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

Monday, March 5, 2018

REVIEW: Lookingglass' Plantation Reparation Comedy Reaps Laughs and Launches Long Due Dialogue

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar: 

World Premiere
Plantation!
Written by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas
Directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer
February 21 - April 22, 2018

 Recommended for ages 13+


All photos by Liz Lauren

Review: 
PLANTATION! is too much fun and a highly recommended must see. In this world premiere, Kevin Douglas and Lookingglass Theatre tackle our uncomfortable collective past with so much wisdom and humor, its a joy to see. We love this well intentioned reparation scenario and the chaos that ensues! Douglas has the unique viewpoint of moving from Canada to Texas as a child and growing up with a cast of real life Texas characters. His childhood experiences along with later ideas gleaned in Chicago, sparked some of the dialogue and characters for this vital and ferociously funny work. There's not a weak link in the entire cast of women, and their rapport and interactions are deliciously devious and delightful to watch. 





America's past relationship with slavery and ongoing racism is a tough and touchy topic, even for those who claim to be "woke" and actively work for racial equity and justice. I have friends whose family tree includes both slaves and their white rapists and/or slave owners. It's complicated is an understatement! I'm amazed Kevin Douglas was willing and able to tackle these nuanced complexities in a compassionate way that's comedic gold. 

Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows we can't rave enough about this black (and white) comedy with an all female cast! playwright Kevin Douglas is crazy talented and insightful. We're so jazzed he's bringing race relations, reparations, and issues to the stage with wit and wisdom. Add to that, infamous friend and Lookingglass ensemble Member, David Schwimmer directing, this is undoubtedly one to see.


With eight fierce women battling over their home, future, and past, Plantation! is also a shoo-in to pass the *Bechdel Test. We're huge, long time Lookingglass fans and thrilled they've staged the world premiere of Plantation! and launched a long overdue dialogue on America's uncomfortable past.

*The Bechdel Test is designed to highlight female-positive works of fiction with an active female presence and to call attention to gender inequality. The Bechdel Test, sometimes called the Bechdel Rule is a pass/fail test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man.


Make It Better names Plantation! one of the "12 Can't-Miss Plays in Chicago This Winter"  

Plantation! 
The FUN-comfortable Comedy


Look who’s coming to tea…


A Texas matriarch, bless her heart, discovers that the history of the ancestral home is, well…complicated. When she reveals the news to her Southern Belle daughters, tempers rage hotter than the devil’s armpit and pandemonium runs amok on the pristine plantation…and that’s before the other set of sisters arrive. 


Ensemble Member and playwright Kevin Douglas (Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure) returns with a sharp pen and sharper wit to slash into America’s thorniest underbrush and most enduring conundrum. Ensemble Member David Schwimmer directs this World Premiere black (and white) comedy. 



Ensemble Member David Schwimmer (RACE, Big Lake Big City) directs this World Premiere black (and white) comedy by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas (Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure).




Plantation! features Ensemble Member Louise Lamson (Kimberly) and Artistic Associate Ericka Ratcliff (Sydney), with Hannah Gomez (Diana), Lily Mojekwu (London), Linsey Page Morton (Kara), Tamberla Perry (Madison), Grace Smith (Kayley) and Janet Ulrich Brooks (Lillian).

The creative team includes Courtney O’Neill (scenic), Ensemble Member Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), Artistic Associates Christine A. Binder (lighting) and Rick Sims (sound and composition), with Amanda Herrmann (props), Eva Breneman (dialect) and Ari Clouse (stage manager).


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

OPENING: World Premiere of Plantation! at Lookingglass Theatre Directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer 2/21-4/22

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

World Premiere
Plantation!
Written by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas
Directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer
February 21 - April 22, 2018

 Recommended for ages 13+

Make It Better names Plantation! one of the "12 Can't-Miss Plays in Chicago This Winter"  

Plantation! 
The FUN-comfortable Comedy

Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows we can't wait to catch this black (and white) comedy with an all female cast! playwright Kevin Douglas is crazy talented and insightful. We're so jazzed he's bringing race relations, reparations, and issues to the stage with wit and wisdom. Add to that, infamous friend and Lookingglass ensemble Member, David Schwimmer directing, this is sure to be one to see.

With eight fierce women battling over their home, future, and past, Plantation! is also a shoo-in to pass the *Bechdel Test. We're huge, long time Lookingglass fans and very much looking forward to Plantation!

*The Bechdel Test is designed to highlight female-positive works of fiction with an active female presence and to call attention to gender inequality. The Bechdel Test, sometimes called the Bechdel Rule is a pass/fail test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man.
   
Look who’s coming to tea…

A Texas matriarch, bless her heart, discovers that the history of the ancestral home is, well…complicated. When she reveals the news to her Southern Belle daughters, tempers rage hotter than the devil’s armpit and pandemonium runs amok on the pristine plantation…and that’s before the other set of sisters arrive. 


Ensemble Member and playwright Kevin Douglas (Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure) returns with a sharp pen and sharper wit to slash into America’s thorniest underbrush and most enduring conundrum. Ensemble Member David Schwimmer directs this World Premiere black (and white) comedy. 



Ensemble Member David Schwimmer (RACE, Big Lake Big City) directs this World Premiere black (and white) comedy by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas (Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure).

Plantation! features Ensemble Member Louise Lamson (Kimberly) and Artistic Associate Ericka Ratcliff (Sydney), with Hannah Gomez (Diana), Lily Mojekwu (London), Linsey Page Morton (Kara), Tamberla Perry (Madison), Grace Smith (Kayley) and Janet Ulrich Brooks (Lillian).

The creative team includes Courtney O’Neill (scenic), Ensemble Member Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), Artistic Associates Christine A. Binder (lighting) and Rick Sims (sound and composition), with Amanda Herrmann (props), Eva Breneman (dialect) and Ari Clouse (stage manager).


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CASTING ANNOUNCED: Lookingglass Theatre Company's 30th Anniversary Season

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

The 30th Anniversary Season includes Hard Times,
adapted and directed by Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman from the book by Charles Dickens
in Association with The Actors Gymnasium;
the World Premiere of Plantation! written by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas,
directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer;
and the World Premiere of 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas,
adapted by David Kersnar and Althos Low from the books by Jules Verne,
directed by Ensemble Member David Kersnar



Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows, we're absolutely elated about Lookingglass Theatre Company's upcoming season. Save the dates! Many of our top favorite directors and actors are back, to bring these stellar stories to life. With the highly anticipated return of Hard Times and two world premiers, this season is one to watch for sure. We're especially excited for the season opener, adapted and directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman from the book by Charles Dickens. We missed the earlier incarnation of this award-winning, circus-infused Hard Times and can't wait to catch it. 

Hard Times is presented in association with The Actors Gymnasium, another top favorite of ours. My teens have each been cast in 3 youth circus shows there over the past few years, and they also spent last summer in a 6 week summer lab intensive at Lookingglass, culminating in an incredible original show created by all the teens involved. We're huge fans of their professional productions and their education and outreach as well. Chicago is lucky to have them!





Lookingglass Theatre Company announces complete casting 
for its 2017–2018 Season lineup. 

The season begins with the return of the award-winning, circus-infused Hard Times, adapted and directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman from the book by Charles Dickens and in association with The Actors Gymnasium. Following Hard Times is the World Premiere of Plantation!, written by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas and directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer. Concluding the 2017-2018 Season is the World Premiere of 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, adapted by Ensemble Member David Kersnar and Althos Low from the books by Jules Verne. Kersnar also directs this new work. Subscriptions to Lookingglass’ 2017-2018 season are on sale now and may be purchased through the box office at (312) 337-0665 or lookingglasstheatre.org/subscribe.

The Lookingglass 2017–2018 Season up close:

Hard Times
Adapted and Directed by Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman
From the Book by Charles Dickens
In Association with The Actors Gymnasium
October 4, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Press Opening: October 14, 2017

Returning to Hard Times are Ensemble Members David Catlin (returning to the role of Stephen and Sleary), Raymond Fox (returning to the role of Mr. Gradgrind, Sissy’s Father and Slackbridge), Louise Lamson (in the role of Rachael, Mrs. Gradgrind and Scherezade through 12/17) and Artistic Associate Troy West (returning to the role of Mr. Bounderby). The cast also includes Artistic Associate Atra Asdou (Rachael, Mrs. Gradgrind and Scherezade beginning 12/19), with Audrey Anderson (Sissy), Amy J. Carle (Mrs. Sparsit, Drunk Woman and Pufflerumpus), Raphael Cruz (Bitzer and Le Papillon), Cordelia Dewdney (Louisa), Marilyn Dodds Frank (returning to the role of Mrs. Pegler), Nathan Hosner (Mr. Harthouse, Mr. M’Choakumchild and Kidderminster) and JJ Phillips (Tom).

The creative team includes Ensemble Members Daniel Ostling (scenic) and Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), with Artistic Associates Brian Sidney Bembridge (lighting), Andre Pluess (sound) and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (circus/choreography). Additional creative team members include Amanda Herrmann (props), Isaac Schoepp (rigging), Eva Breneman (dialect) and Jeri Frederickson (stage manager).

Lookingglass launches its 30th Season with the return of the award-winning, circus-infused Hard Times.

A Dickensian carnival of characters inhabits the streets of smoke-choked Coketown: grim Mr. Gradgrind’s school churns out joyless students; poor Stephen Blackpool toils in the nearby mines; and mill-owner Mr. Bounderby, full of bluster and bombast, presides over it all. Only when a traveling circus alights nearby, and young orphan Sissy Jupe enters their world, does a ray of hope shine through.

Artistic Director Heidi Stillman adapts and directs this timeless love-letter to the power of beauty, hope, and imagination. 



World Premiere
Plantation!
Written by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas
Directed by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer
February 21 - April 22, 2018
Press Opening: March 3, 2018

Plantation! features Ensemble Member Louise Lamson (Kimberly) and Artistic Associate Ericka Ratcliff (Sydney), with Hannah Gomez (Diana), Lily Mojekwu (London), Linsey Page Morton (Kara), Tamberla Perry (Madison), Grace Smith (Kayley) and Janet Ulrich Brooks (Lillian).

The creative team includes Courtney O’Neill (scenic), Ensemble Member Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), Artistic Associates Christine A. Binder (lighting) and Rick Sims (sound and composition), with Amanda Herrmann (props), Eva Breneman (dialect) and Ari Clouse (stage manager).

Look who’s coming to tea…

A Texas matriarch, bless her heart, discovers that the history of the ancestral home is, well…complicated. When she reveals the news to her Southern Belle daughters, tempers rage hotter than the devil’s armpit and pandemonium runs amok on the pristine plantation…and that’s before the other set of sisters arrive.

Ensemble Member and playwright Kevin Douglas (Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure) returns with a sharp pen and sharper wit to slash into America’s thorniest underbrush and most enduring conundrum. Ensemble Member David Schwimmer directs this World Premiere black (and white) comedy. 



World Premiere
20,000 Leagues Under the Seas
Adapted by David Kersnar and Althos Low
From the Books by Jules Verne
Directed by Ensemble Member David Kersnar 
May 23 – August 19, 2018
Press Opening: June 2, 2018

20,000 Leagues Under the Seas features Ensemble Members Kareem Bandealy (Captain Nemo) and Thomas J. Cox (Gideon Spillet/J.B. Hobson) with Artistic Associates Walter Owen Briggs (Ned Land) and Kasey Foster (Professor Aronnax). The cast also includes Owais Ahmed (Harbert), Joe Dempsey (Farragut), Glenn-Dale Obrero (Neb/Mr. Drax) and Lanise Antoine Shelley (Conseil).

The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic), Sully Ratke (costumes), Artistic Associates Christine A. Binder (lighting) and Rick Sims (sound and composition), with Amanda Herrmann (props) and Mary Hungerford (stage manager).

When a terrifying sea monster is spotted off the coast, renowned scientist Professor Aronnax and fellow explorers set out to investigate. They soon find themselves kidnapped and held under the command, and spell, of the mysterious Captain Nemo. As they circle the globe aboard the most advanced submarine the world has never seen, they confront giant squids, bizarre sea creatures, and the monsters that lurk below…and within.

Adapted from Jules Verne’s epic adventure exploring the murky perils of the seas, Ensemble Member David Kersnar invites you to board the Nautilus and “Dive! Dive! Dive!” into this Lookingglass World Premiere.

Subscriptions
Subscriptions are on sale for the 2017–2018 Season. Performances will be held at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.

Subscribers can choose between a 3-play subscription, the Gglasspass program, or for those under 35, the Madhatter’s Club. For the 2017–2018 Season, 3-play subscriptions range from $116–$170.

The Gglasspass is a flex pass available to all ages. For $150, Gglasspass holders receive 3 tickets that can be used in any combination and denomination for any Lookingglass production in the 2017–2018 Season.

The Madhatter’s Club flex pass is available to those 35 or younger. The Madhatter’s Club flex pass is $75 and includes 3 tickets that members can use in any combination and denomination for any Lookingglass production in the 2017-2018 season.

Subscription benefits include access to the best seats in the house, pre-sale opportunities and savings before single tickets go on sale to the general public, special perks at restaurant partners, unlimited ticket exchanges, discounted parking at the nearby John Hancock Center, Water Tower Place and Olympia Centre Garage, reduced tuition for Lookingglass’ renowned classes and summer camps, and access to exclusive subscriber-only events. For season subscription and ticket information, call the Lookingglass Theatre box office at (312) 337-0665 or visit lookingglasstheatre.org.

About Lookingglass Theatre Company
Inventive. Collaborative. Transformative. Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. Now in its 30th season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The Company has staged 64 world premieres, received 144 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations, and work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Louisville and St. Louis. Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States. In 2016, Lookingglass received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago's landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003. In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year.

Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Heidi Stillman, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Director Philip R. Smith, Connectivity and Engagement Director Andrew White, Interim Managing Director Michele Anderson, a 24 member artistic ensemble, 23 artistic associates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman John McGowan and President Nancy Timmers. For more information, visit lookingglasstheatre.org.

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