World Premiere

A newly hired au pair named Chelle is thrust into the midst of a mystery when the sudden disappearance of a young boy casts suspicion on her and the boy’s wealthy parents. The parents are seeking answers – and possibly revenge – while Chelle is hatching a dangerous scheme of her own. No one is exactly who they seem to be in a taut psychological thriller that asks who we can trust… if we can trust anyone.

at Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077

“An intense affair, masterful plotting… the less you know in advance about what happens, the better!”

Chicago Tribune


How A Boy Falls fills the stage with psychological textures. Dietz’s script pulls us into the psychological thriller like an Artful Dodger who keeps us guessing.”

Picture this Post


“Taut and tight theater and great story-telling. ‘How A Boy Falls’ will amaze and astound you.”

Around the Town Chicago


Tim Decker


Tim returns to Northlight after appearing in City of Conversation. Other notable work includes Hamlet, Mary Stuart, Romeo and Juliet ( Chicago Shakespeare); Spill (Timeline); Stop.Reset (Goodman); Million Dollar Quartet (Apollo Theatre); Peoples Temple, Dark at the Top of the Stairs (ATC); Complete History of America Abridged (Noble Fool); All My Sons (Milwaukee Rep); Toys in the Attic (Lead Actor-Jeff Award, American Blues). Film: Slice, Later Days, Thrill Ride, Bad City, Uncle John, and Ash. TV: Chicago Justice, Empire, Chicago Fire, Boss, Detroit 187, Turks, Cupid and online work with The Onion.

Michelle Duffy


Michelle Duffy (Miranda) Northlight: Blues in the Night, Quilters, and Hedda Gabler. Other Chicago credits include First Wives Club (Oriental); Cry, The Beloved Country, Riverview, Vivisections from the Blown Mind (Goodman). Broadway: Leap of Faith. Off-Broadway: Heathers, The Musical (New World Stages). Regional: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Guthrie); Sweat (Pittsburgh Public); Other Desert Cities (Rubicon Theater); Getting the Band Back Together (George Street Playhouse); Next to Normal (Farmers Alley Theatre); Legacy of Light (Cleveland Playhouse); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Milwaukee Rep); A Streetcar Named Desire (American Conservatory Theater); Suddenly Last Summer (Berkeley Rep); MASK, Can-Can (Pasadena Playhouse); The Boswell Sisters, Some Lovers (Old Globe); among others. Select TV/Film: Succession, The Night of, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Elementary, The Closer, The Hudson Tribes, The Haunting Hours, and Pitching Tents. Proud member of Actors’ Equity.

Travis A. Knight


Travis is happy to be making his Northlight Theatre debut. He is a proud member of the artistic ensemble at A Red Orchid Theatre where he has appeared in Small Mouth Sounds and Grey House. Other credits include: The Crucible (Steppenwolf); Ah, Wilderness!, Christmas Carol, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, Measure for Measure, and Camino Real (Goodman); Camelot (Drury Lane); The Brothers Size (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre); and A Streetcar Named Desire (Uprooted Theatre). He also spent five seasons at American Players Theatre appearing in The Tempest, Glass Menagerie, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Richard III. TV and web series: Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, Mind Games, and Dad Man Walking. Film: Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party and Runner.

Sean Parris


Sean returns to Northlight where he was previously seen in Curve of Departure and 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.

Cassidy Slaughter-Mason


Cassidy is a Chicago based artist by way of Portland, OR. Recent regional acting credits include Kiss (Haven Theatre), Killed a Man (Joking) (The Sound Theatre/First Floor); Natural Affection (Eclipse Theater); Significant Other (Theatre Wit/About Face Theatre); Scapegoat (New Colony); Rapture Blister Burn (Goodman, Jeff nominated for supporting actress); Animal Farm (U/s for Steppenwolf for Young Adults). Film and TV credits include: Later Days, Mixtape, Chicago Fire, APB, Easy, Mom and Dad. Cassidy is a co-creator of the OTV web series The Exquisite Corpse, a founding ensemble member of One Year Chekhov, and a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf. She is represented by Paonessa Talent.

Production Team

Steven Dietz


Northlight: Lonely Planet (world premiere). Recent Chicago: Bloomsday (Remy Bumppo), On Clover Road (American Blues), Mad Beat Hip & Gone (Promethean). Recent Premieres: This Random World, Dracula: Mina’s Quest, The Great Beyond and The Ghost of Splinter Cove. Off-Broadway: Fiction (Roundabout Theatre Company). Regional: Thirty-plus plays and adaptations produced at America’s most prominent resident theatres. International: Productions in over twenty foreign countries. Translated into a dozen languages. Awards: Steinberg New Play Citation (Bloomsday); Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award (Fiction, Still Life with Iris); PEN USA West Award in Drama (Lonely Planet); Edgar Award® for Best Mystery Play (Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure). Other: In 2019, Dietz was once again named one of the 20 most-produced playwrights in America. He currently serves as a Dramatists Guild “Traveling Master” – teaching workshops in playwriting, story-making and collaboration around the country. He and his wife, playwright Allison Gregory, divide their time between Seattle and Austin.

Halena Kays


Select Chicago credits include: Endgame, Ivywild, Six Characters in Search of an Author (The Hypocrites); The Magic Play, Feast as part of a collaborative directing effort with The Albany Park Theatre Project (Goodman); Lord of the Flies (Steppenwolf); On Clover Road (American Blues Theater). Halena is an Artistic Associate with the Neo-Futurists where she directed Comfortable Shoes, Pop/Waits, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Burning Bluebeard, Daredevils, Daredevils Hamlet and Fake Lake. Regional: The Magic Play (The Olney Theater Center, Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Portland Center Stage and Syracuse Stage), Love Song (Nashville Story Garden), and Secretary (Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works Festival). Halena has been nominated for Jefferson awards for Best Supporting Actress, Best Direction, and Best Production and is a recipient of the prestigious 3Arts award. She is an assistant professor at Northwestern University and proud member of SDC.

Lizzie Bracken

Scenic Design

Lizzie is delighted to be designing at Northlight for the first time. Chicago Credits include The Magic Play (Goodman); Lord of the Flies, The Book Thief, Blacktop Sky, and See What I Wanna See (Steppenwolf); Burning Bluebeard (The Ruffians); On Clover Road (American Blues); Endgame, Ivywild and Six Characters in Search of an Author (The Hypocrites); PopWaits and 44 plays for 44 Presidents (The Neo-Futurists). Regional Credits include Breath of Life (Portland Center Stage); The Magic Play (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Portland Center Stage, and Olney Theatre Center). Lizzie received her Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame, and MFA in Theatrical Design from The University of Texas and Austin.

Izumi Inaba

Costume Design

Northlight: The Mousetrap, You Can’t Take It With You, Charm, Faceless, The Mother of the Maid, Mansfield Park, How A Boy FallsRegional: Dishwasher Dreams (Writers Theatre, Hartford Stage), Fahrenheit 451 (Indiana Repartory Theatre); Million Dollar Quartet Christmas (Evan Bernardin Productions, The Phoenix Theatre Company); Pride and Prejudice (Long Wharf Theatre); King of The Yees (Goodman Theatre, Kirk Douglas Theatre); Cambodian Rock Band (Victory Gardens Theater, City Theatre Company, Merrimack Repertory); The Who And The What (Milwaukee Rep); Animal Farm (Milwaukee Rep, Baltimore Center Stage); Other credits: Animal Farm, The Crucible, We Are Proud To Present…, The Constellations, A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); An Issue Of Blood, The House That Will Not Stand, A Wonder In My Soul, If I Forget (Victory Gardens Theater)Smart People, A Doll’s House (Writers Theatre); Harvey, Titanic (Court Theatre). Affiliations: United Scenic Artists USA-829. Educa­tion: M.F.A. in Stage Design, Northwestern University.

Jason Lynch

Lighting Design

Rick Sims

Sound Design

Rick has composed and designed sound for numerous Chicago-area theaters, including Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Northlight, Congo Square, Writers, Lifeline, Griffin, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Court, American Blues, Victory Gardens and Steep. Regional credits include Arena Stage and Roundhouse Theatre in Washington D.C., Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, South Coast Rep in Southern California, The Getty, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia, 2nd Stage and Playwrights Horizons in New York City, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Portland Playhouse. He is an artistic associate of Lookingglass, an artistic affiliate with American Blues and is currently composing music for The Thanksgiving Play at 2nd Stage Theatre on Broadway. Sims won a Jeff Award for sound design for Lookingglass’ Moby Dick, Frankenstein, and Hepheastus, and a BTA award for Congo Squares Brothers In the Dust. Sims also wrote the book, music and lyrics for Lookingglass Hillbilly Antigone.

Tanya Palmer

Production Dramaturg

Tanya is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance at Indiana University. Prior to joining the faculty at IU, she was the Director of New Play Development at the Goodman Theatre where she curated and produced New Stages, the theatre’s annual new play festival, and served as the production dramaturg on a number of world premieres including Dana H. by Lucas Hnath; an original adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 written and directed by Seth Bockley and Robert Falls;  and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ruined by Lynn Nottage. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, she holds an MFA in Playwriting from York University in Toronto.

Rita Vreeland

Production Stage Manager

Rita Vreeland has been a frequent stage manager at Northlight since 2007, with Birthday Candles marking her 42nd production here. Other favorite recent projects include Ernest Shackleton Loves Me at Porchlight Music Theatre, A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane, The Luckiest at Raven Theatre, three years of The Polar Express Train Ride, and productions at Mercury Theatre, Victory Gardens, Route 66 Theatre Company, Theatre at the Center, and The Galway International Arts Festival in Galway, Ireland. She is the proud wife of actor Tom Hickey and mom to ten-year-old Charlie, and this year she celebrated her 22nd anniversary as a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Thank you for supporting live theatre!

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OPEN CAPTIONING – How A Boy Falls, February 22, 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).