HowAndWhy_101TimeLine Theatre Company continues its 2013-14 season with The How and the Why, a smart and provocative new play about science, family and survival of the fittest by Sarah Treem, the acclaimed writer/producer for Netflix’s House of Cards and HBO’s In TreatmentThe How and the Why will run at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago, February 6 – April 6, 2014 (previews January 28 – February 5).

Keira Fromm will direct The How and The Why, and TimeLine Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks and Elizabeth Ledo form the formidable two-person cast for Treem’s powerful new play about evolution and ambition. Brooks is a five-time Jeff Award nominee for performances at TimeLine and a recipient of the Jeff Award for Solo Performance for her turn as Golda Meier in Golda’s Balcony at Pegasus Players. She most recently was Jeff-nominated for TimeLine’s 2012 hit play 33 Variations. Ledo just received the Equity Jeff Award for Supporting Actress for Tartuffe at Court Theatre, and is a two-time Jeff nominee for supporting roles in The Homosexuals at About Face Theatre (where she is an Artistic Associate) and Uncle Vanyaat Court.
In The How and the Why, two women meet for the first time on the eve of a national conference. Both are brilliant evolutionary biologists who share a zeal for science and a bold, contrarian approach to their male-dominated field—even as the graduate student challenges the established scientist with a radical new theory that may change the way people regard sex. As mysteries unfold about their relationship, the two spar over differing views on evolution, feminism and generational divides in modern America.
The New York Times called The How and the Why “a smart, densely textured work about men and women, love and conflict, genes and destiny,” and The Washington Post raved that the play “brims with ideas and emotional colors that eddy and refract like rivulets in a lively, plunging stream.”
“There are not a lot of stories about women—professional, historical, relational and physical—like The How and the Why,” adds director Keira Fromm. “It has been called a deeply feminist play, but I see it more as a humanist story told from a female perspective. Women buy the most theater tickets, yet they see themselves the least on stage. Sarah’s play is a refreshing change, a smart new look at the idea of work/life balance as a myth, and a timely reminder of how critical it is for women to be strong advocates for one another.”
Only TimeLine FlexPass Subscribers enjoy priority access to tickets to The How and the Why. FlexPass subscriptions for TimeLine’s 2013-14 season are still on sale, priced from $70 to $198. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit timelinetheatre.com.
PREVIEWS: Tuesday, January 28 at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, January 29 at 8 p.m.; Friday, January 31 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, February 1 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, February 2 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Wednesday, February 5 at 8 p.m.
OPENINGS: Press Opening Night on Thursday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m.Opening Night on Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m.
REGULAR RUN: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. (except 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday 3/5), Fridays at 8 p.m. (except no performance on 3/14), Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. (also 6 p.m. on 3/16), through April 6.

  • Post-Show Discussions with the dramaturg and members of the cast on Wednesday, February 12; Sunday, February 23; Thursday, March 6; and Wednesday, March 26.
  • Sunday Scholars Panel Discussion, a one-hour post-show discussion with experts on the themes and issues of the play, onSunday, February 16.
  • Book Club Discussion, a one-hour pre-show discussion focusing on a book or article related to the themes and issues of the play, onThursday, February 20.
  • Pre-Show Discussion with members of the production team onSunday, March 23.
  • Company Member Discussion, a post-show discussion with the collaborative team of artists who choose TimeLine’s programming and guide the company’s mission, on Sunday, March 30.
All discussions are free and open to the public. For further details about all planned discussions, visit timelinetheatre.com/how_and_why/events.htm.
Tickets are $35 (Wednesday through Friday), $45 (Saturday) and $48 (Sunday). Preview tickets are $22. Student discount is $10 off the regular ticket price with valid ID. Special rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Advance purchase is recommended as performances may sell out. For more information, visit timelinetheatre.com.
The How and the Why will take place at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. TimeLine Theatre is located near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. The location is served by multiple CTA trains and buses. The LAZ Parking Lot at 3012 N. Broadway is the closest parking and costs $6 for 1-5 hours. TimeLine also offers discounted parking at the Standard Parking garages at Broadway Center ($8 with validation; 2846 N. Broadway, at Surf) or the Century Mall ($9 with validation; 2836 N. Clark). There is also limited free and metered street parking.
TimeLine Theatre is now accessible to people with disabilities with the addition in November 2013 of two wheelchair lifts that provide access from street level to the theatre space and to lower-level restrooms. Audience members using wheelchairs or others with special seating needs should contact the TimeLine Theatre Box Office in advance to confirm arrangements.
The production staff for The How and the Why includes Collette Pollard(Scenic Design), Alison Siple (Costume Design), Christine Binder(Lighting Design), Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Design), Julie Eberhardt(Properties Design), Maren Robinson (Dramaturgy), Dina Spoerl (Lobby Display Design), Jinni Pike (Stage Manager), J. Christopher Brown(Assistant Director), Mary Hungerford (Production Assistant) and Austin Pettinger (Costume Design Assistant).
Sarah Treem is a television writer/producer and playwright. Her television credits include the Showtime pilot The Affair, the groundbreaking Netflix drama House of Cards, the acclaimed HBO series In Treatment (for which she won a WGA award and was nominated for a Humanitas award) and the HBO series How to Make it in America. She also has worked on adapting Samantha Peale’s novel The American Painter Emma Dial for HBO with Philip Seymour Hoffman. Treem participated in the 11th annual Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Film and TV Master Class in Israel in July 2009 and in a conference titled “How They Did It: Turning an Israeli series into HBO’s In Treatment” for New York Women in Film & Television in March 2010. Her full-length plays include Empty SkyAgainst the WallMirror, MirrorA Feminine Ending;  and Human Voices. She has been in residence at The Sundance Institute, The Ojai Playwriting Conference, The Screenwriters Colony and the Yaddo Artists’ Colony. She has been commissioned by South Coast Repertory and Playwrights Horizons, and has been a fellow at the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop. Treem has taught playwriting at Yale University, where she earned her BA and MFA degrees. Upcoming projects include adapting Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year Of Living With Joy, the memoir by Susan Spencer-Wendel and Bret Witter, for Universal Pictures.
Keira Fromm is a Jeff Award-nominated director (for Lobby Hero at Redtwist Theater), teacher and casting director in Chicago. Recent directing credits include Broadsword (Gift Theatre), Fallow (Steep Theatre) and Enfrascada (16th Street Theater), plus staged readings at TimeLine Theatre, Steep Theatre, About Face Theatre, Route 66 Theatre, Chicago Dramatists and Red Tape Theatre. While living in New York City, Fromm served as the Resident Director of the popular off-Broadway shows The Donkey Show and The Karaoke Show. She also was the Audience Casting Coordinator for the original Broadway production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Fromm received her MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University. She is a proud member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and an ensemble member of the New York based theater company Stage 13. She recently completed her tenure as Casting Associate at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.  She currently teaches audition and monologue workshops at Green Shirt Studio.
TimeLine Theatre Company, named one of the nation’s top 10 emerging professional theatres (American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®), Best Theatre in Chicago (Chicago magazine, 2011) and the nation’s theater “Company of the Year” (The Wall Street Journal, 2010), was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues. Over its first 16 seasons, TimeLine presented 56 productions, including nine world premieres and 19 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, which brings 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 50 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 10 times over 14 seasons of eligibility.
TimeLine kicked off its season with a hit production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, which received 4 stars from the Chicago Tribune and played to numerous sold-out houses during an extended run. A Raisin in the Sun was followed by Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heartfeaturing acclaimed actor/director David Cromer, which has been “highly recommended” by more than a dozen critics and continues in an extended run at Stage 773 through December 29, 2013. TimeLine’s fall season also boasted the successful remount of the company’s 2010 hit To Master the Art by William Brown and Doug Frew, directed by William Brown, presented by the Chicago Commercial Collective and Broadway in Chicago, at the Broadway Playhouse.
Following The How and the Why, TimeLine’s 2013-14 season finale is the Chicago premiere of the musical Juno, book by Joseph Stein, music and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein, based on the play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey, directed by Nick Bowling with musical direction by Doug Peck and Elizabeth Doran and running April 23 – July 27, 2014 (press opening5/1 at 7:30 p.m.), at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago.
TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President Cindy Giacchetti. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem.
Major supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, The Crown Family, Forum Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at Prince, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation and The Shubert Foundation. TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group and the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.