Showing posts with label staged reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label staged reading. Show all posts

Friday, March 29, 2019

ONE NIGHT ONLY: All-woman cast to perform staged reading of TWELVE ANGRY MEN

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

All-woman cast to perform staged reading of 
at Pride Arts Center on April 8 at 7:30 pm

Reading is one of hundreds to be performed across the US from April 5 -8 to promote gender equality and voter engagement

An all-star cast of women will lend their impassioned voices to a staged reading of the classic play, TWELVE ANGRY MEN by Reginald Rose, Pride Films and Plays Executive Director David G. Zak announced today. The reading will take place on Monday, April 8 in the  Broadway Theatre of the Pride Arts Center at 4139 N. Broadway. All seats are $10.00 and are available at

Top row L-R: Dana N. Anderson, Debbie Banos, Brook Celeste, Colleen DeRosa.
Middle row L-R:  Julia Germeroth, Samie Jo Johnson, Jacquelyne Jones, Diana Kaiser.
Bottom row L-R: Whitney Masters, Joan McGrath, Roxane Saylor, Shannon Leigh Webber.

The reading is one of many such readings across the country from April 5 – 8, as part of an initiative produced by the organization 12,000 Voices, to promote gender equality. The organization’s website notes that 12 ANGRY MEN was written in 1954, 19 years before women were permitted to serve on juries in all 50 states. 12,000 Voices producer Lauren Class Schneider says, “The readings will take place in every nook & cranny of the country: red, blue and purple communities in all 50 states! And after each staged reading there will be the opportunity to update voter registration and learn about voter engagement.  Voter suppression is real. Gerrymandering is real. Our voices and our votes matter. We can increase awareness and participation through the medium we all love.”

For the reading at Pride Arts Center, Brittany Gillespie will direct a cast to include Colleen DeRosa (Juror 1, the foreman), Samie Jo Johnson (Juror 2), Shannon Leigh Webber (Juror 3),  Diana Kaiser (Juror 4), Debbie Baños (Juror 5), Brook Celeste (Juror 6), Julia Germeroth (Juror 7), Dana N. Anderson (Juror 8), Joan McGrath (Juror 9), Roxane Saylor (Juror 10), Whitney Masters (Juror 11), and Jacquelyne Jones (Juror 12).

Following the staged reading on April 8,  audience members, cast, and staff will have the opportunity to update their voter registration,  Information will also be given about how to increase voter registration and voter turnout.


The play was adapted from Reginald Rose’s 1954 teleplay of the same name for the CBS Studio One television series. The success of the made-for-television courtroom drama resulted in a film adaptation directed by Sidney Lumet. TWELVE ANGRY MEN was Lumet's first feature film, and the only producing credit for Henry Fonda, who also starred in the film. Viewed as a classic, the film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Screenplay. The Broadway debut of TWELVE ANGRY MEN came 50 years after CBS aired the play, opening on October 28, 2004 at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre where it ran for 328 performances and was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play, Best Actor in a Play, and Best Direction of a Play.

In the story, a 19-year-old man has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. It looks like an open and shut case until one of the jurors begins opening the others' eyes to the facts. Sequestered in a small room, each juror reveals their own character as the various testimonies are re-examined, and the murder is re-enacted. Tempers get short and arguments grow heated The jurors' final verdict and how they reach it is shown in tense and electrifying scenes.

Brittany Gillespie (Director) is a Chicago based freelance director, casting director, and storyteller. She is proud to be casting director and artistic associate of Stage Left Theatre. Directing credits include: UN-LIKEABLE (Ski-Productions); PASQUINADE PARADE (Crowd Theater); THE VELVETEEN RABBIT (Millbrook Playhouse); and various pieces for Drekfest (Stage Left Theatre) & Big Shoulder Festival (American Theatre Company). Assistant director credits: THE SOURCE (Route 66); WHAT OF THE NIGHT?  (Stage Left & COR); THE BODY OF AN AMERICAN (Stage Left Theatre); BRUISE EASY (American Theatre Company); and LOVE IN THE TIME OF BUMBLEHIVE (Leapfest). Brittany spends her time outside the theater working as a bicycle tour guide and scavenger hunt host. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, where she majored in theatre with a concentration in directing and a minor in German.

Monday, April 8 – 7:30 pm
All seats $10.00
Pride Arts Center – the Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago
Tickets available by phone at 866-811-4111 or 773-857-0222 or online at


Pride Films and Plays is working to produce year-round theater and film projects that change lives through the generation of diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that are essential viewing for all audiences. The company produces a five-play season of full productions, shoots one short film each year, and continues our famed play developmental projects. Pride Films and Plays is the principal tenant in Pride Arts Center. 

Pride Arts Center produces events complimenting the PFP vision, including dance, cabaret, film, and more. Events can be one-night or limited run productions or feature national treasures like Charles Busch.  PAC occupies The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway, which has 85 seats, and The Buena, which has 50 seats at 4147 N Broadway.

Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, The Pauls Foundation, The Heath Fund, The Service Club of Chicago, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation, Arts and Business Council, and Alphawood Foundation. 

Pride Films and Plays is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Arts is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Northhalsted Business Association, Uptown United, and The League of Chicago Theatres.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

NEXT FRIDAY: One Night Only Staged Reading of All New Feminist Play "Reap The Grove" March 15th at The Den Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

By Caity-Shea Violette

One night only staged reading of an all-new feminist play
Directed by Julie Proudfoot
March 15, 2019 - 7:30 PM 

**Winner of the 2017 Artemisia Fall Festival**

Staged reading of dramedy REAP THE GROVE set for Friday, March 15 at The Den

Caity-Shea Violette’s play of a family of women reconnecting in the face of a life-altering decision was the winner of the 2017 Artemisia Fall Festival

Caity-Shea Violette’s heartbreakingly funny new play is a riveting story about a family of women struggling to reconnect as they react to an unexpected end-of-life decision. This new dramedy was the winner of Artemisia’s 2017 Fall Festival of new plays, earning it this staged reading. Artemisia’s Founding Artistic Director Julie Proudfoot will direct the reading, to be performed at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, on Friday, March 15 at 7:30 pm.

In REAP THE GROVE, Sandra and Nan have a loving marriage, estranged daughters and a very special problem.  Sandra has decided to end her life on her own terms following a terminal diagnosis.  She summons her two daughters, Judith and Beckah, home to spend her final days with them.  REAP THE GROVE examines this family of women authentically, fearlessly and with a big dose of smart humor.  

Proudfoot’s cast for the reading includes Denise Hoelfich  (Compass Theatre’s WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST) as Sandra; Justine Serino (of productions with The Gift, Silk Road Rising and many others) as Nan; Tina El Gamal (I CALL MY BROTHERS with Interrobang) as Beckah; and Elisabeth Del Toro (SHE KILLS MONSTERS with The Cuckoo’s Theater Project) as Judith.

Playwright Caity-Shea Violette is a Chicago native currently pursuing her MFA in playwriting at Boston University. She will return to Chicago for this one-night-only reading and participate in a post-reading discussion led by director Julie Proudfoot.  Violette has been working closely on the script with Proudfoot, who is a story analyst for HBO Films and Fremantle Media in addition to her work as a stage director and actress. Violette says, “Artemisia will be a powerful home to nurture this story and further empower me to push my artistic bravery to new heights to discover and honor each layer of these four women."

REAP THE GROVE is another example of Artemisia’s mission to find and develop dynamic and empowering new plays with compelling female characters who have agency, independence, and are the focal point of their own narratives. The company’s development process includes its annual Fall Festival, in which new scripts each year are given public readings; a close collaboration between Artistic Director Proudfoot and the playwright on a developmental workshop with audience discussion of each festival’s winner the following year; and a culminating fully-staged production of that play with a multi-week run the year after that.  Artemisia will stage the Midwest Premiere of SWEET TEXAS RECKONING by Traci Godfrey, winner of Fall Festival 2016, from June 7-30, 2019 at The Den.

Tickets for REAP THE GROVE are $15 and are now on sale at

CAITY-SHEA VIOLETTE (playwright) is a Chicago-based playwright and actress. Her national award-winning work has been seen in Washington D.C., New York City, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Toronto, Denver, and Chicago. She holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and is a graduate of the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Caity-Shea is currently pursuing her MFA in playwriting at Boston University and is passionate about exploring trauma, invisible disabilities, and gender-based violence, by creating new work for women.

Caity-Shea’s awards and recognition include: National Award Winner of the 2019 Susan Glaspell Playwriting Festival, Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival New Play Competition (National Finalist), The Kennedy Center's National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Excellence Award (Winner), Shakespeare's Sister Playwriting Fellowship (National Semi-Finalist), InspiraTO Playwriting Contest (Winner), Kennedy Center’s Irene Ryan Acting Competition (National Finalist), Kennedy Center's David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award (National Semi-Finalist), Kennedy Center's National Ten-Minute Play Competition (National Finalist, National Semi-Finalist), Kennedy Center's John Cauble for Outstanding Short Play (Regional Runner-Up). More information available at 

JULIE PROUDFOOT (Director) As Founder and Artistic Director, Julie is the vision behind Artemisia, selecting the plays that are featured each season in the annual fall festival and developing and directing the theatre’s premiere productions.  An actor, director and producer, Julie is proud to be part of the amazing Chicago Theatre community and make the city home to Artemisia.  Julie’s work as an actor was most recently seen on NBC’s popular series CHICAGO MED, and as a performing understudy in TimeLine’s outstanding production of A SHAYNA MAIDEL. Julie has also acted with Shakespeare Project of Chicago, Equity Library Theatre, Nebraska Rep and Artemisia, among others, and has numerous Off-Broadway and regional theatre credits.  Julie is a story analyst for HBO Films and Fremantle Media and has extensive experience developing, directing and producing new work.

The Den Theatre
1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
All seats $15.00
More info & tickets at

Founded in 2011, Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit theatre that produces all-new, dynamic and empowering plays that center on women who have agency, independence, and are the focal point of their own narratives, to create gender parity both onstage and off. Each season, Artemisia produces its Fall Festival of new play readings as well as fully staged productions of new plays it has developed. Artemisia is a 501 c 3 organization and, as such, relies heavily on public support to fund theatre that promotes equality and social justice for all women and girls.  

Artemisia Gentileschi was a Baroque artist whose paintings depicted violence with fierce honesty and elegance. For centuries after her death, her art was attributed to men. Feminist curators in the late 1970’s rediscovered Artemisia, who is now considered the greatest female painter prior to the modern period. A common theme in Gentileschi’s later work is women in moments of power, or triumph, which is why she is the perfect namesake for Artemisia.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


DePaul Students Respond to Ole Miss Incident Through Performance

Bullying awareness month (October) is over, but huge (potentially lethal) societal issues like bullying should be front and center year round.   We've seen The Laramie Project & the thought provoking follow up, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later at Red Twist Theatre   We highly recommend coming out for this free reading.   Bring your mature tweens and up. Teach tolerance.

The Theatre School at DePaul University will host a staged reading of THE LARAMIE PROJECT by Moisés Kaufman and The Members of the Tectonic Theater Project, directed by Theatre School adjunct faculty member Carolyn Hoerdemann. The reading will be followed by a moderated question/answer session, and breakout discussions.

As a response to a group of students heckling a production of THE LARAMIE PROJECT at Ole Miss, DePaul University students enrolled in a theatre course have organized a reading of THE LARAMIE PROJECT at The Theatre School at DePaul University, in order to promote tolerance and to show active solidarity with all students at the University of Mississippi. 

Ole Miss student, Garrison Gibbons, who was a member of the cast during the reading at the University of Mississippi, will be reprising his role and joining the ensemble of DePaul University students for this reading. 

Also in attendance will be Susan Burk, Laramie Project Specialist at the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Ms. Burk is also an alumna of The Theatre School at DePaul University.  She will participate as an ensemble member in the reading, and will facilitate the post-show conversation. 

This event is co-sponsored by:  DePaul University's Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, LGBTQA Student Services, the Center for Intercultural Studies, and ACT OUT DePaul.  Members of the DePaul Athletic Department Captains' Council are involved as student leaders in the break-out discussions. The Theatre School at DePaul University (Dexter Zollicoffer, Diversity Advisor) is pleased to partner with these organizations and departments. 

November 18, 2013 at 6 PM

The Merle and Harold Reskin Lobby at The Theatre School at DePaul University. 2350 N Racine Ave (at Fullerton), Chicago, IL 60614

Please call the Box Office for more information, specific directions, and suggestions to help plan your trip. 

"The students of DePaul University's Performance 290 course for non-majors, and our special guests, are proud to present a reading of The Laramie Project to be held at the university campus in Lincoln Park on November 18th, 2013. The recent events at Ole Miss have brought into public attention that there are many people who still suffer from discrimination for their personal identity.  A group of Ole Miss football players made derogatory and homophobic remarks to the cast of The Laramie Project being produced at the school.  As a response, we have been inspired to continue carrying the message of acceptance and unity."  

Admission is free.  All are welcome to attend. 


This reading is hosted by The Theatre School at DePaul University.  To learn more about our training and our public programming, please visit  

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