Theater on the Lake Announces its 60th Season of Revived Productions from Local Companies



The Chicago Park District’s Theater on the Lake: The Chicago Summer Theater Festival turns 60 this year and is proud to announce the eight artistically diverse Chicago theater companies that will receive encore presentations from June 13 – Aug. 5, 2012.  Each production will be performed for five evenings only at the theater at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.
The season opens with SiNNERMAN Ensemble (June 13-17) and continues with popular productions by Caffeine Theatre (June 20-24); eta Creative Arts Foundation (June 27-July 1); Redtwist Theatre (July 4-8); TJ & Dave (July 11-15); Stage Left (July 18-22); The Inconvenience (July 25 – 29); and The Building Stage (Aug. 1-5).  With the exception of Caffeine Theatre, seven of the companies are new to Theater on the Lake.  
In conjunction with the 60th anniversary, the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee is honoring Theater on the Lake for its commitment to fostering live theater performed by local performing arts companies.  The Jeff Committee will bestow a Special Award to Theater on the Lake for its commitment to presenting a cross section of Chicago’s diverse theater scene.  The Special Award will be presented at the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee Non-Equity Awards ceremony June 4 at the Park West.  
Theater on the Lake will celebrate its 60th season by will featuring related pre- and post-show entertainment, including a weekly Theater Thursday in partnership with the League of Chicago Theatres.  Each Thursday, audience members can watch the performance and enjoy pre-show refreshments as well as the chance to mingle with the artists.
Additional programming includes:
- Opening night birthday party with cake and cocktails June 13.
- A singles networking event with Mingle Around.
- Storytelling with 2nd Story.
- Wide range of live music including Ike Reilly July 11-15.
- More programming and dates to be announced.
This season also marks the debut of co-artistic curators: Michael Patrick Thornton, artistic director and co-founder of The Gift Theatre Company and actor on ABC’s Private Practice; and Meghan Beals McCarthy, associate artistic director at Chicago Dramatists.
The 2012 Theater on the Lake season is as follows:
SiNNERMAN Ensemble
Sweet Confinement by Anna Carini
Directed by Brea Hayes
June 13 – 17
Sweet Confinement finds five people who have grown up and shared love and loss together meeting in a familiar place to deal with a crisis.  They must confront each other, the actions that brought them together and their shared history.  Can they handle it?  How do they handle it?  And how will they ever move on from here?
Caffeine Theatre
OR, by Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Catherine Weidner 
June 20 – 24
This raucous, bodice-ripping comedy, Aphra Behn has a few hours to finish her breakthrough play when her ex-lover and fellow spy delivers the news that there’s a plot to kill her current lover, King Charles II.  The orange girl-turned-actress is also on hand as a seductive distraction.  Can Aphra finish her play and save the king?
eta Creative Arts Foundation
BROKE-OLOGY by Nathan Louis Jackson
Directed by Runako Jahi
June 27 – July 1
Two brothers with very different takes on life find themselves inevitably at odds when the question of who will take care of their ailing father is raised.  Sibling rivalry underscores this provocative drama that speaks to the rich love a family has for one another in spite of their actions.
Redtwist Theatre
Opus by Michael Hollinger
Directed by Jason W. Gerace
July 4 – 8
A world-class string quartet is in the midst of a clash of wills between the two leaders of the group: the artistic genius and the business guru.  One stays and the other is ousted and replaced by a young woman, fresh out of school, and the evolution of the ensemble takes several unexpected turns en route to a riveting conclusion.
TJ & Dave
July 11 – 15
TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi walk out on stage without characters, dialog or plot.  An hour later they leave an audience with one of the funniest nights of their lives.  Described by The New York Times as “Second City-seasoned masters of long form improv,” TJ and Dave only ask that you trust them that this is all made up.
Stage Left
Farragut North by Beau Willimon
Directed by Vance Smith
July 18 – 22
Stephen Bellamy is a wunderkind press secretary who has built a career that men twice his age envy.  During a tight presidential primary race, his meteoric rise falls prey to backroom politics.  A fast-paced drama about the lust for power and the costs one endures to achieve it, Farragut North was a hit on the coasts before its Chicago premiere.  The script was also the basis for the recent film The Ides of March. 
The Inconvenience
Hit the Wall by Ike Holter 
Directed by Eric Hoff
July 25 – 29
Tempers and temperatures start to rise in the summer of ’69 when a routine police raid on an underground Greenwich Village hotspot erupts in to a full-scale riot, the impetus of the modern gay rights movement.  Follow ten unlikely revolutionaries as they take to the streets and assert their rights.  A live rock band provides the screaming soundtrack to this retelling of the epic night at The Stonewall Inn.
The Building Stage
Adapted from Herman Melville
Directed by Blake Montgomery
August 1 – 5
This stunning adaptation mixes Melville’s prose with movement and miniature ships as a chorus of Ishmaels captures not only the shifting currents of the novel itself, but also the contagious nature of obsession.  They are joined by a trio of percussionists whose driving rhythms underscore the action and propel Ahab’s obsession to its fateful conclusion.
Performance schedule and pricing
The Chicago Park District’s Theater on the Lake is located at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Shore Drive in a historic building that offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.  
The schedule for all performances June 13 – Aug. 5 is Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6:30 p.m.
Single tickets are $17.50 and a season subscription to all eight plays is available at a discounted price of $110.  All individual tickets go on sale June 5, 2012 at 2 p.m. at the Theater on the Lake box office at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Michigan or via phone at (312) 742-7994.  Beginning June 5, the box office is open Tuesdays – Saturdays, 2 - 8 p.m. and Sundays, 3:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Paid parking is available at the Lincoln Park Zoo located at Fullerton Avenue and Cannon Drive.  CTA bus routes 151 or 156 both serve the area; for schedules, contact the RTA/CTA at (312) 836-7000.  For patrons with special needs, please contact the box office at 312-742-7994 to arrange for valet parking services.
About Theater on the Lake
Constructed in 1920, the Theater on the Lake building was originally a recuperation ward for babies suffering from tuberculosis and other diseases.  During World War II, the structure was then used as a USO Center.  After the war, the Chicago Park District used the venue for then-popular barn dances.  In 1952, it was converted into the Theater on the Lake performance venue and showcased productions staged by the Park District’s many community theater organizations.  In 1996, the programming evolved into its current format, and the Chicago Park District began inviting professional theater companies to remount their best works from the previous season.  
In summer 2010, a historically accurate restoration of the low masonry walls surrounding the perimeter terraces was completed at Theater on the Lake.  Work was made possible due to federal funding secured by former congressman Rahm Emanuel.
For more information about the Chicago Park District, visit or call (312) 742-PLAY. 



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