OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR - RICK SNYDER
OUTSTANDING PRINCIPAL ACTOR - DARRELL W. COX
Profiles Theatre continues its 2009-2010 Season with KILLER JOE by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts, directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder. The hit production has been extended for the final time at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted, through July 18, 2010.
The production, directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder, has been playing to sold-out houses at Profiles since it opened in January 2010. The production received rave critical reviews from Chicago’s top critics and is well on the way to breaking Profiles’ box office records. All cast members are continuing in their roles, including Profiles ensemble members Darrell W. Cox and Somer Benson along with Kevin Bigley, Howie Johnson and Claire Wellin.
KILLER JOE focuses on the Smith family, a greedy and vindictive clan of Texans, hatch a plan to murder their estranged matriarch to cash in on her insurance policy. Unable to bring themselves to do the deed, they hire Killer Joe Cooper, a full-time cop and part-time contract killer. Once he steps into their trailer, their simple plan quickly spirals out of control.
“This will be the first time in our history that we have transferred a show to a much larger theatre,” says Profiles Artistic Director Joe Jahraus. “This is a perfect theatre space for Killer Joe as it will allow us to reach a much larger audience and yet still maintain the intimacy that makes the production so powerful and visceral.”
Written in 1991, the play premiered at the Next Lab Theater in Chicago two years later and was then presented at the 29th Street Rep in NYC. Since then, KILLER JOE has been performed in at least 15 countries in 12 different languages. It won top honors at the Edinburgh, Scotland, Fringe Theater Festival in 1994, then played to sellout audiences at London's The Bush Theatre and transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End for a four-month run in which it won the Time Out Award as the Best Play of 1995. Tracy Letts was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play for August: Osage County.
TRACY LETTS is the recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. His acclaimed play SUPERIOR DONUTS premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre in 2008 and recently played on Broadway at New York’s Music Box Theatre. KILLER JOE, written in 1991, has been performed in at least 15 countries in 12 different languages. His play BUG has played in New York, Chicago and London. He is also the author of a recent adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s THREE SISTERS and MAN FROM NEBRASKA, which premiered at Steppenwolf in 2003. Tracy has been an ensemble member at Steppenwolf since 2002 and performed in such productions as AMERICAN BUFFALO, BETRAYAL, THE PILLOWMAN, LAST OF THE BOYS, THE PAIN AND THE ITCH and GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (also in Dublin and Toronto). He has appeared on television in “The District,” “Profiler,” “Prison Break,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Seinfeld” and “Home Improvement.” Film appearances include “Guinevere”, “U.S. Marshals” and “Chicago Cab”.
Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder is the director for KILLER JOE. He returns to Profiles after directing their acclaimed production of MEN OF TORTUGA last season. He recently directed ART at Steppenwolf, MAURITIUS at Northlight Theatre, THE LION IN WINTER at Writers’ Theatre, THE ACTOR at the Goodman Theatre and ARISTOCRATA at Strawdog Theatre. He has also directed BETRAYAL at Steppenwolf, JOLLY and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE JEWS at the Goodman, ST. SCARLET at ATC, BUS STOP at Writers’ Theatre and LAST OF THE BOYS at Steppenwolf. Other directing credits at Steppenwolf include 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 recently appeared in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY and THE UNMENTIONABLES at Steppenwolf Theatre as well as MAN FROM NEBRASKA and I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER. Other Steppenwolf Theatre productions include WEDDING BAND, TIME OF YOUR LIFE, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST in London and on Broadway, and SIDEMAN in Galway, Ireland. DAVID COPPERFIELD, THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, MOLLY SWEENEY, PICASSO AT THE LAPINE AGILE, the Tony Award-winning GRAPES OF WRATH, THE ROAD TO NIRVANA, and A WALF IN THE WOODS. He has appeared at the Goodman Theatre in AS YOU LIKE IT, DOWN THE SHORE and as Ebenezer Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. At Northlight Theatre he appeared in WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF and THE REAR COLUMN. Television credits include CRIME STORY, FIRST STEPS, LADY BLUE, LEGACY OF LIES, THE WOMAN WHO LOVED ELVIS, OVEREXPOSED, and guest starring roles on EARLY EDITION, PROFILER, CHICAGO HOPE, ANGEL STREET, THE UNTOUCHABLES, MISSING PERSONS, and MIND OF THE MARRIED MAN. Rick has appeared in the films MEET THE APPLEGATES, THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN, ALIEN NATION MILLENIUM, THE NET starring Sandra Bullock, WHITEBOYS, and SOUL SURVIVORS. He appeared as agent Frank Burrows in U.S. MARSHALS and recently appeared in THE HUMAN STAIN. Rick has taught acting classes at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, as well as advanced acting class at Northwestern University and DePaul. He currently teaches Directing 1 at Columbia College in Chicago. Rick has been a member of the Steppenwolf ensemble since 1983, and an instructor for The School at Steppenwolf and Associate Artist at Steppenwolf for the last ten years.
The designers include Sotirios Livaditis (set), Jessica Harpenau (lights), Darcy McGill (costumes) and Kevin O'Donnell (sound). The stage manager is Mary Ellen Rieck and the assistant stage manager is Corey Weinberg.
Darrell is an ensemble member of Profiles Theatre. He was most recently seen as Ben in Profiles' Midwest Premiere of The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute, and as Joe in Profiles' World Premiere of Graceland by Ellen Fairey. Prior to that, he was seen as the stepfather in Profiles' Midwest Premiere of Great Falls by Lee Blessing, as well as Taggart in Profiles’ first full Chicago production of Men of Tortuga. He was recently seen in the Chicago Premiere of The People's Temple at American Theatre Company as Jim Jones and Stephan Jones. He has been seen 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. Darrell has also appeared at the Goodman in THE SHAWL and HOME as part of the David Mamet Festival and the World Premiere of MARTIN FUREY’S SHOT at TimeLine Theatre, among others. He has received three Jeff Awards for Principal Actor for his performances in Profiles’ productions of BLACKBIRD, SOME VOICES and EYE OF GOD. In addition, he has received two After Dark Awards for Outstanding Performance for his work in Profiles’ POPCORN and CARNAL KNOWLEDGE. Other recent performances at Profiles include IN A DARK DARK HOUSE, APPLE, FAT PIG and THE GLORY OF LIVING.
Somer is an ensemble member of Profiles Theatre and was most recently seen as Anna in the World Premiere of GRACELAND, Lisa in the American Premiere of THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISSOCIA and as Diane in Profiles' Midwest Premiere of THE THUGS by Adam Bock. She was also seen as Steph in a reading of REASONS TO BE PRETTY, part of Profiles’ AN EVENING WITH NEIL LABUTE: LIVE AND IN PERSON. Last season, she appeared in "Coax", a short play from the Midwest premiere of THINGS WE SAID TODAY by Neil LaBute. Some of her other favorite productions include PROOF, COLLECTED STORIES, and COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN.
Kevin Bigley, Howie Johnson and Claire Wellin are also featured in KILLER JOE.
Kevin most recently played George Bailey in ATC’s tour cast of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Other past credits include Henry in Muse of Fire’s HENRY V, Ross in MACBETH at the Athenaeum, Achilles in IPHIGENIA 2.0 at The Greenhouse Theater, and Grotto Good in STILL LIFE WITH IRIS at the Merle Reskin. Kevin is currently understudying at Steppenwolf for Finny in SEPARATE PEACE, directed by Jon Berry.
Howie has performed at Eclipse, Pegasus Players, Illinois Theatre, Mary-Arrchie, Buffalo Theatre, Trap Door, Second City Skybox, EP Theatre, and Boxer Rebellion. He also toured with LEAVING IOWA for almost two years. He is a proud company member of SiNNERMAN Ensemble where he was last seen in IVANOV this fall. He can be seen in a a number of independent films as well as THE EXPRESS with Dennis Quaid and THE INFORMANT with Matt Damon. He's also been on the small screen as Lt. Zuelke on ER and Lukacz on PRISON BREAK.
Claire is an actor, singer, songwriter and dancer. Previously in Chicago she has performed her own work in the Beast Women Winter Cabaret Series and in CHAD MORTON'S TV CHRISTMAS MIRACLE at the Village Players. Other roles include Ophelia in HAMLET, Joan of Arc in THE LARK, Dainty June in GYPSY, Rosamund in THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM, The Medium/Aunt Monica in SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE, Miss Dorothy in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, Peppermint Patty in SNOOPY, Luisa in THE FANTASTICKS and PETER PAN. Claire is also a violinist and jazz singer, and has performed original music with The Disappearance of Franklin.
"KILLER JOE is back, nasty and tasty as ever. Tracy Letts' perversely pulpy potboiler has lost none of its visceral force and actually has new resonance in this recessionary era. Rick Snyder's staging helps the play step away from slick sensationalism and move closer to social commentary. Darrell W. Cox turns in one of the best performances of his long career at Profiles!"
-Chris Jones, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Profiles Theatre's scaldingly funny revival of KILLER JOE is a fabulously well-staged production of one of the best American plays of the past quarter-century. Everyone in the cast is superlative, and Rick Snyder, one of the finest directors in Chicago, has staged it with enough force to knock down an abandoned warehouse!”
-Terry Teachout, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"Highly Recommended! Profiles Theatre's new knock 'em dead revival is brilliantly directed by Rick Snyder and performed with the sort of gonzo explosiveness so emblematic of the Chicago style. It brings out the crazy poetry, mordant humor and quiet desperation of Letts' characters with Profiles mainstay Darrell W. Cox in sensational form!"
-Hedy Weiss, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
"Highly Recommended! Rick Snyder's revival is horrifying, exhilarating and exquisitely cast. Darrell W. Cox has found an ideal channel for his natural onstage intensity in the title character of this electric thriller. Kevin Bigley and Claire Wellin exhibit a magnetism that's, well, killer!"
-Kris Vire, TIMEOUT CHICAGO
KILLER JOE is a stunning visceral experience. The Profiles ensemble gives it their all, and then some. Darrell W. Cox was born to play Killer Joe Cooper and the other members of the cast deliver performances of tremendous credibility. Director Rick Snyder captures the tensions of the play with perfect pitch, drawing exemplary, full tilt performances from everyone on stage. The final battle was one of the most persuasive and frightening fight scenes I've ever seen on a local stage. It's a modern classic!"
-Dan Zeff, COPLEY NEWS SERVICE
"Highly Recommeded! Darrell W. Cox works Joe's intimidating tension just right. Kevin Bigley captures the well-intentioned Chris, whose best is not good enough. Wellin's strength surprises everyone and Somer Benson and Howie Johnson are tragic, white-trash delights!"
-Lisa Buscani, NEW CITY
"Highly Recommended! It's frighteningly convincing and those up for a visceral evening will be thrilled and horrified. It's to the credit of director Rick Snyder, the cast, and the designers, that it's presented with intense commitment. Cox stands out for his toxic, fascinating combination of sleaze and menace, but he fits seamlessly into the exceptionally strong cast. Everything in the production works together wonderfully!"
-Zev Valancy, CENTERSTAGE
"Highly Recommended! Director Rick Snyder has shaped a thrilling piece of theatre. His ensemble is seamless, fearless and unforgettable with Darrell W. Cox carrying it in a role he seems born to play. Claire Wellin plays Dottie with hollow-eyed perfection, Kevin Bigley is genuinely touching and Somer Benson is a garish delight!"
-Catey Sullivan, EXAMINER
"Highly Recommended! KILLER JOE is an impressive piece of work that will shock you, make you laugh and make you think. You will have a marvelous theatrical experience presented by a wonderful cast of actors. Howie Johnson underplays his character to perfection, Somer Benson gives a sparkling performance, Claire Wellin offers a charmingly smart character study and Darrell W. Cox is dynamic and powerful as Killer Joe!"
-Al Bresloff, STEADSTYLE CHICAGO
"Highly Recommended! KILLER JOE is a riveting and intense must see production. Darrell W. Cox commands the stage in a marvelously nuanced and complex performance. Director Rick Snyder has the action moving swiftly in this breathtakingly raw and emotionally shocking drama!"
-Tom Williams, CHICAGOCRITIC.COM
KILLER JOE received the Jeff Award for
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR - RICK SNYDER
OUTSTANDING PRINCIPAL ACTOR - DARRELL W. COX
The Audition Workshop is a two day intensive for theatre professionals only. The Audition Workshop will help you develop your skills and increase your potential for getting cast.
Looking to get a hold of us here at Profiles? Stop in and learn the best way to get in contact with us.