For Immediate Release
After the nearly full, full and full to overflowing houses for their last show, the popular Jake’s Women by Neil Simon, Spotlight Theater is excited to announce the opening of their next theatrical offering: All Over, a rarely performed work of emotional drama by one of America’s most thought-provoking playwrights, Edward Albee, three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and multiple Tony Award-winner, including the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. Like much of Albee’s well-respected work (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Delicate Balance, Three Tall Women, The Goat or Who is Sylvia? & The Zoo Story among many more), All Over is an emotionally charged, sometimes intense story filled with provocative ideas and unique, and occasionally volatile, situations.
Albee’s story is deceptively simple on the surface, but filled with great emotional and intellectual depth and complexity. It all takes place in the master bedroom of a famous and immensely successful man who lies dying, literally on his death-bed, while surrounded by his wife, his mistress, his best friend and lawyer, his feckless son and self-absorbed daughter, and attended on by an elderly physician and nurse, while members of the media who have taken over the first floor, hungrily await the latest updates on his condition. As they wait for what seems to be the great man’s inevitable end, his “loved ones” recollect past loves, wage wars new and old, make unexpected alliances, and seek some sort of understanding, fulfillment or closure, until they are given word that it is “all over.”
All Over debuted on Broadway in 1971 in a production directed by John Gielgud, and starring Jessica Tandy as The Wife and Colleen Dewhurst in a Tony Award- nominated performance as The Mistress. Spotlight’s production is being helmed by the company’s president and co-founder Jeff Gamlin who has directed a number of plays in the troupe’s six years of existence, including his original adaptation of Jean Paul Sartre’s No Exit, the very first show Spotlight produced, The Graduate in its first non-equity performance in Illinois, and the first show of this season The Deadly Game among others, and who’s appeared on stage for Spotlight as well, most recently as Jake in Jake’s Women. Gamlin says of his cast for this show “They’re a truly professional and talented group who has worked diligently to interpret the subtle shadings of emotion displayed by Albee’s fascinating characters. This material requires almost pin-point concentration at times and they’ve risen to the challenge admirably. I’m looking forward to seeing audiences’ reactions to their performance of this very unique story.”
The uniqueness of the story is something that attracted Gamlin and Spotlight to this play. Gamlin expounds on that subject saying, “There aren’t many plays that take place in this setting and in this manner, with all the characters essentially confined in one room together with someone who lies dying on his deathbed, unable to leave without being verbally assaulted by the press who wait, almost literally, just outside the door, having taken over most of the rest of the house. Much of the action of the play is a group people sitting around talking, which, on the surface, may not seem very exciting, but their conversations and interactions are bristling with emotional energy as everything is intensified by the approach of the unseen character we all must meet with eventually, death, and by the mixture of relationships involved: wife and mistress vying for control over the dying man’s final arrangements, with the man’s best friend and lawyer throwing his hat in the ring for this conflict as well, mother and children with their damaged and dysfunctional relationships, and so on. And this kettle of tension and emotion is brought to a boil, by their virtual confinement together. They become at times like the caged animal pacing its cage, anxious for release, and lashing out at the other inhabitants of their cage. And some of them are not ‘animals’ one would normally cage together, for fear they might tear each other apart.”
All Over holds other alluring qualities for Spotlight as well. “We try to find material that has not been over-produced, and this show is anything but that,” said Gamlin. “It hasn’t been produced in the Chicago area in many years and the rights are restricted, so not everyone is allowed to produce this show, making our production exactly the kind of rare opportunity we like to offer theatre goers.” He continues, “And more than that; Albee has said he likes to write plays that change the way people look at themselves and their lives, and that is certainly in line with our goals at Spotlight. We want to produce shows that entertain people, certainly, but also that make them think, and perhaps even challenge their way of thinking, encouraging them to open their mind to things they would not have normally. A few of the characters in All Over go through a change, or come to some new, important realization, and if the show can be a transformative experience for the audience as well, we couldn’t be more pleased.”
All Over is being produced in Spotlight’s own newly renovated theater in New Lenox, a venue that has allowed the company to grow in multiple ways big and small: from having complete control over their space which affords them total artistic freedom in regards to the kind of material they produce, as well as allowing them to build more complete, detailed and varied configurations of sets, as the performance space itself can be reconfigured to accommodate different seating arrangements and even a different stage size or shape; down to the small amenities like the ability to offer a more varied selection of refreshments and snacks beyond the typical candy and soda, including warm pretzels and hot pockets, and coffee and tea. For this particular production, Spotlight is offering the added value of a raffle that awards the winners prizes of cash, or gift certificates generously donated by local restaurants.
After All Over is all over, later this month on May 21st and 22nd, Spotlight will be holding auditions for the controversial drama Oleanna by Chicago-born, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, which will be the closer for their sixth season. Audition details can be found on the troupe’s website, Spotlight-Theater.com, or on their Facebook page.
Spotlight Theater Presents…
By Edward Albee
By special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Directed by Jeff Gamlin of Westmont, IL
Assistant Director: Mercy Pattawi of Westmont, IL
Fridays, May 4th & 11th and
Saturdays, May 5th & 12th at 7:30 P.M.
Sundays, May 6th & 13th at 3:00 P.M.
Mother’s Day Special: Bring your mom on May 13th and your ticket and hers are half price!
Buy tickets for All Over now at Spotlight-Theater.com (online purchase fees apply) or reserve them on our 24-hour Ticket Hotline at 708-941-8294!
Two-Show Ticket (Available now!): $24
Gives the purchaser admission to the 2 shows remaining in this season, and are available online at Spotlight-Theater.com or by calling the Ticket Hotline or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and providing the following information: your name, contact number or email address, and number of Two-Show Tickets you wish to purchase; or by sending a check or money order made out to Spotlight Theater along with your name and mailing address to Spotlight Theater 22032 Howell Dr. Suite B, New Lenox, IL 60451. (Dates and times for the other show left in this season listed at the bottom of this document).
The Cast (in order of appearance/speaking):
Carol Stein of Chicago, IL as The Wife
Jeanne Scurek of Aurora, IL as The Daughter
Catherine Thomson of Chicago, IL as The Mistress
Rick Baiker of Chicago, IL as The Doctor
Dan Scurek of Aurora, IL as The Son
Dave Lichty of Bolingbrook, IL as The Best Friend
Phyllis Bierdz of Oak Forest, IL as The Nurse
Jeremy Moats of Naperville, IL as The Photographer
For more info about Spotlight or directions to or information on renting our theater call our hotline at:
Spotlight Theater is a recognized non-profit organization.