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REVIEW: Stories With Branches Enlighten in I Do Today at Greenhouse Theater Center
THE GREENHOUSE THEATER CENTER
PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
“I DO TODAY”
Through OCT. 9th
Chicago natives, playwright Sarah Myers and Carin Silkaitis make a stellar story telling team, and this tale has branches and tangents galore. Sarah's family tree has roots and a lineage of Biblical proportions that fills an entire wall! She's delightfully full of contradictions, ordained to marry others, yet cynical about the marriage institution. She's a bisexual woman who has loved other women, yet marries men. Both of her parents are serial divorce/remarriage machines and she's lost track of all the step siblings, relatives never met. Sarah includes an assortment of lovers, crushes, imaginary friends, and religious figures to the mix. Add in the tangle of separating an inescapable Jewish heritage from an optional active Jewish faith, and you've got a unique take on not only Sarah's personal story, but that of modern families as well.
All photos by Michael Brosilow
Carin does justice to this quirky script with the charisma and character necessary to carry a solo show. The personal is political with this production and I Do Today does an excellent job of highlighting the hypocrisy and hope of society's current marriage issues. I Do Today throws in current legal marriage contradictions, including quotes from "The Notorious RBG", Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and others. Our take away was, stop waiting around and embrace your own unique family past and future. Marry your best friend, someone who accepts the best and worst of you, through doubts, fears and good times. Ultimately this show highlights just how complicated and wonderful relationships, family, religion, sexuality, and the messy business of being human can be.Recommended.
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Failed relationships, former lovers and half-eaten wedding cake clutters the mind of one Jewish woman determined to track the trajectory of love and loss in her life thus far. As the play builds a constantly confounding and quickly changing family tree of many marriages (and even more divorces), it poses questions about how modern marriage fits in with potentially outdated ideals. Bisexuality, Kabbalah and baby teeth dangle from the many branches of this thoughtful play, exploring how we might use our inheritances to reimagine what's possible.
Carin Silkaitis Stars In a One- Person Play Challenging Old Ideals of Love, Sexuality and Commitment
Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we've caught all but 2 of the Solo Celebration Shows so far this season and highly recommend coming out to Greenhouse Theatre for this excellent series. The topics have run the gamut from heartfelt to hilarious and everything in between. All have brought something unique to the table.
The World Premiere of “I Do Today” will run at the Greenhouse Theater Center (2257 N. Lincoln Ave) through Oct. 9. Co-produced with The Other Theatre Company, written by Sarah Myers and starring Carin Silkaitis, “I Do Today” will be directed by Greenhouse’s Artistic Director Jacob Harvey, making his Chicago directorial debut.
In “I Do Today,” Silkaitis portrays a Jewish woman determined to uproot a family tree grown wild with multiple marriages, dates and even more divorces. As she delves deeper into her own subconscious, she must grapple with her past, questioning how it has defined her and what it means in this moment. She quickly discovers that she must challenge the notions of love, sexuality and commitment in a world where modern marriage refuses to fit into old ideals.
“This innovative new play about one woman’s internal explorations allows all of us an opportunity to identify and assemble the pieces of ourselves that constitute who we are today and who we might be tomorrow,” said Harvey. “Myers has crafted a theatrical puzzle that this ensemble of collaborators and I has been able to assemble in an unexpected and captivating evening of theater.”
The performance schedule for “I Do Today” is as follows: Thursday – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Performances continue through Oct. 9.
Flex passes to the Solo Celebration! series, which offers admissions to three plays for $99 or five plays for $164, are now on sale. Single tickets, which range in price from $34 – 48 are also on sale. Flex passes and tickets can be purchased by contacting the box office at 773-404-7336 or by visiting greenhousetheater.org.
Sarah Myers is a Chicago native currently living in Minneapolis. Her work has been produced and developed at the Wild Project (New York); the Side Project with The Other Theatre Company, The Women & Theater Conference (Chicago); FronteraFest, the Off Center, the Blue Theater, the David Mark Cohen New Works Festival (Austin); and Indiana Repertory Theater (Indianapolis), among others. Myers’ published plays include “The Realm” (Bonderman National Youth Playwriting Award), “God of the Gaps” (Pushcart Prize nominee), and “In and Out.” Myers is a former company member of Austin-based theater collective Rude Mechanicals, an associate member of Twin Cities-based Workhaus Collective, and an ongoing collaborator with Sod House Theater, a company that creates adaptations and new works with communities throughout Minnesota.
Carin Silkaitis is the founding Artistic Director of The Other Theatre Company where her credits include “The Realm and Other Letters,” “Others,” “Daughters of Ire” and “Barney the Elf.” Notable television/film credits include: a co-staring role on “Chicago Fire,” nurse in “Unexpected” and Maggie in the short film “Blood and Water.” Silkaitis recently shot back-to-back commercials for the Arkansas Lottery, a recent spot for The Onion and a commercial for Progressive Insurance and Instant Care. Notable theater credits include Chloe in “Lips Together, Teeth Apart,” “Sons of the Prophet,” Queen Margaret in “Richard III,” Mama/Sherry/Vera in “Distracted” and Izzy in “Rabbit Hole” (Goodman Theatre).
Jacob Harvey is the Artistic Director of the Greenhouse Theater Center. Harvey is also a producer for Your Theatrics International, a full service entertainment production company, specializing in the production of theatrical events around the world. He was awarded the Bret C. Harte Director/Producer Fellowship for Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s 2013/14 Season; served as Associate Producer and Interim Director of Programming for the Drama Desk Award Winning New York Musical Theatre Festival; and served as the Co-Artistic Director of the Ovation Award-Nominated Mechanicals Theatre Group in Los Angeles. He was the co-producer of “Ladyhawks” (NYMF 2013 Best of Fest under the title Volleygirls); the associate producer of Ryan Scott Oliver’s “35MM: A Musical Exhibition” and the director of the Eberhardt and Collyer musical “Right Together, Left Together.” Other directing credits include, “Mr. Marmalade” (The Theatricians), “The Shape of Things” (Silver Bell Productions), the world premiere of “The Many Selves of Mia Scott” (Carrie Hamilton Theater) and assistant director of the world premiere of Marcus Gardley’s “The House The Will Not Stand” (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).
About The Other Theatre Company
The Other Theatre Company is dedicated to telling the stories of individuals or groups who are “othered” by systems of oppression. Othering individuals or groups sustains power and privilege and is an "us" vs. "them" mentality often centered around race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, identity, class, religion, and ability. The Other Theatre Company is committed to telling these stories in the hope that we can lessen the amount of discrimination and oppression in our world.
An Illinois non-profit, TOTC was founded in 2014 in Chicago, Illinois with their first festival titled “Others: A 24 Hour Play Festival.” Since then, their season has expanded to include three shows a year, including their annual production of “Barney the Elf” (a musical parody of the film Elf starring Will Ferrell).
About Solo Celebration!
“I Do Today” is one of 12 plays featured in Greenhouse’s “Solo Celebration!,” which includes ten full productions, two limited engagements and other special events running June 2016 through February 2017. Among the other directors connected to solo series are Goodman Theatre Producer and Artistic Collective Member Steve Scott, Writer’s Theatre Resident Director Kimberly Senior, Directors Lab Chicago Artistic Director Elizabeth Margolius and Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate Linda Gillum. Some of the performers confirmed to star in solo works include Jeff Award-winners Kate Buddeke, Gene Weygandt, Linda Reiter acclaimed British actor Simon Slater, Will Allan and Carin Silkaitis. Most productions will be produced in their entirety by Greenhouse, while other plays will be stated with co-producers including Sideshow Theatre Company and The Other Theatre Company. Greenhouse’s “Solo Celebration!” is co-produced by Forum Productions and underwritten by the Wendy and William Spatz Charitable Foundation.
About the Greenhouse Theater Center.
The Greenhouse Theater Center is a nonprofit performance venue located at 2257 N Lincoln Ave, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Our complex offers two newly remodeled 190-seat main stage spaces, two 60-seat studio theaters, an in-house rehearsal room, and Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre book store.
Our mission at the Greenhouse is first and foremost to grow local theatre. We strive to cultivate a fertile environment for local artists, from individual renters to our bevy of resident companies, to develop and produce their work. In 2014 alone, The Greenhouse Theater Center provided space for almost 1,000 ticketed performances, serving more than 54,000 patrons. Among these events were at least 30 productions by our resident companies, including the celebrated American Blues Theater and Remy Bumpo Theatre Company. Through our Trellis Program, we offer the community affordable access to our work by housing Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre bookstore, located on the second floor of our complex, as well as offering a free reading series each Tuesday night where local artists workshop their latest scripts. Additionally, we also continue to play an active role in cultivating and nurturing our community through continued partnerships with the League of Chicago Theaters and local Chambers of Commerce.
As of 2016, the Greenhouse Theater Center embraced the true spirit of growth and launched its producing entity. With the announcement of our 8 month long Solo Celebration Series, helmed by Artistic Director Jacob Harvey, we will produce 12 solo plays from June 2016 to February 2017. Through this inaugural effort, we hope to expand the solo play cannon while also cultivating a larger conversation about the possibilities of the one-person play.
With new ideas always incubating, the Greenhouse Theater Center is flourishing.