Profiles Theatre concludes its 26th Season with the Midwest premiere of Our New Girl by Nancy Harris, directed by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus. Acclaimed by critics across Chicago, the production is now playing and has been extended with the original cast through July 19, 2015 at Profiles Theatre’s The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway.
Our New Girl is a startling psychological drama about the darker side of modern parenthood. Behind the shiny door of Hazel Robinson's immaculate London home, things aren't as good as they look. Her plastic surgeon husband, Richard, has embarked on his latest charitable mission to Haiti, leaving the heavily pregnant Hazel to cope with a failing business and a problem son. When a professional nanny arrives unannounced on her doorstep, Hazel finds her home under the shadow of a seemingly perfect stranger, and one who has an agenda of her own.
Our New Girl was just seen in its US premiere at New York’s Atlantic Theater in May 2014 following its sold out, extended run at London’s Bush Theatre in 2012. Nancy Harris, a young writer from Dublin, now living in London, was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn award and Best New Drama at the Irish Theatre Awards in 2012 for her play No Romance. She was also awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature along with the Stewart Parker New Playwright Bursary Award in 2012.
Directed by Profiles Artistic Director Joe Jahraus, the cast of Our New Girl features guest artist Sarah Chalcroft, last seen at Profiles in The Dream of the Burning Boy, as Hazel. The cast also includes guest artists Miriam Canfield, Killian Hughes and Layne Manzer, last seen at Profiles in Assisted Living.
NANCY HARRIS (Playwright) is a playwright and screenwriter from Dublin who lives in London. Her first full-length original commission No Romance opened at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin in February 2011 to rave reviews. She was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2012 along with the Stewart Parker New Playwright Bursary 2012, and the play was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn award and Best New Drama at the Irish Theatre Awards 2012. Our New Girl, her next full-length commission opened at The Bush Theatre’s new venue in January 2012 and the run was extended for a week following strong sales and great reviews. Our New Girl was produced by the Atlantic Theater in New York in 2014. Other theatre work includes Nancy’s free adaptation of Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata (The Gate Theatre, La Mama – New York), her children’s play Philoctetes or The Man With The Disturbingly Smelly Foot (Unicorn Theatre, 2012) and Journey to X (National Theatre Connections 2012). Nancy wrote two episodes of Dates for Balloon Entertainment/C4 featuring Sheridan Smith, Neil Maskell and Andrew Scott which earned her a BAFTA TV Craft Breakthrough Talent Award nomination. Her latest piece for radio, The House on the Hill aired October 2012 on Radio 4 Extra. Nancy has delivered the first draft of her film adaptation of her play Our New Girl for Buckland Productions, the first episode of original drama serial At Schull for BBC N Ireland, a new musical for The Unicorn and a new play commission for the National Theatre. She has completed a new play, Somewhere Out There You. Her short film May Day for the Young Vic based on Happy Days featuring Juliet Stevenson was directed by Natalie Abrahami. Nancy is storylining and writing an episode outline for new television series Cuffs created by Julie Geary for Tiger Aspect/BBC.
JOE JAHRAUS (Director) is an Artistic Director and founder of Profiles Theatre and most recently directed Profiles' Chicago premiere of The Other Place and the 20th Anniversary production of The Cryptogram by David Mamet as well as Midwest Premieres of Gidion's Knot by Johnna Adams, In God's Hat by Rhett Rossi, The Dream of the Burning Boy by David West Read and Sweet and Sad by Richard Nelson. His other directing credits with Profiles include the American Premiere of In a Forest, Dark and Deep by Neil LaBute, the World premiere of Assisted Living by Deirdre O'Connor and the Midwest premieres of Fifty Words by Michael Weller, Jailbait by Deirdre O'Connor, The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute, Great Falls by Lee Blessing, The Thugs by Adam Bock and the World Premiere of Kid Sister by Will Kern. Joe directed the American premiere of Apple by Vern Thiessen and the long-running hit Fat Pig by Neil LaBute for which he received a Jeff Award Nomination for Outstanding Director. He directed the Jeff Award-winning Blackbird, Babylon Gardens, the Jeff Award-nominated Carnal Knowledge and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Joe was the co-director of Profiles' productions of The Water Engine, The Twilight Zone: The Series and How the Other Half Loves.
The designers for Our New Girl are Tyler Reinert (set), Jessica Fialko (lights), Jeffrey Levin and Oliver Hickman (sound and original music) and Raquel Adorno (costumes). The stage manger is Shelby Krarup.
The cast of Our New Girl features guest artist Sarah Chalcroft as Hazel.
SARAH CHALCROFT (Hazel) is an actress and theatre maker from the UK who has recently relocated from London to Chicago to continue her theatrical adventures. She was last seen at Profiles in their Midwest premiere of The Dream of the Burning Boy by David West Read. Sarah holds a First Class honors degree in Contemporary Theatre Practice from De Montfort University, Leicester. She is the Artistic Director of Runcible Theatre in Chicago, an Associate Artist of Bard in the Botanics, a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of sparkleDark Theatre Company, and also sits as an Advisory Board member for Bag & Baggage theatre company in Oregon. As an actress Sarah has worked with companies all over England. She most recently appeared as The Narrator and Ms Crumb in A Christmas Carol at The Goodman Theatre. Sarah is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.
The cast also features guest artists Miriam Canfield, Killian Hughes and Layne Manzer.
MIRIAM CANFIELD (Annie) began her training as a ballet dancer with the Chicago Festival Ballet and the Chautauqua Festival Ballet Company in New York. She earned her BFA from New York University’s Tisch drama program where she studied in the Stella Adler and Classical Studios. Miriam performed in last summer’s Hollywood Fringe Festival and was featured in the Celine Dion/Ne-Yo music video Incredible. She recently appeared in Stephen Cone’s Cinema Lab short film The Young Girls of Preston Hall.
KILLIAN HUGHES (Daniel) is making his Profiles Theatre debut. His Chicago credits include Gypsy at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, A Christmas Carol (Drury Lane Theatre), A Christmas Carol: The Musical (Theatre at the Center), Whistle Down the Wind (Jedlicka Performing Arts Center), The Secret Garden (Edge of the Wood Theatre), Something Wicked: Shakespeare’s Macbeth Re-envisioned (Transcendent Ensemble Theatre Company), and Nine (BAM College Intensive). Killian has appeared in several films, his two most recent being Young Sinatra (Tindell Productions) and Family Meal (Columbia College Chicago M.F.A.), and on the Internet for The Onion. He currently attends fifth grade.
LAYNE MANZER (Richard) was recently seen at A Red Orchid Theatre in Grant Varjas' Accidentally, Like a Martyr, and Cole Theatre’s Ecstasy, by Mike Leigh both directed by Shade Murray. He was last seen at Profiles in the World premiere of Dierdre O'Connor's Assisted Living. Layne was part of the original cast of Hit The Wall with The Inconvenience as part of Steppenwolf's 2012 Garage Rep and the remount in 2014. Other Chicago credits include The Jewels with TUTA Theatre, The Lady's Not for Burning with Theo Ubique, Our Bad Magnet with Mary-Arrchie as well as working with TimeLine Theatre, & Jackelope Theatre. Layne also works as a commercial and film actor in Chicago seen in commercials for Capital One, Blue Rhino, White Castle, Lind-Waldoc, Green Dream Group, and will be in the soon to be released feature film No Resolution and recently released feature film In Between Engagements. Layne attended the School at Steppenwolf in 2009 and earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“Highly Recommended! OUR NEW GIRL is a very slick and involving play by Nancy Harris that always keep you guessing about its intentions. It’s a script I like very much, dealing with pretty much every insecurity parents have about nannies. Director Joe Jahraus' Profiles production is exceptionally well-acted by all four of the performers. Killian Hughes turns in one heck of a scary performance, adding complex notes of sadness and, creepily, pent-up anger. British actress Sarah Chalcroft gives a blisteringly intense and quite sophisticated portrait of a woman under stress and, at its outer edges, it is formidably unsettling. That's nicely contrasted with Layne Manzer's self-ennobling platitudes as the morally righteous, but domestically insupportable, Richard!”
-Chris Jones, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Highly Recommended! Irish playwright Nancy Harris takes the story in an unexpected direction by delving into the housewife’s profound dissatisfaction with motherhood. As the focus of the play shifts, we get an honest and bracing debunking of the myth that all women instinctually find changing diapers fulfilling. In Joe Jahraus’s fast-paced, high-intensity staging, the excellent Sarah Chalcroft plays the unhappy mom like a trapped animal—panicky, prone to lashing out, and radiating indignation from every pore!”
-Zac Thompson, CHICAGO READER
“Highly Recommended! Playwright Nancy Harris knows how to grasp an audience's attention in OUR NEW GIRL, now making a powerful Midwest debut courtesy of Profiles Theatre. Harris incisively explores the different kinds of scarring that can occur when parental instincts stubbornly refuse to kick in and how difficult it is to be caught up in all that. Killian Hughes gives a calculated and creepy performance as Daniel and Sarah Chalcroft is a believably harried and constantly agitated Hazel. Director Joe Jahraus and his fine quartet of actors keep the tension simmering throughout!”
-Scott C. Morgan, WINDY CITY TIMES
“Highly Recommended! This highly empathetic production succeeds on its ability to instill feelings of paranoia, panic and guilt in its audience. As a young actor, Killian Hughes’ presence is focused and undeniably eerie. As his parents, Layne Manzer and especially Sarah Chalcroft invest impressive amounts of energy into swaying Daniel’s emotional state. As the not-so-helpful help, Miram Canfield instills Annie with unknowable depth. There is a dreamlike—or perhaps more appropriately, nightmarish—quality to OUR NEW GIRL achieved through Joe Jahraus’ unobtrusive direction and masterful attention to detail. OUR NEW GIRL is the kind of fully realized work that one has come to expect from Profiles. It is not to be missed by anyone, mothers included!”
-Kevin Greene, CHICAGO STAGE STANDARD
“Highly Recommended! Nancy Harris’ play OUR NEW GIRL is riveting, a chilling mystery filled with suspicion, temptations and resentments. Smartly staged and wisely guided by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus, this production is guaranteed to set audiences on edge. Sarah Chalcroft is superb as Hazel and proves to be a plucky, unyielding protagonist with whom the audience can identify. Miriam Canfield brings a strong, gutsy, determination to her portrayal of Annie. With each scene, the relationship between Hazel and Annie develops further, taking the theatergoer to unexpected places. Layne Manzer is confident and affable as Richard and Killian Hughes nicely conveys a troubled child haunted by problems and concerns that his parents can’t possibly comprehend. In this sensational production, Profiles Theatre presents another stylishly directed, gorgeously designed and honestly acted play that will draw audiences in from the very first mysterious moments!”
-Colin Douglas, CHICAGO THEATRE REVIEW
"Highly Recommended! The script by Nancy Harris is excellent and the ensemble cast is remarkable, in particular Sarah Chalcroft, who gives a layered and honest performance as the oft-frazzled Hazel. An unblinking look at a family torn by its own unrealistic expectations of life, career, and parenthood, OUR NEW GIRL is a must see!"
-Colleen Cottet, EDGE MEDIA NETWORK
“Highly Recommended! OUR NEW GIRL is a riveting two hours of theater with tremendous, soul-baring acting from Sarah Chalcroft and Miriam Canfield. In service of Harris’ carefully-honed script, director Joe Jahraus patiently paces these performances and builds these resentments and conflicts to their ultimate explosions!”
-Tom Lawler, THE FOURTH WALSH
Profiles is once again offering its popular FLEX PASS to offer big savings on the exciting new shows for the 2015-2016 Season: THE JACKSONIAN by Beth Henley, HELLCAB by Will Kern, two separate programs of VICES & VIRTUES by Neil LaBute, JERUSALEM by Jez Butterworth and THE VILLAGE BIKE by Penelope Skinner. 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. Hurry, the new FLEX PASSES will only be available through August 31, 2015.
Our intimate theatre, located just north of Wrigleyville, is conveniently located one block west of Lake Shore Drive, the Red Line at the Sheridan El stop, and numerous bus routes.