TitleIndeed_2014_15_1920x1200_Quotes_DeathTaxKicking off its 27th Season, Lookingglass Theatre Company presents Death Tax, by Lucas Hnath, and directed by Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman. Death Tax runs September 2, 2014 – October 12, 2014 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago’s historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  

The cast includes: Ensemble members J. Nicole Brooks and Raymond FoxArtistic Associate Louise Lamson,and Tony Award-winner Deanna Dunagan.

How much would you pay to stay alive?  As her health deteriorates, Maxine is convinced her daughter is paying Nurse Tina to “nudge” her into the grave before the new estate tax become law. So Maxine proposes a deal of her own, and the wild ride begins, delivering us, as the title suggests, straight to the intersection of America’s two inevitables.  Darkly comedic, treacherously suspenseful, engaging and provocative.

Lucas Hnath (Playwright) became a resident playwright at New Dramatists in  2011, and his work has been produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, University of Miami, The Culture Project, Target Margin and Ontological-Hysteric Theater. Additionally, his plays have been developed at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and Cleveland Public Theatre. He has enjoyed playwrighting residencies with The Royal Court Theatre and 24Seven Lab. He is a two-time winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant for his feature-length screenplays: “The Painting, the Machine and the Apple” and “Still Life.” He is also a recipient of an EST/Sloan Project commission for his play, Isaac’s Eye. Lucas received both his BFA and MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing and is a lecturer in NYU’s Expository Writing Program.

Heidi Stillman (Director) most recently adapted and directed The North China Lover. She has both written and directed for Lookingglass: Cascabel, in collaboration with Tony Hernandez and Rick Bayless; Hephaestus, in collaboration with Tony Hernandez; The Brothers Karamazov (2009 Raven award); Hard Times (5 Jeff awards including director, new work, and production; also produced at the Arden in Philadelphia); The Master and Margarita (Jeff nominated). Additional writing credits with Lookingglass: The Last Act of Lilka Kadison with Nicola Behrman, David Kersnar, Abbie Phillips and Andy White; The Old Curiosity Shop with Laura Eason and Raymond Fox (Jeff award for adaptation), and The Baron in the Trees with Larry DiStasi (Jeff nominated). Directing work with Lookingglass includes Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad ZooTrustThe Wooden Breeks, and Hillbilly Antigone. Heidi’s adaptation of The Book Thief premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre in 2012. Additionally, Heidi has staged Laura Eason’s Around the World in 80 Days at Kansas City Repertory, and Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights at Berkeley Repertory. She lives in Chicago with her husband and her eleven year olds, Sadie and Jude.


J. Nicole Brooks (Tina) makes her return to the Lookingglass Theatre Company stage, where she last appeared as Fedra in Fedra: Queen of Haiti. Brooks is an award winning actor, director, blogger and scribe whose adventures in storytelling have taken her to China, Hungary, England, Los Angeles and now Brooklyn. Noted acting credits include Nina in Immediate Family (Goodman Theatre/ Phylicia Rashad director). As an author she penned Black Diamond: The Years The Locusts Have EatenFedraShotgun Harriet and the upcoming untitled Yuri Kochiyama project.  Directing credits include Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting (Lookingglass), and Sex With Strangers (2nd Stage; assistant director to David Schwimmer).


Deanna Dunagan (Maxine) appeared at Lookingglass in last year’s The North China Lover. Her work in August: Osage County in Chicago, New York, London and Sydney, garnered Jeff and Tony Awards and an Oliver nomination. Other Chicago performances: Other Desert Cities (Goodman); A Little Night Music (Writers’ Theatre); James Joyce’s The Dead (Court Theatre – Jeff Award); and A Delicate Balance (Remy Bumppo – After Dark Award). She has a leading role in the M. Night Shyamalan film, “Sundowning” to be released in 2015, and has appeared on television in recurring roles in “Prison Break” and “Unforgettable,” and in guest starring roles on “House of Cards,” “Private Practice,” and “Law & Order” among others.


Raymond Fox (Todd) recently appeared in The Little Prince. His numerous additional Lookingglass credits includeMetamorphoses, a play he has performed across the country including its Off Broadway and Broadway productions (Second Stage and Circle in the Square). Additional regional credits: TimeLine Theatre (Equity Jeff Award Supporting Actor – Play – for Blood and Gifts), Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Tectonic Theatre Project/About Face Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Next Theatre, First Folio, Meadow Brook Theatre, Arden Theatre, Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, McCarter Theatre, Berkeley Rep., Seattle Rep., American Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, and Canada’s Stratford Festival. Mr. Fox is a graduate of Northwestern University and the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University.


Louise Lamson (Daughter) is an Artistic Associate of Lookingglass Theatre where she has been seen in The Idiot;Hard TimesThe Secret in the WingsThe Wooden BreeksIcarus (at the Getty Villa, L.A.); The Brothers Karamazov;Our TownThe Arabian NightsEthan FromeMetamorphoses and most recently The Little Prince. Some other Chicago credits include: About Face Theatre’s Bash (After Dark award and Jeff nomination); The Odyssey (Goodman); and The Adventures of Herculina (Next Theatre). New York credits include: Metamorphoses (Second Stage and Broadway) andThe Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (Second Stage). Louise is a graduate of Northwestern University.

About Lookingglass Theatre Company

Inventive.  Collaborative.  Transformative.  Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students.  Now in its 26th season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The Company has staged 61 world premieres, received 101 Joseph Jefferson awards and nominations, and work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis.  Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States.

The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago’s landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003.  In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year.

Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman Joe Brady of Jones Lang LaSalle and President John McGowan of Northern Trust Chicago. For more information, visit lookingglasstheatre.org.