Monday, June 6, 2016


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Chicago premiere of 



directed by nick bowling, through JULY 31, 2016

CHIMERICA, the widely celebrated 2014 Laurence Olivier Award winner for Best New Play, is currently running in Chicago, one of its first U.S. productions! We've been so busy we haven't had a chance to get over to TimeLine Theatre to see this acclaimed geopolitical thriller, but it's high on our wish list and we plan to catch it soon. I have a couple of friends who were at the pro-democracy rally at Tiananmen Square, so I'm particularly eager to see this piece.

TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling directs British playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s thrilling, complex new drama about Tiananmen Square’s mysterious “Tank Man,” a play that has been hailed by The Guardian as “gloriously rich” and “mind-expanding,” and by Time Out London as a “gripping, multi-layered and meticulously researched thriller.” 
The time is June 1989. The Chinese government has instituted a brutal crackdown on a pro-democracy rally at Tiananmen Square, and the iconic image of a lone man standing in front of a military tank has captivated the world. “Tank Man” emerged as a hero and a symbol of defiance in the face of tyranny, only to disappear forever. Twenty years later, a photojournalist searches for the truth about that mysterious man in a riveting story that explores the sharp differences, as well as similarities, between twin superpowers China and America. The result is an epic, global adventure that presents an unflinching look at the nature of censorship, the cost of truth, and what it takes to maintain hope.

CHIMERICA premiered at London’s Almeida Theatre in May 2013, where it became a sold-out phenomenon before transferring for a triumphant run in London’s West End. For its Chicago debut, TimeLine has assembled a stellar 12-person cast, including Christine Bunuan, Coburn Goss, Cheryl Hamada, Wai Yim, Caron Buinis, Tom Hickey, Dan Lin, Eleni Pappageorge, Chris Rickett, Janelle Villas, H.B. Ward and Norman Yap

Winner of seven Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction, TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling is the creative force behind many of TimeLine’s most popular shows, including THE HISTORY BOYS, THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION, FIORELLO! and more, as well as recent hit productions at the Marriott Lincolnshire (THE KING AND I and CITY OF ANGELS), Porchlight Music Theatre (SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM) and Paramount Theatre (A CHRISTMAS STORY).

The production team for CHIMERICA includes John Culbert (Scenic Design), Brian Sidney Bembridge (Lighting Design), Sally Dolembo (Costume Design), André J. Pluess (Sound Design), Mike Tutaj (Projections Design), Emily Guthrie (Properties Design), Megan Geigner (Dramaturgy), Eva Breneman (Dialect Coach), Chris Rickett (Fight Choreography) and Nora Mally (Stage Management).

Performances of CHIMERICA will take place at TimeLine Theatre’s home, located at 615 W. Wellington Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. Tickets to CHIMERICA are $22 - $51. For tickets and information, visit or call (773) 281-TIME (8463). 

TimeLine’s Chicago premiere of CHIMERICA is supported in part by The Pauls Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

REGULAR RUN: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m., through July 31, 2016. EXCEPTIONS: No show on Sunday, June 26. Additional performance on Tuesday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Post-Show Discussions: A brief, informal post-show discussion hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast on Wednesday, 
  • Wednesday, June 8; Sunday, June 12 and Tuesday, June 21.
  • Pre-Show Discussions: Starting one hour before these performances, a 30-minute introductory conversation hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and the production dramaturg with members of the production team on Thursday, June 16 and Sunday, July 3. 
  • Company Member Discussion: A post-show discussion with the collaborative team of artists who choose TimeLine’s programming and guide the company’s mission on Sunday, July 10.
All discussions are free and open to the public. For further details about all planned discussions and events, visit

Regular run tickets are $38 (Wednesday through Friday), $46 (Saturday) and $51 (Sunday). Student discount is $10 off regular price with valid ID. Military Service Discount is $5 off regular price with valid military/veteran ID. Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available.
Ticket buyers age 18-35 may join TimeLine’s free MyLine program to obtain access to discounted tickets, special events and more. Visit for details.
Advance purchase is recommended as performances may sell out. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit

CHIMERICA is at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. TimeLine Theatre is located near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. The location is served by multiple CTA trains and buses. TimeLine offers discounted parking at the Standard Parking garages at Broadway Center ($8 with validation; 2846 N. Broadway, at Surf) or the Century Mall ($9 with validation; 2836 N. Clark). There are several other paid parking options nearby. There is also limited free and metered street parking.

TimeLine Theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. Two wheelchair lifts provide access from street level to the theatre space and to lower-level restrooms. Audience members using wheelchairs or who need to avoid stairs, and others with special seating or accessibility needs should contact the TimeLine Theatre Box Office in advance to confirm arrangements.

Lucy Kirkwood (Playwright) graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, where she wrote her first full-length stage play, GRADY HOT POTATO. Her next play, GUNS OR BUTTER, was produced at the Terror 2007 Festival at London’s Union Theatre and was subsequently broadcast by BBC Radio. In 2008 Kirkwood’s play TINDERBOX was produced by the Bush Theatre, and in the same year HEDDA, her adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s HEDDA GABLER, was produced by London’s Gate Theatre to wide critical acclaim. Her play PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY was produced as part of the Terror 2009 Festival, and that same year her play IT FELT EMPTY WHEN THE HEART WENT AT FIRST BUT IT IS ALRIGHT NOW was produced by Clean Break Theatre Co. That play was nominated for an Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer and made Kirkwood a joint winner of the John Whiting Award in 2010. Her stage adaptation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, co-devised and directed by Katie Mitchell, was performed at the National Theatre as its Christmas show in 2011. In the same year her play THE SMALL HOURS (co-written with Ed Hime) opened at the Hampstead, and her play HOUSEKEEPING was performed as part of Theatre Uncut season at Southwark Playhouse. NSFW premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, starring Janie Dee and Julian Barrett. CHIMERICA, premiered at the Almeida Theatre in 2013 and subsequently transferred to the West End, earning Kirkwood the 2014 Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard awards for Best New Play. Kirkwood collaborated with Lost Dog on a Brighton Festival co-commissioned dance project LIKE RABBITS, adapted from Virginia Woolf’s short story Lappin and Lapinova. Kirkwood also writes for television, including for SKINS, and she created and wrote the new series THE SMOKE. She is currently under commission to the Royal Court Theatre, the National Theatre and New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club. She is also developing a new screenplay for Film4/Ruby Films.
Nick Bowling (Director) was the founding Artistic Director and is now Associate Artistic Director and a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre. He is the recipient of seven Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (THE HISTORY BOYS, THE NORMAL HEART, FIORELLO!, THIS HAPPY BREED and THE CRUCIBLE at TimeLine, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM at Porchlight Music Theatre, and ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for BLOOD AND GIFTS, THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION, HAUPTMANN and THE LION IN WINTER at TimeLine; CLOSER THAN EVER at Porchlight Music Theatre; and CITY OF ANGELS and THE KING AND I at Marriott Theatre. Other recent credits at TimeLine include DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU, JUNO, 33 VARIATIONS and MY KIND OF TOWN. Other Chicago credits include Paramount's A CHRISTMAS STORY, Northwestern University’s CABARET, Porchlight’s A CATERED AFFAIR, Writers Theatre's BACH AT LEIPZIG and Shattered Globe Theatre's TIME OF THE CUCKOO and FROZEN ASSETS.

TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 19 seasons, TimeLine has presented 66 productions, including nine world premieres and 26 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its ninth year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 52 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times. 

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President John M. Sirek. Company Members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem.
Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Crown Family, Forum Fund, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation and The Shubert Foundation. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce and Chicago’s Belmont Theater District.

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