Windy City Playhouse (3014 W. Irving Park Road) announces the complete casting for Gina Gionfriddo’s “Becky Shaw,” the dark, “ferociously funny” (The New York Times) comedy. Jeff Award winner Scott Weinstein directs the final production in Windy City Playhouse’s third season, starring Theo Allyn (“The Matchmaker” at Goodman Theatre) in the title role as Becky Shaw. Together with Allyn, “Becky Shaw” features an ensemble of Chicago-based talent including Michael Doonan (“Long Day’s Journey Into Night” at Court Theatre), Suzanne Petri (“Waiting for Lefty” at American Blues Theatre), Artistic Director Amy Rubenstein (“This” at Windy City Playhouse) and Joseph Sultani(“Hamlet” at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C.). Previews for “Becky Shaw” begin September 21 and the production runs through November 12. Press Night isThursday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($15-$55) go on sale July 17 and can be purchased at the Windy City Playhouse Box Office online or by calling the Box Office at(773) 891-8985.
“I am thrilled to dive into my first production with Windy City Playhouse,” said director Scott Weinstein. “Gionfriddo has written a piece exploring the reality of finding love while navigating the often rocky-road of getting to know someone new, and we’ve put together a talented cast of actors who will undoubtedly rise to the challenge of bringing these nuanced characters, penned expertly by Gionfriddo, to life each night.”
“Becky Shaw” is an explosive tale following Suzanna, a woman who has set up her best friend with her husband’s co-worker, thinking she’s helping them find love; however, what she doesn’t anticipate is the chaos that ensues from bringing together a brutally honest businessman and an emotionally-fragile college dropout. “Becky Shaw” received its world premiere at the Humana Festival for New Plays in 2008 and went on to have its off-Broadway premiere at Second Stage Theatre. Hailed as a “savvy and smart—and defiantly unsentimental” (Chicago Tribune) play, “Becky Shaw” “exerts a hypnotic pull, thanks in large part to the wonderfully witty dialogue and complex characterizations” (New York Post). The creative team for “Becky Shaw” includes Jeff Kmiec (Scenic Design), Rachel Sypniewski(Costume Design), Eric Backus (Sound Design), Brandon Wardell (Lighting Design) andJamie Karas (Properties Design).
The performance schedule for “Becky Shaw” is as follows: Wednesdays and Thursdays at7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. For a detailed performance schedule visit WindyCityPlayhouse.com/Becky-Shaw.
About the Artists of “Becky Shaw”
Scott Weinstein (Director) is a Jeff Award winning director currently based in Chicago. Notable directing credits include “Rent” (Theo Ubique, Jeff Award – Best Director, Best Musical), “Titanic” (Jeff Nominated – Best Director, Best Musical), “Bat Boy” and “The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (Griffin Theatre), “She Kills Monsters” (Steppenwolf Theatre), “Seussical” (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), “Princess & the Pea” and the world premiere of “Cinderella…After the Ball” (Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre), “Charlotte’s Web” (Drury Lane Theatre), the world premieres of “Baristas” (New York International Fringe Festival), and “Ampersand” (Bloomington Playwrights Project), as well as the first full productions of “Murder for Two” (Adirondack Theatre Festival, Hangar Theatre, 42nd Street Moon). Weinstein is the recipient of a Berkshire Theatre Festival Directing Fellowship and a Stage Directors and Choreographers Observership. He is the Associate Director for the National Tour, Las Vegas, Chicago and Norwegian Cruise Line productions of “Million Dollar Quartet” and directed the first regional production currently running at the Lawrence Welk Theatre. He has assistant or associate directed at Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse and many more. Weinstein is a proud graduate of Northwestern University.
Gina Gionfriddo (Playwright) has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Helen Merill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Lucille Lortel Fellowship and a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship. Her work includes “After Ashley” (published by U.S. Dramatists Play Service Inc.) “Safe,” “Trepidation Nation,” U.S. Drag” (published by U.S. Dramatists Play Service Inc.; published in “Women Playwrights: the Best Playhouse of 2002”) and “Guinevere.”
Theo Allyn (Becky Shaw) is an actor, writer and improviser. In Chicago, her work has been seen most recently at Second City and Goodman Theatre. Regionally, Allyn has worked with City Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical, Pittsburgh Civic Lights Opera and Bricolage. As a teaching artist-in-residence at the University of Pittsburgh, she toured with “Lovers and Fighters” (Shakespeare in the Schools). Recent film credits include “Progression,” written and directed by Sam Turich and Gab Cody. Recent television appearances include “Chicago Fire.”
Michael Doonan (Max Garrett) is an actor whose Off-Broadway credits include “Music Hall” (59E59) and “On the Rocks” (Symphony Space). Regional credits include “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (Court Theatre), “Cyrano de Bergerac” (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), “Celebration” (A Red Orchid Theatre), “Metamorphoses” and “36 Views”(Alys Stephens Center), “Macbeth” (Fugitive Kind Theatre), the world premiere of Charles Mee’s “Café Le Monde” (ARK Theatre, LA), “Heralds” (world premiere at Theatre Tribe, LA), “The Arsonists” (Eisenring) and the U.S. premiere of “The Unveiling/Dozens of Cousins” (Trap Door Theatre, Chicago). Film and television credits include “1000 ways to Die,” “Screwed,” “Help Is On The Way,” “Brighter Palette,” “Mammon,” “Sirk,” “Catch-22,” “Same Same V.C.,” “Falling Girl,” “Yellow,” “The Takedown,” “Lab Rats” and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” He has attended the Stanislavski School at Harvard University (A.R.T./ MXAT, 2006), and participated in Atelier at The Grotowski Institute (Poland, 2008). He holds a Master's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of California at Irvine in acting (2009). He has taught acting and movement at The University of California, Irvine and The University of Illinois, Chicago.
Suzanne Petri (Susan Slater) is a Jeff nominated actor who has performed, produced and directed on dozens of Chicago stages including Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Next, Northlight, The Poetry Foundation and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She is a proud ensemble member of American Blues Theater (ABT) since 1998. She recently played the Stenographer in the acclaimed production of “Waiting for Lefty,” played Grandma in the Jeff-nominated “Tobacco Road” with ABT at Victory Gardens Theater, Aunt Rose in “American Blues” by Tennessee Williams. She was seen as Aunt Eller in the highly acclaimed “Oklahoma!”, in the Midwest premiere of “Kid-Simple” as well as “Zorba,” “Twelfth Night,” “Book of Mercy,” “Follies,” “The Hairy Ape,” “Two Rooms,” “A Lie of the Mind,” “The Threepenny Opera,” “The People’s Temple” and has appeared in many Bernie Sahlins productions for the Poetry Foundation including “Lysistrata” as Lysistrata, “Meet Mr. Yeats,” “The Cure at Troy,” “The Waste Land,” and “Under Milkwood.” Her film and television work includes “Wednesday’s Child,” “Lac du Flambeau,” “Just Visiting” with Jean Reano, “Milwaukee, Minnesota” with Bruce Dern and Randy Quaid, “Early Edition” and “Evil Has A Face” with Sean Young.
Amy Rubenstein (Suzanna Slater) is originally from Chicago and graduated from Brandeis University’s Department of Theater, Magna Cum Laude. Upon graduation, she worked as an actress in Chicago, Los Angeles, and regional markets, earning her Actors Equity Association membership at the Human Race Theater Company in Dayton, Ohio. She has been working in real estate for the past thirteen years specializing in development, adaptive reuse and financial and legal structuring of assets. Rubenstein was thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her business and artistic skills together to form Windy City Playhouse, which has produced nine shows prior to Becky Shaw, six of which were Jeff Recommended.
Joseph Sultani (Andrew Porter) was born and raised in Northern Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Performance. While in school, Sultani performed in “Titus Andronica,” “La Bete” and “Dracula.” He also performed in Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall in “Henry V” and also the Richmond's main stage production of “Amadeus.” His favorite role so far was performing as "Hamlet" at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C. Sultaini was selected and given a scholarship for the American Theatre Wing's Springboard NYC program and had the privilege of learning from John Rando, David Capparelliotis, Randy Lutterman, Peter Francis James, Neil Patrick Harris, Martha Plimpton and Leah Gardiner. Sultani moved to Chicago along with a group of his fellow graduates and started a theatre group called the ALLUVIUM GROUP.
About Windy City Playhouse
Windy City Playhouse, Chicago's most sophisticated not-for-profit Equity Theater, aims to expand beyond the traditional theatergoing experience by offering audience members a night of high-quality entertainment with a full-service bar, in a lounge-like atmosphere. Windy City Playhouse premiered in March of 2015, with the inaugural production End Days. Lauded by audiences and critics alike, Windy City Playhouse promises to rock Chicago's theater scene.
For more information, visit WindyCityPlayhouse.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter andInstagram.
The Hawk was a common name for the cold, winter wind in Chicago, possibly even predating "the Windy City." Additionally, a hawk can see up to eight times more clearly than the human eye.