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TimeLine Theatre Bulks Up Team Ahead of Move to Andersonville

By Josh McGhee | February 29, 2016 6:14am
 TimeLine Theatre will soon move into the former Trumbull School at Foster  and Ashland avenues.
TimeLine Theatre will soon move into the former Trumbull School at Foster and Ashland avenues.
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ANDERSONVILLE — Ahead of its move to Andersonville, the TimeLine Theatre company announced new additions to its team including naming Chicago artists Behzad Dabu and Ron OJ Parson as company members.

Company members are "the artistic leaders of the company" and work together to shape vision and choose programming, a news release from the troupe said.

“Ron and Behzad have exemplified tremendous thought leadership at TimeLine, representing our mission, vision and values through their work on productions along with providing valuable input on company activities," said PJ Powers, Timeline's artistic director, calling it an "expansion of our core team."

Dabu is originally from New York, moved to Chicago in 2005 and attended Columbia College Chicago. He's appeared onstage for TimeLine Theatre in "Inana," "Blood and Gifts" and "The History Boys." Parson, also originally from New York, currently directs "Sunset Baby" and previously directed "A Raisin In the Sun."

The company also welcomed 11 associate artists and expanded its board by adding three new members including Sondra Healy, co-chairman of Turtle Wax Inc., the release said.

“As TimeLine works to realize the vision of our next decade as an organization, we are thrilled to have this impressive group join the Board. The depth of their collective experience and demonstrated commitment to the Chicago arts community ensures that we are positioned for even greater success,” said Elizabeth K. Auman, the company's managing director.

TimeLine Theatre currently rents space at 615 W. Wellington Ave., while also performing at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., but plans to move all performances to the former Lyman Trumbull Elementary School in Andersonville.

The theater company will occupy the first floor of the building where it will have two performance spaces (one with seating for 200 and another with seating for 100), rehearsal space, offices and attention-grabbing lobby with "immersive exhibits," and art installations coinciding with the company's productions.

"As we prepare for TimeLine’s 20th Anniversary season, and as we continue to plan for a new home, we are furthering the vision of TimeLine’s founders — to build a collective of artists with varied skills, backgrounds, points of view and aesthetics who work to shape seasons that are unique, diverse, and mission-centric," Powers said.

Earlier this month, TimeLine Theatre received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective institutions, which comes with $625,000 grant to "invest in their long-term sustainability." The company has said it plans to use the majority of the funds "to provide additional long-term financial stability and support strategic goals." A small portion will also go toward upgrading its technology infrastructure.

“Running a mid-size arts organization is challenging. Making it thrive even more so. These funds will help TimeLine continue to build upon its already solid foundation while taking our art and organization to the next level," TimeLine board president John Sirek said.

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