Chicago’s Theater Wit is off to the races after the New Year with the world premiere of Eric John Meyer’s The Antelope Play, an amazing and timely new comedy about adult fans of My Little Pony, and the first major theater opening of 2018.
Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler directs Meyer’s comedic exploration of how the currents of history, normalization and fear can spur the rise of a new social order. Will Allan, Anu Bhatt, Mary Winn Heider, Evan Linder, Edward Mawere and Annie Munch will horse around on stage as fellow members of the Rust Belt Ponies Meet Up Group for Adult Fans of My Little Pony.
It's sometime in the 2010s. The Rust Belt Ponies Meet Up Group has gathered in Brony Ben's Philadelphia apartment, but two of their company have not yet arrived. A new recruit seems unusually shy and curiously paranoid about a local neighborhood watch group. What happened to their pegasister friend, Maggie? Why is Brony Doug so paranoid? What does it all have to do with the 9/11 Truthers and an emerging group of "concerned citizens?"
And that's just the first ten minutes.
In the midst of the rise of a new normal marked by increasing violence and authoritarianism, is it still possible for our heroes to see the magic in Everypony?
Even worse, what if they do?
Theater Wit is located at 1229 N. Belmont Ave., in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Previews of The Antelope Party are January 5 through 14: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m. Preview tickets are $12-$18. Press opening is Tuesday, January 16 at 7 p.m. Regular performances run through February 24: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.Performances are $24-$38.
The best way to secure seats to The Antelope Party is to sign up for a Theater Wit Membership. Wit’s “all the theater you can eat” deal comes with special perks and lets members see as many plays at they want in any of Wit’s three spaces for one low monthly fee of $29/$22 for students. This includes shows presented at Wit by 2017-18 resident companies About Face, Kokandy Productions and Shattered Globe, and other top storefront and visiting companies.
To purchase a Membership, to inquire about Flex Pass options or to purchase single tickets, visit TheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, (773) 975-8150.
Behind the scenes of The Antelope Party
Eric John Meyer is a playwright and performer/director/producer based in New York City. His work has been developed or presented by Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, Vineyard Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Flea, Dutch Kills Theater Company and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, among others. He is a member of the Actor's Studio Playwright/Director Unit and a recipient of a new play commission from Playwrights Horizons. Meyer is a co-founder of Human Head Performance Group and The Truck Project, both of which he established with his partner, Jean Ann Douglass. He received his MFA in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College.
Jeremy Wechsler (director) most recently staged Mitchell Fain’s This Way Outta Santaland, Theater Wit’s Midwest premiere last season of Anne Washburn’s 10 Out of 12, and Wit’s extended Midwest premiere of Mat Smart’s Naperville. Other directing credits at Wit include the company’s election night reading of The Trump Card by Mike Daisey, The New Sincerityby Alena Smith, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Madeline George’s Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, and that show’s summer remount at Art Square Theatre in Las Vegas. Wechsler also staged Wit’s acclaimedCompleteness and The Four of Us (Itamar Moses), Tigers Be Still (Kim Rosenstock), This(Melissa James Gibson), Spin (Penny Penniston), Feydeau-Si-Deau (Georges Feydeau), Men of Steel (Qui Nguyen), Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Will Eno), Two for the Show (James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger) and The Santaland Diaries. A veteran director in Chicago with over 50 productions, his work has been nominated for and won multiple awards for design, performance, adaptation and best new plays.
Designers for The Antelope Party are Joe Schermoly (set, recently nominated for a Jeff Award for his set design for Theater Wit’s Naperville last season), Karen Krolak (costumes), Diane Fairchild (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound) and Jesse Gaffney (props).
About Theater Wit
Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, is a major hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.
In addition to The Antelope Party, Theater Wit’s 2017-18 season opens with Significant Other by Joshua Harmon, author of Wit’s 2015 smash hit Bad Jews, about a gay man in New York whose girlfriends are all getting married, co-produced with About Face Theatre (November 2–December 10, 2017).
Wit also presents America’s premiere monologist, Mike Daisey, three nights only, in three different shows commenting on the current state of the U.S.A.: This is Not Normal, The End of Journalism and The White Man’s Burden, November 16, 17 and 18.
For the holidays, Chicago's favorite seasonal performer, Mitchell J. Fain, returns with a full-blown, mainstage production of his hilarious and touching tell-all, This Way Outta Santaland (and other Xmas miracles), November 24-December 30, 2017.
Soon after The Antelope Party, spring sees Wit’s Chicago debut of Women Laughing Alone with Salad, Sheila Callaghan’s meta-feminist satirical comedy about friendship, salad, sex, bodies, yoga, salad, men, envy, diets, salad, uppers and salad (March 9-April 29, 2018).
“A thrilling addition to Chicago’s roster of theaters” (Chicago Tribune) and “a terrific place to see a show” (New City), Theater Wit is now in its eighth season at its home at
1229 N. Belmont Ave., in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. In 2014, Theater Wit was awarded the National Theatre Award by the American Theatre Wing for strengthening the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater.
The company’s most recent hits include 10 Out of 12 and Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Naperville by Mat Smart, The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George, and Completeness and The Four of Us by Itamar Moses.
To purchase a Membership, inquire about Flex Pass options or to buy single tickets, visitTheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, 773.975.8150.
To receive an “artisanal selection of consonants and vowels from Theater Wit,” sign up atTheaterWit.org/mailing for exclusive updates, flash deals and behind-the-scenes production scoop every few weeks.