The Den Theatre Presents the World Premiere of CITY OF DREADFUL NIGHT By Don Nigro; February 12 – March 16, 2013

5C9C762F-9DD5-4D24-88E8-BE13A56754AEFollowing its critically acclaimed hits The Quality of Life and Faith Healer, The Den Theatre continues its 2012/13 season with the world premiere of CITY OF DREADFUL NIGHT by Don Nigro, directed by ensemble member Ron Wells, playing February 12 – March 16, 2013 on The Den’s mainstage at 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave in Chicago’s Wicker Park Neighborhood. CITY OF DREADFUL NIGHT features Sam Guinan-Nyhart, Ben Hertel, Matthew Isler and Justine Turner. Tickets are currently available at

Step into the rich, strange atmosphere of black and white crime dramas from the 1940s, combined with the city paintings of Edward Hopper, in this witty, laconic homage to ‘film noir’ movies. It’s hot on the heels of World War II when a small-time New York hood’s paranoia reaches the breaking point. Convinced that his girlfriend Anna is hiding something from him, Gus enlists his friend Tony, a shell-shocked veteran, to start tailing her, drawing him into a nightmarish triangle of obsession and betrayal. The Den Theatre dims the lights and breaks out the popcorn for this taut, edge-of your seat tale of mystery, romance and suspense…a rich and stylish throwback to the days of post-war intrigue and classic Hollywood filmmaking.

The production team for CITY OF DREADFUL NIGHT includes: Henry Behel (scenic designer), Rachel Parent (costume designer), Cat Wilson (lighting designer), Mikey Moran (sound designer), Kris Kontour (technical director) and Shelley J. Crosby (stage manager).


Playwright: Don Nigro

Director: Ensemble member Ron Wells

Featuring: Sam Guinan-Nyhart (Tony), Ben Hertel (Philly), Matthew Isler (Gus) and Justine Turner (Anna).

Location: The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Tuesday, February 12, Wednesday, February 13 and Thursday, February 14 at 7:30 pm.

Press Opening: Friday, February 15 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Saturday, February 16 – Saturday, March 16, 2013

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm.

Tickets: $25 ($15 previews). Available at

About the playwright:

Don Nigro, author of more than 300 works, is among the most frequently published and widely produced playwrights in the world, creating a deeply interrelated and diverse body of dramatic literature. He continues to build the long cycle of Pendragon County plays, which traces the history of America through the lives of several related east Ohio families from the eighteenth century to the present. Mr. Nigro has won a Playwriting Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (for Fisher King), twice been a finalist for the National Repertory Theatre Foundation’s National Play Award (for Anima Mundi and for The Dark Sonnets of he Lady), has won grants from the Mary Roberts Reinhart Foundation (for Terre Haute) and the Ohio Arts Council, and twice been James Thurber Writer in Residence at the Thurber House in Columbus. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Polish, Greek, Russian, and Chinese. His plays have been produced in countless experimental venues in New York, and have been done at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the McCarter Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Capital Repertory Company, Hypothetical Theatre, Berkeley Stage Company, Manhattan Class Company, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Theatre X, Shadowbox Cabaret, the Hudson Guild Theatre, Inertia Productions, Gravity & Glass, Renaissance Theatreworks, Look At The Fish Theatre Company, Apothecary Theatre Company, Strain Theatre Company, and many others. The film The Manor, with Peter O’Toole, is based on his play Ravenscroft. A graduate of the Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa, Mr. Nigro has also taught there, as well as at Ohio State, Kent State, Indiana State, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

About the director:

Ron Wells is a founding member of The Den Theatre Ensemble, where he performed in The Den’s inaugural production of William Inge’s Bus Stop, as well as Tennessee Williams’ Summer & Smoke. A 25 year veteran of the Chicago stage, he most recently appeared at The Den as Neil in this season’s Jeff Recommended production of Jane Anderson’s The Quality Of Life. He is the recipient of a 2008 Non-AEA Jeff Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in A Prayer For My Daughter at Mary-Arrchie Theatre, and has appeared on many Chicago stages, including Steppenwolf (Detail Of A Larger Work), Rivendell Theatre (These Shining Lives), Silk Road Rising (Carravagio), American Theatre Company (Medea, The Trip To Bountiful, The Skin Of Our Teeth), A Red Orchid Theatre (The Grey Zone), Stage Left (Cuttings, Prairie Lights, The Waiting Room), American Blues Theatre (The Hairy Ape, Monsters III), City Lit (The Horn), Footsteps Theatre (Ballad Of The Sad Café, The Scarlet Letter),16th Street Theatre (The End Of The Tour), Citadel Theatre (The Fourposter), and the side project (Joan’s Laughter), among many others. Ron is also an Associate Artist with Chicago Dramatists, where he has performed in many plays, showcases, and readings over the years. As a voice artist, he also originated the role of Capt. Zidgel in the popular animated TV series 3-2-1 Penguins! (Big Idea Productions).

About The Den Theatre

The Den Theatre provides a creative gathering place, an actors’ and artists’ den, a comfortable and affordable home to create and explore, and home to a young storefront company that shares the name. Founder and Artistic Director Ryan Martin saw a diamond in the rough when he first walked onto the bare and empty wood-floored 2nd story of 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. With the potential for innovative live performance in a neighborhood that has long been known for its creative heartbeat, this formerly empty space is now fully equipped with a bar and café, and boasts five unique, intimate theatre spaces on two floors, and enveloped by a never-ending field of lounge space for audiences and like-minded culture hounds to drink, talk, read, watch, think, listen and live. In addition to The Den Theatre Ensemble, Black Box Studio, with its new conservatory program, also calls The Den home, as well as Seanachi Theatre Company, who will be producing their upcoming season at The Den. Theatre and dance companies from Chicago and beyond have also called The Den home, utilizing our theatres, mirrored studio space and easily convertible cabaret space to accommodate a stream of programming, including plays, musicals, film screenings, classical and jazz performances, dance, improv and stand-up, seminars and speaking engagements.

The Den Theatre is committed to producing theatre that explores our very human search for identity, companionship, and most importantly, a place to call home. Our productions reflect this shared need to find our purpose and to understand our place in the world. By way of this mission, The Den seeks to welcome artists of all disciplines to join our ensemble and our audiences in creating a welcoming atmosphere that we can all call home.