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Thursday, February 19, 2015

OPENING: The Hypocrites Present Samuel Beckett’s ENDGAME Through 4/4


The Hypocrites Present 
Samuel Beckett’s
ENDGAME
Directed by Company Member Halena Kays
February 20 – April 4, 2015

I first became intrigued with Beckett's works during my college theatre days and can't wait to see The Hypocrites and Halena Kays put their unique spin on this classic. Endgame should be quite a departure from the trio of Gilbert and Sullivan musicals. Previews start tomorrow, Friday February 20th. Check them out at the fabulous Den Theatre Mainstage.




The Hypocrites are pleased to continue their 2014-15 season with Samuel Beckett’s comic masterpiece ENDGAME, directed by Company Member Halena Kays*, playing February 20 – April 4, 2015 at their new home, The Den Theatre Mainstage, 1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at www.the-hypocrites.com

ENDGAME will feature longtime Company Members Kurt Ehrman* as Hamm and Donna McGough* as Nell, joined by Brian Shaw as Clov and Sean Sineski as Nag.

Hamm is blind and cannot stand. His servant, Clov, cannot sit.  And then there’s his legless parents Nagg and Nell who live in trashcans.  Trapped in a tiny house by the sea after some sort of apocalyptic disaster, they trudge through an absurd, cyclical existence. In true Hypocrites fashion, the actors and audience alike share a full and lush visual world to experience Beckett’s classic comedy. 

“Endgame will allow me to play to the absurdity of life with the clowns I love,” comments Director Halena Kays“Our design team is also full of long-time collaborators who will create an absurdest landscape that will involve and heighten the audience's experience with this classic.  It’s one of my favorite texts – physical, funny and beautiful – and there's no better group of artists to join me in exploring it,” adds Kays.

The production team includes: Elizabeth Bracken (scenic design), Jessica Kuehnau (costume design), Maggie Fullilove-Nugent (lighting design), Nick Keenan (sound design), Danielle Case (props design) and Justine B. Palmisano (stage manager).

Previews: Friday, February 20 at 8 pm, Saturday, February 21 at 8 pm, Sunday, February 22 at 3 pm and Tuesday, February 24 at 8 pm


Regular Run: Friday, February 27 – Saturday, April 4, 2015
Curtain Times: Mondays, Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm 
Tickets Prices: $28. Tickets are currently available at www.the-hypocrites.com.


About the Director

Halena Kays’ Chicago credits include: Ivywild, Six Characters in Search of an Author at The Hypocrites; The Magic Play at The Goodman, Lord of the Flies at Steppenwolf theatre company; Burning Bluebeard, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Daredevils, Daredevils Hamlet and Fake Lake at The Neo-Futurists (artistic associate); Roustabout at Concordia College; Buried in Bughouse Square at The University of Chicago. Kays is a former artistic Director of The Hypocrites, co-founder and former artistic director of Barrel of Monkeys, where she directed the majority of their public performances. She is The Hyprocrites’ Artistic Council, a founding member of the artistic collaborative The Ruffians, a UT-Austin and Northwestern grad, former member of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care unit and a visiting professor at North Central College.  Halena has been nominated for a Jefferson Citation for Best Supporting Actress and Best Direction, was the recipient of the prestigious 3Arts Award and was named one of the top 50 “players” in Chicago theater by Newcity

About The Hypocrites
Founding Artistic Director Sean Graney* created The Hypocrites in 1997. It is currently run by Artistic Director Sean Graney* and Managing Director Megan Wildebour*.  The Hypocrites are recognized as groundbreakers that defy the audience’s expectations. The company has grown significantly in the past 
few years, receiving acclaim for productions at the Steppenwolf Garage, Goodman Theatre, Museum of 
Contemporary Art, DCASE Storefront and Chopin Theater before moving to a residency at The Den Theatre Mainstage. The company’s smash-hit production of Our Town, directed by David Cromer, transferred in 2009 to Off-Broadway, Los Angeles and Boston. The Pirates of Penzance has appeared at Actors Theatre of Louisville and American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.). A.R.T. has also brought Romeo Juliet, 12 Nights and The Mikado (forthcoming). The American Theatre Wing, best known as the creator of the Tony Awards, presented The Hypocrites with one of the 2013 National Theatre Company awards in 2013. In June 2015, the critically acclaimed All Our Tragic, a 12 hour play adapting the 32 surviving Greek tragedies, will return. For more information, please visit www.the-hypocrites.com.

The Hypocrites’ 18th season is supported in part by The Alphawood Foundation, The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, Negaunee Foundation, Scholl Foundation and Venta.

*Denotes The Hypocrites Company Members.
+Denotes The Hypocrites Artistic Associates 



Monday, February 16, 2015

GARRETT POPCORN SHOPS® WILL DONATE 10% OF ALL FEBRUARY 2015 GOURMET TIN SALES TO BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER AND PROMOTE BLACK ENSEMBLE’S GREATEST HITS CD IN SHOPS

Black Ensemble Theater’s Greatest Hits CD 
to be sold at all U.S. Garrett Popcorn Shops® throughout February 
with all proceeds benefitting the Theater

In honor of Black History Month, Garrett Popcorn Shops® will donate 10 percent of all in-shop and online gourmet Popcorn Tin sales, from February 1 – February 28, 2015, up to $20,000, to Black Ensemble Theater.  Additionally, during the month of February, Black Ensemble’s Greatest Hits Volume 1 CD will be on sale at Garrett Popcorn Shops® in Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, Detroit and Atlanta ($19.95, plus tax) with 100 percent  of proceeds benefitting Black Ensemble Theater.



For more information on the partnership, or to purchase a Tin, please visit: www.garrettpopcorn.com or www.blackensembletheater.org        

“Black Ensemble Theater is so proud and extremely excited to have such a wonderful partnership with the one and only Garrett Popcorn Shops® - a Chicago tradition,” says Black Ensemble Theater’s Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor.  “Black Ensemble Theater will once again be recognized as a national company through the selling of our Black Ensemble Greatest Hits CD’s in Garrett Popcorn Shops across the country including Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, Detroit and Atlanta.  Thanks to Garrett Popcorn, audiences can enjoy  handcrafted, gourmet Popcorn while experiencing the greatest music in the world as performed by the Black Ensemble Theater.”

Garrett Popcorn Shops®
Garrett Popcorn Shops, a Chicago tradition since 1949, serves only the finest, handcrafted Popcorn. Every small batch of Garrett® is hot air popped throughout the day for ultimate freshness. Using only the highest quality, wholesome ingredients, cooks coat every kernel with their secret family recipes in old-fashioned copper kettles. Their Signature Flavors include: CaramelCrisp® (which can be selected with almonds, pecans, macadamia or cashews), CheeseCorn, Buttery, Plain and the famous Garrett Mix® – which blends CaramelCrisp's sophisticated sweetness with the savory goodness of CheeseCorn.

Like no other, Garrett Popcorn enchants adoring fans around the world. In Chicago, their Shops are located at 625 North Michigan Ave., 151 North Michigan Ave. (Millennium Park), Navy Pier food court, Merchandise Mart (2nd floor), 26 West Randolph St., 4 East Madison St., 27 West Jackson Blvd., 737 East 87th St., O’Hare International Airport, in Terminals 1 and 3, Citigroup Center at 500 West Madison St. (2nd floor), and Water Tower Place at 835 North Michigan Ave. (Level 7). Garrett also brings a taste of Chicago to its Shops in New York City (at Penn Plaza between 7th & 8th), Las Vegas (Miracle Mile Shops), Detroit (Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi), Atlanta (Lenox Square Mall), Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

For more information and to share Garrett in the United States and Canada visit www.GarrettPopcorn.com


The Black Ensemble Theater
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists.

On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space, rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage.  The completion of a 150-seat theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), is expected in to begin construction by General Contractor Norcon Inc. in January 2015 with a September 2015 opening.


The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, please visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451.

OPENING: The World Premiere Drama THE TRIAL OF MOSES Fleetwood Walker at BET


BLACK ENSEMBLE THEATER PRESENTS
the World Premiere DRAMA 
THE TRIAL OF MOSES Fleetwood Walker  
WRITTEN BY ERVIN GARDNER 
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY JACKIE TAYLOR
WITH LIVE MUSICIANS AND A CAST OF 22 CHICAGO ACTORS
THROUGH MARCH 15, 2015


Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor presents the World Premiere non-singing musical drama The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker, written by Ervin Gardner, produced and directed by Jackie Taylor and featuring live musicians and 22 actors.  The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker will be presented at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, now through March 15, 2015. 

If asked, “Who was the first Black major league baseball player?” most people would say, ”Jackie Robinson”— and most people would be wrong. The first Black baseball player was Moses Fleetwood Walker and he played for the Toledo Blue Stocking in 1884 in the major leagues.  However this is not a story about baseball.  This is the trial of a Black man who was as popular in his time as Michael Jordan is in ours. Moses is accused of murdering a white man in a time when Blacks were traditionally lynched without a trial for far less crimes such as looking directly in the eyes of a white man. This is a powerful true story and speaks directly to the mission of the Black Ensemble Theater—to eradicate racism.  

The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker represents the most culturally diverse and largest cast in the history of the Black Ensemble Theater with a cast of 19 people playing a total of 24 characters. Andre Teamer stars as Moses Fleetwood Walker.  Other cast members include: Casey Hayes, Jack Birdwell, Trey Hobbs, Lawrence Garner, Joey Swift, Joseph Galizia, James Shinkle, Colin Reeves, Tamarus Harvell, Terry Gallagher, Gregory Fenner, Christopher McMorris, Leslie Wells, Sean Dolan, Creg Sclavi, Joshua Wheeler, Nick Ferrin and Leslie Collins. 


The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker
PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Nicholas 
Ferrin, Hayes, Teamer, Collins: Nick Ferrin (Harrison Hoyt), Casey Hayes (A.C. Hancock), Andre Teamer (Moses Fleetwood Walker), Leslie Collins (Arabella Walker)

The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker is a drama with live music representing the era of the play, which takes place in 1891. The music is composed by Jackie Taylor. The Music Director and Arranger is Robert Reddrick. The musicians are Gary Baker (guitar), Justin Dillard (keyboard/conductor), Vinnie Roofe (guitar), Samuel “Savoirfaire” Williams (violin 1) and Lennette Neal (violin 2).
                                                                             
Title: The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker 
Written by: Ervin Gardner
Produced and Directed by: Jackie Taylor
Music Composed by: Jackie Taylor
Music Director and Arranger: Robert Reddrick
Dates: Through March 15, 2015

Schedule:  Thursday: 7:30 p.m.
                 Friday: 8:00 p.m.
                Saturday: 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
                 Sunday: 3:00 p.m.
Location:  Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street.
Valet parking is available.

Ticket prices: $55 on Thursdays, and Saturday matinees; and $65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.

Box Office: Buy online at www.blackensemble.org or call (773) 769-4451

The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker
PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Nicholas 
Teamer, Collins: Andre Teamer (Moses Fleetwood Walker), Leslie Collins (Arabella Walker)


“There is a question that has come out of the circumstances surrounding the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Trayvon Martin in Florida, and Eric Gardner in New York, and that question is, ‘Do Black lives matter?’  That question was answered in 1891 through a true story related to the trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker,” explains Jackie Taylor.  “The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater is to eradicate racism and The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker works toward that mission.  This is a vitally important story that is greatly needed especially during these very troubling times.  Of course Black lives matter – all lives matter – and that becomes perfectly clear when you experience The Trial of Moses Fleetwood Walker. This play’s riveting messages will bring hope to all those who choose to share in its uplifting experience. 

Playwright Ervin Gardner brings to life this outstanding and touching story. He is a member of Black Playwrights Initiative (BPI) – a group created by Jackie Taylor for the sole purpose of writing plays specifically for the Black Ensemble Theater. This is Gardner’s first full length play. 

The Black Ensemble Theater 
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists.

On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space, rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage.  The completion of a 150-seat theater, which will serve as an experimental stage for the work of the Black Playwright Initiative (BPI), is expected in to begin construction by General Contractor Norcon Inc. in January 2015 with a September 2015 opening. 

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, please visit www.BlackEnsembleTheater.org or call 773-769-4451.


OPENING: The Other Place at Profiles Theatre

                       
 Profiles Theatre continues 26th Season
with the Chicago Premiere of
The Other Place 
by Sharr White
Directed by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus
  
Profiles Theatre continues its 26th Season with the Chicago premiere of The Other Place by Sharr White, directed by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus. The production runs February 13 – April 5, 2015 at Profiles Theatre’s The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway




In Sharr White’s acclaimed new drama The Other Place, Juliana Smithton, a successful neurologist, finds her life coming apart at the seams. Her husband filed for divorce, her daughter eloped with a much older man and her own health hangs in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.

Title: The Other Place
Playwright: Sharr White
Directed by: Joe Jahraus
             
Dates:
Previews: February 13, 14, 17, 18 at 8 pm, February 15 at 7 pm
Regular Run: February 19 – April 5, 2015

Schedule: Thurs., Fri.8:00 p.m. 
                Saturday: 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 pm
                Sunday: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Profiles Theatre, The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
Parking is available for $14 - $16 at 4100 N. Clarendon
(One block east of the theatre at the corner of Clarendon and Belle Plaine)

Ticket prices: Previews: $20
Regular Run: Thursdays are $35, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are $40; Students and Senior Citizens receive a $5 discount on all performances; Group rates are available.

Box Office: Buy online at www.profilestheatre.org
or call (773) 549-1815


The Other Place received its world premiere Off-Broadway at MCC Theater in 2011. The production, starring Laurie Metcalf, was nominated for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play from the Outer Critics Circle Awards. It later premiered on Broadway in a production by Manhattan Theatre Club in 2013, also starring Metcalf, who received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. The Other Place won the 2010 Playwrights First Award and the 2011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation’s Theatre Visions Fund Award. White’s plays have been developed or produced at theatres across the country, including South Coast Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Marin Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Lab and Key West Theatre Festival.
Directed by Profiles Artistic Director Joe Jahraus, the cast of The Other Place features guest artist Lia D. Mortensen as Julianna. Lia was most recently seen in Pericles with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and was seen last season at Profiles in their Midwest premiere of Annapurna. Also featured are guest artists George Infantado, Matt Maxwell, Nina O’Keefe, Steve Silver and Autumn Teague.  

"I'm thrilled to have my play The Other Place in Chicago, and with Profiles Theatre,” says playwright Sharr White. “The Other Place is about the smartest woman in the world who discovers nothing she knows is true. It takes both technical skill and emotional depth to pull off and I'm excited the artists at Profiles are taking it on just one season after producing my play Annapurna.”

The designers for The Other Place are Keenan Minogue (set), Claire Chrzan (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original music), Raquel Adorno (costumes) and Smooch Medina (projections).

Profiles’ fifth show of the season, the world premiere production of Genius by Kate Walbert, begins previews on March 13, 2015 at The Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway. The 2014-15 season concludes with the Midwest premiere of Our New Girl by Nancy Harris.

Tickets for The Other Place are $35 for Thursdays, $40 for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are available by phone, (773) 549-1815, or online, www.profilestheatre.org. Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 5:00 and 8:00 pm, Sundays at 7:00 p.m.


ABOUT PROFILES THEATRE
Profiles Theatre, founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus, joined shortly thereafter by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox, was formed as an actor-driven theatre ensemble dedicated to creating provocative and emotionally truthful productions. Passionate about shaping an original vision for new works, they focused on performing World, American and Midwest premieres as well as rarely performed plays. Critically acclaimed hits, such as BLACKBIRD, FAT PIG, GRACELAND and the multiple Jeff Award-winning KILLER JOE, established Profiles as a destination for challenging and edgy theatre. Their unique collaboration with playwright Neil LaBute led the ensemble to perform an entire season of his plays in 2007-2008. Now a Resident Artist at Profiles, LaBute remains an unequivocal artistic influence on the ensemble.

After performing at 4147 North Broadway for more than two decades, Profiles acquired an adjacent theatre at 4139 North Broadway in 2012. Profiles’ new theatre, The Main Stage, with its larger seating capacity, increased performance space and higher ceilings, accommodates more ambitious and technically demanding productions. Their long-time venue, renamed The Alley Stage, continues as the home for plays strengthened by a more intimate staging. Driven by an undiminished appetite for creating honest and resonant theatre, Profiles still seeks to present work that illuminates the determination and resiliency of the human spirit.


 For more information about Profiles Theatre, visit www.profilestheatre.org.

Red Bud at Signal Ensemble Theatre Through Feb 28th

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we've long been fans of Brett Neveu's dark comedies and psychological dramas. We had to reschedule reviewing his latest, Red Bud, because of the blizzard, but it's high on our must see list. We hope to be reviewing soon. Get your tickets while you can. Red Bud closes February 28th. 



Brett Neveu knows how to write stage combat, and he's got an endearing, edgy streak of the macabre. From what we've read, it sounds like Red Bud continues in that vein. Like many before him, this Chicago based playwright had to move to LA for fame and acclaim, but Brett turned the tables on this cliche by moving his family back to Chicago. We're eager to see his latest endeavor, brought to life on stage by Signal Ensemble Theatre. 

RECOMMENDED - "Brant Russell's production for Signal Ensemble brings out the best in Neveu's drama: the performances are strong and subtle, and the pacing is just leisurely enough for us to feel the fear and quiet desperation that grips them all." - Chicago Reader

RECOMMENDED - "The hyper-realism that permeates this production affects, alienates and engrosses the audience all at once." - Newcity Chicago

RECOMMENDED - "This intriguing play is really about those undercurrents and how we avoid addressing them." - Crain's Chicago Business

"Fleet and hard hitting performances...the cast dives into the nasty pyrotechnics with zest."- Chicago Tribune

- "[T]he production, ably directed by Brant Russell and well performed by a very solid cast is one that has no flaws" - Around The Town Chicago

A group of forty-somethings take their annual trip to "Red Bud," a championship motocross race. The group has nearly wrung their mutual friendship dry and uses the overnight camping party to relive past glories, play asinine games and beat the holy hell out of each other. The fly in the ointment is the eighteen year old "girlfriend" of one of the forty-somethings. Frustration, weirdness and old baggage rapidly comes to the surface and old friendships die hard.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

REVIEW: Cor Theatre's A Map of Virtue at Rivendell

Cor Theatre, the new Chicago company that made its mark with 
Skin Tight at A Red Orchid Theatre in 2012, returns with 
the Midwest premiere of 

Erin Courtney's A Map of Virtue
directed by Cor Theatre Artistic Director Tosha Fowler.

This sinister, symmetrical, and cyclical drama is a multilayered miasma of victims, abuse, love and obsessions. And woven throughout the coincidences and compulsions are the birds. Inescapably everywhere are the birds. We enjoyed the creative verbal structure of the production which has very little dialogue or action, a sentient bird statue, a lot of interconnecting monologues and a few disturbing songs. The Cor in Cor Theatre stands for Courage and this courageous cadre of actors does their theme and mission statement justice with A Map of Virtue. Check out this Obie Award winner (2012) and New York Times Critic’s Pick. Highly recommended.


Adam Benjamin is Ray and Scottie Caldwell is The Bird 
in Cor Theatre’s Midwest premiere of Erin Courtney’s A Map of Virtue. 
Cor Artistic Director Tosha Fowler directs Courtney’s psychological thriller, playing through February 14, 2015 at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave, Chicago. 
For tickets and information, visit cortheatre.org or call (866) 811-4111.  Photo credit: Ryan Bourque



Scottie Caldwell plays The Bird in Cor Theatre’s Midwest premiere of Erin Courtney’s A Map of Virtue. Photo credit: Ryan Bourque

The uncanny coincidences seem almost predestined and it's a pleasure to get inside these fabulously flawed characters' heads. It's intriguing how molded and changed they are by the real and the imagined. Their obsessions and inner thought processes alter them and their trajectory as much as actual life events.

 

(standing) Scottie Caldwell (The Bird), (below, from left) Eleni Pappageorge (June), Nick Mikula (Nate), Mallory Nees (Sarah) and Will Von Vogt (Mark). Photo credit: Ryan Bourque

A Map of Virtue is a powerful and poetic look at the cyclical nature of abuse and opposites. The plot expands with the interconnectedness of people via random repeat meetings and a reoccurring bird motif in statue, tattoo, mask, story, and actual form. The bird mask terrified the protagonists and ultimately enabled their rescue. The tattoos were inked and then removed with great thought and intent. And the statue was let go and came back. 

I'm fascinated that opposite desires and motivations caused the protagonists, Mark and Sarah, to make the very same dangerous choices. Audiences will be mulling over, and circling back to the themes of this production days later. This brilliant piece speaks as loudly in the spaces between words, and the thoughts unspoken, as it does in the human interaction between characters, and that's rare to pull off on stage, in a medium where words are king. 

Act Out: Chicago Theatre openings, closings, reviews, giveaways, ticket sale dates and more via ChiIL Live Shows. 


Part interview, part comedy, part middle-of-the-night horror story, 
A Map of Virtue is a hauntingly romantic play about a shared obsession 
that leaves a group of friends stranded in the woods. A bird statue is the guide through this symmetrical tale about the limits of our virtues and what we leave behind.

"one of the most terrifying plays of the past decade" 
- The New York Times 

*Free parking is available at Senn High School.*






A hauntingly romantic play with a mystery at its center, A Map of Virtue was hailed “one of the most terrifying plays of the past decade” by the New York Times. It premiered at New York’s 13P in 2012, won an Obie Award and was named a New York Times Critic’s Pick. 

Cor Theatre's Midwest premiere of A Map of Virtue will be only the play's second professional production. Cor Artistic Director Tosha Fowler will direct. The cast includes Will Von Vogt (Mark), Mallory Ness (Sarah), Nick Mikula (Nate), Ruben Adorno (Victor), Eleni Pappageorge (June), Adam Benjamin (Ray) and Scottie Caldwell  (The Bird). 

Designers are Tierra G. Novy (set), Stefin Steberl (costumes and props), Eric Vigo (lights) and Jeffrey Levin (sound). Elyse Cowles is assistant director/dramaturg. Production stage manager is Navid Afshar.

Cor Theatre will present A Map of Virtue January 8-February 14, 2015 at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. Previews are Thursday and Friday, January 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. Soft Opening is Saturday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. Preview and Soft Opening tickets are $10. 

Regular performances continue January 15 through February 14: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 5 p.m. Performances are $25; $10 students and industry. Tickets to A Map of Virtue go on sale December 1. For tickets and information, visit cortheater.org or call (866) 811-4111.





Adam Benjamin is Ray and Eleni Pappageorge plays June in Cor Theatre’s Midwest premiere of Erin Courtney’s A Map of Virtue. Photo credit: Ryan Bourque


Will Von Vogt is Mark and Eleni Pappageorge plays June. Photo credit: Ryan Bourque 
  
More about Cor Theatre's A Map of Virtue
Tosha Fowler (director) is the co-founder of Cor Theatre, where she produced and acted in the critically acclaimed Skin Tight, under the direction of Victoria Delorio. Also with Cor she co-produced, wrote and performed in her original solo show, Mami, Where'd my O go? Fowler has produced theatre for almost ten years for companies including Mary-Arrchie Theatre, The Chicago Fringe Festival, The Academy Theatre in Atlanta, and her founding company, Fowl Brick in Savannah, Georgia. Her directing credits include A Doctor's Stories, Poof! and Bash and Bully Breakdown in HD. As an actress, Fowler has performed in Chicago with Lifeline Theatre, Emerald City, MPAACT, Cock & Bull and Circle Theatre. She has worked as a playwright with American Theatre Company's "Chicago Chronicle Project," the DePaul University Diversity Initiative, and the Academy Theater. Fowler is an adjunct professor in Theatre at DePaul University, and she holds an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul.

Erin Courtney (playwright) has said A Map of Virtue "is about people fantasizing about other people's lives, thinking their lives are better than their own lives, and really we are all just trying to get by." 

A Map of Virtue has been published along with her play Black Cat Lost by 53rd State Press. Courtney's other works include Honey Drop, Alice the MagnetQuiver and Twitch, and Demon Baby. Her work has been produced and developed by Clubbed Thumb, The Flea, New York Stage and Film, Adhesive Theater, Soho Rep, The Vineyard and The Public. She collaborated with Elizabeth Swados on the opera Kaspar Hauser and is starting work on a new musical with Swados on the life of Isabelle Eberhardt. She was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013, a NYSCA grant, two MAP Fund grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, and has been a resident at the MacDowell Colony. Demon Baby is published in two anthologies; New Downtown Now, edited by Mac Wellman and Young Jean Lee and published by University of Minnesota Press, and Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays by Clubbed Thumb edited by Maria Striar and Erin Detrick and published by Playscripts, Inc. She is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb, a member of 13P, and a member of New Dramatists. She teaches in the MFA playwriting program at Brooklyn College and is a co-founder of Brooklyn Writers Space. She is a graduate of Mac Wellman's MFA program at Brooklyn College in 2003, and earned her BA at Brown University in 1990.



(From left/back to front) Scottie Caldwell (The Bird), Mallory Nees (Sarah), Nick Mikula (Nate), Ruben Adorno (Victor) and Will Von Vogt (Mark). Photo credit: Ryan Bourque

About Cor Theatre
Cor Theatre (cortheater.org) is a professional theatre company committed to producing stories about courage and exploring the hidden hero within us all. The company believes that there are certain intrinsic values that connect people at the core of their being. Cor Theatre seeks to expose those values.

Cor debuted in September 2012 with its production of Skin Tight by Gary Henderson at Chicago's A Red Orchid Theatre. About a powerful, enduring love, complete with punches, laughter, knife fights, confessions and forgiveness, Skin Tight was rewarded with enthusiastic audiences, critical acclaim and made just enough money to establish a not-for-profit corporation. The company named itself Cor Theatre, deriving its name from the Latin root of courage - meaning heart.

Today, Cor is a new and ambitious Chicago professional theatre company under the leadership of Tosha Fowler, Artistic Director, and Navid Afshar, Managing Director. Company members include Chris Brickhouse, Elyse Cowles, Brian Crawford, Claire Meyers, Stefin Steberl and Will Von Vogt.With strong experience behind it, Cor is committed to produce works that provide an environment in which its audience can explore the unexplored and expect the unexpected.

Cor will return to Rivendell Theatre in the spring, June 4-July 11, 2015 with Love and Human Remains, the first Chicago professional production in nearly 20 years of the ground-breaking play originally titled Unidentified Human Remains and the Nature of True Love. Ernie Nolan will direct.




Will Von Vogt is Mark and Scottie Caldwell is The Bird in Cor Theatre’s Midwest premiere of 
Erin Courtney’s A Map of Virtue. Photo credit: Ryan Bourque 


(from left) Will Von Vogt is Mark, Mallory Nees plays Sarah and Nick Mikula is Nate in Cor Theatre’s Midwest premiere of Erin Courtney’s A Map of Virtue. Photo credit: Ryan Bourque

For more information, visit cortheater.org, call (866) 811-4111, like Cor Theatre on Facebook or follow the company on Twitter, @TheatreCor.

Rivendell Theatre
5779 N. Ridge Ave
Chicago, IL 60660
Edgewater Neighborhood
Rivendell is a few short blocks away from both the Bryn Mawr Red Line el stop, as well as the Clark Street #22 bus. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

ON SALE: Circuscope Is Coming To Actors Gymnasium February 14th-March 22

Circuscope
February 14 - March 22, 2015 


Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we've been captivated by the stellar circus arts at Actors Gym for years. They're a ground breakingly creative collective featuring some of the top physical actors in the city. We'll be there to review opening night. In the meantime, get your tickets early for the best seats, and range of dates. Their seating area is small and fills fast! 


Enthralled by the extraordinary shapes and sizes of life, the creators of the Actors Gymnasium Winter Circus will explore a fascinating world on the other side of the microscopic lens. Directed by spectacle-theatre veteran Vanessa Stalling and featuring acclaimed Chicago clown Dean Evans, Circuscope will transport audiences through surprising acrobatics, mime, live music and other-worldly design. Circuscope also features Meredith "Tommy" Tomlins, Molly Plunk, and Leah Leor. 

Circuscope is written by Deans Evans and Vanessa Stalling with percussion choreography by Rick Kubes, musical composition by Ronnie Kuller, choral direction by Alex Balestrieri, lighting design by Nick Carroll, sound design by Connor Murray, video design by Asher White, costume design by Delia Ribenour, performance object design by Elizabeth Brietand circus choreography by Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi. 

Beat the rush - Get your tickets today at www.actorsgymnasium.org/shows 

February 14 - March 22, 2015 
Fridays at 7:30pm 
Saturdays 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm 
Sundays at 3:00 pm 

$20 for adult tickets! 
$15 for children, students and seniors! 



The Actors Gymnasium is dedicated to bringing a new physicality to the American Theatre. Encouraging ground-breaking theatrical exploration, The Actors Gymnasium teaches circus arts, physical theatre and multi-disciplinary performance to children and adults; produces original, daring works of circus-theatre; and serves as a talent resource, providing performance opportunities to our students and innovative professional event entertainment for a wider audience.  At The Actors Gymnasium, people Learn To Fly - physically, emotionally, and creatively. 

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