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John Henry Roberts as Casimir in Aristocrats.


Photo credit: Chris Ocken



Season 20

Oct 13, 2007–Nov 17, 2007

3829 N. Broadway

In County Donegal in the mid 1970s, the O’Donnell family, a rare example of Irish-Catholic aristocracy, gathers at their family estate on the eve of the clan’s youngest daughter’s wedding. Haunted by memories and secrets, and pressed by an American academic intent on finding the family’s true history, the long-estranged siblings alternately deny and face up to the collapse of their homestead and their personal lives as well.

Brian Friel is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed playwrights, with a body of work that includes Dancing at Lughnasa and Faith Healer. Patterned after Chekhov’s greatest plays, Aristocrats, is one of his finest.

Strawdog Theatre Company … which is celebrating its 20th season, has a reputation that lured me to its production of Aristocrats, Brian Friel’s great 1979 play about a family of Irish Catholics who have sunk from upper-middle-class comfort into desperately shabby gentility. Rarely have my expectations been more satisfyingly surpassed. Strawdog’s Aristocrats is one of those revivals so excellent as to leave a critic with nothing much to do but order you to drop everything and go see it at once.”

— The Wall Street Journal

The show is full of breathtaking performances … Rick Snyder’s astute direction … presents a bittersweet snapshot of a family’s damaged yet hopeful dynamic.”

— New City

Snyder’s precise and fine-spun direction of a Strawdog ensemble once again at the top of its game (Deely’s subtle Judith, Avery’s tense-jawed Alice and Roberts’ loopy and impeccably timed Casimir are particularly satisfying to watch) is clear not just to the eye and ear, but ultimately to the heart.”

— Time Out Chicago

Rick Snyder … elicits both fine ensemble work and exquisitely crafted individual performances.”

— Chicago Sun-Times


Jennifer Avery

as Alice

Jeff Bruce

as Uncle George

Michael Dailey.

Michael Dailey*

as Eamon

Anita Deely

Anita Deely

as Judith

Kyle Hamman.

Kyle Hamman*

as Willie

Tom Hickey

as Tom

Shannon Hoag.

Shannon Hoag*

as Claire

Jack McCabe

as Father

John Henry Roberts.

John Henry Roberts

as Casimir

Creative Team

Brian Friel

Rick Snyder

Emil Boulos
Set Design

Sean T. Mallary
Light Design

Aly Renee Amidei*
Costume Design

Daniel Pellant
Props Design

Gregor Mortis
Sound Design

Eva Breneman

Amber Bel'cher

Erin Carlson
Stage Manager

Maggie Fullilove-Nugent
Master Electrician

Cortney Hurley
Production Manager

* Strawdog Theatre ensemble member