Cast, production team announced for U.S. Premiere of ‘I Know My Own Heart’

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CHICAGO — “I Know My Own Heart” by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue, was inspired by the secret coded diaries of Yorkshire gentlewoman Anne Lister. It details Lister’s affairs with various women in the early 19th Century. Donoghue is best known for her novel and subsequent screenplay and stage play of “Room.” The film version of “Room” was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Brie Larson’s award-winning performance. This will be the US premiere of “I Know My Own Heart” and it will be directed by Elizabeth Swanson. Swanson says, “Heart is a colorful chamber drama about a woman who works toward that most elusive end – to know herself. And what she uncovers about her needs and desires challenges every traditional queer narrative.”

Swanson’s cast, which was announced today, will be led by Vahishta Vafadari as Anne Lister. Vafadari was recently seen as Roxane in BoHo Theatre’s Jeff award-winning production of “Cyrano.” Also in the four-person cast are Jessie Ellingsen  (“Romeo & Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with Shakespeare All-Stars), Eleanor Katz (“Arms and the Man” with City Lit and “Cyrano” with BoHo),  and Lauren Grace Thompson (“Frankenstein” with Lifeline Theatre and “Twelfth Night” Montana Shakespeare in the Parks). The design team will include Melissa Perkins (costume design), Blake Cordell (sound and lighting design) and Elyse Balogh (scenic painting).

Tickets are available now at or by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222.

Press release from Pride Films & Plays



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