Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, presents an Interplay reading of Such Small Hands, written by Adam Szymkowicz and directed by BJ Jones. The reading features Tony Award winner and Steppenwolf ensemble member Rondi Reed and Steppenwolf ensemble member Francis Guinan. The virtual reading of Such Small Hands will be presented via livestream on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 6:30pm Central.
Catch a glimpse of this new drama while still in the development process. The 70-minute reading premiere of Such Small Hands will be followed by a live Q&A with the director and playwright. A recording will be available for 96 hours following the premiere. This event is FREE with a suggested donation, but registration is required to receive a viewing link. To sign-up, or for additional details, please visit northlight.org/events/interplay-suchsmallhands.
BJ Jones comments, “I'm so happy to bring our frequent colleagues Rondi Reed and Fran Guinan back to Northlight Theatre's Interplay program, reading Adam Szymkowicz’s touching piece Such Small Hands. Adam deals with the subject of loss and love with such maturity and sensitivity and Rondi and Fran bring the characters to life with their characteristic truth and wisdom. It is a privilege to work with them again.”
This benefit reading is a part of Northlight’s Interplay New Play Development program, providing customized support for new work in the critical stages of early play development. Such Small Hands is produced in association with Kane Repertory Theatre.
The artistic and production team includes Adam Szymkowicz (Playwright), BJ Jones (Director), Sophia Danielle-Grenier (Zoom Coordinator), and Leean Kim Torske (Discussion Moderator). The stage directions will be read by Ellen Campbell.
Support for new play development and this reading, available at no cost to general and student audiences, comes from The Ralla Klepak Foundation for Education in the Performing Arts; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; ComEd, An Exelon Company; BMO Harris Bank; The Sullivan Family Foundation; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; the John R. Halligan Fund; the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; and Evanston Community Foundation.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Adam Szymkowicz’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., and in Canada, England, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Turkey, South Korea, Thailand, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia and Lithuania. His work has been presented or developed at Portland Center Stage, MCC Theater, Ars Nova, South Coast Rep, Playwrights Horizons, LCT3, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Lark, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Primary Stages and The New Group, among others.
Published plays include Deflowering Waldo, Pretty Theft, Food For Fish, Hearts Like Fists, Incendiary, Clown Bar, The Why Overhead, Adventures of Super Margaret, 7 Ways To Say I Love You, Rare Birds, Marian Or The True Tale of Robin Hood, Kodachrome, Mercy and Nerve. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Playscripts, Broadway Play Publishing and Original Works Publishing, and featured in New York Theatre Review, the Dionysian, NYTE’s Cino Nights, Geek Theater, and numerous Smith and Kraus and Applause books.
He was the premiere Resident Playwright at The Chance Theater in Anaheim, CA and the first playwright to participate in Bloomington Playwrights Projects’ Square One Series. He has been to The Orchard Project and to JAW at Portland Center Stage, served twice as Playwright in Residence at the William Inge Center, and twice as a Dramatists Guild Fund’s Traveling Masters. Szymkowicz received two grants from the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, and has been commissioned by South Coast Rep, Rising Phoenix Rep, Texas State University, The NOLA Project, Single Carrot Theater, Majestic Rep, The Chance Theater and Flux Theater Ensemble.
Adam received a Playwright’s Diploma from The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and an MFA from Columbia University where he was the Dean’s Fellow. Szymkowicz is a two-time Lecomte du Nouy Prize winner, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writer’s Guild of America, and was a member of Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer’s Group, the MCC Playwright’s Coalition and of the very first Ars Nova Play Group.
He has interviewed over 1000 playwrights on his blog.
BJ Jones (Director) BJ Jones is in his 22nd season as Artistic Director of Northlight. Mr Jones is a two-time Joseph Jefferson Award Winning actor and a three-time nominated director. He has directed the world premieres of Relativity, Charm, Faceless, White Guy on the Bus, Chapatti, The Outgoing Tide (Jeff Nomination,) Better Late, and Rounding Third. Notably he has directed productions of Outside Mullingar, Grey Gardens, The Price, The Lieutenant of Innishmore, Curve of Departure, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. As a producer he has guided the world premieres of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Shining Lives, The Last Five Years, and Studs Terkel’s ‘The Good War.’ Additional directorial credits include Pitmen Painters (Jeff Nomination, Timeline); 100 Saints You Should Know (Steppenwolf); Glengarry Glen Ross (Susie Bass Nomination, Alliance Theatre, Atlanta); The Lady with All the Answers (Cherry Lane, New York); Animal Crackers (Baltimore Center Stage); Three Musketeers, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing (Utah Shakespeare Festival), and four productions at the Galway International Arts Festival. As a performer, he has appeared at Northlight, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court and other theatres throughout Chicago. Film/TV credits include The Fugitive, Body Double, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Early Edition, Cupid, and Turks, among others.
Francis Guinan (Paul) returns to Northlight where he previously appeared in By the Water, White Guy On The Bus, Stella & Lou, Season’s Greetings and Inherit the Wind. Chicago credits include The Night Alive, The Birthday Party, Time Stands Still, The Book Thief, American Buffalo, Balm in Gilead and Say Goodnight, Gracie (Steppenwolf); The Book of Joseph (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Twist Your Dickens, Pullman Porter Blues and The Seagull (Goodman); A Guide for the Perplexed (Victory Gardens, Jeff Award); and Rantoul and Die (American Blues). He appeared on Broadway in August: Osage County, The Grapes of Wrath and As Is. His television credits include Boss, Eerie, Indiana, ER, Frasier and several Star Trek franchise episodes. Mr. Guinan’s film credits include Abundant Acreage Available, The Last Airbender, Typing, Low Tide and Constantine.
Rondi Reed (Marie) previously appeared at Northlight in The Outgoing Tide opposite John Mahoney. She has been a member of the Steppenwolf Ensemble for 35 years, appearing in over 50 productions at Steppenwolf Theatre, her artistic home, and in Festival productions for Steppenwolf in Australia, Ireland, and the U.K. Rondi is a teacher / director in Chicago and has worked extensively in Regional Theatre, as well as Broadway and Off-Broadway. She is the recipient of several awards for her work, most recently the TONY Award (Featured Actress) for her performance in August: Osage County, written by ensemble member Tracy Letts and directed by ensemble member Anna Shapiro. Rondi was also an original cast member of WICKED (Chicago) as Madame Morrible and reprised her role in the Broadway production. She can also be seen on the hit CBS series Mike & Molly as Peggy and in HBO films, You Don’t Know Jack with Al Pacino and Normal with Tom Wilkinson and Jessica Lange.
Since its inception in 2006, Northlight’s Interplay Program has invested in provocative new works by American and international playwrights, providing customized support in the critical stages of early play development.
Through Interplay, Northlight seeks to serve the specific needs of the play and can provide playwright commissions, workshops with actors, and private or public readings. The public reading series is an instrumental part of the Interplay program, providing audiences the opportunity to participate in a part of the evolutionary process from initial idea to full theatrical production, including first-hand insight from the playwright. Also through the reading series, the playwright has the opportunity to hear audience response that is integral to shaping the play for full production.
As of 2020, Interplay has provided support for 40 new plays, 33 of which have gone on to full productions – some at Northlight and others around the country, including the Goodman Theatre, the Humana Festival, TheatreWorks, and off-Broadway. Four plays have continued on to acclaim at Ireland’s famed Galway International Arts Festival.
That staggering success rate has established Interplay as a valuable incubator for new work in the American theatre, and has helped cement Northlight’s national reputation as an important contributor to the American theatrical canon.
Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community.
Founded in 1974, the organization has mounted over 220 productions, including more than 40 world premieres. Northlight has earned 208 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 36 Awards, as well as ten Edgerton Foundation for New Play Awards. As one of the area’s premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.
Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from Allstate Insurance; the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; BMO Harris Bank; Bulley and Andrews; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; ComEd, An Exelon Company; The Davee Foundation; Evanston Arts Council; Evanston Community Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Full Circle Foundation; John R. Halligan Fund; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Illinois Humanities; Katten Muchin Roseman LLP; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; Margaret and Paul Lurie; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Jackie Mack and More; Colonel Stanley R. McNeil Foundation; Modestus Bauer Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Niles Township; NorthShore University HealthSystems; Northwestern University; The Offield Family Foundation; The Pauls Foundation; PNC Bank; Polsinelli; Ralla Klepak Trust for the Performing Arts; Room & Board; Sanborn Family Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; Skokie Community Foundation; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Sullivan Family Foundation; and Tom Stringer Design Partners.