Schwimmer, Slotnick, Eason, Dunford Inhabit Lookingglass' Our Town Feb. 11

News   Schwimmer, Slotnick, Eason, Dunford Inhabit Lookingglass' Our Town Feb. 11
 
Lookingglass Theatre Company's new production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, co-directed by 2008 Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro and Jessica Thebus, and featuring David Schwimmer as George Gibbs, begins Feb. 11 in Chicago.
Our Town stars Laura Eason and David Schwimmer
Our Town stars Laura Eason and David Schwimmer Photo by Sean Williams

The production will open Feb. 21 and run to April 5 at Lookingglass Theatre Company's home inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works.

Schwimmer, long associated with Lookingglass, starred as Ross on TV's "Friends" and appeared in the recent Broadway production of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. Lookingglass leaders are jumping into the act: Artistic director David Catlin plays Dr. Gibbs, and artistic director of new works Heidi Stillman plays Mrs. Gibbs. Joey Slotnick, whose face is known from film and TV, plays the Stage Manager.

Our Town also features Lookingglass Ensemble Members Thomas J. Cox (Ensemble), Christine Mary Dunford (Mrs. Webb), Laura Eason (Emily Webb), Raymond Fox (Ensemble), David Kersnar (Simon Stimson), Tracy Walsh (Ensemble), and Andrew White (Mr. Webb), and Artistic Associates Kevin Douglas (Ensemble) and Louise Lamson (Rebecca Gibbs).

According to production notes, "The citizens of Grover's Corners share the ultimate tale of community in this American classic. The Lookingglass Ensemble will infuse the play with a singular chemistry you won't see anywhere else. In the hands of these renowned artists, Thornton Wilder's masterpiece will be disarmingly beautiful, utterly compelling and painfully funny."

The groundbreaking 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play is known for its presentational style, as a character called the Stage Manager introduces us to the life cycle of a sleepy New England town, where folks live, love and die. "We both have long been admirers of the play — it's a beautifully drawn picture of how we all actually live our day-to-day lives: occupied by tasks, distracted from wishes, hoping for the best and waiting for the worst, just living," stated Shapiro and Thebus. "For the two of us, who grew up in the same place and have followed similar paths, we now find ourselves closer to the end of our lives than the beginning. It's not a bad thing or a scary thing. Life and its inescapable journey is one all humans share. If we begin in the same way and meet where we end, perhaps we should take better care of one another along the way. Not a bad idea at this point in time, we think."

Artistic director Catlin added, "This season is about being a part of a community which, after 21 years, epitomizes what an ensemble is — wherein the power of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Our 21st season illuminates how are all connected and therefore responsible for one another as citizens of the world."

Our Town designers include Lookingglass Ensemble Member John Musial (scenic design), Kevin O'Donnell (composition and sound design), J.R. Lederle (lighting design), Janice Pytel (costume design) and Galen Pejeau (properties design). The production stage manager is Sara Gmitter.

Shapiro is an Ensemble Member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She won the 2008 Tony Award for her direction of August: Osage County. Thebus is an Artistic Associate at Steppenwolf.

For tickets and more information visit www.lookingglasstheatre.org or call (312) 337-0665.

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Lookingglass Theatre Company was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. 2007-2008 marked the company's 20th anniversary season. Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. Lookingglass has staged 50 world premieres at 23 venues across Chicago, and garnered 41 Joseph Jefferson Awards and Citations. Its work has toured to New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Washington, DC and St. Louis.

Lookingglass Theatre Company is under the guidance of artistic director David Catlin, executive director Rachel Kraft, producing artistic director Philip R. Smith and artistic director of new work Heidi Stillman. The troupe includes a 22-member artistic ensemble, 14 artistic associates, 13 production affiliates and an administrative staff. Board chairman is Lisa Green.

<i>Our Town</i> Stage Manager: Joey Slotnick
Our Town Stage Manager: Joey Slotnick Photo by Sean Williams
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