by John Conroy | directed by Nick Bowling
Catey Sullivan interviews John Conroy: "We talked with Conroy about whether the real-life players will recognize themselves, why he feels media coverage of that trial was ultimately a failure, and how the subject of police torture is still of paramount importance."
Rick Kogan talks with playwright John Conroy: "I am overwhelmed with gratitude to TimeLine Theatre," [Conroy] said early Monday morning, "which really stuck its neck out, knowing the blade hovered close, to do this play."
Michael Miner interviews John Conroy: "During the years that John Conroy was writing about police torture for the Reader, he and I sat at his kitchen table when each new story was done and went through it line by line. ... He was practicing high-wire journalism. The facts had to be unimpeachable. Art is different."
Hedy Weiss talks with playwright John Conroy: "'Torture is done by people like you and me,' said Conroy. 'Once it starts it is hard to stop it. And the class of those who are 'torturable' enlarges.'"
WBEZ 91.5 FM
Steve Edwards explores provocative questions about the nature of evil, the complicity of the bystander, and the power of theater to evoke and stir emotions in an extended interview with journalist/playwright John Conroy on "The Afternoon Shift."
WGN 720 AM
Rick Kogan interviews John Conroy (My Kind of Town) and Laura Caldwell (Question of Trust) about their work exploring forced confessions and wrongful conviction.
FM NEWS 101.1
A series of 90-second reports by Charlie Meyerson, featuring clips from the show and an interview with John Conroy.
CHICAGO OFF BOOK
Artistic Director PJ Powers is interviewed about My Kind of Town, TimeLine's 15th Anniversary, and his own career. (TimeLine segment starts at 31:00)
— or call —
On May 16, 2012, the Chicago Sun-Times published an editorial entitled "No real innocents in Burge's world of torture," saying that TimeLine's production of John Conroy's My Kind of Town "lets no one off the hook."
"Under Nick Bowling's tense, empathetic direction, all of this is told with spellbinding power. The personal stories are woven together skillfully, often intermingling in the same tiny stage space. Conroy is as tough a dramatist as he is a journalist: he doesn't settle for easy melodramatics, neat resolutions or moral absolutes. Victims of torture are not necessarily innocent. Good people make moral compromises. Bad ones have their justifications. And in the real world, we often have to be satisfied with partial victories."
3 1/2 STARS. "In Chicago, the theater is where Chicagoans go to hear about their city and debate, maybe even save, its soul ... [My Kind of Town is] a long-in-the-works drama that gripped its audience on Saturday night ... Despite the moral force of this play, and the explosiveness of its content, the tone of My Kind of Town is strikingly careful and balanced ... the muted tone of the piece is wholly compelling."
Highly Recommended. "TimeLine Theatre has worked something of a miracle. ... Collaborating with Nick Bowling, that invariably probing and artful director, and a uniformly exceptional cast, Conroy has created a vitally important piece of political theater ... A provocative play, without question. And most crucially, because of its gut-wrenching honesty and the brave work of its actors, an entirely riveting one."
WBEZ 91.5 FM
The Dueling Critics (Kelly Kleiman and Jonathan Abarbanel) talk with host Steve Edwards on "The Afternoon Shift" about the interplay between journalism and theatre. "This is John Conroy's first play ... Every playwright in the world should have as good and as successful a first play ... it is a very very strong and well-crafted vehicle."
Hedy Weiss discusses her "Highly Recommended" assessment of My Kind of Town. "This is not a docudrama ... it's just a fascinating portrait ... it's really effective theater" (My Kind of Town segment, including clips from the show, starts at 4:45)
CHICAGO THEATER BEAT
"“A compelling, urgently necessary piece of work ... the torture can’t be solely blamed on one or even a group of rogue cops. The number of people morally if not physically 'in the room' when the torture took place includes the assistant state’s attorney, Breen’s family, and every single Chicagoan who simply chose not to pay attention.”
STAGE AND CINEMA
"Audiences at the TimeLine Theatre expecting a no-brainer indictment of Chicago police torture are in for a surprising, unsettling, and suspenseful evening."
WINDY CITY TIMES
"[John] Conroy paints his timely drama with thoughtful shades of gray, prompting the audience to invest both in the personal issues of his characters and the moral issue of torture itself ... My Kind of Town definitely unsettles and provokes, which is the mark of a dramatic job well done by Conroy and the combined forces of TimeLine Theatre."
CHICAGO ON THE AISLE
"What's most impressive about John Conroy's play My Kind of Town ... is its finesse and completeness as drama. ... Directed by the ever-resourceful Nick Bowling, My Kind of Town churns forward with provocative ambiguity, scene melding into scene. ... Far from a rush to judgment, it is the even-handed work of a good reporter become adept dramatist."
THE FOURTH WALSH / CHICAGO NOW
"The rippling complexities make for a fascinating story. ... I've seen many shows at TimeLine Theatre. This is my favorite one ever. ... Conroy's twists shock and disturb. ... It's a brilliant mixture of crime and human drama! One show that won't let you down."
AROUND THE TOWN CHICAGO
"5 STARS ... This stunning new play written by by John Conroy and sharply directed by Nick Bowling takes us back in time ... If you love history, if you love mystery, if you love cop stories, you will love this show."
CHICAGO STAGE STYLE
"An "urgent and ultimately redemptive TimeLine Theatre slice of scandal, superbly shaped by Nick Bowling."
“Highly Recommended ... Conroy's play covers both sides–the victims and the detective's point of view. ... Conroy uses interlocking story lines and smartly constructed flashbacks to humanize the issue and effects of corruption and coverup on all players."
“I recommend that you put [TimeLine Theatre] on your must-go list for consistently engaging evenings at the theater. ... [John] Conroy has turned his long-running expose about a Chicago police torture scandal into riveting and disturbing drama ... the result is gripping theater."
TIME OUT CHICAGO
“My Kind of Town is an important play, one that successfully depicts the complicated ecosystem in which men and women who've sworn to serve and protect the citizenry can become its greatest oppressors."