Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, presents Season's Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Artistic Director BJ Jones. The production runs November 11-December 18, 2011 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd. The press opening is on Friday, November 18, 2011.
It's Christmas in the Bunker household-'tis the season for bickering relatives, drunken mishaps, and an ill-conceived puppet show that no one wants to see. The holiday traditions we all love (and secretly dread) meet with disaster in this riotously funny take on a "normal" family Christmas.
BJ Jones comments, "I am drawn to plays that require skilled ensemble players whose priority is trusting the playwright's vision and understanding their place in his carefully constructed food chain. When I first described Season's Greetings and my reasons for wanting to do it, I talked about my affinity for working with ensembles and shaping their gifts in service of the playwright, and this cast of inspired comic actors is born for this kind of writing."
The cast includes John Byrnes (Eddie), Amy Carle (Phyllis), Francis Guinan (Bernard), Steve Haggard (Clive), Heidi Kettenring (Belinda), Maggie Kettering (Pattie), Ginger Lee McDermott (Rachel), Rob Riley (Harvey) and Matt Schwader (Neville).
Designers include Keith Pitts (Set Design), Rachel Laritz (Costume Design), JR Lederle (Lighting Design) and Andre Pluess (Sound Design).
Alan Ayckbourn (Playwright) Former Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre (Scarborough, UK) and one of Britain's most performed playwrights, Alan Ayckbourn has written 75 plays. Almost all received their first performance there, with more than 35 being subsequently staged in the West End, at The National Theatre or by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Major successes include Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval, A Small Family Business, Henceforward..., Comic Potential, Things We Do For Love and House & Garden. His plays have been translated into 35 languages, won numerous awards, and have been performed worldwide. He has been inducted into American Theatre's Hall of Fame, received the 2010 Critics' Circle Award for Services to the Arts and became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was knighted in 1997 for services to the theatre.
BJ Jones (Artistic Director/Director) is in his 13th year as Artistic Director of Northlight Theatre, where he has piloted the world premieres of The Outgoing Tide, Craig Wright's Lady, Better Late (by Larry Gelbart & Craig Wright), Rounding Third, Sky Girls and Cat Feet. As a producer he guided the world premieres of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, The Gamester, and Studs Terkel's 'The Good War.' Mr. Jones has directed at Steppenwolf, Intiman Theatre in Seattle, Atlanta's ALLIANCE THEATRE, The Utah Shakespearean Festival, The Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, and Next Theatre in Evanston. Directorial work includes Northlight's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Grey Gardens, The Lady with All the Answers, The Retreat From Moscow, A Skull in Connemara, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and An Experiment With an Airpump, as well as productions of A Number, Twelfth Night, Glengarry Glen Ross (Suzie Bass Nominee - Best Director), Pygmalion, The Price (Jeff Nomination - Best Director,) and 100 Saints You Should Know. A two-time Jeff Award winner, he has appeared at Northlight in dozens of productions and has performed at virtually every major theatre in Chicago, including The Goodman in The Guys and House and Garden, Steppenwolf in The Royal Family and Playboy of the Western World, and Court in Candide and Comedy of Errors. Film/TV credits include The Fugitive, Body Double, Law and Order:Criminal Intent, Early Edition, Cupid and Turks, among others.