Fred A. Wellisch
Father Peter Lentine
Laura Berner Taylor
by Chuck O'Connor
by Richard Shavzin
September 3 – October 5, 2014
A World Premiere Drama
at the Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614
Our Season Opener!
Polarity Ensemble Theatre kicked off its 2014 -15 season with the world premiere of MIRACLES IN THE FALL, a searing drama in which a family must surmount the lies and betrayals that have twisted their lives. MIRACLES IN THE FALL was written by Dionysos Cup Award Winner Chuck O'Connor and directed by Jeff Award Winner Richard Shavzin. It featured Laura Berner Taylor, Rian Jairell, Mickey O'Sullivan and Fred A. Wellisch.
The story at the heart of MIRACLES IN THE FALL centers on the life of Clare Connelly, a nun in 1968 Detroit who discovers secrets about her family that have driven their collective shame and disastrous life decisions. The play is reminiscent of the work of Eugene O'Neill. Deep betrayals of the past twist the lives of the Connellys, but faith, family and forgiveness allow redemption for some.
MIRACLES IN THE FALL was developed in POLARITY ENSEMBLE THEATRE 2013 DIONYSOS CUP FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS. It was the eighth Polarity-developed play by a Chicago-area playwright to reach its world premiere on a Chicago stage.
About the Playwright Chuck O'Connor is a Network Playwright with Chicago Dramatists. His work has been selected as a Heideman Award Finalist with Actor's Theater of Louisville and as winner of the 2013 Dionysos Cup at Polarity Ensemble Theatre. Recently, Chuck turned his focus to international issues, working with the United Nations “Stop Rape Now” program, developing pieces that empower woman in Ukraine and Turkey. Cheryl Coons, Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and board member at Porchlight Theater, described Chuck's writing as, “. . . sophisticated, dramatic, thoughtful, and heartfelt. He writes about big ideas, and yet his stories are firmly grounded in his authentic and dimensional characters.” Chuck holds a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts from Michigan State University and a Master's Degree from Loyola University-Chicago. He lives in Evanston with his wife and two small children.
About the Director Richard Shavzin was delighted to return to Polarity after directing last season's Never The Bridesmaid, especially to do another new play. Other world premiere credits include Marisa Wegrzyn's Ten Cent Night (Chicago Dramatists); Defamation, Tops or Bottoms, and Fallout (Canamac Productions); Beat The Jester and Slaphappy (Beat The Jester Productions); Changing Rainbows (Red Wolf Theatre); Klub Kokomo (PS Theatricals); and Studs Terkel's Race (adapted by Jamie Pachino) at Strawdog Theatre, where he was Artistic Director from 1993-1998. Also at Strawdog he won a Jeff for Direction for Burn This, and directed the Jeff Nominated productions of Criminal Hearts; Cat's-Paw; The Big Funk; A Mother, A Daughter and A Gun; Skeletons and Hurlyburly, which won 4 Jeffs. Other credits include the Chicago premiere of Vick's Boy for American Theater Company (American Blues), Endangered for Stage Left's Leapfest, and the workshop production of the musical Any Someone At All at Second City's Skybox Theater.
Richard is an Associate Artist at Chicago Dramatists and an Artistic Affiliate at American Blues Theater. He served on the Board of Directors of the League of Chicago Theatres from 1994-2000, and served two terms, one as chair, on the Theatre Peer Review Panel of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. He currently serves on the National Council of Actors Equity Association, and on the National Board of Directors of SAG-AFTRA.
Read the reviews.
The Road to a World Premiere.
Where to eat and drink before and after the show
Miracles in the Fall ran at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago 60614 from September 6 through October 5, 2014. Previews September 3, 4 and 5 at 8pm. Opening night: September 6 at 8pm. Regular performances were Thursdays - Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 3pm. General admission tickets were $25. Seniors (65+) $20. Students (with ID) $10.
How to Get There: Red Line or Brown Line El: Get off at the Fullerton stop — all trains including the Purple Line stop there. When you exit the station, turn right and walk one block east and then two blocks south on Lincoln Ave. The Greenhouse Theater Center is on the east (left) side of Lincoln Avenue just past the old Children’s Memorial Hospital, 5 doors south of Belden Ave. & Starbucks.
Free parking for Greenhouse Theater Center patrons is available at the former Children’s Memorial Hospital Garage, located at 2316 N. Lincoln, just south of Fullerton Ave. There is a street light that marks the open entrance to the garage. Currently, the first three floors of the parking garage are open to the public for FREE. There is a 5 hour limit. In addition to the garage, there is metered parking on Lincoln Ave.
Richard Engling, Artistic Director
Rachel Ramirez, Managing Director
Richard Shavzin, Director
Chuck O'Connor, Playwright
Nicole Smith, Production Manager
Jamie Crothers, Stage Manager
Charles C. Palia, Jr., Set Designer
Benjamin L. White, USAA, Lighting Designer
Jessica Smith, Costume and Props Designer
Aaron Stephenson, Sound Designer
Elaina Gillin, Assistant Stage Manager
Maggie Speer, Props Archivist
Playwright Chuck O'Connor discusses the script
with director Richard Shavzin