Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s home for close-up magic, announces The Showcase: New and Experimental Works, a weekly show featuring company members and special guests performing brand new material. The Showcase: New and Experimental Works will be presented on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 pm, beginning January 8, 2019 with Ryan Plunkett and Lee Benzaquin.
TUTA Theatre Chicago is pleased to announce three additional weeks of performances of its hit U.S. premiere of RADIO CULTURE. Following a brief hiatus, RADIO CULTURE will return January 11 – 27, 2019 at 4670 N. Manor Ave. in Chicago, where it has enjoyed sell-out performances since opening on October 17, 2018. This intimate depiction of one day in the life of a young Belorussian is written by Maxim Dosko, with a new English translation by Natalia Fedorova and Amber Robinson and direction by Amber Robinson. Reservations for all performances are currently available at www.tutatheatre.org/upcoming-radio-culture/.
The New Colony, under the new artistic leadership of Fin Coe* and Stephanie Shum*, is pleased to announce casting for its world premiere of SMALL WORLD, a twisted comedy in the happiest place on earth, co-written by Jillian Leff and Joe Lino and directed by Andrew Hobgood. SMALL WORLD will feature Ensemble members Patriac Coakley* and Stephanie Shum* with Jackie Seijo.
Pop culture icons take center stage in the newest revue of Barrel of Monkeys’ much lauded sketch show: THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Star-Studded Stories, directed by Company Member Mary Tilden, playing Sundays at 3 pm from January 20 – February 17, 2019 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Tickets go on sale Monday, December 17, 2018 at www.barrelofmonkeys.org or by calling (773) 506-7140. The press opening is Sunday, January 27 at 3 pm.
TimeLine Theatre Company is pleased to announce that it has completed the purchase of property located at 5033–5035 North Broadway Avenue in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The property, which encompasses a five-story, 45,120-square-foot warehouse building plus a vacant lot near the corner of Broadway and Argyle, is planned as the site of a renovated facility to house the theatre’s future operations and to support and expand its mission of presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today’s social and political issues.
Full casting has been announced for Pride Films and Plays’ production of SOUTHERN COMFORT. The musical will open to the press on March 4, 2019 in the Broadway theater of the Pride Arts Center and play through March 31.
Black Box Acting, Chicago’s premier actor training program, today announced a change in ownership. Andrew Cutler, Amanda Fink and Eric Gerard will succeed co-founders and longtime co-owners Audrey Francis and Laura Hooper. Black Box will remain at its current headquarters at 2625 W. North Ave. near Chicago's Logan Square, Wicker Park and West Town neighborhoods. Francis and Hooper will remain active in the organization.
Founded in 2009, Audrey Francis and Laura Hooper built Black Box Acting from the ground up, with zero funding, into a thriving, profitable arts organization reaching more than 2500 students over the last decade. Black Box's student base tripled in size within the first three months of opening; the following year, Francis and Hooper hired and trained 10+ staff members to support growing class sizes. In 2013, they purchased and built out Black Box's current space at 2625 W. North Ave., fulfilling their goal to create a home for artists to practice working hard and being fearless.
Comment Audrey Francis and Laura Hooper, “The ethos of Black Box is that it is by and for the next generation of artistic revolutionaries. To truly commit to our mission, we must recognize when our students have become our leaders. We dreamed for Black Box to be bigger than us as individuals. Today, we see that dream realized. We are thrilled to introduce Eric Gerard, Amanda Fink, and Andrew Cutler as Black Box's new leadership team. We cannot wait to cheer them on as they lead Black Box into its next decade.”
Black Box’s new leadership Andrew Cutler, Amanda Fink and Eric Gerard add, “We are excited to expand upon the remarkable foundation Audrey and Laura have built as we take on leadership roles at Black Box. Our core values and programming will remain as strong as ever, and we're committed to increasing accessibility to our classes and bringing new voices into our classrooms. We will continue to offer our core STUDIO curriculum throughout the year, training actors in The Black Box Method. We are already accepting applications for the next ACADEMY, our five-month conservatory program, set to begin in June 2019. In addition to these staples of our training, we will be increasing our Professional Series offerings, adding more professional development and hands-on application classes to our curriculum.”
New Leadership Biographies
Andrew Cutler is the new Executive Director of Black Box Acting. He is also an actor and educator living and working in Chicago. He is an alumnus of the University of Chicago, the ACADEMY at Black Box Acting, and the apprenticeship program at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. He has taught acting at Black Box since 2013, and also taught this fall at the University of Chicago. As an actor, Andrew has appeared in more than twenty productions, including shows at First Floor Theater, the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, A Red Orchid Theatre, The Artistic Home, Broken Nose Theatre and The Sound. He was a founding member of First Floor Theater, where he also serves as the Associate Artistic Director.
Amanda Fink is the incoming Creative Director of Black Box Acting. She has been working as an actor and educator in Chicago for the better part of the last decade, and Black Box has been her artistic home in the city from the very beginning. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and The ACADEMY at Black Box Acting and she worked at Black Box administratively in the roles of Student Affairs Coordinator and Marketing Director before joining the teaching team in 2017. As an actor, she has worked most recently with Court Theatre, Sideshow Theatre Company and First Floor Theater, where she is a proud co-founder.
Eric Gerard is the new Artistic Director at Black Box Acting. He is an alumnus of The ACADEMY at Black Box and has been teaching acting there for three years. Black Box has been his artistic training ground since 2012. He is also an actor in the city. He has done over fifteen shows in the city including productions with Steppenwolf, Timeline, Redtape, Jackalope, First Floor, Teatro Vista and Windy City Playhouse.
For additional information, visit www.blackboxacting.com.
Cirque Dreams has many different productions and ensembles touring at once, apparently due to an audience demand for their theatrical circus hybrid. Their holiday offering, Holidaze, is playing through the weekend at the Chicago Theater. While you may find yourself awed by some of the physical endeavors, Cirque Dreams' production is more akin to theme park entertainment than anything resembling a tour with a premium price tag.
Random Acts has announced the next #SafeSpace variety event for Tuesday, December 18 at 7:30pm. The fundraiser, which will be held at Pride Arts Center (4139 N Broadway) will be hosted by Roy Samra. There is a suggested donation of $5 with proceeds benefiting Project Fierce Chicago.
Goodman Theatre proudly announces its cast for Twilight Bowl by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rebecca Gilman, an Artistic Associate who marks her ninth production—and seventh world premiere—with the Goodman. Set in a rural Wisconsin bowling alley, the coming-of-age story focuses on six women struggling to define their own version of success. Erica Weiss—co-creator and -executive producer of the upcoming CBS series The Red Line (airing May 2019) and former Goodman Theatre Michael Maggio Directing Fellow—directs the world premiere production. The ensemble cast, all of whom reprise their roles from the developmental production in the Goodman’s 2017 New Stages Festival of new plays, includes Hayley Burgess (Clarice), Heather Chrisler (Jaycee), Angela Morris (Maddy), Becca Savoy (Sam), Mary Taylor (Brielle) and Anne E. Thompson (Sharlene). The creative team includes Regina Garcia (Set), Cat Wilson (Lighting), Izumi Inaba (Costumes) and Victoria Deiorio (Sound). Tickets ($10 - $45; subject to change) go on sale this Friday, December 14 at www.GoodmanTheatre.org, by telephone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). Major Support for Twilight Bowl is provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and Russell Reynolds Associates is the Contributing Sponsor.
our top picks