“This Wide Night” – Characters of Complexity and Duality

(left to right) Aila Ayilam Peck and Linda Reiter in Shattered Globe Theatre Company & Interrobang Theatre Project's Chicago premiere of This Wide Night. Photo by Michael Brosilow
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By David Hamilton

Shattered Globe Theatre, in association with Interrobang Theatre Project, is welcoming audiences back this fall with the Chicago premiere of Chloë Moss’s drama This Wide Night, directed by ITP Artistic Director Georgette Verdin, playing October 8 – November 13, 2021 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at www.sgtheatre.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 

(left to right) Linda Reiter and Aila Ayilam Peck in Shattered Globe Theatre Company & Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of This Wide Night. Photo by Michael Brosilow

This Wide Night is an English play that focuses on two once incarcerated women who reunite on the outside. How do they cope and navigate their new reality and relationship? 

Written by Chloe Moss and directed by Georgette Verdin the play opens with Marie (played by Aila  Ayilam Peck) in a dingy one room flat watching TV when there’s a knock on the door that startles her.  Several more knocks send her scurrying and as she hides behind some furniture, a voice calls out to her that she recognizes. It was that of her old cellmate, Lorraine (played by Linda Reiter). Lorraine has been  released from prison and has come calling to check in on Marie. Marie opens the door and Lorraine  comes in and immediately fills the tiny flat with her presence. Marie seems unaware of the reason Lorraine has come calling and from Lorraine we learn that Marie offered her a place to stay upon release. To which, Marie explains time had gotten away from her and she just forgot…whether or not that is true is open for discussion. And that is our jumping off point. 

(left to right) Linda Reiter and Aila Ayilam Peck in Shattered Globe Theatre Company & Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of This Wide Night. Photo by Michael Brosilow

As the story unfolds, the women rekindle their friendship and we see how strong of a bond these two  have. Lorraine appears to be old enough to have a daughter Marie’s age and at different points they are mother and daughter to each other. Supportive, consoling and offering advice one minute and the next  petulant and lashing out. We soon learn that each woman is harboring a secret that greatly affects their  relationship and chances of survival. And, it is only in their relationship that they can find the strength to make their way through, together. 

It is their dynamic that makes this play so very interesting to watch. Two hander plays can be especially difficult to sit through unless there are characters of great complexity and duality, which we get in Chole  Moss’s piece. Georgette Verdin expertly orchestrates the rhythm of the play. Nothing feels stagnant or  stilted other than the awkwardness that is baked into the script. Aila Ayilam Peck gives an engaging and  heartbreaking performance as Marie and Linda Reiter shines as the equal parts, charming and annoying  (in the most endearing way) Lorraine.  

(left to right) Linda Reiter and Aila Ayilam Peck in Shattered Globe Theatre Company & Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of This Wide Night. Photo by Michael Brosilow

This Wide Night is a co-production between Shattered Globe Theatre and Interrobang Theatre Project. It  is running at Theater Wit until November 8 and is definitely worth putting on a mask and supporting  Chicago storefront theatre. 

The production team includes Sotirios I. Livaditis (scenic design), LaVisa Angela Williams (costume design), Trey Brazeal (lighting design), Christopher Kriz+ (original music and sound design), Rae Watson (props design), Gaby Labotka (fight director and intimacy director), Elise Kauzlaric (dialect coach), Mason-Vivit Consulting Group (EDI consultants), Alexis Ward (assistant director, COVID compliance officer), Richie Vavrina (production manager), Johnnie Schleyler (technical director), Nick Chamernik (master electrician), Tina M. Jach (stage manager) and Becca Smith (assistant stage manager).

(left to right) Linda Reiter and Aila Ayilam Peck in Shattered Globe Theatre Company & Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of This Wide Night. Photo by Michael Brosilow

Shattered Globe understands that ticket prices can pose a financial burden and, at times, an obstacle for theatregoers. A number of waived tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for students and community members experiencing access barriers to theatre. If you would like to be added to SGT’s Waived Ticket Waitlist, please reach out to [email protected].

Please note: Theater Wit currently requires all audience members to wear masks and to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 48 hours of curtain time. All cast and crew members are fully vaccinated. For additional information on COVID safety guidelines and Theater’s Wit’s ticket refund policy, visit www.theaterwit.org.

(pictured) Aila Ayilam Peck in Shattered Globe Theatre Company & Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of This Wide Night. Photo by Michael Brosilow

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