Remy Bumppo pays tribute to real life Heroes

November 10, 2009 10:06:36 AM PST
Remy Bumppo Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere of Heroes, winner of the 2006 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, written by Gérald Sibleyras and translated by Tom Stoppard. (PRESS RELEASE)Heroes continues its run through Nov. 29 in the Downstairs Mainstage of the Greenhouse Theater Center at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue.

During the run of Heroes, a special installation designed to create awareness of the realities of combat and give patrons an opportunity to pay tribute to U.S. veterans will be in the lobby at the Greenhouse Theatre.

"I was determined to keep the war in the play," says director James Bohnen. "Mike Nussbaum, who fought in World War II, and I had spoken about this before rehearsal began. I felt, and he corroborated, that these memories and injuries would loom large in their lives. One of the things we spoke about at length was the sense that they ended up at this home because there was nowhere else to go....meaning that family ties had ended, through death, or argument or whatever. Once we all agreed that the war needed to be the fourth character then it became a challenge to chart the places we could connect."

The Heroes lobby display and veterans art programming were curated by Artistic Programs Coordinator Susan Padveen.

Veterans Art Programming:

Sunday, Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m. - The Warrior Poetry Project is a free post-show poetry reading featuring poets and veterans Matt Ping, Timothy Brien, A.D. Moore, Tyler Zabel, and other friends of Remy Bumppo. This hour-long program at the Greenhouse Theater Center is co-sponsored by the Vet Art Project and Remy Bumppo.

Operation Gratitude ? Operation Gratitude is an opportunity to send letters to currently deployed service members. Remy Bumppo patrons can write letters and learn more about the program before and after performances of Heroes in the lobby of the Greenhouse Theatre. Operation Gratitude accepts letters year-round, and welcomes as many letters as you can provide. Send to: Operation Gratitude, 16444 Refugio Road, Encino, CA 91436.

Heroes Art Display ? Five paintings which focus on the universality of war are on display in the lobby of the Greenhouse Theatre, provided by the National Vietnam Veterans Museum. Artists include Michael Cox, Robert Hanson, and Robert Spicher. Also featured in the lobby are two kinetic sculptures created by Heroes set designer Tim Morrison.

About WWII Veteran and Actor Mike Nussbaum

Actor Mike Nussbaum is a WWII vet, and was responsible for sending the actual telegram that ended the war. Nussbaum served as a Tech Sergeant in the U.S. Army Signal Corp, he was stationed in Reims, France at the Supreme Headquarters of Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF, pronounced "shafe"), which was General Dwight D. Eisenhower's office. On the day peace was signed with the German General, a message was sent to the SHAEF office to send to the Pentagon and elsewhere. Traditionally telegrams would be signed by the telegram sender (in this case Eisenhower) with initials of the telegram operator. Nussbaum recognized that this was too important of an event to leave at just initials, so when the telegram was sent on June 5, 1945 it read at this time and on this date; General Yodel and General Eisenhower signed the instrument of surrender. Signed, Eisenhower and in the bottom corner, Nussbaum. Nussbaum has a framed copy of the telegram.

HEROES
The Greenhouse Theater Center
Downstairs Mainstage
2257 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago
773-404-7336
remybumppo.org

REMY BUMPPO PRESENTS THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF TOM STOPPARD'S AWARD-WINNING COMEDY HEROES

"I say we go...up that hill, where the poplars are. There where the wind blows...it's not a bad halfway house between Indochina and a picnic." - Heroes

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere of Heroes, winner of the 2006 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, written by Gerald Sibleyras and translated by Tom Stoppard. Heroes runs through Nov. 29 in the Downstairs Mainstage of the Greenhouse Theater Center at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.

It's 1959 and Philippe, Gustave and Henri, three veterans from World War I keep each other company on the back terrace of a retired soldiers' home. Through a series of witty scenes, the men goad one another into new adventures. The men's cantankerous camaraderie becomes strained as they plot an expedition to Indochina, or at least as far as the poplar trees on the distant hill. Heroes is a funny and bittersweet play about memory and "not going gently into that good night."

The Heroes cast features guest artist Mike Nussbaum making his Remy Bumppo remybumppo.org debut, Artistic Associate David Darlow and guest artist Roderick Peeples. Heroes is directed by Remy Bumppo Artistic Director James Bohnen, with set design by Tim Morrison, costume design by Samantha C. Jones, lighting design by Rich Norwood, sound design by Jason Knox and properties design by Nick Heggestad.

Playwright Gerald Sibleyras was born in 1961 in Paris. His most notable work is the 2003 Le Vent des Peupliers, which has been translated and produced in countries worldwide including the United Kingdom, Germany, Uruguay and now the United States. The play premiered in Paris at the Théâtre Montparnasse, and received four Molières nominations including Meilleur Auteur (Best Author). Tom Stoppard translated the play into English (Heroes) and it received its London debut at the Wyndham Theater under the direction of Thea Sharrock. The production won the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. His next play L'Inscription was produced in 2004 in Paris and later in Poland. In 2003 Un Petit Jeu Sans Conséquence was awarded five Molières Awards. Gérald Sibleyras adapted William Nicholson's The Retreat From Moscow which was produced in Paris in January 2007. He is currently adapting his play La Danse de L'Albatros for the screen.

Translator Tom Stoppard is a British playwright born in Zlin, Czechoslovakia in 1937. His plays include Rock 'N Roll, Arcadia (Remy Bumppo 2004), Night and Day (Remy Bumppo, 1996), Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Coast of Utopia and the Tony Award- winning Best Play, The Real Thing (Remy Bumppo 2006). Stoppard co-wrote the screenplays for Brazil, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1985 and Shakespeare in Love, which won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1999.

For showtimes and tickets, call 773-404-7336 or visit remybumppo.org Weekly post-show discussions with cast members are held after Sunday matinee performances (excluding closing performance Nov. 29).

ABOUT THE CAST

Mike Nussbaum is an actor and director. He received a Jeff Award in 1997 for his work in David Hare's Racing Demon. He originated roles in many of David Mamet's plays including Richard in A Life in the Theatre, John in The Shawl and Aaronow in Glengarry Glen Ross. He also originated the roles of Marcus in Claudia Allen's Winter and Shlomo in Charles L. Mee's Time to Burn. Chicago Shakespeare Theater stage credits include Macbeth, Passion, Hamlet, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, and Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream. Northlight Theatre credits include Visiting Mr. Green, Better Late, Tuesdays with Morrie and director for The Belmont Avenue Social Club. Film credits include Field of Dreams and Men in Black.

David Darlow is an Artistic Associate at Remy Bumppo Theatre, where he has been seen in The Voysey Inheritance, The Best Man, Power, Humble Boy, Hidden Laughter, No Man's Land, Hapgood, Road to Mecca, Man and Superman, Money, and Major Barbara (After Dark Award). He directed Mrs. Warren's Profession for Remy Bumppo and As You Like it at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Other Chicago stage credits include A Life in the Theatre, As You Like it, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Passion and The Misanthrope at Goodman Theatre; Othello, Timon of Athens and As You Like it at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; The Real Thing and Betrayal at Northlight Theatre; Nathan the Wise at Chicago Festival of the Arts; and Stephen Sondheim's Passion with Patty Lupone and Audra McDonald at Ravinia Festival. He won a Joseph Jefferson Award for his performance in Endgame at American Theater Company (with Mike Nussbaum). Film credits include Were the World Mine, The Weatherman, Road to Perdition, The Fugitive, Miller's Crossing, and Ride with the Devil.

Roderick Peeples appeared last season in Remy Bumppo's production of The Voysey Inheritance. Chicago work includes Oedipus Complex at Goodman Theatre; Morning Star at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Hamlet, Pacific Overtures, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Richard III at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Berlin 45 at Victory Gardens Theater; The God of Hell at Next Theatre; Fräulein Else and Gross Indecency at Court Theatre. He won a Jeff Award for Dealer's Choice at Roadworks Theatre and was a company member at Famous Door Theater where he appeared in Lonesome West, The Homecoming and Ghetto. Regional credits include Henry V and As You Like It (directed by David Darlow) at Utah Shakespearean Festival; Death of a Salesman, The Price and Moon for the Misbegotten at Madison Repertory Theatre; and King Lear, Merchant of Venice and Henry VIII at Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington, IL. Film work includes Robert Altman's The Company, Road to Perdition and The Hudsucker Proxy.

James Bohnen (Director) is the artistic director and co-founder of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company where he has directed over two dozen productions. In 2008 he co-adapted and directed Henry IV: The Making of a King for American Players Theatre in Spring Green and adapted and directed Henry V this summer. James will direct The Island for Remy Bumppo this winter. Bohnen is a Meier Achievement Award Recipient, which recognizes gifted artists in mid-career.


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