Friday, April 7, 2017

Tracy Letts’s rebellion against the Jeff Awards is suspiciously woke by Christopher Piatt

Keep the faith, Chicago theater lovers. If your trust in the integrity of Steppenwolf and Tracy Letts was in any way shaken by the tortured, execrable sitcom CBS rendered from their Chicago-…

SOURCE: at 08:58PM
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nearly a year after Profiles, Chicago theater professionals are still learning to talk to each other about abuse by Aimee Levitt

In the two years since the secret Not in Our House Facebook group was formed, a number of things have changed. Chief among them is that Profiles Theatre no longer exists.…

SOURCE: at 03:18PM
Monday, February 27, 2017

The One-Minute Festival offers a takedown of the entire Trump administration in just 60 seconds by Abbey Schubert

In the wake of a tumultuous presidential election, this year's One-Minute Play Festival at the Den Theatre puts politics at center stage. In its seventh year, the festival—this edition is …

SOURCE: at 06:01PM
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The OnEdge experimental performance series questions traditional theatrical norms by Abbey Schubert

Now in its fourth year, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events' OnEdge series returns with a month of experimental theater and dance shows that examine the intersections of id…

SOURCE: at 04:02PM

Dead Writers Collective now dead after allegations of harassment and abuse by Aimee Levitt

A social media firestorm of allegations of sexual harassment and emotional abuse ignited Tuesday afternoon and incinerated Dead Writers Collective, a six-year-old theater company, which anno…

SOURCE: at 02:58PM
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Karen Finley strikes back against Trump and indifference—no chocolate smearing necessary by Abbey Schubert

Censorship, unicorns, sexism—no topic is too sensitive or outrageous for Karen Finley. The Chicago native will visit Steppenwolf for a pair of shows: Written in Sand, on February 10 and 11…

SOURCE: at 03:57PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

For the next ten days Chicago is the puppet capital of the world by Tony Adler

Spring 1988. The Spanish puppet company Comediants is onstage at Park West and a 26-year-old Blair Thomas is in the audience having a revelation.…

SOURCE: at 04:34PM
Friday, January 6, 2017

For a former believer, The Christians at Steppenwolf is a stunning reminder of a personal crisis of faith by Ryan Smith

(This essay contains spoilers.) Popular culture often portrays the Christian pursuit of faith as a naive desire for clarity and certainty in an unsympathetic world that off…

SOURCE: at 02:04PM
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Back for a fourth round: the Chicago Improv Classic tournament by Tony Adler

Improvisation has become the sriracha of performing arts. People are always finding new places to put it, from moviemaking to corporate-team building.…

SOURCE: at 03:12PM
Friday, December 30, 2016

A Q&A with Fences costars Stephen McKinley Henderson and Jovan Adepo by Leah Pickett

Fences, in theaters now, is the first August Wilson play to be adapted into a feature film backed by a major film studio (The Piano Lesson, which was first produced in 1987, was made for TV…

SOURCE: at 05:37PM
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Two more 2016 surprises: The end of Oracle Productions, and the end of the Hypocrites as we know them by Deanna Isaacs

The Chicago theater community got a pair of year-end jolts with December announcements about the demise of Oracle Productions and the near demise of the Hypocrites. …

SOURCE: at 05:45PM
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A sudden lights out for Too Much Light at Neo-Futurists by Deanna Isaacs

Neo-Futurists founder Greg Allen made the surprising announcement today that he's ending the 28-year Chicago run of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind on December 31st. He's doing so in …

SOURCE: at 08:08PM
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Court Theatre concludes its House of Atreus trilogy with a Hamlet-like Electra by Tony Adler

In 2014 translator Nicholas Rudall and director Charles Newell gave us their canny and powerful version of Iphigenia in Aulis, Euripides's look at how, step by excruciating step, Mycenaean k…

SOURCE: at 01:30PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Much Ado dissects Shakespeare line by line by Michael Miner

Schoolchildren are introduced to Shakespeare as literature, which might not be the best idea. I slogged through King Lear in college, and then again this summer on behalf of my book group.…

SOURCE: at 10:00AM
Friday, October 7, 2016

Dave Maher, high-concept mischief-maker, revives his Coma Show this weekend by Justin Hayford

As a performer, comedian Dave Maher is a high-concept mischief-maker. During his recent six-week stint at the Annoyance, he spent one night intentionally shirking his responsibilities, setti…

SOURCE: at 12:19PM
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What does Nat Turner have to say to today’s America? by Michael Miner

The arts section, no less, of a recent New York Times carried two stories on American racism at its roots. There was an admiring review of a new play, Underground Railroad Game, a kind of …

SOURCE: at 03:05PM
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Up yours! A satanic Kermit takes over a good Lutheran kid in Victory Gardens’ Hand to God by Tony Adler

Convinced Christians may take offense at Hand to God. Convinced Christians with a sense of humor may find themselves in the odd position of taking offense while laughing.…

SOURCE: at 12:30PM
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

There's one more chance to see Twelfth Night as done in Mumbai by Tony Adler

Hindi isn't the only language into which Mumbai's Company Theatre has translated Twelfth Night. They've also rendered it into a theatrical style that takes liberties with everything but Shak…

SOURCE: at 06:03PM

There's one last chance to see Twelfth Night in Hindi by Tony Adler

Hindi isn't the only language into which Mumbai's Company Theatre has translated Twelfth Night. They've also rendered it into a theatrical style that takes liberties with everything but Shak…

SOURCE: at 06:03PM
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Aaron Posner follows up Stupid Fucking Bird with another Chekhov adaptation, Life Sucks by Jack Helbig

By turns homage and send-up, faithful adaptation and freewheeling deconstruction, Life Sucks, Aaron Posner's witty, iconoclastic update of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, is much smarter and more ent…

SOURCE: at 05:03PM
Friday, August 26, 2016

From book’s blurbs, you’d never know these critics slammed the play by Michael Miner

This Is Modern Art, a provocative play about graffiti artists, ran for a few weeks early last year as a Steppenwolf for Young Adults production. The play, by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval, …

SOURCE: at 12:00PM
Friday, August 19, 2016

The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival returns by Tony Adler

Back for its third year, the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, running at Victory Gardens Theater through 8/28, presents 14 new or lightly used musicals, two of them in workshops and a dozen…

SOURCE: at 02:30PM
Thursday, August 11, 2016

How do you stop whitewashing Chicago theater? by Aimee Levitt

Nearly 300 members of the Chicago theater community gathered at a town hall meeting  at Victory Gardens Theater Tuesday night to discuss the problem of a lack of roles for performers of co…

SOURCE: at 01:30PM
Monday, August 8, 2016

Sulie Harand, legendary arts educator, has died at 97 by Albert Williams

Arts educator, singer, actress, and entrepreneur Sulie Harand passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, August 6, four days after her 97th birthday. Sulie, born August 2, 1919, was co…

SOURCE: at 10:33AM
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Victory Gardens’ Ignition Festival of New Plays reignites by Tony Adler

Crap-shootishness is part of the charm of new play festivals, and with six scripts scheduled for readings, this one will necessarily have its share. But host Victory Gardens Theater has clea…

SOURCE: at 04:00PM

Porchlight casting raises questions on the nature of 'authentic' theater by Michael Miner

In 2010, when the young actor Corbin Bleu took over the lead role of Usnavi in In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who'd written the show's score and also originated the role, hailed him in…

SOURCE: at 08:00AM

Porchlight’s whitewashing of In the Heights narrator is a letdown for Latinx community by Tommy Rivera-Vega

When I first saw the lineup for Porchlight Music Theatre's 2016 season, I thought: Wow! This might be our chance.  …

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Did three interns have to quit Oak Park Festival Theatre to improve working conditions? by Aimee Levitt

A life in the theater, on- or offstage, is so notoriously difficult that it's become romanticized. Young, aspiring actors and crew members expect long hours, late nights, and hard physic…

SOURCE: at 01:00PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pride Films and Plays takes over former Profiles Theatre space by Aimee Levitt

Since Profiles Theatre abruptly closed its doors nearly a month ago, six days after the Reader published its investigation of alleged abuse and misconduct within the theater, there has been…

SOURCE: at 10:35AM
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bitter Lemons editor blames Profiles Theatre victims, loses job by Michael Miner

The Reader's exposé of Profiles Theatre triggered something in Chicago that one theater-world friend calls "incredibly important"—an overdue acknowledgement and fierce repudiation of abu…

SOURCE: at 09:00AM
Friday, June 17, 2016

The Reader's Profiles Theatre investigation and follow-up coverage by Reader Staff

If you want to follow the Profiles Theatre story and all its developments from the very beginning, here, in chronological order, are all the stories and blog posts the Reader has run since J…

SOURCE: at 01:44PM

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