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REASONS TO BE HAPPY

Midwest Premiere
by Resident Artist Neil LaBute
directed by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox
The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
Now playing through October 12, 2014

 

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Reasons to be Happy

Profiles Theatre opens its 26th Season with the Midwest Premiere of Reasons to Be Happy by Resident Artist Neil LaBute, directed by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox. The production runs August 22 – October 12, 2014 at Profiles Theatre’s The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway.  

Reasons to Be Happy is the companion piece to Neil LaBute's widely praised, 2009 Tony-nominated reasons to be pretty, a long running hit at Profiles in 2011. Three years after a contentious break-up, Steph and Greg wonder if they can make a fresh go of it. Trouble is, she’s married to someone else and he’s just embarked on a relationship with Steph’s best friend, Carly –a single mom whose jealous ex-husband, Kent, has trouble articulating his feelings. Navigating the rocky landscape of conflicting agendas and exploding emotions isn’t going to be easy for any of them. Reasons to Be Happy, a funny, surprising, and poignant new comedy, explores the choices and sacrifices we make in the pursuit of that often elusive ideal – happiness.

Reasons to Be Happy produced by MCC Theater and directed by LaBute, premiered off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theater in June 2013. The critically acclaimed production, starring Jenna Fisher, received an extended run along with a Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Fred Weller. This marks Profiles Theatre’s eleventh premiere by Resident Artist Neil LaBute. Previous productions include the American premiere of In a Forest, Dark and Deep and acclaimed Midwest premieres of Wrecks, The Mercy Seat and Fat Pig as well as the World premiere of his revised stage version of In the Company of Men, recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Nomination for Best New Adaptation.

"I'm very excited to have Profiles be one of the first companies in the country to take on the second chapter in the Reasons saga,” says playwright Neil LaBute. “They have been such great collaborators over the years and if feels like home to have Darrell and Joe spearheading this effort to bring another of my stories to their stage. Chicago is such an important and vital part of the American theater and I have my own roots deeply planted in that world. I can't wait to have all the artists involved with Reasons to Be Happy tell this story. I am a lucky man indeed."

The cast of Reasons to Be Happy features ensemble member Eric Burgher as Greg along with guest artists Dennis Bisto, Domenica Cameron-Scorsese and Sarah Loveland.

NEIL LABUTE (Playwright) is a Resident Artist at Profiles Theatre and has been working with them since their 2006 production of Autobahn. His World premiere adaptation of his original play and film In the Company of Men (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmakers’ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival) had its debut at Profiles earlier this year and received a Jeff Nomination for Best New Adaptation. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre, London and also attended the Sundance Institute’s Playwrights Lab. His films include Your Friend and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape of Things (a film adaptation of his play by the same title), The Wicker Man, Lakeview Terrace, Death at a Funeral, Some Girl(s) and Some Velvet Morning. LaBute soon makes his television debut with a new series for DirecTV entitled Full Circle. His plays include Bash: Latter-Day Plays, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, Autobahn, Fat Pig, Wrecks, Some Girl(s), Things We Said Today, This is How it Goes, In a Dark Dark HouseThe Break of Noon, In a Forest, Dark and Deep, The Money Shot, Lovely Head and Miss JulieReasons to be Happy, a follow-up to his acclaimed play reasons to be pretty, opened at MCC in May 2013. reasons to be prettypremiered off-Broadway in 2008, receiving three Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Play. It became Neil LaBute’s first play ever to be staged on Broadway when it opened in 2009 and was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Play. LaBute is also the author of several fictional pieces including “Seconds of Pleasure,” a collection of his short stories published by Grove Atlantic.

DARRELL W. COX (Director) is an Artistic Director of Profiles Theatre and most recently directed the Midwest premiere of Cock by Mike Bartlett. Prior to that, he directed last season’s holiday revival and 20th Anniversary productions of Hellcab by Will Kern, the Midwest premiere of Bachelorette by Leslye Headland and the American premiere of The Wonderful World of Dissocia by Anthony Neilson. He directed several works by Neil LaBute including Profiles’ Midwest premieres of This is How it Goes, “Coax” and the titular piece from Things We Said Today and Profiles’ long-running hit, Autobahn. Mr. Cox has also directed numerous productions for Profiles over the years including the Midwest premieres of The Radiant Abyss by Angus MacLachlan and Wonder of the World by David Lindsay-Abaire as well as The Water Engine, How the Other Half Loves and The Twilight Zone: The Series.

The designers for Reasons to Be Happy are Shaun Renfro (set), Claire Chrzan (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original music), and Raquel Adorno (costumes), with Jennifer Kiehl serving as stage manager and Scott Wolf as assistant director.

The cast of Reasons to Be Happy features ensemble member Eric Burgher as Greg along with guest artists Dennis Bisto, Domenica Cameron-Scorsese and Sarah Loveland.

ERIC BURGHER (Greg) is an ensemble member of Profiles and was most recently seen
in Profiles’ Midwest Premiere of The Dream of the Burning Boy by David West Read. Prior to that he appeared in Profiles’ Midwest Premieres of Sweet and Sad by Richard Nelson, Bachelorette by Leslye Headland and A Behanding in Spokane by Martin McDonagh, for which he received a Jeff Award Nomination for Supporting Actor. Eric also appeared in the World Premiere of A Beautiful Spell by Greg Kalleres, with Rare Terra Theatre at the Royal George. Other appearances at Profiles include Jailbait, Fat Pig, Graceland, This is How It Goes, Body Awareness, Kid Sister, “Land of the Dead” as part of Profiles’ Midwest Premiere of LaBute shorts, Things We Said Today, autobahn, The Glory of Living, The Radiant Abyss and Noise. Eric is an Adjunct Faculty member at Columbia College Chicago where he teaches acting.

DENNIS BISTO (Kentis thrilled to return to Profiles where he performed in Hellcab by Will Kern and the World Premiere of the Newly Revised Stage Version of In the Company of Men by Neil Labute. He was most recently seen in the National Touring Production of Letters Home with Griffin Theatre Company. Dennis is a graduate of The New York Film Academy and holds a BA in Theatre from McKendree University.

DOMENICA CAMERON-SCORSESE (Steph) is thrilled to be making her Chicago debut with Profiles Theatre. Her Off-Broadway and regional credits include originating the role of Dolly in Richard Nelson’s Franny’s Way with Playwrights Horizons/Geffen, Tina in Tony and Tina’s Wedding and The Sweepers for Urban Stages, and Ladies of the Corridor with Peccadillo Theatre. Domenica’s film and televsion credits include Open Admissions, Age of Innocence, Bullfighter, Ryan Caulfield: Year One, Film School, A House on a Hill, and Downtown: a Street Tale.

SARAH LOVELAND (Carly) is thrilled to return to Profiles Theatre where she was last seen in The Wonderful World of Dissocia. She makes her way back to Chicago from Los Angeles, where credits include Lazarus Lady at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and several independent films and pilots. Other credits include Design for Living with First Folio Theatre, Love's Labor's Lost with the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, and multiple tours with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks including Macbeth, The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona andAll's Well that Ends Well. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington.

“Mr. LaBute has come up with what may be the most winning romantic comedy of the summer.”

-The New York Times

 

“LaBute explores the tangled relationships and emotions between the same four characters from reasons to be pretty and this time, the characters are paired in different ways. He presents another compassionate examination of the ways people struggle to connect and try to find happiness.”

-Associated Press

 

“LaBute has a keen ear for conversational dialogue in all its profane, funny and inelegant glory.”

-New York Daily News

 

Reasons to Be Happy is a sharp, melancholy, crisply acted look at the roadblocks we put in the way of our fulfillment.”

-New York Observer
Flex PassFlex Pass

Profiles is once again offering its popular FLEX PASS to offer big savings on the exciting new shows for the 2014-2015 Season: REASONS TO BE HAPPY by Neil LaBute, THE CRYPTOGRAM by David Mamet, THE OTHER PLACE by Sharr White, GENIUS by Kate Walbert and an acclaimed premiere to be announced soon! Profiles will also include the seasonal return of HELLCAB by Will Kern. Get a 5 Ticket Pass for $125 or get a 10 Ticket Pass for $200. Save up to $150 off the price at the door and the passes are good for any performance! Tickets can be used in any combination of quantity and date for any production throughout the season with advance reservations by calling the box office at 773-549-1815.

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