Monday, July 15, 2019

OPENING: POMONA at Steep Theatre July 18 – August 24, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

By Alistair McDowall
Directed by Robin Witt
July 18 – August 24, 2019

I'll be out for the press opening July 18, 2019, and can't wait to see Steep Theatre's latest. 

When Ollie’s sister goes missing, her search leads her to Pomona – a bleak, concrete island in the middle of a scarred city. Part thriller, part fantastical puzzle, Alistair McDowall’s Pomona twists and turns its way into the dark heart of a world built on pain and suffering and asks the question - is it even possible to be good anymore?

Steep Ensemble Member Robin Witt will close out the company’s 18th season with Alistair McDowall’s Pomona. McDowall was the playwright behind Steep’s 2015 hit Brilliant Adventures, which marked his U.S debut and was also directed by Witt. His work has been produced extensively, including productions at the Royal Court, the National Theatre, and the Royal Exchange. McDowall is a Bruntwood Prize winner and recipient of the 2018 Pinter Commission from the Royal Court. Robin Witt is a longtime director at Steep whose work includes the 2018 hit Linda and Cordelia Lynn’s Lela & Co, which won 2018 Jeff Awards for Director, Production, and Performer in a Principal Role.

Pomona will feature Ashlyn Lozano, Phoebe Moore, Jamila Tyler, and Steep Company Members Nate Faust (Red Rex, Earthquakes in London), Peter Moore (Linda, Brilliant Adventures), Brandon Rivera (Zürich, Brilliant Adventures), and Amber Sallis (Birdland, Hinter),

About the Playwright
Alistair McDowall grew up in the North East of England. Plays include: Zero for the Young Dudes! (National Theatre Connections 2017); X (Royal Court Theatre 2016); Pomona (RWCMD/Gate 2014; Orange Tree Theatre/Royal Exchange/National Theatre 2014/5); Talk Show (Royal Court Theatre 2013); Brilliant Adventures (Royal Court Young Writers’ Festival 2012; Royal Exchange, Manchester and Live Theatre, Newcastle 2013); and Captain Amazing (Live Theatre, Newcastle and Edinburgh Fringe 2013; UK tour 2014). He was the recipient of the Harold Pinter Commission in 2018. His work has been translated and produced internationally.

About the Director
Steep Ensemble Member Robin Witt has been at the helm for many of Steep’s most successful UK imports, including Penelope Skinner’s Linda; Cordelia Lynn’s Lela & Co.; Simon Stephens’ Wastwater, Motortown, Pornography, and Harper Regan; Alistair McDowall’s Brilliant Adventures; Dennis Kelly’s Love and Money; Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song; and Laura Wade’s Breathing Corpses. Her Harper Regan is still the best-selling show in Steep history and was named one of the Top Ten shows of 2010 by both the Chicago Tribune and Timeout Chicago; her Lela & Co was named one of the Tribune’s Top Ten Shows of 2017; and her Breathing Corpses was named one of TimeOut’s Top Ten Shows of 2008. In addition to directing numerous productions at Steep, Robin is also an ensemble member of Griffin Theatre Company where her credits include Ferber and Kaufman's Stage Door, Terrence Rattigan's Flare Path, Ena Lamont Stewart’s Men Should Weep, and John Van Druten’s London Wall. Witt received the 2015, 2016, and 2018 Jeff Awards for Best Director for Men Should Weep, London Wall, and Lela & Co and was nominated in 2014 for Flare Path. She has worked at a variety of Chicago area theatres including The Goodman, A Red Orchid, Steppenwolf, and Writers Theatre. Robin recently directed A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Steppenwolf Theatre, A Number at Writers Theatre, and For Services Rendered at Griffin Theatre. She is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts (BFA) and Northwestern University (MFA). Robin is an Assistant Professor at UNC Charlotte.

About Steep Theatre
Housed in what was once a small grocery store, steps from the Berwyn Red Line stop, and lead by an ensemble of 41 actors, directors, designers, writers, and other theatre artists, Steep is the quintessential storefront theatre. Described by Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune as "a storefront theater known for the power of its acting," Steep creates powerful productions of plays by today's most exciting writers and features the work of Chicago's hottest theatre artists in an intimate, accessible space. Currently in its 18th season, Steep is known as a home for hard-hitting, finely tuned ensemble work. With each production, the company has shepherded a growing community of audiences and artists into bold new territories of story and performance.

Steep Theatre is conveniently located by the Berwyn Red Line stop and is within blocks of the #92, #36, #146, #147, and #151 buses.

Steep Theatre
1115 West Berwyn Ave., Chicago, IL 60640

July 18 – August 24, 2019
Previews: July 13 – 17, 2019

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8pm
Sunday matinees at 3pm on July 28, August 4, 11, and 18
Accessible Performances:
-Audio Description: Saturday, August 10, 8pm
-Open Captioning: Sunday, August 4, 3pm

General Admission Tickets: $27
Reserved Seat Tickets: $38

PAccess Tickets: $10 (Steep’s universal discount for students, artists, whomever)
(773) 649-3186

Twitter: @SteepTheatre
Facebook: SteepTheatre

Nate Faust*
Ashlyn Lozano 
Phoebe Moore
Peter Moore*
Brandon Rivera*
Amber Sallis*
Jamila Tyler

Director – Robin Witt*
Stage Manager – Lauren Lassus*
Set Designer – Joe Schermoly
Lighting Designer – Brandon Wardell**
Sound Designer – Thomas Dixon*
Costume Designer – Aly Amidei
Props Designer – Jenny Pinson
Fight Choreographer – Christina Gorman
Dialect Coach – Adam Goldstein
Assistant Director – Cody Spellman
Production Manager – Catherine Allen**

*Denotes Steep Company Member
**Denotes Steep Artistic Associate

Friday, July 12, 2019

OPENING: Beyond Therapy Via Eclipse Theatre Company at The Athenaeum July 14 – August 18, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

The 2019 Christopher Durang Season continues with the farcical comedy, 
Beyond Therapy
 July 14 – August 18

*Beyond Therapy runs approximately two hours, with one ten-minute intermission.*

The 2019 Christopher Durang Season continues with the farcical comedy, Beyond Therapy. Bruce and Prudence are deeply into therapy. Prudence’s macho therapist is urging her to be more assertive, while Bruce’s wacky female therapist wants him to meet women by placing a personal ad. She does not fully comprehend that Bruce has a male lover who is not pleased by Bruce’s desire to date a woman. Bruce doesn’t know how to handle poor, nervous Prudence, and Prudence doesn’t know what to make of her unpredictable new boyfriend. They do learn to live beyond therapy in this comedic play.

The cast includes Eclipse Ensemble Member Joe McCauley (Stuart). Guest Artists Lynne Baker (Charlotte), Siddhartha Rajan (Bob), Nick Freed (Bruce), Devi Reisenfeld (Prudence), Alex Rocha (Waiter), Kathy Burke (Understudy), Kevin O’Connell (Understudy), Glenn Garrabrant (Understudy), Jordan Tragash (Understudy), Elizabeth Wigley (Understudy) and Brandon Boler (Understudy).

Eclipse Theatre Company, the only Midwest theatre company to feature one
playwright in one season, will continue their 2019 Christopher Durang Season this summer with a production of Beyond Therapy, with Rachel Lambert directing.

Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657

Some street parking; Wellington El stop (Brown). Pay and Display parking at Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church lots on Southport and on Oakdale. Disability accessible.

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 3 p.m. (reception following)
Previews Thursday-Saturday, July 11-13, at 7:30 p.m.

Runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Closes Sunday, August 18, 2019

773-935-6875, Athenaeum Box Office (open noon to last curtain, Wednesday-Sunday)

Online tickets at 

$30 for all regular performances (half-price rush tickets available)
$20 for previews; $10 for industry members at previews with headshot/card
$20 for each ticket in groups of ten or more, and for seniors (with ID)
$20 for students (with ID)    

Eclipse Ensemble Member Joe McCauley (Stuart).

Guest Artists Lynne Baker (Charlotte), Johnard Washington (Bob), Nick Freed (Bruce), Devi Reisenfeld (Prudence), Alex Rocha (Waiter), Kathy Burke (Understudy), Kevin O’Connell (Understudy), Glenn Garrabrant (Understudy), Jordan Tragash (Understudy).
Eclipse Ensemble Members Zach Bloomfield (Casting Director), Ashley Bowman (Production Manager), Rachel Lambert (Director), 

Kevin Scott (Managing Director), Zach Wagner (Costume Designer).

Guest Artists Kaycee Filson (Props), Matt Sharp (Lighting Designer), Sam Rausch (Set Designer), Corey Bradberry (Stage Manager), Sam Meyers (Assistant Stage Manager) and Alec Dickson (Sound Designer)

The 2019 Christopher Durang Season will finish with Why Torture is Wrong, and the People who Love Them, directed by Eclipse Ensemble Member Steve Scott, opening in November 2019.

FUNDERS:   The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T.

MacArthur Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and Eclipse Theatre’s many individual donors.

INFO: Eclipse Theatre Company presents the work of one playwright each season. Eclipse offers the audience an opportunity, unique in the Midwest, to journey through the playwright's works. Join Eclipse in exploring the breadth and depth of one playwright's artistic worlds.

One playwright, one season, one illuminating journey.
Eclipse Theatre Company, 312-625-0422,

Tuesday, July 9, 2019



Here at ChiIL Live Shows, Clutch has been a top favorite of ours for decades. We're thrilled they're still releasing new material and kickass covers, and we make a point to catch them live whenever they're playing close to home. We've even been known to road trip out a few states to see them in action, and we've spent two memorable new years eves shooting the band. I've interviewed frontman, Neil Fallon, and shot them from the photo pit more times than I can count. Check out this stellar tribute to the enduring genius of ZZ Top. Then check out the summer tour dates below and go already. 

"It should be fairly obvious by now that Clutch are huge fans of ZZ Top” states vocalist Neil Fallon. “They’re a band that we grew up listening to -  and we still listen to them to this day.  ‘Precious & Grace’, from their classic Tres Hombres LP,  is easily one of our favorite ZZ Top songs and that’s really the only story behind the choice.”

Clutch announce the release of “Precious And Grace”.  The single is the second in a series of new studio recordings that comprise the newly launched Weathermaker Vault Series and the first new official music Clutch is making available since the release of their critically acclaimed album, Book Of Bad Decisions.

Future tracks will follow as part of the new series throughout the 2nd half of 2019. These songs are bound to become another classic milestone in the band's stellar career.  

“Precious And Grace” was mixed by 6X Grammy Award winner and Clutch collaborator, Vance Powell (Wolfmother, The Raconteurs,Arctic Monkeys). 

Check out the video here:

Clutch has curated their own Spotify playlist “Clutch’s Heavy Rotation” at this location: 

On Friday, Clutch will embark on a co-headlining tour of the US with Killswitch Engage that also includes Clutch’s curated Earth Rocker Festival in Inwood WV. 
Clutch & Killswitch Engage Co-Headline US Dates:

Tickets available here.

Fri/Jul 12th         Syracuse, NY at SI Hall
Sat/Jul 13th        Inwood, WV at Earth Rocker Festival @ Shiley Acres 
Sun/Jul 14th       Myrtle Beach, SC at House Of Blues 
Tue/Jul 16th        Fort Wayne, IN at The Clyde
Thu/Jul 18th        Sioux City, IA at Hard Rock Casino 
Fri/Jul 19th         Cadott, WI at Rock USA Festival
Sat/Jul 20th        Peoria, Il at Tailgate N' Tallboys Festival
Mon/Jul 22nd      Tulsa, OK at The Brady Theater
Tue/Jul 23rd       St. Louis, MO at The Pageant
Thu/Jul 25th        Bethlehem, PA at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Fri/Jul 26th         Asbury Park, NJ at Stone Pony (Outdoors)
Sat/Jul 27th        Bangor, ME at Impact Music Festival
Sun/Jul 28th       Montreal, QC at Heavy Montreal Festival
Tue/Jul 30th        Huntington, NY at The Paramount
Thu/Aug 1st       Columbus, OH at Express Live (Outdoors)
Fri/Aug 2nd         Pittsburgh, PA at Stage AE (Outdoors)
Sat/Aug 3rd        Port Chester, NY at The Capitol Theater
Sun/Aug 4th       Worcester, MA at Palladium (Outdoors)


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



ChiIL Live Shows on our radar:
Oak Brook Theater Celebrates 23 Years of Shakespeare-under-the-Stars

 JULY 10 - AUGUST 18

Ending its 23rd season outdoors, First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83.) presents HENRY V for its classic Shakespeare-under-the-Stars series. Directed by Artistic Associate Hayley Rice, HENRY V focuses on one of England’s most beloved rulers as he fights to save England and prove himself the rightful heir to the French throne. Audiences will thrill to the battle scenes as they experience the play the way it was intended to be performed – outside.  Nothing beats being part of the action with the great Band of Brothers as Henry V leads them against an army ten times their own size at the Battle of Agincourt. One of Shakespeare’s most popular rousing adventures, HENRY V previews July 10 – 12, opens July 13 and will run through August 18, 2019.

“We are excited to be exploring new angles of Shakespeare’s Henry V for our 28th production on our outdoor stage,” said director Hayley Rice. “With non-traditional casting and an emphasis on the intersection of antiquity and modernity, we at First Folio Theatre are proud to be sharing this with our audiences. As this will be the final production performed on the original stage my parents built, there is an extra opportunity to play with the set and stage in a way that has never previously been possible. It is very bittersweet for all of us, but we invite audiences to leave their preconceived notions of Shakespeare and Henry V and see the story in a brand new way this summer.”

First Folio has announced that this will be the final production on its current outdoor stage, which has served First Folio since 1997. In order to properly address the needs of its aging stage structure, First Folio will be taking a hiatus from producing a summer show in 2020. After 23 seasons, the current structure is coming to the end of its usefulness and the theater needs to ensure that they have the time and funds to replace it properly. First Folio’s summer shows will return in 2021 with a new stage and they will continue on with the same quality Shakespeare-under-the-Stars, which launched First Folio back in 1997.

Starring in HENRY V are First Folio Artistic Associates Diana Coates as King Henry V and Lydia Berger Gray in the dual role of Chorus and Alice. The cast also features Robert McLean (Duke of Exeter and Mistress Quickly), Arielle Leverett (Mountjoy), Derek Jeck (Bardolph), Morgan Manasa (Fluellen), Mark Lancaster (Bishop of Canterbury and Gower) and Sean Sinitski (Pistol and the King of France). The ensemble includes Todd Douglas, Esther Fishbein, Madison Merkel, Shane Richlen, and Austyn Williamson. The production and design staff includes Angela Weber Miller (Scenic Design), Christopher Kriz (Original Music and Sound Design), Rachel Flesher (Stage Combat and Intimacy Design), Julie Ballard (Lighting Design), Stefanie Johnsen (Costume Design), Vivian Knouse (Properties Design) and Carrie Hardin (Vocal Design). The stage management team is led by Miranda Anderson (Stage Manager), with Sophie Goddard and Nikki Konomos as assistant stage managers.

Performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, located at 1717 31st St., off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook. First Folio is easy to get to via the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. Preview tickets are $25. Regular priced tickets are $34 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors and students are $29), and $44 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors and students are $39). Special $10 tickets are available for children 14 and under for all summer shows. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at

Thursday, July 4, 2019

WORLD PREMIERE Of BURY ME Via Dandelion Theatre At Rivendell Theatre Through July 28, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

By Brynne Frauenhoffer
Directed by Ben Kaye
July 6 - 28, 2019

Expecting parents Josh and Michelle visit Josh’s mother, his ailing stepfather, and his outspoken half-sibling Ru in Josh’s small Missouri hometown, where Ru’s pro-Choice activism is causing a stir. Events including a chance encounter with his high school crush, soon move questions of life and death from the philosophical to the practical. With heart and humor, BURY ME’s recognizable characters face the ways in which life begins and ends. BURY ME will be performed at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge, Chicago through July 28, 2019.

A semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's 2018 National Playwrights Conference, Frauenhoffer has developed full-length plays in association with companies including The New Colony, Sideshow Theatre, and Dandelion. Her one-act plays have been produced by American Blues Theatre, Commission Theatre Company, 20% Theatre Company, and the Chicago One Minute Play Festival, among others. 

BURY ME  will be directed by Chicago-based director, performer, and cultural critic Ben Kaye. Kaye directed the Chicago premieres of Nick Flynn’s ALICE INVENTS A LITTLE GAME and ALICE ALWAYS WINS, and his production of FORSYTHIAN DWELLER’S CLUB with Bittersweet Arts Co. enjoyed an award-winning run at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. He has directed or assistant directed with companies including world premiere productions with Nothing Without a Company, The Hypocrites, The New Colony, and Bittersweet Arts Co.

Kaye’s cast will include Gabriela Diaz and David Stobbe as Michelle and Josh, K. Holland as half-sibling Ru, Allison McCorkle as Josh’s mother Christy, Scott Olson as stepfather Mark, and Evey Reidy as the high school friend Amy. The production team will include Melissa Perkins (Costume Designer), Michelle E. Benda (Lighting Designer), Kaycee Filson (Properties Designer), Zoe Benditt (Dramaturg), Nina D'Angier (Scenic Designer), Emily Anderson (Sound Designer), Christina Casano (Assistant Director) and Devonte Washington (Stage Manager).

Top row L-R: Gabriela Diaz, K. Holland, Allison McCorkle.
Lower row L-R: Scott Olson, Evey Reidy, David Stobbe.

Opening July 6 at 7:30pm
Press Opening: Tuesday, July 9 at 7:30pm
July 11 – 28: Performances Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 4:00pm
Rivendell Theatre
5779 N Ridge Ave, Chicago, IL 60660
Ticket prices $28.00. Discounts for industry and students available
Tickets available by phone at 773-349-2342 or online at

Michelle and Josh didn't mean to get pregnant. Five months along, they return to Josh's rural hometown to visit his fiercely loving yet overworked mother, ailing stepfather, and outspoken teenage sibling. Upon their arrival in Pacific, Missouri, a fateful fender-bender brings new and old truths into the light and forces each of them to evaluate their beliefs about parenthood, in God, and in the plans that they've made for their lives.


Brynne Frauenhoffer (Playwright) Raised in Missouri and educated in Oklahoma, Brynne now calls Chicago home. Her first full-length work, BURY ME, has been selected for readings at Echo Theater, Theatricum Botanicum, and Dandelion Theatre Company. She developed SYNCHRONICITY with The Writers Room at The New Colony, where it was selected for a staged reading. SYNCHRONICITY later won the 2016 Davey Foundation Theatre Grant, received a workshop at Salt Lake Acting Company, and was selected as a semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's 2018 National Playwrights Conference. JANE'S HEIR (IT'S BRONTE BITCH) was developed for Adapt Theatre Productions. Most recently, Commission Theatre Company produced a reading of Brynne's full-length PIZZA HUT HEARTBREAKER and Sideshow Theatre Company commissioned PRO-AM or The Freshness Initiative 2018.

Brynne's short plays have been produced by American Blues Theater, Commission Theatre Company, 20% Theatre Company, and the Chicago One Minute Play Festival. As a script supervisor and director's assistant, she has worked on the world premieres of LOOK, WE ARE BREATHING (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble), AMERICAN BEAUTY SHOP (Chicago Dramatists), and A WORK OF ART (Chicago Dramatists). She also profiles Chicago theatremakers for PerformInk.

Currently, Brynne is devising AGE PLAY with The New Colony and creating SHITTY CHRISTIANS, OR TURN TO ROMANS 3:23 with some of her best friends for a reading at The Prop Thtr's Church of the New Play. This summer, she looks forward to workshopping THE YOUNG ONES with First Floor Theatre.

BURY ME will be her first full-length production.

Ben Kaye (Director) Ben Kaye is a Chicago-based director, performer, cultural critic, and the Managing Director of Red Tape Theatre. He has directed, and assistant directed, on world premiere productions with Nothing Without a Company, The Hypocrites, and The New Colony, and his performance credits include work with Steep Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Haven Theatre, and Porchlight Music Theatre. He directed the Chicago premiere of Nick Flynn's ALICED INVENTS A LITTLE GAME and ALICE ALWAYS WINS, and his production of FORSYTHIAN DWELLER’S CLUB with Bittersweet Arts Co. enjoyed an award-winning run at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. See more at

 Dandelion Theatre, founded in 2014 by Artistic Director Katherine Lamb, is committed to creating experiences that inspire and vitalize artists and audience members alike. It seeks to attain this by cultivating community, fostering the artistic process, and valuing truthful discourse.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Midwest Premiere of Grace, or the Art of Climbing Via Brown Paper Box Co. at Stage 773

Brown Paper Box Co. presents the Midwest Premiere of
or the Art of Climbing 
by L M Feldman

Thursday, June 6-Sunday, July 8, 2019
at Stage 773

Fresh off their Jeff Award nomination for Little Women the Musical and community-focused Holding On cabaret, tickets are now on sale for Brown Paper Box Co.’s Midwest premiere of Grace, or the Art of Climbing by L M Feldman running June 6-July 8, 2019 at Stage 773.

Faced with a painful chapter in her life and fighting the inertia of depression, Emm decides to enter the world of competitive rock-climbing. Her quest through the rugged and humorous terrain of physical training and personal relationships charts the journey of a young woman suspended between love and loss, strength and fear, fathers and daughters, and the ardor and grace of being human. Brown Paper Box Co. is proud to present the Midwest premiere of this Barrymore Award Best New Play nominee and Kilroys List honorable mention. For additional information, performance times, artists’ bios, and tickets, please visit
“In this beautiful play, L M Feldman amplifies the complexities of mental illness without ever dismissing our lead character as a victim, allowing those of us who struggle with depression to see ourselves represented on stage as fully human,” says director Erin Shea Brady. “We recognize Emm's challenges as our own as she navigates heartbreak and loss, finding her footing in an unpredictable and ever-changing world. Feldman's story is unique, harnessing the power of physical theater to illustrate the importance of trust — in ourselves, in our bodies, and in the people around us.”

The cast for Grace, or the Art of Climbing features Alex Molnar (Emm), Graham Carlson (Sam), James Lewis (Mick), Lynnette Li (Ky), Greg Mills (Abe), Elissa Newcorn (Dell), and Joshua Zambrano (Sims) with Cathleen Brumback and Jonathan Wilson as Understudies.

The staff and design team includes Erin Shea Brady* (Director), Liz Cooper (Lighting Designer), Blake Cordell (Sound Designer), Zach Dries* (Photographer/Videographer), Evan Frank (Scenic Designer), Berit Godo (Assistant & Movement Director), Kaitlyn Guerrieri* (Front of House Manager), Adrian Hadlock (Props Designer), Jeremy Hollis* (Production Manager), Mary-Catherine Mikalayunas (Stage Manager), Charlie Sheets* (Graphic Designer), Kristi Szczepanek* (Casting Associate), and Jonathan Wilson (Climbing Consultant).
* denotes Brown Paper Box Co. members

About Brown Paper Box Co.
Based in Chicago, Brown Paper Box Co. produces theatre that connects audiences to the heart of the story and to our shared human experience. By combining smart, simple design with clear storytelling, we make traditional pieces relevant and new work accessible.

Erin Shea Brady* (Director) is thrilled and grateful to be directing Grace, or the Art of Climbing. Directing credits include: Everybody (Brown Paper Box Co.) and Cabaret, Annapurna (staged reading) and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (No Stakes Theater Project). Assistant Directing and Dramaturgy credits include productions at the Goodman, Jackalope, TimeLine, A Red Orchid, Northlight, and Remy Bumppo. Erin is a graduate of the directing program at Columbia College Chicago, and participated in the internship program at Steppenwolf, Jackalope's Playwright's Lab, and Goodman's Criticism in a Changing America bootcamp. Erin is a company member with BPBCo. & is currently pursuing her MSW at Loyola. She is a contributing writer & critic at PerformInk & Newcity Stage.

L M Feldman (Playwright) is a queer, feminist playwright (and circus artist) who pens plays that are wildly theatrical but deeply intimate. Her plays include THRIVE, OR WHAT YOU WILL (Page 73 Residency, New Georges Audrey Residency); ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE (Magic Theatre Virgin Play Festival, PlayPenn Conference, Playwrights Realm Fellowship, FEWW Prize Honorable Mention); AMANUENSIS (Georgetown University); A PEOPLE (Orbiter 3, Jewish Plays Project); THE EGG-LAYERS (Jane Chambers Honorable Mention, New Georges/Barnard College commission); GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING (Denver Center, Art House Productions, Nice People Theatre, ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Nomination, Barrymore Nomination); ensemble-devised works, including GUMSHOE (New Paradise Labs + Free Library of Philadelphia + Rosenbach Museum), WAR OF THE WORLDS: PHILADELPHIA (Swim Pony + Drexel University), AND IF YOU LOSE YOUR WAY, OR A FOOD ODYSSEY (The Invisible Dog, New York Innovative Theatre Award Nomination), and others; and a baker's dozen of short plays. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, L is also a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a devised-work collaborator, a teacher of playwriting (Bryn Mawr College, Lantern Theatre/Jefferson Medical School, PlayPenn), and a freelance dramaturg. L has lived in seven cities and is now based in Philly – where she is an InterAct Core Playwright and a proud member of Orbiter 3.

Who:  Brown Paper Box Co.
What:  Midwest Premiere of Grace, or the Art of Climbing by L M Feldman
When:  Thursday, June 6-Sunday, July 8, 2019
Where: Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL 60657
Previews: Thursday, June 6, 2019 @ 7:30PM and Friday, June 7, 2019 @ 7:30PM

Opening Performance: Saturday, June 8, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Press Performance: Sunday, June 9, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee) and Monday, June 10, 2019 @ 7:30PM

Regular Run: Friday, June 14, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Saturday, June 15, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Sunday, June 16, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)
Monday, June 17, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Thursday, June 20, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Friday, June 21, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Saturday, June 22, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)
Saturday, June 22, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Sunday, June 23, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)
Thursday, June 27, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Friday, June 28, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Saturday, June 29, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Sunday, June 30, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)
​Friday, July 6, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Saturday, July 7, 2019 @ 7:30PM
Sunday, July 8, 2019 @ 2:30PM (matinee)

Tickets: On sale now at                                                                   

OPENING: Macbeth Via Saltbox Theatre Collective at The Edge Off-Broadway

Saltbox Macbeth Shakes Up Your Summer
at The Edge Off-Broadway
July 12- August 4, 2019

The shortest of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, Macbeth has cemented itself as a tale that delves into the unhinged sanity of the title’s main character. With a focus on the dark side of humanity, Macbeth (played by Mighty Morphin Power Ranger’s Jason Narvy) and his lady (Stephanie Stroud) are overtaken by the supernatural as they continually give into their own greedy, lustful desires. Haunted by their own dastardly decisions, the pair fight to hold on to all their ill-gotten gains—by any means necessary.

The show runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30pm, as well as 2:00pm on Saturdays and Sunday.

Duncan - Josh Bomba
Porter - Mark Bernstein
Macduff Family - Ella Bernstein Molly Gustafson
Macduff’s Son - Jack Narvy
Fleance - Rene Krall-Lanoue
Macbeth - Jason Narvy
Lady Macbeth - Stephanie Stroud
Weird Sisters - Catherine Bustos, Wendy
Venlos-Becker, Anne Ogden
Murderers - Brandon Nelson, Chas Howard
Seyton - Josh Marshall
Banquo - Brian Bengtson
Macduff - Ryan Smetana
Angus - Corwyn Cullum
Lennox - Dane Van Brocklin
Ross - Nate Perez
Lady Macduff - Amanda Hayes
Malcolm - Warren Duncan
General Siward - Michael Sullivan
Young Siward - Nick Russell
Sergeant - Eamon Gonzales
Attendant - Brandon Ellis
Serving Woman - Angela Matera
Stage Manager - Robert Pacheco
Asst. Director - Angela Matera
Lighting Design - Kara Grimm-Denholm
Electrician - Garet Paholkotter
Technical Advisor - Justin Glombicki
Director - Brian Fruits
Costumes/Make-Up - Alison Call, April Fruits
House Manager - Corwyn Cullum
Photos - Rachael Nuckles
Graphic Design - Amy Moore
Sound Design - Jonathan Hadley

Saltbox is a Jeff Award Winning not-for-profit theatre company that opened 4 years ago producing shows in Oak Park and, most recently, graduating to Chicago in Season 3. 

Saltbox Theatre Collective - 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar: True West By Sam Shepard At Steppenwolf Theatre Company Through August 25, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Presents 
True West
By Sam Shepard
Directed by Ensemble Member Randall Arney 
Now Playing Through August 25

Highly Anticipated Revival of Shepard’s Masterpiece Featuring 
A New Generation of Steppenwolf Ensemble

I'll be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's legendary Steppenwolf Theatre Company for the press opening of True West on July 16th. Can't wait for this hotly anticipated revival!

Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents its first ever revival of the play that launched the company onto the national scene in 1982, True West, directed by ensemble member Randall Arney. Through the lens of a new generation of Steppenwolf artists, the 2019 production stars ensemble members Jon Michael Hill (CBS’s Elementary; Steppenwolf, Lincoln Center, and Spike Lee’s Pass Over) and Namir Smallwood (Lincoln Center’s Pass Over and Pipeline). Joining Hill and Smallwood are ensemble member and original cast member Francis Guinan and celebrated Chicago actor Jacqueline Williams.

Previews began July 5 and the production is now playing through August 25 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Opening night is Sunday, July 14 at 6pm. Press performances are Sunday, July 14 at 6pm and Tuesday, July 16 at 7:30pm. Single tickets ($20-$96) are available through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or

In 1982, Steppenwolf exploded onto the American Theatre scene with its now legendary production of Sam Shepard's True West. This American classic traces the volatile relationship of Austin and Lee, estranged brothers who find themselves holed up together in their mother's well-kept suburban house with a typewriter, a set of golf clubs and the undeniable call of the desert. In its first Steppenwolf revival, our new generation of artists take on Shepard's masterpiece.

Steppenwolf’s original production of True West opened in 1982 with then fairly unknown actors Jeff Perry (Austin) and John Malkovich (Lee) playing the leads, alongside ensemble members Francis Guinan (Saul) and Laurie Metcalf (Mom), directed by Gary Sinise. With Sam Shepard's approval, Steppenwolf’s production transferred to Off-Broadway, where it opened at Cherry Lane Theatre in October 1982 with Gary Sinise taking on the role of ‘Austin.’ The show closed on August 4, 1984 after 762 performances. A television movie of the stage play, featuring Sinise and Malkovich, aired on the PBS series "American Playhouse" in January 1984.

Cast Bios
Francis Guinan (Saul Kimmer) is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble. He has appeared in more than 30 Steppenwolf productions including Downstate (both in Chicago and at the National Theatre), You Got Older, The Minutes, The Rembrandt, Hir, The Herd, The Night Alive, Tribes, The Birthday Party, The Book Thief, Time Stands Still, Endgame, American Buffalo, Fake, The Seafarer, August: Osage County and The Real Inspector Hound. Guinan also played the role of ‘Saul’ in the original 1982 production of True West.

Jon Michael Hill (Austin) has been a Steppenwolf ensemble member since 2007 and was last seen on Steppenwolf’s stage as Moses in Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over, which was filmed by Spike Lee and released by Amazon Studios. Hill reprised the role of Moses in the Lincoln Center Theater production the following year. Hill currently appears as ‘Detective Marcus Bell’ in the CBS-TV series Elementary. He was nominated for a Tony Award and won an Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Award for his role as ‘Franco Wicks’ in the Broadway production of Superior Donuts by ensemble member Tracy Letts, a role which he originated at Steppenwolf. Hill has also performed at Steppenwolf in The Hot L Baltimore, The Tempest, Kafka on the Shore, The Unmentionables and others. Additional television and film credits include Detroit 1-8-7, Eastbound and Down, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Person of Interest.

Namir Smallwood (Lee) joined the Steppenwolf ensemble in March 2017, where he has been seen in Aziza Barnes’ BLKS, Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ Monster, Christina Anderson’s Man In Love and The Hot L Baltimore. Other Chicago credits include The Lost Boys of Sudan (Victory Gardens Theater); the world premiere of Philip Dawkins’ Charm (Northlight Theatre); The Grapes of Wrath (Gift Theatre) and East Texas Hot Links (Writers’ Theatre). Regional credits include Marin Theatre Company, Pillsbury House Theatre, Ten Thousand Things and Guthrie Theater. New York credits include Lincoln Center Theater’s productions of Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau and Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu. Television credits include Chicago Fire and Betrayal.

Jacqueline Williams (Mom) Steppenwolf credits include Familiar, The Christians, Airline Highway, Head of Passes (also at Mark Taper opposite Phylicia Rashad), Hot L Baltimore, Brother Sister Plays, and others. At the Goodman, she performed in Father Comes Home from the Wars, Pullman Porter Blues (some performances), stop. reset, Camino Real, Trinity River Plays, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Amen Corner, Ooh-Blah-Dee, and many others. Additional credits include Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Harvey, Man in the Ring, Gem of the Ocean, Fences, Caroline or Change, Electra (title role) at Court Theatre; Skeleton Crew, The Miser, Gees Bend at Northlight; The House That Will Not Stand, A Wonder in my Soul, Gospel of Loving Kindness, others at Victory Gardens. She toured with the Market Theatre of Johannesburg. She is a multi-award winner and has worked and toured extensively regionally.  She performed on Broadway in Young Man From Atlanta and Off Broadway in From The Mississippi Delta (Oprah Winfrey co-produced), Talented Tenth, Mill Fire. TV/film credits include cast of Turks, recurring Mrs. Brown on The Chi, Officer Becerra on Chicago Fire/PD/Med, Warden Myers on Empire, Prison Break, Heartlock, The Break Up and The Lake House.

Director Bio
Randall Arney has been a theater professional for more than 30 years and ensemble member and former artistic director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre where his directing credits include Slowgirl, The Seafarer, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Death and the Maiden, Curse of the Starving Class, Killers and The Geography of Luck, among others. Arney also directed Steppenwolf’s world premiere of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, as well as the subsequent national and internationally acclaimed productions. Arney’s acting credits with Steppenwolf include Born Yesterday, Ghost in the Machine, The Homecoming, Frank’s Wild Years, You Can’t Take It with You, Fool for Love, True West (played ‘Saul’ in the Apollo remount), Balm in Gilead, and Coyote Ugly. As the artistic director for Steppenwolf from 1987 to 1995, Arney oversaw the creation of a new state-of-the-art theater which is Steppenwolf’s current home. Broadway transfers under his leadership include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Song of Jacob Zulu (six Tony Award nominations) and The Grapes of Wrath (1990 Tony Award, Best Play). Arney recently served as the artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles (1999 to 2017). In addition to his artistic programming and oversight at the Geffen, Arney has directed many productions for the theater, including Icebergs, Outside Mullingar, The Night Alive, Reasons to Be Pretty, Slowgirl, American Buffalo, Superior Donuts, The Female of the Species, Speed-the-Plow, and All My Sons.  Arney has an M.F.A. degree in Acting from Illinois State University and has taught master classes and workshops at the University of California, Los Angeles; Steppenwolf, around the U.S., and in Tokyo. Member of SAG-AFTRA, SDC, and Equity.

True West production team includes Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Design), Trevor Bowen (Costume Design), Ann G. Wrightson (Lighting Design), Richard Woodbury (Sound Design & Original Music), Ned Mochel (Fight Choreographer) and Gigi Buffington (Company Voice and Text Coach). Additional credits Laura Glenn (Production Stage Manager), Amanda Landis (Assistant Stage Manager), JC Clementz, CSA (Casting Director) and Jonathan Berry (Artistic Producer).

Production Details
True West is now playing through August 25, 2019 in the Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Previews: July 5 – July 13, 2019; Press Performances: Sunday, July 14 at 6pm and Tuesday, July 16 at 7:30pm; Opening: July 14, 2019 at 6pm; Regular Run: July 16 – August 25, 2019. Curtain Times: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm and 7:30pm; Wednesdays at 2pm.

Ticket Info:
Previews: $20 – $78, Regular Run: $20– $96. Prices subject to change

20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available for subscription shows on the day of the performance at 11am (Mon – Sat) and 1pm (Sun), by phone only. Limit 2 per person.

Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show.

tudent Discounts: Limited $15 student tickets are available online. (Limit 2 tickets. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket).

Group Tickets: All groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance.

Black Card Memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility. Cards include six tickets for use any time, are valid for one year with the option to add additional tickets as needed. Perks include easy and free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts. Red Card Memberships are available for theatergoers under 30.More info at

Audience Services: For tickets or more information, contact Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at 312-335-1650 or

Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.

Accessible Performances:

American Sign Language Interpretation: Sunday, July 28 at 7:30pm

Open Captioning: Thursday, August 1 at 7:30pm and Saturday, August 17 at 3pm

Audio Description and Touch Tour: Sunday, August 11 touch tour at 1:30; performance at 3pm

Visitor Information
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($13 or $15, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($15 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12noon before Wednesday matinees. Limited street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at 312.335.1774.

Sponsor Information

Lead support for this production of True West is provided by Helen Zell and Northern Trust. ComEd is the 2018/19 Season Lighting Sponsor. United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf.

Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks

Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, offering a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open Tuesdays – Sundays, Front Bar serves locally roasted coffee and espresso by Passion House Coffee Roasters and features food by The Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service.

Year of Chicago Theatre
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Book your next show today at

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble members represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead and August: Osage County to Pass Over and Downstate—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programing includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. 

For additional information, visit,, and    

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

OPENING: Over the Tavern at Theatre at the Center July 11 Through August 11, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Over the Tavern 
at Theatre at the Center in Munster, IN
July 11 Through August 11, 2019

All photos by Guy Rhodes

Director Ericka Mac has cast Janet Ulrich Brooks as Sister Clarissa, Logan Baffico as Rudy, Cory Goodrich as Ellen, Isabelle Roberts as Annie, Eric Slater as Chet, Julian Solis as Georgie and Seth Steinberg as Eddie in Over the Tavern, a hilarious look at family life in the 1950s for the summer stage production at Theatre at the Center in Munster.  Previews begin July 11 with Opening Night on July 14 and a continued run through August 11.

In Tom Dudzick’s semi-autobiographical play, set in 1959, audiences meet Rudy Pazinski, a precocious 12-year old student who feels God put us on Earth to have fun.  He matches wits with ruler-wielding Sister Clarissa when he shares his plans to shop around for a more fun religion.  We also meet the entire Pazinski family, who live in a tiny apartment above the neighborhood bar they run, as they face both the real and comical struggles of life, including Rudy’s questioning the rules of the Roman Catholic Church just as he is about to receive the church sacrament of confirmation. An earlier run of Over the Tavern was a smash-hit with Theatre at the Center audiences in 2005.

Janet Ulrich Brooks (Sister Clarissa) returns to TATC after receiving a Jeff-nomination for her performance as Ann Landers in the TATC production of The Lady with All the Answers.   Janet is a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre where credits include portraying Maria Callas in Master Class and also a production of Bakersfield Mist, as well as Jeff-nominated performances in The Audience, 33 Variations, A Walk In The Woods, All My Sons and other favorite works.  Her most recent credits include The Children at Steppenwolf Theatre and Pipeline at Victory Gardens.  Her film credits include roles in Divergent, One Small Hitch and Conviction, as well as television credits with roles in Chicago Med, Fire and Justice and Boss.  Janet was the first recipient of the Ed See Outstanding Theatre Alumnus Award from the University of Central Missouri.     

Logan Baffico (Rudy) is making his TATC debut.  He was most recently seen as Hero Boy in the Rail Events’ The Polar Express.  His other credits include Benjamin in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Chip in Beauty and the Beast at BrightSide Theatre.  He also appeared as Posh Boy in Billy Elliot at Porchlight Theatre, Sebastian in The Little Mermaid and James in James and the Giant Peach at Stage Door Fine Arts Theatre.

Cory Goodrich (Ellen) returns to TATC for her 14th production, having previously appeared in Steel Magnolias, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash.   She is a five-time Jeff nominee including a Jeff Award for her role of June Carter in Ring of Fire and another for her role of Mother in Drury Lane’s production of Ragtime. Cory has also performed in productions at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Chicago Shakespeare, Candlelight and Drury Lane.   As a singer/songwriter, Cory has four solo albums. 

Eric Slater (Chet) is also making his TATC debut.  He has worked in Chicago at The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Writers Theatre, Court Theatre and Chicago Children’s Theatre.  His Off-Broadway credits include productions at the Public Theater, York Theatre, The Kitchen and Theater for the New City.  Film and television credits include Chicago Fire and Widows.

Seth Steinberg (Eddie) joins the cast as another TATC debut. He recently performed as Joey Oren in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of If I Forget and appeared as Nathan Lukowski in the The Full Monty at Theater Wit in Chicago.  As part of the Another Door Theatre Project, he appeared in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Pippin, Bare, a Pop Opera and Heathers the Musical and has performed in several musicals with Repertory Company at the Actors Training Center in Wilmette.    

Isabelle Roberts (Annie) is making her TATC debut.   She has appeared in Alice in Wonderland: Alice’s Rock and Roll Adventure at Chicago Children’s Theatre; The Sound of Music at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie at Drury Lane and Sunday in the Park with George at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

Julian Solis (George) returns to the TATC stage after making his TATC debut in A Wonderful Life.   He also appeared as Rudy Pazinski for the TATC season preview last August.   He was also a featured soloist for the Northwest Indiana Symphony for two consecutive seasons.  

Ericka Mac is making her TATC directorial debut. She has served as Assistant Director of Company at Writers Theatre.  She also served as Associate Director for the U.S. Premiere of Ride the Cyclone at MCC Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare; the World Premieres of both Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical and Alice’s Rock and Roll Adventure at Children’s Theatre Company; The Little Mermaid at Chicago Shakespeare and Guys and Dolls at Marriott Theatre.

The creative team for Over the Tavern includes Scenic Designer Angie Weber-Miller, Lighting Designer Shelley Strasser-Holland, Sound Designer Michael Patrick, Costume Designer Brenda Winstead, Wig Designer Kevin Barthel and Properties Designer is Emily Hartig.   Stage manager is Jessica Banaszak.   Artistic Director Linda Fortunato is teamed with TATC General Manager Richard Friedman and Ann Davis, TATC Head of Production.

Founded in 1991, the 410-seat TATC is a year round professional theater at its home: The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road in Munster, Indiana.   TATC is an accessible venue with plenty of free parking and is located off I-80/94, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago.

Performances are 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 7:30 p.m. Fridays; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.   Individual ticket prices range from $42-$46.   To purchase individual tickets, call the Box Office at 219-836-3255 or at 800-511-1532.   Group discounts are available for groups of 11 or more.   Student tickets are $20 and gift certificates are also available.   For more information on Theatre at the Center, visit www.TheatreAtThe

Friday, June 14, 2019

2019-20 Season Announced: AstonRep Theatre Company at The Edge Theater

Save the Dates:
AstonRep Theatre Company Announces 
2019-20 Season

AstonRep Theatre Company’s 2019-20 Season directors (top, l to r) Co-Artistic Directors Derek Bertelsen and Sara Pavlak McGuire and playwrights (bottom, l to r) Sarah Treem and Peter Shaffer.

By Peter Shaffer
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen


Chicago Premiere!
By Sarah Treem
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Sara Pavlak McGuire

Moving to The Edge Theater in Edgewater

AstonRep Theatre Company, under the artistic leadership of Derek Bertelsen and Sara Pavlak McGuire, is pleased to announce its 2019-20 season, to be presented at its new artistic home, The Edge Theater in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. 

AstonRep’s 2019-20 Season kicks off this fall with Peter Shaffer’s psychological thriller EQUUS, directed by Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen. This winter, the season continues with AstonRep’s 11th ANNUAL WRITERS’ SERIES, a daylong festival of workshops from talented local and regional writers. The season concludes next spring with the Chicago premiere of Sarah Treem’s courageous drama WHEN WE WERE YOUNG AND UNAFRAID, directed by Co-Artistic Director Sara Pavlak McGuire.

EQUUS and WHEN WE WERE YOUNG AND UNAFRAID will be staged on The Edge Theater’s mainstage, 5451 N. Broadway St. in Chicago. The 11th annual WRITERS SERIES will be presented in the venue’s studio space, the Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave. Tickets for all productions will go on sale at a later date. For additional information, visit

AstonRep Theatre Company’s 2019-20 Season includes:

September 27 – October 27, 2019
By Peter Shaffer
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen
Press opening: Saturday, September 28 at 7:30 pm

Inspired by a true story, EQUUS sets out to explore the complex relationships between devotion and myth. When teenager Alan Strang’s pathological fascination leads him to blind six horses in a Hampshire stable, psychiatrist Martin Dysart is tasked with uncovering the motive behind the boy’s violent act. As Dysart delves into Alan’s world of twisted spirituality, passion and sexuality, he begins to question his own sanity and motivations in a world driven by consumerism.

Saturday, November 23, 2019
Titles to be announced.

A festival of talented local and regional writers who have an opportunity to workshop near-finished plays and works in development. Over the course of a day, five to seven new works are read by professional actors followed by focused talkback sessions – a time-honored celebration of artistic collaboration.

April 9 – May 10, 2020
By Sarah Treem
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Sara Pavlak McGuire
Press opening: Saturday, April 11 at 7:30 pm

In the early 1970s, before Roe v. Wade, before the Violence Against Women Act, Agnes has turned her quiet bed and breakfast into one of the few spots where victims of domestic violence can seek refuge. But to Agnes’s dismay, her latest runaway, Mary Anne, is beginning to influence Agnes’s college-bound daughter Penny. As the drums of a feminist revolution grow louder outside of Agnes’s tiny world, Agnes is forced to confront her own presumptions about the women she’s spent her life trying to help.

Artist Biographies

Sir Peter Shaffer (Playwright, Equus) plays include: Five-Finger Exercise (1960), The Private Ear, The Public Eye (both 1962) and The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964). In 1965, Shaffer’s adroit farce Black Comedy was performed. Equus (1973; filmed 1977), dealing with a mentally disturbed stable boy's obsession with horses, and Amadeus (1979; filmed 1984), about the rivalry between Mozart and his fellow composer Antonio Salieri, were successes with both critics and the public. Later plays include the biblical epic Yonadab (1985), Lettice and Lovage (1987) and The Gift of the Gorgon (1992). Shaffer was knighted in 2001 and passed away in 2016.

Derek Bertelsen (Director, Equus) joined AstonRep in 2013 and he currently serves as Co-Artistic Director. Previous directing credits with AstonRep include Doubt, Next Fall, Wit, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Lyons, the world premiere of The Black Slot, The Laramie Project, and co-directing Eleemosynary with Jeremiah Barr. He produced the sold-out run of Four By Tenn, a festival of one-act plays by Tennessee Williams. He also serves as Artistic Director of The Comrades. Assistant director credits include Goodman and Steppenwolf. Regional credits include Festival 56, Shawnee Summer Playhouse, New Ground Theatre and five seasons at Timber Lake Playhouse.

Sarah Treem’s (Playwright, When We Were Young and Unafraid) A Feminine Ending premiered at Playwrights Horizons and went on to productions at South Coast Repertory and Portland Center Stage, among others. Her play The How and the Why premiered at the McCarter Theater starring Mercedes Ruehl (with Emily Mann directing) and went on to productions at Interact Theatre and Trinity Repertory, among others. Sarah’s other plays include Empty Sky (Bloomington Playwrights Project), Orphan Island (Sundance Theater Lab), Human Voices (New York Stage and Film) and Mirror Mirror. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Southcoast Repertory and Manhattan Theater Club, and developed work at the Ojai Playwrights Festival, the Screenwriters Colony, Hedgebrook and Yaddo. In addition to her theater career, Sarah wrote and produced all three seasons of the acclaimed HBO series "In Treatment," for which she won a WGA award and was nominated for a Humanitas award. She was also a writer/producer for the HBO series "How to Make it in America." She has taught playwriting at Yale University, where she earned her B.A. and M.F.A.

Sara Pavlak McGuire (Director, When We Were Young and Unafraid) has been a company member with AstonRep since 2013, where she primarily served as casting director. The 2018-19 season was her first as Co- Artistic Director.  Working primarily as an actor in Chicago, Sara has worked with many different companies around the city; namely Windy City Playhouse, Remy Bumppo, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Filament Theatre, Hubris Productions, Spartan Theatre and of course her home base at AstonRep. She is a two-time Jeff Award nominee (2011, 2018). She received the award in 2011 for her work in Agnes of God, with Hubris Productions. She has assistant directed several productions with AstonRep (Wit, The Lyons, The Laramie Project). Sara holds an MFA in acting from Western Illinois University.

About AstonRep Theatre Company:
AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 24 full-length productions and nine annual Writers’ Series. AstonRep Theatre Company is an ensemble of artists committed to creating exciting, intimate theatrical experiences that go beyond the front door to challenge audiences and spark discussion where the show is not the end of the experience: it is just the beginning.

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