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Northwestern Theatre in January

Wirtz Center launches 2015 with Lynn Nottage play, NT Live broadcast and MLK Day event

  • Nottage’s ‘Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine’ to be staged Jan. 30-Feb. 8
  • National Theatre Live broadcast of DV8 Physical Theatre co-production of ‘JOHN,’ Jan. 13
  • Special MLK Day staged reading of Lydia R. Diamond’s ‘The Gift Horse,’ Jan. 19
  • 73rd annual Dolphin Show, ‘Titanic,’ features 150-member student cast, Jan. 23-Jan. 30

EVANSTON, Ill. --- “Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine” -- a devilishly funny social satire by award-winning playwright Lynn Nottage -- will be the first winter 2015 Mainstage production presented by Northwestern University’s Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts.

“Fabulation” opens Jan. 30 and runs through Feb. 8, at the Josephine Louis Theater. It tells the story of a quick-witted and successful public relations executive whose husband disappears with all her money and how she transforms her personal and financial setbacks into victories.

On Jan. 13, the Wirtz Center will host an NT Live broadcast of “JOHN,” DV8 Physical Theatre’s new dance-theatre co-production, which combines movement and spoken word to depict the real-life stories of more than 50 men that Lloyd Newson, DV8’s artistic director interviewed about love and sex, including one named John. The broadcast is part of the Wirtz Center’s ongoing Stage on Screen winter season.

The Wirtz Center also will host a staged reading of award-winning playwright Lydia R. Diamond’s “The Gift Horse” on Jan. 19, in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Diamond’s play tells the story of an African-American artist and teacher’s lifelong struggle to deal with the men in her life. The special one-time-only event is free and open to the public. The special event is presented in association with the Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre and the City of Evanston.


The Wirtz Center’s 2014-15 Mainstage season features award-winning directors and playwrights, acclaimed alumnae and faculty, groundbreaking plays and musicals and the annual Waa-Mu Show. The season reflects on the evolving definitions of family and community and invites audiences to embrace the circumstances that unite and strengthen us. For more information and to order tickets to upcoming shows and NT Live broadcasts, visit

The Wirtz Center’s 2014-15 season productions will be held, as noted, in venues on the University’s Evanston campus.

Single tickets for all Mainstage productions are on sale now. Where applicable, ticket discounts are available for groups of eight or more. Subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased by phone through the Wirtz Center Box Office at 847-491-7282 or online at

In addition, the 73rd Annual Dolphin Show, “Titanic,” a student-produced musical, opens Jan. 23 and runs through Jan. 30, at Cahn Auditorium.


• “Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine” by Lynn Nottage and directed by Jerrell L. Henderson, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Nottage’s social satire is a classic comeuppance tale with a devilishly comic twist described by Variety as “clever and consistently entertaining.” It tells the story of Undine, a quick-witted, sharp-tongued and successful public relations executive, who rules every aspect of her world in downtown Manhattan. That is until her “perfect” husband suddenly disappears, running off with all of her money. Pregnant and on the brink of social and financial ruin, she must return to her childhood home in Brooklyn and cope with the crude new reality of transforming her setbacks into small victories. She also has to try to reconnect to a family she has purposefully forgotten in pursuit of her own ambitious rise to self-perceived glory. A talkback with cast members will follow the Jan. 30, Feb. 1 and Feb. 5 performances. Single tickets are $25 for the general public; $23 for seniors over 62; Northwestern faculty and staff; and area educators; $10 for full-time students with IDs and $5 for Northwestern students (advance purchase only or $10 at the door.)


• National Theatre Live broadcast, DV8 Physical Theatre co-production of “JOHN,” conceived and directed by Lloyd Newson, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. DV8 Physical Theatre has produced 18 highly-acclaimed dance-theatre works and four films for television, which have garnered more than 50 national and international awards. The company’s new production, “JOHN,” authentically depicts real-life stories, combining movement and spoken word to create an intense and moving theatrical experience. Lloyd Newson, DV8’s artistic director, interviewed more than 50 men asking them frank questions, initially about love and sex. One of those men was John. What emerged was a story that is both extraordinary and touching. Years of crime, drug use and struggling to survive lead John on a search in which his life converges with others, in an unexpected place, unknown by most. Note: JOHN contains adult themes, strong language and nudity. It is suitable for audiences 18 years of age and older.  Watch Video Teaser. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $16 for Northwestern faculty and staff (in-person or phone orders only); or $10 for full-time students with valid IDs.


• Martin Luther King Jr. Day Commemoration Special Event, staged reading of Lydia R. Diamond’s “The Gift Horse,” 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. The special staged reading will be directed by Aaron Todd Douglas and will feature Tim Rhoze, artistic director of the Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre. A cello resonates as Ruth, an African-American artist and teacher, struggles to deal with the men in her life. Whether learning to love a friend suffering from HIV or reeling from memories of her father’s abuse, Ruth discovers how to appreciate what she has while she has it. Written by Lydia R. Diamond (“Stick Fly”) and winner of the Theodore Ward Playwriting Award, this moving and funny play follows Ruth from college, through therapy, into marriage and finally motherhood as she and the cellist explore what makes love easy and what makes love hard. Admission is free. General admission seating, doors will open at 1:30 p.m. Produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Ill. This special event is presented in association with the Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre and the City of Evanston. Advance reservations are recommended. RSVP to


• 73rd Annual Dolphin Show, “Titanic,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24; 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29; and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston campus. Northwestern University’s annual Dolphin Show, America’s largest student-produced musical, will be directed by School of Communication senior Brendan Flynn and produced by School of Communication senior Jack Eidson and School of Education and Social Policy senior Izzy Garcia, with support from a cast and team of more than 150 Northwestern students. “Titanic,” this year’s production, features music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and book by Peter Stone. It brings the tragic story of the RMS Titanic to the stage, dramatizing the ship’s maiden and final voyage, while chronicling the heartbreaking stories of those on board the sinking ocean liner. Single tickets for the general public are $15 to $30. Discounted tickets are available for Northwestern University students with IDs. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or contact Maddie Ambrose, director of public relations, at


A three-year construction project underway on the southeast end of the Northwestern University campus has closed Arts Circle Drive to traffic. Free parking for evening and weekend events remains available, but the project impacts handicapped parking and patrons requiring special access to Evanston campus theaters. For the most current information on the construction project and drop-off locations for patrons requiring special access to our theaters, visit