The Den Theatre will present a remount of TurnAround Theatre's original hit production of Brian Friel's FAITH HEALER, 17 years after the critically acclaimed show played to sold-out houses at TurnAround and Steppenwolf Theatres. Original cast members Brad Armacost, Lia D. Mortensen and Si Osborne return for the remount, which features the original direction by J.R. Sullivan. FAITH HEALER will play December 19, 2012 – January 20, 2013 on The Den Theatre's main stage, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park. Tickets are currently available at www.brownpapertickets.com. The press opening will be Thursday, December 20 at 7:30 pm.
FAITH HEALER is a dramatic, mysterious and humorous work focusing on the life and times of Frank Hardy (Si Osborne), an itinerant Irish Healer. Uniquely structured, the play is presented in four monologues. The first belongs to Frank, grappling with the mystery of his gift of faith healing. Next is Grace (Lia D. Mortensen), Frank's patient but suffering wife, who knows too well the special magnificence of her husband. Frank's promoter and set-up man, a Cockney named Teddy (Brad Armacost), speaks third. His show business spin on events is both touching and comical. Frank's epilogue brings the play to a startling conclusion. In FAITH HEALER, Friel shows us the reality of grace, the unfolding of mystery and the healing powers of faith.
FAITH HEALER opened at TurnAround Theatre's intimate, 75-seat home in Lakeview on March 8, 1995. An immediate hit, TurnAround's premier production enjoyed a four-month, sold out run, closing on June 4, 1995. Producers Cynthia Judge and Brad Armacost were then invited to bring the production to Steppenwolf Theatre's first Studio Theatre Season as the inaugural production. FAITH HEALER re-opened on October 29, 1995 and had a highly successful run, closing on November 19, 1995. The production earned Brad Armacost a Joseph Jefferson Award and Lia D. Mortensen a Jeff Award nomination, as well as the Sarah Siddons Leading Lady Award. Fast forward to 2010, when Judge and Mortensen appeared in Provision Theatre's production of The Hiding Place with Den Theatre Artistic Director Ryan Martin. That meeting sparked an artistic collaboration that led to the current remount of FAITH HEALER at The Den.
"The three actors – Brad, Lia and Si – as well as myself have shared a personal and professional bond as a result of performing FAITH HEALER together 17 years ago," comments original producer Cynthia Judge. "Each of us has experience what Mr. Friel describes in the play, 'for those few hours, I had become whole in myself.' The magnificent storytelling of Friel elicited – for audience and actors – an examination of the artist's life and evoked such questions as 'What is Faith?,' 'What binds us together?' and 'What is the limit of human power?' Many discussions and reflections on these ideas continued throughout the years, long after the production ended. To answer those questions, to seek that wholeness again, and to encompass the life lessons they have experienced over these years, the actors return to their roles," adds Judge.
The production team for FAITH HEALER includes: Henry Behel (scenic design) and Cat Wilson (lighting design). Additional production team members TBA.
Title: FAITH HEALER
Playwright: Brian Friel
Original Direction: J.R. Sullivan
Featuring: Brad Armacost (Teddy), Lia D. Mortensen (Grace) and Si Osborne (Frank Hardy)
Location: The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Dates: Preview: Wednesday, December 19 at 7:30 pm
Press Performance: Thursday, December 20 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Friday, December 21, 2012 – Sunday, January 20, 2013
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Note: there will not be a 3 pm performance on Sunday, December 23.
Tickets: $28. Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com.