February 2 – 11, 2018
Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Lee Hannah Conrads
With potent images of disturbing injustices, Vinegar Tom uses a seventeenth-century witch hunt to condemn the past and present oppression of women. Caryl Churchill shows how marginalized women, who did not fit into the narrow social categories of the patriarchy, were often labelled witches for little reason other than their non-conformity.
Alice sleeps with a man she does not know. Her mother Joan owns an old cat, and curses when her neighbors are cruel to her. Betty does not want to marry the man she is supposed to. Susan doesn’t want to be pregnant. These women are subjected to the humiliating investigations of doctors and witch hunters, and forced into self-loathing and panic and hatred. The play is striking beyond its historical setting in its depiction of women’s subjugation and repression. Layered with original Weimar-era style cabaret performances as contemporary commentary, the play strikes a hauntingly familiar chord with today's political and cultural movements for gender equality and social justice.
Please be advised this production contains fog/haze, strong language and disturbing content that includes the depiction of sexual violence.
17th-Century Witchcraft and 1970s Feminism
Friday, Feb. 9, following the 7:30 p.m. performance
Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive
Northwestern faculty and members of the “Vinegar Tom” artistic team participate in a post-show discussion of the play that will touch on themes of witchcraft, expectations of femininity and persecution of women in 17th-century England. The panel features Lydia Barnett, assistant professor in the department of history; Tracy C. Davis, Barber Professor of Performing Arts, professor of theatre, English and performance studies; Lee Hannah Conrads MFA directing candidate; and production team and cast members. The panel is moderated by Rosie Roche, Northwestern Arts Circle manager.
Caryl Churchill (Playwright) is a prolific feminist playwright having written OWNERS, OBJECTIONS TO SEX AND VIOLENCE, LIGHT SHINING IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, VINEGAR TOM, TRAPS, CLOUD NINE, THREE MORE SLEEPLESS, TOP GIRLS, FEN, SOFTCOPS, A MOUTHFUL OF BIRDS with David Lan, SERIOUS MONEY, ICECREAM, MAD FOREST, LIVES OF THE GREAT POISONERS with Orlando Gough and Ian Spink, THE SKRIKER, THYESTES translated from Seneca, HOTEL with Orlando Gough and Ian Spink, THIS IS A CHAIR, BLUE HEART, FAR AWAY, A NUMBER, a new version of Strindberg’s A DREAM PLAY, DRUNK ENOUGH TO SAY I LOVE YOU?, SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN, A RING A LAMP A THING an opera with Orlando Gough, LOVE AND INFORMATION, DING DONG THE WICKED, HERE WE GO, and ESCAPED ALONE.
Lee Hannah Conrads (Director) is a Midwest-based director pursing her MFA at Northwestern. Previous directing credits include IF WE WERE BIRDS and THE NAKED I: INSIDES OUT (20% Theatre Company Twin Cities), TRESTLE AT POPE LICK CREEK (Carleton College), as well as NO EXIT, MEDEA and WINTER HOUSE for her fledgling company The Amber Bastards. She has assistant directed in Chicago at Steppenwolf and Northlight, and in Minneapolis at Ten Thousand Things, Mixed Blood, and the Playwright’s Center. Previously at Northwestern, she directed THE BURIAL AT THEBES, Seamus Heaney’s translation of ANTIGONE. Next, she’ll leave behind new versions of classic plays to return to her roots as a director of the bizarre and feminist with Caryl Churchill’s VINEGAR TOM in the Wirtz Center Mainstage Season. In what remains of her spare time she is trying to develop a hobby.
Scenic Designer: Michelle Lilly
Costume Designer: Raquel Adorno
Lighting Designer: Anthony Forchielli
Sound Designer: Stephen Ptacek
Original Music: Diana Lawrence
Fight Choreographer: Chloe Baldwin
Dramaturg: Hayana Kim
Stage Manager: Ginanna Petrosino
Friday, February 2 at 7:30PM
Saturday, February 3 at 7:30PM
Sunday, February 4 at 2:00PM
Thursday, February 8 at 7:30PM
Friday, February 9 at 7:30PM
Saturday, February 10 at 7:30PM
Sunday, February 11 at 2:00PM
Seniors (62+) $22
Area Educator $22
NU Faculty/Emeritus/Staff $20
Full-Time Student $10
NU Student $6/Adv. $10/Door
Tickets are nonrefundable after final purchase.
Exchanges are available. An exchange fee of $3.00 is applied per ticket.
This production of “VINEGAR TOM” is part of Chicago Theatre Week 2018, celebrating the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago. Returning for the sixth year, Chicago Theatre Week 2018 will be held February 8-18 and will include value-priced tickets to more than 120 shows. Visitors and residents will again have the opportunity to sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout Chicagoland.
CTW Tickets for “VINEGAR TOM” are $15 each with the code CTW2018 when you purchase.
Tickets are valid for performances Feb 8 – 11 only.
Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres with support from Choose Chicago.