Ordinary People
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Citadel Theatre presents Judith Guest’s Ordinary People, adapted for the stage by Nancy Gilsenen and directed by Artistic Director Scott Phelps. Press are invited to final preview at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 or the opening Friday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $35 Thursdays and Fridays, $37.50 Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are available online at www.CitadelTheatre.org or over the phone by calling the Citadel Theatre box office at 847.735.8554. Discounts are available for seniors, students, theatre industry professionals and groups. Ordinary People tells the story of a Lake Forest High School student, Conrad Jarrett (Matt Ronzani). Conrad had an older brother named Buck, and now Buck is gone. What’s left of young Conrad’s family, with his successful, well-intentioned father (Jeff Gamlin) and his beautiful, organized and remote mother (Julie Stevens), is in terrible jeopardy, as is Conrad himself. They are all “ordinary people” and each is fighting a hard battle. In 1980, in his directorial debut, famed actor Robert Redford claimed an Academy Award for his work interpreting Judith Guest’s seminal work Ordinary People to the silver screen. Redford’s Oscar for “Best Director” was just one of four as the movie also took home golden trophies for “Best Picture,” “Best Writing” (Adapted Screenplay, Alvin Sargent) and “Best Supporting Actor” (Timothy Hutton). Set and filmed in Lake Forest, the movie was – for a time – a phenomenon in the star-struck North Shore community. Additional Ordinary People cast includes Andy Clifton (Salan), Julia MacMillian (Jeannine), Danille Mohrbach (Karen), Chuck Quinn (Doctor Berger), Chuck Quinn V (Stillman) and Chris Westbrook (Joe). The artistic and production teams includes Scott Phelps, director; Cassandra Ryan, production manager/stage manager (Actors Equity Member); Nic Belanger, master carpenter, Bob Boxer, sound designer; Daniel Friedman, lighting designer; Yeaji Kim, scenic designer/projections; David Lundholm, costume designer, Howard Martino, musical consultant; Terry Julian, graphic design and Frank Ettinger, marketing/publicity. The play, adapted for the stage by Nancy Gilsenen, is a treatment of Judith Guest’s well-researched human drama about depression. Guest explains on her website: “I wrote it because I wanted to explore the anatomy of depression—how it works and why it happens to people; how you can go from being down but able to handle it, to being so down that you don’t even want to handle it, and then taking a radical step with your life—trying to commit suicide—and failing at that, coming back to the world and having to ‘act normal’ when, in fact, you have been forever changed.” Guest’s work may touch a sensitive nerve in a community that has experienced more than its fair share of depression-induced tragedy, but from Citadel Theatre’s perspective that is exactly why it needs to be addressed once more. “All the suicide prevention literature says that bringing up the topic and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things that you can do,” said Phelps, “if Citadel Theatre can serve as a springboard for important conversations that save lives – that’s not just an Academy Award-winning script – that’s a profound statement about the role of art in the community. Theatre lends itself to an analysis of the human condition; you can be first person present to see what happens as depression hits Conrad and learn from that experience – without having to be depressed yourself. But, this play is not just doom and gloom, it is about what comes out on the other side.” On the other side of the Robert Redford directed movie were many awards and the seed money and artistic clout needed for Redford to found Sundance. For Lake Forest, it brought much attention and injected a brush with stardom into the memories of many residents. Citadel Theatre patron Jim Benton, who in 1980 was a science and photography instructor at Lake Forest High School, took hundreds of photos of the project being filmed. These will be displayed in the Citadel Theatre lobby during the production’s run. ABOUT CITADEL THEATRE Citadel Theatre is one of Chicagoland’s premier live theatres, producing hundreds of performances annually and inspiring audiences for more than 13 years. Founded by Scott and Ellen Phelps in 2002, Citadel Theatre is comprised of its Main Stage performances, its On Tour programs and its conservatory-style Education program. A proud member of the League of Chicago Theatres and the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff ArtsLink, Citadel Theatre offers a unique intimate theatre experience that transports you to another setting and leaves you feeling exhilarated and wanting more. A recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Citadel accepts tax-deductible donations. For more information, ticketing, and to make a donation, please visit Citadel online at www.CitadelTheatre.org or call 847.735.8554. Citadel Theatre is proud to present Judith Guest’s Ordinary People, adapted for the stage by Nancy Gilsenen and directed by Artistic Director Scott Phelps, September 18 – October 18 at . Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Rd. Press are invited to the final preview Thursday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. or the opening at 8 p.m. Sept. 18. Tickets available online or over the phone. Discounts available for seniors, students, theatre industry professionals and groups.