chicago, IL.

For more information, visit www.jeffawards.com.

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