Dead Writers Theatre Collective Announces Inaugural Production of Coward’s ‘The Vortex’
Noel Coward’s The Vortex tells the story of Nicky Lancaster (Kaelan Strouse), a handsome, highly-strung, 24 year-old man of privilege returning home after a year in Paris to find his mother, the glamorous and celebrated middle aged-beauty of days past, Florence Lancaster (Bonnie Hilton), with a handsome boyfriend not much older than himself. Nicky has a secret to confess which will shatter Florence’s illusionary world and force them both to confront the unpleasant truths about their lives.
The first Coward drama to be a critical success after its premiere in 1924, The Vortex launched Coward into the spotlight as a spokesperson for the next generation. Although many considered the subjects of the story to be taboo and immoral, the original production (which included Coward, himself) was a major success.
Additional cast includes Rob Cramer (Pauncefort Quentin), Teri Schnaubelt (Helen Saville), Danny Pancrantz (Tom Veryan), Skye Shrum (Bunty Wainwaring), Bradford Lund (Bruce Fairlight), Noah Sullivan ( David Lancaster), Betsy Pennington (Clara Hibbert), Hillary Sigale (Preston), Joanna Riopelle (understudy), Peter Esposito (understudy), Catherine Dildilian (understudy) and Ben Muller (understudy).The Vortex production team includes Charlie McGrath, assistant director; Brenda Killanski, dramaturg; Elizabeth Wislar, costume designer; Matthew Walter, set designer, Linda Bugielski, light designer; Jessica McCluskey, makeup designer, Kris Kontour, production technical director; Bob Douglas, floral designer, Kari Wakefield, production stage manager and Matthew Bonaccorso, assistant stage manager.
ABOUT NOEL COWARD
Noel Coward was an English playwright, actor and composer who wrote more than 50 plays, musical theatre works, as well as poetry and short stories. He wrote some of the most popular plays of his time and was equally known for his entertaining personality and his abilities as a witty storyteller. He worked professionally as an actor from the age of 12, eventually best known for his comedies, including Private lives and Design for Living. Notable songs include “I’ll See You Again” and “Mad About the Boy.” He won an Oscar for In Which We Serve.
ABOUT JIM SCHNEIDERJim Schneider, artistic director and founder of Dead Writers Theatre Collective, and his productions have garnered a total of five Jeff Recommendations, 11 Jeff Nominations, and won two, both for Best Costume Design. His production of Design for Living won an After Dark Award for Best Costume Design. His production of The Philadelphia Story won three Broadway World Awards for Best Actor, Actress and Revival of a classic. Most recently directed the critically acclaimed, Circle Theatre’s Jeff-Recommended productions of The Women and The Philadelphia Story, the Tennessee William’s classic drama, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the critically acclaimed production of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever. In 2007 his production of An Ideal Husband received unanimous praise from the critics, played to sold out houses for eight weeks and was selected by Chicago Tribune critic Kerry Reid as one of the five best productions for 2007 and by Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times as one of the best 10 for the season.
Noel Coward’s The Vortex, directed by Jim Schneider, July 20 – August 26, at the Greenhouse Theater Complex, 2257 North Lincoln Ave. Preview performances are Thursday, July 12 – Saturday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, July 15 at 2:30 p.m. and Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/press night is Friday, July 20 at 7:30 p. m. and will be followed by a reception. The performance schedule is Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $15 for previews and $30 for the scheduled run. All tickets are available at deadwriters.net, greenhousetheater.org or 773.404.7336.