Showing posts with label ACT OUT HOLIDAY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ACT OUT HOLIDAY. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ACT OUT HOLIDAY: Once Upon A People OPENING at Black Ensemble Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows will be there tonight and we'll have a full review up shortly.   

Just in time for the holiday season
Black Ensemble Theater announces
Written and directed by Rueben D. Echoles
Sponsored by
The Chicago Community Trust
Working in conjunction with
Studio One

November 30-December 30
running in repertory with The Curtis Mayfield Story

Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor invites audiences to share in the magic of the holiday season with the world-premiere production of Once Upon A People: A Dancesical, written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Associate Director Rueben D. Echoles and made possible through a generous grant from Chicago Community Trust. During a limited run, Once Upon A People will enchant audiences of all ages at the new Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago.  The show will run November 30 - December 30, 2013 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays (with an added preview performance on Saturday, November 30) in repertory with The Curtis Mayfield Story.  

Once Upon A People is an original African Fairytale that exemplifies the true power of love told through spoken word, beautiful music and exhilarating dance. It's a touching and warm adventure that is perfect for the holiday season. We will journey to the mystical land of Mirah where Prince Oba and Princess Erin take us on a fascinating mystical experience that teaches us to embrace the joy of living. 

The cast features Alexis J. Rogers (Queen Imani), Donald Craig Manuel (King Babatunde), Eric Lewis (Prince Oba), Jazzelle Morriss (Princess Erin) and Claudia Cunningham (Zahara).  Cast members playing various roles include: Camille Robinson, A’rese Emokpae, Trequon Tate, Mark J.P. Hood, LaRaia Gribble, La Dreauna Johnson, Kudzaishe Jeti, Kyle Smith and Aramie C. Payton.

The book and lyrics for Once Upon A People are written by Rueben D. Echoles, with vocal and musical arrangements by Rueben D. Echoles, Alexis J. Rogers and Kelvin Roston, Jr.. As with all Black Ensemble productions, the production features outstanding musicians.  The Musical Director is Kelvin Roston, Jr.  and the band leader is Robert Reddrick. The production features students from Studio One, a Southside organization dedicated to providing professional dance classes for children for over 25 years. 

Title:                             Once Upon A People: A Dancesical
Written &
Directed by:                  Rueben D. Echoles
Vocal and Musical
Arrangements by:          Alexis J. RogersRueben D. Echoles and Kelvin Roston Jr.
Musical Director:           Kelvin Roston Jr.
Band Leader:                Robert Reddrick

Schedule:                     Monday:   Dec. 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 7:30pm
                                    Tuesday:  Dec. 10, 17, 24 at 7:30pm
Sunday:                      Dec.  8, 15, 22 and 29 at 7:30pm

Location:                      Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street.
                                    Valet parking is available.
Ticket prices:                $45.00 for adults and $30.00 for children under 12

Box Office:                   Buy online at or call (773) 769-4451

The Black Ensemble Theater 
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Five Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists.

On November 18, 2011, The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened and is able to accommodate larger-scale productions, bigger audiences and a wider range of educational programming. The new facility includes amenities such as a 299-seat main stage theater (double the capacity of the original venue); 14 offices, classroom space; rehearsal hall, dance studio, scene shop, costume shop, and wardrobe rooms; seven dressing rooms; rehearsal room for musicians; front lobby space with concession areas; and an indoor parking garage.  

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts.  For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, please visit or call 773-769-4451.

Act Out Extended: 

Written by Jackie Taylor
Directed by Jackie Taylor and Daryl Brooks
Black Ensemble’s tribute to Chicago’s own music legend Curtis Mayfield is the story of a musical giant who is equally celebrated as a master singer, song writer and record producer.  Mayfield’s timeless music is known and celebrated all over the world, and he is the winner of the Grammy Legend Award (1994), the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1995) and a double inductee into both The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1991, 1999) and the Grammy Hall of Fame. From the music of The Impressions like “Gypsy Woman,” “I’m So Proud,” “Choice of Colors” to movie hits like “Super Fly,” The Curtis Mayfield Story will bring to vibrant, theatrical life the rare musical genius that was Curtis Mayfield. 

ChiIL Live Shows caught THE STORY OF CURTIS MAYFIELD: IT’S ALL-RIGHT TO HAVE A GOOD TIME, back on opening night and we highly recommend it.   This is a must see.   Click here for tickets and more info.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ACT OUT HOLIDAY: “A KLINGON CHRISTMAS CAROL” at The Raven 11/30-12/29 & ECC 12/7 Only

DEC. 7 AT 7:30 P.M.

Want a truly unique holiday treat?   How about dinner and a Klingon Christmas Carol?!

Commedia Beauegard brings their new production of “A Klingon Christmas Carol” written by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom and Sasha Walloch and translated into Klingon by Laura Thurston, Bill Hedrick, Chris Lipscombe, and Christopher Kidder-Mostrom, to the ECC Arts Center, on the Elgin Community College Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, for one performance only, Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. For more information visit  In addition to this special performance at the ECC Arts Center, “A Klingon Christmas Carol” runs Nov. 30-Dec.29 at The Raven Theatre. For more information visit

 “A Klingon Christmas Carol,” directed by Kidder-Mostrom, adapts Dickens’ classic tale of ghosts and redemption into a story of Klingon SQuja' (pronounced SKHOO-jah) overcoming cowardice to reclaim his honor. Performed in Klingon with English supertitles and a Vulcan narrator, Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike will love this inspired take on a holiday classic. “Those of you who can’t wait for ComiCon to break out that red shirt costume or your forehead ridges will undoubtedly find this a most honorable way to get into the holiday spirit…3 Stars,” says Chicago Theater Beat.

Kidder-Mostrom and Walloch’s “A Klingon Christmas Carol” was first performed in  St. Paul, Minn. in 2007.  2013 marks the 8th time that Commedia Beauregard has produced the play (four times in St. Paul, Minn.; four times in Chicago; 2010 had shows in both cities).  The exciting new 2013 production features a new multi-level set, new costumes that blend Victorian England with Klingon aesthetics and a 15-person cast with Elizabeth Richards as Narrator, Clark Bender as SQuja’ (Scrooge), Colin Fewell as QachIt (Bob Cratchit). For a complete list of the cast and design team, visit

The mission of Commedia Beauregard is “to translate the universal human experience to the stage: to expand our horizons and share knowledge of all cultures, translating between languages and between arts to create theater that is beautiful in expression.” Commedia Beauregard was founded 1999 in St. Paul, Minn., by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom (then, Christopher O. Kidder).Commedia Beauregard has been headquartered in Chicago since 2011 and recently became a resident company of the West Stage of the Raven Theatre Complex in Chicago.

Tickets for the ECC Arts Center Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. performance of “A Klingon Christmas Carol” are $32. A three-course, pre-show dinner prepared by ECC’s award-winning Culinary Arts and Hospitality program can be purchased online for an additional $29. The menu includes a Mixed Green Salad with Pickled Red Beets (inspired by the Klingon dish Gagh), Sliced Beef with Horseradish Sauce accompanied by Roasted Shallot and Garlic Shipped Potatoes (inspired by the Klingon dish Heart of Targ), and Cranberry Panna Cotta (inspired by a favorite Klingon beverage, Bloodwine).  Dinners are served at 5:30 p.m. in the Spartan Terrace Restaurant, located in the lobby of the ECC Arts Center. Dinners must be ordered on or before Monday, Dec. 2.

Tickets for the ECC Arts Center performance and pre-show dinner can be purchased online at or at the ECC box office located in the Arts Center. Box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. To purchase tickets by phone, call 847-622-0300. All major credit cards are accepted.

In addition to this special performance at the ECC Arts Center, “A Klingon Christmas Carol” also runs Nov. 30-Dec.29 at The Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St. For tickets and more information, visit or call 773-338-2177.

The ECC Arts Center, located in Building H on the Elgin Community College Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, presents amazing artists in intimate theater settings. Delicious dinners prepared through a partnership with the ECC's award-winning culinary arts program often accompany events. Parking is plentiful and free.

For more information about the ECC Arts Center, visit or call 847-622-0300. The arts center also can be followed on Twitter at Become a fan of the arts center on Facebook at

Friday, November 15, 2013

ACT OUT HOLIDAY: About Face Theatre Presents The Return of the Hit Holiday Musical WE THREE LIZAS

New Book and Expanded Score!
About Face Theatre Presents
The Return of the Hit Holiday Musical

Book & Lyrics by AFT Artistic Associate Scott Bradley
Music & Additional Lyrics by Alan Schmuckler
Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Scott Ferguson
Musical Direction by Aaron Benham
November 27, 2013 – January 5, 2014 at Stage 773

Feeling "Mary" and Gay this holiday season?   You'll be in good company at We Three Lizas!   Embrace your inner diva and come on out for a fabulous night.

WeThreeLizas-5 (left to right) Danielle Plisz and Scott Duff in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s production of WE THREE LIZAS with book & lyrics by Scott Bradley, music & additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler and directed by Scott Ferguson.  Photo by Cheryl Mann.

About Face Theatre’s sparkly, queer holiday hit musical WE THREE LIZAS is back and better than ever – with a new book and expanded score!  Featuring book and lyrics by Scott Bradley*, music and additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler, direction by Scott Ferguson*, music direction by Aaron Benham and choreography by Patrick Andrews*WE THREE LIZAS will play November 27, 2013 – January 5, 2014 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are available online at or, in person at the Stage 773 Box Office (1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago) or by calling (773) 327-5252.  The press opening is Thursday, December 5 at 7:30 pm.

WE THREE LIZAS will feature many of the original cast members including Scott Duff*John Francisco*Sharriese Hamilton, Danielle Plisz (Jeff Award-nominated), Dana Tretta and Andrew Swan in addition to newcomers Mark David KaplanJames Nedrud and Bethany Thomas. Musicians include Aaron Benham (piano/conductor), Jed Feder (drums) and Debra Johnson (bass).  *Denotes AFT Artistic Associates.

Box maker Conrad Ticklebottom’s life has hit a block. Once, Conrad and his purple box ignited an entire movement in art and design, but now he finds himself alone, forgotten and teetering on ruin. The holidays bring three magical figures to his door – a trio of Liza Minnellis to escort him on a fabulous journey through what-was, what-could-be and what-the-f*?!, redeeming his lost promise and re-inventing a brand-new Conrad Ticklebottom.  It’s a quirky holiday musical tale of hope, transformation… and the power of Liza!

“Liza’s back and she’s better than ever! After having played to sold-out audiences in 2012 at the Steppenwolf Garage and in concert at Joe’s Pub in New York this summer, I’m thrilled to bring back this hilarious and moving holiday musical,” comments About Face Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff. “In this year of development at About Face, we are proud to support the continued growth of this project and the artists who’ve created it.  Artistic Associate Scott Bradley and composer Alan Schmuckler have developed a sensational new book and score and we’re delighted to share it with Chicago audiences.  If you missed it last year, get your tickets now: it’s bound to sell out again this year!  And if you saw it last year, you’ve got to see this fantastic new version and make We Three Lizas your new holiday tradition!” adds Volkoff.

The production team for WE THREE LIZAS includes: Jerre Dye (set design), Mieka van der Ploeg and Robert S. Kuhn (costume design), Mac Vaughey (lighting design), Josh Horvath (sound design), Eleanor Kahn (properties design), Davis McCarty (projections design) and Helen Lattyak (stage manager).

Book and Lyrics:  AFT Artistic Associate Scott Bradley
Music and Additional Lyrics: Alan Schmuckler
Director:  AFT Artistic Associate Scott Ferguson
Musical Director: Aaron Benham
ChoreographyAFT Artistic Associate Patrick Andrews
Featuring:  Featuring AFT Artistic Associates Scott Duff and John Francisco with Sharriese Hamilton, Mark David Kaplan, James Nedrud, Danielle Plisz, Bethany Thomas, Dana Tretta and Andrew Swan.
Musicians: Aaron Benham (piano/conductor), Jed Feder (drums) and Debra Johnson (bass).

Location:  Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Dates:  Previews: Wednesday, November 27 at 7:30 pm, Friday, November 29 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 30 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, December 1 at 3 pm

Regular run:  Friday, December 6th, 2013 – Sunday, January 5, 2014
Curtain Times:  Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets:  Previews: $20 adults/$10 students. Regular run: $45 adults/$20 students. Group discounts available. Tickets are available online at or, in person at the Stage 773 Box Office (1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago) or by calling (773) 327-5252.  Additional processing fees apply for phone and internet orders.

WeThreeLizas-3 (left to right) Scott Duff and Danielle Plisz in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s production of WE THREE LIZAS with book & lyrics by Scott Bradley, music & additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler and directed by Scott Ferguson.  Photo by Cheryl Mann.

About the Creative Team:
Scott Bradley (Book & Lyrics) is co-founder of Chicago's The Scooty & JoJo Show, for which he wrote and developed the critically-acclaimed musical works Alien Queen, Carpenters Halloween, Rosemary Clooney’s Baby, Mollywood, Tran: The Atari MusicalThe Scooty & JoJo Variety Hour, Thank God! It’s the Scooty & JoJo Show and Diva Brunch.  As a writer, director, designer and performer, he has collaborated in the development of new works at New York's PNBC/HERE (Fiona Apple Kwaanza Explosion), New Works Project (Atlantis City, RSVP), adobe theater company (The Eight, Tracker), Next Stage Theater (Adventures of Bobbi & Vaughan), HOME for Contemporary Theatre & Art (No Shame), BACA Downtown (A Child is Being Beaten) and CBGB's Galleria (I’ll Go On); Chicago's About Face Theatre (We Three Lizas, The Homosexuals), Walkabout Theatre Company (Crow), BigTop JoJo (Phenomenal Phantasmagoria), Hell In A Handbag Productions (The Birds, Caged Dames); Washington, D.C.'s Washington Shakespeare Company (Romeo & Julius Caesar); Seattle's UMO Ensemble (Maldoror), Open Circle Theater (Ballyhoo, Poona the F*ckdog, ETA: Phoenix, Little Boy, Return to the Garden of Allah) and Bald Faced Lie (Slow Children). He is an Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre, former Artistic Director of Seattle's Open Circle Theater, and served as Associate Artistic Director at BACA Downtown, Brooklyn, NY. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, AEA and SAG/AFTRA.

Alan Schmuckler (Music and Additional Lyrics) will see his new musical Days Like Today (book by Laura Eason) premiere at Chicago's Writers' Theatre in 2014. His musical The Emperor’s New Clothes (book by David Holstein) enjoyed a critically acclaimed premiere production at the Tony-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and received its international debut at the Stage Artz Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia. He and Michael Mahler co-wrote book, music and lyrics for Chicago Shakespeare’s How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?, which premiered and remounted in 2007, and has since been produced nationwide, including at the Chicago Humanities Festival, the National Alliance for Music Theatre’s 21st Annual Festival of New Musicals, and at theaters and schools nationwide. His concert credits include Alan Schmuckler: I Miss The City (Joe’s Pub, NYC); and, with Mahler, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (Washington, D.C.), and numerous Chicago gigs with their band, the Lincoln Squares, whose debut EP, The Lincoln Squares!, is available online. Alan’s music and lyrics have been featured in the Fourth Annual Broadway in South Africa Gala; the York Theatre Company’s NEO6 Benefit Concert; the Chicago “Monday Nights, New Voices” series; and the National Alliance for Music Theatre’s New Works Summit and Songwriters’ Showcase. Alan is a three-time Joseph Jefferson-nominated actor and recently appeared in Nikolai and the Others, (Lincoln Center Theater). He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and the School at Steppenwolf, and a member of AEA and ASCAP.

Scott Ferguson (Director) is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Theatrebam Chicago where he wrote and created the hit shows, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, Schoolhouse Rock Live Too! and The Main Street Kids’ Club: A MathStart Musical. Scott has directed the SRLive! National Tours (’99-’01) with Troupe American, Inc., the Off-Broadway productions at The Atlantic and the Lamb’s Little Theatre, as well as many productions across the country. Scott is a proud Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre, where he directed Xena Live! Episode One, the Jeff Nominated Xena Live! Episode Two, Xena Lives! The Musical and Say You Love Satan and last year's We Three Lizas. As a Founding Collective Member of Bailiwick Chicago, he directed the critically acclaimed Aida and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Scott has also directed for Hell in a Handbag, Filament, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook and Watertower. For the former Bailiwick Repertory, Scott directed the Non-Equity Jeff Nominated A Man of No Importance as well as The Cousins Grimm. Regionally, he has directed for Playhouse On The Square in Memphis, The Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, PA, The Wohlfahrt Haus Theatre in Wytheville, Virginia, Rhodes College and New Trier High School. Favorites include; The Rocky Horror Show, Return To The Forbidden Planet, The Mystery Of Irma Vep, Evita, Bat Boy The Musical, Jekyll & Hyde, Floyd Collins, Disney’s Aida, Beauty And The Beast, Saucy Jack & The Space Vixens, Year With Frog And Toad, Big River, Altar Boyz, Xanadu and Pippin. 

Aaron Benham (Musical Director) is a local music director, conductor, arranger and composer. Chicago credits: A Cole Porter Songbook and Time After Time: The Songs of Jule Styne, Theo-Ubique; Anyone Can Whistle and Putting it Together, Porchlight Music Theatre; Sweet Charity and Days Like Today, Writer's Theatre; Avenue Q and Spamalot, NightBlue; RockShow(Tunes) and The Rise of the Numberless, Bailiwick Chicago.  He is a member of the Improvised Sondheim Project, and has performed locally and aboard the Norwegian Epic cruise ship with Second City.  Up next: The Sweet Smell of Success, Kokandy Productions, and the Chicago premiere of Carrie with Bailiwick Chicago.  BFA, Emerson College.

About Face Theatre (Andrew Volkoff, Artistic Director) is one of Chicago’s most acclaimed theatre companies, and is a national leader in the development of new work exploring gender and sexual identity.  Since its founding by Kyle Hall and Eric Rosen in 1995, the company has premiered more than 48 world premieres by writers and directors who have been recognized with several Tony Awards, The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The MacArthur Fellowship and dozens of Joseph Jefferson Awards.

WeThreeLizas-1 (pictured) Danielle Plisz (above) and Scott Duff (below) in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s production of WE THREE LIZAS with book & lyrics by Scott Bradley, music & additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler and directed by Scott Ferguson.  Photo by Cheryl Mann.

ACT OUT HOLIDAY: HoliDAZE by Step Up Productions at The Athenaeum Theatre

Step Up Productions presents HoliDaze, a gift-wrapped line-up of original Christmas one-acts showcasing the dysfunctional chaos and joyous celebration the holidays bring.  ChiIL Live Shows will be reviewing opening night.   In the mean time, book your tickets in advance to guarantee your choice of dates.   Theatre tickets make excellent gift ideas that take up little space and make lasting memories.

HoliDaze features works by Lisa Dillman, Tate Geborkoff, Nambi E. Kelley, Joshua Rollins and Steve Simoncic and plays November 30 – December 22, 2013 at The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are available online at  and  or by calling The Athenaeum Box Office at (773) 935-6875.  

Five talented playwrights explore the holiday season and the experiences of love, happiness, craziness, sadness, magic, anger, loss and disappointment. Join a fool and wench for a light hearted Christmas in a royal palace; an engaged couple wanting to have the best Christmas ever; a family’s experience of loss and larger-than-life love; a first date over coffee with a special gift; and an unexpected visitor on Christmas Eve for this festive line-up that truly reveals the difficulties and joys of relationships during the holiday season.

HoliDaze is directed by Tara Branham, Daniel Bryant, Adrianne Cury, Laura Hooper and Vincent Teninty and features Elizabeth Antonucci, Nadirah Bost, Jake Carr, Greg Geffrard, Jennifer Glasse, David Goodloe, Andy Luther, Eric Lynch, Connor McNamara, Ashley Neal, Nick Polus, Amanda Powell and Gina Taliafero.

We were so impressed recently with Step Up Productions' fall show, The BenchMark.   It was thought provoking, expertly executed theatre with a social conscience.   They not only raised awareness and compassion for the homeless, they raised money for the homeless, too!  Once again, they will be turning a portion of their profits to philanthropy.   The Winter show will benefit the following:

Step Up Productions will be collecting donations and non-perishable goods for Lakeview Pantry at each performance. Proceeds from HoliDaze will also benefit LINDEN OAKS @ Edward Hospital, which treats Seasonal Affective Disorder.  As part of its mission, Step Up Productions donates a portion of its proceeds to organizations in and around Chicago that support issues often highlighted in its productions.

The full HoliDaze line-Up includes:

Christmas is Made for Fools by Lisa Dillman
Directed by Adrianne Cury
Featuring Eric Lynch, Ashley Neal and Nick Polus
A depressed court jester, tasked with creating a holiday pageant for the king, gets a lesson in love and the art of merrymaking from a quick-witted palace wench. 

And The Snow Came Down by Tate Geborkoff
Directed by Tara Branham
Featuring Jake Carr, Greg Geffrard and Gina Taliafero
Recently engaged, Stuart and Phillip are busy trying to unite their families during “the best Christmas ever.” In a moment’s reprieve, Stuart and his future mother-in-law, Karen, escape the party and their slow-burning hostility comes to blows over love, marriage, family and Phillip. And the Snow Came Down reflects on how families can lovingly be at each other’s throats with charming rancor and razor wit.

For My Brothers Whenever I May Find Them by Nambi E. Kelley
Directed by Daniel Bryant
Featuring Nadirah Bost, Jennifer Glasse, David Goodloe and Eric Lynch 
What happens to a family when it loses its matriarch just before the holidays?  Will they come together in love or allow their loss to separate them? For My Brothers Whenever I May Find Them tells the story of family and asks the question: will love triumph over fear in the face of loss?

The Intruder by Joshua Rollins
Directed by Laura Hooper
Featuring Elizabeth Antonucci and Connor McNamara
The holidays are a time for family to come together – but what happens when all flights are cancelled and a couple is left to spend the time together – whether their relationship is ready for it or not?  Oh, and there's a squirrel loose in the apartment.  And he's hungry.  And evil. 

The Space Behind Your Heart by Steve Simoncic 
Directed by Vincent Teninty
Featuring Andy Luther and Amanda Powell
The story of Connor and Sloan, two 40-somethings on a first date brokered by the online dating service, Christian Mingle. A gift is exchanged, an understanding is achieved, and there is a moment of possibility for people simply trying to find a moment of dignity and genuine human connection after life has convinced them that might not be possible.

The production team for HoliDaze includes: Sarah JHP Watkins (set design), Raquel Adorno (costume design), Becca Jeffords (lighting design), Steve Baldwin (sound design), Haley Borodine (props design), Dorthea Walstrom (makeup design), Adrienne Bader (production stage manager) and Catherine Allen (production manager).

Title:  HoliDaze
Playwrights & Directors: Lisa Dillman & Adrianne Cury, Tate Geborkoff & Tara Branham, Nambi E. Kelley & Daniel Bryant, Joshua Rollins & Laura Hooper and Steve Simoncic & Vincent Teninty.

Cast: Elizabeth Antonucci, Nadirah Bost, Jake Carr, Greg Geffrard, Jennifer Glasse, David Goodloe, Andy Luther, Eric Lynch, Connor McNamara, Ashley Neal, Nick Polus, Amanda Powell and Gina Taliafero.

Location:  The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago
Dates:  Previews: Saturday, November 30 at 8 pm, Sunday, December 1 at 2 pm and Monday, December 2 at 8 pm

Regular run:  Thursday, December 5 – Sunday, December 22, 2013
Curtain Times:  Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $30. Discounts: $17 students (with current ID), $25 seniors, $16 rush tickets (one hour before curtain).
Industry Night: Monday, December 16 at 8 pm. $15 with code “SPIND.”

Benefit Performance:  For Lakeview Pantry and LINDEN OAKS @ Edward Hospital. Includes appetizers, one drink and cash bar.  $30 – no discounts for this performance.

Tickets are available online at  and  or by calling The Athenaeum Box Office at (773) 935-6875. Group rates available.

About the Playwrights:  

Lisa Dillman is a Chicago-based playwright whose plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, where she is playwright in residence. She has received new play commissions from the Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, the Chicago Humanities Festival and Rivendell.  Her work is published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus, Playscripts, Inc., Heinemann and Dramatic Publishing. 

Tate Geborkoff is proud member of Chicago Dramatists and the Dramatists Guild of America and has worked as a playwright and poet for over 12 years. Tate’s work is heavily influenced by the Meisner Technique and the study of human behavior. He studied extensively with Amy Morton and at Black Box Acting, where his full-length plays Minotaur and It Rained all Night are used throughout the text analysis courses. Most recently, his poetry was published by Burningword and he participated in the ACT UP! FIGHT AIDS! play festival where his piece, You Haven’t Even Seen My Bad Side Yet, received rave reviews.

Nambi E. Kelley has penned plays for Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Court Theatre in Chicago, Lincoln Center in New York, and internationally. Most recently, Kelley returned to Singapore to perform in her co-adaptation of The Book of Living and Dying that will be published in an anthology of plays in Singapore in 2014. Recent playwriting honors include: Goodman Theatre Playwright’s Unit where she penned For Her As A Piano for which she received an award for mental health advocacy, Xtigone (American Theatre of Harlem workshop production) and Harlem 9’s 48 Hours in Harlem Playwright 2013. 

Joshua Rollins' play Concealed Carr ywas selected for the 2013 Seven Devils' Playwrighting Conference with ID Theatre.  His play A Girl With Sun In Her Eyes debuted in Chicago in 2011 with Pine Box Theater. It is in development for production in Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York. Other works include American Rex, which premiered with Chicago Street Theatre and was a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference; Darlin' which will debut early 2014 in Chicago with Step Up Productions and 25 Saints, which completed a run at Victory Garden’s Greenhouse Theatre in Chicago in 2013 and will be produced in Seattle and LA later this year.  His one acts have been produced by Pine Box, American Theatre Company, the Artistic Home, and many others. Joshua is also an actor and has appeared with companies including The Blue Man Group, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Gift Theatre, About Face Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare and the Huntington Theatre. Film credits include Batman: The Dark Knight, Contagion, Living Hell, Killshot, Awake and The Lake House, among others. He is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf.

Steven Simoncic’s past theatrical productions include Once Upon a Time in Detroit, Broken Fences, Toxic Donut, Maraschino Red, Heat Wave, Water Fight, Words with C, Black Coffee, Day Care, The Space Behind Your Heart, A Moderate Threat, Something Blue and Discovery Channel.  His plays have received productions, readings and workshops at The Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, The Second City, Pegasus Players, The Baruch Center for the Performing Arts, Stageplays Theatre New York and The Soho Theatre in London. Steven is currently a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and the Writer in Residence at 16th Street Theatre. He has written several short films, been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and has recently won an Emmy.  

Partner Charities for HoliDaze

Lakeview Pantry’s mission is to eliminate hunger in the community by providing food to fill the basic need of hungry people; increasing clients’ independence through self-help initiatives and other innovative programs; and raising awareness of hunger and poverty while working towards solutions to eliminate them.

LINDEN OAKS @ Edward Hospital specializes in treating behavioral and emotional health disorders, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of seasonal depression. Step Up Productions will donate five light therapy lamps ($300 each), which are used to help patients during SAD therapy sessions.

About Step Up Productions
Step Up Productions is a non-profit theater company with a mission to communicate stories authentically, inspiring audiences to identify and embrace their own personal truths. 

Step Up became a non-profit, in part, to better serve other non-profit organizations in and around Chicago that are committed to helping others become self sufficient.  As part of its mission, Step Up Productions donates a portion of its proceeds to organizations in and around Chicago that support issues often highlighted in its productions. “The need in our own backyard is tremendous,” comments Founder and Artistic Director Elizabeth Antonucci.  “We believe theatre is a medium that transcends generation, race, social status, ethnicity – and it is our hope that by presenting theatre that portrays authentic stories, we can inspire others to help too.  Giving back to community organizations helps us do our part in helping creating equal opportunities for all.”

Recent Past Productions:

The BenchMark
by Richard A. Roberts
Directed by: Tara Branham
Based on a true story, this poignant play chronicles the life of Mark, a charming, eloquent homeless man who calls a lonely, little Chicago park bench his home. As he journeys through the summer, autumn and winter seasons, he seeks solace in alcohol and literature in order to escape the harsh realities of his life and world around him. Combining social commentary, pathos and biting humor, this bittersweet satire is an elegy to the misfit in all of us.

*Proceeds to benefit the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness

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