Valparaiso actress Angie Shriner has been anticipating her return to the Chicago stage since last October, when she began the casting process for the Shattered Globe Theatre production that concludes its 22nd season with Sally Nemeth's searing drama "Mill Fire."
Directed by Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner, playing April 24 – June 7, at the company's new artistic home Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago, a portion of the cast's prep for rehearsals was a trek to Northwest Indiana to tour the Region's steel mills.
"Northwest Indiana audiences will relate to this story because so many families have connections to the steel mills along Lake Michigan," said Shriner, who attended Valparaiso High School and most recently lived in Buffalo, N.Y. where she appeared in three productions.
"This story is a stirring drama with many emotional moments, including some instances for humor."
Shriner's parents Tom and Pam still live in Valparaiso where Angie's younger brother Ben is a student at Northview Elementary, while their other siblings are in college, with sister Danielle, 18, at Purdue North Central and Jamie, 21, attending Millikin University.
"Mill Fire" also features Shattered Globe ensemble members Rebecca Jordan (returning to Chicago after 10 years), Kate LoConti, Drew Schad and Kevin Viol with Ken Bradley, Daria Harper, Darren Jones and Deanna Reed- Foster.
Set in Birmingham, Ala., circa 1978, the town struggles to mourn the loss of several factory workers in a mysterious accident, as a widow refuses both the pressure to grieve as convention dictates and the blood money offered by the mill's owners. With an ever-shifting temporal landscape that shapes the story through flashback and memory, a Greek chorus of fellow widows (Shriner plays one), and emotionally charged familial subplots. The play was first performed in Chicago in 1989 at Goodman Theatre.
Tickets for previews are $20 and the regular run is $30 with discounts for students at $12, and seniors $25. FYI: theaterwit.org or (773) 975-8150.
Two to finish
This week's update for our local contestants competing in the 2014 Seattle Sutton Slim Down Challenge is for Week 13 of 15 with the group having lost a total of more than 400 pounds with these latest results:
• Annette Walker, 57 of Gary, STARTING WEIGHT: 235, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 31.8
• Jessica Mignard, 31, of Valparaiso, STARTING WEIGHT: 196.6, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 42
• Linda Adams, 46, of Crown Point, STARTING WEIGHT: 204.8, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 21.2
• Lon Saloman, 45, of Valparaiso, STARTING WEIGHT: 269, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 50.6
• Maureen Anleitner, 60, of Chesterton, STARTING WEIGHT: 225, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 21.8
• Michael Adams, 52, of Crown Point, STARTING WEIGHT: 247, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 44.8
• Dr. Michael Perez., 46, of Munster, STARTING WEIGHT: 256, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 62
• Rebekah Cowan, 50, of Valparaiso, STARTING WEIGHT: 181, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 30.6
• Sue Kiefer, 52, of Crown Point, STARTING WEIGHT: 182, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 49.4
• Tim Kreke, 62, of Crown Point, STARTING WEIGHT: 264, WEIGHT LOSS AFTER FIRST 13 WEEKS: 68.