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In the Company of Men

World Premiere

by Resident Artist Neil LaBute

Directed by Resident Artist Rick Snyder

 

May 16 - July 28, 2013


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In the Company of Men

Profiles Theatre presents the World premiere of Resident Artist Neil LaBute’s revised stage version of In the Company of Men, now playing at The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway. Directed by Profiles Resident Artist and Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder, the production is now playing and has been extended through July 28, 2013.

Profiles Theatre presents the professional debut production of Neil LaBute’s revised stage play, In the Company of Men. The script, performed in various incarnations as a play at earlier stages of LaBute’s writing career as both a student and otherwise, was eventually made into the acclaimed film released in 1997 launching the careers of star Aaron Eckhart and Neil LaBute as a filmmaker and playwright. When it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, In the Company of Men created a firestorm of controversy with wildly divergent yet passionate opinions. It received the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, the Filmmaker's Trophy at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and The New York Film Critics Award for Best First Feature.

Two frustrated young executives vent their pent-up rage via a childish prank and end up paying a price in the psychological dark comedy, In the Company of Men. Former college buddies Chad and Howard, now in their late 20s, work for the same company. When the two begin expressing their mutual frustration regarding their lack of rapid advancement at work and their recent bad luck with women, they hatch a nasty scheme: Find a vulnerable young woman to court, slather with affection, and then callously dump. They choose a lovely, hearing-impaired typist named Christine, but soon their scheme creates escalating tension and psychological games not only with hapless Christine, but also with each other.

Resident Artist and Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder directs the World premiere production of the revised script of In the Company of Men following his acclaimed Profiles productions of A Behanding in Spokane, reasons to be pretty and the Jeff Award-winning Killer Joe (Production, Director, Principal Actor). Guest Artists for In the Company of Men include Jordan Brown as Chad, Brennan Roche as Howard and Jessica Carleton as Christine. Appearing in ensemble roles are Dennis Bisto, Alex Fisher, Kroydell Galima, Shelby Garrett, Poppy Golland, Sarah Herndon, Joseph W. Moore III and Laura Leonardo Ownby.

"I'm so excited to be putting this early work of mine into the hands of my trusted collaborators over at Profiles Theatre,” says playwright Neil LaBute. “The film was a fantastic experience for me personally, but I've always hoped that the script would make its way back to the stage. I've truly enjoyed the creative process of adapting the original play for the screen and now turning it back into a play again. I think it's in perfect hands with Joe, Darrell and Rick. I feel that these characters will still resonate with audiences and I know that Profiles will take In the Company of Men for the ride that it deserves--they never pull punches at Profiles and I love the artistic relationship that we have fostered together over the past few seasons. I consider myself a lucky man to still get work done regularly in Chicago and I believe I have a genuine home for that work at Profiles."

The stage version of In The Company of Men is produced by special arrangement with LaBute’s longtime collaborator and one of the film’s original producers, Stephen Pevner of Stephen Pevner, Inc and Company One Productions.  

Click here to read "Profiles Theatre gets playwright's 'Forest' before New York run"

Click here to read about Profiles' frequent collaborations with Neil LaBute

NEIL LABUTE is a Resident Artist at Profiles Theatre and has been working with them since their 2006 production of Autobahn. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre, London and also attended the Sundance Institute’s Playwrights Lab. His films include: In the Company of Men (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmakers’ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), Your Friend and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape of Things (a film adaptation of his play by the same title), The Wicker Man, Lakeview Terrace and Death at a Funeral. His plays include Bash: Latter-Day Plays, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here, Autobahn, Fat Pig, Wrecks, Some Girl(s), This is How it Goes, In a Dark Dark House, The Break of Noon and In a Forest, Dark and Deep. Reasons to be Happy, a follow-up to his acclaimed play reasons to be pretty, opens at MCC in May 2013. reasons to be pretty premiered off-Broadway in 2008, receiving three Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Play. It became Neil LaBute’s first play ever to be staged on Broadway when it opened in 2009 and was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Play. LaBute is also the author of several fictional pieces that have been published in “The New York Times,” “The New York Times Magazine,” “Harper’s Bazaar,” and “Playboy” among others. “Seconds of Pleasure,” a collection of his short stories, was published by Grove Atlantic.

RICK SNYDER (Director) is a Resident Artist at Profiles and a Steppenwolf ensemble member. He returns to Profiles after directing their hit productions of A Behanding in Spokane, reasons to be pretty and the award-winning Killer Joe (2010 Jeff Awards for Outstanding Production, Director and Actor). Other recent directing credits include God of Carnage at the Goodman Theatre, Oleanna and Speed-the-Plow at American Theatre Company, Mauritius at Northlight Theatre, The Lion in Winter and Bus Stop at Writers’ Theatre, Aristocrats at Strawdog Theatre, and The Actor, Jolly and The Disappearance of the Jews at the Goodman Theatre. His directing credits at Steppenwolf include Art, Betrayal, Last of the Boys, Tavern Story, Things Being What They Are, Orange Flower Water (which traveled to the Galway Arts Festival), and The Fall to Earth. As an actor, Rick has appeared in over forty Steppenwolf productions including August: Osage County, The Unmentionables and Man From Nebraska. He has appeared at the Goodman Theatre in As You Like It, Down the Shore and as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Rick’s film credits include The Tuskegee Airmen, The Net starring Sandra Bullock, Whiteboys, The Human Stain, Soul Survivors and U.S. Marshals. Rick has taught acting classes at Northwestern University and DePaul and currently teaches Directing 1 at Columbia College in Chicago. Rick has been a member of the Steppenwolf ensemble since 1983, and is Artistic Director at the Theatre of Western Springs.

The designers for In the Company of Men are Thad Hallstein (set), Mike May (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original music), and Raquel Adorno (costumes). Kaylie Honkala serves as stage manager.

Guest Artists for In the Company of Men include Jordan Brown as Chad, Brennan Roche as Howard and Jessica Carleton as Christine. Appearing in ensemble roles are Dennis Bisto, Alex Fisher, Kroydell Galima, Shelby Garrett, Poppy Golland, Sarah Herndon, Joseph W. Moore III and Laura Leonardo Ownby.

DENNIS BISTO (Ensemble) was most recently seen in Profiles' 20th Anniversary Production of Hellcab. Dennis is a Saint Louis native who moved to Chicago last year after a brief stint in Boston where he performed in the World Premiere of The First Annual Northern Maine Arts Festival.

JORDAN BROWN (Chad) is making his Profiles Theatre debut. His New York credits include River Valley Rep's The Light in the Piazza, Oberon Theatre Ensemble's Much Ado About Nothing, and an episode of As The World Turns for CBS Television Studios. His regional credits include A Skull in Connemara at Centerstage Theatre in Baltimore and West Side Story at Ravinia. Other Chicago credits include Sense and Sensibility at Northlight Theatre, The Pitmen Painters at Timeline Theatre Company, A Christmas Carol at The Goodman Theatre and Congo Square Theatre’s production of The Fall of Heaven by Walter Mosley. Jordan is a graduate of The North Carolina School of the Arts. 

JESSICA HONOR CARLETON (Christine) is making her debut at Profiles Theatre. Her Chicago credits include Mick Kelly in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter at Steppenwolf Theatre, Chekov's Emerging Women at Piven Theatre, and Crippled Sisters in the New Stages Series at Goodman Theatre. Jessica is an original ensemble member, head writer, and puppet/makeup designer on the national children’s TV show Green Screen Adventures (MeTV/WCIU). Last year, she won a National Daytime Creative Arts Emmy. Jessica graduated from Northwestern University in Theatre and Creative Writing for the Media. She began learning American Sign Language when she was 12-years-old, and brings her respect for Deaf culture to this process.

ALEX FISHER (Ensemble) was most recently appeared in Profiles Theatre’s 20th anniversary production of Hellcab.  Her recent credits include The Lion in Winter with Idle Muse Theatre and Peer Gynt directed by Jeremy Wechsler with Polarity Ensemble Theatre.  Alex is a graduate of Lake Forest College.

KROYDELL GALIMA (Ensemble) is working with Profiles Theatre for the first time. Recently, he appeared with TimeLine Theatre in their production of Concerning Strange Devices From The Distant West directed by Lisa Portes and In The Small Dark Room with Erasing The Distance. Kroydell has also worked with Proud Kate Theatre Project in their production of November at The Greenhouse Theatre, Theatre Seven of Chicago in The Chicago Landmark Project, Adventure Stage Chicago’s The Giver and Ghosts of Treasure. He appeared in the Ignition Festival 2010 at Victory Gardens and The Pathetic, a web series. He is a BFA graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University.

SHELBY GARRETT (Ensemble) is making her Profiles debut with In the Company of Men. Shelby just recently finished her year long run as Sharon in Chicago's debut of Girl's Night: The Musical. Other Chicago credits include Chicago Kid's Company's Chicken Little and Metropolis Performing Arts Center's A Christmas Carol. She has also studied at Improv Olympics and Profiles Theatre. Shelby’s regional credits include Prairie Fire Children's Theater, Shadowbox LIVE, & Zipper Theater in New York. Shelby is a graduate of Wright State University.

POPPY GOLLAND (Ensemble) is excited to be appearing with Profiles for the first time. She is from the Bay Area in California, and has most recently worked with Baby Crow Productions in their gender blind production of True West directed by Remy Ortiz, Back Room Shakespeare Project’s Back Room Chekhov, as well as having played Julie in Vintage Theater Collective’s Miss Julie, directed by Jason Economus. Poppy recently traveled to Los Angeles during the winter to film her first feature length film About Ashley directed by Stefan Pavlovic. 

SARAH HERNDON (Ensemble) is appearing with Profiles for the first time. Regional acting work includes multiple credits with the Theatre of Western Springs in Western Springs, IL. Roles at TWS include Mina in Dracula directed by Rick Snyder, Nina in The Quick Change Room, and Nellie Ewell in Summer and Smoke. In addition to acting, Sarah has also written two produced plays, The Real Mrs Jones and Spurse Change. Sarah holds a degree in Theatre Performance from the University of Evansville, IN.

JOSEPH W. MOORE III (Ensemble) was last seen at Profiles in their 20th Anniversary production of Hellcab by Will Kern. He is currently attending Columbia College Chicago where he appeared in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet,The Shipment, Love Song Vignettes and A Raisin in the Sun. He is also a collective member of For Youth Inquiry.

LAURA LEONARDO OWNBY (Ensemble) is making her Profiles debut with In the Company of Men. Regionally, Laura has appeared in Noises Off! with Theatre at the Center. Locally, she has worked with First Folio Theatre on Unnecessary Farce as an understudy, Ghost in the Machine, where she was first directed by Rick Snyder, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Summer and Smoke at the Theatre of Western Springs, and A Voice of my Own and Arrow of Love with Evergreen Theatre. 

BRENNAN ROCHE (Howard) returns to Profiles after appearing in their 20th Anniversary production of Hellcab and understudying the role of Steve in The Dream of the Burning Boy. He is a Chicago native and has studied at Piven Theatre Workshop where he was a part of the Young People's Company. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with credits including The Shape of Things, Proof, and The Odd Couple.

“Highly Recommended! Profiles Theatre knows how to nail the juicy plays of Neil LaBute. Aside from his mordant wit and whip-fast pace, the director Rick Snyder's great strength here is in the way that he fleshes out the cubicle Satan and his sidekick, focusing on the moments when the faintest glimpse of compassion or complexity flicker across their brows. Jessica Carleton avoids the traps of sentimentalism but also breaks down with a level of realism so intense that it's kind of shocking. LaBute certainly has made this into a viable and wickedly amusing stage piece!”

-Chris Jones, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

 

“Highly Recommended! Rick Snyder has assembled an ideal cast. Jordan Brown is chilling for the full force with which he plunges into his reprehensible character and Brennan Roche is a fine mix of nerdy, bright and real. Jessica Carleton is utterly beguiling as a woman whose every vulnerability is played on, and whose exhilaration at suddenly being desired leads her to make bad decisions and an ensemble of eight actors creates just the right sense of office politics!”

-Hedy Weiss, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

 

“Highly Recommended! Directed to chilling impact by Rick Snyder for Profiles Theatre, the 90-minute piece peels back the facade on entitled, violent, men who are driven by fear and rage. The production is grounded in reliably well-wrought performances. Jordan Brown crafts a portrait of a young man who embodies the male gaze at its most malignant and Jessica Carleton manages the meltdown with a believability that brings that LaBute's psychosexual parable of white male privilege to a wrenching end!”

-Catey Sullivan, CHICAGO MAGAZINE

 

“Recommended! LaBute's main target is the false equivalency perceived by the broken-hearted between pain felt and pain intended, a concept explored in Rick Snyder's level and often bitingly funny production. Jordan Brown gives a virtuosic comic douchebag performance as LaBute's black comedy evolves into a nuanced satire of misrepresentations of strength and the privileged class!”

-Dan Jakes, TIMEOUT CHICAGO

 

“Highly Recommended! In ninety chilling minutes, Rick Snyder’s kinetic staging crackles along with LaBute’s pulverizing dialogue. Jessica Honor Carleton makes Christine’s sudden loss of innocence and trust as palpable and shocking as an earthquake while Jordan Brown’s smooth-faced duplicity comes straight from hell. This show is definitely a must-see!”

-Lawrence Bommer, CHICAGO THEATER BEAT

 

“Highly Recommended! Rick Snyder expertly directs this talented ensemble and Thad Hallstein’s high tech, chrome-accented set is stunning. Jessica Honor Carleton is sweetly earnest and heartrending as Christine and Brennan Roche is a sadly likable, easily-manipulated Howard, but it’s Jordan Brown’s charming, cruel, immoral anti-hero Chad who stands out, haunting you long after the final blackout!”

-Colin Douglas, CENTERSTAGE

 

"Highly Recommended! LaBute’s revised version of IN THE COMPANY OF MEN is a fascinating study of pervasive malevolence. This show is a piece of work, charged by director Rick Snyder with the tension of a murder mystery and raised off the page into palpable life by three skilled actors!"

-Lawrence Johnson, CHICAGO ON THE AISLE

 

"Highly Recommended! Director Rick Snyder has guided IN THE COMPANY OF MEN's return to its stage roots immaculately with great performances all around in the company. A brilliant and deliberately nasty piece of work!"

-Scott C. Morgan, WINDY CITY TIMES

 

“Highly Recommended! The revised stage version of IN THE COMPANY OF MEN comes wonderfully off the screen once again at Profiles Theatre under the direction of Rick Snyder. Jordan Brown delivers Chad’s narcissistic rants and raves with such wit and humor you actually find yourself liking the guy and Brennan Roche gives Howard a heart, a brain and a backbone. Jessica Carleton did a wonderful job of the rounding out the character to more than just a hapless victim!”

-Joseph Hillenmeyer, SHOWBIZ CHICAGO

 

“Highly Recommended! IN THE COMPANY OF MEN haunts after our viewing of this black comedy is over. We're drawn to Christine, and much credit for that is due to Jessica Carleton's beautiful performance, making us feel empathy for her situation, but not pity. Director Rick Snyder gives the 95-minute intermissionless piece crisp direction—with the action moving briskly and cinematically between scenes!”

-John Olson, TALKIN’ BROADWAY

 

“Highly Recommended! This deliciously mean-spirited dramedy is still boldly unapologetic. Neil LaBute’s play IN THE COMPANY OF MEN is newly revised in a relentless and gutsy production at Profiles Theatre. Jordan Brown perfectly captures Chad’s ruthless ambition to win and as an effective counterweight, Jessica Honor Carleton gives a pitch-perfect performance as the deaf Christine. Brennan Roche succeeds in reflecting the audience’s own sense of rage-filled frustrations while remaining still charming!”

-Anthony J. Mangini, CHICAGOCRITIC.COM

 

“Recommended! As a portrait of malice at its most devious and relentless, the play carves out its own niche in modern American drama. Jordan Brown is a perfect physical choice to play the manipulating Chad and Brennan Roche is an effective Howard. Jessica Honor Carleton is the latest in a continuous stream of young little known actresses that Profiles casts in leading roles with bulls-eye accuracy. The entire audience will depart knowing its been taken on an engrossing if perverse ride!”

-Dan Zeff, CHICAGOLAND THEATER REVIEWS

 

“Highly Recommended! The World premiere of IN THE COMPANY OF MEN gives an imaginative and twisted look into the ladder climbing employee world. And for good measure, it's peppered with a thriller plot set to a love triangle. Jordan Brown is in fine form as the brash Chad, Brennan Roche is even better as Howard, and Christine is captured quite nicely by Jessica Carleton!”

-Phil Potempa, NORTHWEST INDIANA TIMES

 

 

Jeff Awards Recommended

 

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