Lookingglass Theatre just celebrated their 25th birthday. It’s been my privilege to watch the company grow from a bunch of hard working, talented Northwestern University Theater graduates to adults, friends, colleagues, and the finest bunch of theater professionals I’m ever likely to know.
Of the bunch, I consider none closer than my good friend John Musial. This is his fourth iteration of The Great Fire; at least, the fourth I’ve been involved with. There may have been more along the way. John is one of the most tireless artistic forces I know; confident, thoughtful, and deeply committed to his work in a way that I find rare.
John directed this version, with care and attention, in Lookingglass’ current home: The Pumping Station. He brought back many of the original cast and designers for this new production; each rehearsal felt like a reunion. As usual, the rest of the Lookingglass crew put in 110% to make this show everything it could be.
If you ask me, the privilege to tell the tale of The Great Chicago Fire in one of the buildings that survived it is a very great one indeed. My thanks to all at Lookingglass for the opportunity.
Lookingglass also very kindly asked me to talk on camera about the design process. I’m happy they grabbed this video–it’s got some really great shots of the set model.