By Neil LaBute

April 13 - June 3, 2012




In a Forest, Dark and Deep

Profiles Theatre concludes its 23rd Season with the American premiere of Neil LaBute's newest play, IN A FOREST, DARK AND DEEP. The production will open Profiles' new venue, The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway, April 19, 2012 and runs through June 3, 2012.  Previews begin April 13.

The acclaimed new work received its World Premiere production in London at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre in March 2011 for a limited run, starring Matthew Fox and Olivia Williams.

On a dark and stormy night, all Bobby thought he was doing was helping his sister Betty clear out her cottage in the forest. But in this cabin of lies nothing is as it seems and the truth refuses to be packed away. What is she hiding? Does he really want to find out? In A Forest, Dark And Deep is a dark journey into sibling rivalry escalating into a psychological thriller bursting with savage conflict.

Joe Jahraus directs the American Premiere of Neil LaBute’s In a Forest, Dark and Deep, his fifth LaBute production staged for Profiles. Darrell W. Cox plays the role of Bobby and guest artist Natasha Lowe appears as Betty.

"I feel very lucky to have In a Forest, Dark and Deep making its American premiere at Profiles Theatre in Chicago,” says playwright Neil LaBute. “It's a play that means a great deal to me and I wanted it to find a home in the states that can give it all the attention and dignity that it deserves. I've been extremely happy with my relationship to this little powerhouse of a theater and I'm excited to see these characters come to life in the dual hands of Artistic Directors Darrell W. Cox and Joe Jahraus. This kind of collaboration is why I keep coming back to the stage, because as a writer, I feel completely free and entirely safe.  Profiles is everything an American playhouse should be: bold, fearless and constantly challenging the audience and itself."

NEIL LABUTE (Playwright) is a writer, director, filmmaker 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, 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 FRIENDS 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 SHAPE OF THINGS, THE MERCY SEAT, THE DISTANCE FROM HERE, AUTOBAHN, FAT PIG, WRECKS, SOME GIRL(S), THIS IS HOW IT GOES and IN A DARK DARK HOUSE. REASONS TO BE PRETTY, produced by MCC Theater and directed by Terry Kinney, premiered off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theater in June 2008. It received 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 March 2009 at the Lyceum Theatre and was nominated for three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Play. His recent play THE BREAK OF NOON, premiered at MCC in October 2010 and IN A FOREST, DARK AND DEEP premiered in London at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre in March 2011. 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.

Profiles Artistic Director Joe Jahraus is the director of In a Forest, Dark and Deep. He most recently directed Profiles’ World premiere of Assisted Living, the Midwest premiere of Fifty Words by Michael Weller and the World premiere of Kid Sister by Will Kern.  Previously, he directed the Midwest premieres of Jailbait by Deirdre O’Connor, The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute, Great Falls by Lee Blessing and The Thugs by Adam Bock. Joe also directed the Midwest premieres of Neil LaBute’s In a Dark Dark House, Some Girl(s) and Fat Pig, for which he received a Jeff Award Nomination for Outstanding Director. Other directing credits for Profiles include the American premiere of Apple by Vern Thiessen, the award-winning Midwest premiere of Blackbird by Adam Rapp, Babylon Gardens by Timothy Mason, The Water Engine and Sexual Perverstiy in Chicago by David Mamet, and the award-winning Midwest premiere of Carnal Knowledge by Jules Fieffer, among others.

The designers are Thad Hallstein (set), John Kohn III and Bekki Lambrecht (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original music), Shawn Quinlan (costumes) and the stage managers are Jordan Muller and Elisabeth Jackson.

The cast of IN A FOREST, DARK AND DEEP features ensemble member Darrell W. Cox as Bobby and Natasha Lowe as his sister Betty.

Darrell W. Cox (Bobby) most recently appeared in Profiles' Midwest Premiere of A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE by Martin McDonagh, as well as Profiles' Midwest Premiere of FIFTY WORDS by Michael Weller. Darrell received his fourth Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role for his performance as Joe Cooper in Profiles production of KILLER JOE by Tracy Letts. Darrell has appeared at Steppenwolf in the World Premiere of MEN OF TORTUGA (where he originated the role of Taggart), the Midwest Premiere of ORANGE FLOWER WATER (which traveled to the Galway Arts Festival), and the World Premiere of WENDALL GREENE. He has also been seen at the Goodman in THE SHAWL and HOME as part of the David Mamet Festival, American Theatre Company's SPEED THE PLOW and OLEANNA as part of the Mamet Repertory, as well as Jim Jones in the Midwest Premiere of THE PEOPLE'S TEMPLE, and the World Premiere of MARTIN FUREY'S SHOT at TimeLine, among others. He has won four Joseph Jefferson Awards for Principal Actor for his work in Profiles' productions of KILLER JOE, BLACKBIRD, SOME VOICES and EYE OF GOD. In addition, he has received two After Dark Awards for Outstanding Performance for Profiles' productions of POPCORN and CARNAL KNOWLEDGE.

NATASHA LOWE (Betty) is making her Profiles debut with IN A FOREST, DARK AND DEEP. She last appeared in THE REAL THING at Writers' Theatre. Other recent Chicago area credits include THE OLD MASTERS at Steppenwolf First Look and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at Writer’s Theatre for which she received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Leading Actress. She has also appeared in PICNIC, and BENEFACTORS at Writer’s Theatre, ANGELS IN AMERICA, PARTS I AND II for Journeymen Theatre, 1,001 AFTERNOONS IN CHICAGO for which she received a Joseph Jefferson Nomination for Best Supporting Actress at Prop Theater and Live Bait, BETTY’S SUMMER VACATION at Roadworks, THE FRONT PAGE and THE BOARDING HOUSE at Next Theatre, and GOLDEN BOY at Steppenwolf Theater for Young Audiences.  Natasha also received a Joseph Jefferson Citation for Best Supporting Actress in MERIDIAN at City Lit.  

“When two characters in a Neil LaBute play head into a forest — dark and deep or otherwise — one does not anticipate an easy exit for either party. The latest LaBute drama contains various twists from a prolific playwright who, increasingly, takes as much care as he can to defy expectations. Natasha Lowe, a genteel actress with a powerful sting, is well cast here and she's aptly empathetic. LaBute needles his way under Betty's polished surface, as he does so well!”



“With Joe Jahraus's passionate, expertly paced American premiere for Profiles Theatre and thanks to intelligent, authoritative performances from Darrell W. Cox and Natasha Lowe, there's plenty of interesting stuff to consider here: questions of how minor adolescent indiscretions can poison adult relationships, how the need to feel desirable can pollute self-worth and how lies can both heal and destroy!”

-Justin Hayford, CHICAGO READER


“Highly Recommended! “IN A FOREST, DARK AND DEEP, now receiving its American premiere at Profile’s newly expanded theatrical complex in the assured directorial hands of Joe Jahraus, is a harrowing tale of neurosis, dependency and more that’s deep in that other forest - the unconscious. Kudos to lighting designer John Kohn III and to soundmaster Jeffrey Levin for delivering surprising blasts of storm-fisted rock ‘n’ roll, thunder and lights-out calamity!”



“Recommended! As both characters come to terms with their relationship and themselves, Darrell W. Cox captures the bitterness and longing his character harbors. He’s a scruffy, no-bullshit loser who has no patience for his sister’s wily ways and gives her no quarter. Playwright Neil LaBute’s monologues are luminous as director Joe Jahraus judiciously controls the back and forth. Thad Hallstein’s set depicts just the right amount of shabby cabin chic!”

-Lisa Buscani, NEW CITY


“Recommended! Together the duo of Natasha Lowe and Darrell W. Cox gives the spectators a feast of high intensity and high decibel acting. LaBute is a master at creating attention-grabbing female characters and he’s given Lowe some great emotional dialogue to chew on. An entertaining evening!”


“Recommended! Directed by Joe Jahraus, Cox and Lowe form a combustible duo, and the explosions they create between them unearth layer upon layer of falsehood masquerading as truth. If you want to witness two actors at the top of their game digging into dialogue that probes the painful truths festering just below the shiny, happy lies we all tell ourselves, then Profiles latest is a must-see!”



“Recommended! Taut and in-your-face, LaBute’s latest, IN A FOREST DARK AND DEEP, is a 95-minute domestic unraveling. Tightening like a noose, it divides and connects two alienated siblings in a Midwest cabin on a suitably stormy night. Nobody unleashes LaBute’s meanness and mercy better than director Joe Jahraus. In Darrell W. Cox and Natasha Lowe he finds the perfect exponents for the author’s devilishly mixed messages. Profiles has christened its latest theater with a characteristic mixture of cunning and conviction!”



“Recommended! Playwright Neil LaBute penned a tale of sibling rivalry as a brother and sister unsnarl the past to detangle the present for a twisted future. Under the expert direction of Joe Jahraus, Darrell W. Cox is fiercely passionate as Natasha Lowe controls the story and the room. Her continual sporadic disclosure makes her delivery even more impressive. Nobody does blistering confrontation like Profiles!”

-Katy Walsh, CHICAGO NOW


Neil LaBute’s latest effort is something of a departure from his usual fare, a rip-roaring psychological drama set in a remote cabin complete with thunder, lightning, and the occasional power failure. And yet, LaBute being LaBute, the dark laundry of human frailty is gradually aired. At 95 brisk minutes with no intermission, IN A FOREST, DARK AND DEEP is a movie thriller played live on stage; its intensity and frequent plot twists will keep you engrossed until the end credits!”



“Recommended! This well-structured LaBute play introduces audiences to Profiles’ new space on Broadway. The rage and the chemistry between Darrell W. Cox and Natasha Lowe is honest and palatable. This dark mystery unravels in tortured conflict that will surprise you as your loyalties shift. It is 90 minutes of smart, nicely acted theatre!”



Jeff Awards Recommended

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