Monday, January 5, 2015



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

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we adore Theater Wit and we've been huge Simpsons fans since the first shorts ran on The Tracey Ullman Show in the late 80s. We can't wait to check out Mr. Burns A Post Electric Play! 

Check back with us like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. We'll be there to review opening night. In the meantime, get your tickets locked in now before this pop cult production pops!

Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., will present one of the most anticipated productions of Chicago's 2014-15 season, the Midwest premiere of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn. (*WIT has even got rockin' Mr. Burns magnets in the bathroom, till they're gone!)

Washburn's meta-apocalyptic comedy/drama/musical about America rebuilding itself from the ashes of an apocalypse - and the enduring power of Bart Simpson - begins previews on January 9. Performances run through March 1. Tickets start at $25. For tickets and information, visit or call 773.975.8150.

A paean to the power of live theater and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another, and a dazzling, panoramic vista on the power of storytelling. 

Mr. Burns had a hugely successful New York premiere in fall 2013 at Playwrights Horizons. The New York Times raved "Downright brilliant. When was the last time you met a new play that was so smart it made your head spin? Get ready to reel. Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play has arrived to leave you dizzy with the scope and dazzle of its ideas."

The story begins after life as we know it has ended. Small bands of survivors band together to keep the pilot light of civilization burning, and their path to redemption is as unexpected as it is inevitable.

The cast participated in an entertaining read of the entire script to kick off Mr. Burns rehearsals on Dec. 8.

   Photo by Claire Cooney

Theater Wit's Midwest debut of Mr. Burns is directed by Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler. The cast includes Kelly Abell, Daniel Desmarais, Hannah Gomez, Christina Hall, Andrew Jessop, Leslie Ann Sheppard, Jeff Trainor and Leah Urzendowski
Theater Wit's Midwest premiere of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play stars 
(top, from left) Kelly Abell, Daniel Desmarais, Hannah Gomez, Christina Hall, 
(bottom) Andrew Jessop, Leslie Ann Sheppard, Jeff Trainor and Leah Urzendowski. 
Click  here to download hi- and lo-res versions.

The production team includes Andra Velis Simon (musical director), Brigitte Ditmars (choreography), Joe Schermoly (set), Mike Durst (lights), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), Jesse Gaffney (props), Majel Cuza (production manager) and Katie Klemme (stage manager). Music is by Michael Friedman. Theater Wit's Mr. Burns features a live band. 

Mr. Burns was first seen in New York in 2012.The New York Times' Charles Isherwood hailed Roundabout Theatre's 2013 production "the best comedy of the season."

Anne Washburn's other plays included The Internationalist, A Devil at Noon, Apparition, The Community Dracula Pageant, I Have Loved Strangers, The Ladies, The Small and a transadaptation of Euripides' Orestes. Her work has been produced by 13P, Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Folger, London's Gate Theatre, NYC's Soho Rep, DC's Studio Theater, Two River Theater Company, NYC's Vineyard and Woolly Mammoth. Awards include a Guggenheim, a NYFA Fellowship, a Time WArner Fellowship, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo, and an Artslink travel grant to Hungary to work with the playwright Peter Karpati. She is an associated artist with The Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and is an alumna of New Dramatists and 13P.

Jeremy Wechsler (director) is the artistic director of Theater Wit where he most recently directed the hit Midwest premiere of Madeline George's Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, and its subsequent summer remount at Art Square Theatre in Las Vegas. Wechsler also staged Wit's acclaimed productions of Completeness and The Four of Us (Itamar Moses), Tigers Be Still (Kim Rosenstock), This (Melissa James Gibson), Spin (Penny Penniston), Feydeau-Si-Deau (Georges Feydeau), Men of Steel (Qui Nguyen), Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Will Eno), Two for the Show (James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger) and The Santaland Diaries. Wechsler's productions have been nominated for and won multiple awards.

On Deck @ Wit: Midwest premiere of Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews opens
April, 2015

Following Mr. Burns, Theater Wit's spring 2015 production is the Midwest premiere of Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, one of the funniest, wisest, most excruciating comedies about the holy and holier-than-thou you'll see this season. 

Theater Wit's Chicago staging of Bad Jews will be presented in April and May 2015. For tickets and information, visit or call 773.975.8150.

Mr. Burns was first seen in New York in 2012.The New York Times' Charles Isherwood hailed Roundabout Theatre's 2013 production "the best comedy of the season." 

About Theater Wit
Theater Wit - "A thrilling addition to Chicago's roster of theaters" (Chicago Tribune) and "a terrific place to see a show" (New City) - is launching its fourth season in its home at 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago.

Founded in 2004, Theater Wit's mission is to explore contemporary issues with wit and wisdom through new works and Chicago premieres. As a production company, Theater Wit is Chicago's premier smart art theater, producing humorous, challenging, and intelligent plays that speak with a vibrant and contemporary theatrical voice. As an institution, Theater Wit seeks to be the hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene. In its three spaces, Theater Wit brings together Chicago's best storefront companies. Here audiences find a smorgasbord of excellent productions, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago. 

In 2014, Theater Wit was awarded the National Theatre Award by the American Theatre Wing for strengthening the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater. 

In 2011, Theater Wit originated Chicago's first monthly fee membership program to encourage cross-pollination among its productions and those presented by its resident and visiting companies. Resident companies at Theater Wit in 2014-15 include Stage Left, Shattered Globe and Kokandy Productions. Today, more than 100 Chicagoans areT heater Wit members, seeing as many plays as they want at Theater Wit, year round, for one low monthly fee of $36 ($22 for students). 

Theater Wit also offers a Flex Pass: 10 admissions for $215 to literally anything presented in the building, a savings of up to 40%. 

To purchase a Membership Program, Flex Pass, single tickets or for information about any production at Theater Wit, call 773.975.8150 or visit

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