Skip to main content
A student rides her bike across the Knox College campus.


Office of Communications

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



News Archive
Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Critical Praise for Knox Theatre Faculty in Chicago Production

Critics praise "The Night Season": "sensuality and fierceness" of directing by Elizabeth Carlin-Metz, "fiery and watchable" acting by Kelly Lynn Hogan, "cleverly designed set" by Craig Choma

September 21, 2009

Knox College faculty and alumni are winning rave reviews in Chicago media for their production of "The Night Season," a modern Irish drama playing through October 17 at Theatre Building Chicago.

The play is directed by Elizabeth Carlin-Metz, professor of theatre at Knox. The cast includes Kelly Lynn Hogan, a 1992 Knox graduate and visiting instructor in theatre at Knox; and Eden Newmark, a 2008 Knox graduate. The scenic designer is Craig Choma, associate professor of theatre and a 1993 Knox graduate.

Kelly Lynn Hogan in The Night Season"The Night Season" portrays three heartsick Irish sisters -- played by Hogan, Newmark and Vanessa Greenway -- whose lives are disrupted when romance comes to town. The play won the 2004 British Critics' Circle Most Promising Playwright Award for author Rebecca Lenkiewicz.

Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., through October 17. Tickets are available from Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago, at 773-327-5252.

Critics Comment on The Night Season:

  • 2009 "Jeff Recommended" -- Joseph Jefferson Awards -- "Jeff Awards" -- recognize excellence in Chicago theatre. "Jeff Recommended" means that "at least one element of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of the Joseph Jefferson Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.
  • "The sensuality and fierceness of 'The Night Season' are well matched to the aesthetic of Vitalist Theatre and its artistic director Elizabeth Carlin-Metz, a faculty member of Knox College, a strong proponent of physical theater... Recommended" -- Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Director Elizabeth Carlin-Metz's tight flowing direction on Craig Choma's multi-doors set made the 2 hours and 30 minute show an engaging evening of theatre... Highly Recommended" -- Tom Williams, Talk Theatre in Chicago
  • "[the] characters are three-dimensional, full of ambivalence and believably driven by their stormy passions and disappointments" -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Kelly Lynn Hogan, Eden Newmark and Vanessa Greenway were terrific as the sisters" -- Tom Williams, Talk Theatre in Chicago
  • "A well crafted love story, divinely directed by Elizabeth Carlin-Metz on a cleverly designed set by Craig Choma" -- Alan Bresloff, Steadstyle Chicago
  • Kelly Lynn Hogan: "fiery and watchable" -- Chicago Sun-Times; "can steal a scene without derailing the story" -- Chicago Tribune

Don Bender, Eden Newmark in The Night SeasonOther Knox faculty members working on the show are executive producer and contributing artist Robin Metz, Philip Sidney Post Professor of English; and textile artist Margo Shively, designer and lecturer in theatre.

More than 20 current Knox students or recent graduates are involved with the production of "The Night Season." They are Rachel Sypniewski 01, constume designer; Michael Smith '08, technical director and video operator; Kathleen Dickinson '09, stage management intern; Jacqueline Dehne Scafidi '05, production manager; Ryn Flynn '10, master electrician; Nick Perry '08, assistant director and sound operator; Samantha Newport '10, and Kat Reiser '11, production assistant interns; Adam McDowell '08, directing intern and run crew; Jason Connell '08, welding artisan; Nellie Ognacevic '12, textile artist and set crew; Jake Hebert '05, and Peter Von Brown '93, set construction crew; Liz Picurro '12, Lauren Neiheisel '11, Shane Donegan '10, Effie Fayer '11, Keegan Siebken '10, Kate Donoghue '11, and Doug Porter '06, set crew; Matt Allis '08, run crew; Helen Drysdale '05, director of marketing and publicity; and Meghan Reardon '08, marketing and publicity associate.

"The Night Season"Vitalist Theatre was co-founded by Elizabeth Carlin-Metz and Robin Metz. Their Chicago productions have won acclaim from critics, including "Mother Courage and Her Children," which received honors for best direction, best actress, and best composer, along with several top ten season selections; and "A Passage to India," which won an award for Overall Technical Achievement and was nominated for a "Jeff Award" for excellence in Chicago theatre. At Knox, Elizabeth Carlin-Metz has directed numerous productions, including the North American premier of the stage adaptation of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." Robin Metz's many writing honors include the Rainer Maria Rilke International Poetry Prize and the Marshall Frankel American Fiction Prize.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's 'Old Main' is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Photography by Craig Choma, courtesy Vitalist Theatre.

Share this story

Knox College

Printed on Wednesday, March 20, 2019