Category Archives: Mrs. Caliban

Jeff nominations & the Streetscape

Glenwood Avenue Arts District dominates the Non-Equity Jeff nominations!

Not only did Lifeline Theatre receive 13 Jeff nominations this year (the most of any company), but near-neighbors BoHo and Theo Ubique received 11 apiece, making us the three companies who received the most nods. BoHo and Theo Ubique are both on Glenwood Avenue, just a block north of us. This is the 4th year in a row that Rogers Park companies have dominated the Non-Equity Jeff nominations. Once again, our block rocks.

Congrats to Lifeline Theatre’s nominees and to the teams of all three shows:

Busman’s Honeymoon (4 nominations)

  • Production (whole team!)
  • Adaptation (Frances Limoncelli)
  • Supporting Actor (Phil Timberlake)
  • Artistic Specialization (Elise Kauzlaric, dialects)

Treasure Island (6 nominations)

  • Fights (Geoff Coates)
  • Scenic Design (Alan Donahue)
  • Light Design (Kevin Gawley)
  • Sound Design (Andrew Hansen)
  • Original Incidental Music (Andrew Hansen)
  • Costume Design (Branimira Ivanova)

Mrs. Caliban (3 nominations)

  • Adaptation (Frances Limoncelli)
  • Sound Design (Joshua Horvath)
  • Actress in a Leading Role (Brenda Barrie)

Neighborhood news… the streetscape has started!

Fasten your seat belts. And plan to arrive early. Though the streets don’t close during this process, we do temporarily lose parking on the stretch that’s being worked on (currently the west side of Glenwood, north of Morse). Street parking is even more competitive as a result. Remember our free shuttle and the designated parking lot at Ravenswood and Morse!

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

Mrs. Caliban Sneak Peek

We had a really fun subscriber/donor event on Sunday.  The theater was swept completely bare and everyone who walked in said, “Whoa! I’ve never seen the space empty before.”   It was a fleeting state, so don’t rush over to see.  Monday morning began the load-in for The Last of the Dragons.  The season marches on!

As usual, we had wine and cheese and other yummies.  We had 30 subscriber/donors attend and we got an unusually intimate peek at the rehearsal process of Mrs. Caliban Ann had the cast performing physical improvisations in pairs, based on three words they’d chosen that characterize their stage relationships.  This was totally fascinating and great fun.  The audience got to guess the relationship words the actors had chosen and the guesses were dead on, which tickled all involved.  Then we heard some scenes read and a lengthy discussion followed.  Many thanks to cast members Peter, Brenda, Jenifer, Dan and Monica, as well as Frances, Ann and Stephanie for allowing us to look inside their process.

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

Au revior, Lord Peter

I’m sitting in the darkened theatre. Voices of designers murmur around me. In the black I can see a few blue-tinted faces as they stare intently into their laptops, almost unblinking, their eyes flicking from screen to stage, screen to stage. In front of me I can make out the skeleton outline of our set, waiting to be brought to life with light, sound and actors. We are about to start technical rehearsals for Busman’s Honeymoon.


As I sit here in the dark, I’m grateful for the efforts of so many people who are working to make my play a reality, and I can’t wait to see the result! On the other hand, this part of the process always marks the end of my participation. Although the actors will be playing these roles for weeks, perhaps months, my job is almost done, and I can’t help but indulge in a little bit of the sadness of letting go. The feeling is especially poignant for me this time, because I’m also saying goodbye to Lord Peter Wimsey, my hard-to-tame hero and muse over 9 years and 4 adaptations; borrowed, of course, from Dorothy L. Sayers.

I may adapt other Sayers books someday, and Lifeline might remount the 4 we’ve already done from time to time, so Sayers fans, don’t despair! However, I’ve spent almost a decade on Sayers, and I feel an inner pull to try something new. I’m excited to begin work on my next adaptation, Mrs. Caliban; a post-modern American fantasy which should completely cure me of my desire for change (and, who knows, may send me running back to Sayers for comfort sooner than I expect).

So, since it’s very possible that I’m saying goodbye for good to Lord Peter, I am feeling nostalgic about him and his lady love, Harriet. How blessed I’ve been to have ensemble members Peter Greenberg and Jenifer Tyler play them over the entire series! I wonder if Jen and Peter will experience their own nostalgia when Busman’s closes. (Perhaps they’ll blog about it…) I know they share my gratitude for the passionate Sayers fans who have supported us over the years. Their devotion and appreciation have made this experience immensely gratifying, and have helped make the series a financial success for Lifeline. Hurray! There’s been so much to celebrate!

I have hope that the plays will be produced elsewhere (check back here for news about a Canadian Strong Poison coming this fall), but at least for now, my love affair with Lord Peter is at an end. I’ll soon be reaching for my thumbed and dog-eared Sayers paperbacks to read with the affection one has for old love letters, to remind myself that I once had a dashing leading man who did my bidding (on the page) and who gave me much joy.

Au revoir, Lord Peter, and thank you.

Frances Limoncelli