Due to popular demand, The Den Theatre has announced a two week extension of its hit production of Brian Friel's FAITH HEALER, now playing through February 3, 2013 on The Den mainstage at 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park. Seventeen years after playing to sell-out houses at TurnAround and Steppenwolf Theatres, The Den's critically acclaimed remount continues to mesmerize Chicago audiences! The Jeff-nominated production features original Chicago cast members Brad Armacost, Lia D. Mortensen and Si Osborne and original direction by J.R. Sullivan. Tickets for the added performances are currently available at www.brownpapertickets.com.
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, graphic design), Rachel S. Parent (costume design), Cat Wilson (lighting design), Marshall Crawford (sound design, assistant director, production stage manager), Jen Bukovsky (asst. stage manager), Kris Kontour (technical director) and Cynthia Judge (associate producer).