CHICAGO—ShawChicago concludes its 2016/17 season, Dysfunctional Family Fun, with George Bernard Shaw’s World War I dramedy Heartbreak House. In a Chekovian Fantasia style, Shaw presents a caricature of the 1910s British upper class obsession with propriety. “[Essentially] The upper class who should be the ruling classes fiddle while the country falls apart,” says Artistic Director Robert Scogin. This production runs March 4 through March 27 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610.
Welcome to the Heartbreak House, where everyone is the least bit concerned that there is a war going on. Boss Mangan, a cold businessman, will marry Ellie Dunn, despite being her father’s age. Ellie Dunn concedes because she’s tired of being poor, but may (or may not) be in love with Hector Hushabye, who is married to Hesione. Hesione is more than happy to oblige Ellie, since her husband is such a liar. Lady Utterword, Hesione’s sister, has returned after 23 years; little does she know that her brother-in-law, Randall, is in romantic pursuit. Captain Shotover, Hesione’s and Lady Utterword’s father, just wants a bottle of rum. Just outside their window, a strange man breaks in, only to ask for charity.
At an unofficial house party, with so much unrequited love, desire is rampant and pettiness is guaranteed. But even with the whole world burning, only witty humor can forge any sort of happy ending for these lasting characters.
“It is relevant [today] because there are so many politicians in government but nothing’s getting done,” says Scogin. “It’s just the 1% who’s out for themselves…. You could say that it’s the 1% that’s running stuff in Heartbreak House and today.”
Cast Members Include: Lydia Berger Gray, Allison Cook, Christian Gray, Richard Henzel, Doug MacKechnie, Richard Marlatt, Mary Michell, Jonathan Nichols and Barbara Zahora.
WHO: ShawChicago Theater Company
WHAT: George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House
WHERE: 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610
WHEN: March 4, 3 PM
March 5, 3 PM
March 6, 2 PM
March 11, 3 PM
March 12, 3 PM
March 13, 10 AM
March 18, 3 PM
March 19, 3 PM
March 20, 7 PM
March 25, 3 PM
March 26, 3 PM
March 27, 7 PM
TICKETS: $35.00 General, $30.00 Senior Citizen, $20.00 Students. Group rates available. Tickets may be purchased at www.shawchicago.org or over the phone at 312-587-7390.
About Robert Scogin
Robert Scogin, ShawChicago’s Artistic Director, is celebrating his twenty-first season at ShawChicago, where he has directed more than fifty productions. He was awarded The Chicago Drama League’s 2008 Crystal Award, and has appeared on Broadway (Henry V, 1969) and Off-Broadway (Children of the Ladybug, 1967 and Where The Wolves Run, 1972.) He taught and directed Shakespeare and Shaw at the Turkish State Theater Conservatory in Ankara and Konya, Turkey. In March of 2009 he staged the world premiere of his new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts on World Theater Day in Konya, Turkey. Scogin made his Chicago debut at The Goodman Theatre in Much Ado About Nothing. He also starred as Bob Cratchit in the Goodman’s original production of A Christmas Carol, a role he repeated for thirteen years. Other credits with The Goodman include The Tempest and the world premieres of David Mamet’s translation of Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard and Mamet’s own play Lakeboat.
ShawChicago is a professional non-profit theater company founded in 1994 with a mission to present the plays of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries as concert readings. Operating under an Actors’ Equity contract, ShawChicago celebrates its 23rd season, Dysfunctional Family Fun. The company presents special afternoon performances for senior citizens and morning performances for students throughout the Chicagoland area. ShawChicago also offers outreach performances across the city and its suburbs, providing theater to libraries, senior living communities and schools. ShawChicago is a theater company in residence at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.