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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Lifeline Theatre's Long-Time Artistic Director Dorothy Milne To Transition Out Of Leadership Position

LIFELINE THEATRE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DOROTHY MILNE
ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP TRANSITION

Dorothy Milne. Photo credit: Carolyn Panknin

There's big news from one of our favorites in the Chicago theatre world today. Slow change is in the works for Lifeline's leadership as a search will commence for their next Artistic Director, over the coming year, with Dorothy Milne staying at the helm through the transition. She's one of a kind, but we're excited to see what's next for Lifeline, and Milne has vowed to stay involved with the company, while passing the torch (and the long hours) on to another.

As Lifeline Theatre continues its 35th season, long-time Artistic Director Dorothy Milne has announced she will transition out of her leadership role during the coming year. “I love my job and I won't be leaving Lifeline,” Milne said. “I will still be an active ensemble member and volunteer. But I'm over 60 years old and I look forward to spending more time away from a desk. 

“Lifeline will conduct a search that invites both internal and external candidates to apply,” Milne continued. “The successful candidate would become a Lifeline ensemble member, if they are not already, and would engage in our ensemble development process. This is not a traditional AD role: we are a true collective, deciding all artistic programming for the season as an ensemble. The ideal candidate is both a creative force and someone who finds passion in mentoring, creating opportunity for others, growing Lifeline's family, engaging our community partners, and actively collaborating with Lifeline's ensemble, board, and staff.”

The search for Milne’s successor will take place over the coming months. The search committee includes members of Lifeline’s Board of Directors, artistic ensemble, and staff. Lifeline hopes to have a successor in place by the end of the current season, but Milne will transition out of her role on a schedule that best suits the new hire and the organization.

Milne joined the Lifeline Artistic Ensemble in 1992 and was chosen as artistic director in 1999, following the departure of founding Producing Director Meryl Friedman. During Milne’s 19-year tenure, the organization has grown dramatically, increasing its annual operating budget from just over $300K to just under $1M. Along the way, Milne has directed 22 shows at Lifeline, produced 116 plays, curated eight outings of the Fillet of Solo live lit/storytelling festival (runs January 12-28), served on the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest planning committee for 16 years, and acted as a fierce ambassador for Lifeline and the Glenwood Avenue Arts District across the community.

“To try to measure the impact that Dorothy has had over the past 19 years is an impossible task,” Managing Director Allison Cain said. “Through her leadership, creative guidance, and dedication, she has not only transformed Lifeline but our neighborhood and theatrical community. I have been so honored to work by her side for the past nine years, and will miss her beyond words. I’m also thankful for the flexible transition timeline she has proposed as it will allow us to be thoughtful in finding the right person to take up the mantle as we move into our next 35 years.”

The remaining shows in the 2017-2018 season:
Click links for our prior coverage & Montauciel Takes Flight ticket giveaway.

The 21st Annual Fillet of Solo Festival
January 12–28, 2018
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.) and Heartland Studio (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.)
Full Schedule: www.lifelinetheatre.com
Tickets: $10 per performance; Festival Pass: $50 

Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline brings together a dozen storytelling collectives and numerous solo performers for a three-week, multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories.

Full details, including participant information, locations and scheduling, for the 2018 Fillet of Solo Festival can be found at www.lifelinetheatre.com

Solo participants include Lily Be, Ada Cheng, Shelby Marie Edwards, Julie Ganey, Carly Jo Geer, R.C. Riley and Jameson Wentworth.

Participating storytelling collectives include Around the World: Immigrant Stories, GayCo, GeNarrations, the kates, The Lifeline Storytelling Project, Sappho’s Salon, Serving the Sentence, Stir Friday Night, The Stoop, Sweat Girls, Tellin’ Tales Theatre, and You’re Being Ridiculous.


Montauciel Takes Flight
World Premiere
A new musical inspired by historical events
Book by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member James E. Grote
Music & Lyrics by Russell J. Coutinho
Directed by Aileen McGroddy

January 13–February 18, 2018

Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., 773.761.4477, www.lifelinetheatre.com

All tickets: $15

Previews: Saturday, Jan. 13 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 14 at 11 a.m. 

Press Opening: Sunday, Jan. 14 at 1 p.m. Regular Run: Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.



Anna Karenina
World Premiere
Based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy
Adapted by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Jessica Wright Buha
Directed by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Amanda Link

February 16–April 8, 2018

Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., 773.761.4477, www.lifelinetheatre.com

Regular tickets $40; preview tickets $20

Previews: Fridays, Feb. 16 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Feb. 17 and 24 at 8 p.m.; Sundays, Feb. 18 and 25 at 4 p.m. 

Press Opening: Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. (press also invited to final preview on Feb. 25 at 

4 p.m.) 

Regular Run: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 4 p.m.

Now in its 35th season, Lifeline Theatre is driven by a passion for story. Our ensemble process supports writers in the development of literary adaptations and new work, and our theatrical and educational programs foster a lifelong engagement with literature and the arts. A cultural anchor of Rogers Park, we are committed to deepening our connection to an ever-growing family of artists and audiences, both near and far. Lifeline Theatre – Big Stories, Up Close.

Lifeline Theatre’s programs are partially supported by Alphawood Foundation; A.R.T League Inc.; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Chicago CityArts, a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; FGMK LLC; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; The Grover Hermann Foundation; The Michael and Mona Heath Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities Council; Lagunitas Brewing Co. Community Grant Program; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; The PAV Grant Fund; The Polk Bros. Foundation; Poubelle Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of Renaissance Charitable Foundation; Rogers Park Social; The Saints; S&C Electric Company Fund; The Shubert Foundation; and the annual support of businesses and individuals.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

OPENING: World Premiere of FLAMINGO & DECATUR at Theater Wit Via Block St Theatre Co

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

World Premiere!
Block St Theatre Co Presents
FLAMINGO & DECATUR
By Todd Taylor 
Directed by Kevin Christopher Fox
January 4 – February 18, 2018 at Theater Wit


Tonight we'll be ChiILin' at Chi, IL's Theater Wit for the press opening of FLAMINGO & DECATUR. We're looking forward to this world premiere production. Check back soon for our full review. 

You know Las Vegas – spinning wheels, neon lights, slinky dresses. But do you really know the city and its almost two million inhabitants? Poker pro turned playwright Todd Taylor takes you inside the real Sin City in Block St Theatre Co’s darkly comedic new play FLAMINGO & DECATUR, directed by Kevin Christopher Fox. The world premiere production will play January 4 – February 18, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 

FLAMINGO & DECATUR will feature Stephanie Bignault, Drew Johnson, Jason M. Shipman and Nathaniel Stahlke.

Set in a foreclosed residential property far from the glamour of the famed Las Vegas strip, FLAMINGO & DECATUR reveals a different side of Sin City. It's here we meet Jackson, a wily professional gambler struggling to stay afloat in the aftermath of the 2008 housing crash that wrecked the city's economy. Jackson thinks he's discovered a surefire way to trim living expenses – find one of the thousands of Vegas houses left vacant by foreclosure and start squatting there illegally with Ben, his online-poker-junkie roommate. But the pair soon finds that not only do they have to stay one step ahead of the law – they must also contend with their antagonistic next-door neighbor Simon, self-appointed guardian of neighborhood property values.

The production team for FLAMINGO & DECATUR includes: Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Chloe Patten (costume design), Alexander Ridgers (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Jessica Mondres (props design), Jennifer Aparicio (production manager) and Celeste Richard (stage manager).

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Regular run: Thursday, January 11 – Sunday, February 18, 2018
Curtain Times: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 2 pm & 7 pm

Tickets: Regular run: $33. Seniors $28, students/military $23. Tickets are currently available at theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at Theater Wit Box Office.

About the Artists:
Todd Taylor (Playwright) As a playwright/producer and founding member of Block St, Todd has spearheaded the company's focus on bringing original new work to the stage. Block St productions of his plays include: Flamingo & Decatur, a dramatic comedy delving into the lives of Vegas gamblers, The Jefferson Bottles, a black comedy inspired by the Koch Brother wine swindle, and Butte, a historical drama based on the rise and fall of copper baron Augustus F. Heinze. Other full-length plays include Calculation, a historical drama based on the calculus priority dispute between Newton and Leibniz, and The Gravedigger's Art, a comedy about finding vocational identity. Originally from the Raleigh, NC area, before coming to dramatic writing Todd worked as a sportswriter for several newspapers, taught community college English and played poker professionally in Las Vegas. He holds a BA in English from Duke University, a MA in English from UNC Greensboro and an MFA in Drama from the University of Arkansas.

Kevin Christopher Fox (Director) Originally from Asheville, NC, Kevin is an actor and director based in Chicago for the past 25 years. Recent Chicago directing highlights include: Bakersfield Mist (TimeLine); the world premiere of Assassination Theater by Hillel Levin (Russell Lane, LLC at Museum of Broadcast Communications); the world premieres of Graveyard of Empires by Elaine Romero and The Gun Show by EM Lewis, Pull of the Moon, Accidental Rapture and The Book Club Play (16th Street Theater), Lay Me Down Softly and Hughie (Irish Theatre of Chicago/Seanachai), Widowers' Houses and Androcles and the Lion (Shaw Chicago), St. Crispin's Day (Strawdog), Arms and the Man and Betrayal (Oak Park Festival), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Gift Theatre Company), Beggars in the House of Plenty (Mary-Arrchie), Widowers' Houses (TimeLine) and his debut Buicks (Precious Mettle). Regional highlights: the world premiere of The Actuary by Steven Peterson (Peninsula Players); the world premieres of The Spiritualist by Robert Ford and Sundown Town by Kevin Cohea, The Fall of the House and MacBeth (TheatreSquared); Macbeth (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Shakespeare in the Schools, adapted and directed); The Study by EM Lewis (William Inge Festival and Center for the Arts). He has directed numerous new play development workshops for Chicago Dramatists, Inge Festival, TimeLine and TheatreSquared at the Arkansas New Play Festival. 

About Block St Theatre Co:
Oh, the majestic Block St Theatre! Towering above the town square with its impressive turn-of-the-century brickwork facade and its understated… wait, wait, OK, there is no actual physical theatre space on Block St (at least not yet anyway). But we chose that name because it represents the metaphorical heart of Fayetteville, Arkansas where Block St Theatre Co was born in 2015.

Like a lot of college towns (it's home to the University of Arkansas), Fayetteville supports a thriving community of artists, musicians, visual artists, writers and of course, theatre artists. Founded by a handful of grads from the U of A's theatre MFA program, Block St aims to provide a venue where some of Fayetteville's bounty of theatre talent can find its expression.

With a little imagination, we've been turning the absence of a permanent physical space from a limitation into an advantage. From a downtown art gallery to a speakeasy bar nestled in the theatre district to a black box on the U of A campus, there's no location in Fayetteville that's off limits to our brand of theatre. And this season, that perform-anywhere attitude has taken us all the way to Chicago!

As we've been welcomed into the Chicago scene by so many wonderful theatre lovers, our emerging mission has come clearly into focus. There is a real pipeline of theatre talent that runs both ways between Fayetteville and Chicago. By doing future productions in both cities, Block St aims to expand on this bridge between two amazing theatre communities!  For additional information, visit www.blocksttheatreco.org

FREE KICKOFF PARTY TONIGHT for 21ST ANNUAL FILLET OF SOLO FESTIVAL 1/12-28 at Lifeline Theatre

Fest Alert
Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

LIFELINE THEATRE PRESENTS THE 21ST ANNUAL
FILLET OF SOLO FESTIVAL, JANUARY 12–28, 2018


Lifeline Partners with 12 Chicago Storytelling Collectives
Free Kick-Off Event With Discounted Festival Passes on 
January 10 at 7 p.m.


Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama we're huge fans of storytelling and live lit. We've also adored Lifeline Theatre for decades, as well as many of the diverse performers and companies they're featuring, like Tekki Lomnicki, GayCo, and Carly Jo Geer. This month, their popular annual feast of storytelling and solo shows, Fillet of Solo is back, so come check it out. Discount passes for the full fest are available TONIGHT at their free kickoff party. 

Lifeline Theatre Artistic Director Dorothy Milne and former Live Bait Theater Artistic Director Sharon Evans are pleased to announce the 21st Annual Fillet of Solo Festival, running January 12–28, 2018. Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline brings 12 storytelling collectives and seven solo performers together for a three-week, multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories. 


LifelineTheatre-FilletofSolo2018 -- GayCo -- photo by Erik Aldrich
All images courtesy of Lifeline Theatre


The 2018 Fillet of Solo festival will perform January 12-28, 2018, in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood at Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood Ave.) and Heartland Studio Theatre (7016 N. Glenwood Ave.). Free parking and shuttle available. Performance times are Fridays at 7 and 8:30 p.m. at both venues; Saturdays at 4 and 5:30 p.m. at Heartland Studio and 7 and 8:30 p.m. at both venues; and Sundays at 4 and 5:30 p.m. at both venues. Ticket prices are $10 for regular single tickets, and $50 for a Festival Pass (allows admission to any performance). Tickets may be purchased at the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, or by visiting www.lifelinetheatre.com.

FREE KICK-OFF NIGHT

The 21st Annual Fillet of Solo Festival offers easy access to 12 Live Lit groups and numerous solo performers that perform regularly throughout Chicago. On Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 at 7 p.m., at Empirical Brew Pub,1328 W. Morse Ave. Lifeline Theatre Artistic Director Dorothy Milne will lead a conversation with numerous local storytellers and share a taste of things to come in the festival.

Discounted Passes: Fillet of Solo Festival Passes will be offered at a special discounted rate of $25 at the free kick-off event (regularly $50). 

The Kick-Off Night is free, no reservations required. Contact the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, for more information. 



LifelineTheatre-FilletofSolo2018 -- Nestor Gomez


FEATURED PERFORMERS

The 21st Annual Fillet of Solo Festival will feature solo performances by:

·         Lily Be: “No Hay Mal”
·         Ada Cheng: “Breaking Rules, Broken Hearts: Loving across Borders”
·         Shelby Marie Edwards: “Holly's Ivy”
·         Julie Ganey: “Vacationing in the Moral High Ground”
·         Carly Jo Geer: “I Come From Hoarders” 
·         R. C. Riley: “Wrong Way Journey”
·         Jameson Wentworth: “[Out of] Context” 

Plus the work of the following storytelling collectives:

·         Around the World: Immigrant Stories: Curated and produced by Nestor Gomez. Celebrated storyteller and 20-time Moth Slam winner Nestor Gomez has assembled a group of local performers to help illuminate the voices of immigrants in our city.
·         GayCo (gayco.com): An ensemble that specializes in creating sketch-comedy revues based on gay/lesbian themes. Since starting as a lesbigay focused workshop at the Second City Training Center in 1996, they’ve performed for massive, enthusiastic, sexy gay audiences in Chicago and across the country 
·         GeNarrations (goodmantheatre.org/Engage-Learn/education-programs/GeNarrations/): A personal narrative story performance workshop hosted at Goodman Theatre and in senior centers around Chicago.
·         the kates (thekates.org): An all-female comedy showcase that provides an intimate night of comedy dedicated to showcasing talented and hilarious female-identified performers by creating inclusive and positive environments. Artists are encouraged to express their comic point of view in unique and non-apologetic ways – proving that women are equal in the eyes of comedy.
·         The Lifeline Storytelling Project (lifelinestorytellingproject.com): The Lifeline Storytelling Project produces live music & storytelling events designed to develop and showcase artists affiliated with Lifeline Theatre.
·         Sappho’s Salon (facebook.com/sapphossalon2): A monthly performance salon at Chicago's Women and Children First bookstore featuring expressions of queerness, gender and feminism.
·         Serving the Sentence (facebook.com/servingthesentencechicago): Different storytellers take the same first sentence -- each in their own direction. At the end of the show, a new sentence is drawn that the next show's storytellers will embark from!
·         Stir Friday Night (stirfridaynight.org): A 22-year-old Asian-American theater company, specializing in sketch comedy and improv. Alumni include Danny Pudi from Community, and Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead.
·         The Stoop (facebook.com/StoopStyleStories): The Stoop is hosted by Moth GrandSLAM champion Lily Be and Badass Clarence Browley.  Featured storytellers are given a theme and each share a short story related to that theme. The Stoop is a platform to bring Chicagoans to a better understanding of each other and to inspire change. Performing regularly at Rosa's Lounge in Humboldt Park, it is as much about community and survival as it is about entertainment. 
·         Sweat Girls (sweatgirls.org): With 24 years of shared history, the Sweat Girls represent the greying edge of Chicago's Live Lit community.  Known for their "contagious gusto" the Sweat Girls have been called "the undisputed tribal elders" of the solo performance scene (Chicago Reader, 2014).
·         Tellin’ Tales Theatre, featuring Tekki Lomnicki (tellintalestheatre.org): Tellin' Tales Theatre shatters the barriers between the disabled and non-disabled worlds through personal story — adult solo performances as well as "Six Stories Up,” a mentoring program and show featuring kids and adults, with and without disabilities. Tekki Lomnicki is a solo performer, playwright, director and educator.
·         You’re Being Ridiculous (yourebeingridiculous.com): “Good stories are better than good times!” A group of real people telling real funny stories about their lives with a theme as their guide. They laugh at themselves and with each other.



LifelineTheatre-FilletofSolo2018 -- Shelby Marie Edwards



PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE


WEEK ONE (January 12-14):
Friday, January 12
Lifeline Theatre                                                     Heartland Studio
7:00 p.m.   Around the World: Immigrant Stories   7:00 p.m.   GayCo
8:30 p.m.   Lily Be (“No Hay Mal”)                          8:30 p.m.   Serving The Sentence 
Saturday, January 13
Lifeline Theatre                                                     Heartland Studio
7:00 p.m.   Julie Ganey (“Vacationing in the         4:00 p.m.   GeNarrations
                  Moral High Ground”)                            5:30 p.m.   Lifeline Storytelling Project
8:30 p.m.   the kates                                              7:00 p.m.   R.C. Riley (“Wrong Way Journey”)
                                                                              8:30 p.m.   Sappho’s Salon
Sunday, January 14
Lifeline Theatre                                                     Heartland Studio
4:00 p.m.   Tellin’ Tales Theatre/Tekki Lomnicki   4:00 p.m.   Jameson Wentworth (“[Out of] Context”)
5:30 p.m.   Sweat Girls                                          5:30 p.m.   Shelby Marie Edwards (“Holly’s Ivy”) 
WEEK TWO (January 19-21):                       
Friday, January 19
Lifeline Theatre                                                     Heartland Studio
7:00 p.m.   the kates                                              7:00 p.m.   Sappho’s Salon
8:30 p.m.   You’re Being Ridiculous                      8:30 p.m.   Stir Friday Night
Performance schedule, continued:
Saturday, January 20
Lifeline Theatre                                                     Heartland Studio
7:00 p.m.   Lily Be (“No Hay Mal”)                          4:00 p.m.   Serving The Sentence
8:30 p.m.   Julie Ganey (“Vacationing in the         5:30 p.m.   Carly Jo Geer (“I Come From Hoarders”) 
                  Moral High Ground”)                            7:00 p.m.   GayCo
                                                                              8:30 p.m.   Shelby Marie Edwards (“Holly’s Ivy”) 
Sunday, January 21
Lifeline Theatre                                                     Heartland Studio
4:00 p.m.   Tellin’ Tales Theatre/Tekki Lomnicki   4:00 p.m.   GeNarrations
5:30 p.m.   Lifeline Storytelling Project                 5:30 p.m.   Ada Cheng (“Breaking Rules, Broken 
                                                                                                Hearts: Loving across Borders”) 
WEEK THREE (January 26-28):
Friday, January 26
Lifeline Theatre                                                     Heartland Studio
7:00 p.m.   Julie Ganey (“Vacationing in the         7:00 p.m.   Carly Jo Geer (“I Come From Hoarders”)
                  Moral High Ground”)                            8:30 p.m.   Stir Friday Night
8:30 p.m.   the kates                                              
Saturday, January 27
Lifeline Theatre                                                     Heartland Studio
7:00 p.m.   Around the World: Immigrant Stories   4:00 p.m.   Lifeline Storytelling Project
8:30 p.m.   You’re Being Ridiculous                      5:30 p.m.   The Stoop
                                                                              7:00 p.m.   Ada Cheng (“Breaking Rules, Broken
                                                                                                Hearts: Loving across Borders”)
                                                                              8:30 p.m.   Jameson Wentworth (“[Out of] Context”)
Sunday, January 28
Lifeline Theatre                                                     Heartland Studio
4:00 p.m.   Tellin’ Tales Theatre/Tekki Lomnicki   4:00 p.m.   Serving The Sentence
5:30 p.m.   Sweat Girls                                          5:30 p.m.   R.C. Riley (“Wrong Way Journey”)
  



Now in its 35th season, Lifeline Theatre is driven by a passion for story. Our ensemble process supports writers in the development of literary adaptations and new work, and our theatrical and educational programs foster a lifelong engagement with literature and the arts. A cultural anchor of Rogers Park, we are committed to deepening our connection to an ever-growing family of artists and audiences, both near and far. Lifeline Theatre – Big Stories, Up Close.




Lifeline Theatre’s programs are partially supported by Alphawood Foundation; A.R.T League Inc.; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Chicago CityArts, a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; The Common Cup; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; FGMK LLC; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; The Grover Hermann Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities Council; Lagunitas Brewing Co. Community Grant Program; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; The PAV Grant Fund; The Polk Bros. Foundation; Poubelle Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of Renaissance Charitable Foundation; Rogers Park Social; The Saints; S&C Electric Company Fund; The Shubert Foundation; and the annual support of businesses and individuals.

REVIEW: For The Loyal Tackles Reality and Morality In Football Coach Pedophilia Scandal

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Interrobang Theatre Project Presents
FOR THE LOYAL
By Lee Blessing
Directed by Co-Artistic Director James Yost


Through February 4, 2018 at The Athenaeum Theatre

(left to right) Matthew NerberRob Frankel and Sarah Gise in Interrobang Theatre Project's Chicago premiere of FOR THE LOYAL. Photo by Emily Schwartz.


Review:
Interrobang Theatre's at it again, challenging perceptions and pulling no punches. There are plenty of plot twists in this cleverly crafted drama, where 5 characters run through an entire playbook of possible outcomes, when a talented coach is caught making illegal choices with a child.

There are many truth bombs here about complicity and why society often gives a pass to role models suspected of sketchy behavior. We teach our children to beware of strangers when we should teach them to beware of heroes! When beloved coaches, teachers, community leaders, doctors, friends and family abuse the trust of children and adolescents, it's beyond complicated to find hard evidence, rip lives apart, and destroy the good being done, in order to protect current and future victims. People don't want to look under rocks. It's easier to be naive than to be disloyal and believe horrific truths about those we trust with our children. When loyalty to a team or a family is sacred, it's beyond bravery to go against that bond.

Even in the "Me Too" era, it's often easier to look away from the abyss than to deal with the repercussions of whistle blowing, from not being believed to being fired or retaliated against. This show also goes well beyond knee jerk reactions to taboos like pedophilia and incest, to explore why victims stay silent, even calling into question the cringeworthy grey areas where some actually welcome the money or crave the attention of their abusers and feel ambiguously responsible.


(left to right) Sarah Gise and Richard David in Interrobang Theatre Project's Chicago premiere of FOR THE LOYAL. Photo by Emily Schwartz.

For the Loyal also explores the morality of taking extreme measures to protect our children. Is another illegal act like murder justifiable to stop a serial child molester who'll likely never stop? Is a sympathetic pregnant mother above the law and justified in protecting her children and others by any means necessary? Is an organization complicit in cover ups, if it turns a blind eye to protects it talent pool from ugly accusations? Is lying to the police and powers that be an acceptable crime when livelihood is on the line? 

We recommend checking out this intricate and excellent production. 


Presented as part of Interrobang Theatre Project’s 'RAW Series'
exploring the urgent question “What is Truth?”. As we begin 2018, few things are as American as football and sex abuse scandals, so this on stage exploration is more than timely.


Important Info: Due to strong language, not recommended for all ages. Performance lasts 78 minutes without intermission.

Running time: 80 minutes, no intermission.



Photos by Emily Schwartz.
Sarah Gise, Rob Frankel & Matthew Nerber

Following its hit production of FOXFINDER, Interrobang Theatre Project is pleased to continue its 2017-18 Season, exploring the urgent question “What is Truth?,” with the Chicago premiere of Lee Blessing's shocking and thought-provoking new play FOR THE LOYAL, directed by Co-Artistic Director James Yost*. FOR THE LOYAL will play January 6 – February 4, 2018 at The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio 1), 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.interrobangtheatre.org, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office. 

FOR THE LOYAL features ensemble members Sarah Gise* as Mia and Matthew Nerber* as Toby with Richard David as The Boy, Rob Frankel as Carlson and Josh Zagoren as Hale.

For Toby and Mia, college football and family are one and the same; he has a new coaching job for a top team, and they are happily expecting their first born. But when Toby gets Mia enmeshed in an unseemly team secret, she is forced to decide where her loyalties truly lie. Inspired by the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, FOR THE LOYAL takes an unconventional and provocative look at how one woman traverses a no-win situation. 

FOR THE LOYAL is presented as part of Interrobang's RAW Series. Think of it a bit like theatrical sashimi. Big ideas, bold flavors – everything you’ve come to expect from Interrobang Theatre Project – without the trimmings. We’ve stripped down the classic stage elements to put the story front and center. The RAW Series features passion-projects and bucket-list productions spearheaded by our talented ensemble. In addition to our regularly scheduled plays, the RAW Series aims to bring concise, actor-driven theater to the Chicago stage. 

The production team for FOR THE LOYAL includes: Pauline Olesky (scenic design), Rebecca Bartle (lighting design), Christopher Aaron Knarr* (original music), Hannah Wolff (asst. director), Elana Elyce* (artistic producer) and Shawn Galligan* (stage manager).

*Denotes Interrobang Theatre Project Company Member. 

Location: The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio 1), 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago

Regular run: Thursday, January 11 – Sunday, February 4, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, and Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 2 pm & 7:30 pm: Sundays at 2 pm. 

Tickets: Regular run: $32. Students $17 with ID. (Ticket prices include $2 Athenaeum Theatre restoration fee). 
Tickets are currently available at www.interrobangtheatre.org, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office.

About the Artists:

Lee Blessing’s (Playwright) play A Walk in the Woods was produced on Broadway and London's West End. His Off-Broadway productions include A Body of Water, Primary Stages; Going To St. Ives, Primary Stages (Outer Critic’s Circle Award, Best Play, Obie for ensemble performance); Thief River, Signature Theatre (Drama Desk nomination, Best Play); Cobb, Lucille Lortel Theatre (Drama Desk award, best ensemble); Chesapeake, New York Stage and Film at Second Stage; Eleemosynary, Manhattan Theatre Company and Down the Road, the Weissberger Group at the Atlantic Theatre. The Signature Theatre dedicated its 1992-93 season to his work, consisting of Fortinbras, Lake Street Extension, Two Rooms and the world premiere of Patient A. Other world and regional premieres include an adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s Heaven's My Destination, which had its world premiere at the Cleveland Play House, Great Falls in the Humana New Play Festival of the Actors Theatre of Louisville, A Body of Water at the Guthrie Theater and the Old Globe Theatre, Lonesome Hollow, Flag Day and Whores at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, The Scottish Play at La Jolla Playhouse, Black Sheep at Florida Stage and The Winning Streak at George Street Playhouse. Other plays include Independence, Riches, Oldtimers Game, Nice People Dancing To Good Country Music and Perilous Night. Productions of Blessing’s plays have earned awards such as The American Theater Critics Circle Award, the L.A. Drama Critics Award, The Great American Play Award, The Humanitas Award, and the George and Elisabeth Marton Award, among others. He has received nominations for Tony and Olivier awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize. He heads the graduate playwriting program at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.

James Yost (Director) is a Joseph Jefferson Award nominated director and the Co-Artistic Director of Interrobang Theatre Project. He previously served as the producing artistic director for BareBones Theatre Group, a company he co-founded in 1998. Selected credits include: Mr. Marmalade, Psycho Beach Party, Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical, Skylight, The Graduate, The Play About the Baby, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Drift, bash; the latter-day plays, Squirrels, The Wizard of Oz, Lend Me A Tenor, Orson's Shadow, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Pitchfork Disney and Noises Off.  For ITP, credits include Orange Flower Water (Jeff nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Joseph Wiens), Ibsen is Dead, The North Pool (Jeff nominated for best production and best director), Falling (Jeff nominated actors: Justin Tsatsa and Amy Johnson) and last season's critically acclaimed REALLY REALLY (named one of the best shows of 2015 by the Chicago Tribune). Other credits include True West by Sam Shepard for Shattered Globe. This summer he will direct Boeing Boeing for Davidson College. He teaches acting, directing, production design and film at the high school and collegiate level. He is published in Teaching Theatre Journal, a publication of Dramatics Magazine.

About Interrobang Theatre Project
Now in its eighth season, Interrobang Theatre Project, under the artistic leadership of Georgette Verdin and James Yost, has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a “company to watch” and by Time Out Chicago as “one of Chicago’s most promising young theatre companies.” Season seven earned seven non-Equity Jeff Nominations, including Best Director, Production of a Play, Solo Performance and acting nominations for Lead Actor, Actress and Actor in a Supporting Role. Productions have included the world premiere of Calamity West’s Ibsen is Dead (Jeff Recommended), and the Jeff Recommended The Pitchfork Disney, Orange Flower Water, Recent Tragic Events, The Amish Project, The North Pool, and Falling. Director James Yost’s critically-acclaimed Really Really was one of six shows chosen for Chicago Tribune’s list "Best of 2015 in Chicago Fringe Theater.”

What’s an interrobang?
An interrobang is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation point, joining the Latin for “question” (interro) with a proofreading term for “exclamation” (bang). Through the plays we produce, Interrobang Theatre Project aims to pose worthwhile and exciting questions which challenge our understanding and assumptions of who we are and the world in which we live. 

For more information, please visit www.interrobangtheatreproject.org.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

OPENING: The Chicago Premiere of FIVE MILE LAKE at Theater WIT Via Shattered Globe Theatre Through February 24th

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Chicago Premiere!
Shattered Globe Theatre Presents 
FIVE MILE LAKE
By Rachel Bonds
Directed by Cody Estle
January 11 – February 24, 2018 at Theater Wit


Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're elated that the award winning Shattered Globe Theatre is presenting another Chicago Premiere, Rachel Bonds' Five Mile Lake. We'll be out for the press performance on Sunday, January 14th, so check back soon for our full review.

Shattered Globe Theatre is pleased to continue its 2017-18 Season with Rachel Bonds’ new drama FIVE MILE LAKE, directed by Cody Estle. This Chicago premiere asks the question, “In this rapidly transforming world, when is the right time to make a major change in your life? What holds you back?” FIVE MILE LAKE will play January 11 – February 24, 2018 at SGT’s resident home Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, November 15 at www.shatteredglobe.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 

FIVE MILE LAKE features Shattered Globe ensemble members Steve Peebles*, Drew Schad*, Joseph Wiens* and SGT artistic associate Daniela Colucci+ with Aila Peck. 

Top (left to right): Daniela Colucci, Aila Peck, Steve Peebles. Bottom (left to right): Drew Schad and Joseph Wiens.

"That 'couple years' of treading water turned into like...eight." – Mary, Five Mile Lake

Five young adults approaching thirty navigate an unexpected reunion in a small Pennsylvania town: the kind of claustrophobic place that most kids grow up ready to leave. On the banks of a frozen lake, each struggles to make a new choice – the “right” choice – and comes face-to-face with the choices they have already made.

FIVE MILE LAKE is a funny, intimate portrait of unrequited love, tension among siblings, the discomfort of self-reflection, and the consequences of words left unsaid. Bonds creates a "pitch perfect evocation of small moments with life-sized repercussions." (Adrien-Alice Hansel, Studio Theatre).

Comments Director Cody Estle, “Five Mile Lake is a funny and moving portrait of small town people –both the people who stayed and the people who moved away. Sometimes everyone else’s life looks better from a distance but what really defines happiness? Coming from a small town myself and being around the age of these characters brings a special connection – it’s a story that I'm eager to tell. It’s filled with family, dreams and hope – I think it will engage, move and inspire audiences.”

Playwright Rachel Bonds adds, “I wrote this play because I was thinking a lot about the place I’m from and about the constant push-pull I feel about it. At times I think there’s nowhere I feel more at home than in that tiny, tiny mountain town – and times, walking down the whirling, vibrating, city streets, when I can’t believe I managed to spend 18 years there. I wrote this play because I was interested in that conflict in me, and because I was interested in how we look for and find home when we’ve lost our way.”

Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner comments, “The writing in Five Mile Lake is a gift to actors as they explore the tension between what the characters say and what they feel. In this season of all Chicago premieres, Shattered Globe is excited to welcome playwright Rachel Bonds to our theater. She’ll be joining us during the creative process and we look forward to introducing her to Chicago’s theater community and our audiences.”

The production team for FIVE MILE LAKE includes Jeffrey D. Kmiec (scenic design), Hailey Rakowiecki (costume design), JR Lederle (lighting design), Christopher Kriz+ (original music and sound design), Vivian Knouse* (props design), Eva Breneman (dialect coach), A.J. Roy (asst. director), Judy Anderson* (exec. production manager), Colin David (production manager), Denise Savas (stage manager) and Ayanna Wimberley (asst. stage manager).

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, January 11 at 8 pm, Friday, January 12 at 8 pm and Saturday, January 13 at 8 pm 
Regular Run: Thursday, January 18 – Saturday, February 24, 2018 

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there is an added matinee on Saturday, February 24 at 3 pm. 
Touch Tour/Audio Description Performance: Friday, February 2 – 6:30 pm touch tour, 8 pm performance with audio description. $20 tickets available with code “ACCESS.”

Global Perspectives: SGT will be hosting post-show discussions immediately following 3 pm performances on Sundays.

Tickets: Previews: $20 general admission, $10 students, $10 industry tickets with code “FRIEND”. Regular Run: $35 general admission. Discounts: $15 students, $28 seniors, $20 under 30. $15 industry tickets on Thursdays with code “INDUSTRY.” Tickets go on sale Wednesday, November 15 at www.theaterwit.org, in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling (773) 975-8150. Group discounts are currently available by contacting groupsales@shatteredglobe.org or by calling (773) 770-0333. 

* Denotes SGT Ensemble Member
+ Denotes SGT Artistic Associate

About the Artists:
Rachel Bonds (Playwright) plays have been developed or produced by South Coast Rep, Ars Nova, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Roundabout Underground, Atlantic Theater Company, Studio Theatre, New Georges, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and New York Stage & Film, among others. Her plays include: Curve of Departure (Upcoming South Coast Rep, Studio Theatre); Five Mile Lake (South Coast Rep, McCarter, Weissberger Award); The Wolfe Twins (Studio Theatre, Kilroys List 2015); Swimmers (Marin Theatre Co., Sky Cooper Prize, Kilroys List 2014); Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP); Alma (Atlantic Theatre Company commission); Firecracker (Kilroys List 2016); At the Old Place (La Jolla); Michael & Edie (NY Times Critic's Pick, 2010); Winter Games (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Heideman Award); and Anniversary (EST, Sam French OOB Festival Winner). She is an Alumna of the EST’s Youngblood, Ars Nova’s Play Group and SPACE on Ryder Farm’s Working Farm Writers’ Group. She was the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright in Residence at Ars Nova. Current commissions include The Geffen and McCarter. Bonds is a graduate of Brown University.

Cody Estle (Director) is the newly appointed Artistic Director of Raven Theatre. Directing credits include By The Water at Northlight Theatre; The Assembled Parties, A Loss of Roses, Dividing the Estate, Vieux Carré (named by Chicago Tribune as one of the Year's Best in 2014), Good Boys and True, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Boy Gets Girl and Dating Walter Dante at Raven Theatre; American Hero at First Floor Theatre; Scarcity at Redtwist Theatre; The Seagull and Watch on the Rhine at The Artistic Home; Don't Go Gentle at Haven Theatre; Uncle Bob at Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company and Hospitality Suite at Citadel Theatre. He’s had the pleasure of assistant directing at Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Court Theatre, Writers Theatre, Next Theatre and Strawdog Theatre. Estle is an associate member of SDC and a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.



About Shattered Globe Theatre
Shattered Globe Theatre (Sandy Shinner, Producing Artistic Director; Doug McDade, Managing Director) was born in a storefront space on Halsted Street in 1991. Since then, SGT has produced more than 60 plays, including nine American and world premieres, and garnered an impressive 42 Jeff Awards and 106 Jeff Award nominations, as well as the acclaim of critics and audiences alike. Shattered Globe is an ensemble driven theater whose mission is to create an intimate, visceral theater experience that challenges the perspective of audience and artist alike through passionate storytelling. Shattered Globe is inspired by the diversity of our city and committed to making the theater available to all audiences.   Through initiatives such as the Protégé Program, Shattered Globe creates a space which allows emerging artists to grow and share in the ensemble experience.

Shattered Globe Theatre is partially supported and funded by generous grants from The Shulman-Rochambeau Charitable Foundation, The James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, The Shubert Foundation, The Blum-Kovler Family Foundation, and The Robert J. & Loretta W. Cooney Family Foundation.

For more information on Shattered Globe Theatre, please visit www.shatteredglobe.org.

Tickets on Sale TODAY For Chicago Theatre Week, Hot Hits For The Coolest Month

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar For Unbeatable Deals!!





Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we're passionate about Chicago's theatre scene. We've been promoting Chicago Theatre Week since it's inaugural year and we're thrilled it's become such a huge success. Book smokin' deals on the hottest shows in town and binge on theatre February 8 – 18th. Act fast though, tickets are sure sell out at these prices. 

Need some insight? Check out ChiILLiveShows.com for loads of shows on our radar, original theatre reviews, and even ticket giveaways. Check out ChiILMama.com for the same deal with family friendly entertainment. Chicago Theatre Week is on our highly recommended list! Come ChiIL out in Chi, IL and catch some PLAYS. 



Tickets for Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW18), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago, will go on sale Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 10:00am CST. All Theatre Week tickets are priced at $30, $15, or less, and ticket offer details will be listed on the Theatre Week website, www.ChicagoTheatreWeek.com, when tickets go on sale on January 9, 2018.

Chicago Theatre Week will take place February 8 – 18, 2018, spanning a week and two full weekends.  Heading into its sixth year, Chicago Theatre Week is a program of the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Over 120 theatre productions are expected to participate in neighborhoods throughout the city and suburbs. A list of participating productions will be available online on January 9 at www.ChicagoTheatreWeek.com.

A small sample of the many companies expected to participate are: 16th Street Theater, A Red Orchid Theatre, Black Ensemble Theater, Broadway In Chicago, Chicago Children's Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Greenhouse Theater Center, The Joffrey Ballet, Lifeline Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Northlight Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Pride Films and Plays, The Second City, Stage Left Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Underscore Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, Windy City Playhouse and Writers Theatre.

Last year, in February 2017, 128 participating productions offered value-priced tickets to 635 individual performances during Chicago Theatre Week. Over 11,750 tickets were sold in 2017, marking a rapid increase in sales over the course of the initiative. The program continued to bring in new audiences to area theaters with an average of 66% of attendees visiting their chosen theater for the first time. Theatre Week proved to be a draw for visitors from outside Chicago with 13% of patrons coming from beyond 50 miles of the city, including 36 states.

“This year marks the sixth year of Chicago Theatre Week—and each year, the program proves more successful than ever. Last year, almost 12,000 value-priced tickets were sold to 128 participating productions,” comments Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “Almost 2/3 of Chicago Theatre Week patrons surveyed said that it was their first time at that particular theatre and it’s thrilling to know that people are using CTW to discover new companies. This is a week that reminds us all that Chicago is known locally, nationally, and internationally for its theatre scene, and especially for generating new work, showcasing fresh talent and spotlighting its rich Chicago tradition.”

“Chicago is home to legendary hospitality, exemplified every year by Chicago Theater Week,” said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “For 11 days each year, visitors are given a special opportunity to experience a theater scene that is renowned for the quality, creativity and diversity of its productions–from our Tony Award-winning theaters to our neighborhood storefront performances. There’s a seat waiting for you.”

Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Subscribe to the Theatre Week email newsletter or follow @ChicagoPlays on Twitter for updates and announcements. The official hashtag for Chicago Theatre Week 2018 is #CTW18.

About Chicago theater
Chicago theater is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theaters throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theaters in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theaters serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. Last year alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 100 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theaters send new work to resident theaters across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. 



The League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theaters which leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago's theater industry locally, nationally and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theater in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theaters and theater professionals.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com. Half-price tickets to the current week’s performances as well as future performances are available at HotTix.org and at the two Hot Tix half-price ticket locations: across from the Chicago Cultural Center at Expo72 (72 E. Randolph) and Block Thirty Seven (108 N. State).

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