Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Angel Ysaguirre, Executive Director, continues its 2021/22 season with The Lady from the Sea by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Richard Nelson, and directed by Shana Cooper. The Lady from the Sea now runs February 25 – March 27, 2022 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. The press opening is Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 7:30pm.
When a sailor returns to fulfill their promise, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter must choose between her landlocked marriage and the mesmerizing allure of the sea. Hailed as a watershed moment in Ibsen’s writing, The Lady from the Sea dissects issues of duty, marriage, and agency with raw emotion and disarming resonance.
Canceled in March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Lady from the Sea makes a triumphant return to Court’s stage in a new translation from playwright Richard Nelson starring Chaon Cross. Director Shana Cooper injects Nelson’s text with a visceral physicality that thrillingly reflects and refracts Ibsen’s structure and characterization.
The cast of The Lady from the Sea includes Chaon Cross (Ellida), Gregory Linington (Dr. Wangel), Tanya Thai McBride (Bolette), Will Mobley (Lyngstrand), Angela Morris (Hilda), Kelli Simpkins (A Stranger), Samuel Taylor (Arnholm), and Dexter Zollicoffer (Ballested),
The creative team includes Erika Chong Shuch (Choreography), Andrew Boyce (Scenic Design), Linda Roethke (Costume Design), Paul Toben (Lighting Design), Andre Pluess (Sound Design), and Becca McCracken (Casting). Erin Albrecht is the production stage manager.
Individual tickets are on sale and available by calling (773) 753-4472, or online at www.CourtTheatre.org.
The Lady from the Sea is sponsored by Sidley Austin Foundation and Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.
About the Artists
RICHARD NELSON (Translator) His plays include The Gabriel Plays (Women Of A Certain Age, What Did You Expect?, Hungry), Oblivion, Nikolai And The Others, The Apple Family Plays (That Hopey Changey Thing, Sweet And Sad, Regular Singing), Farewell To The Theatre, Conversations In Tusculum, Frank’s Home, How Shakespeare Won The West, Rodney’s Wife, Franny’s Way, Madame Melville, Goodnight Children Everywhere (Olivier Award Best Play), The General From America, New England, Two Shakespearean Actors (Tony Nomination, Best Play), Some Americans Abroad (Olivier Nomination, Best Comedy), and others. His musicals include James Joyce’s The Dead (with Shaun Davey, Tony Award Best Book of a Musical), and My Life With Albertine (with Ricky Ian Gordon). He has adapted and/or translated numerous classical and contemporary plays; his films include Hyde Park On Hudson (Roger Michell, director, Focus Features), Ethan Frome (Miramax Films) and Sensibility And Sense (American Playhouse). He is an honorary associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Laura Pels “Master Playwright” Award.
SHANA COOPER (Director) is a company member at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., where her directing credits include The Nether and HIR by Taylor Mac. Other directing credits include The Unfortunates (A.C.T., San Francisco); American Night, Romeo and Juliet (Yale Repertory Theatre); Straight White Men (Studio Theater, Washington D.C.); The Unfortunates (World Premiere Musical), Julius Caesar, Love’s Labor’s Lost (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Venus In Fur (Seattle Rep, Arizona Theatre Company), The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (California Shakespeare Theater); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Playmakers Rep); Camino Real (New York University MFA Program); Three Sisters (The Studio/New York); and The Whale Play, Twelfth Night Parking Lot Project (New Theater House). Shana was the Associate Artistic Director of the California Shakespeare Theater (2000-2004), and also a Cofounder of New Theater House with Yale School of Drama alumni (2008-present). Awards include: 2014 U Grant (Funded by The Melon Foundation and administered by TCG), 2010 Princess Grace Award, Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize in Directing (Yale School of Drama), Drama League Directing Fellow, TCG Observership Grant, OSF Phil Killian Directing Fellow, and G. Herbert Smith Presidential Scholarship. She is an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department at Northwestern University.
CHAON CROSS (Ellida) returns to Court Theatre, where her credits include: The Hard Problem, One Man Two Guvnors, Proof , Uncle Vanya, The Glass Menagerie, Scapin, The Romance Cycle, and Phèdre. Other Chicago credits include: Macbeth, Red Velvet, As You Like It, Private Lives, Cymbeline, Troilus and Cressida, The Two Noble Kinsmen, and The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare); Macbeth (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Life Sucks, Brothers Karamazov (Lookingglass Theatre); Cyrano (Court Theatre and Redmoon Theatre); Grace (Northlight Theatre); The Wheel, The Cherry Orchard (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). Regional credits include Lady Windermere in Lady Windermere’s Fan(Milwaukee Repertory Theater) and Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice (The Cleveland Playhouse). She has also appeared in productions with Frump Tucker, Shattered Globe Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, Theatre at the Center, First Folio Shakespeare Festival, and TheatreHikes. TV credits: The Exorcist (FOX), Chicago Fire (NBC), Boss (Starz), and Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC). Film: Widows, My Dog Skip (Warner Bros). Before moving to Chicago, Ms. Cross toured the US and Canada for two years with American Shakespeare Center.
GREGORY LININGTON (Dr. Wangel) Makes his Court Theatre debut. Chicago: Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre. New York: Brooklyn Academy of Music and Joe’s Pub. Regional: Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre DC, Theater J, Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Center LA, CTG and PCPA. A 12-year company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival he is also a five-year company member of Misery Loves Company in Prague. Film and television credits include Innocent Sleep, Harrison’s Flowers; Station Eleven, Chicago PD, Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless, Major Crimes, and The West Wing.
TANYA THAI MCBRIDE (Bolette) is pleased to make her debut at Court Theatre. Chicago theater credits: Stop.Reset. (Goodman Theatre); The White Snake (Goodman Theatre); Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (The Other Theatre Co.); Yellow Face (Silk Road Rising); and punkplay (Pavement Group at Steppenwolf Garage), among others. Regional: The White Snake (The Old Globe, Guthrie Theater, McCarter Theatre, Berkeley Repertory and Oregon Shakespeare Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Heart of Robin Hood (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). TV: Chicago PD, Chicago Fire. Tanya holds an MFA from The Ohio State University.
WILL MOBLEY (Lyngstrand) is pleased to make his Court Theatre debut. Chicago credits include: The Wickham’s: Christmas at Pemberley (Northlight); The Winter’s Tale U/S (Goodman); Ragtime (Marriott); My Fair Lady (Lyric Opera); SS! Twelfth Night (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Days Like Today, Antony and Cleopatra (Writers). Regional credits include: Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley (Theatre Squared); The Legend of Georgia McBride (Cardinal Stage Company); The Hound of the Baskervilles, A Christmas Carol, Other Desert Cities (Indiana Repertory Theater); Other Desert Cities (Arizona Theatre Company); A View From the Bridge, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night, Richard III, The Admirable Crichton, The Taming of the Shrew, The Critic and Of Mice and Men (American Players Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (tour), Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice and Great Expectations (Utah Shakespeare Festival); and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Artists Repertory Theatre). Will is also a member of the Chicago band The Winchesters.
ANGELA MORRIS (Hilda) is thrilled to make her Court debut. Chicago credits include Twilight Bowl – Jeff Nomination Best Ensemble (Goodman Theatre); Hang Man (The Gift Theatre); The Hamlet Project (The Collective); and Horatio (A Beautiful Fight Productions). Regional credits include The Comedy of Errors (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). Television/Film credits include Chicago Fire; Two in the Bush: A Love Story; and the award-winning shorts “SPACEMAN.,” “Trash,” and “My Best Girl,” which she also co-wrote. She voices the main character (and others) in the video game Perception.
KELLI SIMPKINS (A Stranger) THEATER: Off Broadway: MCC Theater: Charm | Union Square Theater: The Laramie Project. REGIONAL: About Face Theater: The Gulf, Bull in a China Shop, The Secretaries, The Kid Thing (Jeff Award nomination), Pony | American Theater Company: We’re Gonna Be Okay, Men on Boats, T., Celebrity Row | Victory Gardens: Cocked | Goodman Theatre: Teddy Ferrara | Steppenwolf Theatre: Good Boys and True, Fair Use, One Arm | Denver Center: The Laramie Project | Berkeley Rep: The People’s Temple, The Laramie Project | Guthrie Theater: The People’s Temple | La Jolla Playhouse: Think Like Girls, The Laramie Project. FILM: Slice, Chasing Amy, A League of Their Own | TV: Proven Innocent, Chicago Fire, Patriot, Betrayal, The Laramie Project (Emmy nomination– Ensemble Writing), Law & Order: CI. AWARDS: 3ARTS Award (2013). OTHER: Tectonic Theater Project: company member, teaching artist and original creator/performer – The Laramie Project | About Face Theater: Artistic Associate.
SAMUEL TAYLOR (Arnholm) is co-founder of the Back Room Shakespeare Project and teaches Shakespeare at the University of Chicago. Samuel is also owner & operator of Long Table Pancakes. Chicago credits include Mr. & Mrs. Pennyworth, Thaddeus & Slocum, Lookingglass Alice, and Peter Pan at Lookingglass; The Hot L Baltimore at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Marnie & Phil at The Actors Gymnasium; Hunchback at Redmoon; and 9 shows at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Regional credits include work at American Players Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, and the Guthrie Theater. On Camera credits include recurring roles on Boardwalk Empire and Crisis.
DEXTER ZOLLICOFFER (Ballested) appeared at Court Theatre in Electra, Water by the Spoonful, and The Mystery Cycle: Creation and Passion. Dexter appeared in Charm for Northlight Theatre (Jeff Award for Actor in a Principal Role and a nomination for Ensemble). Other theatre credits include: The Little Foxes, Dartmoor Prison, The Odyssey, Blues for an Alabama Sky, and A Christmas Carol at Goodman; To Kill a Mockingbird, A Lesson Before Dying, and Pudd’nhead Wilson at Steppenwolf; Relatively Close, Knock Me a Kiss and The Sutherland at Victory Gardens; and The Overwhelming at Next Theatre. Regionally, Mr. Zollicoffer appeared in Blues for an Alabama Sky at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Odyssey at McCarter Theatre Center, and Seattle Repertory Theatre, Our Country’s Good at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Recruiting Officer and Our Country’s Good at Madison Repertory Theatre, Voice of Good Hope at BoarsHead Theater, and Permanent Collection at Indiana University Northwest. On television, Mr. Zollicoffer has been seen on Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Detroit 1-8-7, and the upcoming feature, Who Gets the Dog. He is an administrator at The Theatre School at DePaul University where he received best director, best ensemble, and Special Jury Prize nominations for his original work, Ma Fille, Ma Naturelle at the 6th annual International Theatre Festival of University Theatre in Tangier, Morocco. He is a 2011-12 recipient of the Spirit of DePaul award given by DePaul’s Office of Mission and Values.
Fact Sheet / The Lady from the Sea
Title: The Lady from the Sea
By: Henrik Ibsen
Translated by: Richard Nelson
Directed by: Shana Cooper
Dates: Previews: February 25 – March 4, 2022
Press Opening: Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 7:30pm
Regular Run: March 6 – March 27, 2022
Schedule: Wed/Thurs/Fri: 7:30 p.m.
Sat/Sun: 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Location: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Tickets: $28.50-$66 previews, $37.50-$84 regular run
Box Office: Located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or www.CourtTheatre.org.
Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to classic American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. The theatre revives lost masterpieces; illuminates familiar texts; explores the African American theatrical canon; and discovers fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.