Season 34

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

by Peter Nichols
directed by Greg Werstler*


July 9-13, 2014

Wednesday- Saturday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 6:30pm
Run time: 2 hours and 20 minutes with one intermission

presented by Theater on the Lake

At Berger Park Cultural Center,
6205 N Sheridan Rd.

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Two Chicago police officers give a ride home to a young, drunk twenty-something. Several hours later, the young woman emerges from her apartment screaming rape. Influenced by the film Rashomon, Warped presents the contradictory stories from each character’s perspective and asks the question: Is the truth constant, or is it as malleable as our own perceptions? – See more at: http://stagelefttheatre.com/home/season-32/#sthash.VYgD2vp6.dpuf

Brian and Sheila always make the best of a bad situation—he cracks jokes, she plays the caretaker. But after ten years of raising their severely disabled daughter, Josephine, Brian and Sheila’s best isn’t quite good enough. A British classic not seen in Chicago for over 20 years, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg is a highly theatrical, heartbreaking, and hilarious look at the love that brings people together and the strains that rip them apart.
“An unmistakably great play.” –The Daily Telegraph
“Immensely moving, even profound.” – The New York Times

Two Chicago police officers give a ride home to a young, drunk twenty-something. Several hours later, the young woman emerges from her apartment screaming rape. Influenced by the film Rashomon, Warped presents the contradictory stories from each character’s perspective and asks the question: Is the truth constant, or is it as malleable as our own perceptions? – See more at: http://stagelefttheatre.com/home/season-32/#sthash.sPLa2W4F.dpuf
Two Chicago police officers give a ride home to a young, drunk twenty-something. Several hours later, the young woman emerges from her apartment screaming rape. Influenced by the film Rashomon, Warped presents the contradictory stories from each character’s perspective and asks the question: Is the truth constant, or is it as malleable as our own perceptions? – See more at: http://stagelefttheatre.com/home/season-32/#sthash.sPLa2W4F.dpuf

Cast:

Brian: Vance Smith♦
Sheila: Kendra Thulin
Freddie
:
Nick Mikula
Pam:
Annie Prichard
Grace: Marssie Mencotti
Joe: Piper Bailey

 

                                                  

 

Production Team:

Stage Manager: Tara Malpass †
Production Manager: Kristin Steele♦
Scenic Designer: Katherine Arfken
Lighting Designer: Julian Pike
Costume Designer: Rachel Parent
Props Designer:  Cassy Schillo
Sound Designer: Jeffrey Levin
Graphic Design: Seam Studios
Dramaturg: Skye Robinson Hillis
Assistant Director: Katie Horwitz †
Dialect Coach: Jason Fleece*
Photographer: Johnny Knight         

*Stage Left Ensemble Member    ♦Stage Left Staff     †Stage Left Artistic Associate

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.

Press

“exceptionally well-acted… By turns aching, hilarious, scabrous but almost never sentimental… Smith’s waspish, on-the-edge exasperation and Thulin’s vulnerability — all the more appealing because we sense that Sheila despises those who use their emotional wounds to curry favor with the world — blend seamlessly, whether they’re together or alone onstage. What we’re left with is a funny and haunting portrait of parents handed more than most of us can imagine, and who both fear and desire the end of their long journey with their fragile offspring. THREE AND A HALF STARS [out of four]” —Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune

“a superb revival by Stage Left Theatre, under the spot-on direction of Greg Werstler… Vance Smith in an utterly bravura turn… Kendra Thulin, fierce in her hope, denial and heartbreaking resignation… Piper Bailey, in a truly impressive debut… the liberal businessman, Freddie (Brian Plocharczyk just right as a winningly hypocritical do-gooder), and his repellent wife, Pam (a perfectly bitchy Annie Prichard), who can’t cope with the situation at all. Brian’s self-involved mother, Grace (the very funny Marssie Mencotti), is willfully oblivious to things, and very much the mother of her son.  The miracle of “Joe Egg” is that it dances a crazy jig with the truth, and finds a sort of twisted comedy in its partnering with undeniable tragedy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” —Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

“In Stage Left’s affecting, overdue Chicago revival, Peter Nichols’s 1967 play is both a prescient take on disability and quality of life and an enduring view of the song-and-dance of marriage. FOUR STARS [out of five]” —Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago

“… beautifully written and acted…  Complex, layered characterizations from the two leads make this play’s return to Chicago (after 20 years) a welcome event. MUST SEE.” —Rory Leahy, Censterstage Chicago

” …under Greg Werstler’s precision direction, we soon come to accept the boundaries of Nichols’ narrative structure. Easing us into sympathy for this suffering family is Stage Left’s tightly integrated ensemble, led by Vance Smith and Kendra Thulin as the beleaguered parents, and featuring uncaricatured performances by Brian Plocharczyk and Annie Prichard as shallow neighbors Freddie and Pam, Marssie Mencotti as doting grandma Grace and the praiseworthy Piper Bailey, who never betrays the illusion of Joe’s restricted capabilities by so much as an unscripted sniff or wriggle.”  —Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times

“superior production… Nichol’s writing is vivid and authentic… Plocharczyk, Prichard and Mancotti all provide cutting comic relief. Bailey is a natural little actress, impressively adept in her nonverbal, nearly nonphysical role. But the real star of the piece is Smith. Stage Left’s intelligent Artistic Director also shines as an actor, and his Brian is spot-on: a man-boy hybrid who might never have been a good father, even to an able-bodied child, and who may be more self-aware than he seems. Simple and devastating, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg… is well worth the trip to Theater Wit. THREE AND A HALF STARS [out of four]”  —Lauren Whalen, Chicago Theater Beat