“The Adult in the Room,” a new play by Bill McMahon about the life of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, premiered Jan. 26 at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater’s Richard Christiansen Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.) starring Broadway, television and film actress Orlagh Cassidy.
Directed by Heather Arnson and Conor Bagley, the play is produced by Tony/Emmy/Olivier Award-winning producer Jim Kierstead (“Kinky Boots,” “Pippin,” “Hadestown”), Emmy Award-winning producer Linda Karn (“Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine”) and Broadway producer William Fernandez (“The Inheritance,” “The Great Comet”).
First elected to Congress in 1987, Speaker Pelosi is a woman about whom everyone has an opinion, and yet whom almost no one truly knows. In the play, she recounts her personal story and political journey while trying to balance the forces of extreme left and extreme right, using all of her power and talents to preserve that rarest of rare birds in D.C. of this moment – consensus. That is, until her brand of consensus fades into the rear-view mirror.
This up-to-the-minute, play is not just about Madame Speaker herself, but about the convulsive political climate that currently permeates the United States. Told with wit, irony, emotion and leavening doses of humor, “The Adult in the Room” is no mere history lesson, but a reflection on where we are, and how we got here.
“We’ve been in communication with Speaker Pelosi and she has received the script,” said Producer Jim Kierstead. “With this production, we feel we are shining a spotlight on her authentic personality and lesser-known aspects of her life that influenced the powerful woman she has become. We hope she will come see this production.”
Portraying the bold and determined Speaker Pelosi will be Orlagh Cassidy.
Producer Linda Karn, an Evanston resident, is an Emmy-winning producer of “Matt Shepard Is A Friend of Mine” and currently is a producer of the Netflix Original Documentary Series “Happy Jail.” She was a Production Sponsor for the world premiere of “HeLa,” written by award winning playwright J. Nicole Brooks and Playwright Sponsor of “Cambodian Rock Band” at Victory Gardens Theater.
“The Adult in the Room” will run through Feb. 15. Tickets are available through victorygardens.org or by calling the box office at 773-871-3000.