Thymely Theatre takes its name from a minor witticism. It combines the noun “thyme” with the adjective “timely.” Thyme is an herb that is so effective medicinally that it cures internal maladies as well as cleans and nurtures externally. It is not therefore an exaggeration that Thyme heals all wounds.A “timely theatre” holds up a mirror to its own time. Thymely Theatre presents plays that tell us about our time; plays that nurture what is good in and for our time; plays filled with the flavor of a robust life.
A Place for Christopher Frye
Here’s a chicken-egg conundrum: Do audiences today have short attention spans because Hollywood filmmakers and teevee directors refuse to make scenes longer than three minutes or does the film and teevee industry make such short scenes because viewers, having such large attention deficits, are passive and in constant need of stimulation? Further, is the language of film, teevee and our newspapers limited because most viewers and readers communicate with eight-grade vocabularies or vice-versa?
Christopher Frye’s The Lady’s Not for Burning predates the advent of short-scened scenarios and dialogue exchanges of grunts and simple sentences. And Frye wrote for an audience steeped in the rhythmic language of Shakespeare. Theatergoers in London in 1948, like theatergoers everywhere, had little sense that playwrights soon would eschew the language of George Bernard Shaw and Noel Coward for the less elitist posturings of England’s Angry Young Men in the late fifties. (All revolutions, even good ones, involve posturings.) Angry young men like John Osborne brought to the British stage working-class characters who had been completely marginalized by previous British theater. Osborne was right to do so. But after him, the deluge. Characters like those of Christopher Frye’s plays became quaint trifles of the past both in London and America. Here, in fact, Archie Bunker became the norm. Since then, our public language has gotten smaller and racier. Our humorists are blue; our popular teevee shows are trite; our politicians have talking points.
That is a pity. Shakespeare will always be done. Shaw has festivals in his honor that keep his work alive. Coward and other minor playwrights have been seriously reduced to one or two titles. Frye, alas, is remembered by few theatergoers and only for The Lady’s Not For Burning. Nevertheless, if we can shed our overdeveloped passivity as viewers and actively engage ourselves with the characters and their magnificent words and sentences and metaphors, we will have a most delightful evening.
Where else could we hear the deliciously silly rhyme of someone hoping to find a "latitude without a platitude"? Where else can we hear such clever coining of sound as in: "Heaven says no. Heaven/And all the acquiescent nodding of angels/Says Alizon for Nicholas; Nicholas for Alizon." There’s unexpected wit: The attendees of a party with a small turn-out are referred to as "the few who could bring themselves/ To bring themselves." Even the scatological jokes that are the mainstay of our humorists have a place, albeit small, but note the difference in vocabulary: "I’d as soon kiss the bottom of a Barbary ape." What would Adam Sandler do to such a line? When one character declares something to be "amphigourious stultiloquential fiddle-faddle," he means "nonsense." Isn’t that happily different from Archie Bunker’s raspberry?
My advice (if I may): Find a place in your heart and mind for this play and its author. The characters are fun; the language, delightful and fun as well; the overall sensibility, charming and humane.
Senior Lecturer, English
University of Wisconsin--Parkside
(Thomas) is really thrilled to tread the boards at Stage Center Theatre
again. You may have seen him in The Game of Love and Chance or Scapino!
He has been seen in shows from Los Angeles to Seattle, Panama City to
Seoul, Korea, and numerous times here in the city of Big Shoulders.
Thank you in advance for enjoying our show.
(Richard) is a 2006 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay
and a recent addition to the city of Chicago’s theatre scene.
With a degree in theatrical performance, Josh’s list of past credits
include such shows as The Importance of Being Earnest, Noises Off,
Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Our Town, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The
Laramie Project, Tartuffe, and The Foreigner. His passion,
however, is not limited solely to the performance aspect of the
art. While in school, Josh studied theatrical design extensively,
and upon graduating, spent several months employed as a scenic paint
artist. Now an official "Chicago-an" Josh just finished up
Thymely Theatre’s production of The Heidi Chronicles. Now, he is
extremely proud to have been able to work with this wonderful group of
people to bring The Lady’s Not For Burning to stage.
(Alizon) is an alumnus of Northeastern. She currently studies classical
piano, teaches ballet, and djs at WZRD here at NEIU. She was recently
seen at the Stage Center Theatre playing the role of Catherine in the
production of Proof. Danielle would like to thank Anna Antaramian and
Bill McIntosh for the opportunities and experiences. She would also
like to thank her mother and father for being phenomenal parents.
|Kevin R. Czarnecki
(Nicholas) Odds are, if you care to know the number and nature of
Kevin’s past performances, you already know him. Otherwise, feel free
to ask! Kevin generally bills himself as a Voice Actor. This marks a
much-foresworn return to stage. He hopes you enjoy the show, and would
like to dedicate this to Michelle, who has never seen him perform.
Thank you, everyone
(Margaret) just finished performing in Yerma with Halcyon Theater
Company, receiving 4 stars in Time Out Chicago magazine; and Salman
Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children with Rasalea Theater. Sofia also works
with Salsation!, appearing in this year’s Chicago Sketchbook
Comedy Festival, and Teatro Luna, where she created her one woman show
Excuse Me Waiter, There’s Tandoori Chicken in My Tortilla Soup! She
gives a shout out to God, her family, friends, Guelo, Barber, &
Chicharon Negroo for being so supportive!
(Humphrey) in his current incarnation he is delighted to be back on the
stage. You may have recently seen him in The Mineola Twins and
The Heidi Chronicles. Jeff loves videogames, wants to learn
Japanese, and sends out love to all his usuals, M & D, K, the A.C.
and Big G.
(Tyson) is pleased to be returning to the stage at Northeastern, having
appeared in many previous productions over the past few seasons. Chris
directed the NEIU Studio Series play The Actor’s Nightmare earlier this
year and will direct another Studio Series production in February,
2008. Chris is an ensemble member of the 91.1 Players in Kenosha, WI
and is a cast member of their production of And On The 8th Day. Chris
is an alumnus of NEIU and is an adjunct instructor at Truman College.
(Jennet) is pleased to make her Chicago debut with the Thymely Theatre
Company. Most recently Heather has performed with The Bang and the
Clatter in The Long Christmas Ride Home (Rebecca). Other recent
performances include a national tour with The Hampstead Stage Company’s
Alice in Wonderland (Alice) and Romeo and Juliet (Juliet/Tybalt), Just
Life and Co.’s Fat Men in Skirts (Phyllis), and Weathervane’s Noises
Off (Brooke). She’d like to thank her ever-supportive family &
friends, and especially her super-fantastic husband, David.
(Chaplain) is currently nearing the completion of his Master’s degree
in Communication, Media and Theatre at Northeastern Illinois
University. He has appeared in numerous Stage Center and Summer Theatre
productions. Among his favorite roles are Gately in Pvt. Wars, Dr.
Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace, Mr. DePinna in You Can’t Take it With
You, Paul Cleary in A Case of Libel, and Nate in Breakfast With Les
& Bess. He returns to the stage at the request of numerous fans
that missed watching Allen create the magic of theatre. Allen wishes to
thank everyone who has made this night possible.
|Miguel "Guelo" Morales
(Tappercoom) is very excited to be participating in his second
ever production. (His first production was El Bloque, A story of the
Young Lords, by Dr. Jacqueline Lazu.) Guelo has also previously
appeared in student films under the direction of friends/students of
Columbia College, including a film competition between 11 production
companies. He was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, but was raised in
Chicago since the age of 5. He wants to continue a newly born
tradition, and send an extra special "four hug - tanto que te quiero -
combo" to his mother and friend, Maria Morales-Thank you again for
never giving up, and teaching me not to either! To his late father,
Miguel "Mike" Morales, I still miss you "mothergoose!"- and to all his
familia, and "extended families", much love, and thank you for your
(Director) has been a member of NEIU’s theatre faculty for the past
seventeen years. She is the Managing and Artistic Director of the
Stage Center Theatre and is a past president of the Illinois Theatre
Association. She holds an M.F.A. from New York University
and has worked in various theatrical venues across the country, the
most recent being the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. Special
thanks to H-S-A-N-T and, as always, Mr. McGuire.
|Lizz Otto-Cramer (Set
Designer) earned her Master of Fine Arts at the School of the Arts in
Winston-Salem North Carolina. She has been working professionally
since graduation and has designed and painted in Milwaukee WI, North
Carolina, and Washington D.C. Her credits include Dracula, Fiddler on
the Roof, A Christmas Story, and Cole among others. This past season
she designed the sets for the four main stage productions: The Three
Cuckholds, The Birthday Party, Proof, and The Mineola Twins and The
(Lighting Designer) joined the theatre faculty at Northeastern four
years ago and has been teaching courses in technical theatre as well as
working as a designer on Stage Center productions. This past
season he designed the lights for the four main stage productions: The
Three Cuckholds, The Birthday Party, Proof, and The Mineola Twins
and The Heidi Chronicles.
|Kim Instenes (Costume
Designer) supervises and facilitates the building of costumes for all
productions for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside but is also an
independent Costume Designer who has credits with the Milwaukee
Shakespeare Company, Lawrence University, Utah Shakespeare Festival,
and the Racine Theatre Guild just to name a few.
|Chad M. Lussier
(Technical Director) is thrilled to be joining NEIU for the
summer. Some of Chad’s notable work include: Scenic
Designer/Technical Director for the inaugural season of Festival 56,
Master Electrician for Milwaukee Shakespeare’s production of Macbeth
and the Assistant Technical Director of the Wilson Center in
Brookfield, WI. Chad would like to thank his Mother & Father
and his beautiful Lady friend/fiance Terra.
|Gail Elyse Wittenstein
is super excited to be making her stage managerial debut with the
talented cast of The Lady’s Not For Burning. Most recently, Gail was
seen performing in NEIU’s Studio Series production of Fitting Rooms.
Gail also directed the NEIU Women Studies Dept. 2007 V-Day College
Campaign production of The Vagina Monologues. Gail gives much thanks to
Anna for granting her the opportunity to explore another aspect of the
theatre. Love and thanks to family and friends for your everlasting
support and encouragement as I continue to pursue my passions. Keep it
real - Peace.