A love story wrapped in a mystery,
180 Degree Rule explores the conflicting realities that emerge as history is distorted by passage of time and shifting points of view.
Moving from film to live action, flashback to the present, Professor Katie Dunham struggles to unpack the truth behind the doomed romance between revolutionary film director Ruth Alice Bennett and leading lady Margot Faber… 30 years too late.
180 Degree Rule was inspired in part by the pioneering female directors of early Hollywood, such as Dorothy Arzner, Alice Guy-Blaché, and Lois Weber. The show’s most extensive historical nod is to Arzner, an open lesbian who was notorious for affairs with her leading women, including Joan Crawford. She worked throughout the 1920s-40s, creating films with independent, complex female protagonists – often with lesbian subtext.
180 Degree Rule is a 2013 graduate of BWBTC’s Fighting Words script development program. It was also a finalist in the 2013 Pride Series Women’s Work Competition (for works by women with lesbian characters or themes), and was hosted for a final 2013 public reading by Chicago Dramatists.
PLAYWRIGHTS: M.E.H. Lewis & Barbara Lhota*
M.E.H. Lewis’ work has been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Melbourne. Her honors include a Julie Harris Award, a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships, three Ragdale Foundation Residencies, a Tremain Grant, and the FutureFest Outstanding Playwright Award. Her Jeff-nominated play Burying the Bones was recently revived at Detroit Rep, where it garnered universal critical acclaim, sold-out audiences, and a Best Production award.
Barbara Lhota is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter with over 200 plays published and more than 60 productions to her credit. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and a network playwright with Chicago Dramatists and Chicago Pride Films and Plays. Also a member of Babes With Blades Theatre Company’s ensemble, Barb has premiered two other scripts with the Babes: Los Desaparecidos (The Vanished) in 2008, and The Double in 2011. Her work is published with Chicago Dramaworks, Smith & Kraus, Pioneer Press, and Meriwether Publishing.
CAST: Kate Black-Spence (Katie Dunham), Tommy Bullington (George Berlitz & Ensemble), Chris Cinereski (Francis Montgomery & Ensemble), Amy E. Harmon* (Ruth Alice Bennett), Lisa Herceg* (Margot Faber), Kimberly Logan* (Hedwige Sourile), Jason Narvy (Gilbert Bailey), Kelly Yacono* (Aunt Henny & Ensemble), Patti Moore* (Understudy)
STAFF: Leigh Barrett* (Sound Design), Libby Beyreis (Violence Design), Kurt Brandt (Props Design), Jason Fleece (Dialect Coach), Adam Greye (Stage Manager), Kaitlyn Grissom (Technical Director), Amy E. Harmon* (Production Manager), Rachel Edwards Harvith (Director), Beth Laske-Miller (Costume Design), Barbara Lhota* (Production Manager), Carter Martin (Film Director/Editor), G. Max Maxin IV (Projection & Scenic Design), Heather Meyers (Dramaturg), Tim Tavano (Director of Photography), Laura Wiley (Lighting Design)
*denotes Babes With Blades Theatre Company Member