The 13 Clocks

October 15 – December 4, 2011
Sat at 1pm, Sun at 11am & 1pm

“Imaginative use of puppetry and a tight, tidy set lend a hand in bringing Thurber’s colorful and droll words to life, but the biggest applause goes to the actors”  –Time Out Chicago Kids

“There is a lot of adventure to be had… The story moves quickly and there are whimsical characters, magical spells, puppetry and monsters… [I] highly recommend that kids and their parents should see this show.”  –Chicago Stage Style

“Lifeline is the platinum standard for children’s theater in Chicago.”  –Chicago Theater Beat

On a faraway island, a wicked Duke has locked his niece in a high tower. When Prince Zorn of Zorna, in disguise as a wandering minstrel, learns of Saralinda’s fate, he vows to free her — even if it means traveling thrice around the moon or turning November into June. Join Zorn on an unforgettable adventure complete with puppetry and song, spies and monsters, mysterious wizards, and magic spells to be broken. A modern twist on classic fairy tales, filled with wit and humor, in a world premiere adaptation.

Recommended for kids 5 and up. Children under 2 are not permitted.

Based on the 1950 classic by beloved American writer and humorist James Thurber (Fables for Our TimeThe Wonderful O), illustrated by Marc Simont 
Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric 
Directed by Amanda Delheimer

Excerpt from The 13 Clocks

  • Joey deBettencourt (Zorn of Zorna)

    Joey is thrilled to be working with Lifeline Theatre for the first time. After working with Dorothy Milne on No More Dead Dogs with Griffin Theatre, Joey was excited to meet more of the Lifeline staff and artists. Joey is currently an ensemble member of Griffin Theatre, and has appeared there in PortStage Door, and their touring production of Frindle. Joey has worked with many companies around town including City Lit (Lovers) and Mary-Arrchie (Cherrywood). Joey is currently represented by Shirley Hamilton Inc.

  • David Guiden (The Golux, Tosspot)

    David makes his Chicago debut with The 13 Clocks! He recently received his BFA in Acting at Ball State University and can next be seen in the Chicago Premiere of F***ing A by Suzan-Lori Parks with Urban Theatre Company this spring.

  • Jonathan Helvey (The Duke of Coffin Castle, Traveler, Farmer)

    Jonathan is thrilled to be back at Lifeline, where he last appeared in The Mark of Zorro. His past credits include Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night(Chicago Shakespeare Theater ); Ghosts of Atwood (MPAACT Theatre ); Prom Night (Red Tape Theatre); The Shape of Things (Rogers Park Theatre); Point of Contention’s Chaos Festival; Is There Life After High School? and Cloud Tectonics (Transit 5 Cincinnati); and Rumpelstiltskin(Clear Stage Cincinnati). Jonathan has his BFA in acting from Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University.

  • Mildred Marie Langford (Saralinda, Troublemaker, Whisper, Guard, Hagga)

    Mildred is very excited to be making her Lifeline Theatre debut in The 13 Clocks. Other Chicago credits include: Venus (Steppenwolf Theatre); In Darfur (Timeline Theatre); A Civil War Christmas (Northlight); Zulu Fits(MPAACT); the world premiere of War with the Newts and The Overwhelming (Next Theatre); The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony); 12 Ophelias (Trap Door); The Crucible (Steppenwolf); Sinbad: The Untold StoryThe Ghosts of Treasure Island, and The Blue House (Adventure Stage Chicago); and Professions for Women (Bailick Director’s Festival).

  • Mike Ooi (Hark, Tale-teller, King Gwain)

    Mike is pleased to return to Lifeline after appearing in the KidSeries production of The Last of the Dragons and the MainStage productions of Neverwhere and The Mark of Zorro. Other Chicago credits include Black & Blue1985, and Mop Top Festival (Factory Theater); Sinbad: The Untold Tale and Ghosts of Treasure Island (Adventure Stage Chicago); Three Penny Opera (The Hypocrites at Steppenwolf Garage); Old Town(Strawdog Theatre); and Curse of the Crying Heart and Cave with Man (House Theatre of Chicago). Mike has worked as a stage manager and in other aspects for The House Theatre of Chicago, The Hypocrites, The GameShowShow and Stuff, Eric & Andy’s Reviews You Can Iews!, and Lifeline Theatre. Mike is the Operations Manager for the Factory Theater, where he is also a company member.

  • Ariel Begley (Understudy)

    Ariel is a recent graduate of the BFA Acting program at NIU, where she had the opportunity to study abroad at the Moscow Art Theatre. She’s an ensemble member of Discovery Movement Theatre, and since moving to Chicago this spring she’s performed with Oak Park Festival Theatre and is excited to be working with Lifeline on The 13 Clocks!

  • Morgan Maher (Understudy)

    Morgan is thrilled to be making his Lifeline Theatre debut in The 13 Clocks. Around town, he’s worked with American Theater Company, Collaboraction, The Griffin, Steppenwolf, New Leaf, Chicago Fusion Theater, Appetite, the Inconvenience, and Awkward Pawz.

  • Jacquis Neal (Understudy)

    Jacquis is very excited to be working with Lifeline for the first time. Jacquis has worked with various theatres here in Chicago, including Adventure Stage Chicago, projects through American Theatre Company, and numerous others. He also has been a part of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Play Festival in the world premiere of Escape. He can also be seen in a few national commercials, including State Farm, Hasbro, and a currently running spot for Airheads Candy. He’s a proud alumnus of Columbia College.

  • Robert Kauzlaric (Adaptor)

    Robert is a proud member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble. He has written twelve theatrical adaptations which have been produced in eighteen states around the U.S., as well as in Ireland, England, and Canada. At Lifeline, he previously adapted the MainStage productions of The Island of Dr. Moreau (Non-Equity Jeff Awards: Best Production-Play and New Adaptation; published by Playscripts, Inc.), The Picture of Dorian Gray (published by Playscripts, Inc.), Neverwhere (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), and The Moonstone; and the KidSeries productions of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!Flight of the Dodo, and the upcoming Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Robert has also appeared as an actor in fifteen productions on the Lifeline stage, and directed Treasure Island.

  • Amanda Delheimer (Director)

    Amanda is thrilled to be working at Lifeline for the first time. Other Chicago credits include Sinbad: The Untold TaleThe Ghosts of Treasure IslandThe Cay, and Ash Girl, all with Adventure Stage Chicago. In addition to her work at ASC, she has had the pleasure of working with the Steppenwolf, the Goodman, Red Moon, Collaboraction, Strawdog, and Teatro Vista, among others. She is the Artistic Director of 2nd Story, and when she’s not directing theater for young audiences, Amanda spends her time working in the local public schools as a teaching artist and running the Goodman’s summer program for teens.

  • Clare Roche (Stage Manager)

    Clare is making her Lifeline Theatre debut. Clare’s recent stage management credits include: Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lakeside Shakespeare); Sinbad: The Untold Taleand 500 Clown Trapped (Adventure Stage Chicago); Red Noses (Strawdog) and Cabaret (The Hypocrites). Clare also manages for 500 Clown. Aside from stage management, Clare works as Master Electrician at Loyola University, Lighting Designer and Technical Director at Sacred Heart Academy and assistant lighting designer around town, most recently for Cyrano(House). Clare will next be managing The Better Half (Lucky Plush Dance Company) and The Giver (Adventure Stage Chicago) and assisting lights for Death and Harry Houdini (House).

  • Melanie Berner (Associate Puppet Designer)

    Melanie is a local theatrical designer. Her recent Chicago credits include Theatre Mir’s Caucasian Chalk Circle; Griffin Theater’s Port; and Jackalope Theatre Co.’s productions of My Name is MuddSlaughter CityUnder ConstructionMoonshiner, and The Last Exodus of American Men. She spent this past summer working as an instructor and designer for the NHSI Cherubs program at Northwestern University. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a B.F.A in Theatrical Design and has done work for theater and film. Mel finds her greatest pleasure in making things, mostly miniature things.

  • Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Designer & Composer)

    Mikhail is delighted to be back with Lifeline, having recently worked on Watership DownNeverwhere (Non-Equity Jeff Award: Sound Design) and The Last of The Dragons. He’s an Ensemble member with Strawdog Theatre and 2ndStory, an Artistic Associate with Collaboraction, Teatro Vista and Redmoon, and teaches Sound Design at Loyola University. Recent credits include WoyzeckPirates of Penzance (The Hypocrites); PonyStupid Kids (About Face); TreeLiving Green (Victory Gardens); In the Next Room (St. Louis Rep); Mauritius (Milwaukee Chamber); The Master and Margarita (Strawdog); Travels with My Aunt (Writers Theatre); Winter Pageant (Redmoon Theater); Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Teatro Vista); 1001Jon (Collaboraction); and Massacre (Goodman Theatre). He has received numerous Jeff Awards, an After Dark Award and an Orgie Award for Original Music, was recently nominated for the Henry Hewes Award and The Lucille Lortel Award for his sound design of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (2ndStage, NYC) and the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. When he is not busy fighting crime, he is performing or recording with his band Seeking Wonderland or as part of a dynamic dj duo The Ordeal.

  • Heather Gilbert (Lighting Designer)

    Chicago credits include: The Real ThingThe Detective’s WifeA Streetcar Named Desire, and The Old Settler (Writers’ Theatre); HomeComedy of Errors, and The Mystery of Irma Vep (Court Theatre); Honus and MeEsperanza Rising, and The Hundred Dresses (Chicago Children’s Theatre); The Front PageMaster Harold and the Boys, and Not Enough Air(TimeLine Theatre); Our Town and Cabaret (The Hypocrites); and A Separate Peace (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). Regional credits include A Streetcar Named Desire (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Farnsworth Invention (Alley Theatre), and Off-Broadway credits include Our Town (Barrow Street Theatre). Upcoming projects include The Caretaker at Writers, Our Town at the Broad Stage in LA, and The Better Half for Lucky Plush Productions in Chicago. Heather was a 1999-2001 recipient of the NEA/TCG Development Program Award. She serves as the Head of Lighting Design at Columbia College and received her MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul.

  • Katherine Greenleaf (Properties Designer)

    Katherine is delighted to be back at Lifeline, where she last designed puppets for Arnie the Doughnut. Previous props work in Chicago includes The Kid Thing (About Face Theatre/Chicago Dramatists), The Homosexuals (About Face), Cherrywood (Mary Arrchie), The Wreck of the Medusa (The Plagiarists), Brainpeople (Urban Theater Company), A Brief History of Helen of Troy (Steep), Caucasian Chalk Circle (Theatre Mir), and Acis and Galatea(Chicago Cultural Center). Katherine has also worked with The Prop Theater, Rhinofest, and Court Theatre. Katherine is a 2009 graduate of the University of Chicago.

  • Nathan R. Rohrer (Costume Designer)

    Nathan returns to Lifeline where he previously assistant costume designed Treasure Island. He most recently designed Pinkalicious, concurrently playing at the Broadway Playhouse, and has designed countless children’s theatre productions with Chicago’s Emerald City Theatre. He has also designed numerous dance productions for Hubbard Street 2, River North Chicago Dance, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Deeply Rooted Productions. Other theatre credits include New Colony, Griffin Theatre, and University of Chicago. His picturesque costume renderings have been exhibited and sold in art galleries, and have been featured in Time Out Chicago. Nathan received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point.

  • Chelsea Warren (Scenic & Puppet Designer)

    Past projects at Lifeline include: Somebody Loves You Mr. HatchFlight of the DodoThe Dirty Cowboy, and Mrs.Caliban. Chicago projects include: scenery for The Kid Thing (Chicago Dramatists & About Face), They’re Playing Our Song (Fox Valley Rep), Pornography and A Brief History of Helen of Troy (Steep Theatre), Educating Rita (Shattered Globe), A Separate Peace (Steppenwolf for Young Adults), K. (The Hypocrites), and Precious Little (Rivendell). International work includes: La Femme des Sables (companie Unikaji, Paris & Zagreb) and Stones/Air (Barossa International Sculpture Park, Southern Australia). Chelsea received her MFA in Stage Design from Northwestern University.

  • Cortney Hurley (Production Manager)

    Cortney is thrilled to join the Lifeline team for the sixth season in a row. Previous production management positions include the last five seasons at Strawdog Theatre, where she PMed a variety of shows including The Master & MargaritaRed NosesCherry OrchardLie of the Mind, and Marathon ‘33Ellen Under Glass with the House Theatre of Chicago; and One False Note with Plasticene. She currently serves as the General Manager of Strawdog Theatre.

  • Joe Schermoly (Technical Director)

    Joe is a set designer, technical director and painter. His design work has been seen around Chicago at Lifeline Theatre (The Count of Monte CristoThe Moonstone), Griffin (No More Dead DogsPortThe Constant Wife), Strawdog (Master and MargaritaRichard III), Sinnerman Ensemble (Sweet Confinement), Eclipse (The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek) and more. He has also designed and built shows in London for The Finborough, Bush, and Gate theatres among others. Joe studied set design at Northwestern University and has received two After Dark Awards for his design work in Chicago.

From Time Out Chicago Kids

October 19, 2011
By Elisa Drake

Lifeline Theatre’s petite playhouse in Rogers Park seems to expand during its hour-long KidSeries presentation of James Thurber’s 1950 novel, The 13 Clocks. Imaginative use of puppetry and a tight, tidy set lend a hand in bringing Thurber’s colorful and droll words to life, but the biggest applause goes to the actors. Several take on multiple roles, and all infuse their characters with just the right amount of twinkle in their eyes.

Adapted for the stage by Lifeline’s Jeff Award-winning Robert Kauzlaric, the story covers a timeless fairy-tale theme—daring prince rescues lovely princess from gloomy fate—with one exception: The side of evil is represented not by a cruel and jealous female but by the cruel and “aggressive” Duke of Coffin Castle, one seriously devious dude who mistreats small animals and brags about having “murdered time.”

The only things that warm the Duke’s perpetually icy hands are those of princess Saralinda. He claims that Saralinda is his niece but later reveals that he kidnapped her when she was a baby. As the Duke was making off with the infant, Saralinda’s nurse curses the Duke, which, among other things, permits him to marry her only after she turns 21. Until then, he must allow various princes to attempt to win Saralinda’s hand in marriage—so he naturally gives them impossible tasks to prove their worthiness. They inevitably fail, and the duke gleefully slits them “from their guggles to their zatches” and feeds them to the geese. But then along comes Prince Zorn, disguised as a wandering minstrel. You can guess the rest (mostly).

Although this tale is far from mere child’s play, the existence of the beautiful princess keeps young audiences enthralled. Meanwhile, the fast-paced dialogue and action keeps the often-twisty plotline moving. Your kids may not catch all the characters’ interrelations, but that’s not essential to this fairytale, where good naturally triumphs over evil—and we get a few lessons along the way about believing in yourself.



From the Chicago Theater Beat

Thurber tale delights the child in everyone
October 24, 2011
By K.D. Hopkins

Alas, I did not have one of my precious nieces or nephews for the Lifeline production of The 13 Clocks. As a result, I had to reach way back to the little girl who loved theater. Luckily it’s an easy job when viewing a Lifeline children’s production. Lifeline is the platinum standard for children’s theater in Chicago. And The 13 Clocks cements that status for me.

This production is from a James Thurber fairy tale. I loved his stories as a child and have seen a quite a few of his works on stage—Thurber’s eye for human peccadilloes and silliness is legendary. This is the story of a kingdom frozen in time, a princess held captive by a maniacal duke, people eating blobs, a wandering minstrel and a delightfully forgetful wizard called Golux.

The staging of The 13 Clocks is enhanced through the use of puppets mirroring the actions of the live actors. It is a great way to introduce an enchanted kingdom and quite funny.

Joey deBettencourt is delightful as Zorn the wandering minstrel/secret prince. He comes upon the dazzling Princess Saralinda (Mildred Marie Lanford) trapped in a tower. Lanford plays the Saralinda with a blend of moxie and snap timing. Meanwhile Zorn is warned by Hark (played with hilarious verve by Mike Ooi) to beware of the Duke and of the difficulties in store for anyone who dares try to free the princess.

I love the character of the maniacal Duke, played by Jonathan Helvey! Helvey gives the Duke a perfect blend of cartoon crazy and pathos. With an eye patch over one eye and a monocle over the other, Helvey’s voice and inflection are reminiscent of classic cartoon characters from the golden age of animation when Mel Blanc and Edward Everett Horton ruled the world. Equally adorable is the character of the wizard Golux. David Guiden blends frenetic comic timing and an endearing sweetness into the wizard. His method of wizardly incantation is side splitting funny.

One of the things that I love best about Lifeline is their economy of stage settings. What seems to be a relatively sparse stage is turned into a multi-use panorama; characters whizzing in and out at wizard speed.

This Thurber adaptation is by Lifeline ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric, who does a wonderful job of staying true to Thurber’s style while bringing in a modern twist. Amanda Delheimer is the Director of this wonderful tale. Her pacing is perfect in keeping the characters coherent while deftly adding the perfect touch of farce and double-takes. Also worth a special mention are puppet designers Chelsea Warren and Melanie Berner. The puppets are whimsical and are a perfect addition to the production.

This is a great show for children of all ages. It is funny on child and adult levels and so worth your time. As I said before: Lifeline is the platinum standard for children’s theater. Basketball season is on hold, the Bears could give you apoplexy so get out and explore beautiful Rogers Park USA and make the Lifeline Theater a part of your exploring!



From the Chicago Sun-Times

Lifeline Theatre’s KidSeries goes back in rhyme with ‘The 13 Clocks’
October 13, 2011
By Jennifer Burklow

Lifeline Theatre opens its 2011-2012 KidSeries season by flexing its artistic muscles with its adaptation of James Thurber’s “The 13 Clocks.” The 1950 children’s novella by the famed New Yorker cartoonist has been called the first modern take on the traditional fairy tale, a precursor to “Shrek” and its counterparts. It is one of several books Thurber wrote for children. This world-premiere production, adapted by Lifeline ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric, runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 4.

Director Amanda Delheimer calls “13 Clocks” Seussian for its whimsical rhyming and language, and Tim Burtonian for the darkness embodied in the character of the evil Duke.

“Rob has done an incredible job with the adaptation,” Delheimer said. “The book has a lot of rhyming—even the narration rhymes and there are all these internal lines [rhymes] between the dialogue of the book and the dialogue of the narration… The whole thing is just this party of language fun. And he’s really done an incredible job of representing that onstage.”

As for the story itself, she’s charmed by it.

“I love that it’s so whimsical and I also love that it’s really dark and I love the fact that with this play, you can’t have one without the other,” Delheimer said. “I also love the magic; I just think magic is really fun.”

In “The 13 Clocks,” a wicked Duke who believes he has killed time (all 13 clocks in the castle are permanently frozen at 10 minutes to 5) keeps his beautiful niece, the Princess Saralinda, locked in the tower. Disguised as a minstrel, Prince Zorn comes to town, sees the princess, falls in love and vows to save her. What transpires is a battle of wits, words and courage as Zorn sets out to complete an impossible task in order to rescue Saralinda.

Like Adventure Stage Chicago, where Delheimer has directed several plays (“Sinbad: The Untold Tale,” “The Ghosts of Treasure Island”), Lifeline is known for its adaptations of children’s books. Lifeline usually skews toward the preschool- to primary-grade age group with musical send-ups of books such as “Click Clack Moo,” “Duck for President” and “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.” ASC targets upper elementary and middle school audiences. Lifeline aims for a slightly older audience with this hourlong play that relies more on dialogue and plot than music to move the production along.

“I’m really pleased and impressed that [Lifeline] decided to go with this novel… that’s a little bit outside of their go-to spot,” Delheimer said.

Delheimer added that Lifeline is mindful that younger kids will attend the show; to keep them engaged, she’s employing puppets and other props to help portray the ideas of magic, travel and scale. And with Zorn disguised as a minstrel, music does play a part in the show—just in a different way.

For Delheimer, meeting the challenges of “13 Clocks” and entertaining young audiences all comes back to flexing those artistic muscles.

“I like that you get to flex your imagination in a way that you don’t get to for adults,” Delheimer said. “So much of theater for grown-ups is really wonderful, but it’s not as kind of full of all of these wild twists and imagination the way that theater for young audiences is… I feel like theater for young audiences is very much about teaching the skill of imagination and creating a space where it’s a necessary thing to employ, because so much of being creative and being good thinkers is being able to use that muscle, so that’s why I like it.”



From Chicago Stage Style

October 17, 2011
By Sally Jo Osborne

Once upon a time there was a really evil and wicked Duke (Jonathon Helvey) living in a cold, gloomy and creepy castle with his beautiful warm-hearted “niece” (not really) Saralinda, who is almost 21 (Mildred Marie Langford) along with thirteen broken clocks. All of the clocks stopped at “ten minutes to five” and the Duke is convinced that he killed Time (or maybe it was a cold snowy night when someone left the door open). This wouldn’t be the first time this Duke killed something. He is pretty heartless and has a fiery sword ready to swing at anyone that may cross his path. In strolls a mysterious minstrel name Xingu (Joey deBettencourt) aka Zorn of Zorna. He is in search for his princess he has yet to meet and devises a plan to get access to the castle. He sings a silly song that polks fun at the Duke.

This behavior enrages the Duke, and so does the fact that his name begins with an X. He doesn’t like anyone whose name begins with an X and he doesn’t like this Xingu. Golux (David Guiden) arrives on the scene to help the minstrel gain access to the castle with a plan to help both the minstrel and the princess. Golux admits that he never remembers what he knows or knows what he remembers, but for the most part is a good guy. He appears and then suddenly disappears which makes Xingu a little skeptical. Since the Duke must, as per a witches spell, allow the Saralinda to entertain suitors he sends Hark, one of his spies (Mike Ooi) to arrest Xingu and then assigns him what he sees as an impossible task.

It is then discovered that Xingu is really a famously courageous prince in disguise and so he is ordered to produce one thousand jewels and to restart the thirteen clocks. If he doesn’t he will be destroyed by Todal, a mysterious creature that “looks like a blob of glup…an agent of the devil, sent to punish evildoers for having done less evil than they should.” You will embark on a journey of how a prince finds his princess with all of the twists and turns along the way and all of this is accomplished in just one hour without intermission!

There is a lot of adventure to be had in the cozy 99 seat Lifeline Theatre in Rogers Park. James Thurber wrote this fantasy tale in 1950. He is known for his complex word play and hidden rhymes. The story moves quickly and there are whimsical characters, magical spells, puppetry and monsters. The Duke is kind of scary for little ones (my daughter wanted to sit on my lap). The Princess is more beautiful than I am (so I am told by my daughter) and that Golux is funny and has a great hat (says my daughter Ella).

I wish I had a Golux (kind of go to guy) who would show up and tell me what to do whenever I am at a loss of how to continue when in crisis. Until then, I will listen to what I believe in even though I believe what I think might not listen. Huh? What I do know is that Ella and I are going to re-read this classic tale for years to come and highly recommend that kids and their parents should see this show.