Rocco Sisto, Aya Cash, and Erik Lochtefeld; photo by Joan Marcus


Aya Cash, Ken Barnett, and Graydon Peter Yosowitz; photo by Joan Marcus


Brian Lee Huynh; photo by Joan Marcus


Graydon Peter Yosowitz and Aya Cash; photo by Joan Marcus


Brian Lee Huynh and Erik Lochtefeld; photo by Joan Marcus


The Debate Society (L to R): Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen, Oliver Butler. Photo by Zack DeZon.

The Light Years

Mainstage Theater

Written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen
Developed and Directed by Oliver Butler
Made by The Debate Society 

World Premiere

Behold The Spectatorium: an audacious, visionary 12,000-seat theater designed for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 by Steele MacKaye, the now-forgotten theatrical impresario around whom this haunted, 40-year love story spins. From the minds of celebrated play-making company The Debate Society, The Light Years is an epic, intimate tale of two families struggling to meet their future, and a spectacular tribute to man’s indomitable spirit of invention.

Ken Barnett — Lou
Aya Cash — Adeline/Ruth
Brian Lee Huynh — Hong Sling
Erik Lochtefeld — Hillary
Rocco Sisto — Steele MacKaye
Graydon Peter Yosowitz — Charlie

Scenic Design: Laura Jellinek
Costume Design : Michael Krass
Lighting Design: Russell H. Champa
Sound Design: Lee Kinney
Original Music : Daniel Kluger
Production Stage Manager: Ryan Gohsman


More Reviews


The Light Years Trailer

Two families. Two Chicago World's Fairs. One star, 40 light years away, tying two Fairs together with a ribbon of cosmic light.


From the Artistic Director: The Light Years

The Debate Society’s collaboratively devised plays frequently recreate vivid slices of Americana, but they generally evoke periods from more recent memory, fashioning a vibe that is in equal parts cheeky, nerdily hip, and spooky.