The Other Theatre Company, now rebranded as “Other Theatre,” is pleased to announce its 4th season, kicking off this fall with the world premiere of Martín Zimmerman’s comedic graphic novel for the stage THE MAKING OF A MODERN FOLK HERO, presented in association with Chicago Dramatists Grafting Project and directed by Kelly Howe.
The season continues with the company’s second revival of the holiday smash-hit BARNEY THE ELF. After helming the acclaimed 2016 production, Tommy Rivera-Vega returns to direct this campy and irreverent musical parody of Elf.
Other Theatre’s season concludes with OTHER WAYS TO RESIST, a festival of premiere plays directed by Nick Thornton. This immersive evening of new plays by some of Chicago’s most captivating voices examines what it means to be an “other” locked in the struggle to be recognized, respected and represented.
THE MAKING OF A MODERN FOLK HERO will be presented at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. in Chicago. BARNEY THE ELF and OTHER WAYS TO RESIST will be staged at Other Theatre’s resident home, The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Tickets for all three productions are on sale now. To purchase tickets and for additional information, please visit www.TheOtherTheatreCompany.com.
The Other Theatre Company’s 4th season also marks an official rebrand to, simply, Other Theatre.
"We don't want to be easy to dismiss," states Artistic Director Carin Silkatis, "Our goals in the Chicago theater scene are simple and specific, and we felt our brand should represent that in a political climate where simplicity and specificity are utterly necessary. The new company name should make it easier for current and future supporters to find, follow and engage with us.”
Other Theatre’s 4th Season Includes:
September 29 – October 29, 2017
THE MAKING OF A MODERN FOLK HERO – World Premiere!
By Martín Zimmerman
Directed Kelly Howe
Press opening: Thursday, October 5, 2017
at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. in Chicago.
A congressman entices an old friend (and washed-up actor) to portray a superhero in a publicity stunt designed to stop the unjust bulldozing of a public housing complex. That first stunt proves successful and leaves the crowd enthralled, but what happens when the character the politician created goes rogue? This graphic novel for the stage employs a seamless blend of live actors and shadow puppets to investigate the passions, hopes, and fears that call people to yearn for and believe in the possibility of superheroes.
November 25 – December 31, 2017
BARNEY THE ELF – The Holiday Hit Returns!
Written by Bryan Renaud
Lyrics by Bryan Renaud and Emily Schmidt
Directed by Tommy Rivera-Vega
Press opening: Tuesday, November 28, 2017
at The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Other Theatre's smash-hit holiday tradition returns for its third year! After Santa Claus makes an untimely exit, his wicked son begins a not-so-jolly reign as the new head of Christmas. The 2017 production welcomes the return of Chicago drag sensation Dixie Lynn Cartwright in this campy musical parody of Elf. "Rather endearing [with] surprising emotional payoffs... Renaud and his collaborators may well have a fringe holiday repeat hit to call home for the holidays." -The Chicago Tribune
April 14 – May 13, 2018
OTHER WAYS TO RESIST – World Premiere!
By Various Chicago Playwrights
Directed Nick Thornton
Press opening: Thursday, April 19, 2018
at The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
“OTHER” is a five-letter battle cry. Hear its many voices unite in OTHER WAYS TO RESIST, a festival of new plays examining the struggle for recognition, respect and representation. Join Other Theatre for an immersive evening of premiere plays that delve into the diverse and complex identities of those who call themselves “other” in a time when being an outsider is increasingly unsafe. The previous iteration of this festival included Leigh Fondakowski (The Laramie Project), Stephen Louis Grush (Fox’s “Gracepoint”), and Martin Zimmerman (Netflix’s “Narcos”), among its authors.
Creative Team Bios
Martín Zimmerman (Playwright, The Making of a Modern Folk Hero) is a multi-ethnic, bilingual playwright and screenwriter whose plays have been produced or developed at The Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Alley Theatre, Roundabout Underground, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, LCT3, New York Theatre Workshop, Victory Gardens Theater, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, The Playwrights’ Center, Alliance Theatre, A.C.T. (Seattle), PlayPenn, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, American Theater Company, The Theatre @ Boston Court, Chicago Dramatists, Primary Stages, Teatro Vista, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Playwrights Foundation, Cara Mía Theatre Co, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and Borderlands Theater, among others. A recipient of the Terrence McNally New Play Award, Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citation, Humanitas Prize New Voices Award, Sky Cooper New American Play Prize, McKnight Advancement Grant, Jerome Fellowship, Carl Djerassi Playwriting Fellowship, and the National New Play Network’s Smith Prize, Martín was a Staff Writer on Netflix’s Narcos, is a Story Editor on the upcoming Netflix Series Ozark, has been the Alliance for Latino Theater Artists (ALTA) Artist of the Month, was a member of the 2011-2012 Playwrights’ Unit at Goodman Theatre, is a Playwright in Residence at Teatro Vista, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and is currently under commission at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, and Roundabout Theatre Company. MFA in Playwriting: The University of Texas at Austin. BA in Theater Studies, BS in Economics: Duke University.
Kelly Howe (Director, The Making of a Modern Folk Hero) is a theatre faculty member at Loyola University Chicago and Resident Dramaturg at TOTC. Recent directing credits include Sarah Myers' The Realm (TOTC), Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, Ellen McLaughlin’s Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Juan Mayorga’s Way to Heaven, Brecht and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, George Brant’s Elephant’s Graveyard, Martín Zimmerman’s Phoenix Unforgiven and Sarah Myers’ God of the Gaps. Recent dramaturgy for TOTC includes Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, Daughters of Ire and Threesome. Kelly is a past president of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) and co-organizer of the collective Theatre of the Oppressed and Activism in Chicago. She co-chaired three of PTO's international conferences and the 30th anniversary conference of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) in Chicago. As an artist/scholar, Kelly focuses on activist performance, particularly Theatre of the Oppressed and theatre as feminist organizing. She co-edited Theatre of the Oppressed in Actions (2015) with Julian Boal and Scot McElvany and is working on The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed with Julian Boal and José Soeiro. Her writing also appears in Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, Text and Performance Quarterly, Comparative Drama, etc. She is a member of the advisory board of the Jana Sanskriti International Research and Resource Institute, West Bengal, India. MA/PhD UT-Austin; BA Muhlenberg College.
Bryan Renaud (Playwright, Barney the Elf) is the Associate Artistic Director of Other Theatre, where he has premiered his plays Barney the Elf and Other Letters, the latter co-written with Carin Silkaitis. He is also the Founding Artistic Director of Random Acts, where he premiered Strangest Things! The Musical (with Emily Schmidt, now in its fifth month at the Greenhouse Theater Center), All Our Twilight, and Ladies Night of the Living Dead, the top-selling production of the 2015 Chicago Fringe Festival. As a performer, Bryan has worked with American Theater Co., Pride Films & Plays, Provision Theater, Music Theatre Co., GreatWorks, Prologue Theatre, Shakespeare at the Centre, Oak Park Festival Theatre, NWaC and Two Pigs Productions. www.BryanRenaud.com
Tommy Rivera-Vega (Director, Barney the Elf) returns after directing the 2016 remount of Barney the Elf. He also directed the smash-hit world premiere Strangest Things! The Musical, now in its fifth month at the Greenhouse Theater Center. Chicago Acting credits: Parachute Men, Between You Me and the Lampshade, A View From the Bridge, Momma’s Boyz – Teatro Vista; La Havana Madrid – Steppenwolf and Teatro Vista; Mother Road – Goodman Theatre; West Side Story – Drury Lane; In the Heights – Skylight Music Theatre; In the Heights, My Fair Lady – Paramount Theatre; Three Sisters – Steppenwolf Theatre; Kiss of the Spiderwoman – BoHo Theatre; Augusta & Noble – Adventure Stage; Pippin – Music Theatre Company; CATS – Theo Ubique; Puerto Rico credits: Spring Awakening, Footloose – Black Box Theatre. Episodic: Chicago PD (Ep 411). He is a proud Teatro Vista, Other Theatre Ensemble member and an Artistic Associate of Random Acts. Tommy is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.
Nick Thornton (Director, Other Ways to Resist) is a freelance director, dramaturg and teaching artist, in addition to being the Literary Manager and Education Coordinator at the Greenhouse Theater Center (GTC). Recent Chicago credits include associate director/movement coordinator of Machinal (GTC), dramaturg/assistant director of I Do Today (Other Theatre), director of Nouns of Assemblage (Women’s Theatre Alliance) and director of The Parking Lot Discord (Peacebook/Collaboration). He also serves as a teaching artist at Pegasus Theatre, Mudlark Theater and Windy City Musical Theatre. Regional credits include authoring the book of The Conductor, a new musical comedy (Metallic Mannequin Company), director/lead devisor of Maundy (Metallic Mannequin Company), assistant director and dramaturg of Other Desert Cities and The Glass Menagerie (Farmer’s Alley Theatre) and director of the workshop premiere of Adam Pasen’s Badfic Love (Queer Theatre Kalamazoo). Nick is a proud graduate of Western Michigan University’s Department of Theatre as well as an alumnus of the DirectorsLabChicago. For more information on his work please visit nickthornton.weebly.com.
About Other Theatre:
Other Theatre is dedicated to telling the stories of persons or groups who are othered by systems of oppression. Othering individuals or groups sustains power and privilege. Othering inherently implies hierarchy. Othering keeps the power in the hands of those who already have it. Othering is an "us" vs. "them" mentality often centered around race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, identity, class, religion and ability. Other Theatre is committed to telling these stories in the hope that we can lessen the amount of discrimination and oppression in our world.
We are a collective of artist-activists who believe in the power of theatre to enact social change. We believe in equality for all human beings and we will fight for it. We believe theatre is an excellent conversation starter, and we hope you will come talk with us after the show. We believe radical social change is possible and we will continue to stand up, fight, and resist until it happens.
Other Theatre Artistic Staff:
Carin Silkaitis, Founder and Artistic Director; Maddie DePorter, Managing Director; Bryan Renaud, Associate Artistic Director; Ashley Pettit, Production Manager; Savanna Rae, Company Manager; Stephen Kossak, Casting Director; Becca Sheehan, Audience Development/Intern Coordinator; Nik Kmiecik, Social Media Coordinator; Kelly Howe, Resident Dramaturg; Tommy Rivera-Vega, Artistic Associate; Hannah Toriumi, Artistic Associate; Gay Glenn, Artistic Associate.
Other Theatre Board of Directors:
Michele Thornton, President; Kelly Soprych, Vice President; Jermaine Hill, Secretary; Stephen Silkaitis, Treasurer; Lisa Wolfe, and Michael Johannsen.
Other Theatre’s 4th Season is presented by generous grants from MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and The Saints.