Midwest Premiere

William Shakespeare wrote some of the world’s most beloved plays – but without his friends, they may have been lost to history! Follow the members of Shakespeare’s own company as they cunningly navigate the production of the 1623 First Folio. They may not have any money or clear-cut rights to his work, but they’re armed with wit, humor, a deep camaraderie and a passion to preserve the plays that shaped their lives. With the help of their wives and colleagues, two actors set out not only to print a collection, but to uphold a legacy for the world.

From the author of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.

at Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077

“The Book of Will unequivocally announces Gunderson as a playwright with whom to be reckoned. It is, in a word, a triumph.”

- Boulder Weekly

This production is supported in part by:

Calendar for The Book of Will

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Rengin Altay

Rebecca Heminges/Anne Hathaway

Rengin is very happy to be returning to Northlight. Some of her many Chicago credits include Mosque Alert (Silk Road Rising); Women at War (Rivendell); Awake And Sing (Steppenwolf); Gypsy, Macbeth, and The Merchant Of Venice (Chicago Shakespeare); Prelude To A Kiss (Wellington Theater); The Iceman Cometh, A Little Night Music, High Holidays, and Jolly (Goodman); Float (About Face) and numerous staged readings with “The Bernie Sahlins Players.” Regional credits include two seasons with Peninsula Players, Galway Arts Festival, Trinity Repertory Company, Huntington Theater, Madison Repertory Theater, and Milwaukee Rep. Film credits include Stranger Than Fiction, Crush, A Piece Of Eden, and Light It Up. Television and Voice Over credits include Chicago Fire, Sirens, ER, Cupid, The Human Factor, and Yeesha in the MYST computer game series.

Dana Black

Alice Heminges/Susannah Shakespeare

Dana is thrilled to be making her Northlight debut and to work with Jessica Thebus once again. Chicago credits include The Few (Steep), Rolling (Jackalope), Tell Me What You Remember (Erasing the Distance), Abraham Lincoln Was A F@gg@t (About Face; Jeff Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress), Hank Williams: The Lost Highway (American Blues; Equity Jeff for Best Musical), Miss Marx (Strawdog), Rabbit  (Stage Left), After The Revolution (Next), The Count Of Monte Cristo (Lifeline), Baal (TUTA), and This Happy Breed (Timeline). Dana has understudied at Steppenwolf, Goodman and Victory Gardens and is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. She has also appeared on NBC’s Chicago Med and the upcoming POP TV series Hot Date. She is represented by Grossman & Jack Talent and as always, thanks Baude for his love and support.

McKinley Carter

Elizabeth Condell

McKinley is pleased to return to Northlight where she last appeared in [title of show]. Recent credits include Fun Home (Victory Gardens), Parade (Writers), My Way (Theatre at the Center), Deathtrap (Drury Lane Oakbrook), The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes (Mercury), and The Merry Widow and Carousel (Lyric Opera). Other Chicago credits include Road Show, Sunday in the Park with George, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (Chicago Shakespeare); Putting It Together (Porchlight); The Sound of Music and Ragtime (Drury Lane); Turn of the Century, The Visit, and Floyd Collins (Goodman); Winesburg Ohio (Steppenwolf); Into the Woods (Marriott Theatre); James Joyce’s The Dead, Cymbeline and Pericles (Court).

Thomas J. Cox

Ralph Crane

Thomas is happy to be returning to the Northlight, where he last appeared in The Outgoing Tide with John Mahoney and Rondi Reed, directed by BJ Jones, which also traveled to the Galway Arts Festival. Other Northlight productions include Pride and Prejudice and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. As a founding ensemble member with Lookingglass Theatre, he has appeared in many productions since 1988, including Nelson Algren: For Keeps and a Single Day (Joseph Jefferson Nomination, Solo Performance), Old Curiosity Shop (Joseph Jefferson Nomination, Supporting Actor), as Winston Smith in 1984, and as Hook in Peter Pan (a play). He has appeared regionally at Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court, House, Gift, and Milwaukee Rep Theatres. Film/TV: Chicago Fire (NBC), Brotherhood (Showtime), Since You’ve Been Gone (Miramax).

William Dick

Ben Jonson/Edward Dering

William most recently appeared at Northlight in The Odd Couple. Other favorite Chicago plays include House and Garden, The Goat or Who is Sylvia and Moonlight and Magnolias (Goodman); The Merry Wives of Windsor, Cyrano de Bergerac, Henry VII, and The Madness of George III (Chicago Shakespeare); We All Went Down to Amsterdam (Steppenwolf); The Hammer Trinity Marathon (House Theatre); and The Pitmen Painters (TimeLine). William was recently a member of the Asolo Repertory company in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Little Foxes (both directed by Frank Galati), All The Way, The Great Society, and Ah Wilderness!. Film/TV: Oz the Great and Powerful, The Merry Gentleman, Fred Claus, Stranger Than Fiction, The Break-Up, The Company, Chicago P.D., Empire, The Exorcist, Crisis, Chicago Fire, Mob Doctor, and Leverage.

Sam Hubbard


Sam happily returns to Northlight after fight directing White Guy on the Bus and understudying The Whipping Man and 4000 Miles. Recent credits include Cymbeline and The Long Christmas Ride Home (Strawdog), A Loss of Roses and Playboy of the Western World (Raven), The Diary of Anne Frank (Writers), Hamlet and Cymbeline (Michigan Shakespeare Festival), as well as productions with Jackalope, The Factory, Oak Park Festival Theatre and various understudy credits with Writers and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Sam is also a freelance fight director with credits at Court, Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf for Young Adults, Steep and Teatro Vista. Sam is a proud Strawdog Ensemble Member and graduate of Columbia College Chicago. You can see him next in Strawdog’s world premiere of Damascus.

Gregory Linington

Henry Condell

Jim Ortlieb

John Heminges

Jim returns to Northlight after previously appearing in All In The Timing. Select credits include Farnsworth Invention, Of Mice and Men, Guys and Dolls (Broadway); Billy Elliot (1st National); Tartuffe, Candide (Weston Playhouse); Grapes of Wrath (Ford’s Theatre); Hughie, The Homecoming (Gare St. Lazare Players, Paris); M the Murderer (Organic Theatre) and Marriage Play (Merrimack Rep). Chicago credits include Life Sucks (Lookingglass), Scapin (American Blues), Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Man Who Came to Dinner (Steppenwolf). Jim is an Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) best actor nominee. TV and Film credits include Masters of Sex, Bones, The Closer, CSI, Grey’s Anatomy, The Shield, Felicity, Roswell, Magnolia, A Mighty Wind, Flatliners, Latter Days, Drunkboat, Contagion, The Crash, and Inheritance (2017).

Luigi Sottile

Ed Knight/Isaac Jaggard

The Book of Will is Luigi’s Northlight debut! Other Chicago credits include The Tempest, Othello, Shakespeare In Love (Chicago Shakespeare); and Buena Vista (Steppenwolf). Regional credits: Sex With Strangers (Signature Theatre DC); Zombie: The American (Woolly Mammoth); The Three Musketeers, Much Ado About Nothing (Utah  Shakespeare Festival); Angels In America Parts I & II, In the Next Room Or The Vibrator Play, Leaving (Wilma Theater); The Three Sisters, Cyrano (Arden Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Rep); The Two Gentlemen Of Verona, Troilus And Cressida (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival); An Ideal Husband (Walnut Street Theatre); Seminar (Philadelphia Theatre Company); Nathan the Wise, Cherry Orchard (People’s Light & Theatre); The Lonesome West, Hothouse, The School For Wives, The Government Inspector (Lantern Theater); and The Mystery Of Irma Vep (Act II Playhouse).

Austin Tichenor

Richard Burbage

Austin is thrilled to make his Northlight debut. Chicago credits: In The Garden (Lookingglass), Merchant of Venice (Back Room Shakespeare) and The Liar (Writers; u/s). As co-artistic director of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, he’s appeared off-Broadway, in London’s West End, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the White House, and theaters across the country. TV credits include The West Wing, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Felicity, Gilmore Girls, Alias, 24, and The X-Files. Co-author of the illustrated children’s book Pop-Up Shakespeare, Austin co-wrote and starred in William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) (Folger Theatre, 2016), nine other “Complete (abridged)” comedies, and produces and hosts the weekly (since 2006) Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast. Twitter: @austintichenor

Production Team

Lauren Gunderson


Lauren is the most produced living playwright in America for 2016, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Co. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.  Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You, Exit, Pursued By A Bear, and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists (Silent Sky, Bauer) and Samuel French (Emilie). She is a proud Dramatists Guild member. She is from Atlanta, GA and lives in San Francisco. LaurenGunderson.com and @LalaTellsAStory

Jessica Thebus


Jessica is a director of theater and an educator based in Chicago. Past Northlight credits include Shining Lives, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Inherit the Wind and Red Herring. At Steppenwolf, she has directed Sex with Strangers, Intimate Apparel, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, No Place Like Home, When the Messenger is Hot (also at 59 E 59th in NYC) and Sonia Flew. Other favorite projects:  Richard III (The Gift), In the Garden by Sarah Gmitter (Lookingglass); Buzzer by Tracy Scott Wilson (Goodman); Welcome Home Jenny Sutter (Next); As You Like It (Oregon Shakespeare); The Feast: an intimate Tempest (Chicago Shakespeare with Redmoon). She is Director of the Graduate Directing Program at Northwestern University.

Richard & Jacqueline Penrod

Scenic Design

Richard and Jacqueline are very happy to be collaborating once again with Northlight, having previously designed Gee’s Bend, Pride and Prejudice, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Mystry of Irma Vep, At Wit’s End, and Over the Tavern.  Recent designs include: Pygmalion, Northanger Abbey, Love and Information, and The Importance of Being Earnest (Remy Bumppo); Apartment 3A, and Stick Fly (Windy City Playhouse); Nice Work If You Can Get It, Big Fish, and All Shook Up (Theatre at the Center); Richard III (Gift Theatre at Steppenwolf); Mud Sky Blue (Red Orchid); Luck of the Irish and Welcome Home Jenny Sutter (Next); Hank Williams: Lost Highway (American  Blues Theatre); Barnum and The Christmas Schooner (Mercury) and Around The World In Eighty Days (Lookingglass). They have received many nominations and awards for their design work.  Jacqueline is an Associate Professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia College Chicago.  Richard runs the technical theatre program for New Trier High School.

Janice Pytel

Costume Design

Paul Toben

Lighting Design

Rick Sims

Sound Design

Rick has composed and designed sound for numerous Chicago-area theaters, including Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Congo Square theatre, Writers, Lifeline, Griffin, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Hypocrites, House, Court, ATC, Victory Gardens, Raven, Steep, Northlight and About Face. 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, Playwrights Horizons in New York City, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Portland Playhouse. Sims won a Jeff Award for sound design for Moby Dick and Hepheastus (Lookingglass), and a BTA award for Brothers In the Dust (Congo Square). He is an artistic associate of Lookingglass, and artistic affiliate with American Blues. Sims also wrote the book, music and lyrics for Hillbilly Antigone (Lookingglass).

Kimberly Ann McCann

Stage Manager

Kimberly is excited to be returning to Northlight Theatre. Her Northlight credits include Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, You Can’t Take it With You and Civil War Christmas. Chicago credits: A View from the Bridge, Objects in the Mirror, Gloria, and Wonderful Town at 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.

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