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Cut To The Quick - A Festival of Short Works

Cut to the Quick

One acts from Chicagoans Sean Graney, Brett Neveu, Laura Jacqmin and Mark Young are among those lined up for  the side project theatre company's fall one-act festival, Cut to the Quick which will premiere November 16, 2008 and run through December 21.

The festival launches the company's 9th season, which will focus solely on a celebration of short works. Among the works in the Fall will be Neveu's Ethnic Cleansing Day, as well as the Midwest premiere of Graney's Autophagy and Jacqmin's Space, both of which premiered in New York earlier this year. In the spring, they will present the world premiere of The Rocks, Young's follow-up to 2006's late night hit, New Orleans. Young also has a 10-minute piece in the Fall, as does Daniel Talbott, playwright of last season's acclaimed Slipping.

According to Artistic Director Adam Webster, Cut to the Quick is an exploration of thwarted love, fractured communication and misplaced ideals via the language of families, lovers, friends and war. "This mix of the dark and humorous looks at how we try to communicate with each other and our larger world and where that communication breaks down," Webster said.

The Fest, consisting of evenings titled Static/Cling, Splinters & Shrapnel, and Splayed Verbiage, runs Wednesdays through Sundays at 7:30pm from November 16 - December 21. The progams and plays are as follows:

Splayed Verbiage (Runs: Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm; Running Time: 2hrs 15 mins)
78, by Laurel Haines
One Lucky Duck, by Matthew Ira Swaye

The New Lonely, by Andrew Hinderaker
Yes to Everything, by Philip Dawkins
Space, by Laura Jacqmin
Agony in the Garden, by Crystal Skillman
Best Christmas Presents Ever, by Amy Whittenberger
Not That (But Something Else), by Brian Golden
O'Dark Thirty, by Aaron Carter
Black and White, by Mark Young
Ethnic Cleansing Day, by Brett Neveu
Slave Day, by Wilderness Sarchild

Splinters and Shrapnel (Runs Thursdays and Sundays at 7:30pm; Running Time: 90 mins)
Little Green Man, by Dominic Orlando
Dead Weight, by Joseph Talarico
Three Hymns of Apathy, by Robert Tenges
Autophagy, by Sean Graney

Static/Cling (Runs Wednesdays at 7:30pm; Sundays at 5pm; 90 mins run time)
What Happened When, by Daniel Talbott
Moot, by Matthew Ira Swaye
frag, by Michael John Garces

The fall plays will be directed by a plethora of local talents, including side project ensemble members Adam Webster, Anna Bahow and Gina LoPiccolo as well as Joanie Schultz, who directed the company's production of Adam Rapp's Faster last season. Also at the helm will be numerous Artistic and Managing Directors from various companies who have yet to work at the side project, including:

  • Mignon McPherson Nance (Director of Literary Development for MPAACT)
  • Brandon Ray (former Artistic Director of New Leaf Theatre)
  • Vance Smith (Artistic Director of Black Sheep Productions)
  • Lavina Jadhwani (Artistic Director of Rasaka Theatre)
  • Nathan Robbell (Artistic Director of Right Brain Project)
  • Amanda Berg Wilson (Artistic Director of Striding Lion Interarts Workshop)
  • Dan Foss (co-Managing Director of Point of Contention; former Managing Director of Rogue Theatre)
  • Daniel Caffrey (Artistic Director of Tympanic Theatre)
  • Freelancers Eric Ziegenhagen, Kyra Lewandowski, Chelsea Marcantel and Megan Shuchman.

The recruitment of the plays and the directors reunited Founding Artistic Director Adam Webster with his first love and his mission of starting the theatre, back in 2000: that of finding like-minded artists to share their unique voice through new works. "I am most in my element when I am reading new works," Webster said. "Nothing excites me more than discovering a new voice and realizing I have the ability to bring that to the fore."

Tickets are $20 for Splayed Verbiage; and $15 for Static/Cling or Splinters & Shrapnel. A Festival Pass for all three shows is $30. Tickets can be ordered online at or bought at the door.

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