Chicago Premiere of Bill Cain's Equivocation Kicks Off Victory Gardens' 2012-13 Season Sept. 14

By Michael Gioia
September 14, 2012

Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater, under the artistic direction of Chay Yew and executive direction of Jan Kallish, kicks off its 2012-13 season with the Chicago premiere of Bill Cain's Equivocation. Performances begin Sept. 14, prior to an official opening Sept. 24, at the company's Biograph Theater.



Directed by Sean Graney, the limited engagement continues through Oct. 14 in Lincoln Park.

The cast of Equivocation includes Minita Gandhi (The Arabian Nights at Lookingglass Theatre) as Judith, Marc Grapey (The Odd Couple) as Shag, Matt Kahler (Pirates of Penzance and Frankenstein with the Hypocrites) as Armin, Mark Montgomery (Want at Steppenwolf) as Cecil, Arturo Soria (Victory Gardens' Oedipus El Rey) as Sharpe and Bruce A. Young (Hamlet at Chicago Shakespeare Theater) as Richard.

Here's how the work is described: "In London in the year 1605, a down-and-out playwright called Shagspeare (yes, it's him) receives a royal commission to write a play promoting the government’s version of Guy Fawkes' treasonous Gunpowder Plot. As Shag navigates the dangerous course between writing a lie and losing his soul, or writing the truth and losing his head, his devoted theatre troupe helps him negotiate each step along the way. At once an explosive comedy of ideas and a high-stakes political thriller, Bill Cain's award-winning Equivocation deftly reveals the cat-and-mouse games in politics and art, and the craft of learning how to speak the truth in difficult times."

"A wonderful play of ideas, Equivocation is a witty, funny, poignant look at the complex relationship between art and politics," added artistic director Yew. "How do we tell the truth in difficult times? Are we ready to pay the real cost of telling the truth? Or do we lie and revise history? I can't think of a more timely play to remind us of this, especially with all the political rhetoric swirling about in anticipation of the November elections."

Equivocation received its world premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It was the recipient of two Edgerton grants, an Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play Large Theatre and Featured Actor in a Play, and the Steinberg New Play Award. Read Playbill.com's 2010 Brief Encounter chat with Bill Cain.

Other members of the creative team include William Boles (set designer), Heather Gilbert (lighting designer), Janice Pytel (costume designer) and Kevin O'Donnell (sound designer).

Read the earlier Playbill.com story about Victory Gardens' 2012-13 season.

The Victory Gardens Biograph Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For more information and tickets, call (773) 871-3000 or visit VictoryGardens.org.