Private Eyes
by Steven Dietz
  Director Bill McIntosh
Spring Semester - 2008
Message from the Director________________

"The cleverest and most artful piece presented at the 21st Humana Festival" - Village Voice

The memory is a dangerous place; a place with many twists and turns. Memories can recall something incompletely, selectively or it can make up events that never really happened. Even in these days of video on demand, camera phones and the circus of public websites nothing can affect us the way our memory does. We connect the dots between the facts we think we know and fill in the gaps with our imagination and desires. Even this is not complete. There are still things that seem incomplete or wrong.

Perhaps what we could use is a professional; someone who knows the details, who has the pictures, someone else who was in the room and could point us in the right direction of our own life’s events. Someone who could remove all the distractions and misdirections and simply show us the thing itself.  Some kind of...Private Eye...

"There is little that matches the mad rush of falling in love other than the mad rush of being betrayed."

- Steven Dietz



Synopsis: a comedy of suspicion in which nothing is ever quite what it seems. Matthew's wife, Lisa, is having an affair with Adrian, a British theatre director. Or perhaps the affair is part of the play being rehearsed. Or perhaps Matthew has imagined all of it simply to have something to report to Frank, his therapist. And, finally, there is Cory-the mysterious woman who seems to shadow the others-who brings the story to its surprising conclusion. Or does she? The audience itself plays the role of detective in this hilarious "relationship thriller" about love, lust and the power of deception.

In his intricate comedy "Private Eyes," playwright Steven Dietz starts with a theater convention, the backstage romantic triangle, then adds so many lies, secrets and surprises that the characters can barely keep their footing on reality's shifting sands. It's a tricky balancing act for the audience, too.
 
Widely produced, especially at regional theaters, Dietz is a prolific author whose other plays include "God's Country" and "More Fun Than Bowling." The 40-year-old playwright and his wife, playwright/actress Allison Gregory, live in Seattle. He's got an interesting take on life -- and on theater:

  On honesty, deception and theater: "Private Eyes" was a really lousy play for a long time. I spent seven years on it, and it was a breakthrough play for me. The 15 or so plays of mine that came before it are all an attempt to figure out how theater works.

"In 'Private Eyes,' I think I took a step in the right direction. As an audience, we are all so suggestible, and I think I use that to the play's advantage -- to look at how suggestible we are with each other and in love. I wanted to write a play that deceives its audience in the same way that we deceive each other.

"We have to write about deception as we grow into a world where we can make up who we are, instead of inherit who we are. Part of that is technology. Human contact is increasingly unnecessary. Also, life is easier. I don't have to struggle like my parents or grandparents did. So the things that do trouble us take the form of suspicion. Am I doing the right thing? Am I hearing the truth? A tiny slight takes on great significance.

"I think that's why audiences enjoy seeing deception. It's timely. But it has to be a comedy. That's always how we get seduced -- into an affair, or into a story. It seems like a really good time. It always starts out as a comedy, and it always starts out small - a remark, a cup of tea. And theater is a medium that can turn on a dime. On a word or two."

  On what's really happening in the new play: "I find that sometimes people working on 'Private Eyes' dig much deeper than I believe the bottom is. I take that as a strength of the play. I believe the majority of the stuff (that the characters say and do) does happen. It has to be true.

"But the delicious thing about the theater is that truth is the thing we are told until we are told something else. You can only do that on the stage. In the movies or on TV, you expect manipulation. But in the theate r, you can still surprise people. Oh, they say, we are not in a restaurant. We are in a rehearsal hall where actors are working on a scene in a restaurant.

"That delights me, that you can surprise people like that. I am amazed that they don't say, 'We aren't really in any of those places. We're in the theater.'"

Time:
The present

Act I:
 Rehearsal Studio
A Restaurant
Rehearsal Studio
A Restaurant

  Act II:
Frank’s Office
Rehearsal Studio
A Restaurant
Adrian’s Hotel Room
Frank’s Office
Adrian’s Hotel Room
Rehearsal Studio
A Restaurant


Cast (in order of appearance)_______________
 
Matthew ………….……………...…….Tom Camacho
Lisa …………………………………...…Heather Irwin
Adrian………………………..……..…Andrew Berlien
Cory……………………………….......Caitlin Costello
Frank…………………………………….….Jim Farrell

Production Staff__________________________

 

Producer…………………………….....……....Anna Antaramian
Director...……………………...….…………....…....Bill McIntosh
Stage Manager..……………...………….…..…....…Kyle Young
Scenic Designer/Co-Tech Director…….……..Jessica Kuehnau
Light Designer/Co-Tech Director..…..….…..….John Rodriguez
Costume Designer....………………..……...…...Jana Anderson
Sound Designer………………….……...….…Nikola Ranguelov
Master Electrician………..………… ……………...…Eric Senne
Poster/Brochure Designer…………….…Melody Baghdasarian
Theatre Manager……………….……..……………....Sara Moss
Assistant Theatre Managers…Laura Aldmeyer, Laura Gryfinski
House Manager…………………………………...Heather Llanes
Box Office Manager………………...………….……Marjie Kranz
Assistant Box Office Manager…………………....Lisette Munoz
Theatre Bookkeeper………………….Becca Raven Uminowicz
Running Crew……..Mischa Cole, Rasa Aliukonyte, Duncan Macnab
Light Board Operator………….…..….…...….Anthony Khishabe
Props………………………...…Holly Hoffman, Rasa Aliukonyte
Set Construction…….……..………..…Theatre Practicum class



Tom Camacho (Matthew) is elated to be a part of Private Eyes, his second production at the Stage Center Theatre. Along with acting and working toward his master’s degree in the Department of Communication, Media & Theatre, he is dedicated to creating possibilities for youth in the areas of the arts and art based education. Along with being the Grants Manager for the Collaboration Theater and the Development/Education Outreach Coordinator for Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, he founded and operates The Serendipity Youth Theatre, a non-profit organization

Heather Irwin (Lisa) is pleased to be returning to NEIU for Private Eyes. Her first NEIU production was Thymely Theatre’s The Lady’s Not for Burning (Jennette). A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Heather has worked with different theatre companies in the Northeast and the Midwest. Recent production credits include The Long Christmas Ride Home (Rebecca), Fat Men in Skirts (Phyllis), and Noises Off (Brooke). Heather has also toured nationally with the Hampstead Stage Company. She’d like to thank her family and friends, fellow cast members, crew, and Bill for all the laughs. And much love goes out to her wonderful husband, David.


Andrew Berlien (Adrian) makes his triumphant, if belated, return to the Stage Center Theatre this season, after his memorable turns in Lend Me A Tenor in 2003 and The Real Inspector Hound in 2004. He is also the recipient of the 2003 Rebecca Ashley Thatcher Award for Excellence in Dramatics. A native son of his beloved City of Big Shoulders, Andrew has bided his time lurking in the dangerous, murky, enticing waters of professional musicianship, and is delighted to once again take the stage with such a wonderful and dynamic cast. He would like to thank everyone involved with this production for the opportunity to shine. Oh, and Mom, Dad, all my loved ones...My shoes hurt for you too.


Caitlin Costello (Cory) is a recent graduate of the one year classical acting program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA). Since returning to the States, she lived briefly in NYC before settling back in the Midwest. She received her undergraduate degree from DePaul University, where she majored in English and Theatre Arts. Favorite roles include Silvia in Two Gentlemen of Verona (last year) and  Anne in Anne of Green Gables (11 years ago). When she is not on stage, she keeps busy working at a women’s health non-profit and at a bar in Wrigleville. She likes a good beer and eats the rejected yellow Starbursts because it makes her feel heroic.


Jim Farrell (Frank) returns to performing after three decades in business and raising a family. Originally from Washington DC, Jim received his start on stage at the Trapier Theater on the campus of the National Cathedral. From the spring of 1972 until August 1976, he performed in 13 plays and musicals including a world premier of John Updike’s Buchanan Dying. He performed roles like Biff in  Death of a Salesman and Thomas Jefferson in 1776. With a new perspective, nothing to lose, and years of life experience to draw from, Jim returns to acting hopefully a little wiser, a bit more humble, and open to opportunities to contribute to the performing arts community in Chicago. Jim lives in Chicago and is a business development manager for a construction consulting firm


Bill McIntosh (Director) could not be happier to be back inside these favorite four walls. He has directed at Stage Center Theatre over the past 5 years or so; most recently with last year’s winter production of Proof. Also, you might have seen Picasso at the Lapin Agile or Inspecting Carol. He has also directed for Open Door Theatre Company and the now defunct Seattle Fringe Festival. Bill has performed on this stage in  The Lady’s Not For Burning, The Game of Love and Chance and Scapino. He has also performed in Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles and toured as far away as Korea and Panama.

Jessica Kuehnau (Scenic Designer/Co-Tech Director) is pleased to be designing sets for the Stage Center Theatre. Since completing her MFA in Scenic and Costume Design at Northwestern University, she has been designing sets and costumes for such notable theatres as Lifeline Theatre, MPAACT, The Griffin, Vittum Theatre, Light Opera Works and Metropolis Performing Arts Center. Currently on stage are her costume designs for August Wilson’s Jitney (Pegasus Players) and an adaptation of the children’s story Half Magic (Lifeline Theatre). Ms. Kuehnau is also the resident set designer, technical director and design professor at North Park University.

John Rodriguez (Lighting Designer/Co-Tech Director) 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 and for the two Thymely Theatre productions this summer: The Heidi Chronicles and The Lady’s Not For Burning.

Kyle Young (Stage Manager) may be remembered as George Antrobus in The Skin of Our Teeth, and Frank in  Mrs. Warren’s Profession here at the Stage Center Theatre. This is Kyle’s first opportunity to be a Stage Manager and it’s a wonderful experience. Kyle would like to take this time to thank Dan, Rodney, Bill and Anna for giving their support, guidance, and time, and for being great and wonderful individuals to be around.



Breaded Chicken
We can do that.
Do you carry a gun?



Da' Cast
Hello, Frank.
I can't take it any more.



I have a new friend, Frank.
I have a problem.
I like the fever of revenge.



I wouldn't do that...
Let's take lunch now.
Lisa and Adrain



Lisa and Derek Savage
Matthew and Lisa and a Chair
Matthew sets a chair



Matthew, do something!
Matthews Bright Idea One in a Million



That's what I was looking for.
A perfect time to hurt someone
This is how I work.



What happens then?
Would you like to use the chair?
Full Cast


Special Thanks.....
The Department of Communication, Media and Theatre Faculty and Staff; the departments of  Accounts Payable, Budget, and Purchasing, Russ Grovak and Printing Services.




 

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