Stage Left Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of RABBIT by Nina Raine April 20 – May 26, 2013

stage leftStage Left Theatre announces the upcoming Chicago premiere of Rabbit written by Nina Raine and directed by Elly Green. Rabbit is the third production of Stage Left’s 31st season.   The show runs through May 26th.


It’s Bella’s twenty-ninth birthday party: a wild night at the bar where friends can’t stand each other, ex-lovers can’t let go, and only one person knows the birthday girl’s father is dying. Nina Raine’s Rabbit is a brutally funny, surprisingly poignant look at how men and women see each other and relate in a world where nobody knows the rules anymore.

Rabbit premiered at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London in summer 2006 under the direction of the playwright.  The production was a critical and box office hit and transferred to the Trafalgar Studios later that autumn. Nina Raine won both the 2006 Evening Standard’s Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright and Most Promising Playwright Award at the 2006 Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards.  Rabbit was performed in New York in June 2007 at the Brits off Broadway Festival.


In line with our mission to raise social and political debate, Stage Left offers patrons a Symposium Series for every production.  Immediately following each Sunday matinee, we will invite the audience to stay for a discussion centered on a particular question raised by the performance.  Admission to the Symposium Series is free, but it is recommended that attendees have seen the production in order to fully appreciate and participate in the discussion.  Rabbit raises debate about gender bias and reverse discrimination, challenges our perceptions of femininity and the alpha male, and questions how women perceive success and achievement in relation to the male figures in their lives.


Rabbit runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 3:00 PM from 4/20/13 through 5/26/13. Tickets are $25 and will be available through the Theater Wit box office either online at or by calling 773-975-8150. Press Opening is Wednesday, April 24 at 8:00 PM. Previews are Saturday, April 20 at 8:00pm; Sunday, April 21 at 3:00pm; and Tuesday, April 23 at 8pm. Preview tickets are $20.  Rabbit will be performed at Theater Wit at 1229 W. Belmont in Chicago. The theater is handicapped and CTA accessible via the Belmont El (Red & Brown).

Media comps, photos, videos and interviews are available by contacting Vance Smith at 773.883.8830 (office) or Hi-res photos, this release and archived releases and photos are available at


Nina Raine graduated from Oxford and began her career as a trainee director at the Royal Court Theatre. Her debut play, Rabbit, premiered at the Old Red Lion Theatre in 2006 and after a sell-out run transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End before being produced as part of the Brits off Broadway festival in New York. The play earned her the Charles Wintour Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright as well as the Critics Circle Award for most Promising Playwright.  Her most recent play, Tribes, received its world premiere at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2010 and earned an Olivier Award nomination for Best Play.  The Barrow Street Theater in New York gave Tribes its American premiere in March of 2012 under the direction of David Cromer. Tribes has received the Drama Desk Award for Best New Play, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play, the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Play.

Elly Green is a British theatre director recently relocated to Chicago. In 2013 she will be assisting Charles Newell on Proof at the Court Theatre and has recently directed a new play, The TomKat Project, at the Upstairs Gallery.  Elly’s UK directing credits include: Our Country’s Good (Royal & Derngate), My Balloon Beats Your Astronaut (Tristan Bates), About Tommy (Southwark Playhouse), Copenhagen (Tabard), Skylight (Stephen Joseph Theatre),The Beach (Theatre 503) and The Zoo Story (Etcetera). For the Royal National Theatre she was staff director on Oedipus (starring Ralph Fiennes), Her Naked Skin and Mrs Affleck. Elly’s productions with actors in training include Beyond Therapy, The Coast of Utopia, Pillars of the Community, Summerfolk and Three Sisters. Elly is currently a reader for Steppenwolf Theatre and was formerly a senior reader at The Royal Court Theatre, London. She trained on the MFA in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck College, University of London.

The cast includes SLT ensemble members Kate Black-Spence (Bella), Melanie Derleth (Emily), and Brian Plocharcyzk (Tom) as well as guest artists Dennis Grimes (Richard), Dana Black (Sandy), and Sean Sinitski (Father).

The staff includes SLT company members Kristin Steele (production management) and Adam Smith (sound design), Zev Valancy (dramaturgy) and Jason Fleece (dialect coach) with guest artists Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Mac Vaughey (lighting design), Brenda Winstead (costume design), Shannon Kirkpatrick (properties design), Shane Goldbaum-Unger (stage manager) and Emma Deane (assistant lighting design).


            Founded in 1982, Stage Left Theatre is committed to developing and producing plays that raise debate and challenge perspectives on political and social issues. Through a full subscription season and our new play development program Downstage Left, Stage Left strives to ask provocative social and political questions by producing a mix of new works, regional premieres and timeless classics.  


¨      LeapFest 10– See what’s next in Chicago theatre – LeapFest’s first nine years have so far graduated seventeen plays to world premiere productions in Chicago and beyond, with three of these receiving the Jeff Award for Best New Work. Join us for a 10th smash year, when six new plays “take the leap” in development in this three week festival of politically-minded new work. Each play will be presented in rotating repertory, and performances are followed by a discussion with the playwright and director.
Run dates: June 13- 30, 2013 at the Storefront Theater, 66 E Randolph