Thymely Theatre-Summer 2007

Thymely Theatre takes its name from a minor witticism.  It combines the noun “thyme” with the adjective “timely.” Thyme is an herb that is so effective medicinally that it cures internal maladies as well as cleans and nurtures externally.  It is not therefore an exaggeration that Thyme heals all wounds.

A “timely theatre” holds up a mirror to its own time.   Thymely Theatre presents plays that tell us about our time; plays that nurture what is good in and for our time; plays filled with the flavor of a robust life.

Thymely Theatre Advisory Board:
Carolyn Bonner, Melanie Bujan, Patrick McGuire, Becca Raven Uminowicz

 

Wasserstein’s Minimalism

             Descriptions of the set in The Heidi Chronicles are brief; they emphasize essentials rather than elaborations.  The first one provides our example:

            1989, lecture hall, Columbia University. Heidi, behind  podium, right of screen. During the lecture slides of the paintings appear on the screen.

            What’s necessary for the scene is a podium and a screen on to which is flashed a slide show. A designer can take these requirements and make a lavish, highly realistic scene a la Broadway, or he or she can follow Wasserstein’s lead and include merely what is essential to the play’s requirements. This latter choice, a kind of theatrical minimalism, is key to understanding the playwright’s ultimate intentions.

            Wasserstein’s method, thus, may be called metonymic—the part replaces the whole. A podium suggests a lecture hall, or, in a later scene, a table, laden with flowers and champagne flutes, and a few scattered chairs become a ballroom.

            The play’s narrative, its story, is minimal as well. It involves not rising action that leads to a climax, as traditional plays and films do; no, The Heidi Chronicles is about a generation of people—Boomers, as they are called—and the ups and downs of their lives and especially of the life of one Heidi Holland. They too are metonyms for a generation; as students and graduates of Columbia University, they are the best and brightest of that generation. They include males: a promiscuous heterosexual and a promiscuous homosexual, and of course the functionaries who make their lives possible, a waiter, for example. They include females: feminists and other women entering the workforce, members of a women’s collective, a TV producer, a consciousness raising group. Both sexes exhibit the so-called idealism of the Boomer generation, which includes liberation politics like feminism and the gay rights movement. But except for Heidi—a serious feminist—they all sell out in one way or another. Biology is the coin of their booty, for biology dictates male promiscuity and the female’s need, it seems, to reproduce and nurture its young.

            The minimalism of the action, merely a series of events and conversations, underscores the slow descent of the selling out. There are no witches warning Macbeth nor any Rubicons for Caesar to cross. Such drama is for legend and myth. Heidi’s friends descend into their own self-abnegation completely ignorant, it seems, of what they have done or what they’ve given up.

            But what about Heidi? The end of the play is really its beginning, that lecture hall, 1989. Heidi is doing what she set out to do. She is the art historian she had hoped to become. Is it important that she gives into the biological need to nurture only after she has achieved her goal? After, in fact, her friends have already sold out? After she has been ‘stranded’? Or is her need to nurture also a selling out? Wasserstein poses the answer to Heidi indirectly, minimalistically. Perhaps, a line from one of her earlier plays may help us answer Heidi’s mystery.  In Isn’t It Romantic, a female character proclaims defiantly, “There is nothing wrong with being alone.”

            The Heidi Chronicles, then, despite the small number of its characters, is a minimalist condemnation of an entire generation of liberationists who embraced the same shackles as their parents.

                                                                                                                                                                                         -Patrick McGuire
                                                                                                                                                                                        Senior Lecturer, English
                                                                                                                                                                                        University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Cast

Marshall Brown (Scoop) is a junior majoring in Biological Anthropology with a minor in Theatre at Northeastern.  This is his third appearance at the Stage Center Theatre.  He is tremendously thrilled to be working with such a swell cast and splendid crew.  He would like to extend loving gratitude to his family for their unfaltering patience and support.  Enjoy!


Sherry Legare (Susan) moved to  Chicago from New Hampshire in order to take advantage of the Windy City’s edgy theatre scene.  Past roles include Salerio/Fight Captain from The Merchant of Venice (Red Tape), Volumnia from Coriolanus (Red Tape), G. Raffa from Tuxedo Love (Theatre 5.2.1.), and Audrey/Adam from As You Like It (Velvet Willies).  Sherry is a proud company member of Red Tape Theatre Company and past member of Industrial Arts Theatre in Denver, Colorado.  She has trained at the Society of American Fight Director’s Intensive Workshop in Las Vegas, the former Actor’s Center of Chicago, Second City, the Shakespeare Sedona Summer Institute, and Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusettes.  Sherry currently studies voice from Deborah Bulgrin and yoga with Patricia Hyland of Yoga Now studios.  Many thanks to family and friends for their love and support.


Jeff Roll (Chris/Mark/Waiter/Hippie/Ray/Steve) in his current incarnation his is delighted to be back on the stage.  You may have recently seen him in The Mineola Twins and you may catch him in the upcoming The Lady’s Not For Burning.  Jeff loves videogames, wants to learn Japanese, and sends out love to all his usuals, M & D, K, the A.C. and Big G.


Terra Schultz (Heidi) was last seen on NEIU’s stage in The Mineola Twins and Much Ado About Nothing.  Since arriving in Chicago, Terra has stage managed The Side Project’s Crave and performed in Support Structure Chicago’s Tennessee’s Quarter, Lincoln Square Theatre’s Night Caps and Picasso at the Lapin Agile.  Terra is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, where favorite shows include A Lie of the Mind, Our Town, Flyer, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Terra would like to thank her family, Chad and Cheryl for supporting her acting endeavors, and Anna for this great opportunity


Stephanie Tichenor (Becky/Clara/Denise), a left-handed Libra just graduated this spring from NEIU with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication.  She was last seen onstage in NEIU’s Studio Series production of Fitting Rooms.  Currently she is a freelance TV producer in search of work.  She would like to thank Anna, Rachel, and the rest of the incredible cast and crew for their hard work and support.  Stephanie would like to dedicate her performance to her one true love, Jesse!  I love you with all my toes

Emily Vajda (Jill/Debbie/Molly/Betsy) is a recent graduate of Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance Theatre.  She has relocated to Chicago, IL to pursue more opportunities in theatre.  Some of her most memorable roles include Ann Deever in All My Sons, Roxie Hart in Chicago, and Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. Emily enjoys singing, directing, and writing, and hopes to be a professor of Theatre in the future.  She is excited to be a part of this cast and honored to be a part of this production.


Josh Wintersteen (Peter) is a 2006 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and a recent addition to the city of Chicago’s theatre scene.  With a degree in theatrical performance, Josh’s list of past credits include such shows as The Importance of Being Earnest, Noises Off, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Our Town, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Laramie Project, Tartuffe, and The Foreigner.  His passion, however, is not limited solely to the performance aspect of the art.  While in school, Josh studied theatrical design extensively, and upon graduating, spent several months employed as a scenic paint artist.  Now an official “Chicago-an” Josh just made his Chicago debut in Buckeye Tree Theatre’s All My Life & Then Some.  Now, he is extremely proud to have been able to work with this wonderful group of people to bring The Heidi Chronicles to stage.


Stephanie Wyatt (Fran/Lisa/April)  is absolutely enraptured to be playing the three characters of Fran, Lisa, and April.  Stephanie is incipiently from Kentucky where she graduated with a B.F.A. with an emphasis in acting.  Since her move last June she has performed in a multitude of short films and theatre productions including: Picasso at the Lapin Agile as Suzanne, The Birthday Party as Lulu, and The Actors Nightmare as Ellen.  She would like to thank this very very dexterous cast, her friends and family for their support, moreover her unconditionally loving, supportive, phenomenal, ingenious, benevolent, pulchritudinous boyfriend Brandon Jacob Jones for “Nothing I do would be possible without you baby, I love you.”  Brandon will indisputably be at every performance. “I am sure he is here now.”


Production Staff
  Director...………………………..…………..…...Anna Antaramian
Stage Manager..…………………….…….………..…Rachel Backing
Set Designer…………..……..………………..……Lizz Otto-Cramer
Light Designer………………….………………….….John Rodriguez
Costume Designer....………………………...………….Kim Instenes
Wardrobe Mistress………………………………………....Sara Moss
Master Electrician………..……………………….………..Eric Senne
Technical Director…………..………………..…….Chad M. Lussier
Public Relations Director…………………..…….Melissa Alexander
Poster/Brochure Designer………….…………………....Jason Kranz
Theatre Manager……………………………………...Bridgid Pulliam
Dramaturge……………………………..…………...Patrick McGuire
Box Office Manager……………….……….……………Donna Duraj
Finance Director……………………….…..Becca Raven Uminowicz
Sound Designer……………………Leroyd Manuel, Nikola Ranguelov
Running Crew……… …………...Heather Hopper, George Mangan,
                                                                                 Samer Eguindy
Light Booth………..…….……….….Heather Llanes, Enita Abaraca
Lobby Display………..………...Megan A. Waters, Samer Eguindy
Set Construction…………………...…Ariel Arnold, Silvano Botero,
                        Samer Elguindy, Asheel Gollapalli, Lapellia Williams,
      Elizabeth Komarnicki, Chris Lising, Agata Mazur, Dan Ruzicka

Anna Antaramian (Director) has been a member of NEIU’s theatre faculty for the past seventeen years.  She is the Managing and Artistic Director of the Stage Center Theatre and is a past president of the Illinois Theatre Association.  She  holds an M.F.A. from New York University and has worked in various theatrical venues across the country, the most recent being the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre.  Special thanks to H-S-A-N-T and, as always, Mr. McGuire.


Lizz Otto-Cramer (Set Designer) earned her Master of Fine Arts at the School of the Arts in Winston-Salem North Carolina.  She has been working professionally since graduation and has designed and painted in Milwaukee WI, North Carolina, and Washington D.C. Her credits include Dracula, Fiddler on the Roof, A Christmas Story, and Cole among others. This past season she designed the sets for the four main stage productions: The Three Cuckholds, The Birthday Party, Proof, and The Mineola Twins.


John Rodrigues (Lighting Designer) joined the theatre faculty at Northeastern four years ago and has been teaching courses in technical theatre as well as working as a designer on Stage Center productions.  This past season he designed the lights for the four main stage productions: The Three Cuckholds, The Birthday Party, Proof, and The Mineola Twins


Kim Instenes (Costume Designer) supervises and facilitates the building of costumes for all productions for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside but is also an independent Costume Designer who has credits with the Milwaukee Shakespeare Company, Lawrence University, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Racine Theatre Guild just to name a few.


Chad M. Lussier (Technical Director) is thrilled to be joining NEIU for the summer.  Some of Chad’s notable work include:  Scenic Designer/Technical Director for the inaugural season of Festival 56, Master Electrician for Milwaukee Shakespeare’s production of Macbeth and the Assistant Technical Director of the Wilson Center in Brookfield, WI.  Chad would like to thank his Mother & Father and his beautiful Lady friend/finance Terra.


Rachel Backing (Stage Manager) is excited to be stage managing her second show here at the Stage Center.  Her last show she stage managed was at the Pickwick with Imagination Symphony.  She would like to thank Anna for this opportunity and Lizz for molding her to become a better stage manager.




Stephanie Wyatt (Fran/Lisa/April), Emily Vadja (Jill/Debbie/Molly/Betsy),
Stephanie Tichenor (Becky/Clara/Denise)
Marshall Brown (Scoop), Terra Sschultz (Heidi),
Josh Wintersteen (Peter), Stephanie Wyatt (Fran/Lisa/April)


Emily Vajda (Jill/Debbie/Molly/Betsy), Stephanie Wyatt (Fran/Lisa/April),
Sherry Legare (Susan), Stephanie Tichenor (Becky/Clara/Denise)
Stephanie Wyatt (Fran/Lisa/April), Emily Vadja (Jill/Debbie/Molly/Betsy),
Sherry Legare (Susan),  Terra Schultz (Heidi), Stephanie Tichenor (Becky/Clara/Denise)


Terra Schultz (Heidi), Jeff Roll (Chris/Mark/Waiter/Hippie/Ray/Steve)
Stephanie Wyatt (Fran/Lisa/April), Emily Vadja(Jill/Debbie/Molly/Betsy),
Stephanie Tichenor (Becky/Clara/Denise)

Special Thanks………….

The Department of Communication, Media and Theatre Faculty and Staff;  the departments of  Accounts Payable, Budget, and Purchasing, Russ Grovak and Prinking Services, Tim Davis and University Events



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