Random Acts is pleased to present SCARY STORIES: ARE YOU AFRAID?, featuring ten world premiere tales by some of the country’s most exciting playwrights. Performances take place at Otherworld Theatre (3914 N. Clark). Tickets ($15 per performance) are currently available at RandomActsChicago.com. The press performance will be Tuesday, October 8 at 8pm.
At Scary Stories, audiences are invited to join us around the fire to relive the nostalgia of Are You Afraid of the Dark with the gut-punch of Black Mirror, and prepare to laugh, reflect, and scream. After all, you never know who (or what) is lurking in the dark forest behind you…
Writers include Crystal Skillman (Adventure Time, Mary and Max), Terry Guest (At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen), Jillian Leff (Small World, Missed Opportunities), Hannah Ii-Epstein (Not One Batu, Pakalolo Sweet), Bryan Renaud (Ladies Night of the Living Dead, Barney the Elf), Exal Iraheta (They Could Give No Name), Savanna Rae (Daughters of Ire), Erika Hakmiller, Ben F. Locke and Bianca Phipps.
About the Writers
Terry Guest is an actor and the 2019/20 Emerging Playwright for The Story Theatre who recently produced the World Premiere of his play At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen. Regional: Wolves (Exit 63, CHI) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, A Child's Garden of Verses (Alliance Theatre, ATL), Marcus, or the Secret of Sweet, Six Degrees of Separation (Actors Express, ATL), 1001 Nights (Center for Puppetry Arts, ATL/NYC), I and You (Arts Garage, Miami). Up next: Check out Terry's newest work Marie Antionette and the Magical Negros in the Spring. Follow along on Instagram @terryexplainsitall
Erika Hakmiller (MFA Writing for the Screen and Stage, NU ‘20) is very excited to write for Random Acts! Previous writing credits include Break Through (Death & Pretzels Nox Arca Showcase), Lost and Found (The New Colony Associate Company), and A Better Brothers Grimm (The Second City Training Center). She hosts Pilot Party at The Crowd Theatre and has interned with Gulfstream Pictures at Warner Bros, and The Belladonna Comedy. Her work has been seen at Women’s Funny Fest, Chicago Sketchfest, the iO Comedy Network (yay Roll Models!) and The Mary Scruggs Works by Women Festival. Publications: Word Brothel, The Belladonna Comedy, Little Old Lady Comedy. She is looking for a rich producer to read her plays and pilots. Help a girl out! Twitter: @ErikaFromMaine
Hannah Ii-Epstein (she/her/hers), born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, recently received her MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage at Northwestern University. In 2015 Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a B.A in Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago. She is a writer of fiction, poetry, screenplays, plays, and musicals. She is a member of the Hawaiian Civic Club and Aloha Center Chicago. She is a Co-Artistic Director, Board Member, and Founding Member of Nothing Without a Company. Since 2007, over ten of her plays and musicals have been produced in Hawaii and Chicago by Kumu Kahua Theatre, Nothing Without a Company, About Face Theatre’s Babes on Stage, Fury Theatre's SAST, Mary-Arrchie's Abbie Fest, and Nothing Special Production's Fight Night. Hannah has participated as a writer in many 24 Hour Fests for Nothing Without a Company, Silent Theatre, Columbia College Chicago, and Northwestern University. She was awarded 30 under 30 in Windy City Times in 2014. Hannah's film, Sweet, won Best Film Runner Up in Chicago's 48 Hour Film Project in 2015. In 2016 Hannah and her play, Not One Batu, was honored by Hawai'i State Theatre Council Po'okela Awards in the categories of Non-Resident Guest Artist and Overall Play. In 2018 Not One Batu was Jeff and Reader Recommended.
Exal Iraheta (he/his) is a Salvi-American playwright & screenwriter based in Chicago, IL. Sometimes humorous and often uncomfortable, his writing explores the intersections of innocence, queerness, Latinx realities, violence, and sex.
Exal earned his MFA from Northwestern University’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program in 2019, and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Film & Video Production in 2009. Recently, his full length play They Could Give No Name was curated as part of Victory Gardens' 2019 Ignition Festival of New Plays, and his short play Open Venas received a production as part of the 2019 Take Ten New York Short Play Festival. His full length play Rules of a Closed Door was a semi-finalist for the 2019 Activate: Midwest New Play Fest, with an excerpt reading at The Goodman Theater the previous year. For more please visit: exaliraheta.com
Exal is a 2018 Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar, 2018 Fornés Playwriting Workshop participant, and 2019 Theater Masters Playwright.
Jillian Leff is a Chicago based playwright and actor. In the city, her plays have been produced by The New Colony (Small World - co-written with Joe Lino) The Cuckoo's Theater Project (Missed Opportunities), and The Right Brain Project ((Non)Fiction) while her short plays have been produced by Broken Nose Theatre (All I Really Want), Ghostlight Ensemble (Forgetting), EDGE Theatre at Fight Night (The Mother Load) and Clock Productions (Real Talk). Real Talk was a finalist for the 2015 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting, is published in the City Theatre Anthology 2015, and has been produced in Indiana, Florida, and Illinois. She has a BFA in Acting from Ball State University, and is an Ensemble Member with Babes with Blades Theatre Company. http://jeleff11.wixsite.com/jillianwebsite
Ben F. Locke's recent credits include Small Jokes About Monsters (16th Street Theatre), Plainclothes and Kingdom (Broken Nose Theatre), A Chorus Line and Peter and the Starcatcher (Metropolis Performing Arts Center) and The Colored Museum (Pulse Theatre). He is a Company Dancer of Ardent Dance Company and is always looking for directing and casting opportunities. He is represented by BNB Talent Chicago. For Random Acts, he has appeared in Awkward Family Gatherings, Strangest Things! The Musical, Slack and columbinus. He is a recent graduate of The School at Steppenwolf.
Bianca Phipps (she/her) is a Chicago based actor, poet, and teaching artist. She is a recent graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. Some theatrical credits include Ophelia in Hamlet (Midsommer Flight), ICEBae in Living Newspaper Festival (Jackalope Theater), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Emilia in Othello (Nebraska Shakespeare). She would like to thank the kind folks at Random Acts for allowing her to get spooky, and sends her love to Sam and the 22nd class.
Savanna Rae’s recent credits include Short Shakes! Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and returning to Macbeth as Malcolm (The Back Room Shakespeare Project). Other Chicago credits include Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare Project of Chicago), Bianca Minola in Shrewish (Artemisia), and Dating and Dragons (The Factory Theatre). With Random Acts: #SafeSpace, The Bone House, The Laramie Project, and columbinus. Savanna created and wrote the solo play Daughters of Ire, which has toured regionally since its premiere in 2015 with Other Theatre. She is a proud member of Other Theatre and Oak Park Festival Theatre and is represented by the incredible team at Shirley Hamilton Talent.
Crystal Skillman is an award-winning playwright. Her plays include Geek, Cut, King Kirby, Pulp Vérité, and Rain and Zoe Save the World, the winning script for the 2018 Earth Matters On Stage (EMOS) New Play Competition. Her play Open debuted this summer with All for One Theater Company in a co-production at The Tank Theatre earning her a fourth NYTimes Critics PIck. Her play Pulp Vérité is on the 2019 Kilroys List as an honorable mention and her awards include an NY Innovative Theater Award. Crystal is also the musical theater bookwriter of Mary and Max, with composer/lyricist Bobby Cronin, as well as Postcard American Town (composer/lyricist Lynne Shankel). Her work in comic books and TV includes writing for Adventure Time, and the comic book Eat Fighter, written with her husband Fred Van Lente. Together they penned the play King Kirby about legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby. Their pilot Paper Heroes was named one of the top 3 pilots by in the Big Break contest and one of the top 25 in the Launchpad Pilots competition. Crystal is represented by Bret Adams Ltd. Her work can be found at her publisher Samuel French. Crystal teaches playwriting at ESPA/Primary Stages and Pace University. crystalskillman.com
Bryan Renaud (Writer/Director) is an actor, director, and playwright who has worked with American Theater Company, Redtwist, Theo Ubique, Pride Films & Plays, The Comrades, AstonRep, Provision Theater, Music Theatre Co., Greatworks, Prologue Theatre, Oak Park Festival, Two Pigs Productions, and NWaC. Plays include Twelfth Night of the Living Dead and Ladies Night of the Living Dead. With Emily Schmidt: Barney the Elf, Strangest Things! The Musical and All Our Twilight; with Carin Silkaitis: Other Letters. www.BryanRenaud.com // @therealrenaud
About Random Acts
Random Acts was founded in 2015, dedicated to presenting unpredictable and diverse genres of theatre. We strive to create approachable art with no expectations. Notable productions include The Laramie Project 20th Anniversary Reading directed by Jason Gerace, and the five-month run of Strangest Things! The Musical.
Random Acts is Alexandra Alontaga, Ali Bailey, Lucy Chmielewski, Mariah Furlow, Angelíca Grace, Rasell Holt, Nora Lise Ulrey, Ben F. Locke, Ayssette Muñoz, Savanna Rae, Bryan Renaud, Becca Russo, Christian Siebert, and Shannon Leigh Webber.
Stay up-to-date by following @RandomActsChi on Twitter/Instagram and Random Acts Chicago on Facebook.
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