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Lifeline Theatre's 2016-17 Season

Join us for our next season of unforgettable BIG STORIES, UP CLOSE!

In its award-winning and audience-acclaimed style, Lifeline’s 34th season will feature six unforgettable productions — sprawling, classic stories as well as thrilling contemporary titles — as Lifeline retains its reputation for fresh, imaginative interpretations of beloved favorites and embraces the challenges of new, thought-provoking works.

The MainStage season features the Victorian-era mystery of Miss Holmes, followed by the modern sci-fi adventure of A Wrinkle in Time, and concludes with an Elizabethan swashbuckling romp, Her Majesty’s Will.

The KidSeries season opens with a dance and movement-inspired update of the classic, Thumbelina, followed by Fable-ous!, a wacky new twist on the world of Aesop’s fables; and ends with the beloved hit musical Giggle, Giggle, Quack.

Additionally, Lifeline Theatre will produce the 20th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival, a three-week, multi-venue solo performance and storytelling festival; and the 2016-17 Concert Reading Series.

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Miss Holmes

Miss Holmes
September 9- October 30, 2016

A new play inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
By Christopher M. Walsh
Directed by Paul S. Holmquist

Miss Sherlock Holmes, possessor of one of the greatest deductive minds of her generation, finds herself regularly incarcerated for behaviors deemed abnormal in a “respectable” lady. Miss Dorothy Watson struggles to make a difference at the only hospital in England that will hire female doctors. These unconventional women, trapped in an era that refuses to accept them, must forge a bond of trust and work together to uncover the secrets surrounding a corrupt police investigator whose wives have a habit of turning up dead. A thrilling murder mystery that re-introduces familiar characters from the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle under a brand new light, in a world premiere production.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time
February 17 - April 9, 2017

Based on the novel by Madeleine L'Engle
Adapted by James Sie
Directed by Elise Kauzlaric

Ever since her father vanished under mysterious circumstances, Meg Murray’s life has been spiraling out of control. But one dark and stormy night, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which appear and promise to help rescue him from the monstrous darkness that threatens the universe. Join Meg, her extraordinary brother Charles Wallace, their pal Calvin, and a host of extraterrestrial friends and foes as they journey into the heart of a terrible evil in the hope of reuniting a fragmented family. A heartwarming adventure across the stars, in a newly-revised adaptation of the beloved 1963 favorite by Madeleine L’Engle, not seen on the Lifeline stage since 1999.

Her Majesty's Will

Her Majesty's Will
May 26 - July 16, 2017

A world premiere based on the novel by David Blixt
Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric
Directed by Chris Hainsworth

Young William Shakespeare is hiding from the law in rural Lancashire, languishing as a simple school master. Christopher Marlowe is living the high life as a spy for the Crown. When a dastardly plot to assassinate the Queen draws these two unforgettable wits together, Will is swept up in a world of intrigue, treachery, and mayhem in an adventure that will define the rest of his life, if he can only manage to save Her Majesty. An irreverent comedy that imagines Shakespeare’s “lost years” as a rousing romp through the streets and across the stages of Elizabethan London, in a world premiere based on the 2013 novel by Chicago author David Blixt.


October 22 - November 27, 2016

A world premiere based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen
Adapted and directed by Amanda Delheimer Dimond
In collaboration with Mariana Green, Brandi Lee, Liz Rice, and others

Born from a flower and stolen away by a greedy toad, tiny Thumbelina never knew a family of her own. Pursued by all manner of woodland creatures eager to possess her, she must make her way through the great big world with nothing but her wits and will to protect her. A series of whimsical and magical adventures unfold as she sets out to find a community to call her own. Let your imagination soar with Thumbelina as she travels over streams, through forests, and on the wings of majestic birds in a powerful, dance-inspired tale about growing up and finding your own path, based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen.


January 14 - February 19, 2017

A new play inspired by Aesop's fables
By Chris Hainsworth
Directed by Heather Currie

Harrington T. Jordan was the fastest (and most famous) Hare that ever lived – so how did he end up losing his race against the Tortoise? The true story starts with a wager with a devious Mouse and ends in a madcap dash through the wilds of Lion Country with a fortune in endorsements and merchandizing on the line. But the fix is in, and a simple footrace soon becomes something much more complicated (and silly) as traps and predators lie in wait around every corner. Forget what you think you know about the Tortoise and the Hare and take the time to make some new friends in a world premiere comedy that turns the world of Aesop’s fables on its ear.

Giggle, Giggle, Quack

Giggle, Giggle, Quack
March 18 - April 23, 2017

A musical based on the popular bestseller by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Adapted by James E. Grote
Music & Lyrics by George Howe
Directed by Shole Milos

Running a farm is hard work, especially with cows that type, hens on strike, and a duck who’s always causing trouble. So Farmer Brown takes off for a well-deserved vacation, leaving his brother Bob, an accountant from the city, in charge. Soon it’s no work and all play (and cake, pizza, movies, and bubble baths…) as the animals run wild, taking advantage of Bob’s lack of experience. Will the animals come clean about their devious tricks, or is there more to Brother Bob than meets the eye? Take a break from the grind with the gang from Farmer Brown’s farm with our hit musical adaptation of the 2002 New York Times bestselling book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin.

Concert Reading Series

The 2016-17 Lifeline Concert Reading Series
Sylvester: or the Wicked Uncle: Saturday, July 23, 2016
A Child's Christmas in Wales and A Christmas Memory: December 10, 2016

Tickets: $75; $50 for Lifeline subscribers.

Lifeline continues one of its most beloved new traditions with a fifth season of concert readings, this year featuring all new adaptations. In July, 2016, we’ll feature ensemble member Christina Calvit’s world premiere adaptation of Sylvester: or the Wicked Uncle, by Georgette Heyer (Copyright © Georgette Heyer 1957. This performance licensed by arrangement with Heron Enterprises Ltd.). And in time for the holiday’s we’ll present an evening combining ensemble member Jessica Wright Buha’s new adaptation of A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas and a reading of A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote (Read with permission of The Truman Capote Literary Trust.) Both readings will be directed by Lifeline ensemble members and will feature numerous Lifeline ensemble actors.

Each evening begins at 6 p.m. with a light supper plus beer and wine (aned conversation with the cast and Lifeline ensemble). At 7 p.m., the performances start. (Script times vary, but are approximately two and a half hours in length.) Afterwards, coffee and dessert will be served.

Only 108 tickets will be sold for each performance. Tickets can only be ordered by calling the Lifeline Box Office at 773-761-4477.

Fillet of Solo

The 20th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival
January 13 - 29, 2017
Tickets: $10 per performance; Festival Pass: $50

Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline brings more than a dozen storytelling collectives and numerous solo performers together for a three-week, multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories.

Participants, scheduling and full pricing details for the 2017 Fillet of Solo Festival will be announced in Fall 2016.

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