Enron, Pitmen Painters and John Conroy mark TimeLine Theatre's 2011–2012 season
TimeLine Theatre Company has announced an ambitious four-play season that includes a couple of high-profile Chicago premieres, a long-simmering new telling of a dark chapter in Chicago's history and, for the first time, an expansion beyond the theater's . In order to meet increasing demand with longer runs, TimeLine will kick off its season at with a revival of Lee Blessing's A Walk in the Woods directed by Nick Bowling. The 1988 play about superpower arms negotiators, a Pulitzer finalist, was written for two men, but the playwright has given his—ahem—blessing for a gender switch: Janet Ulrich Brooks will star as the Russian with David Parkes as the American. It opens August 22. Hot on its heels back at TimeLine's homebase is the Chicago premiere of The Pitmen Painters, Billy Elliot author Lee Hall's based-on-a-true-story yarn about miners in Northern England who are transformed by an art class. Directed by Northlight's BJ Jones, Pitmen opens September 10.
Next on the docket is Lucy Prebble's Enron, the fanciful exploration of the energy company's infamous collapse. The play was an enormous hit in London but less successful on Broadway. Rachel Rockwell, a recent Jeff winner for her production of Ragtime at Drury Lane, will make her TimeLine directing debut; no word yet on who'll play Jeff Skilling, Enron CEO, brother-of-Tom and a prominent character in Prebble's play. Enron opens January 21. It's followed by the premiere of My Kind of Town, longtime Chicago Reader reporter John Conroy's new play inspired by the story he followed doggedly for years: the Chicago police torture scandal. Conroy's been working on the script for some time, with readings at Steppenwolf and elsewhere; . It's a perfect fit for TimeLine, where Bowling will direct for a May 5, 2012 opening.