It’s ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ for UIC Theatre

scene from A Matter of Life and Death

The UIC Theatre cast rehearses its latest play, “A Matter of Life and Death,” opening Friday.

Original music, dance, bicycles and pingpong — it’s all there in the season’s final production by UIC Theatre, a play based on the 1946 classic film “Stairway to Heaven.”

“A Matter of Life and Death” (the film’s alternate title) opens Friday and runs through April 19. It is directed by Heidi Stillman, Lookingglass Theatre artistic director of new works. The UIC Theatre production is the North American premiere of an adaptation by Emma Rice and Tom Morris.

Set in World War II, the plot concerns a doomed British pilot (played by David Niven in the film) who contacts an American radio operator named June (Kim Hunter) just before he’s about to jump without a parachute. He survives and finds himself before a celestial court of law, which must decide whether he lives or dies.

UIC’s production features original music by a band made up of six theatre students, with lyrics from the play. There’s a big dance number, characters riding bikes throughout the action, a magical ping-pong match and a 14-foot “stairway to heaven.”

“The set pieces will be manipulated to imply setting, location and specific wartime imagery,” said stage manager Dina Klahn. “The play bounces between the real and surreal, and between war and love.”



April 10, 11, 16, 17, 18
at 7:30 p.m.

April 12, 15, 19
at 2 p.m.





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