NORTHLIGHT THEATRE'S WORLD PREMIERE OF LANDLADIES BEGINS MARCH 14 1 Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2018-19 season with the World Premiere of Landladies, written by Sharyn Rothstein and directed by Jess McLeod. Landladies runs March 14 – April 20, 2019 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie.

Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2018-19 season with the World Premiere of Landladies, written by Sharyn Rothstein and directed by Jess McLeod. Landladies runs March 14 – April 20, 2019 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie.

Marti and Christine are both working their way to a better life – one a self-made building owner, the other a single mom juggling the care of her daughter with a part-time job and a complicated ex-boyfriend. The two women have a lot in common, but as landlady and tenant their friendship walks a delicate balance. Faced with dilemmas of fairness versus kindness and honesty versus eviction, both women are determined to build a home, and know the threat of losing one.  

“As I write this, we are experiencing arguably the coldest set of days in Chicago’s history. Businesses, schools, restaurants, and theatres, including Northlight, closed for safety’s sake. The streets were empty in my one foray out into the 20 below. The shelters in Evanston were full and the heroes who serve the homeless population were pitching in to house as many as they could during the cold crisis. In this extreme weather, I thought about Landladies. I thought about all the families who struggle to make the rent, let alone heat their homes, in times like these,” comments BJ Jones. “Nationwide, one in five renting families miss their utility bills and are disconnected. There are 900,000 evictions every year in America amounting to 2.6 million people, many of them children. There are thousands on the edge of poverty struggling to keep their heads above water, when at one time they were securely in the middle class.”

The cast of Landladies includes Shanesia Davis (Marti), Leah Karpel (Christine) and Julian Parker (Poet).

The creative team includes Arnel Sancianco (set design), Christine Pascual (costume design), Sarah Hughey (lighting design) and Stephen Ptacek (sound design). The stage manager is Katie Klemme.

This production is supported in part by an Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award, the National Endowment for the Arts, and PNC.


Sharyn Rothstein (Playwright) is a playwright and television writer, whose plays and musicals have been workshopped and produced around the country, as well as internationally. Her play By The Water was first produced by Manhattan Theater Club and Ars Nova and was the recipient of the American Theater Critic’s Association Francesca Primus Prize. Her play All The Days was the recipient of the Edgerton Foundation Award and was produced at the McCarter Theater Center, directed by Emily Mann. In addition to playwriting, Sharyn is a writer and consulting producer for the USA Network drama SUITS. She is currently working on a television pilot for Apple, a theater commission from Manhattan Theater Club, as well as a stage adaptation of the beloved film Hester Street. In 2019, Sharyn’s comedy Tell Me I’m Not Crazy will premiere at The Williamstown Theater Festival and her drama Right To Be Forgotten will premiere at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. She holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU and a Masters in Public Health from Hunter College, with a concentration in Urban Health.

Jess McLeod (Director) is the Resident Director of Hamilton Chicago. Recent Chicago credits include Fulfillment Center (A Red Orchid Theatre), There’s Always the Hudson (Goodman Theatre, 2017 Michael Maggio Fellow), Hang Man (The Gift Theatre), Marry Me A Little (Porchlight Music Theatre), How We Got On (Haven), Season on the Line (The House Theatre), L-vis Live! (Victory Gardens Theater, 2018 Next Generation Artistic Fellow), Venus (Steppenwolf Next Up!), Short Shakes! Midsummer (Chicago Shakespeare), and five short operas developed with Chicago community groups (Lyric Opera of Chicago).  New York credits include The Last Five Years and The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds (New York Musical Theatre Festival, Director of Programming).  She was the Festival Coordinator for the Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival @ Young Chicago Authors (2016-17) and a Teaching Artist for Storycatchers Theatre. She holds a M.F.A. from Northwestern University.

Shanesia Davis (Marti) returns to Northlight where she previously appeared in Permanent Collection and Bee-luther-hatchee. She was last seen as Gertrude in The Gift Theatre’s Hamlet. Chicago credits include: Billy Elliot the Musical (Porchlight, Jeff Nomination); Richard III (Gift Theatre); The Glass Menagerie, Our Lady of 121st St. (Steppenwolf); Brothers of the Dust (Best Actress, Black Theater Alliance Award, Black Excellence Award), What I Learned in Paris (Congo Square); Immediate Family, Drowning Crow, Black Star Line (Goodman); Native Son, Othello (Court) among others. Regional credits include: Jazz (Baltimore Center Stage); Immediate Family (Mark Taper Forum); Gee’s Bend (Cleveland Playhouse); The Syringa Tree, A Raisin in the Sun (Kansas City Repertory); Intimate Apparel (Baltimore Center Stage, South Coast Repertory); and Hamlet (San Diego Repertory). Film credits include: Blueprint, External Rivals, Working Man, Consumed, Morning Due, The Weatherman, Life Sentence, and Chicago Cab with Honors. TV credits include: Proven Innocent, The Chi, Cleveland Abduction, Empire, Chicago Fire, Making a Case for Murder: The Howard Beach Story, CRISIS, Detroit 187, Missing Person, and Early Edition.

Leah Karpel (Christine) returns to Northlight after previously appearing in The Commons of Pensacola. Other Chicago credits include: Appropriate, The Whale, We Are Proud to Present… (Victory Gardens); Buena Vista, The Glass Menagerie, The Hot L Baltimore (Steppenwolf); The Diary Of Anne Frank (Writers); and Punk Rock (Griffin). NYC/regional credits include: Lewiston/Clarkston (Rattlestick), The Harvest (LCT3), Pocatello (Playwrights Horizons), and Porto (Women’s Project). Regional credits include: Miller, Mississippi (Dallas Theatre Center, Longwharf Theatre), Residence (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival), 4000 Miles (Long Wharf Theatre), and Ten Chimneys (Milwaukee Repertory). Film/TV credits include: Chicago Med, Patriot, and Olympia.

Julian Parker (Poet) returns to Northlight after appearing in Charm. Stage credits include: Pass Over, Gospel of Franklin, BlackTop Sky, and understudy in Head of Passes (Steppenwolf); Genesis, Dutchman, and The Brothers’ Size (Definition Theatre Company); Seize the King (La Jolla Playhouse); Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Smart People (Writers); Prowess (Jackalope); Hairy Ape (Oracle Productions, Jeff Award recipient for Actor in a Principal Role); and The Royale (American Theatre Company). TV/Film credits include: Pass Over (Amazon Studios, directed by Spike Lee); The Chi (Showtime); Chicago PD and Chicago Fire (NBC); and Home for the Weekend (Comedy Central). He is represented by Grossman & Jack Talent and managed by Authentic Talent. He is a co-founding member of Definition Theatre Company and received his BFA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The Box Office is located at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, in Skokie. Box Office hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm, and Saturdays 12:00pm-5:00pm. On performance days, the box office hours are extended through showtime. The Box Office is closed on Sundays, except on performance days when it is open two hours prior to showtime.

Curtain times are: Tuesdays: 7:30pm (March 19 only); Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except April 3); and 7:30pm; Thursdays: 7:30pm; Fridays: 8:00pm; Saturdays: 2:30pm (except March 16); and 8:00pm; and Sundays: 2:30pm; and 7:00pm (March 17 and April 7 only).

Backstage with BJ: Landladies

Friday, March 8 at noon 

at Northlight Theatre 

Backstage with BJ is a mid-day discussion with Artistic Director BJ Jones, featuring special guest artists, actors, directors and designers, offering behind-the-scenes insight into each production while it is still in rehearsal. Backstage with BJ for Landladies will last approximately one hour. The event is free, but reservations are required. Visit to reserve your spot.

Post Show Discussions will be held after the following performances:

March 19, April 4, and April 11 following the evening performance and March 17, March 27, March 31, and April 10 following the matinees.

An Open Captioning performance will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 2:30pm.

Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community. 

Now in its 44th season, the organization has mounted over 200 productions, including more than 40 world premieres. Northlight has earned 207 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 36 Awards, as well as ten Edgerton Foundation for New Play Awards. As one of the area’s premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality. 

Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from Allstate Insurance; the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Robert & Isabelle Bass Foundation; BMO Harris Bank; Henrietta Lange Burk Fund; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust; ComEd, An Exelon Company; The Davee Foundation; Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award; Evanston Community Foundation; Full Circle Foundation; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Melvoin Award for Playwriting; Modestus Bauer Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Niles Township; The Offield Family Foundation; The Pauls Foundation; Room & Board; Sanborn Family Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Sullivan Family Foundation; and Tom Stringer Design Partners.

2019 Year of Chicago Theatre 

Northlight Theatre is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres.