Thursday, October 18, 2018

ART BEAT: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Presents West by Midwest November 17, 2018 to January 27, 2019

This fall, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents West by Midwest, an exhibition tracing how artists with ties to the Midwest helped shape art and culture on the West Coast where they migrated to find career opportunities, art schools, and warmer weather. 

Image credit: Jerry McMillan Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan (self-portrait), and Ed Ruscha with Ed's 39 Chevy, 1970. Courtesy the artist and Craig Krull Gallery. 

I'll be out for the press preview November 16th, so check back soon for my photo recap at Spanning the early 1960s to 2010s, works by artists such as Billy Al Bengston, Andrea Bowers, Judy Chicago, Anna Halprin, David Hammons, Mike Kelley, Senga Nengudi, Laura Owens, Sterling Ruby, and Ed Ruscha among many others, demonstrate the ways that contemporary art practices spread and developed across social and geographic lines. West by Midwest presents more than 80 artworks drawn primarily from the MCA Collection and is on view from November 17, 2018 to January 27, 2019. The exhibition is organized by MCA Curatorial Fellow Charlotte Ickes with MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling.

Beginning in the 1950s and 60s, against a backdrop of a new national interstate highway system and the lure of Jack Kerouac and Beat culture, the thriving art schools of California were a powerful draw for young artists. Los Angeles' emerging art scene offered the possibility of creative freedom, experimentation, and collaboration, compared to that of New York, often considered the center of art and culture. Communities of artists, many from the Midwest, found a collaborative spirit that developed into social networks across generations and geographies where they attended school, shared studios, exhibited work, engaged in activism, and developed relationships with one another.

Edward Ruscha, Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1969. © Ed Ruscha Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago. 

One of the exemplary documents of this migration is Ed Ruscha's iconic artist's book, TWENTYSIX GASOLINE STATIONS (1962). Inspired by Pop Art and the writings of the Beat Generation, Ruscha (from Oklahoma) methodically photographed gas stations along the historic Route 66 from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, a journey he made back-and-forth numerous times after leaving his home town for California. He assembled 26 neutral, documentary images into an artist book with no text entitled TWENTYSIX GASOLINE STATIONS.

Artists Billy Al Bengston (from Kansas) and Judy Chicago (from Illinois) met in in Los Angeles where both were fascinated by the use of new materials, such as spray paints, plastics, and lacquer, and other techniques that became central to the emerging Finish Fetish movement. Blending the aesthetics of Pop Art, Minimalism, and Light and Space, Finish Fetish featured glossy, slick finishes that recalled staples of Southern California culture such as automobiles, motorcycles, and surfboards.

In the early 1970s, Judy Chicago brought the Feminist Art Program she founded at Fresno State College to the newly formed California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) with fellow artist Miriam Schapiro (studied in Iowa) producing an alternative method of consciousness-raising and collaboration. Prior to that, Schapiro had collaborated with a physicist in San Diego on computer-aided drawings that would be used for her hard-edged paintings. In her work Computer Series she combined technology with geometric minimalism where the strict lines of interlocking squares rested against a background of atmospheric color, characteristic of much Southern California art in the 1960s.

David Hammons began making his famous body prints in the late 1960s after moving from his hometown of Springfield, Illinois to study art in Los Angeles. The artist would grease his skin with margarine, press his body onto the paper, and add a coat of powdered pigment to the surface of the print. In this unorthodox self-portrait, Hammons meditates on how stereotypes flatten the self.  

Senga Nengudi, Freeway Fets, 1978. Courtesy of Lévy Gorvy Gallery, New York and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York Photo: Quaku/Roderick Young.

The urban landscape of LA also served as a site of improvisation, performance, and collaboration for artists involved in Studio Z, a loose collective of African-American artists that included Hammons and Senga Nengudi (also from Illinois). Nengudi's Ceremony for Freeway Fets is one example of their collaboration, this one involving a performance under a freeway overpass that was subject to protest by communities of color whose neighborhoods were under threat by the expansion of the city's freeway system.

Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley started the band and collective Destroy All Monsters while attending the University of Michigan, and later moved to the West Coast as graduate students at CalArts. The exhibition features Kelley's large-scale installation, Craft Morphology Flow Chart, which consists of crocheted dolls and sock monkeys arranged on tables, recalling the display of specimens in a natural history museum as commentary on the museum's role in collection and preservation. Kelley went on to teach another generation of artists with Midwestern affiliations, such as Jorge Pardo (born in Chicago), Sterling Ruby (from Michigan), and Aaron Curry (studied in Chicago), who once shared studio space in East LA with friend and former Chicago artist Amanda Ross-Ho (born in Chicago).

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive microsite that expands on the themes of exhibition at:


Talk: Al Ruppersberg with Amanda Ross-Ho
Saturday, November 17, 3 pm, Tickets: $15
On the opening weekend of West by Midwest, groundbreaking conceptual artist Al Ruppersburg and contemporary artist Amanda Ross-Ho use their collaborative artwork, The Meaning of Plus and Minus as a launch point to a larger conversation on their individual practices and careers spanning the Midwest to the West Coast.

Talk: Barbara Kasten Walkthrough of West by Midwest
Sunday, December 9, 2 pm, Free with museum admission
Barbara Kasten, known for her conceptual photography using mirrors, lights, and props, leads an illuminating walkthrough of the exhibition with exhibition curator Charlotte Ickes, discussing her artistic practice and pointing out some of her favorite works by fellow artists.

This exhibition is organized by Charlotte Ickes, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, with Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator. Lead support for West by Midwest is provided by Cari and Michael J. Sacks, Karyn and Bill Silverstein, and the Nancy Lauter McDougal and Alfred L. McDougal Exhibition Fund. Major support is provided by Jennifer and Alec Litowitz.

Monday, October 15, 2018


In addition, four new members are named to the Board of Directors, 
and Jared Bellot becomes an Associate Artist

New TimeLine Company Members (from left): Tyla Abercrumbie, Will Allan, Wardell Julius Clark, 
Charles Andrew Gardner, and Anish Jethmalani.

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're elated about the new additions to TimeLine Theatre Company. These five are some of our favorite multi faceted individuals on Chicago's theatre scene, bringing many talents to the table as actors, directors, teachers, activists, arts ed advocates and writers. Kudos to all of you. I can't wait to see what's next. 

TimeLine Theatre Company is pleased to announce the addition of several new artists and community leaders to its ranks. Chicago artists Tyla Abercrumbie, Will Allan, Wardell Julius Clark, Charles Andrew Gardner, and Anish Jethmalani have been named Company Members at the theater, effective immediately. Additionally, the theater is welcoming JoAnne Dobrick, Anne Voshel, Richard G. Weinberg, and Nicholas Yassan to its Board of Directors, and Jared Bellot as a new Associate Artist.

TimeLine Theatre’s Company Members are the artistic leaders of the company, working together collaboratively to shape the artistic vision and choose the programming for the organization. These five artists have extensive histories with TimeLine, working in a variety of capacities including acting, directing, playwriting and teaching, and they bring a tremendous range of experience, strengths, and perspectives to the team:

— Tyla Abercrumbie is an actor, playwright, and director who has appeared in numerous productions in Chicago and around the country (including Paradise Blue and In Darfur at TimeLine) and in film and television (recently Showtime’s The Chi and FOX’s Proven Innocent). She is the author of multiple plays and the book Red Wine and the Bles’sed Monkey, a collection of prose and poetry. She is a current member of TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective and directed the TimePieces reading of Repairing A Nation.

— Will Allan is an actor and writer who made his Chicago professional acting debut as part of the award-winning ensemble of The History Boys at TimeLine, going on to appear in productions at Steppenwolf, Goodman, Victory Gardens, and Greenhouse Theater Solo Celebration, among many others locally and regionally. He is a current member of TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective. 

— Wardell Julius Clark is an actor, director, teaching artist, and social justice activist whose recent credits in Chicago include directing acclaimed productions of The Shipment (Red Tape) and Insurrection: Holding History (Stage Left) and acting in Suddenly Last Summer (Raven), Silent Sky (First Folio), and the upcoming Flyin’ West (American Blues). He first appeared in A Raisin in the Sun at TimeLine and works as a Teaching Artist with TimeLine’s Living History Program in Chicago Public Schools.

— Charles Andrew Gardner is an actor, teaching artist, arts education advocate, and entertainment industry leader whose career spans television, film, theatre, commercials, and voice over. He appeared on stage at TimeLine in Paradise Blue and the world premiere of My Kind of Town and is a Teaching Artist with TimeLine’s Living History Education Program. As the President of Chicago Local SAG-AFTRA, he travels the country representing the interests of Chicago artists within the entertainment industry.

— Anish Jethmalani is an actor, director, and arts administrator whose career spans three decades in the Chicago theatre community. He has appeared in countless productions at the city’s leading theatres (including In the Next Room or the vibrator play, A Disappearing Number, Blood and Gifts, and Inana at TimeLine) and directed a variety of plays at theatres such as 16th Street, Eclipse, Rasaka, and, most recently, TimeLine for the TimePieces reading of Lions and Tigers. He is the former Artistic Director of Eclipse Theatre Company and Rasaka Theatre Company, in addition to having served on the board of The League of Chicago Theatres.

“These five artists have forged remarkable careers through their undeniable talent, personal values, and commitment to Chicago Theatre,” TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers said. “At TimeLine, they have provided significant thought leadership and represented our mission, vision and values in the community through their work on productions, the development of new work, and our Living History Education Program in Chicago Public Schools. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome each of them as a part of the team.”
Powers continued: “This expansion of our core team will not only further diversify the skills and viewpoints of our current group of Company Members, it will also play an important role in our ongoing artistic development. As we celebrate TimeLine’s 22nd season and continue to plan for a new home, we are furthering the vision of TimeLine’s founders—to build a collective of artists with varied backgrounds, points of view, and aesthetics who work to shape seasons that are unique, inclusive, and mission-centric.”

Abercrumbie, Allan, Clark, Gardner, and Jethmalani join current Company Members Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Ben Thiem. 

Working closely with TimeLine's Company Members, Associate Artists contribute to TimeLine’s artistic programming and growth, serving as non-voting advisers and contributors to artistic planning. TimeLine’s newest Associate Artist is:

— Jared Bellot is a theatre artist, dramaturg, and educator who has worked at TimeLine as dramaturg for The Audience, Paradise Blue, The Last Wife, Sunset Baby, and the upcoming production of Cardboard Piano, as well as serving as assistant director for In the Next Room or the vibrator play. Bellot currently serves as Education Manager at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and also has worked around Chicago for theatres such as Definition (where he is also Literary Manager), Stage Left, Porchlight, Jackalope, and The Yard (where he serves as Resident Artist Mentor).

“Jared has made enormous contributions to the work on TimeLine’s stage through his dramaturgy work and has also been a leader off stage, making TimeLine a better place to work for our artists,” said Powers. “We’re very excited to welcome him to the TimeLine family in this new capacity.”
Bellot joins an already distinguished group of Associate Artists that includes Brian Sidney Bembridge, Eva Breneman, William Brown, Aaron Carter, Andrew Carter, Louis Contey, Charles Cooper, John Culbert, Mikhail Fiksel, Megan Geigner, Dennis William Grimes, Terry Hamilton, Andrew Hansen, ] Jerod Haynes, Josephine Kearns, Kymberly Mellen, Danica Monroe, Mike Nussbaum, Keith Parham, Andre Pluess, Collette Pollard, Mark Richard, Chris Rickett, Kimberly Senior, Demetrios Troy, Mike Tutaj, Ann Wakefield and Alex Weisman. To view complete biographies for all of TimeLine’s Associate Artists, please visit

TimeLine Theatre also is pleased to recognize four business and community leaders who joined its Board of Directors in September:

— JoAnne Dobrick, now retired, was the Founder and Director of the Dobrick Gallery of Art for more than a decade, and also worked extensively as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools. Previous board experience has included the Chicago Art Dealers Association, the Contemporary Museum of Art, the Women’s Board of Steppenwolf Theatre, the Chicago Film Festival, and the Industrial Water, Waste & Sewage Group.

— Anne Voshel founded AVA Consultants in 1999 and was formerly a Senior Vice President with LaSalle Partners, Ltd. (now JLL) and co-head of the Development Management Group, responsible for cultural, performing arts, corporate and retail facilities. Voshel is also the Chair of the State Street Commission (SSA #1-2015) and a member of the Auditorium Theatre Facilities Committee, the Fourth Presbyterian Church Facilities and Building Committees, and the LUMA8 Board. She is an Emeritus Board Member of Landmarks Illinois.

— Richard G. Weinberg, has been President of Judd Enterprises, Inc., a private investment firm, for the past 33 years. Prior to that, he worked in television and feature production at Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., and CBS. He has served on many other boards, including the Sundance Institute, USC School of Dramatic Arts, and American Jewish Committee, and has invested in numerous artistic projects, including The Producers, Hairspray, and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, among others.

— Nicholas Yassan is a Principal at Rany Management, LLC (RANY), a privately owned business specializing in commercial and residential real estate investment and property management in the Chicago area since 1979. He is committed to being active in his community, participating in various boards and chambers of commerce. In addition, he is the Ravenswood Commissioner, where he consults on community improvements.

“This impressive group has joined TimeLine’s Board of Directors at a critical juncture in the company’s history,” said Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman. “Guided by our long-term strategic plan, we are planning for a future that supports our unique mission and can serve an inclusive audience. There is much work to do and we couldn’t be more pleased to have these leaders at the table.”
TimeLine’s Board of Directors is led by Eileen LaCario (President), Philip E. Cable (Vice President), Brian Douce (Treasurer) and Thaddeus J. Malik (Secretary), and also includes Elizabeth K. Auman, J. Robert Barr, Karen B. Case, Behzad Dabu, Lawrence Gill, Tom Gosline, Sondra Healy, Alvin Katz, Michael J. Kennedy, William A. Obenshain, Susan A. Payne, PJ Powers, Matthew R. Reilein, Elizabeth Richter, John M. Sirek, and Renée L. Zipprich. To view complete biographies for all of TimeLine’s Board of Directors, please visit

TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 21 seasons, TimeLine has presented 75 productions, including 10 world premieres and 33 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its 12th year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 54 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.

Now playing at TimeLine is the 4-STAR (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times) production of Barbara Lebow’s A Shayna Maidel, directed by Vanessa Stalling, a poignant story about two sisters reunited after years of separation brought on by the rise of the Nazis, through November 4, 2018.

Also still to come during the 2018-19 season:
— Master Class, Terrence McNally’s acclaimed play about the formidable opera star Maria Callas, inspired by a series of classes she taught at Julliard in the 1970s, directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, music directed by Doug Peck, and starring TimeLine Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks, presented at Stage 773, October 19 – December 9, 2018.

— The Chicago premiere of Cardboard Piano by Hansol Jung, a powerful story of faith, love, and the human capacity for forgiveness set amidst violent conflict in northern Uganda, directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe, January 9 – March 17, 2019.

— The Chicago premiere of Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jiréh Breon Holder, a hopeful and moving story taking place at the height of the Civil Rights Movement that explores family, responsibility, and the personal sacrifices that enable progress, directe by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson, April 24 – June 29, 2019.

TimeLine is excited to be partnering with Firebrand Theatre—Chicago’s new musical theatre company committed to employing and empowering women—on the Tony Award-nominated musical Caroline, or Change, featuring music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Tony Kushner, and direction by Lili-Anne Brown. This production is presented at Firebrand’s resident home, The Den Theatre, located at 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, through October 28, 2018.

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President Eileen LaCario.

Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, The Crown Family, Forum Fund, The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation.

TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group, Choose Chicago, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Green Theatre Alliance, and Chicago’s Belmont Theater District. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Chicago Theatre Week 2019 To Kick Off 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre February 7 – 17, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

League of Chicago Theatres, in partnership with Choose Chicago, announces dates for 
Chicago Theatre Week 2019
February 7 – 17, 2019
Annual celebration will kick off the Year of Chicago Theatre

Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW19), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago during which visitors and residents can access value-priced tickets, will take place February 7-17, 2019. From joy to heartache and every feeling in between, Chicago theatre tells stories that evoke big emotions. Stories that take risks, inspire awe, ask tough questions – and dare audiences to do the same. From musicals to plays to comedy, theatre is for everyone in Chicago. Chicago Theatre Week is a celebration of the stories we share and will kick off 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre, a first-of-its-kind initiative designated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Theatre Week, spanning a week and two full weekends, is heading into its seventh year. As a program of the League of Chicago Theatres, in partnership with Choose Chicago, over 100 theatre productions are expected to participate in neighborhoods throughout the city and suburbs.

The value-priced CTW tickets will be $30, $15, or less. Tickets will go on sale and a list of participating productions will be available online at 10:00am CST on Tuesday, January 8 at

A small sample of the many productions expected to participate are: Court Theatre – Photograph 51; Drury Lane Theatre – Mamma Mia!; Goodman Theatre – How to Catch Creation, Twilight Bowl; Lookingglass Theatre – Act(s) of God; Northlight Theatre – Nina Simone: Four Women; Paramount Theatre – The Producers; Porchlight Music Theatre – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder; The Second City – 107th Mainstage Revue; Steppenwolf Theatre – A Doll’s House, Part 2; TimeLine Theatre – Cardboard Piano; Victory Gardens Theater – Pipeline; and Writers Theatre – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Last year, in February 2018, 115 participating productions offered value-priced tickets to 619 individual performances during Chicago Theatre Week. More than 12,500 tickets were sold in 2018, marking a rapid increase in sales over the course of the initiative. The program continued to bring in new audiences to area theaters with an average of 66% of attendees visiting their chosen theatre for the first time. Theatre Week proved to be a draw for visitors from outside Chicago with 17% of patrons coming from beyond 50 miles of the city, including 40 states.

“This year we are thrilled that Chicago Theatre Week will kick off the Year of Chicago Theatre celebration.  We hope that every Chicagoan will see a show this year. Chicago Theatre Week will be the first opportunity to see incredible shows at great prices,” comments Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “Chicago’s rich tradition of theatre is known world-wide and Chicago Theatre Week is just one chance to celebrate new work, fresh talent, musicals, improv, and more.  Theatre is one of the things that sets Chicago apart from other cities.”

“Chicago, which is home to over 250 dynamic theaters, provides visitors more variety and creative platforms than any destination in the United States,” said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “With 2019 being the Year of Chicago Theatre, Chicago Theatre Week is for many a chance to raise the curtain on the amazing performances, venues, artists and diverse audiences. While Chicago Theatre Week offers a featured preview it may also be an opportunity for visitors to realize that our theater scene cannot be taken in in just one day or perhaps just one visit and we invite everyone to take advantage of the celebration and programming.”

Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Subscribe to the Theatre Week email newsletter or follow @ChicagoPlays on Twitter for updates and announcements.

The official hashtag for Chicago Theatre Week 2019 is #CTW19.

About Chicago theatre
Chicago theater 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 theaters 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 theater companies produced more than 100 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theaters send new work to resident theaters across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. 

League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement
Theatre is essential to the life of a great city and to its citizens.  The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to support, promote, and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry. Through our work, we ensure that theatre continues to thrive in our city.

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).


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar



 Formidable dreams Rebecca Ciprus


Curated by Julieanne Ehre and Peter Taub and Featuring Works by 
Anna Martine Whitehead, Carole McCurdy and Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux and Hanna Brock

Pivot Arts presents Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies, a series of site-specific performances in two historic Uptown spaces in conjunction with Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago weekend. Performances are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 11, Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. The performance begins at the Institute for Cultural Affairs, 4750 N. Sheridan Rd., with Notes on Territory written, choreographed and performed by Anna Martine Whitehead. Audiences are then led across the street to Lawrence House, 1020 W. Lawrence Ave., for Les Chanteuses du Rien, created and performed by Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux and Hanna Brock. This piece will take place within the Lawrence House lobby and culminate in its swimming pool. The multi-disciplinary event concludes with Five Stud Stud by Carole McCurdy in the Lawrence House’s gym space. 

Audiences will be led by a guide through the spaces to witness the performances happening throughout each building. A suggested donation of $20 will be requested at the door. For reservations or additional information, please visit

Edgar Miller Legacy Ji-Yang

Details on the individual pieces may be found below: 

Notes on Territory
Written, Choreographed and Performed by Anna Martine Whitehead
Sound by Damon Locks and Lighting by Giau Truong
Institute for Cultural Affairs, 4750 N. Sheridan Rd. 

Part performance and part installation, Notes On Territory uses movement, sound, video and text to address "containment architectures" such as prisons, cathedrals, dungeons and homes. The piece considers known architectural shapes and spiritual traditions such as crosses and arches in relation to the hole – a space which is only known by the wall that surrounds it – as a means of exploring the rich tradition of Black liberation practice. 

Notes on Territory has had work-in-progress showings at ACRE and Ragdale (2017), Elevate Chicago Dance (2017,) Velocity Dance Center (2018), Whitman College Spring Studio Series (2018) and Pivot Arts Festival (2018).

Generous support for Notes on Territory has been provided by Chicago Dancemakers Forum; Headlands Center for the Arts; Daring Dances at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and the Pivot Arts Incubator program.

Les Chanteuses du Rien
Created and performed by Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux and Hanna Brock
Lawrence House, 1020 W. Lawrence Ave.

Les Chanteuses du Rien employs genres of classical scores, experimental opera, improvised sound, expanded cinema and Butoh dance to explore the lobby and swimming pool space at Lawrence House. The performers are a trio of tricksters who desire to communicate intimately with an audience while revealing hidden histories.

Five Stud Stud
Created by Carole McCurdy and co-performed with Jon Poindexter
Lawrence House, 1020 W. Lawrence Ave.

Five Stud Stud explores spectrums between violence and tenderness. The performance is both intense and absurd, taking place in an installation of inflatable punching bags. Versions of this piece have been performed at Ragdale Foundation, Dogleach/Hume, Comfort Station, OuterSpace and Defibrillator. 


Anna Martine Whitehead 

Anna Martine Whitehead
Writer, Choreographer and Performer of Notes of Territory

Anna Martine Whitehead is a transdisciplinary artist interested in the body as material, signal, archive. She’s been presented by Velocity Dance Center; Watts Towers Art Center; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics. Her work Notes On Territory was developed and then presented as a work-in-progress as part of the Pivot Arts Incubator program. She has contributed to projects by Onye Ozuzu, Jefferson Pinder, taisha paggett, Every house has a door, Keith Hennessy, BodyCartography Project, Julien Prévieux and the Prison + Neighborhood Art Project. Whitehouse has been published in Art21, C Magazine, Art Practical, frieze; contributed to Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance; and is the author of TREASURE | My Black Rupture. She is a 2018 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist. 

Photo by Sam Chao

Carole McCurdy
Creator of Five Stud Stud

Carole McCurdy is a Chicago-based artist whose performance work addresses grief and anxiety, duty and resistance and the absurd mysteries of embodiment. She received a 2016 Lab Artist award from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum and was a fall 2016 Sponsored Artist at High Concept Laboratories. She created and directed an ensemble piece, Waver, with support from CDF, HCL and 3Arts Chicago. Her practices include butoh and Argentine tango and she has performed at spaces including the Chicago Cultural Center, Epiphany Dance, Links Hall, Hamlin Park, High Concept Laboratories, Defibrillator Gallery and Movement Research (NY).

Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux and Hanna Brock
Creators and Performers of Chanteuses du Rien

Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux and Hanna Brock are a collaborative team who have been creating together for two years in Chicago, including Chicago Cultural Center, Edgar Miller Legacy Studio, Silent Funny, Ragdale Foundation and the Hungry Brain. They have been supported by Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the City of Chicago, New England Foundation for the Arts and the Ragdale Foundation. 

Julieanne Ehre
Co-Curator of Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies

Julieanne Ehre is the founder and the director of Pivot Arts. She both leads the organization and curates performances including the Pivot Arts Festival, Live Talk series and oversees the “Celebrate Community!” parade. She was the NEA/TCG New Generations “Future Leaders” Fellow at the Goodman Theatre where she served as producer on Latino Festival, New Stages Series and conceived of and produced the Goodman’s Artists Talk series. Ehre served as a delegate to the Santiago a Mil Festival in Chile and the ITI World Theater Congress in Xiamen, China through Theater Communications Group and was the co-chair of the Arts and Culture Committee for Chicago’s 48th Ward. As the artistic director of Greasy Joan & Co. for five years, she directed and produced critically acclaimed and premiere adaptations of classic plays and worked as a freelance theater director. Ehre holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University and a BA in Anthropology from Grinnell College.

Peter Taub
Co-Curator of Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies

Peter Taub is a curator and arts manager with over 30 years of experience in developing and producing artist-centered projects. Based in Chicago, his current curatorial projects include curating Elevate Chicago Dance (October 2018 and October 2017), a festival with more than 40 choreographers and site-specific performances with Matty Davis/Ben Gould (June 2018) and Pivot Arts (October 2018). Last year, Taub curated a performance series during the Venice Biennial for V-A-C Foundation inspired by the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Taub was the founding director of the performing arts program at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago from 1996 - 2016 and developed the program into a leading presenter and producer of multidisciplinary dance, theater and music. While there he established the MCA Stage New Works Initiative to support artists with creative residencies and commissions. He co-founded the Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) to support artistic exploration and growth with funding and mentorship, and it is now the largest source of new dance development in the region.

ABOUT Pivot Arts
Pivot Arts produces and presents contemporary and multidisciplinary performance on Chicago’s far north side. They develop new work and present performances throughout the year culminating in a large-scale festival. Their vision is that of a vibrant community where collaborations between artists, businesses and organizations lead to the support and creation of unique performance events.

Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies is supported in part by the Alphawood Foundation, FLATSstudio, the Illinois Arts Council, the Institute for Cultural Affairs, and the MacArthur Funds for Art and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

Friday, October 5, 2018


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar


Perfect for the Halloween Season, A Thriller Set in the Paris Catacombs is Created and
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Ann Kreitman

This fall is turning into quite the immersive theatre buffet, with First Folio Theatre, (re)discover theatre, Rough House, and Strawdog Theatre all presenting roaming audience shows. Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're booked for three and are attempting to make it out to all. 

(re)discover theatre is proud to announce casting for the world premiere of Les Innocents/The Innocents, an immersive queer thriller set in the Paris Catacombs, created and directed by Co-Artistic Director Ann Kreitman. Les Innocents/The Innocents will play October 7 - November 4 at The Preston Bradley Center, Mason Hall, 941 W. Lawrence Ave. Previews are Sunday, Oct. 7 and Tuesday, Oct. 9. Opening night /Press night is Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. An American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted show will be Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. Regular run performances are Thursdays - Sundays at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $30 at

Inspired by a real concert that took place in the Paris Catacombs in 1897, the audience members of Les Innocents/The Innocents will prowl the catacombs like ghosts. Gui, a composer on a quest for love, emerges from the maze to encounter eccentric and musical ghosts who misdirect their pursuit and inspire chaos for the living and dead. Les Innocents/The Innocents presents realistic and grossly human queer characters in mythic circumstances to investigate our relationship to duty, death and defeat.

Les Innocents/The Innocents features Emilie Modaff, Vahishta Vafadari, Amanda Forman, Alec Phan, Andrew Lund, Matthew Lunt, Maggie Miller, Deanalís Resto, Erich Peltz and Levi Shrader.

The production team includes Molly Donahue, (dramaturg); Mary O’Rourke, (choreographer); Chas Mathieu, (environment design); Kate Hardiman, (lighting design); Erika Clauson, (costume design); Kelly Schmidt (makeup design); Autumn McGarr (stage management); Daniella Wheelock; (assistant director) and Berit Godo, (assistant choreographer).

ABOUT ANN KREITMAN, creator/director
Ann Kreitman, the proud co-artistic director of (re)discover theatre, is a director and deviser who creates work driven by the necessity for an active audience. Most recently, Kreitman directed a remount of The Neo-Futurists’ The? Unicorn? Hour? For the Pivot Arts Festival. She has created original, audience interactive works including Eugenia as a part of (re)discover theatre’s For One, I left Your Key Under the Mat, Dear (2nd Floor Rear, Chicago Home Theatre Festival), and Home ((re)discover theatre for the Chicago Fringe Festival). Other directing credits include The Veil (Idle Muse Theatre Company), Cry Baby Meets Audrey Hepburn (20% Theatre), Fifty Shades of Shakespeare ((re)discover theatre), El Stories 21: People Watching (Waltzing Mechanics), I Love You...Now Change and The Melodrama (Shawnee Summer Theatre).
She was a recipient of a 2016 Individual Artist Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to devise and produce Les Innocents/The Innocents.

ABOUT MARY O’ROURKE, choreographer
Mary O'Rourke began her dance training in Buffalo, New York, and received her B.A. in dance from Loyola University Chicago. She has previously worked with Khecari as an understudy/performer in The Cronus Land and a performer in The Retreat. She was also featured in Haymarket Opera Company's corps de ballet in their 2017 production of Ariane et Bacchus. Currently, she is a performing artist with CDI/Concert Dance, Inc. under the direction of Venetia Stifler. She has presented choreography at the American College Dance Festival, Noumenon New Moves Choreography Competition, Going Dutch Festival, and at the Conservatory of Music in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In addition to traveling to Vietnam, she has traveled to Havana, Cuba to participate in a cultural exchange with La Escuela Nacional de Arte as well as collaborate on a dance for camera. She holds a deep interest in the relationship between dance and devised theatre and was able to explore this partnership in a collaborative process with creator/director Kreitman on Les Innocents/The Innocents back in 2016. Her collaboration with Kreitman continued in (re)discover theatre’s For One.

ABOUT (re)discover theatre
(re)discover theatre is redefining theatre for emerging audiences by blending a variety of artistic forms, embracing the visceral energy of live performance, and inviting audiences to be an integral part of the theatrical experience.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

OPENING: CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY at Raven Theatre East Stage October 4 – November 18, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Raven Theatre Presents 
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Tyrone Phillips
October 4 – November 18, 2018

I'll be out for the press performance October 8th, so check back soon for my full review. We're eager to see two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, Lynn Nottage's period piece set in 1950's Brooklyn.

Raven Theatre is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, directed by Tyrone Phillips. This sharp and boisterous drama about family, faith and revolution will play October 4 – November 18, 2018 on Raven’s 99-seat East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 338-2177.

CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY will feature Chanell Bell, Brianna Buckley, Brandi Jiminez Lee, Terence Sims and Emily Tate.

Brooklyn, 1950. Ernestine and Ermina Crump have moved to New York with their father, Godfrey, who is seeking spiritual guidance from a man called Father Divine. In the swirling, glamorous commotion of this new city, with calls for equal rights and communist rebellion hanging in the air, the girls begin a turbulent journey toward independence and a challenging future.

Comments Raven Theatre Artistic Director Cody Estle, “Lynn Nottage is a prolific writer and her work is a gift to all who encounter it. This is the first time Raven Theatre has produced one of her plays. As a theatre known for producing the classics of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, it seems only fitting to include Lynn’s voice among these greats. Set in 1950, Crumbs from the Table of Joy examines a family experiencing change in a country filled with racial and social turmoil. Audiences will connect with the struggles of this family, while getting a glimpse into a time in our past whose complexity resembles that of today.”

The production team for CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY includes: Arnel Sancianco (scenic design), Christine Pascual (costume design), Kathy A. Perkins (lighting design), Matt Test (sound design), Mealah Heidenreich (props design), Jon Martinez (choreography), Eva Breneman (dialect coach), Megan Pirtle (wig design), Kanomé Jones (casting director), Alexis Taylor (assistant director), Cole von Glahn (production manager), Bobby Huggins (technical director), Wilhelm Peters (stage manager) and Sapier Weinglass (assistant stage manager).

Location: Raven Theatre East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville), Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, October 4 at 7:30 pm, Friday, October 5 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, October 6 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 7 at 3 pm

Regular run: Thursday, October 11 – Sunday, November 18, 2018

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. 

Tickets: Previews $32 ($29 if purchased online). Regular run $46 ($43 if purchased online). Seniors/teachers $41 ($38 if purchased online). Students/active military and veterans $15. 

Every Thursday is “Under 30 Thursday,” when patrons under age 30 can purchase tickets for $15. Single tickets and subscriptions for the 2018-19 Season are currently available at or by calling (773) 338-2177.

Touch Tour/Open Captioned performance: Sunday, November 4 at 3 pm. Touch tour begins at 1:45 pm.

Group tickets: Groups of 10 or more are $30 per person for Thursday and Friday performances and $35 per person for Saturday and Sunday performances. Student groups are $15 per person.

Plan Your Visit: 
Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre – additional street parking is available. Nearest El station: Granville Red Line. Buses: #22 (Clark), #36 (Broadway), #151 (Sheridan), #155 (Devon), #84 (Peterson).

About the Artists:

Lynn Nottage (Playwright) received the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three Tony Award nominations for her play Sweat. For her play Ruined, she received the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for drama, along with an Obie, the Lucille Lortel Award, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play (Manhattan Theatre Club, Goodman Theatre). Her other plays include Intimate Apparel (New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play; Roundabout Theatre, CENTERSTAGE, South Coast Repertory); Fabulation, Or the Re-Education of Undine (Obie Award; Playwrights Horizons, London’s Tricycle Theatre); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’Knockers and Poof! Nottage is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2007 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama, and the 2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting, as well as fellowships from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists, and New York Foundation for the Arts. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild, an alumna of New Dramatists and a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she is a visiting lecturer. For additional information, visit

Tyrone Phillips (Director) is the founding Artistic Director of Chicago's Definition Theatre Company. Named one of the Chicago Tribune's “Hot New Faces of 2015” and Newcity's “Players 2016: The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago,” he is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he received his BFA with honors. Directing credits include the critically-acclaimed production of Byhalia, Mississippi (Joseph Jefferson Awards nomination), which remounted to open the Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre, Dutchman (Definition Theatre), The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights (Writers Theatre), 33 to Nothing (A Red Orchid Theatre), Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea (Illinois Theatre), We the People, Our Town, Lord of the Flies, The Tempest (Niles North Theatre). You also may have seen his work as associate director for Red Velvet (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and as the assistant director for Trevor the Musical, Parade and The Mystery of Love and Sex (Writers Theatre). Tyrone also studied abroad at Shakespeare’s Globe and was an emerging professional resident at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre where he worked on A Raisin in the Sun, The Mountaintop, and Clybourne Park. Tyrone is represented by Grossman and Jack Talent and was recently selected as one of Newcity's “Players—the 50 leaders of Chicago’s theater, dance, opera and comedy culture of 2018”. 

Quill Reading Series
Raven Theatre will present a staged reading of POOF! by Lynn Nottage, directed by Wardell Julius Clark on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30 pm (reception at 7 pm). Quill is a series of four staged readings produced in tandem with each of the plays in Raven’s season. The readings provide an opportunity for audiences to engage further with the work of this season’s playwrights and explore their artistic voice on stage. Each Quill reading features a pre-show reception with complimentary wine provided by Income Tax. Admission is a suggested donation of $10.

About Raven Theatre

Raven Theatre tells stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape. Through its plays as well as its educational programming, Raven is committed to serving our communities’ needs through the arts.

Raven Theatre Company is funded in part by the Alphawood Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Polk Bros. Foundation, S&C Electric Company Fund, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the PAV Fund and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

OPENING: World Premiere Immersive Theatrical Experience MASQUE MACABRE Via Strawdog Theatre Company Through October 31, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar  

Strawdog Theatre Company Presents
the World Premiere Immersive Theatrical Experience
Inspired by the Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

Written by Aly Greaves Amidei, Cara Beth Heath & 
John Henry Roberts  
Directed by Anderson Lawfer, Janet Howe & Eli Newell
October 4 – October 31, 2018

I'll be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's Strawdog Theatre Company for the press opening October 12th. I can't wait to catch this unique world premiere production where the audience travels from room to room, experiencing scenes. Check back soon for my full review.

Just in time for Halloween, Strawdog Theatre Company launches its 31st season with the world premiere of MASQUE MACABRE, a dark and bloody thrill ride inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe – think Carrie meets Eyes Wide Shut. The handlers of a "bad boy" entrepreneur go to extremes to give him one last big bash before his past catches up to him. An explorative immersive theatre experience a la Sleep No More, guests travel from room to room throughout the space and follow stories of revenge and murder as they play out in real time.

Written by ensemble members Aly Greaves Amidei* and John Henry Roberts* and company member Cara Beth Heath^ and directed by Co-Artistic Director Anderson Lawfer*, Janet Howe and Eli Newell, MASQUE MACABRE will play October 4 – 31, 2018 at Strawdog’s new home at 1802 W. Berenice Ave. in Chicago’s Northcenter neighborhood. Single tickets and season subscriptions are currently available at

MASQUE MACABRE will feature Strawdog ensemble member Michael Reyes* with guest artists Andrew Bailes, Dan Cobbler, Katie Gonzalez, Henry Greenberg, Adam Hinkle, Brian Hinkle, Patrick TJ Kelly, Lisa McConnell, Laura Nelson, Ella Raymont, Collin Quinn Rice, Shaina Schrooten and Julian Stroop.

Comments Co-Artistic Director Michael Dailey, “MASQUE MACABRE is the most ambitious project in our 31 year history. We’re thrilled to share the immersive and horrifying world of MASQUE with Chicago audiences. With fourteen storylines playing out in real time throughout our entire space, you could see this show multiple times and come out with a totally different experience each time. At a haunting time of year, MASQUE delivers a modern nightmare that explores the line between revenge and justice and how what we do (or don’t do) makes us complicit in the evil and darkness of others. It may just keep you up at night.”

The production team for MASQUE MACABRE includes: Strawdog ensemble members Claire Chrzan* (co-lighting designer), Heath Hays* (sound designer) and Kyle Hamman* (video/media designer) with guest artists: Tom Burch (scenic designer), Virginia Varland (costume designer), Shelbi Arndt and Daniel Friedman (co-lighting designers), Lacie Hexom (props designer), Bobby Wilhelmson (violence designer), Kate Lass (intimacy designer), Mike Sanow (technical director) and Megan Gray (stage manager).

* Denotes Strawdog ensemble member
^ Denotes Strawdog company member

Location: Strawdog Theatre Company, 1802 W. Berenice Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, October 4 at 7 pm, Friday, October 5 at 7 pm, Sunday, October 7 at 2 pm & 5 pm and Thursday, October 11 at 7 pm & 9:30 pm

Board Night Performance: Special performance with hosted drinks and appetizers, Saturday October 6 at 7 pm.

Press performance: Friday, October 12 at 7 pm or 9:30 pm

Regular run: Saturday, October 13 – Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7 pm & 9:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm & 5 pm. Please note: Halloween week performances added on Monday, October 29 at 7 pm & 9:30 pm, Tuesday, October 30 at 7 pm & 9:30 pm and Wednesday, October 31 at 7 pm & 9:30 pm. 

Tickets: Previews $30. Regular run $50. Seniors: $40. Board Night: $75. Single tickets and season subscriptions are currently available at Half price Rush and Student tickets available at every performance and other discounts available. Call (773) 644-1380 for details. 

About the Artists

Aly Greaves Amidei (Co-Writer) has worked as a designer, playwright and maker based in Chicago for the last 18 years. She is an Assistant Professor of Costume Design at UNC-Charlotte. She is proud ensemble member of Strawdog Theatre Company and Lifeline Theatre. Her plays and audio dramas have been produced at Lifeline Theatre, WildClaw Theatre, Strawdog Hit Factory, College of DuPage and Cartage Theatre of Charlotte. 

Cara Beth Heath (Co-Writer) has an MFA in Playwriting from Western Michigan University and a BA in Creative Writing from the College of Charleston. She is the Literary Manager at Strawdog Theatre Company. She's also been invited to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for dramaturgy, directing and playwriting. Her work has been read and produced in several festivals and workshops across the Midwest, including her award-winning play Good Enough about the women of the Gibson guitar factory during WWII. She's been in Chicago for a couple of years now, developing her plays and advocating for local playwrights. 

John Henry Roberts (Co-Writer) joined the Strawdog ensemble in 2004. Previous writing credits include Strawdog’s production of The Sweeter Option and the Neo-Futurists’ production of True Dreams of Annie Arbor. Recent acting credits include Pillars of the Community, Barbecue and The Night Season (Strawdog), Neverwhere and Miss Holmes (Lifeline Theatre), The Little Flower of East Orange (Eclipse Theatre, Jeff Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role), Diamond Dogs and The Hammer Trinity (The House Theatre). He’ll next appear in Twelfth Night at Writers Theatre. He is represented by Paonessa Talent. 

Janet Howe (Co-Director) is a director, immersive theatre consultant and Co-Artistic Director of (re)discover theatre. Over the past four years, Janet’s work has focused exclusively on immersive and site-specific works. Janet directed and spearheaded projects such as FOR ONE: a series of plays built for an audience of one and Farewell My Friend, an immersive melding of Romeo & Juliet and Tristan & Iseult. Other directing credits include Lysistaratra, Fifty Shades of Shakespeare and Jason & (Medea). Starting October 2018, Janet will be studying immersive theatre at Middlesex University: London, focusing on accessibility in immersive forms.

Anderson Lawfer (Co-Director) is a Co-Artistic Director of Strawdog. He was the previous Artistic Director of Strawdog's Hugen Hall and focused on new works, adapting and directing Pontypool, Fail/Safe and Kill Shakespeare. He is the creator and host of many Strawdog late night shows including Theatre Wars!, The Direct Off! and The Game Show Show and Stuff! He will also be directing a new musical in the spring written by Mark Guarino and Jon Langford called Take Me.

Eli Newell (Co-Director) Eli Newell is thrilled to return to Strawdog after having previously assistant directed Damascus. He is a Chicago-based director from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. In Chicago, Eli has assisted at Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre, Strawdog Theatre Company, Haven Theatre and Windy City Playhouse. In the Twin Cities, he has worked with Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Ordway Center and the Playwrights’ Center. Eli is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Communication.

Crystal Head Vodka is the official vodka of MASQUE MACABRE.

About Strawdog Theatre Company
Since its founding in 1988, Strawdog Theatre Company has offered Chicagoland the premiere storefront theatre experience and garnered numerous Non-Equity Jeff Awards with its commitment to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach. The celebrated Company develops new work, re-imagines the classics, melds music with theatre, asks provocative questions and delivers their audience the unexpected.

Strawdog Theatre Company is supported in part by The Macarthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

EXTENDED: Remy Bumppo's Chicago Premiere of Frankenstein by Nick Dear October 11 – November 17, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar
Chicago Premiere!
Remy Bumppo Theatre Company Announces

Added Performances for
by Nick Dear, from the novel by Mary Shelley

October 11 – November 17, 2018 at Theater Wit

Chicago's love affair with Frankenstein continues with Remy Bumppo's rendition of Shelley's creepy classic. I'll be out for the press performance October 16, so check back soon for my full review. Chicago's having a monster of an anniversary celebration with 4 productions on stage and film versions at The Music Box. 

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company is pleased to announce that FRANKENSTEIN will be EXTENDED by popular demand. The production will now play October 11 – November 17, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. The Press Opening is October 16, 2018 at 7:00pm.

FRANKENSTEIN will feature Remy Bumppo Core Ensemble Member Eliza Stoughton with Claire Alpern, Zachary Scott Fewkes, Jyreika Guest, Steve Lords, Ben Miller, Frank Nall, Jose Nateras, and Michael Turrentine. This production will also feature Remy Bumppo Producing Artistic Director Nick Sandys and Remy Bumppo Core Ensemble Member Greg Matthew Anderson alternating the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature each performance.

Mary Shelley’s revolutionary horror classic will be shocked to life in Nick Dear’s adaptation directed by Ian Frank. Retold from the abandoned creature’s point of view, this taut muscular version will raise urgent questions about scientific responsibility, parental neglect, and the nature of good and evil. 

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s production of FRANKENSTEIN will be performed October 11 through November 17, 2018 at Theater Wit on 1229 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. 2018-2019 Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at or by calling the Theater Wit Box Office at 773.975.8150.

Production made possible in party by Presenting Sponsor, Geoffrey A. Anderson and 2018 – 2019 Season Sponsors Nancy and Gene DeSombre and Brenda and James Grusecki.


Novel by: Mary Shelley
Adapted by: Nick Dear
Director: Ian Frank
Stage Manager: Dana M. Nestrick
Assistant Director: Erika Haaland
Dramaturg: Peter A. Davis
Scenic Designer/Technical Director: Joe Schermoly
Costume Designer: Kristy Leigh Hall
Assistant Costume Designer: Virginia Varland
Lighting Designer: Mike Durst
Original Music and Sound Design: Christopher Kriz
Properties Designer: Amanda Herrmann

Cast (in alphabetical order): Claire Alpern (Gretel/Clarice), Greg Matthew Anderson (Victor/Creature), Zachary Scott Fewkes (William – Cast 1), Jyreika Guest (Agatha), Steve Lords (Klaus/Ewan), Ben Miller (William – Cast 2), Frank Nall (Delacey/M. Frankenstein), Jose Nateras (Client/Felix/Constable), Nick Sandys (Creature/Victor), Eliza Stoughton (Elizabeth), and Michael Turrentine (Gustav/Rab).

Understudies: Maryam Abdi, Keith Illidge, Jim Morley, Jeremy Pfaff, Jillian Skale, and Marc Harley Wilson.

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
Dates: Previews: Thursday, October 11 at 7:30pm, Friday, October 12 at 7:30pm, Saturday, October 13 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, October 14 at 2:30pm
Regular Run: Thursday, October 18 – Sunday, November 11, 2018

Curtain Times: Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:30pm
Matinee Performances (other than Sundays): Saturday, October 20 at 2:30pm, Saturday, November 3 at 2:30pm, and Thursday, November 8 at 2:30pm

Audio Description/Touch Tour Performances: Saturday, October 20 (Touch Tour starts at 1:00pm, and the performance starts at 2:30pm)

Tickets: Previews: $37.75
Regular Run: $37.75 - $62.75
Audio Description/Touch Tour Performances: $15.00
Industry Tickets: $20.00, available Wednesdays – Fridays
Student Tickets: $15.00
Group Discounts: Available for parties of 10 or more, call 773.975.8150

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company produces theatre that thrills the ear, stirs the heart, feeds the mind, and sparks a conversation. As an ensemble-based producer of intellectually and emotionally inspiring plays that reveal the power and pleasure of language, we explore timeless ideas in timely productions that celebrate our common humanity; and we invite audiences to converse directly with the art and the artists.

Remy Bumppo challenges our audiences with the intersection of expansive ideas and rich language, often presenting texts that have been sidelined because they may seem too intellectually complex, demanding active intelligence as well as great passion from artist and patron alike. We produce such art in order to advance deeper understanding of the human condition, test commonly perceived notions, and elevate cultural discourse. We then invite audiences to converse directly with the art and the artists, engaging them in one-on-one conversation about the work itself through innovative supplementary programming.

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