Theater on the Lake presents Barrel of Monkeys


Barrel of Monkeys Returns to Theater on the Lake

Chicago’s Theatre on the Lake will feature Barrel of Monkeys on Wednesday (7/22) through Sunday (7/26.)  Barrel of Monkeys will be performing a special presentation of Fun O’clock: A Very Special ‘That’s Weird, Grandma’

Tickets for “Fun O’clock: A Very Special ‘That’s Weird, Grandma’” will be available at 312-742-7994.

The cast includes (back row, left to right) Christina Anthony, Donnell Williams, Bradford Stevens, Philip Markle, Jason Sperling; (center row, left to right) Mari Stratton, Tai Palmgren; (kneeling front row, left to right) Ricardo Gamboa, Rani Waterman and Brandon Cloyd

The cast includes (back row, left to right) Christina Anthony, Donnell Williams, Bradford Stevens, Philip Markle, Jason Sperling; (center row, left to right) Mari Stratton, Tai Palmgren; (kneeling front row, left to right) Ricardo Gamboa, Rani Waterman and Brandon Cloyd

In September 2008, Barrel of Monkeys began its eleventh year of serving at-risk Chicago public school students with writing workshops that lead to professionally-performed theatrical presentations in the show “That’s Weird, Grandma.”  This show has produced over 500 stories and musical numbers since April 2001, when the stage run began.

Barrel of Monkeys is an ensemble of actor-educators whose mission is to create an alternative learning environment in which children share their personal voices and celebrate the power of their imaginations, and have served more than 6,600 children in 35 Chicago public schools.  Barrel of Monkeys accomplishes this through creative writing workshops and in-school performances of children’s stories.  Barrel of Monkeys also engages the broader community in support of the visions of children through public performance of their work.  

The staff includes Luke Hatton, Artistic Director; Elizabeth Levy, Program Director; Maggie Fullilove-Nugent, Company Manager; Molly Brennan, Artistic Associate; and Sarah Goeden, After-school Program Coordinator.


Schedule Change at Goodman Theatre





Today Goodman Theatre announced a change in its upcoming 2009/2010 season lineup. Artistic Director Robert Falls has canceled the previously scheduled Joan D’Arc, directed by Aida Karic, and in its place selected Stoop Stories, an explosive solo piece by Dael Orlandersmith. A Chicago premiere, Stoop Stories will run September 11 – October 11 in the Goodman’s 400-seat flexible Owen Bruner Theatre.

The decision to cancel Joan D’Arc followed its initial limited engagement at Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture.  Despite a previous workshop and extended rehearsal period at the Goodman, this highly-complex world-premiere adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s Die Jungfrau Von Orléans (The Maid of Orléans) needed additional time for artistic development prior to the show’s scheduled Chicago opening in September. The Goodman has no immediate plans to reschedule this production.

Goodman_dael OrlandersmithStoop Stories comes to Chicago direct from its premiere at Washington, D.C.’s Studio Theatre this spring, where critics called it a “triumph” (Washington City Paper) and a “breathtaking” and “spellbinding” performance (DC Theatre Scene). Pulitzer Prize Finalist Dael Orlandersmith transforms with mesmerizing ease into an astounding range of characters, from an elderly Polish Holocaust survivor to a poetic young junkie to a teenage Puerto Rican punk to a washed-up rock ‘n’ roll star. An electrifying journey through the streets of Harlem, Orlandersmith performs a powerful, sizzling, fierce symphony of the diverse voices that make up her neighborhood. The New Yorker has described Dael’s work as “…passionate and full of insight” and The Washington Post noted, “One cup of Orlandersmith is worth a gallon of what most other monologists serve up.”

Playwright, poet and actress Dael Orlandersmith is counted among the country’s most powerful artistic voices, one of the first to transition from a spoken word artist to a nationally produced playwright. She is best known for her play Yellowman which was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize and she received an OBIE Award for Beauty’s Daughter. Her other works include Monster, The Gimmick and My Red Hand, My Black Hand. As an actor, she has performed many of her own works, as well as in productions of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Raisin in the Sun and Song for My Sisters, and can also be seen in Hal Hartley’s film Amateur.

Lifeline Theatre Will Begin Their 27th Season With “Treasure Island”


Lifeline Theatre Begins its 27th Season with “Treasure Island”


Lifeline Theatre inaugurates its 27th anniversary MainStage season with the world premiere adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” adapted by Lifeline ensemble member John Hildreth, directed by Lifeline ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric

A treasure map discovered in a dead pirate’s sea-chest leads young Jim Hawkins on an expedition across the ocean to recover a fortune in plundered gold.  Fair winds and favorable seas soon give way to mutiny, greed and the evil machinations of a one-legged scoundrel named Long John Silver. 

Join Jim on an unforgettable adventure as he fights for his life – and the lives of his friends – in this legendary tale of piracy and heroism.

lifeline_ensembleSeason Tickets on Sale Now:

Lifeline is offering season subscriptions to all three 27th anniversary season MainStage shows for $75 (and all three KidSeries plays for $27).  Being a Lifeline subscriber allows patrons to save up to 25% off regular ticket prices; offers discounts on additional tickets for friends and family; gives first choice of seats with unlimited free ticket exchanges (and includes reminder cards for shows selected, plus a reminder call a few days before the reservation); knocks 25% off party room rental for audience pre- or post-show events; and offers invitations to subscriber events such as sneak peeks of the rehearsal process, book discussions with the creative team, and author events (previous writers have included Ron Hansen, Daniel Mason, Sara Paretsky, and Donald Westlake.)

For Tickets call 773-761-4477

Season tickets on sale now.

Treasure Island opens on Monday, September 21, 2009

Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60626

Parking available (street and lot – see below); CTA accessible (Red Line Morsestop/buses)

Free designated parking in the lot west of the theatre at the NE corner of Morse and Ravenswood.  Free shuttle service before and after the show.  Handicapped accessible

Superior Donuts Makes its Broadway Debut

Steppenwolf theatre_picSuperior Donuts to Follow August: Osage County

Into Broadway’s Music Box Theatre


Superior Donuts, Steppenwolf’s new American play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning ensemble member Tracy Letts will follow Letts’ Tony Award-winning play August: Osage County into The Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street), beginning performances on Wednesday, September 16, 2009, with an officially opening on Thursday, October 1, 2009.  Directed by ensemble member Tina Landau, Superior Donuts makes its Broadway debut direct from its sold-out world premiere at Steppenwolf last summer.  Casting for the Broadway engagement will be announced shortly.


Michael McKean, left, and Jon Michael Hill in "Superior Donuts" at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago

Michael McKean, left, and Jon Michael Hill in "Superior Donuts" at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago

Superior Donuts:



Arthur Przybyszewski owns a decrepit donut shop in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.  Franco Wicks, a black teenager who is his only employee, wants to change the shop for the better.  This provocative comedy, set in the heart of one of Chicago’s most diverse communities, explores the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship.


Tracy Letts

Tracy Letts

Tracy Letts (Playwright) received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his critically-acclaimed play August: Osage County, currently playing on Broadway at The Music Box Theatre following sold-out runs at Steppenwolf in 2007 and the National Theatre in London in 2008.  Mr. Letts is also the author of Man from Nebraska, which was produced at Steppenwolf in 2003 and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize; Killer Joe, which has been produced in Chicago, London and New York; and Bug, which has played in New York, Chicago and London.

Tina Landau (Director) most recently directed The Tempest and Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where she is an ensemble member, as well as The Time of Your Life (also Seattle Rep, A.C.T.), The Diary of Anne Frank, The Cherry Orchard, and Charles Mee’s Berlin Circle and Time to Burn, among others.  She recently directed the world premieres of Tarell McCraney’s In the Red and Brown Water at the Alliance and McCarter Theaters, Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas at Long Wharf Theatre and the Off-Broadway premiere of McCraney’s Wig Out! at the Vineyard Theatre.  Tina’s work as a writer and director include Of Thee I Sing (Paper Mill Playhouse), Beauty (La Jolla Playhouse), Space (Steppenwolf, NY’s Public Theatre, Mark Taper Forum), Stonewall (En Garde Arts), 1969 (Actors Theater of Louisville), Floyd Collins with composer Adam Guettel (Playwrights Horizons, Prince Music Theatre, Old Globe, the Goodman) and Dream True with composer Ricky Ian Gordon (Vineyard Theater).  Other directing credits include Iphigenia 2.0 (Signature), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (McCarter/PaperMill), and the Broadway revival of Bells Are Ringing. 

Superior Donuts is heading to Broadway

Superior Donuts is heading to Broadway

Ms. Landau teaches at Yale School of Drama and is the co-author, with Anne Bogart, of The Viewpoints Book.

Bent’s Premiere Party





Bent at Greenhouse Theater


BENT_8[1].5x14FINALHubris Productions proudly presents Bent by Martin Sherman


Hubris Productions announces the closing of their third season with Bent by Martin Sherman at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. With previews July 9 and 10, 2009, the production runs through August 15, 2009. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Thu/Fri/Sat and 3:00 p.m. Sundays. Preview tickets are $15. General admission is $25, with a student/senior rate of $20 at all performances, and industry tickets for $15 on Thursdays and Sundays. Group rates are also available. Visit or call 773.404.7336.  Press Opening is Saturday, July 11, 2009, 8:00 p.m.

This production includes adult subject matter that may not be suitable for children.

There will be a Talkback Series with the director and actors immediately following the show on Sundays, July 12, 26 and August 9.  They will last approximately 30 minutes.

A distinctive story of love, Bent is very relevant thirty years after its Broadway opening in 1979 and seventy-five years after the time the story takes place.

In 1934 Berlin on the eve of the Nazi incursion, Max, a grifter and his lover Rudy are recovering from a night of debauchery with a SA trooper. Two soldiers burst into the apartment and slit their guest’s throat, beginning a nightmare odyssey through Nazi Germany. Ranked lower on the human scale than Jews, the men, as avowed homosexuals, flee. Desperate and on the run, Max asks his own “discreetly” homosexual Uncle Freddie for help as the older man offers little more than suggestions on how to live, as he does, practicing homosexuality on the side. Attempting their escape, Rudy is beaten to death as Horst, another homosexual prisoner, warns Max to deny his lover. Taken to a death camp at Dachau, Max and Horst branded with the “pink triangle”, hope to survive with each other for comfort and courage.

brilliant Director, Jacob Green

brilliant Director, Jacob Green

Artistic Director, Jacob Christopher Green directs this poignant story. The cast includes Christopher Kauffmann (Max), Timothy McGuire (Kapo), Jason Ober (Horst), Gregory L. Payne (Uncle Freddie/Captain), Michael Shepherd (Rudy), Andrew Strenk (Wolf/Guard) and Travis Walker (Greta).

The landmark drama, Bent, was written in 1970 by Martin Sherman. Living in New York City during and after the Stonewall riots of 1969, he knew that he had to address the lack of historical perspective. Prior to Bent, there had been virtually no inclusion of gays in discussions about the Holocaust. After being produced on Broadway in 1979, it was nominated for both a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award in 1980.

cast during rehearsal

cast during rehearsal


Hubris Productions continues its tradition of charitable giving by donating a portion of the proceeds from this production to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Learn more at 



Honest, Sex with Strangers & Ski Dubai at Steppenwolf


First Look Repertory of New Work:  Honest, Sex with Strangers & Ski Dubai

Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the 5th annual First Look Repertory of New Work, featuring three developmental productions of new plays presented in rotation and accompanied by a series of events around the development of new work.  First Look Repertory of New Work runs July 22 – August 9, 2009 in The Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted St.


First Look Repertory of New Work is a developmental process that culminates in performance before an audience, rather than in a staged reading or workshop presentation.  Scripts undergo significant revision during the workshop/rehearsal process and may be revised even after being publicly presented during First Look.  They are presented with full, if minimal, design support because in Steppenwolf’s view, the design process is an integral aspect of play development.  The intent is to prime the plays for future production at other theaters across the country.


Steppenwolf theatre_picThe First Look Repertory of New Work 2009 productions are:


Written and directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson

Wednesday, July 22 – Sunday, August 9, 2009

Featuring Martin McClendon, Katherine Cunningham, Erik Hellman, Lucas Neff and Kelly O’Sullivan.

Guy, author of a best-selling memoir about his downward spiral into drug addiction and homelessness, comes face-to-face with a prying reporter, snooping for a scandal.  Their tense showdown over truth versus creative license leads to shocking revelations that could jeopardize both their livelihoods.


Sex with Strangers

By Laura Eason

Directed by associate artist Jessica Thebus

Thursday, July 23 – Sunday, August 9, 2009

Featuring Amy J. Carle and Stephen Louis Grush.

Ethan Strange is a hot young scenester whose online journal of sexscapades have turned him into the “it” boy of the blogosphere. Olivia is an attractive 30-something whose own writing career has crapped out.  After they hook up, sex turns into dating and dating into something more—but their online exploits threaten to destroy their real-life connection. 


Ski Dubai

By Laura Jacqmin

Directed by Lisa Portes

Friday, July 24 – Sunday, August 9, 2009

Featuring ensemble member James Vincent Meredith with Cliff Chamberlain, Hillary Clemens, Jennifer Coombs, Sadieh Rifai and Rani Waterman.

Rachel, a young Environmental Friendliness Consultant, moves from New York to steamy Dubai to work on a man-made island teeming with skyscrapers and luxury hotels.  Trying to uphold her “green” principles in a hotbed of capitalism, she navigates a stream of quirky displaced internationals battling loneliness and isolation in a flashy, modern pseudo-city.


steppenwolf_new work_trioThe First Look 2009 Playwrights:

Laura Eason is the author of more than 15 plays, both original works and adaptations.  Previous productions at Steppenwolf include When the Messenger is Hot (also at 59E59, NYC), A Tale of Two Cities and Huck Finn.  Her plays have been produced and developed in New York at New York Theatre Workshop, WET, New Georges, MCC, Andhow and Vital Theatre and produced regionally at Lookingglass, Walkabout, Two River Theater and Theatre Schmeater.  Laura is an Affiliated Artist of New Georges and a playwright member of the Women’s Project Lab in New York and an Ensemble Member and the former Artistic Director of Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago. 


Laura Jacqmin is the winner of the 2008 Wasserstein Prize, a $25,000 award for emerging female playwrights. Her plays have been produced and developed with Ars Nova, 2econd Stage Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater and The 24 Hour Plays Off Broadway at the Atlantic Theater.  Jacqmin will be the artist-in-residence at the Center on Age and Community in Milwaukee this fall and is an adjunct faculty member at Carthage College.


Eric Simonson, a Steppenwolf ensemble member since 1993, recently completed a documentary on the late Studs Terkel for HBO.  He received a Tony® nomination for his direction of Steppenwolf’s The Song of Jacob Zulu with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and directed an Oscar®-nominated documentary about the acclaimed South African singing group.  Simonson received an Oscar® for Best Documentary Short for his film A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin in 2006.  Other directing credits at Steppenwolf include Carter’s Way (also playwright), Slaughterhouse-Five (also adaptor) and Nomathemba (Hope). His new play Fake will be presented during Steppenwolf’s 2009-2010 Season.


The designers for First Look 2009 are:  Kevin Depinet (sets), Myron Elliott (costumes), J.R. Lederle (lights) and Joseph Fosco (sound).  Jonathan Templeton is the Lead Stage Manager, Jonathan Nook and Lauren Hickman are the Stage Managers,  Kimberly Senior and Ed Sobel are the Program Directors and Whitney Dibo is the Program Assistant.


 Individual tickets to First Look Repertory of New Work cost $20.  A First Look Pass to all three plays is available for $45.  Tickets are available at or by calling Audience Services at 312-335-1650