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  Animals Out Of Paper at Theater Wit

Animals Out Of Paper

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

Andy, a calculus teacher and avid fan, pressures a reclusive Ilana, a world famous origami artist, into becoming an unwitting mentor to a troubled teenage prodigy, Suresh. These three intriguingly flawed characters begin to reshape and mold each other's lives in much the same way they fold and crease their origami art.

Thru - Feb 27, 2016

Price: $33

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-975-8150

Running Time: 1hr, 40mins

  Animals Out Of Paper Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"..."Animals Out of Paper" is a beautifully written piece, evocative of the fragility of the human heart. And director Devon de Mayo's measured production for Shattered Globe Theatre certainly has its moments, especially those involving Wiens, who is exceptionally likable. But McKenna struggles more to gain our affection, partly, I think, because she seems insufficiently vulnerable, especially in the early stages of the play when I think Joseph is trying to really depict a creative talent in the throes of a huge crisis. It feels here like Ilana is mostly annoyed with the men who show up in her home, which doesn't explain their fascination in trying to fix her life."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...This 2008 play by Indian-American writer Rajiv Joseph concerns three emotionally fragile people: Ilana, a reclusive origami artist, holed up in her studio and blocked by depression following the collapse of her marriage; Andy, a determinedly optimistic high school teacher and origami fan with a crush on Ilana; and Andy's student Suresh, a smart but troubled teenager with uncanny and untrained skill at turning blank paper into animal figures. Andy convinces Ilana to take Suresh on as an apprentice."
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Albert Williams

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...De Mayo’s direction is clearly focused and brings out grounded and emotional performances. A standout is Serequeberhan’s Suresh: a raw nerve of 18-year-old angst, giving freestyle braggadocio one minute and dissolving into a terrified tailspin the next. The set and props for Shattered Globe's production include mind-blowing origami forms by local artist Christine Edison, which add a layer of richness that might not otherwise be present."
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Kevin McDonald

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Playwright Rajiv Joseph, in Animals Out Of paper, tells a story about a unique web of teacher-student relationships. We meet Ilana (Courtney McKenna), famous recluse origami artist and teacher who suffers from depression due to a divorce and loss of her aged dog. Her anti-social escape from society is interrupted by a quirky, yet most sincere fan of hers, Andy (the winning Joseph Wiens) as he talks his way into her studio apartment."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...Kudos to Shattered Globe for bringing in Christine Edison, Chicago origami artist, to work on the origami on stage for their production of Animals Out Of Paper by Rajiv Joseph. Her work is amazing and left me astounded at the capabilities of an origami artist. I say that to say this: the play did nothing like that. This play created fairly interesting characters, but every time they brought up origami, the motion stalled and the action became uninteresting. I'm somewhere between thinking it's because origami is such a visual art and there is never the opportunity see the art created on stage-though to ask an actor to become an expert in origami over a rehearsal period is downright unfair-or thinking it's because it's such a downplayed aspect of the script."

Jerald Raymond Pierce

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"..When one thinks of “origami, the art of folding paper in just the right artistic way to create a work of art, itself, unless, you are into the art, it just passes us by. In Rajiv Joseph’s “Animals Out of Paper”, now being presented at Theater Wit as part of Shattered Globe Theatre’s 25th anniversary season, we see how this art form connects and or disconnects three lonely souls with deep personal troubles during a solid one hour and forty minutes of story-telling (no intermission)."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The sure-handed de Mayo succeeds in bringing out the work's outstanding quality-its unsentimental perspective on the artistic process. Ilana is no angel. Her creative impulse is intimately tied to inner wounds and her need to create healing order emerges from the grim anarchy of her existence. If this sharp and layered drama has one central message, it is that every creative act involves self-transformation, which is never without cost and pain. "Animals Out of Paper," billed as an "uncommon love story," is not so much a romance as a heartfelt valentine to art as a spiritual pursuit."
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Hugh Iglarsh

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Shattered Globe’s 25th season is on its way to becoming one of its best. Following their magnificent revival of “Marvin’s Room,” this beautiful play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph is, in director Devon de Mayo’s capable hands, a wonder. It reminds us that the teacher can easily become the student, and that we all learn more by participating in life, rather than by simply watching it pass by. The production unfolds, just like a gorgeous piece of origami, revealing all the scars and memories hidden within these three damaged souls. But when all the paper is finally unfolded, and all the clutter is eventually cleared away, audiences will have been treated to a must-see work of art that is both astonishing and absolutely bursting with heart."
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Colin Douglas

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...Like most good stories, Animals Out of Paper is at once very small and very large. Not much happens, but everything does. In some ways, productions such as this are difficult to summarize and review, and must be experienced. See Animals Out of Paper. Absorb it. Then afterwards, try to fold some paper, or make a design of your own.

Lauren Whalen

  Animals Out Of Paper Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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