Profiles Theatre concludes its 2007-2008 Season devoted to the works of acclaimed playwright and filmmaker Neil LaBute with the Midwest Premiere of LaBute’s acclaimed drama IN A DARK DARK HOUSE. By popular demand, the production has been extended through June 15, 2008 at Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway.
On the grounds of a private psychiatric facility, two brothers find themselves brought face to face with each other's involvement in their traumatic past. In court-ordered rehab, Drew calls on his brother, Terry, to corroborate his story of abuse. Drew's request releases barely-hidden animosities between the two; is he using these repressed memories to save himself while smearing the name of his brother's friend and mentor? In Neil LaBute's powerful new play, these siblings must struggle to come to grips with their troubled legacy, both inside and outside their dark family home.
The Profiles production marks only the second time this play has been produced. IN A DARK DARK HOUSE received its World premiere by Manhattan Class Company in May 2007 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, directed by Carolyn Cantor. The New York Times raved, “IN A DARK DARK HOUSE ranks with Mr. LaBute’s best work for stage and screen” and Time Out New York said, “ IN A DARK DARK HOUSE goes to unexpected places. LaBute’s play is well drawn and engrossing.”
"This has been a really incredible experience, having a company devote itself to seeing that my work--both full plays and a number of shorter pieces--gets in front of a Chicago audience. I started out as a Chicago writer and still consider myself that. I'm happy to give even one of my newest plays like IN A DARK DARK HOUSE to the folks at Profiles because I know it's going to be taken care of.”
This is the fourth production of Profiles Theatre’s “Season of LaBute”. Profiles’ current production is the Midwest premiere of LaBute’s play, “This is How it Goes”. Prior to that, Profiles presented acclaimed productions of “Things We Said Today” and “Some Girl(s)”, which was Jeff Recommended and ran for over three months. Last season, Profiles’ productions of “Fat Pig” and “autobahn” by LaBute received unanimous critical acclaim and were also extended multiple times
Neil LaBute is an acclaimed writer, director and playwright. 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. His films include: “In the Company of Men” (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature, Filmmakers’ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), “Your Friends and Neighbors”, “Nurse Betty”, “Possession”, and “The Shape of Things”, a film adaptation of his play by the same title. His latest film “Wicker Man”, starring Nicolas Cage, was released in September 2006. Plays include: “bash: latter-day plays” (2000); “The Shape of Things” (2001); “The Distance From Here” (2002); “The Mercy Seat” (2002) and “Fat Pig” (2004) which opened at Profiles Theatre in September 2006. His 2005 plays include "Wrecks", “This is How it Goes” (opening at Profiles on January 17, 2008), “autobahn” (produced by Profiles in March 2006) and “Some Girl(s)” which opened at Profiles in September 2006. In June of 2007, MCC premiered his latest play, “In a Dark, Dark House” (opening at Profiles in March 2008). LaBute is the author of several fictional pieces that have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, and Playboy among others. A collection of his short stories was published by Grove/Atlantic in October 2004.
Profiles Theatre's production of IN A DARK DARK HOUSE is directed by Artistic Director, Joe Jahraus. Mr. Jahraus most recently staged Profiles’ highly praised Midwest premieres of “Some Girl(s)” and “Fat Pig” also by Neil LaBute as well as the American premiere of “Apple” by Vern Thiessen and the Midwest Premiere of Profiles’ award-winning hit production of “Blackbird” by Adam Rapp.
The designers are Brandon Wardell (set), Ron Seeley (lights), Myron Elliott, Jr. (costumes), and Profiles' company member Eric Burgher (sound). The assistant director is company member Somer Benson and the stage manager is Maryann Carlson.
The cast of IN A DARK DARK HOUSE features Profiles' Associate Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox as Terry. Mr. Cox was most recently seen as Guy in the Midwest Premiere of “Some Girl(s)” by Neil LaBute. Prior to that, he was seen as Andy in the American Premiere of “Apple” by Vern Thiessen and as Tom in the Midwest Premiere of Neil LaBute's “Fat Pig”. He was seen at the Goodman as Charles in “The Shawl” and Robert in “Home” as part of the David Mamet Festival. Darrell has appeared at Steppenwolf in the World Premiere of “Men of Tortuga”, the Midwest Premiere of “Orange Flower Water” (which also traveled to the Galway Arts Festival), and the World Premiere of “Wendall Greene”. Mr. Cox has won three Joseph Jefferson Citations for Principal Actor for his performances in Profiles' productions of "Blackbird", "Some Voices", and "Eye of God". He has also received two After Dark Awards for Outstanding Performance for his work in "Popcorn" and "Carnal Knowledge".
Hans Fleischmann is featured as Drew. Mr. Fleischmann returns to Profiles Theatre, for the first time as an actor, having last directed "Persuasion Paper 101" for Neil LaBute's "Things We Said Today". Hans was most recently seen in RC Sherriff's "Journey's End" with Griffin Theatre Co. He serves as Producing Director for Mary-Arrchie Theatre where he directed their current production of Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker". He returns to Mary-Arrchie this summer to act in John Patrick Shanley's "Beggars in the House of Plenty". Favorite acting credits from last year include "Blasted" with A Red Orchid Theatre and "Cowboy Mouth" with Mary-Arrchie. Hans has also had the pleasure of working with the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Madison Repertory Theater, Walk About, and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
Profiles introduces Allison Torem, a junior at Whitney Young Magnet High School, in her professional debut as Jennifer. She most recently performed as Muriel in her school's production of "Ah, Wilderness". She was in a short film at Colombia College and took classes at Prologue Theater and also The Entertainment Project, where she performed in "Grease" and "Peter Pan".
"Critics' Pick! IN A DARK DARK HOUSE is a provocative and uncommonly focused piece of work by LaBute. The interplay of memory, guilt and manipulation sets in motion a spiral of events that probes how shared trauma can poison kinship. The performances are vulnerable, engaging, disturbing and very effective in Joe Jahraus' solid production!"
-Chris Jones, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"Recommended! The ambivalent, the ambiguous, the invented and the potentially calamitous meet here, with director Joe Jahraus deftly orchestrating the intersection. Hans Fleischmann expertly captures Drew's nauseating passive-aggressive nature, while Darrell W. Cox is ideal as the volatile Terry. Allison Torem gives a sharp, funny, scary and ultimately vulnerable performance!"
-Hedy Weiss, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
"Critic's Choice! Neil LaBute exposes both men as wounded beasts trapped in a culture that demands either swagger or silence in lieu of emotional honesty. Director Joe Jahraus's Midwest premiere production for Profiles Theatre is richly nuanced and exquisitely paced. As Drew and Terry, Hans Fleischmann and Darrell W. Cox reveal their characters' tortured souls by keeping them deeply under wraps!"
-Justin Hayford, CHICAGO READER
"The acting is top-notch in this nuanced puzzle box of a play!"
-Kris Vire, TIMEOUT CHICAGO
"Tip of the Week! LaBute finds the truth of what it means when rough-riding human nature takes over from our better instincts. Darrell W. Cox gives a killer performance and Profiles' production is real and scarily human!"
-Nina Metz, NEW CITY
" The production on Profiles' stage maximizes the intensity of LaBute's powerful play. Darrell W. Cox brilliantly rings the many changes in Terry's personality and Hans Fleischmann is a perfect foil!"
-Dan Zeff, COPLEY NEWS SERVICE
"LaBute produces a white-hot gleam of brilliance with the mesmerizing and disturbing play IN A DARK DARK HOUSE. Profiles Theatre's finishes off its all-LaBute season in creeptacular fashion!"
-Catey Sullivan, WINDY CITY TIMES
"Neil LaBute delivers another taut, well-told work at the high-quality Profiles Theatre. Inventively staged, confident and smart!"
-Web Behrens, CHICAGO FREE PRESS
"LaBute's rich and detailed IN A DARK DARK HOUSE is one of the strongest stagings I've seen in some time. Darrell W. Cox gives an amazingly complex and compelling performance!"
-John Olson, TALKIN' BROADWAY
"Profiles builds LaBute's engrossing story with solid direction and sparkling acting!"
-Alan Bresloff, EPOCH TIMES
*Jeff Award for Hans Fleischmann - Best Actor in a Supporting Role
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