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

Dana Black

Alice Heminges/Susannah Shakespeare

Dana Black makes her Northlight Debut. Recent Chicago theater credits include The Few (Steep), Rolling (Jackalope), Abraham Lincoln was a F@gg@t (About Face; 2015 Jeff Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress), Hank Williams: The Lost Highway (American Blues; 2014 Equity Jeff for Best Musical), Miss Marx (Strawdog; 2014 Non-Equity Jeff Award for Best New Work – Philip Dawkins), Rabbit (Stage Left), After the Revolution (Next), The Count of Monte Cristo (Lifeline), Bordello (Chicago Dramatists), Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (At Play Productions/Chicago Dramatists) and Baal (TUTA). Dana has also understudied at Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre and Victory Gardens and is a proud graduate of The School at Steppenwolf.

McKinley Carter

Elizabeth Condell

McKinley is thrilled to be making her Northlight Theatre debut. She most recently performed her newest cabaret, “Spring Forward/Fall Back” with the Cabaret With A View series on the Millennium Park Stage. Chicago credits include: Ragtime, Something’s Afoot, Superman, and Elsa in The Sound of Music (Drury Lane); John and Jen (Apple Tree, Jeff Nomination – Best Actress); Turn Of The Century, The Visit, Floyd Collins (Goodman); Forbidden Broadway (Royal George); Winesburg Ohio (Steppenwolf); Into the Woods, A Christmas Carol (Marriott); James Joyce’s The Dead (Court); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, Antony and Cleopatra, and Henry IV (Chicago Shakespeare). Regionally she has worked with First Stage Milwaukee Children’s Theatre, Stage One Family Theatre in Louisville, and has spent several seasons with Peninsula Players in Door County, WI.

Thomas J. Cox

Ralph Crane

William Dick

Ben Jonson/Edward Dering

Chicago credits: Hearts: The Forward Observer (Northlight); Timon of Athens, The Madness of George lll, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, Troilus and Cressida, The Two Noble Kinsmen, A Flea in Her Ear, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice (Chicago Shakespeare); The Pitmen Painters (TimeLine); End Days, Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Next); A Christmas Carol (Drury Lane); Moonlight and Magnolias, House and Garden, The Goat or Who is Sylvia? (Goodman); We All Went Down to Amsterdam (Steppenwolf). Regional credits: Milwaukee Repertory, Michigan Public Theatre, Studio Arena Theatre and Los Angeles Theatre Center. Film: The Company, Ice Harvest, Stranger Than Fiction, The Break Up, The Merry Gentleman, Fred Claus, The Express, and the upcoming OZ-The Great and Powerful.

Sam Hubbard


Sam Hubbard is happy to return to Northlight after understudying 4000 Miles and The Whipping Man and fight directing White Guy on the Bus. Recent credits include Cymbeline, Long Christmas Ride Home, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom (Strawdog Theatre Company); A Loss of Roses, Playboy of the Western World, Brighton Beach Memoirs (Raven Theatre); The Diary of Anne Frank (Writers Theatre); Hamlet and Cymbeline (Michigan Shakespeare Festival); My Name is Mudd (Jackalope Theatre); King Henry IV, Henry V (Oak Park Festival Theatre) and understudy credits for Writers Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Fight direction credits include productions for Court Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight, Strawdog Theatre Company, Steppenwolf for Young Adults (with Ryan Bourque), American Blues Theater, Jackalope Theatre and Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. Sam is a proud Strawdog Ensemble Member and graduate of Columbia College Chicago.

Gregory Linington

Henry Condell

Jim Ortleib

John Heminges

Luigi Sottile

Ed Knight/Isaac Jagard

Luigi makes his Northlight Debut. Chicago credits include The Tempest and Othello (Chicago Shakespeare), and Buena Vista (Steppenwolf). Regional credits include: The Three Musketeers, Much Ado About Nothing (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Zombie: The American (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company); Sex with Strangers (Signature Theatre, D.C.); The Cherry Orchard, Nathan The Wise, Kidnapped (People’s Light); The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival); Three Sisters, Cyrano (Arden Theatre Company); Angels in America Parts 1 & 2, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Leaving, Macbeth, The Breasts of Tiresias (Wilma Theater); An Ideal Husband (Walnut Street Theatre); Seminar (Philadelphia Theatre Company); A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); The Mystery of Irma Vep (Act II Playhouse); The Lonesome West, The School for Wives, The Hothouse and The Government Inspector (Lantern Theater Company). Mr. Sottile received his BA from Temple University.

Austin Tichenor

Richard Burbage

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 Lookingglass productions and many other Chicago area theatres such as Steppenwolf, Congo Square, Writers, Lifeline, Griffin, The House, Court, ATC, Victory Gardens, The Raven, Steep, Northlight and About Face. Out of town credits include Icarus at the Getty in L.A. with Lookingglass and Gary at Boston Playwrights. Rick has won a Jeff Award for lyrics in Hepheastus and a BTAA award for Congo Squares’ Brothers In the Dust, and has received several nominations for both awards. Rick is an artistic associate of Lookingglass Theatre Company and an associate designer with Aria Music Designs (Ray Nardelli and Josh Horvath). Rick also wrote the book, music, and lyrics for Lookingglass’ Hillbilly Antigone.

Kimberly Ann McCann

Stage Manager

Kimberly is excited to be returning to Northlight Theatre. Her Northlight credits include You Can’t Take it With You and Civil War Christmas. Chicago credits: Wonderful Town, Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window and Rapture, Blister, Burn at Goodman Theatre and Million Dollar Quartet. Broadway: Curtains. Off-Broadway credits: Bill W. and Dr. Bob, How to Save the World, John 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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