In a cramped motel room in New Mexico, a “ragtag little group of humans” gathers in anticipation of the funeral of a man they loved but did not like. But the dearly departed is not their only concern, as they grapple with the demands of ordinary life and the decisions of an uncertain future. Northlight favorite Mike Nussbaum returns as the patriarch of an unconventional family in this delicate and gently comic drama.

80 minutes, no intermission

at Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077

This production is supported in part by:

Calendar for Curve of Departure

SepSunSep 9
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  • 8:00pm
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Danny Martinez


Danny makes his Northlight debut. As a company member of Jackalope Theatre he has appeared in Exit Strategy, Four, and Long Way Go Down. As an American Players Theatre apprentice he has appeared in Cyrano de Bergerac and Comedy of Errors. TV credits include Chicago PD and South Side. Danny is a Chicago Native with a BA from Columbia College Chicago. He is represented by Stewart Talent.


Mike Nussbaum


Mike returns to Northlight where he previously appeared in RelativityAwake and Sing!Better Late, Grace, and Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie. Curve of Departure marks his 16th appearance with Northlight. As an actor in Chicago for more than 60 years, he was recently seen at TimeLine in Bakersfield Mist and The Price and at the Goodman in the much loved Smokefall by Noah Haidle. According to Actors’ Equity Association, he is the oldest actor still working on stage.

Sean Parris


Sean returns to Northlight where he was previously seen in The Whipping Man. Other Chicago credits include a two man show entitled Space Age with real life intimate partner Ricardo Gamboa (Free Street Theatre); Blues for an Alabama Sky (Court); The Magic Play (Goodman, Portland Center Stage at the Armory, Syracuse Stage); Compass, Animal Farm, The Drunken City (Steppenwolf); and A Girl With Sun in Her Eyes (Pinebox Theatre). TV: Chicago PD (NBC), The Chi (Showtime), and Brujos (OpenTV’s original web series). Sean was born in L.A., raised in Miami and Georgia by his amazing mom, and currently lives in Chicago. Sean received his MFA from Depaul University’s Theatre School, is a graduate of Black Box Acting Academy and is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.

Penelope Walker


Penelope is ecstatic to return to Northlight after previously appearing in Eclipsed, Gee’s Bend, and Bee Luther Hatchee. Other Chicago credits include Black Diamond, The Years the Locusts Have Eaten (Lookingglass); The House That Will Not Stand, No One As Nasty (Victory Gardens); A Christmas Carol, The Story, Crowns, Matchmaker, Gem of the Ocean (Goodman); Love & Information (Remy Bumppo); We’re Gonna Be Okay, The Projects, Agnes of God, Doubt, People’s Temple (American Theatre Company); Will You Stand Up (Erasing the Distance Theatre Company); Seven Homeless Mammoths Wandering New England (Theatre Wit); Love Lies Bleeding (Steppenwolf); 10 Virgins, Voyeurs de Venus (Chicago Dramatists); and The Clink (Rivendell Theatre). She created and performed her own solo show How I Jack Master Funked The Sugar in My Knee Caps. Film/Web/TV: Dubious Ruffians, Olympia: An Instruction Manual for How Things Work, Severed Ties, Flowers, Matching Pursuit, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, and Boss.

Production Team

BJ Jones


BJ is in his 21st season as Artistic Director of Northlight. Mr Jones is a two-time Joseph Jefferson Award Winning actor and a three-time nominated director. He has directed the world premieres of Relativity, Charm, Faceless, White Guy on the Bus, Chapatti, The Outgoing Tide, Better Late, and Rounding Third. Notably he has directed productions of Outside Mullingar, Grey Gardens, The Price, The Lieutenant of Innishmore, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. As a producer he has guided the world premieres of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Shining Lives, The Last Five Years, and Studs Terkel’s ‘The Good War.’ Additional directorial credits include Pitmen Painters (Timeline); 100 Saints You Should Know (Steppenwolf); Glengarry Glen Ross (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta); The Lady with All the Answers (Cherry Lane, New York); Animal Crackers (Baltimore Center Stage); Three Musketeers, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing (Utah Shakespeare Festival), and four productions at the Galway International Arts Festival. As a performer, he has appeared at Northlight, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court and other theatres throughout Chicago. Film/TV credits include The Fugitive, Body Double, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Early Edition, Cupid, and Turks, among others.

Rachel Bonds


Rachel Bonds’ plays have been developed or produced by South Coast Rep, Ars Nova, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Roundabout Underground, Atlantic Theater Company, Studio Theatre, New Georges, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and New York Stage & Film, among others. Her plays include: Curve of Departure (South Coast Rep commission, PPF 2016, Kilroys List 2016); Five Mile Lake (South Coast Rep, McCarter, Weissberger Award); The Wolfe Twins (Studio Theatre, Kilroys List 2015); Swimmers (Marin Theatre Co., Rella Lossy Award, Sky Cooper Prize, Kilroys List 2014); Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP); Alma (Atlantic Theatre Company commission); Firecracker (Kilroys List 2016); At The Old Place (Arden); Michael & Edie (NY Times Critic’s Pick, 2010); Winter Games (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Heideman Award); and Anniversary (EST, Sam French OOB Festival Winner). She is an Alumna of the EST’s Youngblood, Ars Nova’s Play Group and SPACE on Ryder Farm’s Working Farm Writers’ Group.  She was recently named the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright in Residence at Ars Nova.  Current commissions include The Geffen and McCarter.  Bonds is a graduate of Brown University.

Rita Vreeland

Production Stage Manager

Rita is proud to continue her 11th season at Northlight where she is fortunate to have been the stage manager for 29 productions as well as two trips to Galway. Recent credits elsewhere in the Chicagoland area include productions at Theatre at the Center (Munster, IN), Victory Gardens, Route 66 Theatre Company, Goodman, and the annual Christmas Schooner at the Mercury Theater. She is the proud wife of actor Tom Hickey and mom to five-year-old Charlie, and has been a member of Actors’ Equity for over 17 years. Thank you for supporting live theatre!

Lauren Nigri

Scenic Design

Heather Gilbert

Lighting Designer

Heather returns to Northlight where she previously designed You Can’t Take It With You, Mothers and Sons and Faceless. Ms. Gilbert’s lighting designs have been seen on many Chicago stages including Hypocrites, Goodman, Court, Steppenwolf, Steep, Victory Gardens, Remy Bumppo, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Writers, Timeline, About Face and countless storefronts. Regional credits include Oregon Shakespeare, American Repertory, Kansas City Repertory, Milwaukee Repertory, Huntington, Williamstown, Alley, Berkeley Repertory and Actors Theatre of Louisville. International credits include Almeida in London and Singapore Repertory. Heather was a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Grant and the 3Arts Award. Heather serves as the Head of Lighting Design at Columbia College Chicago, and received her MFA at the Theatre School at DePaul. She is a member of The Hypocrites community.

Alexis Chaney

Costume Design

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For our hearing impaired patrons, we offer a Radio Frequency (RF) Headset system.  This two-part system features a radio belt pack and headset, and can be obtained from House Management (ID deposit required).



OPEN CAPTIONING – Curve of Departure, October 13, at 2:30pm
This performance will be open captioned. All seats do not provide a clear view of the captions. Please indicate your need for captioning when purchasing your tickets by phone 847.673.6300 to be seated in the correct area, or use the “Purchase by Seat” option when buying online (select the LEFT section and look for the symbol indicating seats for open captioning).