Thursday, January 31, 2013


Earlier this week I attended auditions for the August Wilson Monologue Competition at Court Theatre. I love this program. I feel like it does so many things for so many of Chicago’s young people and has the potential to do much more. The competition is open to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors throughout Chicagoland (competitors have come from as far away as St. Louis and Detroit, who could possibly turn away a high school student who wants to do a monologue). Each student prepares a 2-3 minute monologue from the August Wilson Century Cycle and performs it in front of a panel of judges made up of Chicago theatre professionals. From the preliminary auditions (one held at Court and the other held at Victory Gardens) and the second round auditions held at University of Illinois/Chicago, 20 finalists are chosen from the more than 250(!) students. Those finalists then compete at the Goodman and the top 3 go on to compete in New York against national competition from New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh and Seattle. Last year our winner placed second in the National competition and Chicago has placed in the top three every year, the only city to do so.

Here’s why I love it. 250 (!) students are exposed to one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th Century. 250 (!) students are exposed to the joy of performing on one of Chicago’s great stages. 250(!) students get to meet at least five Chicago theatre professionals, and understand that theatre is a legitimate career path. 20 students are given all of that plus their schools are presented with August Wilson’s century cycle of plays, ensuring that more students will learn about August. These 20 are given additional coaching for their monologues from Chicago theatre professionals, deepening their understanding of the craft and their understanding of what a career in theatre means. The friends and family of these 20 students are also exposed to the work of August Wilson and to the extraordinary talent of Chicago’s young people. The final 3 are given the opportunity to travel to New York, all expenses paid. They receive additional coaching, see a Broadway show, meet with August Wilson’s collaborators, and the competition is judged by a panel of well-known theatre, film and tv professionals who the students have the opportunity to meet. They also receive cash scholarships and copies of the century cycle for themselves.

Another reason why I love it is that it involves so many collaborators – Court, Goodman, Victory Gardens, University of Illinois/Chicago, American Theatre Company, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre in Atlanta, all the judges and of course all the students. It is a true community happening and that makes me happy.

Finals this year will be at the Goodman on March 11 at 6:00 PM. Please come if you can, I am always completely amazed by these kids.


Space Availability at Greenhouse Theater Center

Greenhouse Theater Center is currently renting last minute Mainstage Space for Studio Rates! Two winter performance slots are available in the Upstairs Mainstage – February 11-March 17 and March 18-April 21. Each slot is 5 weeks and will rent for $5,000. Rental applications are being accepted for both availabilities. 195 seat theater (or option of smaller 77 seat house) with full house staff and box office provided; sound and light package included. Rental includes theater space, back stage area, equipped dressing room and light booth. For more information, including rental rates, tech specs, and contract details please contact Jenn Kincaid at

Monday, January 28, 2013

Industry Ticket Offers

4 Girls (And A Guy): A One Night Stand With The Second City - UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave, are offering $14 tickets through February 10. Call 312-662-4562 with the code INDUSTRY to redeem. Visit for more information.

Side Effects May Include - MadKap Productions at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, is offering $10 industry tickets on Saturday afternoons at 3:00 through February 9th. Call the box office at 773.404.7336 and use the code “Industry”.

Pre-Broadway World Premiere of Big Fish - Broadway In Chicago at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph is offering League members 10% savings on advance access tickets for performances FIVE WEEKS ONLY! APRIL 2 – MAY 5. For tickets, use code LEAGUE when ordering online at or in person at any Broadway In Chicago Box Office. *Not valid with any other offer or on previously purchased tickets. Normal ticketing fees apply. Must use the code to receive the discount. Subject to availability. Offer ends Sunday, February 3, at 11:59 pm.

Stadium Devildare - Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont, is offering $15 industry tickets to all performances through February 23. For tickets and more information visit Use code REIKO at checkout. Contact Myah Shein at with questions.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Will the Future Look Like?

What does the future of the American theatre look like? It’s a question we should be constantly thinking about but I know I’m not and sometimes I wonder if anybody is. We spend so much time in survival mode that it’s difficult to look around and say “what’s looking like it’s here to stay?” I was at a meeting this past weekend and people were asking that question and also what is our role. I heard a conversation about the difference between art that is activism/social justice and art for arts sake. I hate that term art for arts sake, I think it’s prejudicial and requires the art or the artist to explain it or herself. If you don’t like it or it doesn’t move you, move on but don’t diminish it by calling it art for arts sake. Anyway…More important to me is what is going to be relevant to audiences. Not just to future audiences but to current audiences as well. Guess what??? I don’t think the answer is in allowing audiences to tweet or giving them opportunities to “talk” to us or any number of so-called engagement activities. I absolutely without a single doubt believe that the reason people don’t go to the theatre is NOT because they can’t tweet there.

I think the future is going to be in the idea of bringing people together for a deeper shared experience. Something that is, from the get, as important to them as it is to the artist. I don’t think it’s going to be about hey – come see my show – it’s going to be about hey – I think we have something in common, want to help me explore that – or hey – I made this thing about your life or hey – want to help me make this thing or maybe most important hey – want to have a spiritual experience? We are afraid to talk about ourselves like that – at our best we are a spiritual experience – we lift and inspire souls, spirits, and intellect. I don’t know that the idea of a curated experience is going to work anymore and I think that’s one of the reasons we are seeing subscription audiences erode.

As I’ve said before, theatre, this ancient art form reflecting our humanity, is not going away, but what will the storytelling of the future look like?


Industry Ticket Offers

Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer starring John Malkovich - Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan Ave. Chicago, is offering a $5 off tickets for both performance on Friday, 2/1 and Saturday, 2/2. Call 312-294-3000 and mention promotion code INDUSTRY or enter the promotion code at check-out to take advantage of this offer online. Visit for more information.

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo – Lookingglass Theatre in the Water Tower Water Works at 821 N. Michigan Ave, is offering exclusive $20 industry tickets for Wednesday, January 30th at 7:30pm and Friday, February 1st at 7:30pm! Use code INDUSTRY when calling 312.337.0665 or visit to purchase tickets.

Disconnect - Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. is offering $15 tickets to the performance on Thursday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m. including a pre show reception at 6:30 p.m. and a post-show town hall discussion on Playing Race. For reservations call (773) 871-3000 and mention "Theatre Thursdays."

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stage Left Theatre Workshops

2013 Storefront Audition Workshops.

The Art of the Submission (Stand alone price $30.00)
Friday,February 8th, 7:30pm-10:00 pm
Learn how to market yourself with a round table discussion and a one-on-one analysis of your headshot, resume and cover letter with Stage Left Theater casting and directing staff.

Monologue Madness (Stand alone price $40.00. Audit only price $15.00)
Saturday, February 9th, Times available 10am-4pm, Minimum 1-hour commitment
Fine-tune your audition monologues to help land that coveted callback. Go through a mock audition and receive feedback and coaching from the Stage Left Theater casting and directing staff. You will also receive the option to be "a fly on the wall” by observing other audition sessions.

Callback Clinic (Stand alone price $80.00. Audit only price $20.00)
Sunday, February 10th, 10am-4pm
Learn why you did or did not get the job during our mock cold-reading callbacks in a head to head audition experience. You will also get a chance to observe others going through the callback process, and gain insight into how to navigate an audition panel successfully.

Save money with multiple day pricing Friday and Saturday (The Art of Submission and Monologue Madness) $50.00 Friday and Sunday (The Art of Submission and Callback Clinic) $90.00 Saturday and Sunday (Monologue Madness and Callback Clinic) $100.00 Friday, Saturday and Sunday (The Art of Submission, Monologue Madness and Callback Clinic) $105.00

Where do I sign up? To register please email a headshot, resume, cover letter and the days you plan to attend to by February 1st. Further information will be provided to you at that time. If you have time restrictions for the Saturday Monologue Madness class, please note your time restriction in your email. Limited space is available so register early and $50 deposit due to ensure your spot. Classes held at Stage Left Offices 3408 N. Sheffield.

Rehearsal Space Availability

Pride Films and Plays has a 400 square foot rehearsal space available on Wilson just east of Clark. Great public transportation and free parking. Daytime and evening dates available. $30 for a four-hour rehearsal. email with Rehearsal in the subject line.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Who Decides?

We are in the process of organizing a panel on Race in the American Theatre (see below for more info) and I find myself in the position (with our partners, who are not all white) of deciding who speaks. Which is interesting because it brings up the question of who decides in general – who decides who speaks on issues of race but also who decides which stories get told. As a white person where in the world do I get off putting myself in a position of deciding but if the League doesn’t step up and say hey this is an important issue then we are not doing our job.

And it brings up a very difficult question that I hope we might discuss perhaps at a later discussion. Who decides? Who decides whose stories get told and are we deciding (even if we are not white) on those stories that are most palatable to us. Do we veer away from truth and authenticity when we do that, even when we are sincere in our attempts to be culturally sensitive, even when our mission is to tell those little told stories. Most of us running theatres and Leagues of theatres are white and if we don’t choose then who will – how will ANY other voices be heard? Even if we “diversify,” we have a small number of people of color on our staff then deciding for all people of color.

I don’t know if there’s an answer but I am honored that the League has been asked to be a part of these discussions and I would love to hear your thoughts.


Victory Gardens Biograph Theater 
2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 * Postshow
Alarms went off in a recent La Jolla Playhouse production of Nightingale when white actors played Asian characters. In Chicago, the issue was raised with Oak Park's Circle Theatre's Bollywood treatment of Pippin. Where do we stand on nontraditional casting? Is this a form of minstrelsy or is this harmless cultural appropriation? Panelists include Erica Daniels, Associate Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre, Sharon Jensen of Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, E. Faye Butler and Kamal Hans of Rasaka Theatre. Join us for an important town hall conversation on playing race in American theatre. The panel discussion is free. Tickets are $15 for the 7:30 p.m. show. Call 773.871.3000 for reservations.

Silk Road Rising in the Historic Chicago Temple Building 
77 West Washington St., Chicago
On February 18, 2013, at 7 PM Silk Road Rising, the League of Chicago Theatres and Lifeline Theatre will host a panel discussion and community conversation that will address challenges faced by Asian American actors, particularly as regards casting, questions that theatres face in producing plays with Asian American content, as well as broader community concerns with productions that are not perceived as culturally authentic. Panelists will include: David Henry Hwang, Playwright; Jamil Khoury, Artistic Director of Silk Road Rising; Mia Park, Actor; and Chay Yew, Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theatre. The panel will be moderated by Danny Bernardo, actor and resident playwright at Bailiwick Chicago. This panel discussion is free. RSVP to to attend.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Industry Ticket Offers

Pygmalion - Stage Left Theatre and Boho Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont are offering $15 industry tickets on Thursdays 1/17, 1/23 and 1/30. For tickets call 773-875-9150. Visit or for more information.

Stadium Devildare - Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont, is offering $10 tickets to preview performances 1/17-1/19 at 8:00. Use code STUINDP at checkout. Tickets available at and at the door. Contact Myah Shein at with questions.

The Bakers Wife in Concert - book by Joseph Stein, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, directed by Dominic Missimi, at The Music Theatre Company, 1850 Green Bay Road, Highland Park, is offering a limited number of $10 industry night tickets for Friday, Feb.1 and Feb. 8 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2 and 9 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 3 and 10 at 2 p.m. Reserve online at using code: LEAGUE.

Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah - Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, is offering half-priced industry tickets in Sections IV ($20), III ($26.50), and II ($32) on Jan 19 at 7:30pm and Jan 20 at 3pm. Use code INDUSTRY. Tickets available online at, by calling (800) 982-2787, or at the box office at 50 E Congress Pkwy.

Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker - Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E Grand, is offering $15 tickets to performances of Belarus Free Theatre’s courageous new production, January 30—February 3. Use code “MINSK” when purchasing tickets online or over the phone at (312) 595-5600.

Beautiful Thing - Pride Films and Plays at the Athenaeum, 2936 North Southport, is pleased to offer $10 industry tickets for film and theater professionals at 7:30pm on Thursdays, January 24 and 31. Tickets can be only be purchased at the door on the night of the performance. For more production information, visit

The Whipping Man - Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd. is offering $10 tickets for theatre industry professionals for performances January 18-27, and February 3 (Excludes Opening Night). Offer available by phone or walk-up, must mention the code INDUSTRY to reserve. Proof of industry (headshot, business card, etc.) requested upon ticket pickup. Box Office 847.673.6300.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I have been reading a lot of predictions and resolutions and such for the new year and while Polly Carl’s piece on Howl Round was excellent I am struck by how little imagination many of us are showing in our thoughts on theatre in 2013. I have been seeing the same old questions how are we going to sell more tickets and how are we going to raise more money.

Naturally those questions need to be asked but it’s like making that New Year’s Resolution to lose weight – it’s always there and it’s not going to change unless you actually change your life and your thinking around what you do and why. I think the same applies to our work. I think at the League we need to start asking questions that have different answers. Maybe we need to look at the answers we want and formulate the question. Is that crazy? Maybe we need to look at ourselves through a more aspirational lens and say we are…and chart our course through the year that way.

We get so bogged down in getting through the day to day and asking those same old questions – where are we going to get more money or why aren’t we getting more money. That certainly isn’t why I signed up and I’m sure not you either. What is the question we want to answer this year, or maybe what are the answers. Even better, what are the answers we want to question! A couple of years ago TCG did that What if… project. Besides the money what if we all had one what if question or answer or aspiration that guided us through the year (even if we come up with it on January 10).


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Industry Ticket Offers

Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West - TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave. is offering $15 industry tickets to preview performances January 15 - 23. For tickets call 773.281.8463 x6 or go online and use code INDUSTRY. Visit for more information.

The Birthday Party - Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, is offering $15 tickets for performances January 24 through February 8 in the newly configured Upstairs Theatre, where no seat is more than eight rows from the stage. Excludes Saturday nights. Use code “12300” online at or call Audience Services at 312-335-1650. Tickets must be reserved at least one hour before performance. Subject to availability.

The Underpants - Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Building K Theatre, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $10 Industry tickets for Thursday and Sunday performances Jan.17 to Feb.3. Actor’s tickets are available with headshot and resume and designer tickets are available with business card or resume. Subject to availability. For more information call (630) 942-4000.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chicago Dramatists Open House

Sunday, January 13th, 2013
12.00 noon- 5.00pm

Join Chicago Dramatists for a chance to learn about our classes, our instructors, and our playwriting community!

Sample Classes
Backstage Tours
Meet and Greet
Baked Goods
Raffle Prizes
Panel Discussions with Resident Playwrights
Bring your notepad, your friends, or just your enthusiasm.

Phone: 312-633-0630 x17 Or feel free to just drop in!
Chicago Dramatists
1105 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

For more information,please call 312.633.0630 or visit our website at

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year

We hope that everyone had a safe and happy New Years. Thanks for making 2012 another successful year in Chicago theatre. Its an honor to support this community and the excellent work that you consistently bring to stages in Chicago and around the world. We look forward to many great things to come in 2013.

Gorilla Tango Seeking Shows

Gorilla Tango has one weekend primetime slot left in March - Fridays 7:30pm! GTT provides the infrastructure (audition and rehearsal space, performance space, box-office, basic marketing), and you produce your show/project! If you are interested in these dates, please email ASAP while it’s still available!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Industry Ticket Offers

Jeeves Takes a Bow - First Folio Theatre at Mayslake Hall, Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W 31st St, Oak Brook, is offering $10 industry tickets on Weds. evenings at 8 PM on Jan. 30th, Feb. 6th and 13th. Tickets are on an "as available" basis and may be purchased no sooner than 48 hours in advance. Professionals must bring a union card, a headshot/resume, tech resume, or business card indicating employment in the theater business. Tickets may be purchased by calling 630-986-8067.

Other Desert Cities - Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, is offering $39 tickets on Thursday, January 17 at 7:30pm including a special reception in Club Mezz from 6-7pm with light hors d’oeuvres, wine and a discussion with director Henry Wishcamper, as he shares insights into his work and process. Enter promo code THURSDAY to buy tickets online.

Space Availability at City Lit Theater

City Lit Theater has available rental space for a prime-time run in their 99-seat theater beginning May 20 or later. Please contact Brian at or by phone at 773-293-3682. The regular rate is $900/week, but contact us in the next week or two for potential discounts.