Tuesday, July 31, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: Circolombia’s ACÉLÉRÉ To Play The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare October 23 – November 4, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Circus troupe combines jaw-dropping acrobatics with dance 
and music culminating 
Destinos – Chicago International Latino Theater Festival


Limited engagement in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, 
October 23 – November 4, 2018

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces a special theatrical event from celebrated Colombia circus troupe Circolombia’s Acéléré, presented for a limited engagement in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, October 23–November 4, 2018.

 All Photos by Roberto Ricciuti

Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama we've reviewed professional circus shows from around the world, and we're beyond excited to see Acéléré! Tickets are sure to be in high demand for this family friendly, short run, circus extravaganza. Don't miss this.


Packed with explosive power and raw skill, the high-energy spectacle features jaw-dropping circus feats from aerialists, acrobats, and contortionists—interwoven with the troupe’s signature live music and dance performances, spanning genres from hip-hop and electro cumbia to drum and bass. Straight from an acclaimed run on the Thames’ South Bank under the iconic London Eye and a sell-out engagement at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Acéléré makes its North American debut as the culminating event of the second annual Destinos – Chicago International Latino Theater Festival.

Acéléré is a “non-stop circus party,” according to UK’s The Stage. TimeOut London called it “an adrenaline-fuelled mix of strength, skill and daring… a great night out.” The Scotsman praises the show’s “high-flying acrobatics that make you gasp out loud…This is the circus performance that shows others how it’s done. Go.”

Direct from the Chicago Sister City of Bogotá, Colombia, Circolombia is no ordinary circus troupe. Taking inspiration from Colombia’s diverse communities, the majority of the company is comprised of top graduates from the country’s national circus school.

Circolombia's Acéléré culminates this year’s Destinos – Chicago International Latino Theater Festival (September 20 – November 4), spearheaded by the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA). CLATA was created in 2016 by Executive Director Myrna Salazar and a consortium of Chicago cultural institutions, led by the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA), International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC), and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA). CLATA aims to celebrate and amplify the voices of Latino theater artists in Chicago. Throughout October 2018, Destinos (translated as destinies, destinations, or fate) will feature works by local Chicago Latino theater companies alongside international artists. The presentation of Acéléré marks the second year that Chicago Shakespeare has participated in the Chicago International Latino Theater Festival.

For more information, visit

Circolombia's Acéléré is presented in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, October 23–November 4, 2018. Single tickets ($30-$45) will be on sale later this summer. 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

Circolombia's Acéléré joins previously announced productions in the 2018/19 Season:

Peter Pan, A Musical Adventure
CST’s Courtyard Theater | Now through August 19, 2018
music by George Stiles | lyrics by Anthony Drewe | in a new version by Elliot Davis based on the book by Willis Hall | adapted from the play by J.M. Barrie with permission from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children | directed & choreographed by Amber Mak

A Midsummer Night's Dream
touring to neighborhood parks | Now through August 26, 2018
adapted and directed by Barbara Gaines

Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare | September 12–22, 2018
directed & performed by Valentijn Dhaenens

Nell Gwynn
CST’s Courtyard Theater | September 20–November 4, 2018
by Jessica Swale | directed by Christopher Luscombe

BIG IN BELGIUM | Ontroerend Goed
Fight Night
The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare | October 23–November 4, 2018
written by Alexander Devriendt, Angelo Tijssens, and the Cast | directed by Alexander Devriendt

Q Brothers Christmas Carol
The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare | November 20–December 30, 2018
written by Q Brothers Collective (GQ, JQ, Jax, Pos) | directed by GQ and JQ | developed with Rick Boynton

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
CST’s Courtyard Theater | December 6, 2018–January 27, 2019
by William Shakespeare | directed by Joe Dowling

Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare | January 22–February 3, 2019
written & directed by Carly Wijs

L'après midi d'un foehn
The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare | January 23–27, 2019
created by Phia Ménard | co-presented with Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

Short Shakespeare! Macbeth
CST’s Courtyard Theater | February 16–March 16, 2019
by William Shakespeare | adapted & directed by Marti Lyons

WORLDSTAGE FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM | National Theatre of Great Britain
An Inspector Calls
The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare | February 19–March 10, 2019
by JB Priestly | directed by Stephen Daldry

Two Pints
CST’s The Pub | March 6–31, 2019
by Roddy Doyle | directed by Caitríona McLaughlin

CST’s Courtyard Theater | April 17–June 9, 2019
by William Shakespeare | directed by Barbara Gaines

Bedknobs and Broomsticks
The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare | May 30–July 28, 2019
original music & lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman | book by Brian Hill | new songs & additional music & lyrics by Neil Bartram | based on the Walt Disney film

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.

Friday, July 27, 2018




CLUTCH has been one of our favorites here at ChiIL Live Shows for decades. They're still cranking out jammin' new tunes and their live shows are incredible, with a different set list nightly. Band members take turns creating the set list. And their fans are also some of the nicest, most genuinely fun people out there. We're loving the new stuff they've released so far, off their upcoming album, and we're beyond excited to hear it in it's entirety.

Maryland rockers CLUTCH are now offering a variety of exclusive “Book of Bad Decisions” pre-order bundles such as the “Limited Edition Collectors Bundle” which includes rare picture disc vinyl, flask, flag, shirt, long sleeve, HATCHET with autographed box, and more!  Bundles will be delivered on or before the album release date of September 7th.

All “Book of Bad Decisions” pre-order bundles, music and merch options are available now exclusively at

CLUTCH are releasing the third single from their upcoming album Book of Bad Decisions as an instant gratification track at iTunes ( and Amazon (  Spotify has it here (

Clutch’s song “Hot Bottom Feeder” is, in essence, a recipe for Maryland crab cakes set to Clutch’s inimitable style.  Watch the accompanying lyric video here.

Each of the single releases from Book of Bad Decisions is accompanied by a Spotify playlist put together by one of the band members. In this instance it's Dan Maines who asks you to “Check out our latest release Hot Bottom Feeder and beat the heat with these stone cold classics.” We checked it out and Dan's Spotify playlist is pretty sweet!

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: VIETGONE at Writers Theatre August 15 – September 23, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Writers Theatre presents
Written by Qui Nguyen
Directed by Lavinia Jadhwani
Original Music & Music Direction by Gabriel Ruiz
Choreographed by Tommy Rapley
Featuring Aurora Adachi-Winter, Rammel Chan, Emjoy Gavino
Ian Michael Minh and Matthew C. Yee

Pictured: Matthew C. Yee and Aurora Adachi-Winter. Photo by Saverio Truglia.

August 15 – September 23, 2018

**Warning, contains strong language and adult themes.**

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, opens its 2018/19 season with Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone, directed by Lavina Jadhwani, featuring original music and music direction by Gabriel Ruiz and choreography by Tommy Rapley. Vietgone runs August 15 – September 23, 2018 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. 

It's 1975 and two young survivors (who may or may not be the playwright's parents) meet in a Vietnamese refugee camp in mid-America shortly after the fall of Saigon. Will this strange new land of cowboys, hippies and bikers allow them to fall in love? Playwright Qui Nguyen’s wildly creative, irreverent style flips stereotypes on their head, remixing history and culture into a sexy, funny and energetic fantasia as he imagines how two soul mates might have found each other in a turbulent time.

Vietgone is a first-generation immigrant story told through a second-generation lens. As a result, this period piece about the 70s is infused with elements of modern American pop culture—rap music, ninja fights, movie montages, motorcycle chases—that playwright Qui Nguyen grew up loving.

Equal parts road-trip adventure, buddy film, romantic comedy and Hamilton-esque rap musical, this epic new play repurposes pop culture from the last forty years to tell its “probably-mostly-true” story. Directed by Lavina Jadhwani, Vietgone takes a no-holds-barred approach, transporting you through time and across the globe to put an innovative spin on a critical moment in our history.

Vietgone features an Asian American playwright, director and cast, and a significant portion of the creative team.

“Vietgone is one of the most creative, vibrant and entertaining plays to emerge on the American stage in the past few years,” said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam.” Qui Nguyen handles his subject matter with great originality and a generous eye towards keeping the audience engaged, while not shying away from a very sophisticated narrative. Furthermore, thanks in no small part to pioneers like Lin Manuel Miranda and The Q Brothers, hip-hop culture and rap music have become an organic part of the current theatrical conversation and Mr. Nguyen uses the vernacular to great effect. In fact, Vietgone feels somewhat like producing a musical. The piece fills the epic canvas of the Nichols stage with its integral musical score and choreographic sequences, while adhering to the intimacy that is a hallmark of the Writers Theatre experience.

Gabriel Ruiz has composed original music for the production. Like Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, Vietgone uses contemporary music, including rap, to tell an historic story in an anachronistic way.

“Director Lavina Jadhwani has been collaborating with Writers Theatre in various capacities for more than a decade now, and her directorial debut is an organic extension of our ongoing relationship. Her national career has been well and truly launched with projects in development at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (where she first encountered this play), the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Florida and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. She’s assembled an ideal cast and a bravura design team, and we all feel very lucky to be working together to tell such a dynamic and important story.”  

Director Lavina Jadhwani has a long-standing relationship with Writers Theatre starting as a script reader and progressing to serve as Dramaturg of Travels with My Aunt and the Director of the staged reading of Our Few and Evil Days.

The cast of Vietgone includes: Aurora Adachi-Winter (Tong), Rammel Chan (Asian Guy/American Guy/Nhan/Khue), Emjoy Gavino (Asian Girl/American Girl/Thu/Huong/Translator/Flower Girl), Ian Michael Minh (Playwright/Giai/Bobby/Captain Chambers/Redneck Biker/Hippie Dude) and Matthew C. Yee (Quang).

The creative team includes: Yu Shibagaki (scenic), Melissa Ng (costumes), Sarah Hughey (lighting), Kevin O’Donnell (sound), Rasean Davonte Johnson (projections), Dwight Sora (assistant director) and Carol Ann Tan (production dramaturg). The production stage manager is David Castellanos.

Tickets are priced $35 - $80. Subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 847-242-6000 or in person at the box office at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe.

Qui Nguyen (Playwright) is a playwright, screenwriter, and co-founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company of NYC. His plays include Vietgone (2016 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, 2016 LADCC Tim Schmitt Award, 2016 Edward M. Kennedy Prize finalist), War is F**king Awesome (Frederick Loewe Award), She Kills Monsters (2014 AATE Distinguished Play Award, 2012 GLAAD Media Award nom), Soul Samurai (2009 GLAAD Media Award nom) and the critically acclaimed Vampire Cowboys shows: The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G, Alice in Slasherland, Fight Girl Battle World, Men of Steel, Six Rounds of Vengeance and Living Dead in Denmark. Recent awards include a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program (Peg+Cat) and a 2015 New York Community Trust Helen Merrill Playwriting Award. He is proud member of the WGA, The Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He’s an alumni of New Dramatists and Youngblood. For television, he's written for PBS’s Peg+Cat and SYFY’s Incorporated. Currently, he’s a screenwriter for Marvel Studios.

Lavinia Jadhwani (Director) Lavina Jadhwani is a Chicago-based director, adaptor, and advocate. Favorite directing credits include Roe (Asolo Repertory Theatre), Human Rites (world premiere at the Phoenix Theatre, Indianapolis), Great Expectations (Silk Road Rising/Remy Bumppo Theatre Company), Gruesome Playground Injuries, Much Ado About Nothing, Yoni Ki Baat (Rasaka Theatre Company), Cherry Smoke (the side project), Romeo and Juliet (Teatro Vista—BroadwayWorld nomination, Best Production for Young Audiences), Hamlet and Twelfth Night (Oak Park Festival Theatre). Her adaptations include The Sitayana (a solo performance piece based on the Hindu epic, The Ramayana), Vanya (adapted from Chekhov) and Shakuntala: An East-Meets-West Love Story (an a cappella musical, adapted from Kalidasa). Lavina maintains relationships with Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Phil Killian Directing Fellow), the National New Play Network (Affiliated Artists Council), Silk Road Rising (Artistic Associate) and Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Artistic Engagement Associate). She was named Time Out Chicago’s “Best Next Generation Stage Director” in 2013. Lavina is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University (M.F.A., Directing), Carnegie Mellon University (B.F.A., Scenic Design; Masters, Arts Management) and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.

Gabriel Ruiz (Original Music/Music Director) Gabriel is a proud ensemble member of Teatro Vista. Chicago credits include: Agamemnon (Court Theatre), City of Angels (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire), The Upstairs Concierge (Goodman Theatre), White Tie Ball (Teatro Vista), Creditors (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company), How Long Will I Cry?, The Motherfucker with the Hat (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Sita Ram (Chicago Children's Choir), After (Profiles Theatre), Working: The Musical (Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place), Richard III, Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Arabian Nights (Lookingglass Theatre Company). Regional credits include: Native Gardens (Cincinnati Playhouse), Harvey (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them (Forward Theater Company) and Blood and Gifts (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts). He can also be seen as Dilip Singh in both seasons of Boss (Starz).

Tommy Rapley (Choreographer) Tommy Rapley is a proud Company Member with The House Theatre of Chicago where he has choreographed over 25 world-premiere productions including The Sparrow (Jeff Award), Cave With Man (Jeff Award), The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan, The Valentine Trilogy and Death and Harry Houdini. Directing credits for The House include: The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz, All the Fame of Lofty Deeds, Hope Springs Infernal, DORIAN and their critically acclaimed productions of The Nutcracker. Other notable Chicago credits include: AIDA (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Detroit (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), One Hundred Dresses, A Year with Frog and Toad (Chicago Children's Theatre), Yeast Nation (American Theatre Company), Man in the Ring (Court Theatre), The King and I, City of Angels (Marriott Theatre) and A Christmas Carol (The Goodman Theatre). Tommy has worked regionally with Hartford Stage Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kansas City Rep., Olney Theatre Center, St. Louis Rep., The Adrienne Arsht Center and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Aurora Adachi-Winter (Tong) A Chicago native, Aurora grew up on the south side of the city, attended Walter Payton College Prep and graduated with her BFA in theatre from The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is a company member with First Floor Theater, where she appeared in their productions of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, peerless and Two Mile Hollow. Other past credits include: Bull In A China Shop (About Face Theatre), Put Your House In Order (The Roustabouts), The Burials (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), good friday (Oracle Productions, Jeff Nomination for Best Ensemble), Hinter (Steep Theatre Company), M. Butterfly (Court Theatre) and Miss Saigon (The Paramount). Upcoming productions include Red Rex (Steep Theatre) and Lottery Day (Goodman Theatre) both by Chicago playwright Ike Holter. Aurora has performed three consecutive years in The Fly Honey Show (The Inconvenience), including with her mother, aunt and cousin in their drum group Adachi Taiko.

Rammel Chan (Asian Guy/American Guy/Nhan Khue) Theatre credits include King of the Yees (Goodman Theatre, Kirk Douglas Theatre), Oblivion (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), A Red Line Runs Through It (u/s Second City), Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Next Act Theatre) and staged readings of Vietgone (Writers Theatre), The Supreme Leader (Roundabout Theatre Company), The Not-So-Accidental Conviction of Eleven Milwaukee Anarchists (Milwaukee Repertory) and The Oldest Boy (Goodman Theatre). He is an ensemble member of Stir Friday Night, a recipient of the 2015 Bob Curry Fellowship from the Second City and the 2018 Kundiman Fiction Fellowship. As a writer, his play Northern Michigan Trust premiered as part of TEN at The Gift Theatre and his short fiction has appeared in Riksha or is forthcoming in Asimov’s Science Fiction. His film and television credits include Cold War, End of the Tour, Red Line (CBS), Crisis, Chicago Justice (NBC), Patriot (Amazon) and The Jamz (Netflix).

Emjoy Gavino (Asian Girl/American Girl/Thu/Huong/Translator/Flower Girl) Representative Chicago credits include Steppenwolf Theatre (The Drunken City, You Got Older), Court Theater (Wait Until Dark, Electra, The Good Book, Iphigenia in Aulis, M Butterfly, The Hard Problem), About Face Theatre (Bull in a China Shop), The Hypocrites (You on the Moors Now), The Second City (The Realish Housewives—National tour), The House Theater of Chicago (Death and Harry Houdini, Wilson Wants it All), Northlight (4000 Miles), Victory Gardens (Failure: A Love Story), Remy Bumppo (Seascape, Fallen Angels, Love and Information), Paramount (Hair), Broadway Playhouse (Working), Lookingglass Theatre (Arabian Nights), The Neo-Futurists (Neo-Futurist Christmas Carol) and Goodman Theater (A Christmas Carol). Regional credits include Repertory Actors Theatre, Book-It Repertory, ACT, 5th Avenue Theatre and Village Theatre. Film/TV: The Exorcist, Mob Doctor, Empire (Fox), Chicago Fire and Chicago Med (NBC). Emjoy graduated from The School at Steppenwolf. She is the casting director of Gift Theatre, a teaching artist with Barrel of Monkeys, a 3Arts Make a Wave grantee and is the founder and producer of The Chicago Inclusion Project. She is represented by Stewart Talent.

Ian Michael Minh (Playwright/Giai/Bobby/Captain Chamber/Redneck Biker/Hippie Dude) is an artistic ensemble member of Midsommer Flight and has appeared in the company's productions of Twelfth Night, Hamlet and As You Like It. Other Chicago productions include Romeo and Juliet (Teatro Vista), The Last Dance, Shadow Boy (Commedia Beauregard), Art (Parlor Room Players) and Coriolanus (Commission Theatre).
Matthew C. Yee (Quang) Theatre credits include Once (Paramount Theatre), Treasure Island (Lookingglass Theatre Company), Alice’s Rock and Roll Adventure, The Year I Didn't Go to School, A Year With Frog And Toad (Chicago Children's Theatre) and The Wheel (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). Television credits include Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice (NBC) and Empire (Fox).

 The play explores the time during and immediately following the Vietnam War, told through the eyes of Vietnamese refugees, revealing a different perspective on a well-known piece of American history.

Sunday Spotlight
Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 11:30am
In Vietgone, playwright Qui Nguyen gives us a dynamic look at the Vietnam War and its aftermath from a rarely observed point of view. At this Sunday Spotlight event, we will be joined by a diverse panel of historians, activists and artists to discuss varying perspectives on this contentious time in history when the country—and the world—was undergoing great change. Seating is limited, RSVP is required.

The Making of... Vietgone
Monday, September 10, 2018 at 6:30pm
Music plays a huge role in Vietgone, and the styles are specific and intentional for each musical moment. At this Q&A, WT Associate Artistic Director Geoff Button moderates a discussion to break down the music in Vietgone, looking at the rich storytelling in rap and how popular music makes its way from radio waves to the stage. Seating is limited, RSVP is required.

Post-Show Conversation: The Word
Join us after every Tuesday evening performance (excluding First Week and any extension weeks) for a 15-minute discussion of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.
Post-Show Conversation: The Artist
Join us after every Wednesday evening performance (excluding First Week and any extension weeks) for a 15-minute talk-back featuring actors from the production, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Pre-Show Conversation: Up Close
Join us at 6:45pm before every Thursday evening performance (excluding First Week and any extension weeks) for a 15-minute primer on the context and content of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

In an effort to promote taking public transit to the Theatre, Writers Theatre launched a new promotion in 2013. Any audience member who purchases a ticket to a Writers Theatre production and rides Metra’s Union Pacific North Line to the Theatre may snap a photo of themselves on the train and post it to their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account with a tag of @WritersTheatre (@Writers_Theatre on Instagram) and #VietgoneWT, and upon showing the post at the Writers Theatre Box Office, receive $5 in cash to put toward the cost of your fare as a thank you for going green.

This promotion is available for a limited time only and may end without warning. Ticket must have been paid for in advance. Not valid on comp tickets. More information available at

Writers Theatre is pleased to recognize BMO Harris Bank as the 2018/19 Season Sponsor and ComEd as the Official Lighting Sponsor of the 2018/19 Season. The Major Corporate Sponsor for Vietgone is Northern Trust. The Major Production Sponsors are Maryellen and Richard Keyser, and the Artists Council Sponsors are Laurie and Michael Petersen. Additional support for Vietgone is provided by the Director’s Society Sponsors.

For more information about Writers Theatre’s 2018/19 partners, visit

For more than 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues. 

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at, follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter or @Writers_Theatre on Instagram. For more information, visit

First performance: Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Press opening: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 7:30pm
                                    Closing performance: September 23, 2018

Open Captioning performance: Thursday, September 6 at 7:30pm
ASL-Interpreted performance: Saturday, September 22 at 7:30pm

Tuesdays – Fridays: 7:30pm (with select 3:00pm Wednesday matinees)
Saturdays: 3:00pm and 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm and 6:00pm

The Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre
325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
Prices for all performances range from $35 - $80
Purchase early for best prices                                 
Box Office:
The Box Office is located at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe;

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Broken Nose Theatre Welcomes New Artistic Director and Managing Director

 New Leadership at Broken Nose Theatre:
Elise Marie Davis Named Artistic Director
Rose Hamill Named Managing Director

Elise Marie Davis. Photo Ian McLaren

Broken Nose Theatre announced two major leadership appointments this July. Associate Artistic Director Elise Marie Davis has been named the company’s new Artistic Director, succeeding Founding Artistic Director Benjamin Brownson. Brownson, who has led the company since its formation in 2012, is taking a brief sabbatical and will return as the company’s Executive Director in 2019. Additionally, Company Manager Rose Hamill will assume the newly created position of Managing Director.

Comments outgoing Artistic Director Benjamin Brownson, "Elise and Rose are amazingly talented theatre makers, administrators, leaders, collaborators and human beings. They have been pivotal to the company's success and growth in recent years, and I am thrilled for them to take on these roles and leadership of the company as we enter an exciting new chapter for Broken Nose."

BNT’s new Artistic Director Elise Marie Davis adds, “Broken Nose Theatre was my very first artistic home in Chicago, and I am honored to take on the mantle as its newest Artistic Director. I'm consistently reminded of how proud I am to be part of a company that strives for economic accessibility through our Pay-What-You-Can ticketing model, which opens the door wide to all potential patrons, regardless of socio-economic status. I'm also humbled to be joining the elite group of female-identifying artistic directors in our incredible city, many of whom I've looked up to for a great many years. I'm so excited to take this company into the next phase of its artistic growth.”


Elise Marie Davis has been a Broken Nose Theatre company member since 2013, after serving as an Associate Producer for their inaugural Bechdel Fest. She has served as both Casting Director and (since 2016) Associate Artistic Director. She works around town as an actor and playwright, and her credits include Lyric Opera, Strawdog, Route 66, Pride Films and Plays, Shattered Globe and The New Colony, among others. She also appears in Squid, a short-form comedy series premiering on Amazon Prime later this Summer. At BNT, she wrote and starred in her first full-length play A Phase, which has subsequently been taught at the University of Chicago, and was part of the cast of At The Table, which won four non-Equity Jeff Awards including Best Production/Play and Best Ensemble. Next at BNT, her short play Every Other Tuesday will be part of Bechdel Fest 6, opening at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre in late July, and she will be onstage this Fall in Plainclothes, a world premiere written and directed by company member Spenser Davis. She is also a Factory Theater ensemble member and is represented by Big Mouth Talent Agency.

Rose Hamill is a freelance stage and production manager. Rose believes that the creation of theatre is an exploration of humanity in all of its honest, not-always-tidy complexities, and she's driven by this constant sense of discovery. Previously, Rose has served as the Company Manager of Broken Nose Theatre, as well as stage managed their productions of A Phase, Bechdel Fest 4 and At the Table, the latter of which won four non-Equity Jeff Awards including Best Production of a Play. She has also worked with Windy City Playhouse (This), Cock & Bull Theatre (Lecherous Honey), The New Colony (PUNK), and Babes with Blades Theatre Company (The Good Fight), among others. Rose is a member of the United States Institute of Technical Theater, where she was fortunate enough to participate in the Stage Management Mentorship Program years 2016 and 2017. Rose holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Technical Theatre from Columbia College Chicago, with minors as a Teaching Artist and in Arts Administration. 

About Broken Nose Theatre:

Broken Nose Theatre is a Pay-What-You-Can theatre company. Founded in 2012, BNT was this year's recipient of the Emerging Theater Award, presented by the League of Chicago Theatres and Broadway in Chicago. The company has produced and developed 11 full-length plays (including 8 Chicago or World Premieres) and over 40 new womencentric short plays through their annual Bechdel Fest. We strive to spark conversation, cultivate empathy, and amplify underrepresented voices, and are committed to making new, exciting and relevant theatre that is economically accessible to all audiences. For more information, please visit

3 Nights Only: Pay What You Can Tickets for Broken Nose Theatre's Bechdel Fest 6

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:


Three Performances Only!
Broken Nose Theatre Announces Line-Up for
July 29, 30 & 31, 2018 
at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre

Parts of Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series

I'll definitely be out to see BECHDEL FEST 6: REVOLUTION. Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're all about works of film and theatre that pass the "Bechdel Test" and can't wait to see Broken Nose Theatre's annual festival of new short plays. With pay what you can ticket prices, nobody's excluded for a thin wallet or empty bank account. Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre is one of our favorite new venues and an excellent place to catch a show. Don't miss this!

Broken Nose Theatre, recipient of the 2018 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award, is pleased to announce the full line-up for BECHDEL FEST 6: REVOLUTION, the company’s annual festival of new short plays featuring an ensemble of female-identifying and non-binary actors talking about things other than men. Presented as part of Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series, BECHDEL FEST will play three performances only July 29, 30 & 31, 2018 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. Tickets for all BNT productions are available on a “pay-what-you-can” basis, allowing patrons to set their own price and ensuring theatre remains economically accessible for all audiences. Suggested price is $25. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (312) 335-1650.

All the works in BNT’s perennial feminist festival are inspired by the famous Bechdel-Wallace Test. Created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the test asks whether a work of entertainment features at least two women in conversation about something other than a man. Since the fest's first iteration in 2013, Broken Nose has worked with some of the most exciting voices in the Chicago theater landscape on over 40 stories that, by design, do not revolve around men. This year's lineup includes both female-identifying and non-binary characters.

The full line-up for BECHDEL FEST 6: REVOLUTION includes: 

Written by Elise Marie Davis* | Directed by Spenser Davis*

A suburban book club is on track to reserve a booth at their neighborhood's annual Community Cookout –until the cookout sponsors realize the book club focuses exclusively on lesbian erotica.

Written by Michael Allen Harris+ | Directed by Martin Hanna*

The Society - a secret spy organization founded, funded, organized, and run by black women - is about to send their most skilled agent on a brand new mission: a covert infiltration with the potential to change the world.

Written by Cleo Shine | Directed by JD Caudill^

A shy highschooler decides to reveal her true self to her girlfriend, even if it risks changing everything.

Written by Allison L. Fradkin | Directed by Kim Boler^

A devout mother and her three daughters seem perfectly comfortable within the confines of the restrictive "Christian Patriarchy Movement."  That is, until sex education gets unexpectedly added to their home-schooled curriculum.

Written by Nancy Garcia Loza | Directed by Laura Baker

Two Mexican-American friends struggle with the ups and downs of seeking help, dealing with trauma – and setting boundaries with their hard-to-ignore families.

Written by Beth Hyland | Directed by Brian Balcom

As the "Occupy Wallstreet" protests rage on the East Coast in 2011, several college students strive to be part of the movement... on their tiny liberal arts campus in Gambier, Ohio.

Written by Kristi Parker-Barnhart | Directed by Julia Skeggs

Two neighbors. One shared back porch. This means war.

Written by Loy Webb | Directed by Deanna Reed Foster

On the eve of her high school prom, a young woman decides to break the rules in her own special way.

Written by Benjamin Brownson* | Directed by Adrienne Matzen

Two strangers find their night of casual fun unexpectedly lengthened when a neighborhood riot erupts around them.

* BNT Company member       ^ BNT Artistic associate           + BNT Resident Playwright

About Broken Nose Theatre:

Broken Nose Theatre is a Pay-What-You-Can theatre company. Founded in 2012, BNT has produced and developed 11 full-length plays (including 8 Chicago or World Premieres) and over 40 new womencentric short plays through our annual Bechdel Fest. We strive to spark conversation, cultivate empathy, and amplify underrepresented voices, and are committed to making new, exciting and relevant theatre that is economically accessible to all audiences. For more information, please visit

About Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series:

LookOut is Steppenwolf’s performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form, emerging artists and performance legends, quintessential Chicago companies and young aspiring ensembles, familiar Steppenwolf faces and new friends.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

FREE With RSVP: Jeff Award Winning Chad Deity Returns to Theater on the Lake August 7-10th, 2018!

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Red Theater Chicago's Award Winning Production
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

I missed Red Theater's run last year, as I had just had surgery. I'm elated to have another chance to catch this Jeff Award-winning production. I'll be reviewing opening night, but highly suggest booking your tickets ASAP, since they're free and will go fast. 

Red Theater Chicago announces that its Jeff Award-winning production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity will receive a limited remount next month as part of the 2018 Theater on the Lake Summer Theater Festival. Written by Kristoffer Diaz and directed by company member Jeremy Aluma, performances will take place August 7-10, 2018 at The South Shore Cultural Center.

What people are saying about The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity: 

* 2017 Top 10 Best Off-Loop Productions – Chicago Tribune

* 3.5 STARS “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity shows exquisite staying power.” – Chicago Tribune 

* “Aluma’s production is, quite simply, all-inclusive & terrifically breathtaking.” – Chicago Theatre Review 

* “Aluma’s direction sizzles and his cast of actor/wrestlers are all outstanding.” – Third Coast Review

* 2017 Best Revival of a Play Nomination – Broadway World

Kyle Encinas won the 2018 Jeff Award for Fight Choreography for his work with The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, and Alejandro Tey (Mace) was nominated for Performer in a Principle Role. Don't miss this rare opportunity to check out the show that the Tribune said delivers a power slam!

How does one pursue the "American Dream" in a country that refuses to offer opportunity indiscriminately? That is the question at the heart of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, an American satire set in the professional entertainment wrestling world. We follow Macedonio Guerra, an excellent Puerto Rican wrestler, as he rises from the bottom of the pecking order. In this interactive physical comedy, Mace talks directly to the audience as fans in his arena. The play dissects race, xenophobia, ego, and our moral compass - topics even more relevant now than when it premiered nine years ago.

Alejandro Tey as MACE, Harsh Gagoomal as VP, Breon Arzell as CHAD DEITY, Frank Stasio as EKO, Will Snyder as THE BAD GUY, and Dave Honigman as REFEREE.

Stage Manager: Jamie Crothers 
Costume Designer: Hailey Rakowiecki 
Lighting Designer: Charles Blunt 
Sound Designer: Sarah D. Espinoza 
Technical Director & Set Designer: Becca Venable 
Projection Designer: Alberto Mendoza and Matt Hooks 
Fight Choreographer: Kyle Encinas 
Props Designer: Kat Moraros 
Assistant Director: Nathan Speckman 
Dramaturg: Joseph Galizia 
Associate Producer: Rory Jobst

Tuesday, August 7 at 7pm 
Wednesday, August 8 at 7pm 
Thursday, August 9 at 2pm 
Thursday, August 9 at 7pm 
Friday, August 10 at 7pm
South Shore Center

Robeson Theater, South Shore Cultural Center 
7059 S. South Shore Dr. 
Chicago, IL 60649

Tickets are FREE. Secure yours now!
Click here or call 312.742.7994

ABOUT RED THEATER: Red Theater is a Jeff Award-winning company that asks dangerous questions, striving to deliver productions that go beyond entertainment, challenging an audience to interpret the themes and ideas presented on a personal level. Since 2008, our commitment to accessibility through every stage of the creative process also lowers the barriers of access, allowing all audiences to see new and reimagined works that broaden perspectives and inspire dialogue.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Shows On Our Radar: Rick Stone the Blues Man at Black Ensemble Theater Through August 26th, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:


(from left) (obscured – Theo Huff) Rick Stone, Dwight Neal, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Cynthia Carter and Rhonda Preston
Photo credit for all: Alan Davis

July 14 – August 26, 2018 

The summer's been flying by, and sadly I was already booked and had to miss the press opening last Sunday for Rick Stone the Blues Man. I adore the blues and I'm hoping to catch this soon. It's always a treat to see productions Jackie Taylor has written and directedIn the meantime, here are the details. This blues based original is only in town through August 26th, so don't miss this.

Black Ensemble Theater continues its 2018 Season (Movers and Shakers) with Rick Stone the Blues Man written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor. Rick Stone the Blues Man will be performed at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago, July 14 – August 26, 2018. 

 (foreground) Theo Huff  (2nd line, from left) Dwight Neal, Cynthia Carter, Rick Stone, Rhonda Preston (musicians, from left) Adam Sherrod, Robert Reddrick, Mark Miller, Gary Baker

(from left) Theo Huff and Rick Stone

If you love the blues then you're going to love Rick Stone the Blues Man! Step on in to Ricky's Place, where the drinks are flowing, the dance floor is full and the band never stops. This is Ricky's Place and there is no other Blues Club like it on the planet! Join Ricky and his regulars Dwight Neal, Theo Huff, Rhonda Preston, Cynthia Carter, Kelvin Davis and Lamont 'Harmonic Man' Harris as they tear the house down singing the blues made famous by the greatest blues artists of all time like B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, KoKo Taylor, Johnnie Taylor, Etta James, Taj Mahal, Fleetwood Mac and Buddy Guy just to name a few. Of course Ricky and Dwight will perform their famous Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf song battle and there's always a surprise guest who will take the stage. This is a true blues lover's smorgasbord. Come on down to 4450 N. Clark Street at the Black Ensemble Theater and step into Ricky's Place, a blues lover's paradise!

 (from left) Adam Sherrod and Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris

 (from left) Adam Sherrod, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Music Director - Robert Reddrick, Mark Miller, Gary Baker

(from left) – Theo Huff, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Rhonda Preston, Rick Stone

The cast includes Rick Stone, Dwight Neal, Theo Huff, Rhonda Preston, Cynthia Carter, Kelvin Davis, and Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris.

The creative team includes Daryl Brooks (Production Manager), Jessica Moore (Stage Manager), Denise Karczewski (co-lighting design), Rachel West (co-lighting design), David Samba (sound), Kylah Frye (choreography), Jackie Taylor (costumes), and Evelyn Danner (wardrobe assistant).

As with all Black Ensemble Theater productions, Rick Stone the Blues Man features live musicians led by musical director/arranger Robert Reddrick (drums). Musicians include Mark Miller (base), Gary Baker (guitar) and Adam Sherrod (piano).

(from left) Rick Stone, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Cynthia Carter, Rhonda Preston

Tickets are available at the Black Ensemble Box Office located at 4450 N. Clark St in Chicago, or online at, or by phone at (773) 769-4451. Tickets are $45 for previews (July 14, 15, 20 and 21); $55 (Thursdays and Saturday matinees) and $65 (Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees). A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.

  (from left) Theo huff, Rick Stone, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Cynthia Carter, Rhonda Preston

  (from left) Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Rick Stone, Rhonda Preston, Dwight Neal, Cynthia Carter

The Black Ensemble Theater is also selling the Five Play Card which allows the holder to see all 5 plays of the 2018 Season or bring five friends to one play or any combination of 5. The Five Play Card is a great deal at $225 which represents a significant savings of $20.00 per full price ticket. For more details or to purchase a Five Play Card contact the box office at 773-769-4451. 

 (from left) Theo Huff, Lamont ‘Harmonica Man’ Harris, Rick Stone, Cynthia Carter, Rhonda Preston

(from left) Kelvin Davis, Cynthia Carter

July 14 – August 26, 2018
Previews: July 14, 15, 20 and 21, 2018
Press Performance: Sunday, July 22 at 3pm

Thursdays: 7:30 pm
Fridays: 8:00 pm
Saturdays: 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Sundays: 3:00 pm

Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Valet parking is available.

 Cynthia Carter

Dwight Neal

Ticket prices: 
$45 Previews
$55 on Thursdays and Saturday matinees;
$65 on Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees
A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups.
Box Office: Buy online at or call (773) 769-4451

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.

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, visit or call 773-769-4451.

SAVE THE DATES: 2018/19 Season Announced Interrobang Theatre Project

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Interrobang Theatre Project 
Announces Ninth Season: Identity/Crisis

Now in Residence at Rivendell Theatre!

By Edward Albee 
Directed by Co-Artistic Director James Yost 

Chicago Premiere!
By Jonas Hassen Khemiri 
Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Directed by Abhi Shrestha 

Midwest Premiere!
By Emily Schwend
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Georgette Verdin 

Chicago Premiere!
By Nassim Soleimanpour

Interrobang Theatre Project is pleased to announce its ninth season, featuring three knockout dramas presented at its new resident home, Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. This season, Interrobang explores “identity/crisis,” with three plays featuring characters on the edge of something new, battling old demons and making room for fresh starts.

Interrobang’s 2018/19 season kicks off this fall with THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA?, Edward Albee’s provocative portrait of a marriage in flux, directed by Co-Artistic Director James Yost. In winter 2019, guest director Abhi Shrestha stages the Chicago premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's I CALL MY BROTHERS, a day in the life of an Arab-Swedish man who must dodge suspicion after a car bomb rattles Stockholm. ITP’s ninth season concludes in spring 2019 with Co-Artistic Director Georgette Verdin helming the Midwest premiere of Emily Schwend's UTILITY, an intimate look at an East Texas woman's struggle to make ends meet. Season subscriptions are currently on sale at  

Also this fall, join Interrobang for a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience. One actor. No rehearsal. A different show every week. The Chicago premiere of Nassim Soleimanpour's acclaimed solo show WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT challenges the notion of performance with an experimental tour de force you have to see to believe. Join Interrobang at The Den Theatre (1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago) on Monday nights for this unforgettable artistic experiment.

“This season we landed on the unifying theme of ‘identity/crisis,’” comments Co-Artistic Director Georgette Verdin. “Across three plays and one special event we will tackle the elusive nature of self-definition. The characters in these dramas are desperately trying to discover who they are in a world that has already decided who they ought to be. What happens when this conflict is pushed to the breaking point, and how do we return to sanity once the dust settles?” 

Interrobang is also pleased to welcome Joe Lino as its newest Artistic Associate. Lino recently appeared in ITP’s production of Grace. In Chicago, he has worked with Steppenwolf, Goodman, Victory Gardens, Teatro Vista, Drury Lane, The New Colony, The Cuckoos Theater Project and The Agency Theatre Collective, where he can be seen next in the world premiere of Tres Bandidos. Regionally, he has credits with Actors Theatre of Louisville in shows such as Dracula, A Christmas Carol and That High Lonesome Sound, which premiered at the Humana Festival. He has also performed Off-Broadway at the BAM Harvey Theatre in Charles Mee’s world premiere of The Glory of the World. He is a proud alumni of Ball State University where he received a BFA in Acting. 

Finally, ITP announces THE PLAYWRITING INITIATIVE, in association with DePaul University. Each season, local playwrights will be invited to participate in an immersive and supportive partnership, including one graduate selected from DePaul's prestigious BFA Playwriting program. Each collaboration will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual playwright as the Interrobang Artistic staff aids in the development of the artist’s dramatic vocabulary and theatrical voice, culminating in a public reading of each playwright’s work.

Interrobang Theatre Project’s 2018/19 Season includes:

September 7 – October 7, 2018
By Edward Albee 
Directed by Co-Artistic Director James Yost
Press opening: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 8 pm

Martin is an accomplished architect living the American dream. He has a loving wife, a devoted son and an acclaimed career. But an explosive revelation threatens to destroy everything he has built, and forces Martin to reconcile the man the world has come to know with the man he has always been inside. Shocking theatregoers when it first premiered, The Goat deftly lambastes liberal acceptance, fidelity and family as one man painfully traverses the ultimate taboo.

January 5 – February 2, 2019
I CALL MY BROTHERS – Chicago Premiere!
By Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Directed by Abhi Shrestha 
Press opening: Monday, January 7, 2019 at 8 pm

Stockholm, Sweden. An explosion rocks the peaceful city and the authorities need someone to blame. Amor is scared and confused, but he’s got places to be. Knowing that he could be targeted at any moment, he must cautiously navigate the city he calls home if he’s going to make it through the day in one piece. Balancing paranoia, humor and 21st century woes, Khemiri's nuanced account dares us to question our own perceptions and prejudices, while offering a singular and harrowing take on the Labyrinth of global identity politics.

April 5 – May 4, 2019
UTILITY – Midwest Premiere!
By Emily Schwend 
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Georgette Verdin
Press opening: Monday, April 8, 2019 at 8 pm

Amber is doing everything she can to keep her head above water, but no matter how hard she tries, it never seems to be enough. Money is tight, her marriage is in turmoil and she’s juggling two jobs just to make ends meet. As she struggles to plan her eight-year-old daughter’s birthday party, Amber begins to unravel in the face of tragic uncertainty. Meticulous and heartbreaking, Utility offers a glimpse into the American working class through empathic realism.   

Special Event:

September 24 – November 12, 2018
by Nassim Soleimanpour
Mondays at 8 pm at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

What happens when you put one artist on a stage and hand them a script they’ve never read before? Pure theatrical magic. This acclaimed solo show creates an intimate exchange between actor and audience in a one-of-a-kind dramatic experience. No rehearsal. A new performer every night. An artistic experiment like you've never seen, and won’t soon forget.

About the Playwrights

Edward Albee (The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia?) was born on March 12, 1928 and began writing plays thirty years later. His plays include The Zoo Story (1958), The American Dream (1960), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1961-1962, Tony Award), Tiny Alice (1964), A Delicate Balance (1966, Pulitzer Prize; 1996, Tony Award), All Over (1971), Seascape (1974, Pulitzer Prize), The Lady From Dubuque (1977-1978), The Man Who Had Three Arms (1981), Finding the Sun (1982), Marriage Play (1986-1987), Three Tall Women (1991, Pulitzer Prize), Fragments (1993), The Play About the Baby (1997), The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia? (2000, 2002 Tony Award) and Occupant (2001). He was a member of the Dramatists Guild Council and president of The Edward F. Albee Foundation. Mr. Albee was awarded the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980, and in 1996 received the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. Mr. Albee died September 16, 2016.

Jonas Hassen Khemiri (I Call My Brothers) is a celebrated author and playwright based in Stockholm. His novels have been translated into over 20 languages and his plays have been performed by over a hundred international companies on stages from Stockholm to Berlin to New York to London. Khemiri was awarded a Village Voice Obie Award for his first play Invasion!, which premiered in New York in 2011. His second play God Times Five toured Sweden and his third play The Hundred We Are received the Hedda Award for best play in Norway. Khemiri’s play ≈ [Almost Equal To] premiered at Dramaten in Stockholm in October 2014 to rave reviews and has been performed in Germany, Norway, Iceland and the U.S. His play I Call My Brothers began as an essay published in Dagens Nyheter in December 2010, one week after a suicide bombing in central Stockholm that shook the nation. The book was published to great acclaim and later became a lauded play that toured Sweden with Riksteatern in 2013 (directed by Farnaz Arbabi) and premiered in New York in January 2014. It has also been performed in Norway, Denmark, Germany (multiple theatres), Australia, San Francisco, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland and at the Gate Theatre in London, UK.

Emily Schwend (Utility) Emily Schwend's plays include Utility (The Amoralists in New York City, Orange Tree Theatre in London, 2016 Yale Drama Series Award, 2017 IT Award for Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play), The Other Thing (Second Stage Theatre Uptown), Take Me Back (Walkerspace), South of Settling (Steppenwolf's Next Up Rep) and Splinters (CUDC Source Festival). She was a 2016-2017 Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University and the inaugural 2014 Tow Foundation playwright-in-residence at Second Stage Theatre. Her work has been developed at The New Group, Roundabout Theatre Company, ACT Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Partial Comfort Productions, Ars Nova, the Alliance Theatre, PlayPenn and the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, among others. She is a frequent contributor to Christine Jones’s Theatre for One booth. She is the recipient of a Bogliasco Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, the ACT New Play Award, the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwrights Prize, the Lecomte du Nouy Prize, and the Heideman Prize. Her work has been commissioned by the Studio Theatre in D.C., the Ensemble Studio Theatre through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Old Vic in London. She is a proud alumna of the playwriting programs at Juilliard and Tisch.

Nassim Soleimanpour (White Rabbit Red Rabbit) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker from Tehran, Iran. His plays have been translated into more than 20 languages. Best known for his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, written to travel the world when he couldn’t, his work has been awarded the Dublin Fringe Festival Best New Performance, Summerworks Outstanding New Performance Text Award and The Arches Brick Award (Edinburgh Fringe), as well as picking up nominations for a Total Theatre and Brighton Fringe Pick of Edinburgh Award. By the time Nassim was permitted to travel for the first time in early 2013, his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit had been performed over 200 times in 15 languages. Since then, Nassim has facilitated workshops and panels in different countries including World Theatre Festival (Brisbane), Tolhuistuin (Amsterdam), SESC Vila Mariana (Sao Paulo), Schauspielhaus (Vienna), DPAC (Kuala Lampur), Theatretreffen (Berlin), British Council (London), Asia House (London) and University of Bremen (Germany). Nassim’s second play Blind Hamlet for the London based Actors Touring Company premiered at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has since toured extensively around the UK and was received well in Bucharest and Copenhagen. Blank, his third play, recently premiered in Amsterdam and has been performed in Utrecht, Edinburgh and London. Nassim now lives in Berlin with his wife Shirin.

About the Directors

James Yost (The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?) is a Joseph Jefferson Award-nominated director and the Co-Artistic Director of Interrobang Theatre Project. He previously served as the producing Artistic Director for BareBones Theatre Group, a company he co-founded in 1998. Selected credits include: Mr. Marmalade, Psycho Beach Party, Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical, Skylight, The Graduate, The Play About the Baby, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Drift, bash; the latter-day plays, Squirrels, The Wizard of Oz, Lend Me A Tenor, Orson's Shadow, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Pitchfork Disney and Noises Off. For ITP, credits include Orange Flower Water (Jeff nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Joseph Wiens), Ibsen is Dead, The North Pool (Jeff nominated for Best Production and Best Director), Falling (Jeff nominated actors Justin Tsatsa and Amy Johnson) and the critically acclaimed REALLY REALLY (named one of the best shows of 2015 by the Chicago Tribune). Other credits include True West by Sam Shepard for Shattered Globe. This summer, he will direct Boeing Boeing for Davidson College. He teaches acting, directing, production design and film at the high school and collegiate level. He is published in Teaching Theatre Journal, a publication of Dramatics Magazine.

Abhi Shrestha (I Call My Brothers) Abhi Shrestha is a Chicago based director, movement dramaturge and educator originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. Working at the intersections of decolonization and queer brown narratives, they are the Literary Manager and Director of Public Programming for Haven Theatre, the Resident Dramaturg and Community Organizer for the Chicago Inclusion Project and a content curator for Rescripted. They are currently working on exploring a personal history of the world as told by brown grandmas, in a performance installation called The Brown Grandma Project (working title). 

Georgette Verdin (Utility) has been working with ITP since 2014 and has served as Co-Artistic Director since 2015. She is also a freelance director, theater and speech educator and arts integration specialist. She was the founding theater teacher at Polaris Charter Academy, an Expeditionary Learning School in West Humboldt Park, where she taught full-time for eight years. For Interrobang, Georgette directed last season's Jeff Recommended production of Grace by Craig Wright, season seven's production of the 2013 Yale Drama Series Winner Still by Jen Silverman, as well as season six’s Katrina: Mother-In-Law of ‘Em All by Rob Florence and the Jeff Recommended Recent Tragic Events, also by Craig Wright. Other recent directing credits include Jeff Recommended 20,000 Leagues Under The Seas (Assistant Director, Lookingglass Theatre Company) Time Stands Still (AstonRep), a staged reading of Launch Day by Michael J. Higgins (Chicago Dramatists) and Tennessee Williams’ Talk To Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen as part of AstonRep’s FOUR BY TENN festival. Georgette holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre performance from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA and a Master in Directing from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

About Interrobang Theatre Project

Now in its ninth season, Interrobang Theatre Project, under the artistic leadership of Georgette Verdin and James Yost, has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a “company to watch” and by Time Out Chicago as “one of Chicago’s most promising young theatre companies.” Chris Jones called Foxfinder, which kicked off Interrobang’s 2017-18 season, “...a ripping good yarn,” earning it 3.5 stars from the Chicago Tribune. Foxfinder also garnered seven non-Equity Jeff Awards nominations including Best Director and Production of a Play, and took home two awards for Best Original Music and Set Design. The company also earned seven non-Equity Jeff Nominations for their seventh season, including Best Director, Production of a Play, Solo Performance and acting nominations for Lead Actor, Actress (win) and Actor in a Supporting Role (win). Productions have included the world premiere of Calamity West’s Ibsen is Dead (Jeff Recommended), the Jeff Recommended The Pitchfork Disney, Orange Flower Water, Recent Tragic Events, The North Pool, The Amish Project, Falling and Grace. Director James Yost’s critically-acclaimed Really Really was one of six shows chosen for Chicago Tribune’s “Best of 2015 in Chicago Fringe Theater.”

What’s an interrobang?
An interrobang is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation point, joining the Latin for “question” (interro) with a proofreading term for “exclamation” (bang). Through the plays we produce, Interrobang Theatre Project aims to pose worthwhile and exciting questions which challenge our understanding and assumptions of who we are and the world in which we live. 

For more information, please visit

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