World Premiere

When shy but clever Fanny Price is sent away by her impoverished parents, she must adapt to life as the poor relation at her aunt and uncle’s wealthy estate. But Fanny soon learns that beneath the glitter of wealth and status, people aren’t always what they seem. Playwright Kate Hamill, known for her acclaimed adaptations of Sense and Sensibility and Vanity Fair, brings her unique sense of playfulness and theatricality to Austen’s classic tale of the clash between love and conscience.

at Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077

This production is made in part by:


by Hedy Weiss
November 19, 2018

Highly Recommended

‘Mansfield Park’ a Sparking Reminder of Why Jane Austen Endures

Watching Northlight Theatre’s luminous world premiere stage version of “Mansfield Park,” Jane Austen’s third published novel (which was ignored by critics when it arrived in 1814, but became the most successful of her books during her lifetime), it was impossible not to wonder what the writer might make of her enduring cult status among 21st century audiences.

So much has changed in terms of the status of women since she penned the novel. But human nature has remained the same. And Austen’s acute observations on social class, romantic attraction, marriage, family, ethical versus pragmatic choices, self-destructive behavior, hypocrisy and the importance of self-knowledge continue to ring true. So does her wit and sarcasm, and the pre-Dickensian quality of her brilliantly limned characters. In addition, and unique to this particular work, there is Austen’s understanding of the pernicious wealth built on slavery. (Athough outlawed in England in 1772, the slave trade continued on into the 19th century.)

The new production now at Northlight is the fleet work of actress and playwright/adapter Kate Hamill, who previously devised plays based on Austen’s other great novels – “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility” – and who here plays several roles. And under the razor-sharp, fast-paced direction of Stuart Carden, a superb cast and design team do the rest to set it all in motion, with Yu Shibagaki Taylor’s elegant Regency-era architectural backdrop and wheeled furniture (lit by Christine A. Binder), as exuberantly “choreographed” as Steph Paul’s brilliant dance sequences, and enhanced by Andrew Hansen’s exuberant incidental music and Izumi Inaba’s lavish costumes.

Read the full review



by Jack Helbig
November 21, 2018

Highly Recommended

Northlight Theatre finds the radicalism in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park

Kate Hamill describes her version of Jane Austen’s 1814 novel about poor but amiable Fanny Price and her coming of age among her wealthy relatives at the well-appointed Mansfield Park as more than an adaptation. She calls it a “collaboration between myself and the author.” This is not mere Austenophilia. Hamill (who also plays three roles in the production) keeps Austen’s characters, and her basic plot, more or less intact—Fanny remains steadfast and true, despite all distractions and temptations to do otherwise. But Hamill heightens the drama. Fanny’s aunt Lady Bertram, for instance, is revealed to be an opium addict, and the story’s sexual undercurrents are much more obvious onstage than in the book. As is the most controversial element of the novel, the fact that the magnificent Mansfield Park was paid for with profits from the slave trade in the Caribbean.

There is a passing reference to this in Austen’s novel, but Hamill makes it a major focus of her adaptation. At one point Fanny’s beloved cousin Edmund shows his moral superiority by lamenting loudly that “we are all beneficiaries of that system [slavery].” Hamill’s changes may shock purists, but they provide a welcome respite for those of us who get a little irritated by the bubble of privilege Austen’s characters frolic in.

Stuart Carden’s energetic production unfolds gracefully, thanks in no small part to his excellent cast. Kayla Carter’s performance as Fanny balances well her character’s charm and amiability with the need to provide a sound moral center to the story. Carter’s Fanny, like all Austen heroines, is no pushover. Likewise, Heidi Kettenring provides fire and steely backbone as Mrs. Norris, Fanny’s martinet of an aunt. All of this plays out on Yu Shibagaki’s simple, elegant, infinitely practical set.

Read the full review


Anu Bhatt

MariaH Bertram/Susan Price

Nate Burger

Henry Crawford/John Price

Nate returns to Northlight where he previously appeared as Lt. Kelly in Butler. Select Chicago and regional credits include Love’s Labor’s Lost, The Heir Apparent, SS! A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chicago Shakespeare); The Liar (Writers); Wasteland, ‘Master Harold’…And The Boys (Timeline); A Christmas Carol (Goodman); The Man Who Was Thursday (New Leaf Theatre); Red (Forward Theater Co); Shakespeare In Love, Roe (Asolo Rep). He is a core company actor with American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI, where some favorite roles over 8 seasons include 2nd Lt. Ralph Clark, Plume, Mercutio, Cassio, Orpheus, Troilus, and Claudio, amongst many others. Thanks to Mom, Dad, Erin, Nora, Alicia Pursley, Kara Ussery, and Laura, always. He is a proud graduate of Loyola University Chicago.

Kayla Carter

Fanny Price

Kayla is thrilled to be making her Northlight debut. Other Chicago credits include Smart People (Writers) and work with The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, Artemesia, and Victory Gardens. TV: Chicago Med, APB. Film: the upcoming independent feature Knives and Skin. She is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  As always, for Ellis.

Kate Hamill

Mary Crawford/Lady Bertram

Curtis Edward Jackson

Tom Bertram/Mr. Rushworth/William Price

Curtis makes his Northlight debut. Chicago credits include The Gentleman Caller (Raven); Eden Prairie, 1971 (Goodman, New Stages); Hand to God (Victory Gardens); How the World Began (Rivendell Ensemble); Brilliant Adventures (Steep); Men Should Weep, Letters Home (Griffin Theatre); Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) (Jackalope); A Splintered Soul (ARLA Productions); and Good Boys and True (Kokandy Productions). Regional credits include King Charles III (Cardinal Stage Company); Other Desert Cities (Farmer’s Alley Theatre); Richard III, Twelfth Night (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre). TV/Film: Chicago P.D., Teacher, The Falls: Covenant of Grace. Curtis is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. He is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Heidi Kettenring

Mrs. Norris/Mrs. Price

Wicked in Chicago (Nessa) as well as work with Northlight, Paramount, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Writers, Marriott Lincolnshire, Court, Drury Lane (Oakbrook and Evergreen Park), Theatre At The Center, Porchlight Music Theatre, Chicago Commercial Collective, and American Theatre Company. Regional: Indiana Repertory, Fulton, Maine State Music Theatre, TheatreWorks Palo Alto, Peninsula Players, Clarence Brown, and Hangar. National Tours: Disney’s Beauty And The Beast. Film and television: Man Of Steel, Chicago Fire, and Cupid. Karen Carpenter concert with Artists’ Lounge Live. Joseph Jefferson Award, 9 Jeff
nominations, the Sarah Siddons’ Chicago Leading Lady Award, an After Dark Award, the Richard M. Kneeland Award, and two Broadway World Awards. BS in Speech from Northwestern University.

Mark Montgomery

Sir Thomas Bertram/Mr. Price

Mark returns to Northlight where he appeared in DiscordOutside Mullingar (Jeff nomination, Best Actor), As Bees in Honey Drown and Experiment with an Air Pump. Other select Chicago credits: 2666Rapture, Blister, BurnCamino Real and Stage Kiss (Goodman); Hedda Gabler, The Letters, Buried Child and The Scene (Writers); Agamemnon, Iphigenia in Aulis, and M. Butterfly (Court) and productions with Chicago Shakespeare, Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf, Journeymen and Remy Bumppo among others. New York credits: Mamma Mia! (Broadway), Our Town (Barrow Street), Macbeth (Public). Regional credits: Julius Caesar (American Repertory) as well as the show’s French tour. Television: Law & Order, Chicago Fire and Empire.

Gabriel Ruiz

Edmund Bertram

Gabriel returns to Northlight where he previously appeared in Cry It Out. A proud ensemble member of Teatro Vista, select Chicago credits include You Got Older, The Rembrandt, The Way West (Steppenwolf); Native Gardens (Victory Gardens); Agamemnon, Man in the Ring (Court); Arcadia, Company (Writers); City of Angels, Singin’ in the Rain (Marriott); The Upstairs Concierge (Goodman); The Wolf at the End of the Block (Teatro Vista); Creditors (Remy Bumppo); Working: The Musical (Broadway Playhouse); Richard III (Chicago Shakespeare) and Arabian Nights (Lookingglass). His regional credits include Native Gardens (Cincinatti Playhouse), Harvey (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), Blood and Gifts (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York). He has composed music and lyrics for Don Chipotle performed at DCASE, Epic Tale of Scale (Chicago Children’s Theater) and Vietgone (Writers). He has appeared on television in Boss, APB, Electric Dreams, Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, and Chicago PD.

Production Team

Kate Hamill


Stuart Carden


Chicago: The Old Man and The Old Moon, Yellow Moon, Hesperia, Travels with my Aunt (Writers); The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Frederick (Chicago Children’s Theatre); The Merchant on Venice by Shishir Kurup, Golden Child, Back of the Throat, 10 Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith (Silk Road Rising). Regional: The Old Man and The Old Moon (Williamstown Theatre Festival, New Victory – NYC, ArtsEmerson – Boston); Tribes (Philadelphia Theatre Company & City Theatre);Oblivion, Blackbird, Mary’s Wedding, The Moonlight Room (City Theatre); Circle Mirror Transformation, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Crime and Punishment, The Lieutenant of Inishmore (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); The Pillowman, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The False Servant, Stones in his Pockets (PICT). Stuart served five seasons as associate artistic director at Writers from 2009-14 and two seasons at City Theatre from 2007-2009.

Yu Shibagaki

Scenic Design

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.

Christine A. Binder

Lighting Design

Christine has designed for Writers, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Court, Lookingglass, Geva Theatre, and the Joffrey Ballet among others.  Her opera designs include work at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theatre, San Diego Opera, New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Houston Grand Opera.  Recent designs include: Mansfield Park (Northlight), A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Steppenwolf), and Onegin (Canadian Opera Company and Washington National Opera). Upcoming productions are: The Agitators (Alabama Shakespeare); The Last Match (Writers); Her Honor Mayor Jane Byrne, Lookingglass Alice (Lookingglass); and Onegin (Seiji Ozawa Festival/Matsumoto, Japan). Ms. Binder has been nominated for Joseph Jefferson Awards for her work with Court, Northlight, and Lookingglass.  She is an Artistic Associate with Lookingglass and Head of Lighting at The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Andrew Hansen

Sound Design

Andrew returns to Northlight where he previously collaborated on DiscordFunnyman, Outside Mullingar, White Guy on the Bus, Tom Jones, Stella & Lou, The Outgoing Tide, She Stoops to Conquer and Mauritius. Andy is an Associate Artist at TimeLine where he has been designing since 1999.  Regionally he has composed for American Players, Indiana Rep, Summer Shakespeare at Notre Dame and Montana Shakespeare in the Parks.

Steph Paul

Movement Director

Steph is a Chicago based Choreographer/Director/Performer/Educator who creates to affirm the visual, sonic, and storytelling power of all bodies and all people. She serves as a Resident Director of Albany Park Theater Project and Artistic Associate of Chicago Dance Crash. Theater credits include Short Shakespeare! Romeo + Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare); Last Stop on Market Street (Chicago Children’s Theatre); In the Red and Brown Water (Northwestern University); Ofrenda, Learning Curve, Feast (Albany Park Theater Project). Regional theater credits include The Wolves (Studio Theatre), The Royale (City Theatre, Repertory Theater of St. Louis). Next up, Steph’s work will be featured in Richard III at Shakespeare Theater Company. She is a 2017 3Arts Make a Wave grantee and a proud alum of Northwestern University.

Eva Breneman

Dialect Coach

Eva is a voice and text coach based in Chicago. Recent Chicago credits include Nell Gwynn (Chicago Shakespeare), Lady In Denmark (Goodman), The Doppelganger (Steppenwolf), Plantation! (Lookingglass), Master Class (Timeline), The Belle of Amherst (Court Theatre). Regional: Four seasons with American Players Theatre; Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The Who and the What, Always Patsy Cline (Milwaukee Rep); Love’s Labour’s Lost (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville); The Woman in Black (US Tour); Around The World In 80 Days (Baltimore Center Stage/Kansas City Repertory) and Mamma Mia! (National Tour/Las Vegas). Television: Empire, Betrayal, The Chicago Code. Eva is an associate artist at TimeLine Theatre Company.

Vahishta Vafadari

Associate Dialect coach

Kimberly Ann McCann

Production Stage Manager

Kimberly is excited to be returning to Northlight Theatre. Her Northlight credits include Book of WillMiss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, You Can’t Take it With You and Civil War Christmas. Chicago credits: Having Our SayA View from the Bridge, Objects in the MirrorGloria, and Wonderful Town (Goodman) and Million Dollar Quartet. Broadway: Curtains. Off-Broadway credits: Bill W. and Dr. BobHow to Save the WorldJohn Ferguson. Regional: Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Skylight Music Theatre, and Milwaukee Rep. Other credits include Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and numerous productions at The Juilliard School. Kimberly is a proud member of Actors Equity.

Kate Ocker

Assistant Stage Manager

Kate is thrilled to be working at Northlight Theatre. Kate is a Chicago based stage manager and has worked for such companies as American Blues Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Court, Goodman, The Great River Shakespeare Festival, Resident Ensemble Players, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma City Ballet. Kate is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

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OPEN CAPTIONING – Mansfield Park, December 8, 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).