Adapted for the Stage by Simon Block and Directed by Devon de Mayo. Comedy, Pathos, Time and Locations Intertwine in a Young Man’s Journey to Reveal His Family’s Past
EVANSTON – Next Theatre Company announces the third production in their 32nd season, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated, adapted by Simon Block and directed by Devon de Mayo, at Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes Street. Previews are Thursday, Feb, 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Feb.22 and Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. Opening night is Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. The regular performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There are Saturday 4 p.m. performances March 9, 16, 23 and 30. Due to the Next Theatre Company’s Annual Gala, there will be no public performance Sunday, March 3. For information on the Gala, please call 847-475-1875. Tickets for previews are $25 and for the run, $30 - $40 with subscriber and student discounts available. Tickets may be purchased at nexttheatre.org or by calling 847-475-1875 x2.
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man, Jonathan (Brad Smith), sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man (Bill Norris*) haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.; and the unforgettable Alex (Alex Goodrich*), a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely-butchered English; Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape into an unexpected past.
Additional cast includes Sasha Gioppo, H.B. Ward and Ann Whitney*, Dieterich Gray* will be performing the role of “Alex” beginning March 21.
The production team is made up of Grant Sabin (set design), Heather Gilbert (lighting design), Nick Keenan (sound design) and Mieka Van Der Ploeg (costume design).
*Indicates a member of Actors’ Equity.
ABOUT JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER, novelist
Safran Foer is an American author best known for his novels Everything Is Illuminated (2002) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005). Jonathan Safran Foer was born in 1977 in Washington, D.C., the son of Albert Foer, a lawyer and President of the American Antitrust Institute, and Esther Safran Foer, a child of Holocaust survivors who was born in Poland and is now the Director of the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Safran Foer is the middle son of a tight-knit Jewish family; his older brother, Franklin, is the former editor of The New Republic and his younger brother Joshua is a freelance journalist. Safran Foer’s senior thesis at Princeton, where Joyce
Carol Oates served as his advisor, received the Princeton's Senior Creative Writing Thesis Prize for his examination of the life of his maternal grandfather, the Holocaust survivor Louis Safran.
His Princeton thesis grew into a novel, Everything Is Illuminated, which was published in 2002. The book earned him a National Jewish Book Award and a Guardian First Book Award. Safran Foer shared the PEN/Robert Bingham Award with fellow authors Will Heinrich and Monique Truong in 2004. In 2005, Liev Schreiber wrote and directed a film adaptation of the novel, which starred Elijah Wood.
Safran Foer's second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, was published in 2005. In the novel, he used the events of September 11, 2001 as a backdrop for the story of 9-year-old Oskar Schell, who learns how to deal with the death of his father in the World Trade Center. The novel has been translated into several languages and was also made into a film.
He is currently a professor in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and published his third novel, Tree of Codes, in November 2010. In March 2012, The New American Haggadah, edited by him and translated by Nathan Englander, was released.
ABOUT SIMON BLOCK, adapter
Simon Block is a Jewish writer from London who has written for the stage and screen. His plays include Chimps, Not A Game for Boys, A Place at the Table and Everything is Illuminated. He has written extensively for television, including the Inspector Lynley Mysteries for the BBC.
ABOUT DEVON DE MAYO, director
De Mayo is a founder and associate artistic director of Dog & Pony Theatre Company. She recently directed The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler and devised and directed As Told by the Vivian Girls (which won three After Dark Awards and an Orgie Award for Outstanding Production) for Dog & Pony. Her directing credits include: Constriction (Collaboraction Theatre, Sketchbook); 2nd Story (Serendipity Theatre); A Matter of Life and Death, Pool (No Water), Nights at the Circus, The World Over (NHSI - Northwestern University); 52 (Canal Café Theatre, London), Ohio, Impromptu (Studio 7, London), The Spider (Indonesian Institute for the Arts), and Clouds (Dog & Pony). Assistant directing includes: Lady With all the Answers (Northlight), Fahrenheit 451 (Steppenwolf), and The Altruists (Mary-Arrchie). She holds a MFA in Directing from Middlesex University in London. She has also studied at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali. De Mayo is the former director of arts education at Northlight Theatre.
Every 2 p.m. Sunday matinee during the season is followed by a discussion with the artistic staff and artists involved in the production, as well as special guests familiar with the topic to be discussed.
ABOUT NEXT THEATRE COMPANY
Next Theatre Company produces socially provocative, artistically adventurous work. It is Next’s vision to become a destination for audiences and artists who share this vision that theatre can promote awareness and provoke change with more power than any other medium of expression.
Since its founding in 1981 by Harriet Spizziri and Brian Finn, the 140-seat space has been home to over a hundred productions, serving nearly a quarter of a million theatregoers and winning Jeff Awards in nearly every category. The theatre's adventurous spirit and great conviction prompted Richard Christiansen of the Chicago Tribune to announce that Next is "a resounding reaffirmation of what faith, dedication and talent can accomplish. It is what distinguished Chicago theatre in its early stages more than a quarter century ago, and it is what continues to make Chicago theatre so exciting.”
Next Theatre serves more than 10,000 patrons annually, including students, elderly and everyone in between. The Next audience includes local Evanstonians as well as Chicago and North Shore residents, and they have come to expect artistic excellence in the pursuit of culturally progressive work.
The Next Theatre is located inside the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston, adjoining the Noyes street stop on the Evanston "el." Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the theatre and at the Evanston Civic Center.
Next Theatre Box Office hours are from 12 – 6 p.m. weekdays and two hours prior to curtain. All tickets are held at will-call until pick-up on the day of performance, unless the tickets have been purchased in person.
Everything is Illuminated, adapted by Simon Block and directed by Devon de Mayo, at Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes Street. Previews are Thursday, Feb, 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Feb.22 and Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. Opening night is Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. The regular performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There are Saturday 4 p.m. performances March 9, 16, 23 and 30. Due to the Next Theatre Company’s Annual Gala, there will be no public performance Sunday, March 3. For information on the Gala, please call 847-475-1875. Tickets for previews are $25 and for the run, $30 - $40 with subscriber and student discounts available. Tickets may be purchased at nexttheatre.org or by calling 847-475-1875 x2.
The Next Theatre is funded in part by The Evanston Community Foundation, The Alphawood Foundation, The ArtsWork Fund, The Chicago Community Trust, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Evanston Arts Council, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Prince Charitable Trust and the Illinois Arts Council.