Fairey's Graceland, a Tale of Family, Strangers and Loneliness, Premieres May 22 in Chicago | Playbill

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News Fairey's Graceland, a Tale of Family, Strangers and Loneliness, Premieres May 22 in Chicago Profiles Theatre in Chicago ends its 20th season with the world premiere of Ellen Fairey's drama with humor, Graceland, a tale of siblings reflecting on their father's suicide, May 22-June 28.

Matt Miller directs the production, featuring Profiles ensemble members Somer Benson, Eric Burgher and Darrell W. Cox, plus Brenda Barrie and Jackson Challinor, both making their Profiles debuts.


Opening is May 28. According to Profiles, "Chicago's oldest cemetery is the backdrop for Graceland, the story of four lonely Chicagoans whose lives collide one August weekend while the Blue Angels airshow is in town. As fighter jets buzz the skies from dusk till dawn, estranged brother and sister Sam and Sara try to make sense of their father's recent suicide. Sara's one-night stand with Joe, an aging lothario, brings further trouble in the form of Joe's mercurial teenage son, Miles. Graceland is a world premiere comedic drama about the loneliness of family, the tenderness of strangers and the unexpected benefits of bad decisions."

Fairey's first full-length play, Girl, 20, was named one of the "Top Ten Most Promising Plays of 2006" by the Chicago Tribune in its world-premiere production by Serendipity Theatre. The production subsequently moved to Los Angeles, where it received rave reviews and was nominated for two 2007-2008 LA Weekly Theatre Awards for Best Director (Matt Miller) and Best Ensemble.

"Ellen continued the development of Graceland last year with Profiles in mind, and we have watched the play grow beautifully as she has revised it throughout the season," Profiles artistic director Joe Jahraus said in a statement. "This is the first time in our 20-year history that we have worked so closely with the playwright on the development of a script." The designers are William Anderson (set), Jessica Harpenau (lights), Ricky Lurie (costumes) and Misha (sound and original music). The assistant director is Profiles ensemble member Tyler Gray, and the stage manager is Darcy McGill.

Profiles Theatre is located at 4147 N. Broadway in Chicago.

Tickets for Graceland are $25 for Thursdays and Sundays; $30 for Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are available by phone at (773) 549-1815 or online at www.profilestheatre.org.


Profiles Theatre is a not-for-profit professional theatre company founded in 1988 by five Eastern Illinois University alumni and has since been continually producing plays. Profiles brings to Chicago new works "that illuminate the determination and resiliency of the human spirit." The company produces world, U.S. and Midwest premieres by new playwrights, as well as established writers whose work has been seen across the country and around the world."

Profiles "is particularly drawn to playwrights with a unique narrative style and use of language and the company takes pride in carefully selecting scripts that combine integrity with risk."

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