Elizabethan Playwright, Rogue and Spy is Leading Man in Marlowe, Premiering in Chicago June 9

News   Elizabethan Playwright, Rogue and Spy is Leading Man in Marlowe, Premiering in Chicago June 9 Bailiwick Repertory Theatre pulls back the curtain on Shakespeare's contemporary, Christopher Marlowe, with the world premiere of Chicago-based playwright Harlan Didrickson's Marlowe, beginning June 9 in Chicago.

Bailiwick founder and artistic director David Zak directs the play about the turbulent life of the Elizabethan playwright who penned Dr. Faustus, Tamburlaine Parts I and II and Edward II.

Opening night is June 12. Performances continue to July 17

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"In the play, we meet the firebrand Marlowe and his Cambridge pals Thomas Kyd and Thomas Watson, and follow his involvement with his patron Sir Francis Walsingham and Queen Elizabeth," according to production notes. "As his popularity rises as a playwright, his radical thinking, sharp tongue and work as a spy and lead to a series of encounters with enemies and ultimately his untimely death. Illustrated with excerpts from his poetry and plays, Didrickson's Marlowe is a contemporary play with a classical core."

"Marlowe is truly a fascinating character," Zak said in production notes. "Not only can he be counted as one of the theatre's most poetic and inspired dramatists, he clearly lived life on the edge. He was radically outspoken and daring in ways that are remarkable even today. While the play, like almost all biographical plays, takes some artistic license with the facts in Marlowe's life, I am confident that audiences will be excited and intrigued by this fiery and sensational figure." The creative team includes Brian Sidney Bembridge (set design), Jared Moore (lighting design) and Kerith Wolf (costume design).

The cast includes Timothy W. Hull as Marlowe, Julie Partyka as Queen Elizabeth, Kevin Mayes as Sir Francis Walsingham, Greg Beam, Hank Hilbert, Joe Hudson, Bradford Lund, Sean Martin, Steven Marzolf, Michael Pacas, Jonathan Pereira and Vincent Teninty.

Playwright Harlan Didrickson was an instructor on the Creative Writing faculty at Columbia College for 13 years. His other produced plays include Four of a Kind, which was staged in Pittsburgh, at Chicago Dramatist Workshop and at the Theatre Bohemien in Germany; The Occupation of Nicky Wolf; and two one-act plays Fences and Relics. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon University.

Director David Zak has been artistic director of Bailiwick Repertory since it's founding in 1982. He is most proud of the many new works that have premiered at Bailiwick, including the recent hit musical Dr. Sex (recipient of seven Jeff Citations, including Best New Work, Best Musical, and Best Direction of a Musical) and Sin: A Cardinal Disposed (Jeff Citation Outstanding Adaptation.) Recent projects have included Breathe for the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theater Workshop in Chicago, The Golem for Chicago Jewish Theater, Misery for PYEWACKET, Poseidon: An Upside Down Musical for Hell In A Handbag Productions, which was featured in the 2003 New York Fringe Festival, and the 10th Anniversary Production of The Christmas Schooner.

The Marlowe performance schedule is Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 3 PM. The performance on June 12 will be at 5 PM

The Bailiwick Arts Center is located at 1229 W. Belmont. For tickets or more information, contact the box office at (773) 883-1090 or visit www.bailiwick.org.