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World Premiere of ZENOBIA by Lorrisa Julianus

World Premiere Musical by Bolingbrook Playwright Lorrisa Julianus Opens August 15
This year’s Bolingbrook Jubilee will be kicked off with a trip to the ancient world. Zenobia, an original musical written by Bolingbrook’s Lorrisa Julianus and composed by Angela Salvaggione of Joliet, will premiere at the Bolingbrook Performing Arts Center.
The show’s world premiere on August 15 is free to the public and presented by Theatre-on-the-Hill, the Village of Bolingbrook and Mayor Roger C. Claar. Ticketed shows will take place Labor Day weekend.
The show, which stars Julianus as the title character, is based on the real life of the warrior Queen of Palmyra (a metropolitan oasis in ancient Syria). In the story, a slave girl, torn between her vigilante master and the prince of Syria, is catapulted to royalty and threatens Rome’s terrifying emperor—her unknowing father. Julianus said she was drawn to Zenobia because the Empress’ legendary history is all but unknown to modern American audiences. While much of the story is true, many parts were fictionalized, she said.
“It’s musical theatre, not a History Channel documentary," Julianus said light-heartedly. "I encourage audience members intrigued by Zenobia’s life to investigate the many chapters of it that we didn’t incorporate. In writing this, Angela and I sought to entertain and inspire, making history serve the heart of the story–a testament to the power of love in the face of terrible adversity.”
Bolingbrook resident, Brooks Middle School teacher, and theatre director Ruth Bardy was thrilled to be cast. "It's so exciting to have the opportunity to be part of a world premiere. To create a character for the first time is amazing, and to work with the author is an actor's dream!"
If the subject is ancient, the show is anything but. Several subplots echo today's social conflicts and challenges, particularly social issues that have arisen since the fiscal crisis of 2008-09. "Many of the things we face today have been repeated throughout history, and maybe it's time to point that out and make fun of them a little," Julianus said. 
While the action takes place live on stage, it is accompanied by extensive multimedia and video filmed throughout Chicagoland and south Florida. Julianus, who has performed and directed on the Bolingbrook stage with Theatre-on-the-Hill, said the outdoor venue was perfect for the multimedia epic she envisioned.
“We couldn’t have done any of this without the support and sponsorship of the Village of Bolingbrook and the office of the mayor. Mayor Claar’s commitment to the cultural enrichment of Bolingbrook has kept Theatre-on-the-Hill alive and vibrant for the past decade,” she said. “We are honored that he believed in this musical premiere as an arts outreach for the community, and we will give Bolingbrook a once-in-a-lifetime experience unlike anything the village has ever seen before.”
The show also stars many other Bolingbrook residents, including Scott Bovaird, Bonnie Bovaird, and their two sons, Spencer and Campbell, Victor Rachal, Sharon Hand, David Lichty, Bill Smith, Kayaun Pierce, Julie Guida, Dominick Guida, Eric Rivera, Jonathan O'Brien, and Matthew Bockus.
"I am thrilled that my family is a part of Zenobia," said Bonnie Bovaird. "The story, script, and music are truly outstanding, as are the people involved in the production. we all look forward to sharing Zenobia with the community."
IF YOU GOZenobia opens on August 15 at 8 p.m. with a single free admission show that opens Bolinbrook's annual village Jubilee. Ticketed shows run Aug. 30 and 31 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. All shows will take place at the Bolingbrook Town Center Stage, 375 W. Briarcliff Road, behind the Village Hall. The show may not be suitable for young children; Julianus rates it at PG-13 for dialogue and intense action.

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  • Jeremy M

    I play 4 different roles throughout the musical, dancing, singing, and fighting the heroes and villains of the play alternatively.

    July 4, 2013

    • Jeremy M

      My role count is now up to 7... what fun these rehearsals are, with all the singing, dancing, and FIGHT SCENES I am the instigator in, being the tallest of the cast at 6'3"...

      July 25, 2013

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