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  Performance Spotlight

Social Justice, Shakespeare-Style: Provocative Streaming Productions of Measure for Measure Look at Recent History

Measure for Measure at Goodman TheatreWhy is Measure for Measure still classified as a Romantic Comedy? Its lovers are forced to endure fraud, hypocrisy, blackmail, sexual assault, breach of promise and covert surveillance, all of it orchestrated by an authority figure whose idea of a satisfactory resolution is to forgive Bad Men their misdeeds before legally binding them to Good Women—a boon he.... Read More

 

Ambitious, But Not Evil: I, Banquo Contemplates the Cost of Loyalty in Uncertain Times

I, Banquo at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in Chicago"I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be [but only] an attendant lord, one that will do to swell a progress," lamented the meek J. Alfred Prufrock, in the poem by T.S. Eliot. How many of us, after all, are destined for glory—or notoriety? That being so, however, why has it taken so long for somebody.... Read More

 

All The 1BR's A Stage: Do-It-Yourself Tech Design in the Age of Theater-From-Home

BaskervilleWas it really less than a year ago that "a night at the theater" became an evening hunkered down at our desks watching dimly-lit, fuzzily-recorded archival videos on our laptops like ham-radio fugitives in science-fiction dystopiads? And later, after these home-movies gave way to newly-crafted scripts, did we then struggle to accustom ourselves to such visual quirks as.... Read More

 

Looking Forward To A New Year: Online Play Festivals Usher In an Optimistic 2021

Online Play Festivals 2021While the impact of such innovations as headshot acting, long-distance repartee and crowd-sourced musicals remains to be seen, theater historians have been chronicling the progress of necessity-bred inventions sparked in response to the lingering closures of playhouses and isolation of its inhabitants. Among these is the adoption of technology borrowed from radio, film and television—know-how rendering productions once.... Read More

 

Lighting The Way To 2021: Online Plays For The Holidays

Holiday Plays In ChicagoBack in March, many artists were gloomily predicting the end of theater in Chicago, but YOU weren't one of them—were you? After all, if London playhouses could survive being closed for eighteen years (1642-1660), why should we complain after only ten months? Hasn't art always found a way to thrive in even the most adverse conditions?
.... Read More

 

Drury Lane Wins Big at 2020 Jeff Awards

An American In Paris at Drury Lane  TheatreIn its 52nd annual celebration of theater excellence, the Jeff Awards has recognized 39 recipients for the 2020 awards, selected from among 142 theater artist nominees across 30 artistic and technical categories. Award-winning Chicago actor, singer and teaching artist Michelle Lauto hosted the online awards announcement program and tribute to the theater community that featured work of many.... Read More

 

What Does The Fox Say: Furry-Pawed Urban Guerilla Protest in Run the Beast Down

Run the Beast DownUrban centers boasting plentiful green spaces are often home to squirrels, rabbits and the occasional possum colony, while outlying communities report sightings of raccoons, skunks and deer, but our impressions of foxes are almost wholly drawn from pop songs, PBS nature documentaries, and CGI-animated Disney fables.

The Reynards and Volpones in Titas Halder's Run the.... Read More

 

A Fall Season After All: Streaming and Zooming in the Shutdown of 2020

Airport 1970 SomethingA miracle didn't arrive to chase away the fear and the gloom, but history has demonstrated that art will always find a way. As the weather cools and days shorten, theaters mired down in despair during the spring of this annus horribilis have shaken off their shellshock and rallied to the challenge of respite for audiences grimly and.... Read More

 

Tar Beaches And Asphalt Parks: Outdoor Theatergoing During the Shutdown

Drive in Theatre in ChicagoSome blamed the ambience: cozy low-ceilinged, windowless rooms, accessed by narrow entrances and closely-spaced seats suddenly perceived as microbe-congested cells. Others faulted the intended market—hadn't we been repeatedly warned that elderly people were especially vulnerable to respiratory infections? Or were playgoers of all ages simply wary of making plans, after months of disappointment at one cancellation notice after.... Read More

 

Going Digital (and Prestidigital): Streaming Shakespeare, Sitcoms and Sleight-of-Hand

Littlebrain Theatre Groups of 10You see, there's these four companions who propose taking time off from from social life in order to concentrate on scholarly pursuits, but no sooner does their sabbatical commence than they are visited by a quartet of like-minded acquaintances. Sound familiar? Sure it does! It's Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost—except that in 2020, with the restrictions of a viral.... Read More

 

Raven Theatre Announces Revamped 2020-21 Season

Raven Theatre in ChicagoRaven Theatre announced a revamped 2020-21 Season, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fall's planned revival of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's drama Inherit the Wind directed by Ian Frank has been cancelled. Instead, the three-play season will kick off next February with Jonathan Harvey's sweet and charming coming-of-age play Beautiful Thing. Mikael Burke directs.... Read More

 

Jeff Awards 2020 Non-Equity Award Recipients Announced

Jeff Awards 2020 Non-Equity Award WinnersAs part of the annual recognition of theater excellence, the 47th Non-Equity Jeff Awards announced honorees in 21 artistic and technical categories. Recipients included 27 theater artists whose work was featured at 14 theater companies during the 2019-2020 season. With respect for current times calling for reflection, conversation and action towards issues of social justice, commemoration of the.... Read More

 

Mercury Theater Chicago to Close Permanently Following Covid-19 Shutdown Effects

Mercury Theater Chicago ClosingExecutive Director, L. Walter Stearns and partner, Business Manager Eugene Dizon announced the permanent closure of Mercury Theater Chicago after ten years and 25 productions, due to the loss of revenue following the COVID-19 shutdown. Most recently, Mercury's productions of Shear Madness and Priscilla Queen of the Desert were forced to close prematurely in March 2020.... Read More

 

Swashbucklers, Six-Guns and Sci-Fiction: Playscript Publisher SordeletINK Targets Genre-Lit Fans

League of AwesomeWhether or not you agree that the pen's might exceeds that of the sword, the scarcity in recent decades of scripts showcasing the second instrument's utility seemed to indicate the two weapons rarely occupying the same dramatic sphere. How, then, did two classically-trained fight choreographers come to start a publishing outlet for literature reflecting the high-fantasy themes and.... Read More

 

Writers Theatre Announces New Producing Model For 2020/21 Season

Writers TheatreWriters Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announced plans for the company's 2020/21 Season with a new adaptive producing model, one committed to remaining flexible and responsive to current events and that allows the theatre to welcome patrons back to the theatre when the time is right.

New.... Read More

 

Moulin Rouge! The Musical - Something to Possibly Look Forward To

Moulin Rouge! The Musical in ChicagoIt's safe to say that no matter who you are or what your profession is, the problems that have come with COVID-19 have left you stressed and tired. Sometimes it might even feel as though these health and economic threats will never end. One way to reassure yourself that you will get through the madness that has taken.... Read More

 

Support Chicago Theatre with Chicago Acts Together T-shirt

Chicago Acts Together T-shirtYou can help support Chicago Theatre through the COVID-19 pandemic by purchasing a great "Chicago Acts Together" t-shirt. Designed by Steppenwolf Theatre, who worked with Rowboat Creative and their Creatives Who Care initiative along with over 100 other local theatre companies, this limited edition t-shirt featuring the names of all participating companies is an incredible showcase.... Read More

 

Nominees For the 47th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards Announced

Non-Equity Jeff Awards AnnouncedWith the conclusion of the 2019-2020 Chicago non-Equity theater season, the Jeff Awards announced the nominees for the 47th annual awards for theater excellence that include 120 theater artists across 21 categories. During this past season, which ended a few weeks early in mid-March due to government guidelines on public gatherings related to the COVID-19 virus, Jeff Awards.... Read More

 

Armchair Excursions: In-House Nights at the Theater

Streaming Theatre - Happiest Place on Earth by House Theater of ChicagoUnlike the real-life Interregnum that shuttered London playhouses between 1642 and 1660, the remedy for the current halt to the spring theater season is not a simple change of venue—not when propelled by the very prospect of performers and spectators occupying the same space.

Almost as soon as the order to back off/stay inside was.... Read More

 

Help Theatres During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Theatre Donations for COVID-19 PandemicCoronavirus has made a huge impact on the theatre industry. Theatres from across the country were forced to postpone or cancel their shows. It goes without saying that a very large percentage of the revenue generated by most theatres comes from the sell of tickets and holding other events that are directly tied to people getting together in.... Read More

 

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