Season 34

The Fisherman

a world premiere
by Jayme McGhan

directed by Drew Martin*

February 18th – April 1st

Previews: 2/18, 2/23, 2/24 @ 8pm
2/19 @7pm
: Saturday, February 25th @ 8pm
Regular Run:
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm
Sundays at 3:00pm

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For brothers Carl and Chucky Lund, retirement means building a cabin on Pequot Lake, the perfect place for fishing while listening to the Twins lose (again). But that dream is destroyed when they are forced out of their jobs and pensions by the airline to which they’ve devoted their lives. With his back against the wall, Carl begins to question how far a man can be pushed before he pushes back.


Carl: Michael Pacas
: Sandy Elias*
Jenny: Kate Black-Spence*
Mutt: Ian Maxwell*

*Stage Left Ensemble Member

Production Team:

Stage Manager: Tara Malpass
Production Manager: Kristin Toerpe
Scenic Designer: Alan Donahue
Lighting Designer: John Kohn III*
Costume Designer: Theresa Ham
Props Designer: Jeff Shields
Co-sound Designer: Adam Smith*
Co-sound Designer: Jeffrey Levin
Fight Choreography: Brian Plocharcyzk*
Dramaturg: Zev Valancy
Assistant Director: Katie Horwitz
Graphic Design: Seam Studios
Photograhpher: Johnny Knight

The designation of “Jeff Recommended” is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.


Read and interview with playwright Jayme McGhan on the Sun-Times blog here

“Jayme McGhan’s timely, heartbreaking new play takes a look at the losing side…. McGhan’s focus on character over politics makes Carl’s vengeance seem more an act of desperation than revolution… Michael Pacas poignantly conveys basic decency corroded by rage… RECOMMENDED”
—Zac Thompson, Chicago Reader

“… more than timely, with echoes of Occupy Wall Street and the 99%, the play ultimately comes down to how this family copes with the news…. [an] ode to the American Dream, this time writ small and embodied by a piece of land on the shores of a lake… RECOMMENDED”
–Neal Ryan Shaw, NewCity

Jayme McGhan’s new drama is an alarming portrait of a man betrayed by the system; it uses the serenity of fishing to contrast Carl’s growing volatility… the ensemble excels…”
-Oliver Sava, TimeOut Chicago

“…a worthy and timely topic for a play, and McGhan has added lots of atmospheric and affectionate details as he paints a picture of a Midwestern man who becomes unhinged… an evocative set from Alan Donahue… strong work from Sandy Elias, playing Carl’s long-suffering brother and fishing buddy, and Kate Black-Spence…”
-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“As staged by Drew Martin, The Fisherman is an excellent production. McGhan writes his characters with warmth and reality, and so they are played in greatly appealing performances laced with gruff charm… Alan Donohue (scenic) and John Kohn III (lighting) provide a lovely deep, high fishing pier that smacks of the North Woods boundary waters. I could all but hear the loons.” Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times

a solid, well-paced drama that stays true to its characters…. a wonderful evening of theatre.”
Alex Huntsberger, Centerstage

“What centers and grounds it is Drew Martin’s concentrated staging.  Sandy Elias’ salt-of-the-earth Chucky and Michael Pacas’ surefire Carl are blood brothers in more than resemblance.  Their rich interplay suggests many years of shared experience, most of it fishing…  Kate Black-Spence is beautiful and sympathetic as a cop who follows the law but doesn’t have to like it.”
-Lawrence Bommer, Chicago Stage Style

“Playwright Jayme McGhan has penned a tribute to the working class…. The contrast between the hardcore corporate devastation and the laid-back fishing pastime is powerful.  The characters are relatable.  And the dialogue flows naturally.  Under the direction of Drew Martin, the pacing is gentle and rhythmic.”
Katy Walsh, Chicago Theater Beat