Saturday, March 7, 2015

OPENING: The House Theatre of Chicago’s The Hammer Trinity Playing at the Chopin Theatre

We're goin' in! See you on the other side. ChiIL Mama and the family are so excited to be seeing the marathon performance of the House Theatre of Chicago’s The Hammer Trinity playing at the Chopin Theatre. Check back soon for our full report. We loved the first two productions, but it's been a year and two respectively since we've seen them. Today we're revisiting those two and seeing the final, brand new Part Three: The Excelsior King. Can't wait!!


Marathon Schedule on Performance Days:
Part One: The Iron Stag King from 2 - 4:30 p.m. (with one intermission)
Half hour snack break
Part Two: The Crownless King from 5 – 7:00 p.m. (with one intermission)
Hour dinner break
Part Three: The Excelsior King from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (with two intermissions)


THE HOUSE THEATRE OF CHICAGO PRESENTS ITS MULTI-PLAY FANTASY EPIC THE HAMMER TRINITY IN ITS ENTIRETY AT
THE CHOPIN THEATRE, FEBRUARY 20 – MAY 3, 2015

Directed by House Theatre’s Artistic Director Nathan Allen and Written by Allen and Chris Mathews, The Hammer Trinity Plays in Repertory and in Marathon Performances Comprised of Part One: The Iron Stag King, Part Two: The Crownless King, and the World Premiere of Part Three: The Excelsior King

The House Theatre of Chicago presents its multi-play fantasy epic, The Hammer Trinity, in its entirety with all-day marathon performances, including the world premiere of the all-new final chapter Part Three: The Excelsior King and revised versions of Part One: The Iron Stag King and Part Two: The Crownless King, playing at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., February 20 – May 3, 2015. The House Theatre of Chicago Artistic Director Nathan Allen directs the world premiere of the series that he and Company Member Chris Mathews have co-written. Complete performance schedule included below. Tickets to all Friday single shows and Saturday and Sunday marathon performances are on sale now and are available at www.thehousetheatre.com or 773.769.3832. Tickets to individual parts of The Hammer Trinity during weekend marathon performances will be subject to space availability and are offered to single ticket buyers closer to the performance date.

For the second time in The House Theatre of Chicago’s history, Artistic Director Nathan Allen employs an epic format and creates a multi-year play cycle. Now presented as a full series in both repertory and marathon performances, The Hammer Trinity tells the story of young Casper Kent recovering the lost Hammer and taking the Crown, defending it against pirates and the Crownless faction, and ultimately relinquishing the Hammer’s great power for the greater good.

Reaching a milestone in the legacy of the land of New Plymouth and The House Theatre of Chicago, the company engages 16 actors to bring 54 characters to life in a tale spanning three full-length plays. Almost 120 scenes developed from 500 pages of original work overseen by an artistic team comprised of 16 of Chicago’s greatest established and emerging artists and designers to create an unparalleled experience for audiences who have enjoyed The Hammer Trinity since its journey began in 2012.

“The House Theatre of Chicago has doubled in size in nearly every way since we first introduced this project six years ago,” said Artistic Director Nathan Allen. “We have twice as many staff, ensemble, board members, and resources, both artistic and financial, which will all be tapped to bring about the largest undertaking in our company’s history. The House has become a home for epic story and stagecraft and with the Trinity we plan on building and cementing that reputation.”

The result of a five-week residency workshop conducted at the University of Chicago in the summer of 2014, The Hammer Trinity features reworked versions of The Iron Stag King and The Crownless King and the all-new, trilogy ending The Excelsior King introducing a new chapter to stalwart fans and those new to the legend.

PART ONE: THE IRON STAG KING 
Our unsuspecting hero, Casper Kent, is the son of a poor farmer. When an old storyteller, Hap the Golden, reveals that Casper is the rightful heir to the Crown, his life is threatened from all sides. Young Casper must escape the Crownless, choose compatriots and question what is good and right for the land. Part one of The Hammer Trinity follows him on his quest to lift the magical Hammer that will unite or destroy them all.

PART TWO: THE CROWNLESS KING
After a hard-fought battle, young Casper Kent takes his place as the ruler of the Folk. Yet King Casper soon finds himself buffeted by forces on all sides. Seizing for control, the exiled black dragon, Irek Obsidian (voiced by Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Tracy Letts,) cunningly lures Casper away from the throne. Our band of heroes ventures to the sea where the hooded pirate Davy Boone commands a fleet of Crownless rebels. All the while, Hap the Golden wrests to maintain his hold over the royal tale. Storytellers Hap the Golden and Irek Obsidian each seek to impose their versions of the story. But a third Storyteller will emerge to speak a new story….

PART THREE: THE EXCELSIOR KING
New Plymouth is thrust into Civil War as the Folk choose sides in the conflict between Hap the Golden and Irek Obsidian. With Queen Rienne potentially murdered, and King Casper nowhere to be found, our remaining heroes have narrowly escaped the conflict in the Capital but find themselves scattered and at cross-purposes. It is up to the novice storyteller, July of the Seven Foxes, to speak a tale that can unite them again and save the Land from self-destruction. But a threat worse than dragons is encroaching from The Glaze, a darkness more powerful than even Hap and Irek had anticipated. 

New to the core cast of The Hammer Trinity is House Company Member Kevin Strangler, who takes over the role of the young King Casper Kent formerly played by Company Member Brandon Ruiter, William Dick replaces Company Member Cliff Chamberlain (now a regular on NBC’s State of Affairs) as Hap the Golden, and Kara Davidson replaces Company Member Paige Collins as Rienne Boileau.

Players returning include Tracy Letts (as the voice of the dragon Irek Obsidian), Benjamin Hertel (Pepper Tintype, Ensemble), John Henry Roberts (Hollow Thom), Ada Grey (Ginny Girl), House Company Member Joey Steakley (Henley Hawthorne, Ensemble), Christopher M. Walsh (Abraham Pride), Patrick Falcon (Patrick, Ensemble) and Kay Kron (July of the Seven Foxes).

Additionally, Isabell Liss steps into the role of Lady Olympia, previously played by House Company Member Brenda Barrie, and House Company Member Abu Ansari joins as Ebon Kent and Remy Boileau. Other cast members include JJ Phillips (Wilke Forsbrand), Krystal Worrell (Virginia), Christopher Hainsworth (Kaelan Wayne), Deanna Meyers (Kathryn Grey), and Joe Bianco (Davy Boone). Understudies include Matt Edmons (U/S for Casper, Pepper, Henley and Patrick), Aaron Latterell (U/S Wilke, Davy, Eben and Remy), Gaby Labotka (U/S Rienne and Katherine) and Monnie Aleahmad (U/S Hap and Abraham). 

The artistic team is comprised of House Company Members Artistic Director Nathan Allen (director/co-writer), Chris Mathews (co-writer), Collette Pollard (scenic designer), Melissa Torchia (costume designer), Lee Keenan (lighting designer), Joshua Horvath (sound designer),

Kevin O’Donnell (composer), Matt Hawkins (fight choreographer) and Tommy Rapley
(movement director). Guest artists include Lee Fiskness (associate lighting designer),  Daniel Carlyon (associate sound designer), Jesse Mooney-Bullock (puppet designer), Derek Matson (dramaturg), Jesse Roth (assistant director), Sally Weiss (assistant scenic designer), Emily Breyer (assistant puppet designer), and Raquel Adorno (assistant costume designer).


COMPLETE HAMMER TRINITY SCHEDULE

Marathon Performances: The Hammer Trinity: Parts One, Two, and Three
Running Time: Nine hours
Previews: Saturday, Feb. 21 and 28, 2015 and Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m.
Press Openings: Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8 at 2 p.m.
Regular performance schedule: Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets: Regular: $65; Previews: $45
BYO-Picnic dinner break between each show shared by audience and cast at all Marathon Performances.

Marathon Schedule on Performance Days:
Part One: The Iron Stag King from 2 - 4:30 p.m. (with one intermission)
Half hour snack break
Part Two: The Crownless King from 5 – 7:00 p.m. (with one intermission)
Hour dinner break
Part Three: The Excelsior King from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (with two intermissions)

SINGLE SHOWS: Part Three: The Excelsior King
Running Time: Three hours
Previews Friday, Feb. 20 and 27, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Preview Tickets $15
Regular performance schedule: Fridays at 7:30 p.m. March 14 – May 1
Tickets: $30

Note: There are no performances of The Excelsior King on Friday, April 3 and 17. Instead, double features of Part One: The Iron Stag King and Part Two: The Crownless King will play starting at
7 p.m.

DOUBLE FEATURES: Parts One: The Iron Stag King and Part Two: The Crownless King
Running Time: Five hours and 15 minutes
Regular performance schedule: Friday, April 3 and April 17, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $60

ABOUT THE HOUSE THEATRE OF CHICAGO
The House is Chicago's premier home for intimate, original works of epic story and stagecraft. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.

The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 60 Joseph Jefferson Awards (21 wins) and became the
first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007, and was awarded a
2014 National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. Now in its 13th year of original work, The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.


The House Theatre of Chicago presents its multi-play fantasy epic, The Hammer Trinity, in its entirety with all-day marathon performances, including the world premiere of the all-new final chapter Part Three: The Excelsior King and revised versions of Part One: The Iron Stag King and Part Two: The Crownless King, playing at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., February 20 – May 3, 2015. The House Theatre of Chicago Artistic Director Nathan Allen directs the world premiere of the series that he and Company Member Chris Mathews have co-written. Complete performance schedule included below. 

Tickets to all Friday single shows and Saturday and Sunday marathon performances are on sale now and are available at www.thehousetheatre.com or 773.769.3832. Tickets to individual parts of The Hammer Trinity during weekend marathon performances will be subject to space availability and are offered to single ticket buyers closer to the performance date.

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