TimeLine Theatre Company is pleased to announce that it will present the Midwest premiere of J.T. Rogers’ internationally acclaimed and Tony Award-winning play OSLO to open its upcoming 2019-2020 season.
Directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, OSLO will run September 10 – October 20, 2019 at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. Opening Night is Wednesday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. Three other productions of TimeLine’s 2019-2020 season, to be performed at the company’s home at 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago, are still to be announced.
“We are thrilled to further our relationship with J.T. Rogers, who has been a tremendous champion of TimeLine’s work for many years,” TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers said. “Following our 2013 production of his play Blood and Gifts, we were eager to follow wherever J.T. went next since his writing so beautifully aligns with TimeLine’s exploration of today’s issues through the lens of the past. Oslo blew us away just as it did audiences in New York and London, and we began a quest to premiere it in Chicago.”
OSLO is a remarkable story about the unlikely friendships, quiet heroics, and sheer determination that pushed two foes to reach something neither thought truly possible—peace. When the Israeli prime minister and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization shook hands on the White House lawn in 1993, the world had no idea what it took to orchestrate that momentous occasion. Behind the scenes, a Norwegian diplomat and her social scientist husband hatched an intricate, top secret, and sometimes comical scheme to gather an unexpected assortment of players at an idyllic estate just outside Oslo. Far from any international glare, mortal enemies were able to face each other not as adversaries, but as fellow human beings. J.T. Rogers’ OSLO is a humorous, surprising, and inspiring true story about the people inside politics, and the incredible progress that is possible when we focus on what makes us human—together.
“Knowing that the play’s epic story demanded a larger canvas than TimeLine’s current home, we are delighted to present it at the Broadway Playhouse in our largest production to date,” Powers added. “What a beautiful pairing once again of J.T. and director Nick Bowling for a history-making TimeLine production.”
Playwright J.T. Rogers responded, “TimeLine literally tore down a wall in their theater so they could stage my last play Blood and Gifts. And what a fine staging it was. This is a company that punches far above its weight. When they believe in a play, they will not be stopped. So as you can imagine, I’m thrilled to be able to collaborate again with this splendid group of artists.”
TimeLine’s Chicago production of OSLO is its Midwest premiere. It premiered in fall 2016 in a sold-out run at New York’s Lincoln Center and opened on Broadway in April 2017. It then played at London’s Royal National Theatre in September 2017 before transferring to the West End in October 2017.
OSLO received the 2017 Tony Award for Best Play, as well as New York Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, and Obie awards—a sweep of the 2016-17 New York awards season—and was nominated for the Olivier and Evening Standard awards.
This “riveting political thriller” (Associated Press) is “fast-paced and quick-witted” (The Independent) and “a disarmingly funny masterpiece” (Huffington Post). The Washington Post raved that “its account of intractable foes finding common ground is irresistible and, ultimately, deeply moving,” and the New York Daily News wrote that OSLO is “smart, touching and spiked with spy-novel tension and wry humor.” Variety called it “gripping, compelling, and compulsively watchable,” and The New York Times declared that it is “the stuff of crackling theater.”
J.T. Rogers’ plays include Oslo (Lincoln Center Theater, then Broadway; National Theatre, London, then West End); Blood and Gifts (Lincoln Center Theater; National Theatre; Chicago premiere at TimeLine Theatre in 2013); The Overwhelming (National Theatre, then UK tour with Out of Joint; Roundabout Theatre); White People (Off Broadway with Starry Night Productions); and Madagascar (Theatre 503, London; Melbourne Theatre Company). For Oslo he won the Tony, New York Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lortel, and Obie awards, and was nominated for the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards. As one of the playwrights for the Tricycle Theatre of London’s The Great Game: Afghanistan he was also nominated for an Olivier Award. His works have been staged throughout the United States and in Germany, Canada, Australia, South Korea, and Israel. Rogers’s essays have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, and the New Statesman. He is a Guggenheim fellow and has received three NYFA fellowships in playwriting. Rogers is a member of the Dramatists Guild, where he is a founding board member of the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund. He is an alum of New Dramatists and holds an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Nick Bowling was the founding Artistic Director and is now Associate Artistic Director and a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre, where he has directed 30 productions. He is the recipient of eight Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (The History Boys, The Normal Heart, Fiorello!, This Happy Breed and The Crucible at TimeLine, Ragtime at Marriott Theatre, Sondheim on Sondheim at Porchlight Music Theatre, and Another Part of the Forest at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for Blood and Gifts, The Farnsworth Invention, Hauptmann and The Lion in Winter at TimeLine; Closer Than Ever at Porchlight Music Theatre; and City of Angels, The King and I, and Man of La Mancha at Marriott Theatre. Other recent credits at TimeLine include Master Class, The Audience, A Disappearing Number, The Last Wife, Danny Casolaro Died for You, Juno, and Blood and Gifts. Other Chicago credits include Marriott’s The Bridges of Madison County, Paramount's A Christmas Story, Northwestern University’s Cabaret, Porchlight’s A Catered Affair, Writers Theatre's Bach at Leipzig and Shattered Globe Theatre's Time of the Cuckoo and Frozen Assets. His upcoming projects include Guys and Dolls (Northwestern University) and Oliver! (Marriott).
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE AND LOCATION
TimeLine’s Midwest premiere of OSLO begins performances on Tuesday, September 10. Opening Night is Wednesday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through October 20, 2019 at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago.
The performance schedule is Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (also 2 p.m. matinees on October 2, October 9, and October 16), Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (no evening performances on October 6, October 13, and October 20).
The best way to secure seats to OSLO is to purchase a 2019-2020 TimeLine FlexPass Subscription. Four different tiers of 4-Admission FlexPasses, priced from $97 - $235, are now on sale. The three other productions of TimeLine’s 2019-2020 season are still to be announced. For more information and to purchase a TimeLine FlexPass Subscription, call (773) 281-8463 x6 or visit timelinetheatre.com.
OSLO will be part of the upcoming Broadway In Chicago season on sale in Spring 2019. Individual tickets for OSLO will go on sale in July 2019 (specific date to be announced) and will range in price from $30 - $75 with a select number of premium seats. Group tickets for 10 or more are now on sale by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. For more information, visit BroadwayInChicago.com or timelinetheatre.com.
ABOUT TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY
TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. Now in its 22nd season, TimeLine has presented 78 productions, including 10 world premieres and 34 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its 12th year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 54 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.
Now playing at TimeLine is the Chicago premiere of Hansol Jung’s Cardboard Piano, directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe. This powerful story of faith, love, and the human capacity for forgiveness set amidst violent conflict in northern Uganda, runs through March 17, 2019.
The remaining production in TimeLine’s 2018-2019 season is the Chicago premiere of Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jiréh Breon Holder, a hopeful and moving story taking place at the height of the Civil Rights Movement that explores family, responsibility, and the personal sacrifices that enable progress, directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson, April 24 – June 29, 2019.
TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President Eileen LaCario. Company members are Tyla Abercrumbie, Will Allan, Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Wardell Julius Clark, Behzad Dabu, Charles Andrew Gardner, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Anish Jethmalani, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem.
Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, The Crown Family, Forum Fund, The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation.
For more information, visit timelinetheatre.com or Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@TimeLineTheatre).
ABOUT BROADWAY IN CHICAGO
Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 18 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining over 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. For more information, visit BroadwayInChicago.com or Facebook (@BroadwayInChicago), Twitter (@broadwaychicago), and Instagram (@broadwayinchicago), and #broadwayinchicago.
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