Theatre in the Dark, a new company that focuses on performances staged entirely in complete darkness, will mount as its inaugural production the Chicago premiere of the noir mystery thriller THREE STORIES UP by the Canadian-born Chicago playwright Mackenzie Gordon.
In Gordon’s 80-minute drama, Vancouver transit cop Beatrice Dulaurier has found her detective husband’s dead body, The police call it a suicide, but Beatrice doesn’t buy that explanation. To find the truth, she enlists the help of her late husband’s last known informant, a drug runner who carries secrets of his own. The two embark on a hair-raising investigation through the city's colorful characters in search of justice… and revenge. Inspired by hard-boiled paperback novels and the radio mystery plays of the ‘30s and ‘40s, it introduces the audience to sadder-but-wiser, hard-boiled detectives and shady characters whose loyalties are never certain.
The new company is the brainchild of Director Corey Bradberry and Associate Producers Mackenzie Gordon, Kelly Greene, James McDougald, and Zachary Parkhurst.
Performed entirely in the dark, as it was in its 2016 world premiere in Vancouver, THREE STORIES UP will combine recorded sound, live Foley effects, and the human voice -- in front, beside, and behind the audience -- to create a three dimensional soundscape that will be far more enveloping and environmental than a mere radio play. Audiences will be blindfolded after their arrival at the performance venue and guided to their seats. They will remove their blindfolds after the performance begins in pitch darkness and the lights will remain out until curtain call. THREE STORIES UP will be unique among Chicago theatre productions in that patrons with low visibility will enjoy exactly the same experience as their fellow audience members.
Bradberry says, “One of the oldest traditions in noir storytelling is the use of setting as a main character. No set designer could outdo the descriptive language of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett, or for that matter, our playwright Mackenzie Gordon. THREE STORIES UP leans so hard into the words, we decided to turn out the lights altogether.”
THREE STORIES UP will be performed in a “found space” – the building that was originally the Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church - at 1244 W. Thorndale in Edgewater. The Chicago production will be directed by Corey Bradberry and the cast will include the playwright, Mackenzie Gordon, and Bethany Arrington.
Colin Thomas of VANCOUVER GREENROOM, in reviewing the 2016 premiere of THREE STORIES UP, called the play “Viscerally compelling, THREE STORIES UP makes you pay attention—and it pays off. The plot is satisfyingly complex, and phrase by phrase Gordon’s writing is gorgeous… Stroke of genius to set it in the dark… very, very rewarding.” Mark Robins of VANCOUVER PRESENTS said, “Gordon’s words, helped immensely by the performances, paint vivid pictures that transcend gimmick.”
Tickets and further information are available at www.theatreinthedark.com .
Accessibility: Due to the historical nature of our venue, entryways into and out of our building are non-ADA compliant. However, we encourage audiences with special needs to contact us in advance to see how best we can best accommodate them!
In this 80-minute noir mystery performed completely in the dark, Beatrice, a Vancouver transit cop, discovers both her husband’s dead body and his history as an undercover police officer working deep within Vancouver's criminal underground. In search of the killer, she recruits her late husband’s last known informant, a drug runner who carries secrets of his own. The two embark on a hair-raising investigation through the city's colorful characters in search of justice… and revenge. A fast-paced twister of a play that keeps you guessing until the end. Come with us into the dark and let your imagination run wild.
Corey Bradberry (Director) is a stage director and producer committed to clear, efficient, and compelling storytelling. A Chicago newcomer, he most recently returned to his native Atlanta to direct MURDER! AT THE STRAND II: DARK MATTERS, an immersive sci-fi murder mystery which puts the audience in the central role of Investigator. Chicago: THE LAKES, THE MAN THAT CORRUPTED CHRISTMAS (Inertia Theatre Project); 24-Hour-Playfests (iO, Eclectic Full-Contact); SIMPLER DAYS (Woof Pack Comedy). Atlanta: MURDER! AT THE STRAND (Earl and Rachel Smith Strand); THE DEVIL TREE, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (The Collective Project Inc.); THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SIR WM MCGONAGALL (Atlanta Fringe). Education: Master of Fine Arts in Directing (Theatre), University of Southern Mississippi; Bachelor of Arts in Theatre & Performance Studies (Performance Concentration) from Kennesaw State University; additional training from Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Kennedy Center MFA Playwright’s Workshop + Directing Intensive, Second City Training Center. Corey was a 2015 National Directing Fellow through the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and was awarded the 2013 Emerging Artist Award for Theatre from the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs. www.coreybradberry.com
Mackenzie Gordon (Playwright, Actor) has been writing plays for ten years. His work has been published in DISCORDER MAGAZINE, CARTE BLANCHE, and Speakeasy Theatre’s PULL ANTHOLOGY. His plays have been performed by ITSAZOO Productions (DEBTS, FIVE RED BALLOONS), Western Canada Theatre (THE BALLAD OF THE BURNING LADY), Upintheair Theatre (VISITORS) and Level-Headed Friends Productions (SIX FINE LINES; SHAKE THE SHEETS!; DEAD CELEBRITIES). He is a three-time writing contributor to Sum Theatre's Pull Festival and a four-time Jessie Richardson Theatre Award nominee. THREE STORIES UP was workshopped during the 2014 Playwrights Theatre Centre Colony, dramaturged by author Michael Springate.
Bethany Arrington (Actress) is an actor, model, and voice over talent originally from Carmel, Indiana. She is a proud member of the Artistic Council and ensemble of NoMads Art Collective. Bethany is very pleased to be working with Theatre in the Dark for the very first time. She is represented by Lily’s Talent. Hear and see more of Bethany at bethanyarrington.com.
our most recent top picks
Blue Man Group ★★★