THE GIFT THEATRE ANNOUNCES CASTING FOR CHICAGO PREMIERE OF BETHANY WRITTEN BY LAURA MARKS AND DIRECTED BY MARTI LYONS Performances October 2 – November 23, 2014

image002The Gift Theatre artistic director Michael Patrick Thornton announces the Chicago premiere of Bethany written by Laura Marks and directed by Marti Lyons, who previously collaborated on Mine last season at The Gift. Bethany features Gift ensemble members Hillary Clemens (Mine), Paul D’Addario (Thinner Than Water) and James D. Farruggio (Northwest Highway) with guest artists Mary Anne Bowman (last seen in Backstage Theatre’s production of A Scent of Flowers), Susaan Jamshidi (Theater Wit’s Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England) and Kirby O’Connell (founding member of The Gift’s Natural Gas).

“The Gift is ecstatic to reunite with playwright Laura Marks and director Marti Lyons, who birthed our Chicago premiere of Mine,” said Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton. “These two women possess a dazzling spirit of brave exploration and storytelling expertise combined with a gentle humility that’s a rare, rare wonder to behold. We kind of just sit back and marvel at them. Simply put: we can’t wait for Bethany.”

Bethany previews run September 25 – 28 at The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Opening night is Thursday, October 2. The show runs Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through November 23. Press performance is Monday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets, $20-$30, are available athttp://thegifttheatre.org/ or by calling the box office at 773-283-7071.

Bethany, Laura Marks’ shocking contemporary drama, follows cash-strapped Crystal (Hillary Clemens), who’s caught in the middle of the Great Recession and navigating the worlds of motivational speaking, survivalism and a Saturn dealership to make a home for herself.  Described by The New York Times as “rare among new American plays in the clear, compassionate attention it pays to the corrosive effects of the economic downturn on the battered middle class,” Bethany is a perceptive tale told in The Gift’s signature style of great ensemble acting in an intimate space.

Cast

Crystal – Hillary Clemens

Charlie – James D. Farruggio

Gary – Paul D’Addario

Patricia – Mary Anne Bowman

Shannon – Kirby O’Connell

Toni – Susaan Jamshidi

About The Gift Theatre

The Gift Theatre is dedicated to telling great stories on stage with honesty and simplicity. Previous productions include: OthelloThinner Than WaterTEN 2014; BroadswordMineVigilsTEN 2013; Natural Gas’ Jugband ChristmasDirty; Oh, The Humanity (and other exclamations)Fact & FictionAbsolute HellTEN; Cloud 9;Northwest HighwayNight and Her StarsGet Behind Me, Santa!; Lonesome WestSuicide, Inc.; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestAlmost, Maine; Santa’s Great American Depression Holiday Show! (2009 & 2010); Summer PeopleThe Ruby SunriseTalk Radio; Stop/KissNatural Gas; Streamers; WitThe Last Days of Judas Iscariot;White People; Three SistersThe Beauty Queen of Leenane; Blithe Spirit365 Days/365 Plays; The Halloween Show; Long Day’s Journey Into Night; The Glass Menagerie (Remount: Theatre on the Lake); The Good Thief;The Clearing; HurlyburlyThe Glass Menagerie; The PavilionA Young Man In PiecesLanguage of Angels; 6; County Fair; The Countess; Alcatraz (Abbie Hoffman Festival); Orestes 2.0; Boys’ Life. The theater also sponsors the giftED Ensemble, a rigorous two-year afterschool course for creative and motivated high school students on Chicago’s Northwest side, and the literary program/Salon Series giftLIT.

The 2014 Season closes with BethanySeptember 25November 23. Subscriptions for the entire 2014 season, which includes two Chicago premieres, are available for as little as $75. The Gift subscribers (“Gifters”) receive admission to three shows, free parking at Gale Street Inn, free admission to all Wednesday night “Natural Gas” improv shows and invitations to special subscriber-only special events. Subscribe at http://thegifttheatre.org/ or call 773-283-7071.

The Gift Theatre is conveniently located at 4802 N. Milwaukee in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood, and is easily accessible by the CTA Blue Line, the Lawrence and Milwaukee Avenue buses and the Kennedy Expressway. For more information about The Gift Theatre’s productions and programs, visit www.thegifttheatre.org.