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Showing posts with label AstonRep Theatre Company. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AstonRep Theatre Company. Show all posts

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Chicago Premiere of When We Were Young and Unafraid Via AstonRep Theatre Company May 13 – June 12, 2022 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Chicago Premiere!

AstonRep Theatre Company Presents

WHEN WE WERE YOUNG AND UNAFRAID


By Sarah Treem

Directed by Sara Pavlak McGuire

May 13 – June 12, 2022 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater


AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to conclude its 2020-21 season with the Chicago premiere of Sarah Treem’s courageous drama When We Were Young and Unafraid, directed by Sara Pavlak McGuire*, playing May 13 – June 12, 2022 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129. I'll be out for the press opening Saturday, May 14th, so check back shortly for my full review. 

The cast includes JoAnn Birt, Halle Hoffman, Sean Kelly*, Julie Partyka and Claire Allegra Taylor. Understudies include Tess Galbiati, Hilary Hensler, Maddy Moderhack, Jack Rodgers and Effie Rose.

*Denotes AstonRep Company Members.

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.

Director Sara Pavlak McGuire* comments, “Against the backdrop of the early 1970s, Treem's play shines a light on the faces of women who fought (each in their own ways) to create lasting and powerful change in America. At the same time, this play provides a cautionary tale for today's woman of how close she may be to witnessing an oppression that this generation has not yet seen. And so we hope it provokes her to continue to fight; whether it be quietly from her home or loudly from the front lines. May she be inspired by the women in this story to use her voice and to help the women around her. After two years, we are honored to finally present the story of these four women and are thrilled to premiere it here in Chicago.”

The production team to date includes Jeremiah Barr* (scenic, props and specialty make-up design), kClare McKellaston (costume, hair and wig design) Samantha Barr* (lighting design, production manager), Robert Tobin* and Melanie Thompson* (sound design), Claire Yearman (intimacy director), Kathryn Greenlea (costume assistant), Maryah Paige (assistant lighting designer, assistant stage manager) and Kristi Roshto (stage manager).



COVID protocol: AstonRep is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable theatre-going experience. At this time, we will require all patrons to provide proof of vaccination when entering the theatre and patrons will be required to wear a face mask during the performance. As this guidance is rapidly evolving, so may our protocols, so please check our website for the most up to date information


Location: The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago

Dates: Preview: Friday, May 13 at 7:30 pm

Press performance: Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Sunday, May 14 – Sunday, June 12, 2022

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

Tickets: Previews: $10; Regular run: $20. Student/seniors discounts available. Tickets are currently available at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129.


About the Artists

Sarah Treem’s (Playwright) 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) has been a company member with AstonRep since 2013, where she
serves as a member of the Artistic Core Leadership. Working primarily as an actor in Chicago, Sara has worked with many different companies around the city; namely Windy City Playhouse, Timeline Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Filament Theatre, Hubris Productions, Spartan Theatre and of course her home 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) and has served as casting director for the past seven years. 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 numerous full-length productions, along with their annual Writer’s Series. They are currently in residence at The Edge Theater. 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. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

OPENING: GOD OF CARNAGE Via AstonRep Theatre Company November 12 – December 12, 2021

 ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

AstonRep Theatre Company Presents

GOD OF CARNAGE

By Yasmina Reza

Translated by Christopher Hampton

Co-Directed by Derek Bertelsen & Robert Tobin

November 12 – December 12, 2021 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater

 

AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to welcome back audiences this fall with a revival of Yasmina Reza’s frenetic dark comedy God of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton and co-directed by directed by Derek Bertelsen* and Robert Tobin*. God of Carnage will play November 12 – December 12, 2021 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129. I'll be out for the press opening Saturday, November 13th, so check back soon for my full review.


Please note: all patrons will need to provide proof of vaccination when picking up tickets and wear a mask inside the venue during the performance. Please visit AstonRep's safety page for additional COVID-related information.

 


Two high-strung couples, Alan and Annette Raleigh and Michael and Veronica Novak, decide to meet one evening for a civilized discussion about a playground altercation between their two young sons. What follows is a comically explosive downhill slide from polite, political correctness to full-on character assassination. A no-holds-barred look at what happens when the littlest things end up pushing us completely over the edge.

God of Carnage co-directors Derek Bertelsen and Robert Tobin comment, “We at AstonRep are excited to go back to our roots to produce this though provoking and timeless play, which we also presented nine seasons ago. With a new cast and new venue, this seems like the perfect script for us as we get back to producing live theatre again.”

The cast includes Mark Tacderas, Erin Kathleen O'Brien*, Mike Newquist, and Maggie Antonijevic

 The production team includes Jeremiah Barr* (scenic/props design, technical director), Uriel Gomez (costume design), Becca Venable (lighting design), Robert Tobin* (sound design), Samantha Barr* (production manager) and Heather Branham (stage manager).

 *Denotes AstonRep Company Members.

 

PRODUCTION DETAILS:

Cast (in alphabetical order): Maggie Antonijevic (Annette), Mike Newquist (Michael), Erin Kathleen O'Brien* (Veronica) and Mark Tacderas (Alan). Understudies: Claire Allegra Taylor.

Location: The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews:  Friday, November 12 at 7:30 pm

Press performance: Saturday, November 13 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Sunday, November 14 – Sunday, December 12, 2021

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance Thursday, November 25 (Thanksgiving Day).

Tickets: Previews: $10; Regular run: $20. Student/seniors discounts available. Tickets are currently available at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129.

 

About the Artists

Yasmina Reza (Playwright) is a French playwright and novelist, based in Paris, whose works have all been multi-award-winning, critical and popular international successes, produced worldwide and translated into 35 languages. She has written seven plays (Conversations After a Burial, The Passage of Winter, ‘Art,’ The Unexpected Man, Life x 3, A Spanish Play, God of Carnage, How You Talk the Game) and six novels (“Hammerklavier,” “Une Desolation (Desolation),” “Adam Haberberg,” “Dans la Luge d'Arthur Schopenhauer,” ‘Nulle Part” and “L'Aube, le Soir ou la Nuit (Dawn Dusk or Night)”). Films include: Le Pique-Nique de Lulu Kreutz, directed by Didier Martiny and Chicas, written and directed by the author.

Derek Bertelsen (Co-Director) joined AstonRep in 2012. Previous directing credits with AstonRep include Doubt, Next Fall, Wit, The Laramie Project, The Crowd You're In With, Equus and co-directing Eleemosynary with Jeremiah Barr. He served as Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Comrades from 2016-2020 where he directed and produced numerous productions. Summer stock credits include Festival 56, Shawnee Summer Playhouse, and five seasons at Timber Lake Playhouse.

Robert Tobin (Co-Director, God of Carnage) is an actor, director and founder of AstonRep. Select directing credits with the company include 1984, The Women of Lockerbie, and The Water’s Edge. Acting credits with AstonRep include Equus, The Lonesome West, Time Stands Still, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Doubt among others. Locally, he has worked with Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, First Folio, Oak Park Festival Theatre and Redtwist, among others. Regional credits include Colorado, Montana and Utah Shakespeare Festivals.  

 

About AstonRep Theatre Company:

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced numerous full-length productions, along with their annual Writer’s Series. They are currently in residence at The Edge Theater. 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. 

 

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.

EQUUS
By Peter Shaffer
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen


THE 11TH ANNUAL WRITERS SERIES


Chicago Premiere!
WHEN WE WERE YOUNG AND UNAFRAID
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 www.astonrep.com.

AstonRep Theatre Company’s 2019-20 Season includes:

September 27 – October 27, 2019
EQUUS
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
The 11TH ANNUAL WRITER’S SERIES
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
WHEN WE WERE YOUNG AND UNAFRAID – Chicago Premiere!
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.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

OPENING: THE CROWD YOU’RE IN WITH Via AstonRep Theatre Company at The Raven Theatre May 16 – June 16, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

AstonRep Theatre Company Announces Casting for
THE CROWD YOU’RE IN WITH
By Rebecca Gilman
 Directed by Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen
May 16 – June 16, 2019 at The Raven Theatre

AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to announce casting for
Rebecca Gilman’s drama THE CROWD YOU’RE IN WITH, directed by Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen*


The cast of AstonRep Theatre Company’s THE CROWD YOU’RE IN WITH includes (top, l to r) Co-Artistic Director Sara Pavlak McGuire with Maggie Antonijevic, Lynne Baker (bottom, l to r) Javier Carmona, Martin Diaz-Valdes, Nick Freed and Erin O’Brien.

THE CROWD YOU’RE IN WITH plays May 16 – June 16, 2019 at The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129. 

A backyard barbeque is the perfect place to tackle life's big questions: Is the chicken done? Does the band need a new tune? Is this the right time to have a baby? Gilman's fresh and moving play takes an intimate look at modern families, friendships and the ins and outs of love.

The cast includes AstonRep Co-Artistic Director Sara Pavlak McGuire* with Maggie Antonijevic, Lynne Baker, Javier Carmona, Martin Diaz-Valdes, Nick Freed and Erin O’Brien.

The production team for THE CROWD YOU’RE IN WITH includes Jeremiah Barr* (scenic/props design), Uriel Gomez (costume design), Samantha Barr* (lighting design), Melanie Thompson* (sound design), Aja Wiltshire* (assistant director) and Melanie Kulas (stage manager).

*Denotes AstonRep Company Members.

Cast (in alphabetical order): Maggie Antonijevic (Windsong), Lynne Baker (Karen), Javier Carmona (Tom), Martin Diaz-Valdes (Jasper), Nick Freed (Dan), Erin O’Brien (Darcy) and Sara Pavlak McGuire* (Melinda).

Understudies: Lara Caprini* and David Coupe

Location: The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, May 16 at 8 pm and Friday, May 17 at 8 pm
Press performance: Saturday, May 18 at 8 pm
Regular run: Sunday, May 19 – Sunday, June 16, 2019
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3:30 pm
Tickets: Previews: $12; Regular run: $25. Student/seniors $15. Tickets are currently available at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129.

About the Artists
Rebecca Gilman (Playwright) is an artistic associate at Goodman Theatre. Her plays include Luna Gale, A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Dollhouse, Boy Gets Girl, Spinning Into Butter, Blue Surge (all of which were originally produced by the Goodman), Soups, Stews, and Casseroles, 1976 and The Crowd You’re in With (also at the Goodman), The Glory of Living; The Sweetest Swing in Baseball and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Boy Gets Girl received an Olivier nomination for Best New Play. Gilman was named a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for The Glory of Living. She is a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America and a board member of the ACLU of Illinois. A graduate of the MFA in playwriting program from the University of Iowa, Gilman is now a professor of playwriting and screenwriting at Northwestern University as part of its MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage program. In 2016, she was inducted into the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

Derek Bertelsen (Director) 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 serves as Artistic Director of The Comrades. He's also directed for BrightSide Theatre, Wilmette Center for the Arts, Pride Films & Plays and assistant directed at Goodman, Bailiwick Chicago and Steppenwolf Garage. Regional credits include Festival 56, Shawnee Summer Playhouse, New Ground Theatre and five seasons at Timber Lake Playhouse.

About AstonRep Theatre Company:
AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 22 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.

Monday, October 22, 2018

REVIEW: Martin McDonagh's THE LONESOME WEST Via AstonRep Theatre Company

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

AstonRep Theatre Company Presents
THE LONESOME WEST
By Martin McDonagh
Directed by Company Member Dana Anderson
October 18 – November 18, 2018 
at The Raven Theatre


 (left to right) Dylan Todd, Phoebe Moore and Robert Tobin in AstonRep Theatre Company’s production of THE LONESOME WEST. 
All Photos by Emily Schwartz.

Review:
by bonnie kenaz-mara

I've enjoyed the darkly visceral works of playwright, Martin McDonagh for years, and relished the chance to see The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Tony nominee, Best Play 1998) last March at Northlight Theatre. I've never caught THE LONESOME WEST on stage, so I was eager to see AstonRep Theatre Company's season opener at The Raven Theatre. This high energy production did not disappoint.


(left to right) Robert Tobin and Dylan Todd 

Robert Tobin* (Coleman) and Dylan Todd (Valene) are exhausting and scary as hell as volatile Irish brothers with an intense sibling rivalry, sociopathic tendencies and dark secrets. This fast paced drama is full of adrenaline pumping stage combat, combined with complex characters, unfortunate incidents, and thought provoking drama. 


 
(left to right) Mark Tacderas and Phoebe Moore

 (left to right) Robert Tobin, Phoebe Moore and Mark Tacderas

Mark Tacderas (Father Welsh) and Phoebe Moore (Girleen) round out the cast with strong portrayals of the disillusioned priest and delightfully sarcastic, lovestruck teen. There are enough plot twists and surprises to keep the audience engrossed. This voyeuristic glimpse into the interconnections of small town life and the violently passionate bond of brothers is intensely compelling, and like a horrific car accident, it's nearly impossible to look away, no matter how much you might long to. 

Martin McDonagh's grasp of human psychology, conflict, culture,  family, desperation, religion and intertwined relationships is uncanny. It's exhilarating to see his complicated characters come to life as well as self destruct on stage. Don't miss this. Highly recommended.  


(left to right) Mark Tacderas and Dylan Todd 


Robert Tobin and Dylan Todd Photo by Emily Schwartz

AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy THE LONESOME WEST, directed by Company Member Dana Anderson*, playing October 18 – November 18, 2018 at The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129. 

THE LONESOME WEST features AstonRep Company Member Robert Tobin* with Phoebe Moore, Mark Tacderas and Dylan Todd.

Valene and Coleman, two brothers living alone in their father's house after his recent death, find it impossible to exist without the most massive and violent disputes over the most mundane and innocent of topics. Only Father Welsh, the local young priest, is prepared to try to reconcile the two before their petty squabblings spiral into vicious and bloody carnage.


(left to right) Dylan Todd and Robert Tobin 

(left to right) Robert Tobin, Dylan Todd and Mark Tacderas

The production team for THE LONESOME WEST includes: Jeremiah Barr* (scenic and props design, technical director), Cody Von Ruden (costume design), Samantha Barr* (lighting design, production manager), Melanie Thompson (sound design), Claire Yearman (fight choreographer), Carrie Hardin (dialect coach) and Lara Caprini* (stage manager).

*Denotes AstonRep Company Members.

Cast (in alphabetical order): Phoebe Moore (Girleen), Mark Tacderas (Father Welsh), Robert Tobin* (Coleman) and Dylan Todd (Valene).
Understudy:  Timothy Sullivan (Coleman)

Location: The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, October 18 at 8 pm and Friday, October 19 at 8 pm
Regular run: Sunday, October 21 – Sunday, November 18, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3:30 pm
Tickets: Previews: $12; Regular run: $25. Student/seniors $15. Tickets are currently available at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129.

About the Artists

Martin McDonagh’s (Playwright) plays include: The Pillowman (Tony nominee, Best Play 2005; Olivier Award Winner 2004), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Olivier Award Winner, Best Comedy 2003), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Tony nominee, Best Play 1998), The Lonesome West (Tony nominee, Best Play 1999), A Skull in Connemara, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Banshees of Inisheer, among others. Other works include Barney Nenagh’s Shotgun Circus, Suicide on Sixth Street, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, Six Shooter (Academy Award, Best Short 2006), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (multiple Academy Award nominations, two wins for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor).

Dana Anderson (Director) has worked as an AstonRep company member on The Laramie Project (actor), Four by Tenn (director), 1984 (asst. director), Eleemosynary (dramaturg) and The Black Slot (actor). She recently directed Belle of Austin (Rhinofest) and Little Miss (Davenport’s). She is the Associate Artistic Director of the prison program Shakespeare Corrected, where she directed Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has also worked with Theo Ubique, Kokandy, Towle Theatre, Greatworks Theatre, Shawnee Summer Theatre, The New Colony and Quest Theatre Ensemble. As an educator, she is a teaching artist with Mudlark Theater Company.



About AstonRep Theatre Company:

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 21 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.
 
(left to right) Robert Tobin and Dylan Todd

Monday, May 28, 2018

OPENING: THE REVOLUTIONISTS & TIRESIAS WAS A WEATHERMAN Via Organic Theater Company of Chicago at the Greenhouse Theater Center

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

ORGANIC THEATER COMPANY – 2018 SUMMER REPERTORY SEASON:

AWE-INSPIRING WOMEN STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK; OR, 
 WHICH IS WORSE, THE REIGN OF TERROR OR THE REIGN OF BIG PHARMA?


Organic Theater Company of Chicago returns to the Greenhouse Theater Center for its 2018 summer repertory season, May 29 - July 8. The Organic is committed to staging bold, relevant productions of classic, contemporary, and adapted works with a permanent group of artists over a sustained period of time.

This summer we continue our focus on women and present the works of two female playwrights. With THE REVOLUTIONISTS, we carry on telling more amazing stories of women from history that we started last summer with Lauren Gunderson’s EMILIE. This time the show features an all-female cast, and brings together four inspirational and (mostly) historical women in a modern, girl-powered perspective on the French Revolution. Jaime Mire’s new comedy TIRESIAS WAS A WEATHERMAN deals with timely issues of today such as mental health, pharmaceuticals, predatory media, and extreme weather, in a world where a minimal scientific alteration to your brain could potentially save both you and the world. Or at least that’s what they say …

THE REVOLUTIONISTS, a fast-paced, comedic quartet by 2017’s most produced playwright, follows four very real women who lived boldly in France during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Former queen Marie Antoinette, playwright Olympe de Gouges, Jean-Paul Marat’s assassin Charlotte Corday, and Haitian rebel spy Marianne Angelle collide in this true story, total fiction, and play about a play. Join us for this passionate, poignant and decisive call to action through the true (and sometimes not) stories of these four extraordinary women.

Company member Bryan Wakefield, who directed Gunderson’s EMILIE last year, directs the Chicago premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s thrilling and moving new play.  Familiar faces in the cast include Organic company members and former EMILIE cast members Sara Copeland as Charlotte Corday, and Laura Sturm as Marie Antoinette. Stephanie Sullivan, as playwright Olympe de Gouges, returns after making her Organic debut in last year’s PHANTOM PAIN. We are excited to welcome Taylor Raye as Marianne Angelle to the Organic team this summer.

TIRESIAS WAS A WEATHERMAN is a world premiere comedy about serious stuff. In this kinda-sorta adaptation of Sophocles’ classic ANTIGONE, playwright Jaime Mire imagines a world, parallel to our own, where human emotions have a direct connection to the weather. These events occasionally result in immediate and disastrous meteorological events. In a time when not taking your medication can lead to weather disaster (or can it?), would you consider implanting a microchip into your brain to help control these threatening emotions for public safety purposes?  How far are we willing to go to stay dry? Grab your umbrellas for this off-beat and touching comedy about family, mental health, and the weather.

Directed by company member Josh Anderson, TIRESIAS features company members Sara Copeland, Colin Jackson, Joel Moses, Laura Sturm, and artistic associate Adam Zaininger, all of whom appeared in last summer’s KING UBU, plus company member Will Burdin rejoins us after a summer off, having been seen with Organic most recently in the 2016 summer season in THE GOOD DOCTOR and OUT OF THE BLUE.  We welcome back Nyssa Loewenstein from our most recent production, WHY DO YOU ALWAYS WEAR BLACK? and John Arthur Lewis from last summer’s EMILIE.  Newcomers to the Organic stage are Shaina Schrooten and Taylor Raye (also appearing in THE REVOLUTIONISTS).


THE REVOLUTIONISTS

By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Bryan Wakefield

OPENS: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 7:30 PM
DATES: May 29 – July 8, 2018
TIMES: Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 PM & Saturdays/Sundays at 2:30 PM
VENUE: The Greenhouse Theater Center – 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue
NOTE: Plays in repertory with TIRESIAS WAS A WEATHERMAN, see list of specific dates below
WEBSITE: www.organictheater.org

The Cast:
Olympe de Gouges – Stephanie Sullivan
Marianne Angelle – Taylor Raye
Charlotte Corday – Sara Copeland
Marie Antoinette – Laura Sturm

The Production Team:
Playwright – Lauren Gunderson; Director – Bryan Wakefield; Assistant Director – Julia Rufo; Stage Manager – Angela Kring; Costume Co-Designer – Jeremy W. Floyd; Costume Co-Designer – Morgan Saaf-White; Sound Designer – Tony Reimer; Scenic Designer – Terrance McClellan; Lighting Designer – Theresa Kelly; Properties Designer – Brandyn Nordlof

 
TIRESIAS WAS A WEATHERMAN

By Jaime Mire
Directed by Josh Anderson

OPENS: Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7:30 PM
DATES: May 31 – July 6, 2018
TIMES: Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 PM & Saturdays/Sundays at 2:30 PM
VENUE: The Greenhouse Theater Center – 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue
NOTE: Plays in repertory with THE REVOLUTIONISTS, see list of specific dates below
WEBSITE: www.organictheater.org

The Cast:
Sara Copeland, Jack Lewis, Shaina Schrooten, Taylor Raye, Laura Sturm, Nyssa Lowenstein, Will Burdin, Colin Jackson, Joel Moses, Adam Zaininger

The Production Team:
Playwright – Jaime Mire; Director – Josh Anderson; Associate Director – Anna Gelman;
Stage Manager – Angela Kring; Costume Designer – Jeremy W. Floyd; Sound Designer – Tony Reimer; Scenic Designer – Terrance McClellan; Lighting Designer – Theresa Kelly; Properties Designer – Brandyn Nordlof

 Purchase tickets online at www.organictheater.org or by calling the Greenhouse at
773-404-7336. Admission is $25 (Adults).


OPENING: THE LARAMIE PROJECT Via AstonRep Theatre Company at The Raven Theatre June 7 – July 8, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

AstonRep Theatre Company Presents
THE LARAMIE PROJECT
By Moisés Kaufman & the Members of Tectonic Theater Project
 Directed by Associate Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen 
June 7 – July 8, 2018 at The Raven Theatre


Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we caught The Laramie Project at Red Twist Theatre several years ago and it's a powerful script that packs a punch. In these times of eroding human rights and protections for society's vulnerable, just as hate crimes are ramping up, this story is one that needs to be seen and heard again and again. Kudos to AstonRep for tackling this topic and keeping this vital production in the public eye.  

AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to conclude its 2017-18 season with THE LARAMIE PROJECT, a community's deeply-moving response to the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, written by Moisés Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project and directed by Associate Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen. THE LARAMIE PROJECT will play June 7 – July 8, 2018 at The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129. 

THE LARAMIE PROJECT features an ensemble cast including Dana Anderson*, Alexandra Bennett*, Liz Cloud, Rob Frankel, Matthew Harris*, Roberto Jay, Amy Kasper*, Ray Kasper*, Erin O’Brien, Sara Pavlak McGuire*, Peter Surma and Chelsea Turner.

THE LARAMIE PROJECT presents a deeply complex portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents of Laramie react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment and sorrow. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence. As we near the twentieth anniversary, Matthew Shepard’s story still reverberates, urging us on with its clarion call to confront the destructive power of bullying and hate, in all forms.

The production team for THE LARAMIE PROJECT includes Jeremiah Barr* (scenic design, props design, technical director), Uriel Gomez (costume design), Samantha Barr* (lighting design, production manager), Robert Tobin* (sound design), Krista Hansen (dialect coach), Aja Wiltshire* (music director), Sara Pavlak McGuire* (assistant director), Dana Anderson* (assistant director, dramaturg), Melanie Thompson (assistant production manager) and Kendal Romero (stage manager).

*Denotes AstonRep Company Members.

Location: The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago
Dates: Preview: Thursday, June 7 and Friday, June 8 at 8 pm
Press performance: Saturday, June 9 at 8 pm
Regular run: Sunday, June 10 – Sunday, July 8, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3:30 pm
Tickets: Previews: $12; Regular run: $25. Student/seniors $15. Tickets go on sale at www.astonrep.com or by calling (773) 828-9129.

About the Director

Derek Bertelsen (Director) currently serves as Associate Artistic Director for AstonRep Theatre Company. Previous directing credits with AstonRep include Eleemosynary (co-director with Jeremiah Barr), The Black Slot, The Lyons, Lieutenant of Inishmore, Wit, Next Fall and Doubt. Other Chicago directing credits include Prelude To A Kiss, Mary-Kate Olsen Is In Love (The Comrades, where is serves as Artistic Director), Design for Living, The Children’s Hour (Pride Films & Plays), God of Carnage, The Dinner Party (BrightSide Theater). Regional credits include Brighton Beach Memoirs (Festival 56), The Wizard of Oz (Shawnee Summer Theater), and five seasons at Timber Lake Playhouse including Rumors, Boeing-Boeing, and Monty Python’s Spamalot. Assistant directing credits include RACE (Goodman), Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage), and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Bailiwick Chicago).

About AstonRep Theatre Company:
AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 21 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.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

THIS SATURDAY 11/18: Free Readings! AstonRep Theatre Company Presents 9th Annual WRITER’S SERIES

Free Readings!
AstonRep Theatre Company Presents 9th Annual
WRITER’S SERIES
Saturday, November 18 at The Vagabond School of the Arts


AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to present its 9th annual WRITER’S SERIES, a daylong festival of staged readings of new works by local writers. This year’s series will showcase three productions on Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 12 pm – 5 pm at The Vagabond School of the Arts, 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave. #504 in Chicago. Patrons are invited to attend individual readings – or stay for the entire event. Readers are free – no reservations required. For additional information, visit www.astonrep.com or call (773) 828-9129.  

The 2017 WRITER’S SERIES Line-Up includes:

12:15 pm
ALBERT & MILEVA
By Lyn Lesch

As Albert Einstein develops his theory of relativity, he and his wife Mileva are growing apart. Michele Besso, a long-time friend to both, acts as an intermediary. The play draws parallels between Einstein’s relativity theory and the couple's evolving perspective of their relationship. They are not only moving apart from each other in space and time, but perceiving their relationship differently as their marriage proceeds. 

1:30 pm
LITTLE FINGERS WITH RED STRINGS 
By Lauren Sagendorph

Camryn is a strong but unfocused college student drifting through her life. Her career-driven boyfriend tries to support her but somehow makes her feel lamer by comparison. It takes a real spark in the person of Ellie, a 65 year-old student of life, to shock Camryn out of her daydreams. Ellie introduces Camryn to a world of art, community and passion that sets her on a path to a successful career as an artist in her own right. 

3:00 pm
STIX
By Molly Pease

After six years on a deserted island, Natalie is rescued with her companion, a large piece of driftwood named Stick. But when Stick (rebranded STIX) becomes a media darling back in LA, Natalie has to learn how to survive all over again. Stix is more than just a comedy, it is a deeply relevant piece of social satire which explores movement, survival and our misplaced worship of celebrities.

About the Playwrights

Lyn Lesch (Albert and Mileva) was founder and director for 12 years of The Children’s School in Evanston. A progressive, democratically run school, it received widespread attention in the Chicago print and electronic media as a unique approach to education. He has written four books on education reform, published by Rowman & Littlefield; all of them stressing the importance of what occurs inside a student while he or she is learning. He is now working on a book concerning consciousness expansion in the digital age, and recently finished work on a play concerning nihilism/terrorism in the modern world relative to the writer Dostoevsky. 

Lauren Sagendorph (Little Fingers with Red Strings) graduated from Indiana University with a BA in Theatre and Drama with a concentration in Acting and Playwriting in 2016. She is currently working as the Education Programs Manager for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Lauren considers herself a playwright, actor, administrator, educator and model.

Molly Pease (STIX) is a queer southern comedy writer from Atlanta, Georgia. She holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern and Bachelor's degrees in Public Relations and Theatre from the University of Georgia. Molly has done pretty much every form of comedy. During her time at Northwestern, she created original sitcom pilots, plays, screenplays and a sock puppet web series. She helps produce the annual showcase Queergasm at Northwestern. Her full-length play STIX received a stage reading at Northwestern in Spring 2017. Her feature length dramedy Can I Finish? won second place for the Krevoy Screenwriting Award. 

About AstonRep Theatre Company:

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 19 full-length productions and eight 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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