Saturday, September 29, 2012

ACT OUT: Metamorphoses at Lookingglass--Transformative Theatre




on the ten year anniversary of its Tony Award-Winning Broadway Opening

September 19 – November 18, 2012

Written and Directed by Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman
Featuring Usman Ally, Anjali Bhimani, Anne Fogarty, Marilyn Dodds Frank, Chris Kipiniak, Lauren Orkus and Ensemble Members
with Artistic Associate Louise Lamson
Original composition by Willy Schwarz and Design work by TJ Gerckens, Maria DeFabo and company members

Winner! Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play

Winner! Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Play, Director, Lighting Design & Music

Winner! Drama League Awards for Outstanding New Broadway Play

Winner! Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Play

Winner! Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play

"Shows that theater can provide not just escape but sometimes a glimpse of the divine."
- Time Magazine

"Entrancing… an evening of almost magical changes, wrought through the unique imagery of theater"
- Chicago Tribune

“Zimmerman at her most cheerfully ingenious.”
- New York Times

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Lookingglass Theatre Company presents Metamorphoses, based on the myths of Ovid from a translation by David Slavitt, written and directed by Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman. The revival production, coinciding with the 10th Anniversary of the Broadway production, runs September 19 – November 18, 2012 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. 

In 1998, Lookingglass debuted Metamorphoses, a play of such grace and power that the memory of it still lingers in the minds of audiences today. The critically-acclaimed, record-breaking Chicago engagement led to a Broadway production that garnered Mary Zimmerman the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director and catapulted Lookingglass onto the national stage.

From a simple, rippling pool of water, Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman conjured the force of Ovid’s ancient myths into gorgeous imagery and breathtaking storytelling.  Metamorphoses’ long-anticipated Chicago revival will feature a number of Lookingglass Ensemble Members and original cast members.

Metamorphoses is one of those rare productions that truly has it all: beauty, mystery, humor, pathos.  The brilliance of Mary’s work is that these ancient myths feel at once very contemporary and totally timeless, simultaneously rooted in the very specific individuals onstage and completely universal,” says Artistic Director Andy White. “These are some of the reasons it was our longest-running hit in Chicago, then toured the country, and finally ran for a year on Broadway.  This show had a profound impact on all of us – Lookingglass, Chicago, and even the country – when we first produced it, and we’ve had an ache to revisit it for a long time. We are so proud to bring it back to Chicago now, and to have it kick off our 25th Anniversary Season.”

In February 2013, Lookingglass Theatre’s production of Metamorphoses, will transfer to The Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.  Last season, The Arena Stage brought Lookingglass’ hit production of The Arabian Nights to its stage.

Metamorphoses will feature members of the original Lookingglass Chicago cast, Anjali Bhimani (Myrrha and Others), Lawrence E. DiStasi (Hermes and Others), Marilyn Dodds Frank (Therapist and Others), Raymond Fox (Midas and Others), Douglas Hara (Phaeton and Others), Chris Kipiniak (Erysichthon and Others), Louise Lamson (Alcyone and Others). The cast also includes returning cast member Anne Fogarty (Aphrodite and Others) and new cast members Usman Ally (Orpheus and Others) and Lauren Orkus (Eurydice and Others).

About Metamorphoses artists

Mary Zimmerman has worked with Lookingglass Theatre Company for more than twenty years. She adapted and directed The Odyssey, The Secret in the Wings, Arabian Nights, S/M, Metamorphoses, the Lookingglass/About Face collaboration of Eleven Rooms of Proust and Argonautika. Zimmerman is also part of the Goodman Theatre artistic team where she adapted and directed The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (with several members of the Lookingglass ensemble), Silk, Journey to the West, Mirror of the Invisible World and a re-creation of The Odyssey. She has twice directed for the New York Shakespeare Festival in the Park. Her work has won awards in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Berkeley and New York including the 2002 Tony Award for her direction of Metamorphoses on Broadway. In the world of opera, she directed and wrote the libretto Galileo Galilei (Philip Glass, composer) which was produced at the Goodman Theatre and the Barbican Theatre in London. Additionally, she has directed three operas at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City: Lucia Di Lammermoor, La Sonnambula, and Rossini’s Armida.  In 1998, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She lives in Evanston and is a professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University.

Usman Ally (Ceyx and Others) was last seen at Lookingglass Theater in The Last Act of Lilka Kadison and Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights. Recent credits include include the Jeff Award winning, Pulitzer and Lucille Lortel Nominated The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Victory Gardens World Premiere and Second Stage Off-Broadway), The Four of Us (Theater Wit), Celebrity Row and the world premiere of Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced (ATC) and many more. Television credits: The Chicago Code and a recurring role on Season 4 of Damages with Glenn Close. 2010 Fox Foundation/TCG Grant Recipient. ATC Ensemble Member. Ally was born in Swaziland and spent the first 18 years of his life in Botswana, Kenya, Pakistan and Tanzania. He received his BA in Theatre and Cultural Anthropology from Lewis and Clark College, and an MFA Magna Cum Laude from the University of Florida. As a SLAM Poet, Usman has been a featured poet on several occasions at the historic Green Mill in Chicago. He has also written hip hop theatre productions American Ethnic and Public Enemy (Remy Bumppo) and founded the One Nation Hip Hop Theater Organization. In Chicago, Usman is best known for originating the role of VP in the World Premiere of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, which he reprised Off-Broadway at Second Stage, and then again in Los Angeles at the Geffen Playhouse. Usman can be seen as a recurring character on season 4 of Damages, and on The Chicago Code. Film Credits include “Just Like a Woman” and “Contagion”.

Anjali Bhimani (Myrrha and Others) was part of the Original Lookingglass Chicago cast of Metamorphoses, as well as the Broadway, Second Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Berkeley Rep, and Seattle Rep productions. Other credits include Bombay Dreams (Broadway), The American Pilot (MTC), A Widow of No Importance (East West Players), The Existents (Open Fist), As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre D.C.), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Kirk Douglas), Mirror of the Invisible World (Goodman), Comedy on the Bridge and Brundibar (Berkeley Rep, Yale Rep, New Victory), The Odyssey (McCarter, Seattle Rep, Goodman),  Arabian Nights (Lookingglass, BAM, Steppenwolf), and Pentecost (Berkeley Rep). Television credits include “Necessary Roughness,” “Modern Family,” “Common Law,” “Law and Order: SVU,” and “The Sopranos.”  

Lawrence E. DiStasi (Hermes and Others) was part of the Original Lookingglass Chicago cast of Metamorphoses and has also appeared at Lookingglass in over 30 Lookingglass productions, most recently Eastland: a New Musical and Icarus. DiStasi is a founding Ensemble Member of the Lookingglass Theatre Company, as well as The Actors Gymnasium Circus and Performing Arts School. He’s appeared in the Flying Griffin Circus, T.V.’s "Early Edition," a film called Since You’ve Been Gone, and the opera Galileo Galilei. He recently directed Lost and Found: A Recycled Circus at The Actors Gymnasium.

Marilyn Dodds Frank (Therapist and Others) appeared in the original Chicago cast of Metamorphoses at Lookingglass, as well as Hard Times, The Idiot, George, and The Last Act of Lilka Kadison. Broadway credits include Superior Donuts; Lincoln Center Theater: The Clean House. Other Chicago credits include productions with Steppenwolf, Goodman, Victory Gardens, Shaw Chicago, A Red Orchid, Court, Latino Chicago, Teatro Vista, Remains, Next, New Criminals, Piven. New York: En Garde Arts, La Mama. Los Angeles: Actor’s Gang, Padua Playwrights Ensemble. Premieres of four plays written and directed by Maria Irene Fornes. Movies with Judd Apatow, Robert Altman, Stephen Frears, Michael Apted, and Joel Schumacher, among others.

Anne Fogarty (Aphrodite and Others) returns for her sixth production of Metamorphoses. She previously appeared as Aphrodite in the original Lookingglass production and as Eurydice at Hartford Stage, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Other appearances at Lookingglass include Tessa in Summertime and Alexandra in The Idiot. Her regional credits include Mary Zimmerman’s The Secret in the Wings at Berkeley Rep, McCarter Theatre, and Seattle Rep; Terry in Side Man, Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Anne Lindbergh in Hauptmann at Madison Repertory Theatre; and The Governess in Turn of the Screw at Illusion Theatre in Minneapolis. Some of her favorite Chicago roles include Charlotte in The Real Thing, Julia in Holiday, and Ann in Man and Superman (Remy Bumppo Theatre); Esther in The Glamour House (Victory Gardens Theatre); and Carol in Oleanna. She and her husband, actor Raymond Fox, live in Chicago with their daughter, Nora.

Raymond Fox (Midas and Others) was part of the Original Chicago, Off Broadway and Broadway casts (Lookingglass, Second Stage and Circle in the Square), as well as regional productions (Berkeley Rep., Seattle Rep., Mark Taper Forum, Kansas City Rep. and Hartford Stage). recently appeared in Trust at Lookingglass. Broadway/Off Broadway: Metamorphoses (Circle in the Square and Second Stage). Chicago credits include Lookingglass; Remy Bumppo; Goodman; Court; Next. Regional credits include Seattle Rep.; Berkeley Rep.; Kansas City Rep.; Indiana Rep.; Meadow Brook; Hartford Stage; McCarter; Mark Taper Forum; Arden; About Face/Tectonic; American Repertory Theatre and Canada’s Stratford Festival. He studied at Northwestern University and A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University.

Douglas Hara (Phaeton and Others) was part of the Original Chicago, Off Broadway and Broadway casts (Lookingglass, Second Stage and Circle in the Square) of Metamorphoses, as well as regional productions at Berkeley Rep., Seattle Rep. and Mark Taper Forum.
Hara is an Ensemble Member of Lookingglass Theatre Company where he has participated in 16 productions since 1991 including West, Arabian Nights, Up Against It, The Master and Margarita, Lookingglass Hamlet, Lookingglass Alice, and The Brothers Karamazov. Goodman Theatre Productions include Journey to the West and The Odyssey. Arden Theatre productions include A Prayer for Owen Meany, Something Intangible, Threepenny Opera, and Cyrano. Two River Theater productions include Our Town, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Charlotte’s Web, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and HONK! Broadway credits: The Boys of Winter and Metamorphoses. Off-Broadway: The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, and Lookingglass Alice. Doug has performed at many regional theatres including, About Face Theatre, Jellyeye Drum Opera, Huntington Theatre, Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, The Alliance Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Joyce Theatre.

Chris Kipiniak (Erysichthon and Others) Broadway: Metamorphoses (Circle in the Square). Off-broadway: Kit Marlowe (Public Theater), Nora (Marvell Repertory), Charles Winn Speaks... (Living Image Arts). London: How To Act Around Cops (Soho Theatre, also New York and Edinburgh International Fringe Festivals). Chicago: The Odyssey and Wit (Goodman Theatre). Film/TV: "Delocated," "Law & Order," "The Good Wife," the feature “The Poker Club,” the short “Trying” (also writer, director). Playwriting: Stalled (Horse Trade Theater Group and Hangar Theatre Lab), Save the World (Roundtable Ensemble), Change the Be and IIIINSAAAAAAAANE!!!! (Horse Trade Theater Group). Other writing: Nightcrawler, Amazing Fantasy and Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man for Marvel Comics.

Louise Lamson (Alcyone and Others) appeared in an early version of Metamorphoses entitled Six Myths, while still a student at Northwestern in 1996, and was also part of the Original Chicago, Off Broadway and Broadway casts, as well as regional productions at the Berkeley Rep., Seattle Rep. and Mark Taper Forum. Lamson is an Artistic Associate at Lookingglass and her credits include The Idiot, Hard Times, The Secret in the Wings, Manuscript Found in Saragossa, The Wooden Breeks, Icarus (at the Getty Villa, L.A.), The Brothers Karamazov, Our Town, and The Arabian Nights. Some Chicago credits include About Face Theatre’s Bash (After Dark award and Jeff nomination), The Odyssey (Goodman), and The Adventures of Herculina (Next Theatre). New York credits include The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (Second Stage).

Lauren Orkus (Eurydice and Others) NY credits include: My Sweet Charlie (June Havoc Theatre), Hollow (Dixon Place), End’s Eve (NY Fringe Festival), Ivanov (Gene Frankel). Regional: The Snow Queen (Portland Stage Company), The Comedy of Errors, Two Noble Kinsmen (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), The Diary of Anne Frank (St. Louis Rep.), Doubt (Weston Playhouse), Night of the Iguana (Berkshire Theatre Festival), The House in Hydesville (Geva Theatre), Arms and the Man (Orlando Shakespeare Theater), A Christmas Carol (Am. Drama Group Europe- German Tour), The Crucible, The Diary of Anne Frank (Asolo Theatre Co.). Lauren is also a Teaching Artist with the New York non-profit Opening Act. MFA in Acting from the FSU/Asolo Theatre Conservatory.

Lookingglass Theatre is located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile shopping district inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. Discounted parking is available for Lookingglass patrons at both the nearby John Hancock Center and Olympia Centre Self Park (161 E. Chicago Ave.).

Production Sponsors for Metamorphoses include United Airlines, the official and exclusive airline of Lookingglass Theatre Company, and The Pauls Foundation.

About Lookingglass Theatre Company

Inventive.  Collaborative.  Transformative.  Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. 2012-2013 marks the company’s 25th anniversary season. Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. Lookingglass has staged 58 world premieres at 23 venues across Chicago, and garnered 52 Joseph Jefferson Awards and Citations.

Work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis.  Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States.

The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago's landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003.  In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year.

Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 22-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman Richard Ditton of Incredible Technologies and President Joe Brady of Jones Lang LaSalle. For more information, visit

Regular run: September 30, 2012

Tuesdays: 7:30 p.m. (10/09, 10/23, 11/06 only)
Wednesdays:         7:30 p.m.
Thursdays:    3:00 p.m. (10/18, 11/01, 11/15 only); 7:30 p.m.
Fridays:   7:30 p.m.
Saturdays:   3:00 p.m.; 7:30 p.m.
Sundays:   3:00 p.m.; 7:30 p.m.

Location: Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic
Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.
Prices: Previews are $28 - $38
Regular Run is $36 - $70
Target Saturday Matinees offer a limited number of buy one, get one free tickets which are available to all 3:00 p.m. Saturday matinees. This program is made possible with the generous support of Target, working with Lookingglass to make the arts accessible to all.
A limited number of student tickets are available the day of the show for $20 with valid student ID.
Groups of 10 or more patrons save up to 20%. Call the box office for details.

Box Office: Buy online at
or by phone at (312) 337-0665
The Lookingglass box office is located at Water Tower Water Works,
821 N. Michigan Ave.

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