IN THE DARK TIMES, WILL THERE ALSO BE SINGING?
by Dianne Nora
directed by Jaclyn Biskup
Sunday, January 31 | 8p
In the dark times, will there also be singing? Begins with two young people, Thomas and Martha, who meet by chance on an airplane. Martha is the rebellious daughter of a successful capitalist; Thomas is a missionary of a fringe sect of Christianity who is encountering the world outside his community for the first time. They have a brief but meaningful connection, at the end of which, Martha abruptly dies. The rest of the play takes place one year later, when Thomas has come to visit Martha’s family on their estate. It’s a particularly tense time in our fictionalized version of the contemporary United States; a general strike has left the family isolated in their estate, and tensions between workers and the landed elite continue to rise. Over a few short days, the family are visited by a series of plague-like misfortunes. As the family crumbles, and the natural world encroaches on their carefully kept estate, the play moves from naturalism toward something of a fever dream.
Thomas: Christopher McLinden
Martha & Jane: Caroline Neff
Tom: Danny McCarthy
Hen: Una Clancy
Georgia: Kirsten Fitzgerald
Nellie: Sadieh Rifai
Laszlo: Zach Wegner
Stage Directions: Nadia Diamond
(Playwright): Dianne Nora is a playwright, dramaturg, and comedy writer who lives and works in Chicago and New York. An abbreviated version of her play Monica: This Play is Not About Monica Lewinsky premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019, where it was hailed among the "Best of the Fringe" by The Spectator. She was a 2018-2019 member of Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit, where she was commissioned to write a new play about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. After completing her MFA at Columbia University School of the Arts, Dianne assisted her mentor Tracy Letts on the world premieres of his plays Mary Page Marlowe, Linda Vista, and The Minutes, a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. She is also a writer on Scott Dikkers' (founder of The Onion's) parody book Welcome to the Future Which is Mine by (Not) Elon Musk, available everywhere from Grand Central Publishing, with an audiobook by James Adomian. Recently, her play for young audiences, Journey Around My Bedroom, directed by Jaclyn Biskup, was recommended by The New York Times. Her work has been developed at Goodman Theatre, Pipeline Theatre at Walkerspace, Via Brooklyn, Capital Stage, New Ohio Theatre, Normal Ave Theatre, and the Irish Film Institute. She's a graduate of NYU, Trinity College Dublin, and Columbia University School of the Arts.
(Director): Jaclyn Biskup is a director and producer working in theatre, television, and film. She received an Emmy nomination and was a Peabody Finalist for her work on the digital series THE SECRET LIFE OF MUSLIMS and currently works as an associate producer at New Ohio Theatre. She was the assistant director to Tony Award-winning director Anna D. Shapiro on the Broadway production of THE MINUTES (Tracy Letts) and STRAIGHT WHITE MEN (Young Jean Lee) for Second Stage. Her work in the theatre spans nearly two decades. As the founding artistic director of The Mill, she has directed and produced over 20 productions including the Chicago premiere of VENUS (Suzan-Lori Parks) and THE PRIVATE OF LIVES OF ESKIMOS (OR 16 WORDS FOR SNOW) (Ken Urban). In NYC, work directed includes WORSE THAN TIGERS (Mark Chrisler), NICHOLAS, MAEVE, MARIANNE (Matthew Stephen Smith) -- one of Indie Theatre Now's 20 Best of NYC Fringe, HOT STEAMS (Zach Wegner), IT’S JUST WEIRD NOW (Halley Feiffer) and DAYS OF RAGE (Hyeyoung Kim and Shoshana Greenberg.) Her work has been seen at New Ohio Theatre, MCC Playlabs, New Dramatists, Rattlestick, Dixon Place, Town Stages, and the NYC International Fringe Festival. She has assisted on productions at Steppenwolf, The Public, and The American Musical Theatre Workshop. Her digital projects include work for PBS NOVA, Vox, Delta Air Lines, Caltech, Harvard, and others and holds a BA in Theater from Northern Illinois University and an MFA in Directing and Theatrical Production from Northwestern University.