Tuesday August 22nd 2017

“In Darfur”

highly recommended   TimeLine Theatre Company is known for presenting “stories inspired by history” and in most cases, stories that deal with social and political issues that connect with those of today. Their current production, “In Darfur” is such a play. Written by Winter Miller, who accompanied Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristoff’s trip to Sudan, we are able to get a close in and realistic look at the horrors of the genocide that was taking place. Directed by Nick Bowling, this is an intense play running 95 minutes without intermission ( a break in the action would be hazardous to the power of the story.

“In Darfur” takes place primarily in a camp for displaced persons in Darfur, where three people, of completely different backgrounds find their lives intertwining- Carlos, a medical aid ( skillfully played by Gregory Isaac), one of his patients/victims, Hawa ( a wonderful and strong character portrayal by Mildred Marie Langford) and Maryka, a reporter ( deftly handled by Kelli Simpkins) who wants to tell the entire story to the world in hopes that this will end the killings and rapes. How they connect is the story and we as an audience learn more about the suffering and  pain that has been taking place over the years. While the subject matter is one that is painful, the production and theway the story is told is one of promiseand hope that the more the world learns, the better the chance that this madness could be ended.

This is a Chicago premiere and another production that TimeLine can be proud of. They continue to bring us thought provoking stories that can only be regarded as “think pieces” and reasons for us to want to know more through other sources and discussions with family and friends. This is a stylish production as well with great use of  projections and videos ( Mike Tutaj) on a sterling set by Amanda Sweger utilizing this venue’s changeable space to perfection. The music and sound by Andrew Hansen along with the lighting of Nic Jones and Jesse Klug truly makes this a play that should be seen by all. The other cast members, Tyla Abercrumbie,Eddie Jordan III,Brian-Alwan Newland and Ebony Wimbs fill in the other pieces as characters and translators and the fight scenes ( choreographed by Tyler Rich) add a lot of realism to the overall picture that has been painted by Bowling and Miller.

Mark this on your calendar as one to be seen- it will continue through March 20th at TimeLine Theatre located at 615 Wellington ( just west of Broadway) with performances as follows:

Wednesdays ( 3/2,3/9 and 3/16 only) at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Fridays at 8 p.m.,Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from  $28-$38 ( a great value for theater of this quality and substance) and can be purchased by calling 773-281-8463 or online at www.timelinetheatre.com

Parking in the area is not easy, but the lots at Broadway Center, 2846 N. Broadway and The Century Mall offer discounts with validation. The bus is probably the best way to get to TimeLine- the number 36 gets you almost to the door.

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