The October 1962 days in which the world appeared to be on the brink of nuclear war will be revisited in a world premiere adaptation of Robert F. Kennedy’s THIRTEEN DAYS: A MEMOIR OF THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS. Brian Pastor, the Chicago writer-director-actor who serves as Artistic Director of Promethean Theatre Ensemble and Executive Director of Sideshow Theatre Company, has adapted Kennedy’s account of the administration of President John F. Kennedy to the discovery that the Soviet Union was installing missile sites in Cuba, just 90 miles from the U.S.. As with City Lit’s acclaimed 2017 production of Archibald MacLeish’s J.B., which Pastor also directed, the powerful men of THIRTEEN DAYS will be played by a diverse ensemble of women. All the characters in the book are white males; none of the actors onstage will be. THIRTEEN DAYS will open to the press on March 15 at 3 pm, following previews from March 6, and will play through April 19.
Leading the cast at President Kennedy will be Cameron Feagin, whose recent experiences in cross-gender casting include Edward Carson in Promethean’s GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE and Kent in Redtwist’s KING LEAR. She also played Miss Blake in Promethean’s BLUE STOCKINGS. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy will be played by Kat Evans, seen at City Lit last season in THE SAFE HOUSE and just before that, as Io in PROMETHEUS BOUND.
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara will be played by Sheila Willis (THE SUNDIAL and HAUPTMANN at City Lit), and the role of Secretary of State Dean Rusk will be taken by Julia Kessler (City Lit’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE). In the roles of Director of Central Intelligence John A. McCone and Soviet U.N. Ambassador Valerian Zorin will be Maggie Cain (MAY THE ROAD RISE UP with The Factory Theater). Adrienne Matzen (City Lit’s THE SEVEN PER-CENT SOLUTION) will be Kennedy’s National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maxwell D. Taylor will be played by Delia Ford (THE GOOD FIGHT, Babes with Blades).
Imani Lyvette (Promethean’s BLUE STOCKINGS) will play Kennedy’s speechwriter Ted Sorensen and an aide. Kim Fukawa (OTHELLO, Babes with Blades) has been cast in the roles of Arthur C. Lundahl (the aerial photography expert who detected missile installations in Cuba) and Soviet Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Dobrynin. Shawna Tucker (DEAD CHILDREN, the side project) will take the role of National Security Council member Llewellyn “Tommy” Thompson, the diplomat who was key in de-fusing the crisis. Completing the cast will be Anne Wrider (PRELUDE TO A KISS, The Comrades) as Adlai Stevenson, United State Ambassador to the United Nations. Production team will be announced shortly.
Single tickets priced at $28 for previews and $32 for regular performances will be on sale soon at www.citylit.org . Senior prices are $23 for previews and $27 for regular performances. Students and military are $12.00 for all performances.
World premiere adaptation of the book by Robert F. Kennedy
Adapted and directed by Brian Pastor
March 6 – April 19, 2020
Previews March 6 – 14, 2020
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.
Preview ticket prices $28.00, seniors $23, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
Regular run Sunday, March 15 – April 19, 2020
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm. Mondays April 6 and 13 at 7:30 pm
Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
Performances at City Lit Theatre, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)
PRESS OPENING Sunday, March 15 – 3 pm
Performances at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)
A world premiere adaptation of THIRTEEN DAYS by Robert F. Kennedy, his memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis. On October 16, 1962, long-range Soviet missiles carrying nuclear warheads aimed at the United States were discovered in Cuba. For the next thirteen days, President John Kennedy maneuvered his way through conflicting counsel from his advisors, some of whom urged a military response likely to bring on World War III, ambiguous and sometimes deceitful information from the Soviet Union’s representatives, and ever-shifting facts on the ground. City Lit has received permission from the Kennedy family to insert as dialogue into our script excerpts from recently-made-public transcripts of JFK’s strategy sessions during the climax of the Cold War, the thirteen days the world came its closest to nuclear war. As with City Lit’s acclaimed production last season of Archibald MacLeish’s J.B., the roles in THIRTEEN DAYS will be played by a diverse ensemble of women. All the characters in the book are white males; none of the actors onstage will be.
Brian Pastor (Adapter, Director) is a writer, director, and actor in Chicago, IL Their short play INHUMAN NATURE was presented by Brave New Word as part of the SLAM Festival at the Arcola Theatre in London, was presented by and made the Wildcard Finals of the Short+Sweet Festival in Sydney, Australia, and was a finalist for the Short+Sweet Festival in Queensland, Australia. Their co-adaptations of Mark Twain's PUDD'NHEAD WILSON and Washington Irving's THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW received successful runs at City Lit Theater, where they directed last fall’s acclaimed production of George Bernard Shaw’s ARMS AND THE MAN, and 2017’s production of Archibald MacLeish’s J.B. Brian is the Artistic Director of Promethean Theatre Ensemble, where they have directed THE LION IN WINTER, THE WINTER’S TALE, and GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE, as well as HENRY V and THE DARK SIDE OF THE BARD; and Executive Director of Sideshow Theatre Company.
Terry McCabe (Artistic Director) has been City Lit’s artistic director since February 2005 and its producer since July 2016. He has directed plays professionally in Chicago since 1981. He was artistic director of Stormfield Theatre for four years, resident director at Wisdom Bridge Theatre for five years, and worked at Body Politic Theatre three separate times in three different capacities over a span of 14 years. His City Lit adaptations of HOLMES AND WATSON, GIDGET (co-adapted with Marissa McKown), THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, SCOUNDREL TIME, and OPUS 1861 (co-adapted with Elizabeth Margolius) were Jeff-nominated. He won two Jeff Citations for directing at Stormfield and has been thrice nominated for the Jeff Award for Best Director, for shows at Court Theatre, Wisdom Bridge, and Victory Gardens. He has directed at many Chicago theatres either long-gone or still with us, as well as off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and at Vienna’s English Theatre. His book MIS-DIRECTING THE PLAY has been denounced at length in American Theatre magazine and from the podium at the national convention of The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas but is used in directing courses on three continents and is now available in paperback and Kindle e-book.
ABOUT CITY LIT
Now in its 40th season, City Lit Theater has been dedicated to the vitality and accessibility of the literary imagination. City Lit produces theatrical adaptations of literary material, scripted plays by language-oriented playwrights, and original material. City Lit Theater was founded with $210 pooled by Arnold Aprill (at the time the Body Politic Theatre’s box office manager), David Dillon, and Lorell Wyatt on October 9, 1979 and was incorporated on March 25, 1980. There were still so few theatres in Chicago that at City Lit’s launch event, they were able to read a congratulatory letter they had received from Tennessee Williams.
City Lit is in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue. We are two blocks east of both the Bryn Mawr Red Line stop and the #36 Broadway and the #84 Peterson buses. We are one block west of the #147 Sheridan and #151 Sheridan buses. Divvy bike stations are located at Bryn Mawr & Lakefront Trail, and at Broadway & Ridge at Bryn Mawr. The metered street parking pay boxes on Bryn Mawr have a three-hour maximum duration and are free on Sundays. $10 valet service is available at Francesca's Bryn Mawr at 1039 W Bryn Mawr diagonally across the street from us on the SW corner of Kenmore and Bryn Mawr and is available whether you are dining at the restaurant or not. There are additional details about parking and dining options at www.citylit.org.
City Lit is supported by the Alphawood Foundation, the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Ivanhoe Theater Foundation, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and is sponsored, in part, by A.R.T. League.
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