by Lee Blessing

directed by Derek Bertelsen and Jeremiah Barr

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February 23 – March 12, 2017
Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

The Frontier Space
1106 Thorndale Ave
Chicago, IL 60660
run time- Approx. 80 minutes
directions to The Frontier
Dining/Nightlife near the Frontier

“Blessing’s words are brought to life in AstonRep Theatre Company’s remarkable production”-Chicago Reader

“On the tiny stage at The Frontier, three women tell their story with words that quiver and metamorphose themselves and us. It’s as delightful as it is true.” – NewCity Stage


Sensitive and probing, ELEEMOSYNARY examines the subtle and often perilous relationship between three generations of remarkable women: the grandmother, Dorothea, who has sought to assert her independence through strong-willed eccentricity; her brilliant daughter, Artie, who has fled the stifling domination of her mother; and Artie’s daughter, Echo, a child of exceptional intellect, whom Artie has abandoned to an upbringing by Dorothea. This poignant and mature study of familial relationships highlights the human need for connection and forgiveness.

“We are so excited to announce our very first winter production with Lee Blessing’s powerful, touching Eleemosynary presented at the Frontier Space in Edgewater,” comments Artistic Director Robert Tobin. “We look forward to presenting this new classic and providing the intimate, personal experience for our audiences which we are known for.”

Sunday, March 5 post-show discussion led by Suzanne Ross

Enjoy her article on this intriguing play.

Featuring Alexandra Bennett, Sarah C. Lo, and Debra Rodkin.

The creative team includes Samantha Barr (scenic design), Derek Bertelsen (costume design), Robert Tobin (lighting/sound design), Jeremiah Barr (props design), Dana Anderson (dramaturg) and Amy Kasper (stage manager).

Debra Rodkin (Dorothea) is delighted to embark on this adventure with Aston Rep. She is a proud member of Redtwist Theatre appearing there most recently in Scarcity, The Realization of Emily Linder and The American Clock as well as favorites Equus, Geezers and Cripple of Inishmann. Other Chicago credits include The Rose Tattoo (Shattered Globe), Vieux Carre (Raven), Unshelved  (Eclectic Theatre), Beau Jest (Big Noise Theatre), Rabbit Hole (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (NightBlue Theatre), and The Brother (Hancock Productions/Film Acres). She just filmed a lead role in Ginger. Fun fact: did a zany Webisode for True Blood (HBO). Debra has her BFA from the Goodman School of Drama.

Sarah Lo (Echo) is a young performer in Chicago thrilled to be appearing with AstonRep for the first time, and in such a beautiful play. Previously, she has appeared as a Kurogo dancer in Court Theatre’s M. Butterfly and at Victory Garden Theater’s College Night showcase. She has also performed in various short films, musicals, and plays produced at the University of Chicago; in addition to acting, Sarah enjoys choreographing and singing. Thank you always to Mom, Dad, Eric, Jenni, and Wes.

Alexandra Bennett (Artie) is a proud member of Aston Rep, where she has played such roles as Olive in last season’s The Women of Lockerbie, Dr. Vivian Bearing in Wit, and Sister Aloysius in Doubt. A graduate of the 2011 School at Steppenwolf, she spends her spare time teaching and writing about theatre, helping her clients achieve their fitness goals, and training for triathlons. Many thanks to Derek, Jeremiah, and the entire team of Eleemosynary for bringing this story to life

Dana Anderson (Dramaturg) is honored to be working with AstonRep again as dramaturg. She has recently worked on The Black Slot (AstonRep), A Fabulous 50’s Christmas (Towle), 24 Words, Blood Brothers (Theo Ubique), Full Monty (Kokandy), and has also done shows with Shawnee Summer Theatre, The New Colony, and Quest Theatre Ensemble. As an educator, she is a teaching artist with Mudlark Theater Company and Compass Creative Dramatics, and is the Associate Artistic Director of the prison project Shakespeare Corrected. Enjoy the show!

Derek Bertelsen (Co-Director) serves as Associate Artistic Director for AstonRep, where he has previously directed The Black Slot, The Lyons, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Wit, Next Fall and Doubt. Other directing credits include Prelude To A Kiss, Mary-Kate Olsen Is In Love (The Comrades), Design for Living, The Children’s Hour (Pride Films and Plays), God of Carnage and The Dinner Party (BrightSide Theatre). Assistant directing credits include work at Steppenwolf and Goodman.

Jeremiah Barr (Co-Director) Eleemosynary marks Jeremiah’s second adventure into directing, the first being as assistant director on Doubt with AstonRep. Some of his other recent credits include scenic design for The Black Slot with AstonRep; props design for Winterset with Griffin Theater; scenic design for Gross Indecency and Eurydice both with Promethean Theater Ensemble.