Profiles Theatre continues its 25th Anniversary Season with the Midwest premiere of Wrecks by Resident Artist Neil LaBute, directed by Guest Artist Jason Gerace and featuring acclaimed Chicago actor John Judd. The production runs October 3 – November 17, 2013 at The Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway.
Edward Carr, an ordinary man, an adoring father of four and a successful business owner, sees his world shattered by the death of his beloved wife JoJo. Through his grief, he picks through his past, piecing together the story of his life, like the wrecks of the cars he so lovingly restores. In this fiercely passionate, unflinching and concise powerhouse of a play, LaBute explores the boundaries of love, and the extent of what society accepts as opposed to what the heart desires.
Commissioned and produced by the Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork, Ireland as part of the city's Capital of Culture program, Wrecks premiered in 2005. In 2006, it received its American debut at the Public Theatre in New York, followed by an extended run. Both productions, directed by Neil LaBute, starred Ed Harris as Edward Carr.
This marks Profiles Theatre’s eleventh premiere by Neil LaBute, now a Resident Artist at Profiles. Previous productions include the World premiere of the revised stage version of In The Company of Men (Jeff Nomination for Best New Adaptation), the American premiere of In a Forest, Dark and Deep and acclaimed Midwest premieres of reasons to be pretty, The Mercy Seat, and Fat Pig.
Guest Director Jason Gerace, an Artistic Associate of American Theater Company, directed their production of It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play since 2009, and also Associate Directed the World Premiere of The Big Meal. Guest Artist John Judd marks his Profiles Theatre debut follwing recent appearances in Measure for Measure and The Iceman Cometh at the Goodman as well as Three Sisters and Clybourne Park at Steppenwolf.
“It's so great to have another play safely in the hands of Profiles Theatre,” says playwright Neil LaBute. “I love this story and I am grateful to have a Midwestern home for this kind of material, where i know it will not only be taken care of but will be pushed to within an inch of its theatrical life and asked to pull its own weight in front of their very savvy audiences. Profiles does theater the way it was intended to be done: in your lap and in your face.”
NEIL LABUTE (Playwright) is a Resident Artist at Profiles Theatre and has been working with them since their 2006 production of Autobahn. His World premiere adaptation of his original play and film In the Company of Men (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmakers’ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival) had its debut at Profiles earlier this year and received a Jeff Nomination for Best New Adaptation. 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 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, Death at a Funeral, Some Girl(s) and Some Velvet Morning. LaBute soon makes his television debut with a new series for DirecTV entitled Full Circle. His plays include Bash: Latter-Day Plays, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, Autobahn, Fat Pig, Wrecks, Some Girl(s), Things We Said Today, This is How it Goes, In a Dark Dark House, The Break of Noon, In a Forest, Dark and Deep, The Money Shot, Lovely Head and Miss Julie. Reasons to be Happy, a follow-up to his acclaimed play reasons to be pretty, opened 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 including “Seconds of Pleasure,” a collection of his short stories published by Grove Atlantic.
JASON GERACE (Director) is directing at Profiles Theatre for the first time. He been the Artistic Associate of American Theater Company since 2008, where he directed It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play from 2009-2012, and also Associate Directed the World premieres of The Big Meal (Director Dexter Bullard) and Welcome to Arroyo’s (Director Jaime Castaneda). Jason directed last season’s Jeff Award-winning production of Opus at RedTwist, remounted at Theatre on the Lake. He recently helmed Fox Valley Rep.’s The Art of Murder and his work can be seen later this season at Strawdog Theatre in Chicago. Regional directing credits include Hamlet for Oklahoma Shakespeare Chautauqua and A Christmas Carol with Oklahoma City Theatre Co. Jason originally hails from Anchorage, Alaska and holds an MFA in Directing from The University of Oklahoma, where he twice received the R.J. Jones Award for Excellence in Direction. He is an associate member of SDC.
The designers for WRECKS are Eric Broadwater (set), Mike Durst (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original music), and Raquel Adorno (costumes), with Jessica Winn serving as stage manager.
The cast of WRECKS features Guest Artist John Judd as Edward Carr.
JOHN JUDD (Edward) makes his Profiles debut with Wrecks. He has appeared at The Goodman Theatre in Measure For Measure, The Iceman Cometh, A Christmas Carol, Magnolia and Shining City, with Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Three Sisters, Clybourne Park, Last Of The Boys, The Dresser, The Butcher Of Baraboo, Orsonʼs Shadow, Golden Boy and Our Town, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in The Feast, An Intimate Tempest and Romeo And Juliet, Writer’s Theatre in Othello, Crime And Punishment and The Price, Court Theatre in Lettice And Lovage and Gross Indecency, Lookingglass Theatre in Great Men Of Science Nos. 21&22, Northlight Theatre in The Lieutenant Of Innishmore and The Cripple Of Inishmaan, Shattered Globe Theatre in Come Back Little Sheba, A Red Orchid Theatre in Gagarin Way, About Face Theatre in Execution Of Justice as well as Next Theatre in A Number and The Boarding House. Other credits include And Neither Have I Wings to Fly with Fox Theatricals, Angels In America Parts I and II with The Journeymen and Long Day’s Journey Into Night with Irish Rep Of Chicago. In New York, John appeared at Barrow Street Theatre in Orsonʼs Shadow and An Oak Tree, as well as 59E59 Theatre in Crime And Punishment. Regional and international credits include The Rainmaker at The Old Globe, San Diego, CA, American Buffalo at the McCarter Theatre, Princeton NJ, Shining City at the Huntington Theatre, Boston and Orson’s Shadow at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Westport Country Playhouse and Beaver Creek Theatre Festival as well as Long Day’s Journey into Night at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, Ireland. His screen appearances include Public Enemies, Batman Begins, Mr.3000, Road To Perdition, Ride With The Devil, Losing Isaiah, Hoffa, Chump Change, Children On Their Birthdays, Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Cherry. John’s televison appearances include Boss, Chicago Code, Prison Break, ER, Early Edition and numerous unseen pilots.
“Highly Recommended! John Judd gives a formidable performance, greatly aided here by the intimacy of Profiles' Alley Stage. We get to see far too little of our greatly experienced actors in such environments, and WRECKS is an ideal showcase for Judd, unplugged!”
-Chris Jones, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Recommended! WRECKS features a wrenching, meticulously polished performance by John Judd, the silver-haired Chicago actor with patrician looks and a special gift for suggesting barely corked volatility. Tightly directed by Jason Gerace, the story involves profound psychological damage, an actual car crash and more. Judd very shrewdly leads us through the story, reminding us from the start that he is a man of old school discretion, and not one to easily spill his guts or reveal every private emotion.”
-Hedy Weiss, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
“Highly Recommended! Under Jason Gerace’s tight direction, Judd displays the gamut of emotions. He skillfully rambles through the story of his life with seemingly organic spontaneity. I’m so captivated by Judd’s charming storytelling that I forget I’m at a LaBute play and I have been brilliantly blindsided. After pulling myself out of the wreckage, my mind is still spinning from the crash!”
-Katy Walsh, CHICAGO NOW
“Highly Recommended! It’s always a privilege to watch John Judd on the stage: without fail he is not merely persuasive but absolutely truthful. LaBute’s work is always smart and this piece is no exception, but through Judd’s compelling performance, WRECKS becomes an investigation of morality itself. Truly not to be missed!”
-Kelly Kleiman, DUELING CRITICS
“Recommended! John Judd, an actor of authority and presence, plays Edward with great force. LaBute has written him as a wholly recognizable middle-aged, Midwestern man—successful enough, but somehow feeling like an outsider. LaBute forces us to take a good honest look at something we might otherwise have avoided - disturbing, but presented in a thoughtful and believable way!”
-John Olson, TALKIN’ BROADWAY
“Highly Recommended! Profiles Theatre’s WRECKS is a masterpiece of acting, a truly wondrous example of what one actor is capable of doing with the proper direction and the proper script. Played with pitch-perfect syncopation by the terrific John Judd, it’s nearly impossible to find any fault with the play’s sensitive, patient treatment of grief and despair. There is a flowing, organic nature to the work, and it’s an absolute testament to Judd’s skills as an actor, writer Neil LaBute’s talents as a playwright, and director Jason Gerace’s sensitivity and patience, that all those disparate elements are juggled so effortlessly!”
-Peter Thomas Ricci, CHICAGO THEATRE REVIEW
"Highly Recommended! WRECKS is performed by the critically acclaimed and extremely magnetic John Judd. It's a chilling expose style story, with a superb performance by one of Chicago’s finest actors!"
-Ruth Smerling, THEATREWORLD
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