Bronte sisters in Chicago

If Windy City residents feel a chilly breeze, it could be from the Yorkshire Moors thanks to a few Brontë-inspired productions that have blown into town.

Mi Kang portrays Lucy Snow in the world premiere of Villette at Lookingglass Theatre in Water Tower Water Works (through April 23). Based on Charlotte Brontë’s novel of the same name, the play is directed by Ensemble Member Tracy Walsh. “This is a story about the triumph of spirit,” says the company’s artistic associate Sara Gmitter, who adapted the work for stage. “Villette is a gift to everyone who has ever felt misunderstood.” 

The cast includes Mo Shipley as Ginerva Fanshawe, Helen Joo Lee as Madame Beck, Renée Lockett as Mrs. Bretton, Ronald Román-Meléndez as John Graham Bretton, and Debo Balogun as Paul Emmanuel. 

“We know how much this funny, exciting, moving and complex journey will resonate with audiences,” adds Lookingglass Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman. “The show is an indelible and thoroughly unusual heroine, and one we don’t often see in stories: a shy and ‘plain’ woman, overlooked by most, living in the shadows. Yet, her inner life is vibrant and full of fire. It will be impossible for the audience not to fall in love with the clear-eyed, wry and soulful Lucy Snow.” 

Discounted tickets are available during Chicago Theatre Week through Feb. 26 or while supplies last. For more information, visit and  

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s WorldStage Series presents Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights (through Feb. 19) at The Yard on Navy Pier. Adapted and directed by Emma Rice, the British co-production uses live music, dance, and puppetry in its reimagining of Emily Brontë’s gothic novel. Click here to learn more.

Actress Frances O’Connor makes her directorial debut with Emily. The R-rated biopic offers a fictional account of the creative process Emily Brontë (Emma Mackey) underwent to pen “Wuthering Heights” in rural 19th century England. Shot in the Yorkshire home of the Brontë family, the romantic drama captures the moody landscape and sexual chemistry between the aspiring writer and curate William Weightman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Alexandra Dowling and Amelia Gething play the remaining Brontë sisters Charlotte and Anne, respectively, with Fionn Whitehead as their wayward brother Bramwell and Adrian Dunbar as their stern father.

Emily opens on Feb. 17 at AMC River East 21, AMC Village Crossing 18, and AMC NEWCITY 14. For tickets and screen times, visit

Ms. Arvia is a Rebellious columnist and movie critic; entertainment ghostwriter; award-winning artist; and grant-winning filmmaker.