BEAUTIFUL AUTISTIC

by Scott Woldman / directed by Rachel Edwards Harvith / a world premiere at Chicago Dramatists, 2016 / Jeff Nomination for Best Actor in a Principal Role (Nicholas Harazin*)

"Scott Woldman's Beautiful Autistic plays like a cross between David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago and Rain Man, with a dark underbelly ripped out of Neil LaBute. (Er, so to speak.) Now in its world premiere at Chicago Dramatists, Woldman's story about an autistic young man and his misogynist barfly pal is by turns hilarious and discomfiting, inverting our expectations for the narrative against us with blunt-force trauma. ... Director Rachel Edwards Harvith helps negotiate the shifts in tone from buddy-movie comedy to tender flashbacks with Susan and Jimmy. Harazin commits beautifully to the difficulties inherent in playing a character who wants to connect with others but literally has no idea how to go about it. Woldman does an excellent job tying together past moments in Jimmy's life with how they've affected him in the present. The reveals are smart without feeling too studied. ... Woldman finds some pretty touching and tough observations about how little the "normal" people in the world understand the beautiful but difficult minds of the Jimmys who surround us." - Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune

"Woldman’s story was inspired by his brother, who grew up knowing that he was different and if you pay close attention, you will find this to be a great learning experience. Harazin’s performance was definitely worth the price of the ticket as he brings his energy to making each movement of each scene as close to real as one might expect. ... Smoothly directed by Rachel Edwards Harvith on a clever set (Katie-Bell Springmann) with sound by Sara Putts and lighting by Jeff Pines, I found the intimate space at Chicago Dramatists perfect for telling this story." - Alan Bresloff, Around the Town Chicago

 

scenic design: Katie-Bell Kenney / lighting design: Jeff Pines / costume design: Kate Setzer Kamphausen / sound design: Sarah Putts / stage manager: Jenniffer Thusing*

starring Nicholas Harazin* as Jimmy /  Wendi Weber* as Susan / Andy Hager as Eric /  Nathaniel Andrews, Clare Cooney, and Arti Ishak as ensemble

photography by Liam Fitzgerald 

 

*denotes a member of Actors Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers