Harper to Stage Tony Award-Winning Play

A wealthy young woman torn between love and family is at the center of “The Heiress,” the Tony award-winning play being staged at Harper College this month. Harper will present the play November 15 through the 24th in the Performing Arts Center, Building R, on the College's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Set in 1850s New York, "The Heiress" tells the story of a young woman whose father threatens to disown her if she marries the handsome suitor with whom she has fallen in love. Originally published in 1947, the play enjoyed a successful Broadway revival last year starring Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain.

Arlington Heights native Matthew Filstead, 20, is making his debut on Harper's stage in the role of Arthur Townsend. For him, the moral questions raised by the play are what drew him to the material. "The play offers a great story, it's entertaining and one can actually learn some life lessons from the show," Filstead said. "For my first play, this has been a great experience."

"Though the story of the play takes place more than 150 years ago, its relevance is timeless," said Harper College Theatre Director Kevin Long, the director of the play. "How many of us get stuck, living to meet others' expectations while suppressing who we really are and want to be?"

A special pre-show conversation with Long and Harper College English Professor Richard Middleton-Kaplan, a special advisor on the play, will take place at 1 p.m. prior to the matinee performances on November 17 and 24. Complimentary coffee will be served at these free events. Tickets for the play are $15, available through the box office at 847.925.6100 or at harpercollege.edu/boxoffice.

Press contact: Patrick Bromley, Media Relations Assistant, 847.925.6000 ext.2564