Wednesday, September 19, 2018

FEST ALERT: ARTEMISIA FALL FESTIVAL of Feminist Plays Sept. 24-Oct. 3

Sept. 24-Oct. 3
Annual festival of feminist plays will include staged readings of six new works

September 24-26 and October 1-3, 2018
Mondays – Wednesdays, 7:30 PM each evening
The Edge Theater
5451 N. Broadway, Chicago

Ticket prices for $10 for individual plays or $25 for a VIP Pass good for any three admissions to an Artemisia Theatre event during the 2018-19 season. Tickets can be purchased at or by phone at 312-725-3780.

Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama we're all about empowering women, giving voice to diverse experiences, and fighting inequity in the arts. As a female theatre critic and small business owner, I adore Artemisia's tag line, Theatre -- About Women For Everyone. Women centered stories are not a niche market to be marginalized. It's about time that the 51% have a say in the stories that define universal human tragedies, triumphs and the relationships in between. It's past time to go beyond just straight, white, male stories as the dominant art form in our culture. I'm particularly excited by Artemisia's festival team, a diverse group of artists who are significant players in the theater community: 

*Jamal Howard, an African-American, has directed for Emerald City and New American Folk Theatre; 
*Carol Ann Tan, an Asian-American, has directed with Haven and Otherworld and is currently a dramaturg on Vietgone at Writers; 
*Aaron Sawyer, founding AD of Red Theater, who directed R&J The Vineyard  (the Romeo & Juliet with hearing-impaired actors)
*Beth Wolf, founding AD of Midsommer Flight (free Shakespeare in the parks)
*Rachel Sledd Iannantuoni, who has acted in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at Court, and has also acted with Profiles and Shattered Globe
*Julie Proudfoot, founding AD of Artemisia

Ready to check out the next wave of feminist movers, shakers and culture makers?

Six directors and 30 actors from the Chicago theatre community will collaborate to create staged readings of six new feminist plays in the Artemisia Fall Festival 2018, to be performed September 24-26 and October 1-3 at The Edge Theater at 5451 N. Broadway. 

Artemisia Founding Artistic Director Julie Proudfoot and Literary Manager Sharai Bohannon have curated the festival from submissions solicited from writers, agents and literary managers across the US with whom the company has had working professional relationships. One play from the six to be performed will be chosen for further development by Artemisia Artistic Director Proudfoot, who will work closely with the playwright over the next two years to develop their feminist story for a full production in Chicago.

Proudfoot defines “feminist plays” as plays that empower women and challenge audiences to see women differently. In a recent interview, she noted how many plays in the existing canon fail to adequately portray women, saying “We don’t necessarily have feminist three-dimensional characters with all the flaws and virtues and complexities of great male characters. It matters to me because women are long overdue to be recognized on a level equal to men, especially in terms of leadership, humanity, complexity and agency. I think it should matter to everyone because Artemisia’s work inspires gender parity, which has been statistically shown to make for better and safer communities.”

While the scripts selected for this year’s festival all feature women who have agency and who are the center of their own narratives, the plays have a diversity of topics and genres. Themes to be explored include cultural differences between diverse societies in their treatment and status of women, mother-daughter relationships, and tensions between economic classes. The ranges of genres include dramas, satire and thrillers. The writers are not exclusively female – one male playwright will be represented alongside the five women writers. Proudfoot says, “We believe that men as well as women can be feminists.”

Over each of the Festival’s six nights, a different new play is staged as a reading. Talkbacks focusing on empowerment, inclusion and diversity will follow each reading. There will be a closing night party on October 3rd.  

The six plays to be performed, the performance dates, and the artists involved for each are as follows: 

Monday, September 24, 7:30 PM
SCRATCHING THE SURFACE, by Charly Evon Simpson. Directed by Rachel Sledd Iannantuoni.
One woman’s nightmare, one couple’s dream, and the nice female neighbor who likes to drop by unexpectedly with homemade pies collide in this juicy thriller.
Cast: William Burdin, Pauleth Jauregui, Anastacia Narrajos, Brandi Brown

Tuesday, September 25, 7:30 PM
WITCH CAMP, by J. Thalia Cunningham. Directed by Beth Wolf.
When an African-American doctor volunteers at a small health clinic in northern Ghana, she discovers that the women in the camp accused of witchcraft really do have magical powers.
Cast: Charlee Cotton, Myesha-Tiara, RJW Mays, Teresa Champion, Tamarus Harvell, Marz Timms, Sonia Goldberg

Wednesday, September 26, 7:30 PM
CASH COWS, by Anthony Fiorentino. Directed by Jamal Howard.
A group of exploited milk cows launch a hunger strike to change their abusive working conditions and the dairy company's CEO wages a ruthless campaign to crush the rebellion.
Cast: Caron Buinis, Laurie Gauger, Robin Margolis, Emma Sheikh, Tina El Gamal, Tanyce Caraballo, Dekyi Ronge, Blake Holen, David Morgan Shaw

Monday, October 1, 7:30 PM
THINGS THAT ARE ROUND, by Callie Kimball. Directed by Aaron Sawyer.
Two women, a dentist specializing in existential terror, and the worst baby sitter ever who has dreams of becoming an opera singer, square off in a strange ballet of truth or dare.
Cast: Julie Proudfoot, Alejandra Vivanco

Tuesday, October 2, 7:30 PM
MINE AND YOURS, by Carolyn Kras. Directed by Carol Ann Tan.
A foreclosure loophole pits new buyers against former owners in a struggle to claim the house as their home through cohabitation.
Cast: Barbara Roeder Harris, Steve Silver, Isabella Gerasole, Chase Wheaton-Werle

Wednesday, October 3, 7:30 PM
EVERY WAITING HEART, by Lauren Ferebee. Directed by Julie Proudfoot.
A deep and intimate dive into the combative yet unbreakable relationship between an overworked single mother and her rebellious daughter, both pioneer women in 1848.
Cast: Jennifer Cheung, Patty Malaney, Lucy Pearce, John Wehrman, Tamarus Harvell


Charly Evon Simpson (SCRATCHING THE SURFACE) is a playwright and performer from New York City. Her plays include JUMP, SCRATCHING THE SURFACE, HOTTENTOTTED, WHILE WE WAIT, and more. Her work has been seen and/or developed with NNPN at its Kennedy Center MFA Playwright's Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ars Nova, The Flea, and others. She's a member of 17/18 Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers' Group, The Amoralists' 2018-19 'Wright Club, and is The Pack's current playwright-in-residence. Charly holds a Bachelor of Arts from Brown and Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College. 

J. Thalia Cunningham (WITCH CAMP) is a playwright, travel writer, and photographer.  Her plays have been commissioned, produced, and developed in United States and internationally. She has been published by Smith & Kraus and Applause. She is a proud member of: Actors Studio; League of Professional Theatre Women; The WorkShop Theater Company. J. Thalia holds a Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University has traveled to 120 countries and has written for national travel publications.

Anthony Fiorentino (CASH COWS) is a Chicago-based playwright whose plays have been produced at the Athenaeum Theatre, Stage 773, Prop Theatre, the American Theatre of Actors, the Actors' Theatre of Santa Cruz, and the Attic Playhouse. His plays ALL MY LOVE and THE FEAST have been nominated for the Jeff Award for Best New Play. He is an affiliated artist with the National New Play Network. He was a finalist for the Stanley Drama Award in 2011, and a Semi-finalist for Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center National Playwright's Conference (2008).

Callie Kimball (THINGS THAT ARE ROUND) is a MacDowell Fellow, a two-time winner of the Rita & Burton Goldberg Award, a finalist for the O'Neill, a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Award, and a four-time nominee for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Her plays have appeared in NY, Chicago, LA, and DC, at the Kennedy Center, Portland Stage Company, Lark Play Development Center, Dramatic Repertory Company, Halcyon Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, Echo Theatre, The Brick Theater, Project Y Theatre, Team Awesome Robot, Washington Shakespeare Company, Mad Horse Theatre, and more. She is currently writing a commission for ShadowCatcher Productions inspired by the letters of her grandparents during World War II. THINGS THAT ARE ROUND will have its world premiere this November at Rep Stage. Plays include: SOFONISBA (Clauder Gold Prize Winner, Kilroys' List), RUSH, ALLIGATOR ROAD, DREAMS OF THE PENNY GODS.

Carolyn Kras is an LA-based playwright from Chicago. She was Playwright in Residence at Selladoor Worldwide through the support of the Fulbright LUSK Award to the United Kingdom. Her play The Subject has had 20 readings, including a United Nations Orange Day Reading in London. Carolyn is the recipient of the Visionary Playwright Award, Hamptons International Film Festival Screenwriters' Lab selection, Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Award, Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar selection, Disquiet International Short Play Award, and Plume & Pellicule Award.   Her plays have been developed and or produced at The Blank Theatre, The Road Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, 20% Theatre Company Chicago, Williams Street Rep, Theater Masters, Found Stages, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  She is a member of The Playwrights Union LA and holds a Master of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University.

Lauren Ferebee (EVERY WAITING HEART) Lauren's plays have been praised as "exquisite" (Applause, Applause) and "a fine balance between laugh-out-loud absurdity and gut-wrenching human drama" (DC Metro Theater Arts). Her play THE MEETING was recently a national finalist for the Kennedy Center's Gary Garrison 10-Minute Play Award. Previous plays include THE RECKLESS SEASON (finalist, 2016 Princess Grace Award, semi-finalist, 2014 Shakespeare's Sister Fellowship), and SEXUAL GEOGRAPHY (finalist, 2015 Reva Shiner Comedy Award). Smith & Kraus will publish four monologues from THE RECKLESS SEASON in the 2018 Best Stage Monologues Series She was a nominee for the 2016 USA Fellowship in theatre. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NYU/Tisch.

Chicago’s premiere professional theatre nurturing feminist playwrights with a one-of-a-kind development process that culminates in remarkable and unforgettable productions.
Join us in bettering our community by empowering women and girls through theatre.  Partnering with Artemisia gives you unique media and marketing opportunities, direct contact with our audience and talent, and the chance to become part of a powerful movement – #ThePresentIsFemale

Recognition on Website and Social Media.  Group Logo Ad in Signature Program and signage in lobby throughout the Festival.
Free access to all Events for Theatre Season & recognition on Website.
Live recognition at Fall Festival, Website Listing & Social Media and Ad in All Programs for Season.
Free access to all Events for Theatre Season, Live Recognition at Fall Festival, Website Listing & Recognition in all Media, Press and Programs.
Guest of honor with free access at all Events for Season, Invitations to Exclusive Play Development Meetings and Rehearsals, Website Listing & Recognition in all Media, Press and Programs.

Founded in 2011, Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit theatre that produces all-new, dynamic and empowering plays that center on women who have agency, independence, and are the focal point of their own narratives, to create gender parity both onstage and off. Each season, Artemisia produces its Fall Festival of staged new play readings as well as fully staged productions of new plays it has developed. Artemisia is a 501 c 3 organization and, as such, relies heavily on public support to fund theatre that promotes equality and social justice for all women and girls.  

Artemisia Gentileschi, was a Baroque artist whose paintings depicted violence with fierce honesty and elegance. For centuries after her death, her art was attributed to men. Feminist curators in the late 1970’s rediscovered Artemisia, who is now considered the greatest female painter prior to the modern period. A common theme in Gentileschi’s later work is women in moments of power, or triumph, which is why she is the perfect namesake for Artemisia.

Fall Favorites On The Chicago Theatre Scene For 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

When it comes to theatre, arts and entertainment and more in Chi, IL, we have you covered. Check out (adult) and (family friendly) like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. We've got great theatre ticket giveaways, entertainment news, original reviews and more. September is off to a fabulous start with a plethora of openings. For a great starting point, we recommend taking a peek at the League of Chicago Theatre's website and Fall Theatre Guide for a look at many exciting productions the windy city has on stage for fall 2018.

Chicago will continue to produce some of the most exciting theater in the country throughout Fall 2018. Offerings from the city’s more than 250 producing theaters include a range of special fall programming, featuring everything from the latest musicals to highly anticipated world premieres.   

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions including a Fall Theatre Guide, visit the League of Chicago website, Discounted tickets are available at or at the two Hot Tix half-price ticket locations: across from the Chicago Cultural Center at Expo72 (72 E. Randolph) and Block Thirty Seven, Shops at 108 N. State. Hot Tix offers half-price tickets to more than 250 Chicago area theatres, full price tickets to all Ticketmaster events including concerts and sports, and Play Money gift certificates.

“When I look at the astounding array of artists that will be represented this Fall I am most struck that many of them are Chicagoans, including: Bruce Norris, Calamity West, Ike Holter, Mary Zimmerman, E. Faye Butler, Gary Griffin and Mike Nussbaum. Chicago will be alive this Fall with Chicago artists telling fascinating stories that speak to Chicago and the world,” notes Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres.”

The following is a selection of notable work playing in Chicago throughout the fall:

New works and adaptations include:
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and ensemble member Bruce Norris’ fiery and provocative new play Downstate, opens at Steppenwolf Theatre. Directed by Pam MacKinnon. Runs September 20 - November 11, 2018.

Writers Theatre in Glencoe premieres Witch, a smart, modern fable by playwright Jen Silverman. Runs September 27 - December 16, 2018.

Jackalope Theatre presents In the Canyon, a new American saga by local playwright Calamity West. Runs October 23 - November 25, 2018

Ike Holter’s newest Chicago-set play Rightlynd runs at Victory Gardens Theater, November 9 - December 23, 2018.

Mary Zimmerman adapts and directs Hans Christian Andersen’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier into an enchanting spectacle for Lookingglass Theatre Company, November 7 - January 13, 2019.

Musicals include:
One of Chicago’s greatest divas E. Faye Butler makes her Porchlight Music Theatre debut in the landmark musical, Gypsy. Runs October 12 - November 25, 2018.

Congo Square Theatre Company presents Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill at eta Creative Arts, September 14 - October 7, 2018.

TimeLine Theatre Company in partnership with Firebrand Theatre presents Caroline, or Change at The Den Theatre. Runs September 22 - October 28, 2018.

Mercury Theater’s hit production of the hilarious and sassy musical Avenue Q continues its successful run through November 4, 2018.

Dramatic works include:
Award-winning director Gary Griffin helms Paula Vogel’s acclaimed play Indecent at Victory Gardens Theater. Runs September 21 - November 4, 2018.

Favorite Chicago theatre actor Mike Nussbaum returns to Northlight Theatre in Curve of Departure as the patriarch of an unconventional family in this delicate and gently comic drama. Runs September 13 - October 21, 2018.

Notable comedies include:
Broadway In Chicago presents a pre-Broadway engagement of Tootsie, a new musical comedy based on the movie. Runs at the Cadillac Palace Theatre from September 11 - October 14, 2018

The Second City’s 107th Mainstage Revue launches its run at the historic Chicago home for comedy on October 9, 2018.

Nell Gwynn, the Olivier Award Winner for Best New Comedy, which took audiences by storm in its Shakespeare’s Globe London debut, has its American premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Courtyard Theater this fall. Runs September 20 - November 4, 2018

Other Notable Works Include:
The second annual Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival will celebrate homegrown Latino theater artists and companies, both emerging and established, from the host city, Chicago. Destinos will also showcase artists from Dallas and Los Angeles. Theater artists and companies from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Puerto Rico round out the festival’s deep roster of international participants, helping underscore the growing reputation for Destinos as one of the country’s leading international Latino theater festivals. Runs September 20 – November 4, 2018.

It’s Alive! In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein three Chicago theatre companies will present unique adaptations of Mary Shelley’s classic horror story. Lifeline Theatre’s production runs September 7 - October 28, 2018. Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s production features some daring double casting and alternating roles October 11 - November 11, 2018, and Manual Cinema brings its unique visual take on the story to Court Theatre November 1 - December 2, 2018.

Strawdog Theatre Company presents a new immersive theatrical experience at its home in North Center with Masque Macabre. Runs October 4 - 31, 2018.

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

The League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement 
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of 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, Half-price tickets to the current week’s performances as well as future performances are available at and at the two Hot Tix half-price ticket locations: across from the Chicago Cultural Center at Expo72 (72 E. Randolph) and Block Thirty Seven (108 N. State). 

OPENING: WORLD PREMIERE of Oxy Ohio at Side Project September 30 – October 14, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

by S.J. Spencer
directed by Adam Webster

As a native Ohioan, born and raised not far from Dayton, in Cincinnati, this world premiere is of great interest to me. I moved to Chicago in 1990, long before the opioid epidemic was a hot button issue, but I've been following the decline of the state, and I had heard of Dayton's dubious distinction as drug overdose capital of America. I'm eager to see a theatrical exploration of the fall out of this crisis, by a playwright from Dayton. I'll be out for the press opening October 4th, so check back soon for my full review.

Welcome to Dayton, Ohio, America's 2016 drug overdose capital. Mary works the night shift at a retirement home; her drop-out daughter, Becky, works the night shift at Super 8; new acquaintance Tom has worked every conceivable job for his entire life; and they all "work" Dr. Wilmington, their favorite physician. But something isn't working. They are all caught up in the mass casualty opioid death march that now seems as permanent as Ohio's gray skies, crumbling concrete, lonely nights, and dead-end jobs. Welcome to the Midwest. Pick your poison.

Pictured: Amy Johnson (left),  Tracey Green (right). Photo by Sarah Larson Photography.

McKaw Theater (formerly the side project theatre)
1439 W. Jarvis, Chicago
September 30 – October 14, 2018 

Preview Sunday, September 30 at 2 pm
Regular run October 4-14, 2018
Runs: Thurs-Sats at 7:30pm, Suns. at 2pm
Ticket: $15 advance; $20 at door
Available at Brown Paper Tickets:
More information at

Adam Webster, Artistic Director of the side project, will direct S.J. Spencer’s new drama set in Dayton, Ohio. It will be performed in the side project’s former 40-seat performance space at 1439 W. Jarvis Avenue in Rogers Park, a venue the company had occupied between 2007 and 2016 before transitioning the space over to new theatrical tenants. OXY, OHIO will open on October 4 following a preview on September 30 and will continue through October 14. 

Webster’s cast will include Tracey Green (FOUR BY TENN with Aston Rep and THE TALL GIRLS with Shattered Globe), Benjamin T. Jenkins (BURF OF A NATION and BY ASSOCIATION with MPAACT), Amy Johnson (2017 Jeff award winner for FALLING with Interrobang; Spencer’s PUSH BUTTON MURDER at the side project), and Fred Wellisch (FORTY-TWO STORIES with City Lit and THE PRICE with TimeLine). His production team will include designers Blake Cordell, Cristina McCrystal, Sean McStravick, and Danielle Myerscough; Brian Ruby (Production Manager), and Sean Smyth (Stage Manager).

Top row: Tracey Green, Benjamin T. Jenkins
Lower row: Amy Johnson, Fred Wellisch


S.J. Spencer (Playwright) is from Dayton, Ohio. His first play ANOTHER DAY IN THE EMPIRE was named one of the best shows of 2007 by TIMEOUT CHICAGO and the CHICAGO READER. He’s had performances and readings across town, from Stage Left to American Blues. His plays tackle capitalism, militarism, disillusionment, anomie, and modern liberalism. His first play at the side project, PUSH BUTTON MURDER, received an honorable mention for best of the fringe from the Tribune in 2015.  

Adam Webster (Director) is the Founding Artistic Director of the side project, for which he has directed more than 40 plays, produced more than 100, and written myriad one acts, as well as full length adaptations of MAGGIE: A GIRL OF THE STREETS (2004) and LYSISTRATA (2001 & 2016). Other adaptations include: HIPPOLYTUS (Hudson Guild, Slimtack) & LIFE IS A DREAM (Livewire). Other original plays include one-minute works for OMPF; 24-Hour plays for BYOT; one acts for Boxer Rebellion and Tympanic Theatre; and short play cycles "Footnotes for an Apology," "If That Was Me, then Who Am I?" and "The Dangling Conversation" for Shift7 Productions (at Rhino Fest). Also a fiction writer, poet, storyteller & visual artist, his work has been published in FOLIO, PACIFICA REVIEW, HERE/THERE, PIONEERTOWN, and THRICE magazine. He currently teaches at Harold Washington College and School of the Art Institute.

About the side project

The side project was founded by Adam Webster in 2000 and has operated continuously since then producing more than 200 plays, the majority of which have been world or local premieres. From 2000 to 2008, it operated in a storefront in the 1500 block of West Jarvis in a hyper-intimate performing space seating fewer than 30 patrons. In 2007, they moved a block east to 1439 W. Jarvis, retaining the hyper-intimacy, while expanding to 40-seats. In 2016, the company became itinerant and has since produced at Prop Thtr, Chicago Dramatists, and the former Side Project space.

Through its history, the company has been dedicated to producing new work. Many of its productions have been world premieres while many others have been Chicago premieres by playwrights based not only in Chicago but throughout the US. Some of the writers who have had first or early productions of their works at the side project include Sean Graney (THE FOURTH GRADERS PRESENT AN UNNAMED LOVE-SUICIDE and SUGARWARD), Philip Dawkins (PERFECT), Robert Tenges (PEOPLE WE KNOW, ELSEWHERE, WHATEVER), Daniel Talbott (SLIPPING, MIKE AND SETH), National Book Award winner Sherod Santos (LIVES OF THE PIGEONS), Kathleen Tolan (WHAT TO LISTEN FOR), Adam Webster (MAGGIE: A GIRL OF THE STREETS), and many others.

The company’s focus is not simply on world-premiere plays, but on world-premiere collaborations: creating never-before-seen teams of artists, each of whom has a body of work which speaks to the others in unique and exciting ways. By bringing together established talent and emerging up-and-comers, the side project fosters new partnerships, explores new creative territory, and celebrates the best of Chicago storefront theatre.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

OPENING: THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE Via Hell in a Handbag At Stage 773 October 28, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Hell in a Handbag Productions Presents 
By Charles Ludlam
Directed by Shade Murray
September 20 – October 28, 2018 at Stage 773

**The Handbag production marks the first time in over 25 years this campy classic has been performed in Chicago**

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we love it when our favorites play well together. We're admirers of the work of Shade Murray of A Red Orchid Theatre and adore Hell in a Handbag Productions' high camp classics, so we're eager to catch The Artificial Jungle. I'll be out to review their latest at the press opening September 23rd. So check back like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. 

This fall, Hell in a Handbag Productions is thrilled to explore THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE, the final play by the legendary master of camp, Charles Ludlam. Who better to direct this criminal tale of lust and murder than Hell in a Handbag’s longtime partner in crime, Shade Murray of A Red Orchid Theatre. 

THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE will play September 20 – October 28, 2018 at Stage 773’s Black Box Theater (1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago), where Handbag staged its recent revival of L’Imitation of Life and 2017’s hit musical Bewildered. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 327-5252. 

THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE features an all-ensemble cast including Chazie Bly*, David Cerda*, Sydney Genco*, Ed Jones* and David Lipschutz*.

Things at The Artificial Jungle, the dilapidated pet store owned by mild-mannered Chester Nurdiger (Ed Jones*), are pretty routine. The devoted Mother Nurdiger (David Cerda*) does her best to give her son everything he needs, but there are some things a mother just can’t provide. Chester’s wife, the sultry and stifled Roxanne Nurdiger (Sydney Genco*), is as restless as one of the hamsters in a cage, and when Zachary Slade, a mysterious drifter (David Lipschutz*) enters the picture, passions run wild. Roxanne and Zachary have the perfect plan to get rid of Chester and live the life Roxanne craves.

Combining elements of Thérése Raquin, Double Indemnity and even Little Shop of Horrors – THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE is a masterful mélange of styles that leave no doubt as to why Mr. Ludlam is considered one of the creators of the Theatre of the Ridiculous. It’s also the perfect fit for Hell in a Handbag Productions – Chicago’s leading theater dedicated to ridiculousness, camp and parody.

The production team for THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE includes: Samantha Gribben (scenic design), Kate Setzer Kamphausen (costume design), Rachel Lake (lighting design), Brando Triantafillou (sound design and original music), Keith Ryan* (wig design), Adrian Hadlock* (props design), Mark Blashford (puppet design), Lana Whittington (violence coordinator), A.Kay Wyatt (production manager) and Alexandra Hazen (stage manager).

*Denotes Handbag ensemble member.

Stage 773 Black Box Theater, 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, September 20 at 7:30 pm, Friday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, September 22 at 7:30 pm
Opening/Press performance: Sunday, September 23 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, September 27 – Sunday, October 28, 2018 
Curtain Times: Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will be an added performance on Monday, October 15 at 7:30 pm.

Tickets: Previews $19. Regular run $32 in advance, $39 at the door. Group rates $29 for 10 or more. $25 senior and student rates. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 327-5252. 

About the Artists
Charles Ludlam (Playwright, 1943-1987) grew up in Queens, New York, just a few subway stops from Greenwich Village and the heart of Gay America. At 24, he founded the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, where he wrote, directed and performed in almost every production for the next two decades, often with Everett Quinton, his life partner and muse, by his side. Renowned for drag, high comedy, melodrama, satire, precise literary references, gender politics, sexual frolic and a multitude of acting styles, the Ridiculous Theater guaranteed a kind of biting humor that could both sting and tickle. Ludlam’s many plays included Turds in Hell, Der Ring Gott Farblonjet, a riff on Wagner's Ring Cycle, Bluebeard and The Mystery of Irma Vep, his most popular play, and a performer's tour-de-force. Ludlam continued working until almost the day he died of PCP pneumonia, just three months after his AIDS diagnosis. He was 44.

Shade Murray (Director) is happy to return to Hell In A Handbag after directing The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes and The Divine Sister. He is an ensemble member and Associate Artistic Director of A Red Orchid Theatre, where he has directed the world premieres of Brett Neveu’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Ike Holter’s Sender, as well as productions of David Adjmi’s 3C, Grant Varjas’s Accidentally Like a Martyr, Marisa Wegrzyn’s Mud Blue Sky and The Butcher of Baraboo, Annie Baker’s The Aliens, Nick Jones’ Trevor, Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party and Kimberly Akimbo by David Lindsay-Abaire. He also performed in the A Red Orchid production of The Mutilated. Other directing credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The House Theater, Steep Theater, Second City, Writers’ Theater and elsewhere. Shade is a lecturer at University of Chicago and teaches at DePaul University and Acting Studio Chicago. 

About Hell in a Handbag Productions
Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit.


CLUTCH "BOOK OF BAD DECISIONS" Tops US, Canadian and European Hard Rock and Metal Charts


I caught Clutch's tour kick off in Chicago at Riot Fest, and the guys were at the peak of their game, rocking hard despite the sun and heat. Their 45 minute set left fans wanting more.

Despite a tough time slot opposite Suicidal Tendencies, Clutch had a huge draw and the stage was packed.

Here at, we've been CLUTCH fans since the early 90's. It's great to see the band gaining some long overdue acclaim. They've been uncompromising about their unique sound, even when it wasn't a commercial success, and steadfastly stuck to what they loved to play. This scrappy foursome was ahead of their time, and now rock, funk and metal fans have finally caught up to them and realized what they were missing. 

Maryland rockers CLUTCH released their new album "Book of Bad Decisions" via their own Weathermaker Music label on September 7th. "Book of Bad Decisions" is another stellar victory for CLUTCH, Weathermaker Music and Rock Music worldwide on the charts!  The first week chart positions are below. All formats are available at

US #16 Billboard 
Top 200 Consumption Chart
#1 Billboard Hard Rock
#2 Billboard Rock 
#2 Billboard Independent Label
#3 Billboard Independent Retail
#6 Billboard Top Albums (ex Streaming)

CANADA #42 Billboard
Top 200 Album Charts
#1 Hard Music
#5 Top Current Albums
#6 Top Albums 

UK #13
Top 200 Official Album Charts
#1 - Top 40 Rock and Metal Albums Chart
#2 - Independent Album Chart 
#8 - Vinyl Album Chart

Top 100 Media Control Album Charts

ARIA Digital Album Charts

Top 60 Sverigetopplistan Album Charts
#1 Hardrock/Metal Chart 
#4 on the pure physical chart
#4 on the vinyl chart

Top 150 SNEP Album Charts

CLUTCH is currently on tour in the US and Canada and will be touring Europe in November in support of “Book of Bad Decisions”.

CLUTCH’s “Book of Bad Decisions US/ Canada Tour 2018”
Tickets available at

Tue/Sep-18  St Paul, MN  Myth Live
Wed/Sep-19  Kansas City, MO  Uptown Theater
Fri/Sep-21  Houston TX  House of Blues 
Sat/Sep-22  San Antonio TX  River City Rock Fest ** 
Sun/Sep-23  Dallas, TX  Gas Monkey Live
Tue/Sep-25  Orlando, FL  House Of Blues
Thu/Sep-27  Norfolk, VA  The NorVa 
Fri/Sep-28  Raleigh, NC  The Ritz 
Sat/Sep-29  Atlanta, GA  The Masquerade * 
Sun/Sep-30  Louisville, KY  Louder Than Life ** 
Tue/Oct-02  Denver, CO  Ogden Theater 
Wed/Oct-03  Salt Lake City, UT  The Depot 
Fri/Oct-05  Boise, ID  Knitting Factory 
Sat/Oct-06  Spokane, WA  Knitting Factory
Sun/Oct-07  Seattle, WA  Showbox SODO 
Mon/Oct-08  Vancouver, BC  Commodore Ballroom SOLD OUT 
Tue/Oct-09  Portland, OR  Roseland Theater
Thu/Oct-11  San Francisco, CA  The Regency Ballroom 
Fri/Oct-12  Los Angeles, CA  El Rey Theater 
Sat/Oct-13  San Bernardino, CA  Glen Helen Amphitheater w/SOAD *** 
Sun/Oct-14  San Diego, CA  North Park/Observatory 
Mon/Oct-15  Tempe, AZ  The Marquee 
Wed/Oct-17  Tulsa, OK  Cain’s Ballroom 
Thu/Oct-18  Sauget, IL  Pop’s Nightclub
Fri/Oct-19  Grand Rapids, MI  20 Monroe Live 
Sat/Oct-20  Detroit, MI  The Filmore Detroit
Sun/Oct-21  Pittsburgh, PA  Stage AE
Tue/Oct-23  Toronto, ON  Rebel 
Thu/Oct-25  Worcester, MA  The Palladium 
Fri/Oct-26  New York, NY  Irving Plaza
Sat/Oct-27  New York, NY  Irving Plaza SOLD OUT
Sun/Oct-28  Philadelphia, PA  Electric Factory

*= no Sevendust 
** = festival date / Clutch and festival bill only
*** = date w/ System of a Down/ no Sevendust/ TB&TSD

Neil Fallon - Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult - Guitar
Dan Maines - Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster - Drums/Percussion
For more  information, check out the band’s website:


OPENING: Nell Gwynn at Chicago Shakespeare September 20–November 4, 2018.

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Scarlett Strallen and Timothy Edward Kane lead
North American premiere of Olivier Award-winning comedy
featuring stand-out acting company:
David Bedella, Emily Gardner Xu Hall, Hollis Resnik, John Tufts, Natalie West and Larry Yando

 Scarlett Strallen is Nell Gwynn. Photo by Jeff Sciortino.

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we're eager to catch Chicago  Shakespeare Theater's latest, Nell Gwynn, Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy! With Scarlett Strallen, a two-time Olivier Award nominee  and multiple Jeff Award-winner Timothy Edward Kane on board, this is high on my fall "must see" Chicago theatre list. I'll be out for the press opening September 28th. Check back soon for my full review at  

Timothy Edward Kane is King Charles II and Scarlett Strallen is Nell Gwynn in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of the Olivier Award-winning comedy Nell Gwynn, directed by Christopher Luscombe, in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater, September 20–November 4, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sciortino.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces the cast for the North American premiere of Jessica Swale’s exuberant new comedy Nell Gwynn, September 20–November 4, 2018. The music- and dance-filled play took London audiences by storm when it debuted at Shakespeare’s Globe, followed by a celebrated run on the West End. Director of the original London production, Christopher Luscombe, helms the new Chicago Shakespeare production. Star of Broadway and the West End Scarlett Strallen appears as Nell; Chicago leading actor Timothy Edward Kane performs the role of King Charles II.

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, Nell Gwynn tells the extraordinary true story of an unlikely heroine—the beloved mistress to a king. Young Nell Gwynn is selling oranges in the burgeoning West End when she is discovered by a theater troupe, and becomes one of the first women to take center stage as the leading actress of Restoration England. With her quick wit and exceptional beauty, she wins over audiences—and the heart of King Charles II.

Appearing as Nell Gwynn is Scarlett Strallen, a two-time Olivier Award nominee who starred on the West End in She Loves Me, A Chorus Line, Singin’ in the Rain, HMS Pinafore, and in the title role of Mary Poppins—which she reprised on Broadway. Additional Broadway credits include Travesties and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Portraying King Charles II is multiple Jeff Award-winner Timothy Edward Kane in his seventeenth production at Chicago Shakespeare. Kane’s notable performances include Richard III in Tug of War: Civil Strife (2012), Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2012), Horatio in Hamlet (2006), and as Poins in Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 (2005) at Chicago Shakespeare and on tour to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival in Stratford-upon-avon.

Two-time Olivier Award-winning actor David Bedella, best known for numerous West End appearances (Jerry Springer – The Opera, In the Heights) and UK television roles, appears as Edward Kynaston, the displaced actor who had played the woman’s roles before Nell’s admission to the troupe. Joining the company are multiple Jeff Award-winners and veterans of National Broadway Tours and Chicago stages: Larry Yando as Charles’ chief minister, Lord Arlington, and Hollis Resnik in the dual roles of Ma Gwynn and the Portuguese Queen. Yando has appeared on the Chicago Shakespeare stage more than 20 times, including recently in Shakespeare in Love, The Tempest, and in the title role of King Lear. Resnik is a twelve-time Jeff Award-winner, including a win for her performance as Carlotta in Chicago Shakespeare’s Follies. She has also appeared in the national touring casts of Les Misérables, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Portraying Charles Hart, the leading actor in the King’s Company, is John Tufts—who has appeared in twelve seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and now returns to Chicago Shakespeare after Love’s Labor’s Lost and the two-part Tug of War saga. Emily Gardner Xu Hall portrays two of Charles’ mistresses: Lady Castlemaine and Louise de Keroualle. In addition to being an award-winning composer/lyricist, Hall’s theatrical credits include In Rooms Such As These at Signature Theater and the US Premiere of Stockholm at Hudson Stageworks. Multiple Jeff Award-winner Natalie West—perhaps best known for her recurring role on the original long-running sitcom, Roseanne—is Nell’s dresser, Nancy.

Emma Ladji appears as Nell’s sister, Rose. Portraying members of the King’s Company are Christopher Sheard as playwright John Dryden and Bret Tuomi as director Thomas Killigrew. Rounding out the ensemble are Jeff Diebold, Dylan Obrochta, Emily Rohm, and Carter Sherman. Making his Chicago Shakespeare debut is canine actor Bentley playing King Charles’ beloved spaniel.

Director Christopher Luscombe is internationally acclaimed for his vibrant productions of Shakespeare, musicals and new works. As an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Luscombe recently staged a repertory pairing of Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing and a production of Twelfth Night, which went on to be broadcast worldwide via RSC Live. His directing credits also include The Madness of George III and Spamalot in the West End, The Comedy of Errors and The Merry Wives of Windsor for Shakespeare’s Globe, and numerous international touring and West End productions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Luscombe returns to Chicago Shakespeare after his 2014 production of Henry V.

Joining Luscombe on the creative team is Drama Desk Award-winning Composer Nigel Hess, who has scored more than twenty productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company and on Broadway, and Music Director Jermaine Hill. The lush set and costumes of Restoration England are being created by Emmy and Olivier Award-winning designer Hugh Durrant, who is internationally recognized for his work in theater, opera, and concerts, including Cher’s Farewell Tour. Jeff Award-winning Lighting Designer Greg Hofmannn returns to Chicago Shakespeare where his credits include Mary Stuart, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and Ride the Cyclone. Stephen Ptacek is the production’s Sound Designer; a three-time Jeff Award-winner, Ptacek has designed with Victory Gardens Theater, Gift Theatre, and Northwestern University. The production’s period styles are complimented by designs from Chicago Shakespeare’s resident Wig and Make-up Designer Richard Jarvie, who has created designs for over thirty productions at the Theater. Completing the creative team are Choreographer Amber Mak, Dialect Coach Eva Breneman, and Assistant Director Lanise Antoine Shelley.

For more information, visit

Nell Gwynn is presented in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater, September 20–November 4, 2018. Single tickets are $48–$88. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets for patrons under 35. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at

CST strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Accessible performances for Nell Gwynn include:

Open-captioning – Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
ASL Duo-interpretation – Friday, October 26, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Audio-description – Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. with optional touch tour at 12:00 p.m.

A global theatrical force, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare’s genius for storytelling, musicality of language, and empathy for the human condition. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare has redefined what a great American Shakespeare theater can be, putting forward a company that delights in the unexpected and defies theatrical category. A Regional Tony Award winner, the Theater produces acclaimed plays at its home on Navy Pier, throughout Chicago’s schools and neighborhoods, and on stages around the world. In 2017, the Theater unveiled a new stage, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, The Yard positions Chicago Shakespeare as the city’s most versatile performing arts venue.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

REVIEW: BIGMOUTH Launching Big in Belgium—Chicago Series at Chicago Shakespeare Theater Through September 22nd

Despots and demagogues, politicians and peacemakers, are all given voice in this powerful punch of a one man show.

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Chicago Shakespeare presents
Through September 22nd
Launching Big in Belgium—Chicago

Imagine a bank of nine varied microphones, and one intrepid traveler, embodying a host of diverse words from ancient Greece to modern America through speeches and song. Valentijn Dhaenens' one man show defies easy explanation. He pulls from a diverse and eclectic selection of voices like Socrates, Muhammad Ali, General Patton, Osama bin Laden, and more. His words are an eerie reminder that humanity has a long history of killing the wise and those championing both peace and revolution. His choices we're quite gender based, with only one ultra conservative, racist woman represented among a slew of men, but otherwise his speeches included a variety of races, ages, eras, and viewpoints.  

Dhaenens spent a year reading over a thousand speeches and embracing the synchronicity and patterns that emerged over the centuries. He's also got an uncanny ear for the perfect musical bridges to compliment his themes, all of which were also sung by him, though many also included music, looping and effects. 

This immersive one man show is as unique and creative as it is thought provoking. Without an overtly skewed agenda, Dhaenens has created the perfect vehicle for bringing out the similarities in enemies, showing terrorist's rational reasoning, and displaying just how little humanity has actually changed or evolved, in matters of propaganda and rational behind war, peace, wisdom and racism since 400BC. Highly recommended. 

Three pioneering events representing the next wave of boundary-pushing theater

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents Big in Belgium—Chicago, a series of three acclaimed theatrical events representing the next wave of boundary-pushing European theater. Featured productions include a sweeping tribute to 2,500 years of oration, an engaging examination of free will—and the manipulation of it—in political elections, and a chilling look at tragedy and terror through the eyes of children. Curated by Chicago Shakespeare, Richard Jordan Productions, and David Bauwens, Big in Belgium—Chicago will be presented in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, beginning with BigMouth on September 12, 2018. All Big in Belgium productions are performed in English.

Launching Big in Belgium—Chicago is BigMouth (September 12–22, 2018), a tour-de-force solo performance by Valentijn Dhaenens, produced by leading Belgian company SKaGeN. Equipped with nine microphones, his voice, and indefatigable energy, Dhaenens weaves together some of the most revered speeches in history—from sermons and eulogies to declarations of war and love, from the likes of Socrates, Muhammad Ali, General Patton, Osama bin Laden, and more. Audiences are instantaneously transported across the millennia by Dhaenens’ virtuosic performance, illuminating the tricks of rhetoric that have remained unchanged since the dawn of language. BigMouth was the sell-out hit of the 2012 and 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, and has since played to great acclaim in major festivals worldwide. The Guardian declared, “Dhaenens employs not just his voice but his entire body to examine justice, war, racism, and retribution and to create a piece in which past and present are in a constant dialogue.”

Later this season, Big in Belgium—Chicago continues with Fight Night (October 23–November 4, 2018) from collective Ontroerend Goed, which returns to Chicago Shakespeare after A History of Everything in 2012, and the stirring Us/Them (January 22–February 3, 2019) from BRONKS.

A stinging examination of free will and politics staged by company founder and Artistic Director Alexander Devriendt, Fight Night immerses audience members (equipped with electronic voting boxes) in a showdown between five contenders vying for their votes. Employing a dizzying array of tactics and strategies, the candidates compete to survive a relentless succession of eliminations, and ultimately be crowned the elected victor. Blurring the lines between theater and interactive performance art, Fight Night is a hilarious, thought-provoking look at the mechanisms of democracy.

Rounding out Big in Belgium—Chicago is Us/Themacclaimed as the “unforgettable highlight of the Fringe” by The Telegraph when it debuted in Edinburgh, followed by a sold-out run at the National Theatre of Great Britain. Told through the viewpoint of two children, the production is a chilling look at the 2004 Beslan school siege by Chechen separatists in Russia, in which more than 1,100 adults and children were taken hostage and 334 lost their lives. Using intricate choreography and ingenious staging, Us/Them is not a recounting of the tragedy, but instead a compelling examination of the way young people cope with disaster.

Big in Belgium—Chicago is emblematic of Chicago Shakespeare’s rich tradition of importing the world's most exciting theatrical events to Chicago and exporting the Theater’s productions to global destinations through WorldStage at Chicago Shakespeare. To date, the program has featured more than 1,000 artists from 23 countries spanning six continents—including artists from South Africa, China, India, Belarus, France, Russia, and the UK. Many of the globe’s most iconic troupes have made Chicago their stage including: The Abbey Theatre from Dublin, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre from London, the Chekhov International Theatre Festival from Moscow, La Comédie Française from Paris, and The Farber Foundry from South Africa. Chicago Shakespeare expanded the WorldStage programming in 2016 by spearheading the yearlong festival Shakespeare 400 Chicago, the largest international celebration of the playwright’s 400-year legacy.

More information on the Big in Belgium—Chicago series at

All three Big in Belgium—Chicago productions will be performed in English in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Single tickets ($38–$56) are on sale now. Save $5 per ticket when you book 2 or more Big in Belgium shows together. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets for patrons under 35. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at

BigMouth is created and performed by Valentijn Dhaenens. Joining Dhaenens on the creative team are Jeroen Wuyts (Lighting and Sound Design) and Barbara de Laere (Costume Design).

BigMouth is produced by SKaGeN and Richard Jordan Productions with Theatre Royal Plymouth and Big in Belgium, in association with De Tijd and STUK.

Fight Night is written and directed by Alexander Devriendt, Angelo Tijssens and the cast. The company includes Aaron Gordon, Abdel Daoudi, Angelo Tijssen, Aurélie Lannoy, Charlotte De Bruyne, and Michai Geyzen. Completing the creative team are Lilith Tremmery (Scenography, Light Design and Production), Babette Poncelet and Iben Stalpaert (Technicians), Sophie De Somere (Costumes and scenography), Cameron Goodall and David Heinrich (Music), and Nick Mattan (Graphics Voting System).

Fight Night is produced by Ontroerend Goed, The Border Project, Richard Jordan Productions, and Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with Big in Belgium.

Us/Them is written and directed by Carly Wijs created with Thomas Vantuycom. The creative team consists of Stef Stessel (Designer), Thomas Clause (Lighting Design), Peter Brughmans (Sound Design), and Mieke Versyp (Dramaturg). The company includes Gytha Parmentier and Roman Van Houtven.

Us/Them is produced by BRONKS and Richard Jordan Productions with Theatre Royal Plymouth and Big in Belgium in association with Summerhall.

A global theatrical force, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare’s genius for storytelling, musicality of language, and empathy for the human condition. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare has redefined what a great American Shakespeare theater can be, putting forward a company that delights in the unexpected and defies theatrical category. A Regional Tony Award winner, the Theater produces acclaimed plays at its home on Navy Pier, throughout Chicago’s schools and neighborhoods, and on stages around the world. In 2017, the Theater unveiled a new stage, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, The Yard positions Chicago Shakespeare as the city’s most versatile performing arts venue.

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