TimeLine Theatre Company Presents BOY Review – Inspired by a true story

TimeLine Theatre Company BOY
Jenny (Emily Marso, left) and Adam (Theo Germaine) are drawn to each other in BOY. Photo by Lara Goetsch

TimeLine Theatre Company presents BOY in a very intimate staging setup at TimeLine Theatre. This play, written by Anna Ziegler, directed by Damon Kiely and inspired by a very touching real story that occurred in the 1960s, is an exceptional representation of the complexity of gender identity. Furthermore, it raises awareness on issues that are surfacing now in the news and in the legislator’s agendas, as transgender and intersex people are starting to have a voice and fight social taboos.

Intense, sensitive and gut-wrenching

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You might not know anything about this or not feel beforehand identified with the movement and still be touched by this story. It ultimately deals with feelings deeply rooted in the human being like love and anger and needs as basic as being accepted or just being listened to. But even though the play is intense, sensitive and gut-wrenching, it surprises the public with unexpected humor which helps alleviate the tension building up in front of our eyes, and reaching deeply in our hearts.

TimeLine Theatre

The theatre is one of the many small hidden gems that can be found all over the Windy City. As you enter, the space assigned to the public opens up on the sides in an amphitheater setup, creating a bud effect towards the middle where the action takes place. You are so close it makes you feel part of the action. The “stage” has an entry way on each side and two libraries mirror each other creating a beautiful effect.

Slider photos by Lara Goetsch

Travel in time

The music, the aesthetics of the space and the thoughtfully curated choice of clothes make you travel in time. For this writer the costume designer, Samantha C. Jones, has done a remarkable job recreating the feeling of the 60s. There is something almost magical about how the perfectly ironed trousers of Dr. Wendell Barnes (David Parkes) look like, the impeccably polished shoes and the clean-cut 1960s dresses of Trudy Turner (Mechelle Moe).

Well done!

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbDx-eqaT1s[/embedyt]

Theo Germaine does an incredible job as Adam Turner, a boy forced to grow up as a girl due to a medical accident. The interpretation is natural, emotional, funny and it does not seem like acting at all. But Emily Marso’s interventions as Jenny Lafferty, Adam’s girlfriend, are equally inspiring and refreshing. David Parks embodies Dr. Barnes perfectly and Mechelle Moe (Trudy Turner) and Stef Tovar (Doug Turner) represent Adam’s parents with heart-moving play.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93MknBXgLAs[/embedyt]

TimeLine Theatre Company BOY
Dr. Wendell Barnes (David Parkes, left) works to earn the trust of a young Adam (Theo Germaine) in BOY Photo by Lara Goetsch

“Shaped by society, not biology”

The action constantly moves from present to past in flashback-like sequences that come together as a whole making the audience understand not only the story, but also the complex underlying web of feelings and emotions. This particular situation is caused by the belief that gender is “shaped by society, not biology”, but it expands to any gender related situation that escapes what is socially accepted as normal.

A seamless run

The play runs seamlessly for 90 minutes that pass in a blink of an eye. The acts are interconnected in a very pleasant way. Actors coming and going are interlacing the story flawlessly in a way the public is fully engaged from the beginning till the end. As the final act concludes, the audience breaks the silence with fervent applause in appreciation for the astonishing work of these actors.


Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.


Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago



January 18 through March 18, 2018

Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays 7:30 pm (except 8:30 pm on 2/14) 

Fridays 8 pm

Saturdays 4 pm & 8 pm (except no 4 pm on 1/20) 

Sundays 2 pm


TimeLine Theatre

615 W. Wellington Ave.

Chicago, IL


Single ticket prices are $40 (Wednesday through Friday)
$49 (Saturday evenings)
$54 (Saturday and Sunday matinees)
Preview tickets are $25.
Student discount is 35% off regular price with valid ID.
TimeLine is also a member of TCG’s Blue Star Theatre Program and is offering $25 tickets to U.S. military personnel, veterans, first responders, and their spouses and family.

Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Ticket buyers age 18-35 may join TimeLine’s free MyLine program to obtain access to discounted tickets, special events and more. Visit timelinetheatre.com/discounts for more about Blue Star, MyLine and other available discounts.

Advance purchase is recommended as performances may sell out. For tickets and information, visit TimeLine Theatre website or call the Box Office at (773) 281-8463 x6.

Laura Buciuman
Laura Buciuman Photo by Casey Mitchell

About the Author

Laura Buciuman is currently a Marketing Assistant at the Tourist Office of Spain in Chicago. Open-minded and curious, with a major in journalism and philosophy (North University, Romania) and two Master Degrees, one in English and Spanish for specific and business purposes (Alicante University, Spain) and another in International Tourism (EOI Business School, Spain), Laura is passionate about writing, storytelling, traveling, arts and culture. She has already lived in four different countries and visited many others and enjoys discovering different cultures. Reading, gastronomy, latin dances and yoga are some of her hobbies.

Editor's Note:  Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Laura Buciuman

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