Lookingglass Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, written and directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin, from the book by Mary Shelley. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein runs May 8–August 4, 2019 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. Tickets are now on sale.
Within every man there is a monster; within every monster, a man. But which is which? An eerie evening of ghost stories crackles to life as Mary Shelley unspools her tale of Victor Frankenstein and his unholy experiment. This gothic tale of love, horror, and the power to create life—and destroy it—awakens in this visceral, original retelling of Frankenstein. Fresh from the brain of Ensemble Member David Catlin, creator of Moby Dick and Lookingglass Alice, comes a galvanic adaptation of this undying story. See for yourself this latest invention come to shocking life!
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is recommended for ages 12+.
“I’m fascinated by the blur between Mary Shelley’s story of creation, rejection, and destruction and her own life of love, loss, and abandonment. How does the human heart survive desolation and misery?” notes director David Catlin. “We’re collaborating with the Actors Gymnasium to bring Frankenstein’s haunting ghosts high into the air above and have five extraordinary actors digging deep to animate this story that continues to unsettle us two hundred years after it was written.”
The cast includes Artistic Associate Walter Briggs (Victor/Shelley), with Debo Balogun (Dr. Polidori), Cordelia Dewdney (Mary Shelley), Keith D. Gallagher (Byron/Creature), and Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel (Claire).
The creative team includes Ensemble Member Daniel Ostling (scenic design), Sully Ratke (costume design), William C. Kirkham (lighting design), Artistic Associate Rick Sims (sound design/composition), Artistic Associate Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (circus design), Isaac Schoepp (rigging design), Amanda Herrmann (properties design), Linda Gates (dialect coach), and Mary Hungerford (stage manager).
About the Artists
DAVID CATLIN (Writer/Director/Lookingglass Ensemble Member)’s Lookingglass writing and directing credits include: Moby Dick, Lookingglass Alice, and Icarus. Other directing credits include: The Little Prince, Black Diamond (co-direction with J Nicole Brooks) and Kafka’s Metamorphosis. David will direct Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for McCarter Theatre (Princeton, NJ) in the fall. Additional regional directing credits include: Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa), Arena Stage (DC), Arden Theatre Company (Philadelphia), New Victory Theater (NYC), Syracuse Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and The Getty Villa (LA). He appeared onstage in last season’s Hard Times. David is an artistic associate with Actors Gymnasium and serves on the acting faculty at Northwestern University.
DEBO BALOGUN (Dr. Polidori) makes his Lookingglass debut. Chicago credits: Red Rex, Zurich (Steep Theatre Company); You Can't Take It With You, Fair Maid of the West (Oak Park Festival Theatre); Mary's Wedding (First Folio Theatre); Moon Man Walk (Definition Theatre Company); and Bobby Pin Girls (Nothing Without a Company). Debo is an Artistic Associate with Oak Park Festival Theatre and is represented by Gray Talent Group.
WALTER BRIGGS (Victor/Shelley/Lookingglass Artistic Associate) has previously appeared with the company in Act(s) of God, 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, Moby Dick, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and The North China Lover. Chicago credits include: Sucker Punch (Victory Gardens Theater), Hit The Wall (The Inconvenience/Steppenwolf Theatre Company), All Our Tragic (The Hypocrites), The Glass Menagerie (Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.), A Red Orchid Theater, and many more. Regionally, Walter has performed at A.R.T, Arena Stage, South Coast Repertory, Alliance Theatre, and The Getty Villa. TV/Film credits include: Chicago Med, Kappa Force, Jessica, I Don’t Care, A Good Person, Ballad, and Older Children. Walter is a graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
CORDELIA DEWDNEY (Mary Shelley) returns to the Lookingglass stage after performing as Louisa in last winter’s production of Hard Times. She previously appeared at Lookingglass as a Fate in the production Moby Dick and toured with the show to South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, and the Alliance Theatre, and has worked with the Shakespeare Project of Chicago. TV/Film credits include Chicago Med. Hailing from Vermont, Cordelia was drawn to Chicago by the beautiful sea that is Lake Michigan and graduated from Northwestern University where she studied Theatre and English Literature.
KEITH D. GALLAGHER (Byron/Creature) returns to Lookingglass after appearing in Beyond Caring in 2017. Chicago: Breach (Victory Gardens Theater); Mary Page Marlowe, Marie Antoinette, (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); The Gospel of Franklin, Man In Love (Steppenwolf First Look); Awake and Sing, Lieutenant of Inishmore (Northlight Theatre); Shining City (Goodman Theatre); Arcadia (Court Theatre); The Real Thing (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company); Tracks (TUTA Theatre Chicago). Regional: Macbeth (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), A Raisin in the Sun (Geva Theatre Center), The Gospel According to James (Indiana Repertory Theatre), Lieutenant of Inishmore (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). TV: Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, Empire. Film: Orders.
CRUZ GONZALEZ-CADEL (Claire) makes her Lookingglass debut. Previous Chicago credits include: the critically acclaimed Lela & Co. (Steep Theatre), which earned her a Jeff Award for Performance in a Principal Role–Play, The Abuelas, La Havana Madrid, and i put the fear of mexico in 'em (Teatro Vista), Electra (Court Theatre), You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), The Compass (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), The Grown Up (Shattered Globe Theatre), and The Life and Death of Madam Barker (Red Tape Theatre). TV/Film credits include: Chicago Med (NBC), TheChi (Showtime), Empire (Fox), and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cruz received her degree in acting from the Universidad del Salvador. Cruz is an ensemble member at Teatro Vista and is represented by the wonderful people at Stewart Talent.
Flex pass subscriptions are still on sale for the 2018–2019 Season. Performances will be held at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.
The Gglasspass is a flex pass available to all ages. For $200, Gglasspass holders receive 4 tickets that can be used in any combination and denomination for any Lookingglass production in the 2018–2019 season. The Madhatter’s Club flex pass is available to those 35 or younger. The Madhatter’s Club flex pass is $100 and includes 4 tickets that members can use in any combination and denomination for any Lookingglass production in the 2018-2019 season. For season subscription and ticket information, call the Lookingglass Theatre box office at (312) 337-0665 or visit lookingglasstheatre.org.
Dive even deeper into the world of the play with the Lookingglass REFLECT Series! This specially-curated series of post-show conversations and panels offers audiences an opportunity to think, hear, and talk about the performance they just experienced. Hear in-the-field experts offer their insights and leading artists give a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Lookingglass creative process. REFLECT post-show discussions are free and open to the public, and take place directly following the 2:00 p.m. matinee on select Sundays at Lookingglass Theatre.
For the most up-to-date schedule information, visit lookingglasstheatre.org/reflect.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein REFLECT Panel Series Schedule
June 23, 2019
The Creator and The Creature
When most people hear the name Frankenstein, they think of the monster rather than the doctor who stitched together organs and flesh into an animate being. But which of the two is more monstrous? With which, if either, do your sympathies lie? Is the creator responsible for the acts of their creation?
June 30, 2019
The Monstrous Feminine
Mary Wollstonecraft was only 18 years old when she wrote the novel she later called her “hideous progeny.” Yet she’d already learned both the expectations of, and limitations on, the women of her era. How much of the novel reflects her relationship with her lover, the severe parameters for her gender, and the challenges to her own body?
July 14, 2019
A Gothic Gathering
When Lord Byron, Percy Byshhe Shelley, Dr. John Polidori, and Mary Wollstonecraft gathered in a chateau to spin “ghost stories,” no one could have known we’d still be haunted two hundred years later.How did this critical mass of poetic minds come together? How did their work influence each other and shake the literary world, and what is their legacy?
July 21, 2019
The Perpetual Double-edged Sword
Frankenstein was one of the first modern novels to ask whether scientific exploration is our ally or our enemy. Yet every advance in technology—bio-engineering, genetic modification, cloning, etc.—poses new ethical questions. Should there be limits on experimentation? Do the inventor’s intentions matter? How do we balance our insatiable appetite for “what’s next” with not knowing what it will bring?
July 28, 2019
The Creatures and Their Creators
This year, five Chicago theaters brought some version of Mary Shelley’s monster to their audiences. Join us for a conversation with the lead artists as they reflect back on what they saw on each other’s stages, what they learned over the course of their own journey, and their fantasies and nightmares about the looming future.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Written and Directed by:
Ensemble Member David Catlin
From the Book by:
Artistic Associate Walter Briggs (Victor/Shelley), with Debo Balogun (Dr. Polidori), Cordelia Dewdney (Mary Shelley), Keith D. Gallagher (Byron/Creature), Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel (Claire).
Ensemble Member Daniel Ostling (scenic design), Sully Ratke (costume design), William C. Kirkham (lighting design), Artistic Associate Rick Sims (sound design/composition), Artistic Associate Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (circus design), Isaac Schoepp (rigging design), Amanda Herrmann (properties design), Linda Gates (dialect coach), and Mary Hungerford (stage manager).
Previews: May 8 – 18, 2019
Press performances: Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Gala opening: Sunday, May 20, 2019
Regular run: May 22 – August 4, 2019
Tuesdays: 7:30 p.m. (June 11 & 25, July 2, 16 & 30 only)
Wednesdays: 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 2:00 p.m. (May 30, June 6 & 20, July 11 & 25 only)
7:30 p.m. (Except July 4)
Fridays: 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 2:00 p.m. (Except May 11 & 18)
Sundays: 2:00 p.m. (Except May 19)
7:30 p.m. (Except May 12 & 19)
Additional performance on Wednesday, July 3 at 2:00 p.m.
Audio Described/Touch Tour performance, Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 7:30p.m. Touch tour begins at 6 p.m.
Open Captioned performance, Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
REFLECT Post-Show Panel Series
Dive even deeper into the world of the play with the Lookingglass REFLECT Series! This specially-curated series of post-show conversations and panels offers audiences an opportunity to think, hear, and talk about the performance they just experienced. Hear in-the-field experts offer their insights and leading artists give a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Lookingglass creative process. REFLECT post-show discussions are free and open to the public, and take place directly following the 2:00 p.m. matinee on select Sundays at Lookingglass Theatre. lookingglasstheatre.org/reflect
Teen Night - Friday, May 10 at 6 p.m.
Lookingglass is proud to be an inaugural partner with Teen Arts Pass (TAP).TAP is a new program of Urban Gateways that allows anyone ages 13 to 19 to experience live arts performances all around Chicago for only $5.
Teens are invited to hang out with the Lookingglass Young Ensemble for free pizza and soda, and hear about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from a Lookingglass artist/designer before seeing the performance. teenartspass.org
Theatre Night Out for Young Professionals - Friday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m.
Under 35? Join members of the Lookingglass Associates Board and other young professionals for a pre-show reception at Theory and a performance of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Tickets are $40 for Young Professionals 35 and under. lookingglasstheatre.org/under35
Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.
Previews are $35 - $61
Regular Run is $45 - $86
Student tickets are available the day of the show for $20 with a valid student ID. Based on availability.
Groups of 8 or more patrons save up to 20%. Call 773-477-9257 X 125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Buy online at lookingglasstheatre.org
or by phone at (312) 337-0665
The Lookingglass box office is located at Water Tower Water Works,
821 N. Michigan Ave.
About Lookingglass Theatre Company
Inventive. Collaborative. Transformative. Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. Now in its 31st Season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The Company, located in Chicago’s landmark Water Tower Water Works, has staged 68 world premieres, received 151 Joseph Jefferson Award Nominations, and produced work all across the United States. In 2016, Lookingglass received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions and in 2017, was the recipient of the League of Chicago Theatres’ Artistic Achievement Award.
Lookingglass continues to expand its artistic, financial, and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Heidi Stillman, Executive Director Rachel L. Fink, Producing Director Philip R. Smith, Director of Community Engagement Andrew White, General Manager Michele Anderson, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 23 artistic associates, an administrative staff, and a dedicated board of directors led by Chair Nancy Timmers and President Richard Chapman. For more information, visit lookingglasstheatre.org.
Year of Chicago Theatre
Lookingglass is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Learn more at chicagoplays.com/year-of-chicago-theatre/.
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