William Petersen Returns to the Chicago Scene Nov. 6, in Dublin Carol

News   William Petersen Returns to the Chicago Scene Nov. 6, in Dublin Carol Steppenwolf Theatre Company's new production of Conor McPherson's Christmas-set Dublin Carol, with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" star William Petersen, begins Nov. 6 in Chicago.
Dublin Carol stars William Petersen and Nicole Wiesner, in rehearsal.
Dublin Carol stars William Petersen and Nicole Wiesner, in rehearsal. Photo by Mark Campbell

Tony Award-nominated actress Amy Morton, a Steppenwolf ensemble member, directs. The run proved popular enough in recent weeks to prompt a five-performance extension, to Dec. 28. Opening is Nov. 16.

Dublin Carol, also featuring Stephen Louis Grush and Nicole Wiesner, plays in Steppenwolf's Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., in Chicago.

In the play, "John [Petersen], a man whose life was nearly destroyed by drinking, now holds down a steady job at a Dublin undertaker's office. When his estranged daughter [Wiesner] appears on Christmas Eve with disturbing news, it sets off a series of painful confessions that ultimately offer John a chance to escape the burden of his past."

Dublin Carol is the first of two plays by McPherson premiering in Chicago at Steppenwolf this season. McPherson's The Seafarer makes its Chicago debut Dec. 4, 2008-Feb. 8, 2009, in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre, following its critically acclaimed Broadway run.

Petersen is internationally known as the star of the lurid TV crime drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," for which he is also executive producer. He was nominated in 2004 for a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Gil Grissom, the lead investigator. His television credits include "Long Gone," "The Rat Pack," the Golden Globe award-winning mini-series "The Kennedys of Massachusetts" and "The Beast." His feature film credits include "To Live and Die in L.A.," "Manhunter," "Cousins," "Young Guns II," "Fear," "The Contender" and more. He cut his teeth in the Chicago theatre scene: In 1979 he founded the Remains Theater Ensemble in Chicago with a group of fellow actors. In 1983 Petersen starred as Jack Henry Abbott in In the Belly of the Beast, which he performed at the Wisdom Bridge Theater in Chicago, at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

In 1996 Petersen made his Broadway debut in a revival of Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana. He has appeared in a number of regional stage productions including Dublin Carol, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Time of Your Life, Glengarry Glen Ross, Fool for Love and Speed-the-Plow. Petersen was born in Evanston, IL. He studied acting in Spain.

Ensemble member Morton received a 2008 Tony Award nomination for her role in Steppenwolf's August: Osage County on Broadway, after transferring from a sold-out Chicago run in 2007. She most recently directed Dublin Carol at Trinity Repertory Theatre in Rhode Island, as well as McPherson's The Weir at Steppenwolf. Additional Steppenwolf directing credits include The Pillowman, Love-Lies-Bleeding, which traveled to the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, and Glengarry Glen Ross, which traveled to Dublin and Toronto.

Born in Dublin, McPherson also wrote the plays Poor Beast in the Rain, Port Authority, St. Nicholas and This Lime Tree Bower. McPherson won London's Olivier Award for The Weir and received a Tony nomination for Shining City.

The design team includes Kevin Depinet (sets), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Robert Christen (lights) and Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound). Michelle Medvin is the stage manager.

For more information call (312) 335-1650 or visit www.steppenwolf.org.

William Petersen, Nicole Wiesner and Amy Morton in <i>Dublin Carol</i> rehearsal.
William Petersen, Nicole Wiesner and Amy Morton in Dublin Carol rehearsal. Photo by Mark Campbell