Filament’s Critically Acclaimed production of LIFEBOAT Returns!

May 1 thru May 24,  2015
Fridays & Saturdays @ 7:30pm
Sundays @ 3pm


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During World War II, a ship carrying 90 evacuees set sail to escape the bombings and dangers of Britain. On Friday September 17, 1940, the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat leaving only eleven of the evacuees alive. As the ship sank, two fifteen year old girls clung to an upturned lifeboat for 19 terrifying hours. Lifeboat is the inspiring true story of Bess Walder and Beth Cummings who survived in the face of despair.

Originally commissioned and produced by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, UK, directed by Gill Robertson

Age Recommendations:

LIFEBOAT is recommended for everyone ages 8+

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The Actors:


(Beth Cummings) looks forward to the rest of 2014 with Filament Theatre. She’s worked regionally with Syracuse Stage (The Lion, Witch, …Wardrobe) and N.Y. Stage & Film (1940’s Radio Hour). She’s performed around Chicago with First Folio, Waltzing Mechanics, Clockwise Theatre, Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, and Muse of Fire. She teaches with and performs for children through Barrel Of Monkeys, as well as a few other performing arts programs. She received a BFA in acting from Syracuse University where she studied abroad in London at the Globe Theatre. Thanks to family, friends, and Filament!


(Bess Walder) In the UK, Molly has appeared in the one-woman drama, THE OCCUPATION OF HEATHER ROSE (Scottish Mental Health Festival), THE LITTLE PRINCE (Ed Fringe), THE NOBEL LAUREATE (National Theatre of Scotland) and in the world premiere of EDWIN MORGAN (Tron Theatre). In Chicago, she has worked with TUTA, Stone Soup Shakespeare, LiveWire, and Three Cat Productions. She is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

The Production Team

PHIL BRANKIN (Assistant Director)
ELIAS NELSON (Stage Manager)
WILL DEAN (Production Manager)
EMILY WAECKER (Costume Designer)
DANIEL CHAPMAN (Lighting Designer)
ELEANOR KAHN (Set Dresser)
MAGDALENA WISTUBA (Filament Marketing Director, Graphic Design)

Originally commissioned and produced by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, UK, directed by Gill Robertson
LIFEBOAT by Nicola McCartney (c) Nicola McCartney 2002 is reproduced by permission of United Agents on behalf of Nicola McCartney.
Copyright agent: United Agents Ltd, 12-26 Lexington Street, London, W1F 0LE

[/tab] [tab title=”DISCOUNTS”] We have FREE and Discounted Tickets Available:

The National Veterans Art Museum is sponsoring our FREE PREVIEWS!
Thursday, April 30th @ 7:30pm
Friday, May 1st @ 7:30pm

Filament is also offering a Pay-What-You-Can performance!
Friday, May 8th @ 7:30pm

Neighborhood Discount
Do you live in the neighborhood? 15 Discounted tickets are made available for all regular performances of LIFEBOAT. Click above to purchase tickets.

Have a group? We recommend purchasing a Filament TenPass! For $120 you receive 10 tickets. The TenPass is good for all Filament productions for a year from your purchase date. Click Here for more details.

[/tab] [tab title=”MEDIA”] Production Photos:

Interview with the Director & Actors:





Audience Response:lifeboat testimonila video

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This is a winning story for children of all ages—an illustration of friendship and grit to stir the heart.” – Chicago Theater Blog

If you want to introduce your kids — and yourself — to a shipwreck story with the full panoply of human drama (class difference, friendship, family, warfare, and “The Wizard of Oz”), grab a seat on Filament Theatre’s “Lifeboat.”” – Chicago Tribune

Bunder and Dale, under Ritchey’s pinpoint direction, deliver surefooted performances that shine a warm light on this nearly forgotten historic footnote.” – Chicago Tribune

The daring choice to limit the actors to two requires they do as much heavy lifting as an average one-person show, and Dale and Bunder deliver two beautifully beguiling performances.” – Chicago Theatre Blog

Lifeboat is the great marriage of an amazing true story and the amazing immersive capabilities of theatre.” – Chicago Theatre Review

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