Complete casting and production team have been announced for The Artistic Home’s production of ROCK /N/ ROLL, by Tom Stoppard, set to open to the press Sunday, October 7th. The company’s Artistic Director, Kathy Scambiatterra, who is directing the production, made the announcement today. Appearing as Jan, the Czech citizen studying at Cambridge University in England at the time of the Soviet invasion of Prague, will be company member Julian Hester, seen last year in LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST with Chicago Shakespeare and THE SCHOOL FOR LIES with The Artistic Home. Max, a Cambridge professor and mentor to Jan, will be played by guest artist H.B. Ward, seen recently in EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE at Red Orchid and FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70TH BIRTHDAY with Shattered Globe. Ensemble member Kristin Collins, who last appeared with the company as Hester in BY THE BOG OF CATS and was in BARBECUE with Strawdog Theatre as part of Steppenwolf’s LookingOut Series, will play the dual roles of Max’s wife Eleanor and their daughter Esmé as an adult.
Other Artistic Home ensemble members in the ROCK ‘N’ ROLL cast are Associate Artistic Director Kayla Adams as Alice (director of The Artistic Home’s Jeff-nominated HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE) and the younger Esmé, Brookelyn Hébert (THE MAIDS with The Artistic Home) as Lenka, Devon Carson (Arsinoe in THE SCHOOL FOR LIES with The Artistic Home) as Magda, Annie Hogan (Celimene in THE SCHOOL FOR LIES with The Artistic Home) as Candida and Mark Pracht (THE SCHOOL FOR LIES with The Artistic Home and PROMETHEUS BOUND with City Lit Theater) as Milan and the waiter.
Also in the cast are guest artists Carter Petray, who has appeared with the Agency Theater Collective (The Piper/Policeman); Raphael Diaz, currently appearing in THE HARVEST with Griffin Theatre Company (Ferdinand); Taylor Cannon, who recently played the Stage Manager in OUR TOWN at Northeastern Illinois University and understudied for YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU at Oak Park Theatre Festival (Gillian and Pupil); Freedom Martin, who was Malvolio in the Chiarts production of TWELFTH NIGHT (Stephen); and Stuart Ritter, who earlier this year understudied the roles of Dex and Ike in TO CATCH A FISH with TimeLine (Nigel and the interrogator).
The ROCK ‘N’ ROLL production team will include Kevin Hagan (set design), Cat Wilson (lighting and projection design); Zach Wagner (costume design); Mark Bracken (sound design); Mary O'Dowd (properties design); and Sara Ann Dickey (stage manager).
This will be the first Chicago production in nearly 10 years of ROCK ‘N’ ROLL. Stoppard’s sprawling 2006 drama is played on a canvas that stretches from Cambridge University to Prague, and from the Prague Spring of 1968 to the Velvet Revolution of 1989, all framed by rock music of the era. Despite the historical and philosophical themes of the play, THE NEW YORK TIMES’ Ben Brantley called it a “triumphantly sentimental.” Artistic Director Kathy Scambiatterra explains why now is the right time to bring it back. She says, “Rock n Roll is so current, again. Freedom of expression, rock 'n roll music, the soundtrack of social change in the 60’s, is front and center in Stoppard’s highly theatrical story of political and personal change.” ROCK ‘N’ ROLL will open on October 7, 2018 following previews from October 3. Tickets will be on sale shortly.
Tom Stoppard (playwright, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL). Tom Stoppard is a Czech-born British playwright whose work is marked by verbal brilliance, ingenious action, and structural dexterity. His first play, A WALK ON THE WATER (1960), was televised in 1963. He achieved international recognition with his play ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (1964–65). Among his most-notable stage plays are THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND (1968), JUMPERS (1972), TRAVESTIES (1974), EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOUR (1978), NIGHT AND DAY (1978), UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (1980, adapted from a play by Arthur Schnitzler), and ON THE RAZZLE (1981, adapted from a play by Johann Nestroy). THE REAL THING (1982), Stoppard’s first romantic comedy, deals with art and reality and features a playwright as a protagonist. ARCADIA, which juxtaposes 19th-century Romanticism and 20th-century chaos theory and is set in a Derbyshire country house, premiered in 1993, and THE INVENTION OF LOVE, about A.E. Housman, was first staged in 1997. The trilogy THE COAST OF UTOPIA (VOYAGE, SHIPWRECK, and SALVAGE), first performed in 2002, explores the lives and debates of a circle of 19th-century Russian émigré intellectuals. ROCK ’N’ ROLL (2006) jumps between England and Czechoslovakia during the period 1968–90.
His screenplays include THE ROMANTIC ENGLISHWOMAN (1975), DESPAIR (1978), and BRAZIL (1985), as well as for a film version (1990) of ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD that he also directed. In 1999 the screenplay for SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1998), cowritten by Stoppard and Marc Norman, won an Academy Award. He was knighted in 1997.
Kathy Scambiatterra (director, ROCK ‘N’ROLL) is Artistic Director and co-founder of The Artistic Home. As a director, she has helmed acclaimed, Jeff nominated and After Dark Award-winning productions for The Artistic Home including: THE SCHOOL FOR LIES, WAITING FOR LEFTY, IN THE BOOM BOOM ROOM, ANGEL CITY, AFTER THE FALL, STREET SCENE, PEER GYNT, THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT, THE PETRIFIED FOREST, MODIGLIANI, DAYS TO COME, THE TOUCH OF THE POET, THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE. Other directing credits include THE COPPERHEAD (City Lit) ANGEL CITY, WELCOME TO THE MOON AND OTHER PLAYS (LA Dramalogue Award), A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Pacific Resident Theater (LA). Her Chicago acting credits include: THE SEAGULL, INTERROGATION, WATCH ON THE RHINE, BEATEN, THE AMERICAN PLAN, SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL, JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK, NATURAL AFFECTION, ORPHEUS DESCENDING (The Artistic Home); THE GLASS MENAGERIE, NELSON ALGREN LIVE, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Steppenwolf); BROADWAY BOUND (Drury Lane Oakbrook); A FLEA IN HER EAR (Chicago Shakespeare); ROMEO AND JULIET (Goodman Theatre), among others. Regional credits; THE QUICK CHANGE ROOM (Pacific Resident Theatre). TV/Film credits: recurring role on CHICAGO PD, THE APPOINTMENT, DRAGGAGE, SIN COLLECTOR, INTO THE WAKE, ELECTRIC DREAMS: THE PHILIP K. DICK STORIES. She has received four leading role Jeff nominations for work in SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, NATURAL AFFECTION, ABUNDANCE, THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES. Ms. Scambiatterra is the director of the actor training program at The Artistic Home Studio. In addition, she has taught at The School at Steppenwolf, Columbia College, Center Theater's The Training Center, Chicago, IL; Carolyn Berry Studio, The Pacific Resident Theatre LA, CA; Director’s Symposium, US Army, Heidelberg, Germany; Screen Training Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; and currently at Chicago High School for the Arts, Classical Conservatory.
ABOUT THE ARTISTIC HOME
The Artistic Home is noted for their innovative and intimate presentations of rarely-produced classics as well developing new works. Audiences may know The Artistic Home best from their recent productions of THE MAIDS, the Pulitzer Prize-winning HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, 2017’s WEDDING BAND, BY THE BOG OF CATS and THE SCHOOL FOR LIES; their Jeff-nominated productions of THE SEAGULL, WATCH ON THE RHINE, MACBETH and THE LATE HENRY MOSS; or their 2013 Jeff Award-winner THE GODDESS. Other Artistic Home productions include the Jeff-Award-winning production of JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK, which also received three After Dark Awards, the Jeff-Nominated SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, THE TALLEST MAN, LANDSCAPE OF THE BODY, NATURAL AFFECTION, FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS, AFTER THE FALL and PEER GYNT (which also received an After Dark award for Direction).
For more than 19 years, The Artistic Home has consistently produced compelling theatre in Chicago. First formed in 1998 with the belief that the actor is at the heart of great theater, the company strives to give birth to unforgettable moments; to touch audiences who are increasingly distanced from human contact; to readdress the classics and explore new works with passion.
ROCK 'N' ROLL
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Kathy Scambiatterra
October 3 – November 18, 2018
Previews Wednesday, October 3 – Saturday, October 6 at 8:00 pm
Press Opening Sunday, October 7 at 7:00 pm
Regular schedule Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 3:00 pm
Preview Tickets are $15. Regular prices are $34 (seniors & students $20)
The Artistic Home Theatre
1376 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago 60642
tickets: 866/811-4111 or go to http://www.theartistichome.org/
Accessible via the CTA #65 Grand bus and the Blue Line.
ROCK 'N' ROLL is an electrifying collision of the romantic and the revolutionary. It is 1968 and the world is ablaze with rebellion, accompanied by a sound track of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd. Clutching his prized collection of rock albums, Jan, a Cambridge graduate student, returns to his homeland of Czechoslovakia just as Soviet tanks roll into Prague. When security forces tighten their grip on artistic expression, Jan is inexorably drawn toward a dangerous act of dissent. Back in England, Jan's volcanic mentor, Max, faces a war of his own as his free-spirited daughter and his cancer-stricken wife attempt to break through his walls of academic and emotional obstinacy. Over the next twenty years of love, espionage, chance, and loss, the extraordinary lives of Jan and Max spin and intersect until an unexpected reunion forces them to see what is truly worth the fight.