Summer, 2008

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.

Taking Steps
by Alan Ayckbourn
July 17-19, 24-26, 31-Aug 2.
Directed by Anna Antaramian

Taking Steps is set on a three floor building, with the attic, master bedroom and living room superimposed on one another.

At The Pines, a reputedly haunted house and former brothel, Elizabeth is planning on leaving her husband Roland. She has called on her brother, Mark, to comfort Roland when he finds her note. However Mark, a man whose monotone sends people to sleep, is preoccupied with the fact his fiancée, who jilted him at the altar, has been picked up for soliciting by the police. He brings her back to The Pines, puts her in the spare room in the attic and leaves again.

Roland is hoping to buy The Pines from a local builder, Bainbridge, and Tristram, a none-too-bright solicitor, arrives to complete the sale. A drunk Roland arrives home and reads Elizabeth's note and breaks down, imploring Tristram to stay the night. Tristram agrees and stays in the master bedroom while Roland sleeps in the attic. Kitty, interrupted writing a suicide note, hides in a cupboard and is trapped when Roland moves the bed across the door.

Elizabeth, meanwhile, has decided against her course of action and returns home and crawls into bed with, she presumes, Roland. She proceeds to seduce Roland - not realizing she is in bed with a terrified Tristram, who has heard of the house's ghost and believes he is being seduced by Scarlet Lucy (who, so the legend goes, will then kill him at daybreak after the seduction).

Dawn breaks and Tristram has more to fear from Mark, angry that he slept with his sister. Violence is prevented when the suicide note is discovered and mistakenly attributed to Roland. Believing he has overdosed, they try and keep him awake but Mark's voice sends Roland and Elizabeth to sleep. Tristram discovers Kitty and a mutual attraction. They fall asleep and are discovered by Mark, who again asks Tristram outside to sort matters out.

Bainbridge turns up, unrecognizable in biking leathers, and is mistaken for a burglar and is subdued by Elizabeth. Eventually all is resolved as Roland comes round and identifies Bainbridge and completes the sale. Roland celebrates and Tristram and Kitty leave together. Mark is left having bored himself to sleep and Elizabeth stands on the doorstep, another note in her hand. Will she stay or will she go?

Profiles (Cast) __________________________

Erin Rigik (Elizabeth) is a graduate of Bradley University where she majored in theatre performance and minored in journalism and creative writing. Here in Chicago you will find her writing/editing by day and pursuing theatre at night. Last April she played Thomasina in Arcadia at the Stage Center Theatre, and was Jean Maitland in June’s production of Stage Door with Thymely Theatre. She also performed at Looptopia with Tantalus Theatre Group, playing Roxanne in the company created Cyrano’s Devotion. Next up she’ll be performing at the New York Fringe Festival in Tantalus Theatre Group’s Dreadful Penny’s Exquisite Horrors.   Erin would like to thank her family, friends and co-workers for their support.

Robert Babcock (Mark) is thrilled to be making his Thymely Theatre debut.  He most recently appeared on stage in Democracy Burlesque's Spinning in Tongues and a staged reading of Dead Man Walking at Dominican University's Performing Arts Center.  A favorite past role is Cassio from Othello.  He would like to thank the cast and crew for their encouragement as well as friends and family for their continued support.

Josh Wintersteen (Tristram)  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 includes 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, and The Foreigner.    Summer 2007, Josh performed with Thymely Theatre for the first time, acting in The Heidi Chronicles and The Lady's Not for Burning, and he was just seen in Stage Door with them. He is quite happy to be back working with Anna, Terra, and the awesome cast and crew of Taking Steps.  Thanks to family (Mom, Dad, Tishy & Mike) and friends for all the support- hope you enjoy the show!

David Belew (Roland) is thrilled to be performing at NEIU this summer.  Some of his favorite Chicagoland roles include Judge Roan in Parade (Jeff Citation, Best Ensemble), George in Moon Over Buffalo, Captain Mike in Wonder of the World, Heavyset Harry in Pinafore!, and various roles in Greater Tuna.  David is also a very busy director, having recently directed productions of Crazy For You, Miss Saigon, Baby, The Sound of Music, I Hate Hamlet, The Crucible, and Shakespeare’s R&J.  David is the Service Center Director for the American Bar Association in Chicago, and lives on the Northwest side with his adorable little dog Amos.

Allen Davis (Leslie) graduated with a Master's degree in Communication from Northeastern Illinois University.  He has appeared in numerous productions here at the Stage Center Theatre, as well as working with the A Red Orchid Theatre, August Ensemble, Fourth Wall, Marquee Theatre Company, and Thymely Theatre.  Some of his favorite roles were Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace, Gately in Pvt. Wars, and Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing.  Allen would like to take this time to thank everyone for their support and understanding.  Enjoy the show.

Terra Schultz (Kitty) is very excited to be back on the Thymely Theatre stage for this production.  Previous credits include The Pink Bedroom (Support Structure Chicago), Night Caps (Lincoln Square Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing , The Heidi Chronicles and Stage Door (Thymely Theatre), and Get Down(sized)!  (Venture Theatre). Terra is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.  Much love to Mom, Dad, Grandma, Cheryl and Chad for their support in all her endeavors and many thanks to Anna for this great opportunity.

Profiles (Production Crew) __________________________

Anna Antaramian (Director) has been a member of NEIU’s theatre faculty for the past eighteen 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 MFA 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.

Brandon Wardell
.(Set Designer) is a freelance lighting and scenic designer, and earned an MFA from Northwestern University. Recent Lighting credits include The Blue House at Adventure Stage Chicago, How I Spent My Last Night On Earth with the Griffin, Jitney at Pegasus Players, Cloud Nine, Pippin, and Old Times at Northwestern University, as well as Archangels Don't Play Pinball, MiLK, and Buried Child. Scenic Design credits include The Prisoner's Dilemma with Theatre Mir, In A Dark Dark House at Profiles Theatre, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at Steep Theatre, Letters Home, and West Side Story. Teaching credits include Northwestern University, Columbia College Chicago, and The University of Chicago

John Rodriguez (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: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, The Skin of Our Teeth, Private Eyes and Arcadia, and for Thymely Theater’s Stage Door.

Chad M. Lussier (Technical Director) is thrilled to be joining NEIU for the summer. Some of Chad’s notable work includes: Scenic Designer/Technical Director for the inaugural season of Festival 56, Master Electrician for Milwaukee Shakespeare’s production of Macbeth and Twelfth Night 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/fiancee Terra.

Ellen M Kozak (Costume Designer) having enjoyed reliving the 1930’s with Thymely’s production of Stage Door, Ellen is happy to return to the present for Taking Steps. Ellen’s design work has taken her from Adam & Eve to speculative visions of the future. She has designed for many theatre companies across the nation, including the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, GeVa Theatre in Rochester, New York, The Intiman in Seattle and Center Stage in Baltimore. Other design projects were for films, videos, conventions, industrials, cruise ships, mascots, and photography sessions. Ellen spent the past two years teaching students at UW-Milwaukee and Marquette. It has been fun seeing the next generation of theatre technicians in the making. Variety is the spice of life and theatre is certainly full of variety.

Kathy Smith (Assistant Costume Designer) is pleased to be working along side her dear friend and mentor, designer Ellen Kozak, for this production of Taking Steps. She has been designing and building costumes for Theatres throughout Wisconsin for many years. Theatre is Kathy’s first love but she also enjoys working as a Wardrobe Stylist for Television Commercials and Touring Shows.

Ellen Crabill (Stage Manager) taught kindergarten-eighth grade for 14 years while studying and performing theatre at night. She is now heading for a career change and will look forward to being a drama teacher somewhere in Chicago. She loves comedic sitcoms, her two chinchilla Persian cats and studying the life of Jesus. She wants to thank the ensemble and director for their extraordinary talent, which has inspired her to keep learning what life is like on the other side of the stage.

Cast and Crew
Cast and Crew of Taking Steps

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