The Gift Theatre is pleased to announce casting for its revival of Martin McDonagh’s masterpiece THE PILLOWMAN, directed by Laura Alcalá Baker. The all-ensemble cast includes Cyd Blakewell* as Tupolski, Gregory Fenner* as Ariel, Martel Manning* as Katurian and Jay Worthington* as Michal.
Launching The Gift’s 2020 season, THE PILLOWMAN will play February 27 – March 29, 2020 at The Gift’s home at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood. Single tickets go on sale Sunday, December 1 at www.thegifttheatre.org or by calling (773) 283-7071. Season subscriptions packages are currently available. The press opening is Monday, March 2 at 7:30 pm.
Once upon a time, there lived a writer who only wrote gruesome tales. He lived with his brother under the watchful eye of an unnamed authoritarian regime. But when a string of horrific child murders begin to mirror his frightful tales, our writer finds himself before two investigators who want more than answers. Martin McDonagh’s THE PILLOWMAN doesn’t shy away in this dark, twisty, and utterly unforgettable masterpiece.
Comments Director Laura Alcalá Baker, “What most interests me is unraveling the threads of survival and what survival looks like in the face of dire conditions. Every character in this piece is out to save something, but what they wish to save and the lengths to which they will go are unthinkable. The mind will go to extremes to create equilibrium in the face of traumatic events and that is our exploration in this production.”
Gift Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton and Associate Artistic Directors Emjoy Gavino and Paul D’Addario add, “We have been excited about Laura’s singular talent for years, ever since first collaborating on TEN. She is a refreshingly penetrating thinker willing to ask big questions and explore the often scary aesthetical hallways of the imagination without a flashlight. She is a giant talent and we are honored to have her working on our third McDonagh production at The Gift.”
The production team includes Lauren Nichols (scenic design), Izumi Inaba (costume design) and David Goodman-Edberg (lighting design).
Title: THE PILLOWMAN
Playwright: Martin McDonagh
Director: Laura Alcalá Baker
Cast (in alphabetical order): Cyd Blakewell* (Tupolski), Gregory Fenner* (Ariel), Martel Manning* (Katurian) and Jay Worthington* (Michal).
Location: The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, February 27 at 7:30 pm, Friday, February 28 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, February 29 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 1 at 2:30 pm.
Press opening Monday, March 2 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, March 4 – Sunday, March 29, 2020
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2:30 pm.
Tickets: Previews $25. Regular run $40 - $50. Single tickets go on sale Sunday, December 1 at www.thegifttheatre.org or by calling (773) 283-7071. Season subscriptions packages are currently available.
*Denotes Gift Theatre ensemble member
About the Artists
Martin McDonagh (Playwright) is a British/Irish playwright, screenwriter and film director, who has achieved critical acclaim. McDonagh’s repertoire is expansive. The Leenane Trilogy is as follows: The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996), A Skull in Connemara (1997) and The Lonesome West (1997). The Aran Islands plays: The Cripple of Inishmaan (1996) and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2001). Lastly, The Pillowman (2003) was produced by the Royal National Theatre and A Behanding in Spokane (2010) was produced by Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway. Films include: Short film Six Shooter (2005, Oscar Winning). Feature films include: In Bruges (2008) (Academy Award/BAFTAs), Seven Psychopaths (2012) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), Oscar and Golden Globe Winning).
Laura Alcalá Baker (Director) is a Chicago-based director and casting director. Most recently, she helmed the audio drama BRAVA, a folktale con música by Nancy García Loza (Make-Believe Association) which is available on all podcast platforms. She served as the Casting Director and Artistic Programs Manager at Victory Gardens Theater for two seasons, leading programs such as The Access Project and Directors’ Inclusion Initiative. With a focus in new play development, Laura directed the world premiere of Isaac Gomez’s The Way She Spoke: A Docu-mythologia (DCASE, Greenhouse Theater Center) and has lead workshops of Hollywood GT Oh by Nancy García Loza which was performed as part of El Semillero Public Reading Series. Other select directing credit include: There is No Message in the Message, Shamed (The Gift Theatre’s TEN), Project Potential (Broken Nose Theatre’s Bechdel Fest), Jets, Sharks, and Beckys (Collaboraction's Peacebook Festival), Equivocation, The Giver, 11:11, Collapse (B Street Theatre), and assistant directing Seth Bockley on the world-premiere of Samsara by Lauren Yee (Victory Gardens Theater). Laura has also directed special events such as Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium’s Access Live, which provides theatre leaders a live example of theatrical accessibility practices; and Chi Trans Cabaret (Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series), which celebrates Chicago’s trans and non-binary talent without the limitations of traditional casting expectations. As a casting director she’s worked for such organizations as Latinx Theatre Commons, Tellin’ Tales Theatre and Make-Believe Association. Laura is a proud member of the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists and was nominated for “Best Casting Director” at the 2018 ALTA Awards. Up next, she will pair back up with Isaac Gomez to direct the world premiere of the leopard play, or sad songs for lost boys to be presented at Steep Theatre.
About The Gift Theatre
Since 2001 and over 70 productions, The Gift Theatre has pioneered the frontiers of the American theatre via the most intimate professional Equity theatre in the country, leading to national acclaim and a cultural revolution on Chicago’s northwest side.
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