Victory Gardens Announces Casting for the World Premiere of Lucas Hnath’s HILLARY AND CLINTON

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The cast of Hillary and Clinton includes John Apicella (Bill), Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Hillary), Keith Kupferer (Mark), and Juan Francisco Villa (Other Guy). The creative team includes William Boles(scenic design), Janice Pytel (costume design), Keith Parham (lighting design), Rick Sims (sound design), Jinni Pike (Stage Manager) and Isaac Gomez (dramaturgy).

Hillary and Clinton contributes to Lucas Hnath’s canon of existing plays featuring iconic figures such as Walt Disney, Anna Nicole Smith and Isaac Newton. Having followed Lucas’ career for some time now, I’m particularly drawn to his remarkable ability to deconstruct and reinvent historical narratives,” comments Artistic Director Chay Yew. “Then, with precision and delicacy, he deftly pieces them back together in unique, compelling and humanistic ways, inviting us to again view the refracted, intimate portrait of a particular historical individual in a particular historical period – that mirrors our very own experiences.”

Imagine that in an alternate universe, very much like our own, is another world where a woman named Hillary is trying to become president of a country called the United States of America. In a hotel room in New Hampshire in 2008, Hillary is poised to lose her last Primary Election. When her husband Bill arrives in the middle of the night to offer support, he turns the campaign upside down. Fresh from the IGNITION Festival of New Plays, Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton is a fast-paced, no-holds-barred glimpse into a political storm of another world. Chay Yew directs Hnath’s 2008 Primary Election fantasy, exploring the extraordinary sacrifices one is willing to make in order to gain ultimate power.

About the Artists

Lucas Hnath (Playwright) makes his Victory Gardens debut with Hillary and Clinton.  Red Speedo(New York Theatre Workshop), The Christians (Playwrights Horizons, 2014 Humana Festival), A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (Soho Rep), nightnight (2013 Humana Festival), Isaac’s Eye (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Death Tax (2012 Humana Festival, Royal Court Theatre). He has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2011, and is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has received the 2015 Kesselring Prize, a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2015 Whiting Award, and two Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citations.

Chay Yew (Director) joined Victory Gardens Theater in July 2011 as its first new artistic director in 34 years. He is a recipient of the Obie and DramaLogue Awards for Direction.  His productions have been cited by the Los Angeles Times and New York Times as one of the “Ten Best Productions of the Year;” Seattle Times and Strangers’ Best Achievement in Theatre; and was named Best Director by Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He has directed world premieres by playwrights Jose Rivera, Naomi Iizuka, Kia Corthron, Julia Cho, David Adjmi and Jessica Goldberg, and performance artists Rha Goddess, Universes, Alec Mapa, Sandra Tsing Loh and Brian Freeman. He is the recipient of the London Fringe Award for Best Playwright and Best Play, George and Elisabeth Marton Playwriting Award, GLAAD Media Award, Asian Pacific Gays and Friends’ Community Visibility Award, Made in America Award, AEA/SAG/AFTRA 2004 Diversity Honor, and Robert Chesley Award; he has received grants from the McKnight Foundation, Rockefeller MAP Fund and the TCG/Pew National Residency Program.

Chay is also an accomplished and widely respected playwright, and his plays are published in two titles, The Hyphenated American Plays and Porcelain and A Language of Their Own, by Grove Press; the latter was nominated for a Lamda Literary Award. He is presently editing a new anthology Version 3.0: Contemporary Asian American Plays for TCG Publications. An alumnus of New Dramatists, he has held residencies at Mu Lan Theatre Company, Northwest Asian American Theatre Company and East West Players. He serves on the National Advisory Board at the Playwrights Center and the Artistic Advisory Board of Partial Comfort Theatre. He is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect and Vineyard Theatre Community of Artists. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group and is presently on the Executive Board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

John Apicella (Bill) makes his Chicago theater debut in Hillary and Clinton.  His regional credits include Sex Parasite, The History Boys, Largo Desolato, Temptation, and The Wood Demon (Center Theatre Group, L.A.); The Imaginary Invalid, Glengarry Glen Ross, The First Picture Show (A.C.T., San Francisco); Durango (East/West Players); 36 Views (Laguna Playhouse); Archy & Mehitabel (The Yard, Martha’s Vineyard); A Christmas Carol (Dallas Theater Center); The Curse of Oedipus, You Can’t Take It With You, Mother Courage and Her Children, Chekhov X 4, The Man Who Had All The Luck, Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience (The Antaeus Company, L.A.). He is a founding member and a past artistic director of Antaeus. His TV and Film credits include “Bones,” “Brothers and Sisters,” “NYPD Blue,” “Seinfeld,” “The X-Files,” “Twin Peaks,” Just One Of The Guys, Point Break, Safe, High Crimes, and the upcoming Diani and Devine Meet The Apocalypse.

Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Hillary) returns to Victory Gardens where she appeared in The Gospel of Lovingkindness, Eurydice, Snow Queen, Voice of Good Hope, Eden.  She has been seen on Broadway in The Grapes of Wrath and Off-Broadway in From The Mississippi Delta (Circle-in-the-Square). Her Regional credits include The Convert (McCarter, Kirk Douglas); Nomathemba, Death and the King’s Horseman (Kennedy Center);Gem of the Ocean (Ensemble Theatre); The Grapes of Wrath (La Jolla Playhouse, National Theatre-UK):The Harriet Jacobs, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Kansas City Rep); The Story (Milwaukee Rep); From The Mississippi Delta (Northlight, Hartford Stage, Arena Stage, Old Globe). Chicago:The Grapes of Wrath, The Compass, Head of Passes, Intimate Apparel, Everyman, Nomathemba (Steppenwolf); The Convert, Death and the King’s Horseman,Seneca’sTrojan Women, Cry, the Beloved Country (Goodman); RACE, The Great Fire (Lookingglass Theatre); Flyin’ West (Court).  Her Film and TV credits include The Fugitive, Music Box, Daughters of the Dust, “Separate But Equal,” “There Are No Children Here,” “To Sir With Love, Part 2.”

Keith Kupferer (Mark) has previously appeared at Victory Gardens Theater in Never the Sinner andAppropriate. His Chicago credits include The QualmsGood People, Middletown, South of Settling, Of Mice & Men, Carter’s WayMen of Tortuga, Things Being What They AreJesus Hopped The A TrainTavern Story (Steppenwolf); The Humans (American Theatre Company); God of CarnageHigh HolidaysPassion PlayThe Old Neighborhood (Goodman Theatre); Gypsy (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); End Days (Windy City Playhouse); Execution of Justice (About Face Theatre); Cat FeetThe Old Neighborhood (Northlight); Desire Under the Elms, (Philadelphia’s Freedom Theatre/ Court); How the World Began, American Wee-Pie (Rivendell Theatre); The UnseenThe MeekCanus Lunis BalloonisThe Physicists (A Red Orchid); Big Lake, Big City, Trust and Hillbilly Antigone (Lookingglass Theatre); Shear Madness. TV/Film: “Better Call Saul,” “Betrayal,” “Crisis,” “Chicago Fire,” “Detroit 187,” “The Beast,” “Prison Break,” “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment,” “Early Edition,” The DilemmaThe Dark KnightPublic Enemies, The ExpressStranger Than Fiction, Road to PerditionFinding SantaFred Klaus, The Last Rights of Joe May, The Merry Gentleman and the soon to be released Resurrecting McGinn(s) and Open Tables.

Juan Francisco Villa (Other Guy) returns to Victory Gardens Theater where he was previously seen in Mojada. He has appeared Off-Broadway in Empanada for a Dream (The Duke, terraNOVA Collective, Ballybeg), The Play About My Dad (Collaboration Town, 59E59); Nature of Captivity (Mabou Mines) Dreams of Home (Monarch); and One Night in The Valley (INTAR). His Regional credits include Empanada for a Dream (LATC); Kissing Che (Celebration Theatre).Chicago: 2666, El Grito del Bronx, Massacre: Sing to Your Children (Goodman Theatre); Empanada for a Dream, Elliot: A Soldiers Fugue, Tamer of Horses (Teatro Vista); Gun Show, Empanada for a Dream (16th St. Theater); Take Me Out (About Face Theatre); and Coast of Chicago (Walkabout). His TV and Film credits include “Chicago PD,” “Betrayal,” One Night Stand, The Tank (2017), Lac de Flambeau, Q, Under Covers, White Alligator, East Willy B, Gemini Rising, Audition for Death.

Full Performance Schedule

Previews for Hillary and Clinton are April 1-7, 2016. Previews are $15-$40. The Press opening is Friday, April 8 at 7:30pm. Regular performances run April 9 – May 1, 2016: Tuesday — Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3pm. There will be a matinee performance on Wednesday, April 20 at 2pm  Regular performances are $15-$60.

Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office,773.871.3000, email tickets@victorygardens.org, or visit www.victorygardens.org . Ask the Box Office about student tickets ($15), senior, Access, $20 under 30, and rush discounts. For group discounts, call 872.817.9087.

Accessible Performances

ASL Interpreted performance: Friday, April 15 at 7:30pm

Word for Word (Open Captioning): Friday, April 15 at 7:30pm, Saturday, April 16 \

Audio Description: Friday, April 15 at 7:30pm (Touch tour at 6:00pm), Sunday, April 24 at 3:00pm (Touch tour at 1:30pm)

Public Programs

A full schedule of special events, post-show discussions and presentations centered on performances of Hillary and Clinton is available at www.victorygardens.org . All events are free unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 773.871.3000 or visit the Victory Gardens website.

Public Programs is an event series designed to enhance audience experience by exploring themes and issues within Victory Gardens’ productions. Connecting our theater to the world beyond the stage and rehearsal room, Public Programs bridge ideas, provoke dialogue, and deepen the relationship between our audiences and our productions.

 

About Victory Gardens Theater

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew, Victory Gardens Theater is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production, and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho, and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.

The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet, and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit www.victorygardens.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at instagram.com/victorygardenstheater/

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from The Wallace Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Shubert Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Orli Staley Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The REAM Foundation. Additional funding is provided by: Abbot Downing & Wells Fargo, Alliance Bernstein, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Exelon, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Tool Works, Italian Village Restaurants, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, LLP, The Prince Charitable Trusts, The Saints, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Southwest Airlines, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Whole Foods Market, and Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association.