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Northlight Theatre announces 2016–17 season

Written by
Kris Vire

Northlight Theatre in Skokie has announced a slate of five new plays for its next season, including three world premieres.

The season opens with the Midwest premiere of The City of Conversation (September 15–October 23), a political family drama by Anthony Giardina that premiered at New York's Lincoln Center Theater in 2014 and is currently playing at Arena Stage in the city in which it's set, Washington, D.C.; Marti Lyons will direct at Northlight. It's followed by Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (November 10–December 18), a new sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, to be helmed by Jessica Thebus.

Northlight artistic director BJ Jones will stage Faceless (January 25–March 6, 2017), a world premiere drama by Selena Fillinger about a teenage girl on trial for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism. Fillinger, currently a student at Northwestern, was the winner last year of the inaugural Judith Barlow Prize for female playwrights, awarded by History Matters/Back to the Future.

Cody Estle will direct Francis Guinan as a Staten Island resident trying to save his neighborhood in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in By the Water (March 16–April 23, 2017), a Midwest premiere by Sharyn Rothstein. And Mike Nussbaum is slated to play Albert Einstein in Relativity (May 11–June 18, 2017), a National New Play Network "rolling world premiere" that will be produced by at least two additional theaters elsewhere in the country, yet to be announced. The play is by Mark St. Germain, author of Freud's Last Session, in which Nussbaum—who will be 93 when Relativity opens—played the title character in 2012; Jones will direct.

Northlight made a point of noting that the new season features four women writers—a corrective to the current all-male season, which did not go unnoticed at a moment when gender parity in the theater is a major topic of conversation. Northlight's four-star production of Terrence McNally's Mothers and Sons continues through February 28.

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