Showing posts with label Biograph Theater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biograph Theater. Show all posts

Saturday, April 2, 2016

FREE Theatre: 7th International Voices Project Brings Nine Readings to Victory Gardens Biograph Theater 4/9-25

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


The Seventh Season Includes Nine Readings Featuring Plays from 
Britain, Italy, Poland, Austria, Norway, Germany, Pakistan, and Lebanon Performed by Lookingglass, Akvavit, Rasaka, TUTA, Vitalist, Trap Door and More

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're greatly anticipating this year's International Voices Project (IVP)! Chicago is so fortunate to have such a rich, international collection of stories coming to us, with concert-style readings by some of the top local companies. As if that's not exciting enough, shows are FREE with RSVP! So go already. What are you wating for?!

International Voices Project (IVP) is proud to present the seventh season of play readings by playwrights from around the world. The series is presented in collaboration with consulates and cultural institutions throughout Chicago. The 2016 engagement’s represented countries include Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Austria, Canada, Norway, Germany, Pakistan, Lebanon.  

The readings take place at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, McVay Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave, April 9 – 25  Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays — Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. A reception follows each evening’s reading. The International Voices Project is the largest event of its kind in the country and introduces Chicago audiences to some of the most exciting voices on the international theater scene. Performances are free to the public and reservations are requested. For more information about IVP, or to reserve your seat, visit or call 773.250.7055.

Presented in collaboration with each country’s consulate general and/or a country’s cultural institution, the International Voices Project celebrates the voices of international playwrights with nine premiere concert-style readings. A professional cast performs each play to allow audience members’ imaginations create the world of the play. After each reading, there is a post-performance discussion with the cast and audience, followed by a reception.

IVP 2016 Schedule is below and can also be viewed by clicking here.

Saturday, April 9 at 2 p.m.:
From Great Britain, IVP presents John Hollingworth’s Multitudes, presented in collaboration with Vitalist Theatre, and directed by Liz Carlin-Metz.
On the eve of a Conservative Party Conference the country is in turmoil and one of its most multicultural cities awaits a visit from the Prime Minister.

Sunday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m.
From Italy, IVP presents Saverio La Ruina’s Dust, translated by Thomas Simpson, directed by Anna Bahow.

In a sequence of short scenes between two characters, Dust tracks the development of an abusive relationship between a man and a woman, focusing especially on the violence hidden in the silences behind apparently banal words and actions.

Monday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m.
From Poland, play Trash Story by Magda Fertacz presented in collaboration with Trap Door Theatre, translated by Benjamin Paloff, and directed by Monica Payne.

An award-winning anti-war play, Trash Story is the harrowing tale of a Polish family living on land that once belonged to Germany. Told through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl, the play poses important questions about violence, both present and past, and the secrets it leaves behind.

Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m.
From Austria, IVP presents Ewald Palmetshofer’s the unmarried woman, presented in collaboration with TUTA Theatre, translated by Neil Blackadder, and directed by Andy Hager.

Three women, three generations, an unresolved past that stinks of betrayal and blind obedience: the unmarried woman connects April 1945 with the present. The woman is old and has an alienated daughter and a grand-daughter whom she feels closer to, even though the young woman is digging through her past. A female chorus of four completes the ensemble through which Palmetshofer uncovers who might have done what, and why.

Monday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.
From Norway, IVP presents Fredrik Brattberg’s The Returning, presented in collaboration with Akvavit Theatre, translated by Henning Hegland and directed by Breahan Pautsch.

In The Returning we meet a mother and a father grieving the loss of their son, Gustav, whom they assume to be dead. The funeral is breath-taking, where they have filled the coffin with tings reminding them of Gustav. After a while daily life returns. The parents manage to go on with their life. One day there is a knock on the door…

Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
From Germany, IVP presents Woman in Berlin, presented in collaboration with Lookingglass Theatre, adapted by Eva Barr, and directed by Tracy Walsh.

The memoir, A Woman in Berlin, by Anonymous, is one woman's account of her experiences during the first eight weeks of the Russian invasion of Berlin in April, 1945.  This adaptation visits the material as if it is in the process of being staged as a play with a three-person acting company and a director some twenty years after the events described, and six years after its original publication, and subsequent suppression, in Germany in 1959.  The memoir was first published in the United States in 1954.

Sunday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
From Pakistan, IVP presents Iftikar Hassan’s Voiceless Melodies, presented in collaboration with Pakistani Consul General and Rasaka Theatre, adapted by Judy Veramendi and directed by Puja Mohindra. 
Shazia, a lovely young Punjabi girl with a determined vision of how her life must unfold, moves through light and shadow before coming into her glory. Experience her story, and her world, through songs, dances and celebrations of love and marriage, interwoven with the Voiceless Melodies of her ancestors.

Monday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m.
From Lebanon, IVP presents Issam Mahfouz’s The Dictator, translated by Robert Myers and Nada Saab, and directed by Warner Crocker.

Absurdist political play by Lebanon’s most renowned playwright Issam Mahfouz. Takes place during an offstage, and perhaps imaginary, coup directed by a general and his faithful assistant, Saadoun.

International Voices Project (IVP) is proud to present the seventh season of play readings by playwrights from around the world. The series is presented in collaboration with consulates and cultural institutions throughout Chicago. The 2016 engagement’s represented countries include Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Austria, Canada, Norway, Germany, Pakistan, Lebanon. The readings take place at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, McVay Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave, April 9 – 25 Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays — Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. A reception follows each evening’s reading. The International Voices Project is the largest event of its kind in the country and introduces Chicago audiences to some of the most exciting voices on the international theater scene. Performances are free to the public and reservations are requested.  For more information about IVP, or to reserve your seat, visit or call 773.250.7055.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Victory Gardens Theater announces an innovative and affordable $15 a Month Annual Membership

Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Chris Mannelli announce the new Victory Gardens Membership, an innovative program to encourage Chicagoans to frequent the theater and to take part in all programs at the venue.

Memberships are $15/month (based on a 12-month agreement) and are available year-round! Members are offered admission to almost any performance at Victory Gardens, including all Victory Gardens-produced shows, all Resident Company productions, all Public Programming, and many Visiting Companies (some exclusions apply). Members receive one reserved admission per production and are welcome to return an unlimited number of times on a standby basis.  Members may bring a non-member guest with them at a 20% discount for a regular ticket.  Members receive discounts with all Victory Gardens restaurant partners and access to exclusive specials at the VG bar.

Memberships are available on Wednesday, March 25, 2014 online, and by phone at the Victory Gardens Box Office at The Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln, 773.871.3000. Prior to Wednesday, Memberships are available by phone, 773.871.3000. Traditional subscriptions to the Victory Gardens 5-play season are also available and start at $100.

Managing Director Chris Mannelli states, “We have created an alternative loyalty model to traditional subscriptions; one that appeals to a wide range of audiences—especially a diverse, younger group of patrons we are seeing more and more at our theater. In today’s market, you can buy everything for a monthly fee: movies, music, even t-shirts and razors. Why shouldn’t art be as accessible and hassle-free?”

In addition to yet to be announced programs, Resident and Visiting productions, the following current and upcoming productions included in the Membership are:

The Gospel of Lovingkindness
Though March 30

Bailiwick Chicago presents
Dessa Rose
Through April 5

Teatro Vista presents
A View From The Bridge
April 11 - May 18

Bailiwick Chicago presents
Carrie: The Musical
May 29 - July 13

Death and the Maiden
By Ariel Dorfman
Directed by Chay Yew
Featuring Sandra Oh
June 13 - July 13

The 2014-15 Victory Gardens Season is included in the Membership and includes:

The Midwest Premiere of
by VG Ensemble Playwright Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by Joanie Schultz
September 12 - October 12, 2014
Press Opening: September 19, 2014
A retirement home in northern Idaho is being shut down, and only three residents and a bare-bones staff remain. When a record breaking blizzard blows into town and an elderly resident disappears into the storm, everyone is brought to face their own mortality. Samuel D. Hunter (from last season's hit The Whale) returns with a tender and heartbreakingly funny play about life's unexpected beginnings and endings.

The Midwest Premiere of
The Testament of Mary
by Colm Tóibín
Directed by Dennis Začek
November 14 - December 14, 2014
Press Opening: November 21, 2014
A 2013 Tony Award nominee for Best Play, this incisive, intelligent and profoundly challenging work recounts in riveting detail Mary’s narrative of the last days in the life of her son, Jesus. Hailed as “beautiful and daring” by the New York Times, acclaimed author Colm Tóibín brings the world’s most famous mother to life in this fiercely lyrical solo play.

The World Premiere of
by Lauren Yee
Directed by Seth Bockley
February 6 - March 8, 2015
Press Opening: February 13, 2015
Americans Katie and Craig are having a baby with Suraiya, a surrogate from India. As all three “parents” anxiously await the baby's due date, Katie and Suraiya are attacked by flights of their imagination: a seductive Frenchman and a sharp-tongued fetus. Originally developed at Victory Gardens' IGNITION New Play Festival in 2012, this smart world premiere comedy takes us on a hilarious and highly theatrical journey into 21st century parenthood and modern-day colonialism.

The World Premiere of
A Wonder In My Soul
by VG Ensemble Playwright Marcus Gardley
Directed by Chay Yew
April 3 - May 3, 2015
Press Opening: April 10, 2015
A Wonder In My Soul, by the author of The Gospel of Lovingkindness, centers on the feuding members of the Soul Singers, Chicago's 1960's rhythm and blues music sensation, who unwillingly reunite after 35 years for a concert to raise money for a community center. Set in the Bronzeville neighborhood, this hilarious and heartrending musical play about ambition, passions and the unbreakable bonds of family premieres in Spring 2015.

The Midwest Premiere of
The Who and the What
by Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Kimberly Senior
June 12 - July 12, 2015
Press Opening: Jun 19, 2015
Raised in a conservative Muslim family in Atlanta, the outspoken and brilliant Zarina recently completed a book about women and Islam. When her traditional father and sister discover the manuscript, it threatens to tear her family apart. With humor and ferocity, 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar and director Kimberly Senior examine the giant chasm between our traditions and our contemporary lives.

Victory Gardens Theater is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Benefits of subscribing include convenient parking; easy access via CTA, ticket exchange privileges; invitations to special events; discounted series for seniors, educators, younger audiences and persons with disabilities and pre- and post-show deals at nearby restaurants and businesses.

About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Chris Mannelli, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals.  With Victory Gardens’ first new Artistic Director in 34 years, the company remains committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, continuing the vision set forth by Dennis Začek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.  

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Začek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 299-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

In 2012, Victory Gardens Victory Gardens appointed new Ensemble Playwrights Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter and Tanya Saracho, for seven-year residencies. The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens,  Follow up on Facebook at and Twitter @VictoryGardens.

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Alphawood Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, Venturous Theatre Fund of the Tides Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, Leo S. Guthman Fund, National Endowment for the Arts and REAM Foundation. Additional funding is provided by: Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), The Edgerton Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund, McVay Foundation, The Prince Charitable Trusts, Abbot Downing, Conant Family Foundation, Kemper Foundation, The Seabury Foundation, Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Tool Works, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, a City Arts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Irving Harris Foundation, Southwest Airlines, Berghoff Catering, and The Saints.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

ACT OUT ENDING: There Is A Happiness That Morning Is #review

Catch it while you can.  Happiness is fleeting and Theatre Oobleck's remount is ending this weekend after an extension through April 7th.   The show's upstairs at The Biograph Theatre-Victory Gardens.   

We'll be back at The Biograph for the press opening of The Whale on the 15th--not to be confused with The Elephant and The Whale (at CST-Chicago Children's Theatre).   We're covering their opening Friday the 12th and have some sweet video interviews and a 4 ticket giveaway in the works!

We sat in on an early rehearsal of The Whale, just 3 days in and had an excellent talk back with the actors.   I love to see a piece evolve.   This show has a Mormon (who has friends who went to serve in Africa... like a certain hit Broadway musical), a snarky teenage girl, school papers by an estranged child (like Dream of the Burning Boy), and a gay, obese protagonist who is already a challenge to play in an authentic, truthful way that won't evoke ire.   I'm so intrigued to see where they go with this show!

Back to There is a Happiness, it was an interesting segue to go from Completeness at The Wit on Friday to this show on Saturday.   It was a nerd love fest of a weekend.   This show's a bit more intellectual and esoteric, so less accessible unless you're a true disciple of William Blake's works.   The scenario is a hoot and the characters' responses provide an interesting dynamic, and lend fresh eyes to staid literary staples.  It's certainly worth a look.

Of course Dillinger didn't experience much happiness after seeing a show at The Biograph with The Woman in Red (Ana Sage)  that infamous day in 1934, so my husband and I left our daughter, Sage Ani, at home and had a great time with another woman in red, our long time friend, Cath.

No theatre goers were harmed in the making of this feature.


More Happiness!
There Is a Happiness That Morning Is

  "a not-to-be-missed remount" - "soul shaking" - "Killer."
Yes, that one, has been extended until April 7th!
Tickets available here
More info here

There Is a Happiness That Morning Is

by Mickle Maher

“. . . richer, funnier, and more heartbreaking than ever… If the American theater harbors a precedent for Mickle Maher’s astonishing 2011 play There Is a Happiness That Morning Is, I’ve never found it . . .”

“The most remarkable mix of poetry and drama you are ever likely to see.”


an enjoyably lunatic endeavor

“Goosed by precise, masterful performances, Maher’s text is almost endlessly engaging and frequently hilarious.”

“FUNNY, WITTY, LITERATE, and PROFOUND… It’s the actors who make it a slam-dunk”

JANUARY 31-MARCH 10, 2013
Thursday-Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 3pm
(no shows Thursdays March 28 & April 4)
2433 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago
$15 suggested donation*
More if you got it,
free if you’re broke.

Theater Oobleck revives Mickle Maher’s comedy in rhymed verse told via two lectures on the poetry of William Blake: one given in the morning by Bernard, a middle-aged, barely published poet of scant scholarship, on the Songs of Innocence, and the other in the afternoon by his lover, Ellen, a reputable Ph.D., on the Songs of Experience.

Having engaged the evening before in a highly inappropriate display of public affection on the main lawn of their rural New England campus, the two undergraduate lecturers must now, in class, either apologize for their behavior or effectively justify it if they want to keep their jobs.
Featuring Diana Slickman, Colm O’Reilly, and Kirk Anderson.

The script of There Is A Happiness That Morning Is is also available as part of the book of Oobleck plays More If You’ve Got It. Purchase it directly from us.

*Quick ticket explanation: You can get your “more if you’ve got it, free if you’re broke” tickets (as per Theater Oobleck tradition) by calling the box office 773-871-3000. For on-line tickets, click on the link above, then click on the day you want. Then in the next screen you indicate how many tickets you want. Then in the NEXT screen you are given the option of a “Regular Price” (that would be $15), a $10, or a $1 ticket.

Check out this audio link to an interview with Mickle Maher about how he wrote the play.   Then go already.   This weekend is your last shot at Happiness!   
Happiness playwright Mickle Maher talks about the power of public sex, the actor’s prerogative, and why the play was almost about mummies in this half-hour podcast from Talk Theatre in Chicago. Includes bonus stale bread metaphors!
How does a play get written? In particular, how does a verse play about two college English teachers lecturing on the poetry of William Blake to save their jobs after having public sex on the campus green get written? Mickle Maher joins Anne Nicholson Weber to talk about the genesis of his play, There Is A Happiness That Morning Is, which is currently being remounted by Theater Oobleck at Victory Gardens; and about drafts and redrafts, writing in verse, and finding one's voice as a writer.
Listen: (MP3) Time: 31:53

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