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Friday, July 29, 2016

RESTRUCTURED 2016-17 SEASON ANNOUNCED AT ATC

AMERICAN THEATER COMPANY ANNOUNCES
RESTRUCTURED 2016-17 SEASON

THREE-SHOW LINEUP INCLUDES:
Regional premiere of acclaimed Men On Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus
Reimagined classic Picnic by William Inge
World premiere of T. by Dan Aibel

Plus new Open Residency Program this fall for Chicago artists



American Theater Company (ATC) has restructured its 2016-17 Season and will present three of four previously announced plays, with an updated production schedule. Additionally, ATC will launch a new Open Residency Program for Chicago performance artists this fall. Led by newly appointed Artistic Director Will Davis, Season 32 includes: the regional premiere of Jaclyn BackhausMen On Boats under Davis’ direction, Jan. 6-Feb. 12, 2017, immediately following its current Off Broadway run at Playwrights Horizons; a reimagined classic, Pulitzer Prize winner Picnic by William Inge, directed by Davis, March 17-April 23, 2017; and the world premiere of Dan Aibel’s T., an exploration of the competitive ice skating saga between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, directed by Margot Bordelon, May 19-June 25, 2017. The world premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s We’re Gonna Be Okay will be presented as part of ATC's 2017-18 Season.

“ATC remains fully committed to the projects and artists we've invited to work with us, and we will produce all four of those works on a restructured timeline between this season and next,” says Artistic Director Will Davis. “As the incoming artistic director, it is my job and privilege to shepherd ATC into its next chapter, which must be defined not just by virtuosic artistry but also by fiscal responsibility. It is imperative that I consider this moment of transition carefully to ensure that the work being made in our small but mighty warehouse continues to grow over my tenure, and this season that means we will reimagine our producing footprint. I intend for ATC to be a thriving non-profit and a home base for powerful new works for the American Theater.”

This fall, ATC will host a new residency program for the Chicago performance community, the Open Residency Program. The Residency is interdisciplinary and open to project proposals in all stages of development. Accepted artists will be awarded rehearsal hours and a presentation slot at ATC at the end of their residency. More details and a call for proposals for ATC’s Open Residency Program will be released next month.

“I see my role as Artistic Director to act as the host to as many artists as possible and to share our space with the community,” Davis continues. “I took this job because I am interested throwing open the doors at ATC and inviting theater makers into an artistic dialogue about how we are making new work for the American theater.”

Season subscriptions are on sale now and range from $40-$112.50, with special pricing available for members under the age of 35 and advance purchases before August 31, 2016. To purchase a subscription or for more information, visit www.atcweb.org or call the ATC Box Office at 773-409-4125. Current subscribers will be contacted directly by ATC with ticket exchange options, and will receive complimentary priority seating to an Open Residency performance.

ATC remains committed to its season-long partnership with Chicago Inclusion Project, whose work creates inclusive theater experiences that bring together Chicago artists and audiences normally separated by physical ability, gender identity and/or ethnic background. The two companies will partner on casting, giving diverse theater artists access to roles they might traditionally have been excluded from. Together with the Chicago Inclusion Project, ATC will continue its commitment to presenting works that boldly reflect the diversity of stories and experiences in America today.

Past world premiere productions at ATC include Stephen Karam’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-nominated The Humans and Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced, both of which enjoyed acclaimed Broadway runs. Last spring ATC presented the world premiere of The Project(s), a documentary play about Chicago’s public housing residents written by late Artistic Director PJ Paparelli and Joshua Jaeger. In the 2015-16 Season, ATC produced the co-world premiere of Thomas Bradshaw’s Fulfillment with The Flea Theater in New York and the world premiere of Bruise Easy by Dan LeFranc, playwright of ATC’s blockbuster world premiere The Big Meal, which went on to an acclaimed Off Broadway run at Playwrights Horizons.

AMERICAN THEATER COMPANY’S SEASON 32:

Regional Premiere
Men On Boats
Written by Jaclyn Backhaus
Directed by Will Davis
January 6–February 12, 2017

Ten explorers set out on four boats to map the raging rapids of the Green and Colorado Rivers on the government’s first sanctioned expedition in the American West. Playwright Jaclyn Backhaus and director Will Davis team up again on this play, originally produced by Clubbed Thumb and returning to Playwrights Horizons in New York this summer, in Davis’ first production as ATC’s artistic director. Performed by a genderfluid cast of women and folks otherwise defined, Men On Boats takes back 1869.

Picnic
Written by William Inge
Directed by Will Davis
March 17–April 23, 2017

Closeted and dogged by an acute sense of failure for most of his life until he ended it, William Inge wrote some of the great lyrical plays of the American mid-century, and Picnic was his masterpiece, his playground and, quite possibly, his fantasy. In this loving reimagining, ATC Artistic Director Will Davis puts Inge at the center of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play and animates what is both sacred and profane about small town life against the backdrop of dust bowl hymns and love songs. Part séance, part love letter to a ghost, this Picnic explores a life lived at the periphery of one’s own desire.

World Premiere
T.
Written by Dan Aibel
Directed by Margot Bordelon
May 19–June 25, 2017

“Ice Follies” read the cover of Time Magazine on January 24, 1994, after ice skating medalist favorite Nancy Kerrigan was struck in the leg with a police baton by Shane Stant. In his darkly funny and unrelenting play, Dan Aibel explores the lengths one will go to for fame. Margot Bordelon returns to Chicago to direct this world premiere play named for Tonya Harding, the first woman ever to complete a triple axel jump in competition. Nancy Kerrigan never saw her coming.

SEASON 32 SUBSCRIPTION AND TICKET INFORMATION:         

The American Membership                                     $112.50 (available until Jan. 31, 2017)
Includes reserved seating for each production

Early Bird 3-Ticket Membership                             $90 (before August 31, 2016)
3-Ticket Membership                                                 $105 (Sept. 1, 2016-Jan. 31, 2017)

Under-35 3-Ticket Membership                               $60 (available until Jan. 31, 2017)

Early Bird 2-Ticket Membership                             $60 (before August 31, 2016)
2-Ticket Membership                                                 $70 (Sept. 1, 2016-Jan. 31, 2017)

Under-35 2-Ticket Membership                               $40 (available until Jan. 31, 2017)

ATC is offering the new American Membership in Season 32 for $112.50, which offers the member a reserved seat at each production in the season. ATC is transitioning to general admission seating in Season 32. Under-35 Memberships range in price from $40-60. Early Bird 2- and 3-ticket memberships range in price from $60-$90 and are available until August 31, 2016. Regular memberships range in price from $70-$105 and are available beginning September 1. All Memberships allow you to choose your performance dates upon purchase. To purchase a subscription or for more information, please contact the ATC Box Office at 773-409-4125 or visit www.atcweb.org.

ARTIST BIOS:

Dan Aibel's plays have been developed and/or produced by the Detroit Rep, the Sundance Institute, Syracuse Stage, the Blank Theater (Los Angeles), Flashpoint Theatre Co. (Philadelphia), the Source Theatre (Washington, D.C.) and Outsider's Inn Collective (Seattle). In New York he has worked with Page 73, Rattlestick and The New Group. His play The Meaning of Lunch was seen in Chicago at Stage Left as part of Leapfest 7. A 2014 Sundance Theatre Lab fellow, Dan's plays have been published by Smith & Kraus and Playscripts. He lives in New York.

Jaclyn Backhaus is an Indian-American playwright and co-founder of Fresh Ground Pepper. Recent New York productions include Men On Boats (NYT Critics’ Pick, Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks, The Kilroys' 2015 List), People Doing Math Live! (Under The Radar Festival's INCOMING! Series at The Public Theater), The Incredible Fox Sisters (Live Source, The New Ohio), and You On the Moors Now (Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, upcoming with The Hypocrites in Fall 2016). She has received commissions from Playwrights Horizons and Ars Nova and is the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Clubbed Thumb. Her work has been developed and showcased with the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Playwrights Horizons, The Public and Joe’s Pub, The Ice Factory Festival, (not just) 3 New Plays, The Civilians R&D Group, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Ars Nova’s ANTFest, and The Falcons. She hails from Phoenix, Arizona.

Margot Bordelon is a freelance director who specializes in new work. Recent projects include Jiehae Park's peerless at Yale Repertory Theater, Anna Ziegler's A Delicate Ship for Playwrights Realm (NYT's Critics' Pick), and Joshua Conkel's Okay, Bye at Steppenwolf Theater. In New York, she's directed for Atlantic Theater, NYTW, Clubbed Thumb, Ars Nova, Dodo Theater Collective, Target Margin, The Lark, Juilliard, The Bushwick Starr, Theater Masters, and Stella Adler Institute, among others. Margot moved to the East Coast after spending six years in Chicago working as a director, writer, and performer. She is a founding member of Theatre Seven of Chicago, where she conceived and directed We Live Here; Lies & Liars; and Yes, This Really Happened to Me (all with Cassy Sanders). Margot spent four seasons working at Lookingglass Theatre, where she served as Literary Manager and Company Dramaturg. In Chicago she also worked for Collaboraction, Timeline, Pavement Group, Live Bait, Around the Coyote, Bailiwick, Hell in a Handbag, and Steppenwolf Theatre. She spent three years as a storyteller for 2nd Story, and her autobiographical work has been seen numerous times on the Victory Gardens stage. Theater BFA, Cornish College of the Arts. Directing MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Will Davis is a director and choreographer focused on physically adventurous new work, and the newly appointed artistic director of American Theater Company. Recent projects include: an upcoming production of Evita for the Olney Theatre Center remade and reconsidered; Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus for Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks, receiving a remount at Playwrights Horizons in August; Orange Julius by Basil Kreimendahl; Mike Iveson’s Sorry Robot for PS122’s COIL Festival; and two productions of Colossal by Andrew Hinderaker for Mixed Blood Theater and the Olney Theatre Center, for which he won a Helen Hayes award for outstanding direction. Davis has developed, directed and performed his work with New York Theatre Workshop, Clubbed Thumb, the New Museum, the Olney Theatre Center, the Alliance Theatre, the Playwright's Realm, the Fusebox Festival, New Harmony Project, the Orchard Project, the Ground Floor Residency at Berkeley Rep, Performance Studies International at Stanford University, and the Kennedy Center. He is an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the NYTW 2050 Directing Fellowship and the BAX (Brooklyn Art Exchange) artist in residence program. He holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from DePaul University and an MFA in Directing from UT Austin.

William Inge (1913-1973), a playwright, teacher, and novelist born in Independence, Kansas, wrote a string of successful plays throughout the 40s and 50s. His play Come Back, Little Sheba earned him the title of most promising playwright of the 1950 Broadway season. This success was followed in 1953 by Picnic (winner of the 1953 Pulitzer Prize) and again in 1955 by the highly revered Bus Stop. Inge’s fame continued to grow as The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, a reworking of his first play Farther Off from Heaven opened on Broadway in 1957. The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, considered to be Inge’s finest play, is one in which he draws most directly from his own past. He spent the final years of his life writing two novels: Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff in 1970 and My Son Is a Splendid Driver in 1971. Inge committed suicide on June 10, 1973 at the age of 60.

About American Theater Company
American Theater Company (ATC) challenges and inspires its community by exploring stories that ask the question, "What does it mean to be an American?" ATC’s Ensemble includes Patrick Andrews, Kareem Bandealy, Jaime Castañeda, Kelly O’Sullivan, Tyler Ravelson, and Sadieh Rifai.


American Theater Company is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, and the Shubert Foundation.

EXTENDED: TORUK – The First Flight Adds One Show Due To Popular Demand Friday, August 5 at 3:30 p.m.

One performance added for the new Cirque du Soleil touring show
inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR
 TORUK – The First Flight
written and directed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon
 Presented at the United Center in Chicago beginning August 3


Due to popular demand, Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to announce one additional performance of the upcoming touring show inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight, on Friday, August 5 at 3:30 p.m. This show is in addition to the previously announced performances on August 3-7 at the United Center. The show is presented by Visa Signature® in association with United MileagePlus®.

Tickets for this performance go on sale on Friday, July 29 at 3:00 p.m. CST and can be purchased at https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk


The show
Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.

Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.

This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound
friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.

Creative team

TORUK – The First Flight comprises 13 creators under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté (Guide) and Jean-François Bouchard (Creative Guide) for Cirque du Soleil, and James Cameron, Jon Landau, Kathy Franklin and Richie Baneham for Lightstorm Entertainment:
Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon                Show Writers and Directors, Multimedia Directors
Neilson Vignola                                                 Director of Creation
Carl Fillion                                                           Set and Props Designer
Kym Barrett                                                        Costume and Makeup Designer
Tuan Le and Tan Loc                                        Choreographers
Bob & Bill                                                             Composers and Musical Directors
Jacques Boucher                                              Sound Designer
Alain Lortie                                                         Lighting Designer
Patrick Martel                                                    Puppet Designer
Germain Guillemot                                          Acrobatic Performance Designer
Pierre Masse                                                      Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer


Sponsors and partners
TORUK – The First Flight in Chicago is proud to be presented by Visa Signature®, in association with United MileagePlus®. DHL is the official sponsor. The show is being created through a licensing arrangement with 20th Century Fox.

In an effort to bring audience members involvement to a whole new level, Cirque du Soleil will be launching a first-of-its-kind app for TORUK – The First Flight.  Working with long-time technology partner SAP, the app will enhance the overall show experience and enable audience members to be a part of the action before, during and after the performance! The app can be downloaded from here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/toruk-the-first-flight/id1060239115?mt=8

Follow us at www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight, Twitter @cirque | Instagram @cirquedusoleil | Snapchat @CirqueSnap | #TORUK #Avatar #CirqueduSoleil

Cirque du Soleil
TORUK – The First Flight is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 155 million spectators in more than 300 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com.
To find out more about the ONE DROP Foundation, visit https://www.onedrop.org.


WIN 4 Tickets ($350 approx value) to Cirque du Soleil's TORUK Aug 3rd at United Center

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're SO excited to partner up with Cirque du Soleil and offer our readers a stellar giveaway! Enter HERE for your chance to WIN a family 4 pack of tickets ($350 approx value) to opening night of TORUK – The First Flight on August 3rd! Enter early and often through midnight July 31st. I'll be there with my family on opening night, and you could be too. 




The show
Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.

Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.

This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound
friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.

Creative team
TORUK – The First Flight comprises 13 creators under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté (Guide) and Jean-François Bouchard (Creative Guide) for Cirque du Soleil, and James Cameron, Jon Landau, Kathy Franklin and Richie Baneham for Lightstorm Entertainment:

Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon                Show Writers and Directors, Multimedia Directors
Neilson Vignola                                                 Director of Creation
Carl Fillion                                                           Set and Props Designer
Kym Barrett                                                        Costume and Makeup Designer
Tuan Le and Tan Loc                                        Choreographers
Bob & Bill                                                             Composers and Musical Directors
Jacques Boucher                                              Sound Designer
Alain Lortie                                                         Lighting Designer
Patrick Martel                                                    Puppet Designer
Germain Guillemot                                          Acrobatic Performance Designer
Pierre Masse                                                      Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer

Sponsors and partners
TORUK – The First Flight in Chicago is proud to be presented by Visa Signature®, in association with United MileagePlus®. DHL is the official sponsor. The show is being created through a licensing arrangement with 20th Century Fox.

In an effort to bring audience members involvement to a whole new level, Cirque du Soleil will be launching a first-of-its-kind app for TORUK – The First Flight.  Working with long-time technology partner SAP, the app will enhance the overall show experience and enable audience members to be a part of the action before, during and after the performance! The app can be downloaded HERE. 

GET SOCIAL:

Follow at www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight, Twitter @cirque | Instagram @cirquedusoleil | Snapchat @CirqueSnap | #TORUK #Avatar #CirqueduSoleil

Cirque du Soleil
TORUK – The First Flight is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 155 million spectators in more than 300 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com.
To find out more about the ONE DROP Foundation, visit https://www.onedrop.org.

Disclosure: Thanks to Cirque du Soleil for providing us with complimentary tickets for review purposes and for our giveaway. We were not compensated in any other way. As always, all opinions are our own.



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

FREE Staged Reading of Sarah Ruhl’s In The Next Room, or the vibrator play

The Chicago Inclusion Project
announces casting for upcoming reading of 
Sarah Ruhl’s In The Next Room, 
or the vibrator play
in partnership with TimeLine Theatre Company and 
The League of Chicago Theatres



Here at ChiIL Live Shows we thoroughly enjoy both Sarah Ruhl's writing and TimeLine Theatre Company's productions. Even though this one's just a staged reading at this point, it sounds intriguing. 

Chicago Inclusion Project Founder and Producer Emjoy Gavino is pleased to announce the cast of the next of The Chicago Inclusion Projects reading series, In the Next Room, or the vibratory play by Sarah Ruhl.

The reading, presented in partnership with TimeLine Theatre Company and The League of Chicago Theatres, will take place on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 7pm at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago.

The reading of Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room, or the vibrator play at TimeLine will feature an inclusive cast of actors, including Rom Barkhodar (Dr. Givings), Joseph Anthony Foronda (Mr. Daldry), Mildred Marie Langford (Catherine), Melissa Chanciler (Mrs. Daldry), Anthony DiNicola (Leo), Jennifer Glasse (Stage Directions), Ginneh Thomas (Elizabeth) and Dana Tretta (Annie). The production will be directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe, with Maren Robinson serving as Dramaturg and Charlie Hano as Assistant Dramaturg.

The reading is free and open to the public, but seating is very limited and reservations are required. Seats may be reserved HERE or by calling the TimeLine Theatre box office at 773-281-8463 ext 6.

“When we first sat down with the artistic staff at TimeLine over a year ago, we discussed the challenges that arise in casting choices, particularly when it comes to addressing historical context,” says TCIP Founder and Producer Emjoy Gavino. “It is an issue that many directors who tackle shows set in a specific time period often struggle with. It has been a joy to approach such a beloved text with the idea of ’open casting,’ releasing the decision makers from any pre-conceived notions of what the characters have been or ‘are supposed to be.’ We are excited at how the choices will open the play up.” 

“TimeLine Theatre Company is proud to partner with the Chicago Inclusion Project,” added TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. “We are inspired by their mission and work, and we join them in the quest for inclusivity and bringing people together for shared theatre experiences that ignite conversation and new points of view. Under the direction of TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe, we look forward to bringing a diverse group of artists and audience members to our home on Wellington Avenue for a reading of Sarah Ruhl’s wonderfully funny and provocative In the Next Room, or the vibrator play), and we look forward to fostering an invigorating conversation.”

For information about future TCIP programming, sign up for the mailing list at www.thechicagoinclusionproject.org or follow The Chicago Inclusion Project on Facebook.



ABOUT THE CHICAGO INCLUSION PROJECT
Founded by Actor/Casting Director Emjoy Gavino, The Chicago Inclusion Project is a collective of artists, committed to creating inclusive theater experiences by bringing together Chicago artists and audiences normally separated by ethnic background, economic status, gender identity, physical ability and countless other barriers. By deliberately choosing the unexpected, both in play choices and non-traditional casting, cultivating a diverse audience by bringing new combinations of artists to as many communities in Chicago (and it surrounding suburbs) as possible, choosing facilities for the multiple projects that are handicap accessible and keeping price of tickets affordable, The Chicago Inclusion Project programming aims to unite diverse collections of Chicagoans.

For more information, visit www.thechicagoinclusionproject.org.

ABOUT TIMELINE THEATRE
TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 19 seasons, TimeLine has presented 67 productions, including nine world premieres and 27 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its ninth year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 52 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.


LAST CALL: Don't miss this. Chimerica is highly recommended and a favorite of ours here at ChiIL Live Shows. Even the lobby is uber impressive and interactive. And the show is thought provoking to say the least!

Now playing at TimeLine is the Chicago premiere of Lucy Kirkwood’s acclaimed Chimerica, directed by Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling. Twenty years after the iconic image of one man standing alone in front of a military tank in Tiananmen Square captivated the world, a photojournalist searches for the truth about that mysterious “Tank Man” in an epic, global adventure that explores the complex relationship between China and the United States. Chimerica, winner of the 2014 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, runs through July 31, 2016.

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President John M. Sirek. Company Members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem. For more information, visit timelinetheatre.com.

ABOUT THE LEAGUE OF CHICAGO THEATRES

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals. For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com. Half-price tickets are available year-round at HotTix.org.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

OPENING: Cirque du Soleil's TORUK – The First Flight at the United Center in Chicago August 3-7, 2016


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

The new Cirque du Soleil touring show inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR

TORUK – The First Flight
written and directed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon
 Will be presented at the United Center in Chicago
August 3-7, 2016

*Tickets on sale now*




Here at ChiIL Mama, we're beyond excited about The new Cirque du Soleil touring show inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATAR. We've been promoting TORUK –  The First Flight since December and now it's finally imminently opening. Got your tickets yet? Unlike the Cirque du Soleil tent shows that set up camp for months, their big arena shows are in and out fast. This one's just a 5 night run, so don't miss this! 


We'll be there to review on opening night and we're working on setting up a video interview and behind the scenes photo shoot as we've done with Cirque du Soleil for many years now. Check back soon for our full coverage. ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?! 


**Click here and scroll down for loads of ChiIL Mama's past original Cirque du Soleil live show photos, video interviews with performers, and behind the scenes photo tours (22+ features).**

TORUK –  The First Flight will be presented at the United Center (inside the arena-- not in the lot) on August 3-7, as part of a global tour in arenas. The show is presented by Visa Signature® in association with United MileagePlus®.








Photo: Youssef Shoufan Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil


The show
Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.

Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.

This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.





Photo: Jesse Faatz Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Creative team
TORUK – The First Flight comprises 13 creators under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté (Guide) and Jean-François Bouchard (Creative Guide) for Cirque du Soleil, and James Cameron, Jon Landau, Kathy Franklin and Richie Baneham for Lightstorm Entertainment: 

Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon  Show Writers and Directors, Multimedia Directors
Neilson Vignola Director of Creation
Carl Fillion  Set and Props Designer
Kym Barrett Costume and Makeup Designer
Tuan Le and Tan Loc Choreographers
Bob & Bill Composers and Musical Directors
Jacques Boucher  Sound Designer
Alain Lortie  Lighting Designer
Patrick Martel  Puppet Designer
Germain Guillemot  Acrobatic Performance Designer
Pierre Masse  Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer



Ticket information 
TORUK – The First Flight will be presented at the United Center on August 3-7, 2016. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk.

Help Out



Cirque du Soleil is once again helping Chicago's youth circus, CircEsteem, with one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. If you're available to go August 4th, buy your Cirque du Soleil tickets through this link to fund scholarships for Chicago area kids to study circus arts. CircEsteem brings together kids of many races and socioeconomic situations from across the city and around the world. My own kids took classes there for 3 years and auditioned onto the performance team. It was an incredible experience in confidence building and they made many close friends.



Sponsors and partners
TORUK – The First Flight in Chicago is proud to be presented by Visa Signature®, in association with United MileagePlus®. DHL and ACTIVEON Action Camera are the official sponsors. The show is being created through a licensing arrangement with 20th Century Fox.




Photo: Jesse Faatz Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil




Photo: Jesse Faatz Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

TORUK App: 
In an effort to bring audience members involvement to a whole new level, Cirque du Soleil will be launching a first-of-its-kind app for TORUK – The First Flight.  Working with long-time technology partner SAP, the app will enhance the overall show experience and enable audience members to be a part of the action before, during and after the performance! 

Get Social:
Follow us at www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight, Twitter @cirque | Instagram @cirquedusoleil | Snapchat @CirqueSnap | #TORUK #Avatar #CirqueduSoleil



Cirque du Soleil:
TORUK – The First Flight is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 155 million spectators in more than 300 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com.

To find out more about the ONE DROP Foundation, visit https://www.onedrop.org.

Monday, July 25, 2016

TEATRO VISTA'S 2016-17 SEASON ANNOUNCED

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

NEW PLAYS BY MANDO ALVARADO,IKE HOLTER 
AND SANDRA DELGADO ON TAP FOR
TEATRO VISTA'S 2016-17 SEASON

CHICAGO'S #1 LATINO THEATER TO DEBUT PREMIERES OF 
MANDO ALVARADO'S PARACHUTE MEN, 
IKE HOLTER'S THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE BLOCK
AND SANDRA DELGADO'S LA HAVANA MADRID



Chicago can't get enough of Ike Holter, and we agree. He's the author of 3 recent hits, critically acclaimed Hit the Wall, Exit Strategy and Sender. Here at ChiIL Live Shows we can't wait to check out The Wolf at The End of The Block, commissioned by Teatro Vista!


We're not as familiar with the work of South Texas playwright Mando Alvarado, but we're bemused by the concept of Parachute Men. We're also willing to bet his dramatic comedy about three brothers who suck at being brothers, suck at love and suck at being men will absolutely not suck as a production.


Playwright Sandra Delgado and Teatro Vista were granted the prestigious Joyce Award to support the development of La Havana Madrid. We're quite excited to see this immersive documentary theatre experience which will feature a live band, and provide a theatrical, cinematic and musical history of Latino Caribbeans from mambo to salsa.


Teatro Vista 2016-17 playwrights 
Ike Holter, Mando Alvarado, and Sandra Delgado

Teatro Vista Executive Artistic Director Ricardo Gutiérrez and Managing Director  José Antonio Cruz announced three ambitious, exciting world premieres for Chicago's #1 Latino theater company's upcoming 2016-17 season.

Parachute Men by South Texas playwright Mando Alvarado lands first at the Richard Christiansen Theater at The Biograph at Victory Gardens Theater, where Teatro Vista is in residence. Ensemble member Tommy Rivera-Vega leads the cast in Alvarado's dramatic comedy about three brothers who suck at being brothers, suck at love and suck at being men. Gutiérrez directs. Previews start September 10. Press opening is Friday, September 16 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through October 16.

The Wolf at The End of The Block by Chicago playwright Ike Holter, commissioned by Teatro Vista, is the company's winter premiere. Ensemble members Sandra Márquez and Gabriel Ruíz lead the cast in Holter's highly-charged exploration of racial profiling, media manipulation and family relationships in Chicago. Holter is the red-hot author of the recent hits Hit the Wall, Exit Strategy and Sender. Previews start January 28. Press opening is Friday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through March 5.

Teatro Vista's season finale is the world premiere of La Havana Madrid, a theatrical, cinematic and musical history of Latino Caribbeans in Chicago by ensemble member Sandra Delgado. Fellow ensemble member Cheryl Lynn Bruce directs Delgado's immersive documentary theater experience, complete with live music, based on the true story of the 1960's Chicago nightclub, La Habana Madrid. Previews begin April 14. Press opening is Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through May 21.

Single tickets to Teatro Vista's season go on sale August 1 via the Victory Gardens box office, (773) 871-3000 and online at teatrovista.org. Single tickets are $20-$35, with discounts for early bird purchasers, students, seniors and groups of 10 or more.

The Richard Christiansen Theater at the Biograph Theater at Victory Gardens Theater is located in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. Metered, street, nearby garage and valet parking is available.

The theater is also easily accessed on the CTA Red, Purple and Brown lines via the Fullerton stop. Likewise, the #8 Halsted and #74 Fullerton CTA buses stop at the corner of Fullerton and Halsted, just 1/2 block south of the theater. 


More about Teatro Vista's 2016-17 season

Parachute Men
A world premiere by Mando Alvarado
Directed by Teatro Vista Executive Artistic Director Ricardo Gutiérrez
Featuring ensemble member Tommy Rivera-Vega
September 10 - October 16, 2016
Previews: Saturday, September 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, September 11 at  3 p.m.; Wednesday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, September 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening/Press Night: Friday, September 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Performances through October 16: Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.

It's Christmas Eve. Three brothers - who suck at being brothers, suck at love and suck at being men - are reunited when the oldest, Eric, returns on the anniversary of their mother's death. After a few hours, it's clear that the pecking order has changed and the battle begins to see who can take that baby step into manhood first. 

Mando Alvarado (playwright) is an award-winning playwright/screenwriter from South Texas. His play Basilica premiered Off-Broadway at the famous Cherry Lane Theater in NYC. His play Post No Bills received its Off-Broadway premiere at Rattlestick Playwright's Theater. His new play, Diablo Love, had its world premiere at Central Park's Summer Stages, which also produced Alvarado's A King of Infinite Space, a Hamlet/Pearl Jam mash-up and Sangre, an adaptation of Blood Wedding. He also co-wrote the book for the bilingual musical A Yellow Brick Road, an adaptation of Wizard of Oz for Theatreworks USA which received its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere at The Lortel. His short play, Up the 405, premiered as a part of LA Views for Company of Angels in Los Angeles. He is a contributing writer for Theater 167's You Are Now the Owner of This Suitcase. He also participated in the Freight Project where he developed his play (O)n THE 5:31 which was commissioned for Rising  Phoenix Rep's Cino Nights at the Seventh Street Small Stage. His first feature film, Cruzando, which he co-wrote and co-directed with Michael Ray Escamilla is available on DVD and was distributed by Vanguard Cinema. He is a member of Rising Phoenix Rep, alum of INTAR's Hispanic-Playwright-in-Residence Laboratory 2006-08, and a graduate of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He worked on Tyrant for FX and is currently working on Greenleaf  for the OWN Network.

Ricardo Gutiérrez (director) is the Executive Artistic Director of Teatro Vista where he recently directed In The Time of the Butterflies. Other Teatro Vista directing credits include Between You, Me and The Lampshade, A View From The Bridge, Momma's Boyz, i put the fear of mexico in'em, and La Mágica posada. Gutiérrez served as the artistic director of Nosotros in Los Angeles and The Canterbury Theatre in Indiana. He is the co-founder of the Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists Chicago (ALTAchicago) a service organization dedicated to promoting and fostering Latino/a theatre artists in Chicago. As an actor, Gutiérrez most recently appeared in In The Heights at The Paramount and in the world premieres of Song For The Disappeared and Fish Menat The Goodman. Later this year he will be appearing in Destiny of Desire at South Coast Repertory and at the Goodman Theatre. Gutiérrez has appeared on stage at the Actors Theatre in Louisville, The Denver Center Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens and Lookingglass Theatre. Recent television credits include Chicago PD, Sirens and Boss.


The Wolf at The End of The Block
A world premiere by Ike Holter
Commissioned by Teatro Vista
Featuring ensemble members Sandra Márquez and Gabriel Ruíz
January 28 - March 5
Previews: Saturday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday,
January 29 at 3 p.m. Wednesday, February 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening/Press Night: Friday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Performances through March 5: Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.

Chicago. Fall. One night, a boarded up bar on the dark side of the block becomes a terrifying crime scene. In the following 48 hours, the neighborhood digs deep into escalating mystery, working against time to separate fact from fiction. But as the clock ticks down, the clues spiral into a razor sharp jigsaw, and what began as a simple mystery quickly twists into a personal, pointed and political thriller.  

The Wolf at The End of The Block is a full-length play with five characters, three of which are Latino. The play is set in Chicago and explores the issues of racial profiling, media manipulation and family relationships. Highly charged, Holter's story is brutally raw, funny and deftly pierces universal truths.

Playwright Ike Holter's work has been produced at Steppenwolf Garage, A Red Orchid, The New Colony and The Inconvenience, where he is a founding member and resident writer. He's received fellowships and commissions from the Goodman Theater, the Kennedy Center and The Playwrights Center. His show Hit the Wall played at Steppenwolf Garage, Off-Broadway at The Barrow Street Theater in New York, and recently enjoyed and extended run at the Lily Tomlin Center in L.A.  Jackalope Theatre premiered his new play Exit Strategy which played to sold-out houses and transferred to Michigan's 3 Oaks Theater Festival. It is being produced at Philadelphia Stages and transferred Off Broadway to Primary Stages last spring. His most recent play Sender was a smash hit for A Red Orchid earlier this season. Holter was named the "Chicagoan of the Year" in Theater 2014" by the Chicago Tribune, and his  monologues have been published in The New Yorker  and several editions of Applause Books. He was recently named one of Victory Gardens' newest ensemble playwrights.

La Havana Madrid by ensemble member Sandra Delgado
Directed by ensemble member Cheryl Lynn Bruce
April 14 - May 21
Presented at a location TBA
Previews: Friday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 16, at 3 p.m.; Wednesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening/Press Night: Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Performances through May 21: Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.

La Havana Madrid is an immersive documentary theatre experience inspired by the Latino Caribbean nightclub that once existed on the corner of Belmont and Sheffield. Audiences will be transported back to 1960s Chicago and experience the stories of the club's patrons and musicians complete with a live band chronicling the history of Caribbean Latino music through the decade from mambo to the birth of salsa.

Playwright Sandra Delgado and Teatro Vista were granted the prestigious Joyce Award to support the development of La Havana Madrid. Delgado is a Colombian-American actor, writer, and producer. Chicago acting credits include 2666, The Upstairs Concierge, Pedro Paramo (co-production with Cuba's Teatro Buendía), Chicago Boys, Mariela in the Desert, Electricidad, Zoot Suit, A Christmas Carol, El Nogalar and Massacre (Sing to Your Children) at The Goodman Theatre; The Motherf**ker with the Hat, The House on Mango Street, Sonia Flew, Words on Fire and Whispering City at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Mojada and Anna in the Tropics at Victory Gardens Theater; Dreamlandia, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and Two Sisters and a Piano (co-production with Apple Tree Theatre) with Teatro Vista; Guinea Pig Solo, Refuge and Casanova with Collaboraction;  Summertime at Lookingglass Theatre Company; Undone at About Face Theatre and  Esperanza Rising and If All the World Were Paper with Chicago Children's Theatre. Off-Broadway credits include points of departure at INTAR Theatre. Regionally, she has appeared in Ground and Wit at Actors Theatre of Louisville and The Winter's Tale at Missouri Repertory Theatre. TV credits include Empire, Chicago Fire, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Betrayal, Mind Games and the TV movie POWERS. Delgado is an ensemble member of Collaboraction and Teatro Vista and serves on the National Steering Committee for the Latina/o Theatre Commons, an advocacy group for Latino theater artists. She is a TCG Young Leader of Color Alum, a Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events grantee and a 3Arts 3AP Project Grantee. She was the TCG Fox Actor Fellow in residence at the Goodman Theatre (2011-12) and was a member of their Playwright's Unit for the 2015-2016 season. sandradelgado.net

Cheryl Lynn Bruce

Cheryl Lynn Bruce (director) is a Teatro Vista ensemble member. She served as Assistant Director of the company's productions of Tamer of Horses and A View From the Bridge. She has performed on stages across the country as well as in Europe and Mexico, and created the role of Elizabeth Sandry for Steppenwolf's Tony Award-winning production of The Grapes of Wrath, adapted and directed by Frank Galati for Broadway's Cort Theatre, Britain's National Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse. Bruce also workshopped and premiered in RACE, Lookingglass Theatre's inaugural production directed by David Schwimmer and Joy Gregory. Bruce received a 3Arts Award (2010), a 3Arts fellowship to support a five-weeklong Rauschenberg residency (2015), a Jane Addams Hull House Association's Woman of Valor Award (2010) and a Yale Research Residency (2011). She was awarded the 2002 African American Arts Alliance Black Excellence Award and Black Theatre Alliance Award for Outstanding Direction of Endesha Ida Mae Holland's From The Mississippi Delta at Congo Square Theater. Other directing credits include Resurrection by Daniel Beaty and Drip by Gloria Bond Clunie at eta Creative Arts Foundation, Milkweed: A Solo Play by Misty De Berry for Columbia College at Links Hall and Northwestern University, Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston at University of Illinois at Chicago and Congo Square Theater, Cage Rhythm by Kia Korthron for University of Illinois at Chicago and Theatre School at DePaul University, and Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons for Indiana University Northwest. In 2006 she was an Inaugural Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College. In 2007 Bruce traveled to Japan to study Bunraku puppetry for her staging of Rythm Mastr, Kerry James Marshall's urban comic which premiered at the Wexner Center for the Arts.


About Teatro Vista
Teatro Vista, Theatre with a View, is firmly committed to sharing and celebrating the riches of Latino culture with Chicago theater audiences and beyond. This commitment stems from the belief that there are as many similarities between people as there are differences, and perhaps the answer to breaking down the walls of prejudice and stereotypes lies in understanding these similarities and differences. Ultimately, it is through this "view" that Teatro Vista intends to bridge the gap between Latino and non-Latino cultures in Chicago.

Teatro Vista, founded in 1990 by Eddie Torres and Henry Godinez, is the vanguard of Latino theatre in the United States, a place where Latino and non-Latino artists can expressively flourish and excel to the highest level of theatrical professionalism. The company believes in the transformative power of theater, inclusiveness through the idea that everyone is intricately connected to each other and that sharing stories through performance is an exceptionally potent way to bring people together. It is dedicated to sharing new work by new playwrights in cutting-edge productions and presenting classic plays featuring artists of color.

José Antonio Cruz joined Teatro Vista as Managing Director in June, 2015. Cruz has a Master's Degree in Arts Administration from New York University. Before joining Teatro Vista, he worked for twelve years as Associate Producer for New York's renowned Repertorio Español. During his time at Repertorio Español, Cruz championed the
company's mission of presenting the best of Latin American, Spanish and Hispanic-American culture through the production of numerous plays and musicals. In this role, Cruz devised strategies that resulted in dramatic increases in earned and contributed revenues. Cruz has served on peer review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Theater Communications Group. In 2010, he traveled to Bogotá, Colombia as part of the U.S. delegation to the Iberoamerican Theatre Festival.

In addition Executive Artistic Director Ricardo Gutiérrez,Teatro Vista ensemble members include Charín Álvarez, Max Arciniega, Desmín Borges, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Ramón Camín, Ivonne Coll, Laura Dahl, Sandra Delgado, Liza Fernández, Khanisha Foster, Erik Juárez, Jon Lyon, Sandra Márquez, Joe Minoso, Marcela Muñóz, Christina Nieves, Marvin Quijada, Tommy Rivera-Vega, Gabriel Ruíz, Cecilia Suarez and co-founder Edward Torres.

Teatro Vista's Board of Directors includes Ezequiel "Zeek" Agosto, President; Rodrigo Garcia and Rosanna Marquez, Vice Presidents; Joan Pantsios, Secretary; Tom Vega-Byrnes, Treasurer; and Bhuvana Badrinathan, José Antonio Cruz, Edgar Delgado, Ricardo Gutiérrez and Yvonne Hardy.

Teatro Vista is supported by The Joyce Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Shubert Foundation and The  Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly
Foundation.



Purple Group is Teatro Vista's Headline Season Sponsor.

Teatro Vista is a Victory Gardens Resident Theater.
For more information, visit teatrovista.org.

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