From the Page to the Stage: Laura Eason's Ethan Frome Premieres in Chicago Feb. 23

News   From the Page to the Stage: Laura Eason's Ethan Frome Premieres in Chicago Feb. 23
The world premiere of Lookingglass Theatre's Ethan Frome, Laura Eason's adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel, begins Feb. 23 in Chicago.

Laura Eason
Laura Eason

Eason directs the production, featuring Lookingglass company members Philip R. Smith, Andrew White, Louise Lamson and Lisa Tejero, with Erik Lochtefeld. Opening night is March 5. Performances play to April 17 at Lookingglass Theatre Company's home inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.

"Fervent desire burns just beneath the surface of a snowy New England farm," according to Lookingglass notes. "Stoic farmer Ethan Frome trudges through a joyless marriage with his ailing wife, Zena, until they hire her young cousin to tend to the house. Her vibrant spirit awakens a passion in Ethan that neither of them dare acknowledge. This classic, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'The Age of Innocence,' is a deeply poetic story about the staggering beauty of true love and the desolation of the unalterable life choices we make."

Award-winning Lookingglass Ensemble Member Eason is also known for the adaptations Around the World in 80 Days and Tom Sawyer, and the new play Sex With Strangers, currently being presented by Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

"Laura's adaptation of Edith Wharton's gorgeous American classic is spellbinding," Lookingglass artistic director Andrew White said in a statement. "She and her design team have put together a truly beautiful and spare winter landscape and soundscape against which the haunting story is told. Her adaptation explores the act of storytelling, and how that act of conjuring, of creating and inhabiting someone else's world, expands our own capacity for compassion and empathy."

The creative team includes Daniel Ostling (scenic designer); Mara Blumenfeld (costume designer); Christine Binder (lighting designer); Kevin O'Donnell (composition); Rick Sims (sound design); and William Anderson (properties). Tickets are available online,; by phone, (312) 337-0665; or at the Lookingglass Theatre box office.

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