Jackalope Theatre Company presents
by Kristiana Rae Colón
October 19 – November 20, 2016
After Wall Street and Tahrir Square, after ISIS and the NSA, after Ferguson and Eric Garner: here come the poets. In a downtown poetry slam with a place on the team to be won, eight young poets prepare to do battle. But backstage it’s all kicking off with love triangles, families to feed and wounds to rip open. And in the end, is it about winning – or finding the words that need to be said?
Performance Venue: Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N Broadway
Preview Performances: – $5
General Admission – $25
Use promo code PENANDPAD before October 1 to access early bird tickets for $20! to edit.
Front by Robert Caisley
Winner! 1996 Kennedy Center/Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award
Set in England during the Blitz, a number of struggling individuals and families come to terms with war and the horrors and tragedies it provides. This includes Judith, a proud matriarch, who works in a factory that makes bomb detonators, her missing husband, Frank, and their two children, Sheila and John, who are forced to grow up much too quickly. A number of other war-torn individuals are also profiled, each butting heads with the raging war.
A poignant account of female perseverance,
Front is appropriate for all audiences.
Robert Caisley is Associate Professor of Theatre & Film, and Head of the Dramatic Writing Program at the University of Idaho. He was named the 2011 Blaine Quarnstrom Visiting Playwright at the University of Southern Mississippi. His play Happy, presented at the 2011 National New Play Network (NNPN) Annual Showcase of New Plays, was a Finalist this year for both the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s New Play Conference and the Woodward/Newman Award for Drama at Bloomington Playwrights Project and has been selected for a NNPN Rolling World Premiere in the 2012/13 season at New Theatre (Miami, FL), Montana Repertory Theatre, 6thStreet Playhouse (Santa Rosa, CA), and New Jersey Repertory. His other plays include Kissing (New Theatre, Coral Gables, FL), The Lake (Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia), Good Clean Fun (Montana Actors Theatre, Missoula), The 22-Day Adagio (Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke, VA), Front (developed at Sundance Playwright’s Lab and published by Samuel French), Kite’s Book (6thStreet Playhouse), Letters to an Alien (Mad Horse Theatre, Portland, ME), Santa Fe (StageWorks/Hudson, New York, Finalist for the Heideman Award), and Winter, which received its World Premiere at New Theatre in Miami in January, 2012.
Speedo Activism: Intimacy and the Aesthetics of Resistance: Priscilla Page on Space Age by Ricardo Gamboa and Sean Parris
From HowlRound by Priscilla Page
"Gamboa and Parris are bold and brave artists who are also boyfriends. With Space Age, they set out to tell the story of how they survive and thrive as “queer, working-class, boys of color.” For just over an hour, wearing only their Speedos, they create an alternate world where superheroes and sitcoms shield them from the harsh realities of every day life. The play opens with the two embracing and being playful together in the bathtub and then moves back in time to reveal how they met and what their epic first date was like. Early on, Parris, speaking to Gamboa, remembers, “Your magic made me smile.” It is a tender line that illustrates the intimacy these two performers share onstage and off. Their romp through time and space is replete with their renditions of 90s R & B music, reenactments of action movies and cartoons, dance breaks, singing, and highly-stylized fight sequences. As they recall some of the darker moments in each of their lives, Gamboa turns the scene on its head by asking, “What if we only know ourselves because of our pain?” This question lies at the heart of this play. Gamboa and Parris model their sense of knowing themselves as a tool for on-going discovery, empowerment, and expression for everyone in the audience, especially the young, queer, people of color present each night. In a short promotional video about the work, Parris shares, “The things that we grew up with protected us in ways that we didn’t know. You can take whatever circumstances that you are in and just trust that you’ve actually been creating a roadmap that got you this far.”
Read the full article.
Parris (L) and Gamboa (R) in bed. Photo by José Rivera.
LOOKOUT AND THE PLAYGROUND THEATER PRESENT
OCTOBER 03 - OCTOBER 10, 2016
Doors open 7:30pm
By Jo Cattell, Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo
For two nights this fall, Steppenwolf’s 1700 theatre is transformed into Tumbao, a family bar and the best place for a salsa night, baptism, séance or wedding reception. Unbeknownst to the owners, the community has decided to make the Tumbao family the basis for a radionovela, broadcast from the bar itself. By transmitting to the rest of the world what happens within Tumbao’s walls they hope to share the infectious energy of the family to keep the community thriving through its desperate fight against gentrification.
Jo Cattell: Creator and Director
Lorena Diaz: Creator and La Toya
Wendy Mateo: Creator and Janet
Marvin Quijada: Miguel
Gabe Ruiz: Little Tito
Karen Rodriguez: Lila
Isaac Gomez: Ricky
Salome Martinez: Ensemble
Steven Stanley awards "Broken Fences" by Steven Simoncic
at The Road Theatre Company:
Direction: Andre Barron, Featured Performances: Bruce A. Lemon Jr. & Donna Simone Johnson. Breakthrough Performance: Ben Theobald. Best Ensemble.My amazing design team: John Iacovelli, Derrick McDaniel, Joseph Sloe Slawinski and Michele Young.
Broken Fences by Steven Simoncic
"In a neighborhood on Chicago's deep West Side, the momentum of gentrification has taken hold and things have begun to change forever. As property taxes rise and demographics shift, Hoody and D struggle to keep the only home they have ever known. But when April and Czar -- a white couple intent on starting a family -- buy their first home and move in next door, the very definition of home is called into question. With unflinching honesty and unapologetic humor, Broken Fences examines identity and invisibility, community and security, hope and hostility through characters living in a modern American urban village that is at once foreign, and the place they call home."
See all the winners
Wordsmyth Reading of
Creep/the very essence by MT Cozzola
Jorie is an elite teenage student and athlete with a perfect family and two loyal and brilliant friends. When a shocking event occurs at the girls’ slumber party, Jorie and her family are confronted with choices they never expected. What does Jorie have to do to keep her band of friends together?
Sept 26, 7 pm
Wordsmyth Theater Company
Main Street Theater — Rice Village
2540 Times Blvd
The Best Plays from American Theater Festivals, 2015
includes Now Comes the Night by EM Lewis
After being held hostage in Iraq for eighteen months, American journalist Michael Aprés has been released by his captors. But his colleague is beginning to suspect that Michael isn't free yet. An explosive television interview puts their friendship to the test. Secrets, lies, and betrayal haunt both men. When one last opportunity to be a hero presents itself, they are determined to take it. But at what cost?
A free-standing sequel to the Primus Prize winning play HEADS.
To live in Chagrin Falls, Oklahoma is to be in the killing business…
Chagrin Falls won the 2001 American Theatre Critics Association Osborn Award and was a finalist for their Steinberg Award. Chagrin Falls also received Joseph Jefferson and After Dark Awards for Best New Work, as well as a Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Production, and First Prize in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition.
by Mia McCullough
at The Agency Theater Collective
October 22nd – December 4th, 2016
The Den Theatre – 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave.
BRUJOS is a web series following four gay Latino grad students that are also witches by Ricardo Gamboa with OpenTV Beta & Scrappers Film Group
TV can be art. TV can be revolutionary. TV can be popular entertainment AND incite critical dialogue. Audiences are hungry and intelligent enough for challenging work. This describes the philosophy behind BRUJOS, a counter-hegehmonic web series. Produced by OpenTV Beta, conceived, written and directed by Ricardo Gamboa and to be shot by cinematographer Ben Kolak, BRUJOS is a queer-of-color web series.
BRUJOS blends the Latin American soap opera, American sitcom, and critical theory as it follows a coven of four queer Latino doctoral candidates as they learn magic, indulge in nightlife, navigate intimate relationships, and write seminar papers all while trying to survive a witch-hunt. These young protagonists confront histories and realities of racial and gendered inequality as they battle the secret society of white, heteronormative male descendants of the first New World colonizers behind the witch-hunt. Twelve, seven-minute episodes corresponding to signs of the zodiac cycle have been developed through queer men of color testimony; interviews with actual practitioners of divination and magic, i.e. psychics, santeras, tarot readers, etc.; and with academics of cultural studies, performance studies, and queer theory.
American Blues Announces New Ensemble Member and Artistic Affiliates
Joining the Ensemble is playwright Darren Canady, whose world-premiere commission TRANSit is currently playing at American Blues. Joining the team of Artistic Affiliates is Chuck Smith, who directed the current production of DUTCHMAN (running in rep with TRANSit, as well as Nathan Singh, assistant director of TRANSit, and playwright and performer Rohina Malik, who is currently working on a new play commission for American Blues about the Muslim-American experience.
“We’re thrilled to announce our commitment to these exceptional artists. While working with each of them, we felt their artistry and collaborative spirit would greatly enhance our growing American Blues family,” said Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside.
DON CHIPOTLE-WEDDING BOLERO “SIN TÍ” PRODUCED BY JUAN VILLA AND WRITTEN BY JO CATTELL IS IN OFFICIAL LATINO SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Official Latino Short Film Festival
DON CHIPOTLE-WEDDING BOLERO “SIN TÍ”
PRODUCED BY JUAN VILLA
WRITTEN BY JO CATTELL
SCREENING DATE: SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 17TH 2016
TIME: 10:00 AM | SHORT FILMS BLOCK 6
BUY TICKETS HERE
Two newlyweds on their wedding day having their first dance together. Thinking they have escaped the Three Uncles, from whom they borrowed money in order to pay for their wedding, they celebrate alone in an abandoned school. However, no one escapes the Three Uncles.
Rohina Malik is a Chicago based playwright, actress and solo performance artist. She was born and raised in London, England, of South Asian heritage. Rohina is an artistic associate at the 16th Street Theater, a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and a company member at Voyage Theater Company in NYC.
Rohina's one woman play Unveiled was developed and had its world premiere at the 16th Street theater, directed by Ann Filmer, where it received critical acclaim. Rohina's play The Mecca Tales had its world premiere at Chicago Dramatists, and was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best New Work. Her new play Yasmina’s Necklace recently had its world premiere at the 16th street Theater. Rohina is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
6:00pm Reception and artwork displays
7:00pm Performance by Rohina Malik
8:00pm Meet the playwright and book signing
***No children under the age of twelve please.
Parking is available.
$20 per person. Please also consider making a donation upon purchasing your ticket. All proceeds from this event will be donated to Karam Foundation by Rohina Malik. Karam Foundation is a Chicago based non-profit organization on a mission to build a better future for Syria.
Please visit http://www.karamfoundation.org/ for more information.
CoHo Season 21
September 9 – October 1, 2016
CoHo Productions with Shawn Lee & Vin Shambry present
The Gun Show
By EM Lewis
directed by Shawn Lee
Performed by Vin Shambry and E.M. Lewis
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Playwright E.M. Lewis sits with the audience while Performer Vin Shambry shares her stories – just five gun stories in a country full of gun stories. Her words. His voice. Our story.
She grew up in rural Oregon, where everyone has guns. She learned to shoot on a date. She worked at Jackson’s Bookstore during an armed robbery, and once encountered a threatening cop in New York. And then there’s the fifth story: the one that doesn’t let go, the story that triggered this show.
The Gun Show takes aim at America’s most dangerous past-time with brutal honesty and poignant humor. Leaning neither right nor left, it jumps into the middle of the gun control debate and asks “Can we have a conversation about this?”
Gun Talks will follow each performance. Audience members may share their own gun stories together with the artists and community members in a moderated conversation (not a debate) about issues raised in the production, including safety, violence, control and personal gun stories.
"An unpredictable work that stealthily gathers steam, it begins with a discourse on
the national gun debate and gradually evolves into a personal account of tragedy and loss.
GO! The drama’s life-changing moments evoke a here-and-now immediacy”
“Human, bold, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always honest.”
THE GUN SHOW BY EM LEWIS is now playing at COHO Productions.
From ON THE TOWN:
What Can This Playwright’s Story Say about Guns in America?In The Gun Show, Oregonian E. M. Lewis digs into five very personal—and political—tales.
By REBECCA JACOBSON
Growing up in a rural farming community south of Portland, guns were a regular part of playwright E. M. Lewis’s life. She had neighbors who hunted, and her family kept a few shotguns and rifles handy—for defending against raccoons in the chicken coop, say, or scaring off bigger predators. Eventually, she herself learned to shoot: an experience she calls “fascinating and wonderful and exciting and dangerous-feeling.”
But Lewis’s connection to guns didn’t remain so simple. It’s that multifaceted and fraught relationship that she mines in The Gun Show, getting its first Oregon production at CoHo Theater this weekend.
It’s an unusual show: onstage, a single male actor recounts Lewis’s stories while the playwright sits with the audience. It’s a deeply personal play, but also a deeply political one—and one that’s only grown more political since its 2014 premiere.
Lewis recently moved back to the state—she’s teaching at Lewis & Clark while living on her family’s fourth-generation farm in Monitor, near Woodburn. We caught up with her ahead of opening night to talk about theater as an act of empathy, growing up in rural Oregon, and where her play fits into America’s escalating gun debate.
How did The Gun Show come about?
The play is about guns and gun control, but it’s also about my personal experiences with guns, which started in a very simple and nonchalant sort of way. In rural Oregon, everybody has guns, or at least it seems that way, even if it’s a shotgun or two up against the back door, purely for reasons of self-protection or shooting a raccoon when it gets into the chickens. Guns were not something I ever thought about. My interactions became more complicated as I moved from childhood to adulthood, from rural places to urban places.
And it’s five of your personal stories about guns that anchor the play.
Learning to shoot was fascinating and wonderful and exciting and dangerous-feeling. Being held up at a bookstore where I worked, being at the other end of that, felt very frightening. But like a lot of people, I’ve had a variety of experiences with guns and am conflicted about guns. This is not a far right or a far left play. This is a grappling with guns in American society, and trying to figure out if there’s some way to come to terms with their presence, or some way in which we can make them a little bit more safe for us. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition.
What was it like to grow up around guns?
We were not a family of hunters, but we did have a couple of shotguns and rifles that were handy. They were not something that as children we were ever allowed to touch. It was kind of like the hot stove: that’s there, don’t touch it. There were neighbors who hunted regularly. In a lot of ways, there was nothing special about the guns that were in our lives. They were tools—for hunting, for self-defense, for defending against critters going after the chickens. There wasn’t any stockpiling. And a lot of people from my part of the world, from rural Oregon, go through the military, and that frequently brings guns into a person’s personal experience and home.
[Actor] Vin Shambry and I have had a wonderful time talking about our different experiences with guns. We were both born and raised in Oregon, but he was a city kid, an African American Portland kid with a very specific experience and understanding of guns that was very different from me on the farm 40 miles away. We’re bringing our dual experiences as Oregonians to the table.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW.
by Colette Freedman
directed by Ashley Neal
Sister Cities is about four estranged sisters, whose reunion weekend is inextricably flipped 180 degrees with the sudden death of their mother. Written by internationally known playwright and author, Colette Freedman, this is the Chicago Premiere of the show, which has played all over the world.
The four sisters will be played by Nicole Fabbri, Katlynn Yost, Anna Donnell, and Norma Chacon with the Rainee Denham as their mother. It will be directed by Ashley Neal.
Sister Cities is a dark comedy that features beautifully crafted roles for five women. It will have you re-thinking what it means to be family, and what the true value of life, choice, and freedom are for you.
CRITICS ARE SAYING:
"...juicy...well-honed mordant wit..." Chicago Tribune, Kelly Reid
"Colette Freedman's agility with dialogue and gift for creating interesting characters make it extraordinary, particularly a powerful flashback...fine, passionate performances" Chicago Reader, Jack Helbig
"Sister Cities is a moving family portrait. Chimera Ensemble has staked its claim as a young Chicago company to watch." TheatreMania, Adelaide Lee
"...insightful play. Recommended...I give it Four Spotlights." Around The Town Chicago, Carol Moore
"...powerfully acted...five juicy roles for women...surely worth a trip!" Windy City Times, Scott C. Morgan
"Dramatic and humorous...intimate show with real characters portrayed fantastically by the actresses. Chimera Ensemble...is quickly proving itself to be a strong theater company with a solid foundation." Playlist HQ, Quinn Delaney
"In Sister Cities...love triumphs is a significant sentiment, one that we all need these days." Newcity, Jay Van Ort
Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency, Inc.
Representing writers since 1928.