Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nudity and the Theatre

So, on WBEZ yesterday there was an entertaining piece on sex in the theatre. I know, I wish people would talk about serious stuff too, but we take what we get. And it was funny and engaging, so there’s that. And then it did get serious, at least for me. Because the most interesting part was when Kelly Kleiman said that maybe we are uncomfortable with sex on stage because we are uncomfortable with men in the nude. She said that we are used to looking at naked women but naked men make us uncomfortable. The three men involved in the conversation remained silent. I was cheering. I have noticed this for a very long time. So many naked women on stage, but hardly any naked men. Why? But, here’s what I didn’t think about until yesterday – why is everyone so uncomfortable with naked men? Up until TAKE ME OUT, I didn’t, but I probably could have, counted the number of naked men I’d seen on stage on one hand, so naturally, it is more shocking when you see it – like a rare bird. And speaking of TAKE ME OUT, those men were entirely comfortable being naked in a way we almost never see when men are naked on stage. Maybe because there is safety in numbers. Some people don’t like nudity at all, and that kind of energy can be present if the nudity is gratuitous no matter the sex of the actor. But I think Kelly is right on – when a male actor is naked on stage we feel entirely different about it than if it’s a woman and we are not entirely comfortable with it and I get the sense that neither are the actors. I don’t really have a point here – I’m just so happy to have a new intractable issue – I thought I’d share.

Anyway, I feel like I should slip in something about advocacy – you know, because I have your attention.


Applications for the DirectorsLabChicago 2013 Lab are now available

Now in its ninth year, DirectorsLabChicago offers experiences for professional and emerging stage directors ranging from a week-long intensive Lab to Director/Dramatist Exchanges and Master Classes. The theme of this year's Lab is:The Director and the Designer. The Lab will take place from August 25th through August 30th, 2013, at the Chicago Cultural Center in downtown Chicago and several off-site locations.

Applications must be emailed no later than Monday, April 15th, 2013.

To learn more about DirectorsLabChicago, the theme of this year's Lab, or to download an application, please visit our new website at:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Space Spring Special at The National Pastime Theater

The National Pastime Theater has a wonderful spring special for our beautiful new space! Our historic and elegant space is located in Uptown. Our building is on the Federal Register of Historic Places. Theater is 3,000 square feet, with a huge stage and 29 foot ceilings! The acoustics are perfect for live music. We are just blocks from the Red line and on many bus routes. Good, free street parking and $5 paid parking near. Special rates only apply March 28 through June 2. Spring special rates are $1,000 per week for a run of 4 weeks or more. Rental includes theater space, 2 dressing rooms, box office services, nice sound and light package. Space seats 120. Many extras also available, grand piano, props, costumes and advanced audio. For more information, technical specifications, and agreement details please contact Laurence Bryan at 773-327-7077. More info at

Friday, February 22, 2013

Space Rental Availability at Collaboraction

Collaboraction has two blackbox theaters in the Flat Iron Arts Building in Wicker Park available for rent! Spacious, raw, and extremely flexible, our spaces are perfect for intimate plays, rehearsals, and parties. The Pentagon seats up to 75 and Room 300 Theater seats up to 90. Current availability for Room 300 is from March 25-April 28 and May 6-12, and the Pentagon is available from May 6-20 for performance or event rentals. For more information, including rental rates, tech specs, and contract details please contact Corinne Neal at or call 312-226-9633.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Great Night

Well, I have been lucky lately, on Monday night I experienced another great night in Chicago theatre. Our panel on inclusion and casting of Asians, put together in collaboration with Lifeline Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Victory Gardens Theater and a number of individuals was a smashing success. It was held at Silk Road and there was a capacity crowd, in fact people had to be turned away at the door. Chicago theatre was represented in all its messy glory. I was very proud to be a part of it.

It seems that our community is more than ready to have these conversations. So, we are going to continue working to bring more issues on race to light. I would love to hear from people what they think might make a good lecture/panel/conversation. What ways would you like to see this issue addressed?

You can look at the video here. I would like to make clear that Silk Road Rising was kind enough to do the recording so the recording has their branding; however, all the theatres listed above as well as a number of other individuals (listed at the end of the recording) were involved in making this conversation happen.


Space Availability at City Lit Theater

City Lit Theater has opened up prime-time rental space in their 99-seat theater for this summer. Space is available beginning June 24. Please contact Brian at or by phone at 773-293-3682 for rates and information.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Industry Ticket Offers

Under A Rainbow Flag - Pride Films and Plays at the Main Stage, 4139 North Broadway, is pleased to offer $10 industry tickets for film and theater professionals for Thursday and Friday, March 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be only be purchased at the door on the night of the performance. For more production information, visit

The Birthday Party + SONO Sunday's - Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, is offering $25 tickets to The Birthday Party + SONO specials! Just use code “12591” for $25 tickets to ANY Sunday evening performance of The Birthday Party. PLUS, show your ticket stub at SONO (1582 N Clybourn) before the show for half-priced bottles of wine and one complimentary Bruschetta per person.

Philip Glass' The Fall of the House of Usher- Chicago Opera Theater at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph is offering industry professionals 50% off* single tickets by calling the office and simply saying "Madeline" for the Feb 23rd & 24th performances. Call COT today at 312.704.8414. (*Excludes section A+)

Rabbit Hole - Theatre Arts Lab Series at Dominican University Performing Arts Center, 7900 W. Division St, River Forest, is please to offer $10 industry tickets with headshot and resume. Friday, February 22 ­ Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 24 at 3:00 p.m. For more show information visit

Speaking In Tongues by Andrew Bovell - Interrobang Theatre Project at Theatre Wit, 1229 West Belmont Avenue, is pleased to offer $10 industry tickets for film and theatre professionals TONIGHT, Thursday, February 21st (1st Preview) at 7:30pm and Pay What You Can on Sunday, February 24th at 3:00pm. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Theatre Wit box office on the night of the performance. For more production information, visit

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 performances 2/26-3/1. Use code INDUSTRY20 when calling 312.337.0665 or visit to purchase tickets.

The Bear Suit of Happiness – The New Colony at Dank Haus, 4740 N Western Ave, Fl 2, is offering exclusive $15 opening weekend industry tickets for Saturday, March 2 at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 3 at 2:00pm. Use code BEARSUIT15 online at or call 773.413.0862.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Poem

Back in olden times I did my first two years of college at a place called Hartford College for Women, there was a professor there named Oliver Butterworth who wrote the children’s book The Enormous Egg. Anyway every year he would compose a rhyming valentine to the college and place it in the valentines section of the newspaper (what happened to those, I loved reading them, are they on line somewhere?). Anyway, I wrote you a poem.

You are thrilling
Sometimes you are chilling
And sometimes you rhyme
But not all the time
I like drama
And we got Obama
I could name ALL the names
Of the ones I like best
They are here on the plains
And not in the West
I do not need a heater
When I see Chicago Theatre
I’m all warm and fuzzy
Not cause I drank sudsies
But because I love you
You wonderful crew
I couldn’t have it better
Except for the weather
You guys rock!


Remy Bumppo Rehearsal Space Availability

Remy Bumppo's rehearsal space at 3717 N Ravenswood has availability from April 1 through May 19. Rates vary from $11 - $16 per hour, depending on hours scheduled per week. Approximately 800 sq ft, close to Addison Brown Line. Contact Amy Schultz at or 773-244-8119.

Industry Ticket Offer

Stadium Devildare - Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont, is offering $10 industry tickets for one performance only on Sunday February 17 at 7:00PM. Tickets are available online with code GAMEBOY and at the door. Visit for information and to purchase tickets. Contact Myah Shein at with questions.

 Everything is Illuminated - Next Theatre Company, 927 Noyes Street in Evanston, is offering $15 tickets on Thursday, February 28 to this US Premiere by Simon Block, adapted from the best-selling novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. Use code “Ukraine” when purchasing tickets online or by phone at 847-475-1875.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I know, I know...

Well, I know you all hate advocacy but listen up people, this is important. Most of you are non profit arts organizations, supported by our federal government in two ways, through paying no or minimal taxes and through charitable giving tax deductions whereby private citizens reduce their tax burden by making donations to non profit organizations recognized by the government as such. I know you all know all of this but I point it out to point out that grants are not the only thing that comes from the government and they are thinking about taking away the charitable giving tax deduction.

Earlier this year as a part of the fiscal cliff deal – households with high incomes ($300,000 for a couple, $250,000 for an individual) were already hit with a reduction in the amount of deductions that they can take. It’s a little complicated, the best explanation I found was here. So already, we don’t even know how this will affect us at the end of the year. There are various proposals under consideration to further reduce the deductions that taxpayers can take for charitable giving. So, write or call your congresspeople and let them know that you are having none of that. There is an easy way to do that here.


Commedia Dell'Arte and Acting Workshops


Sunday, February 10th, 6-9pm: DePaul Location:
The Theatre School at DePaul University, 2135 N. Kenmore Ave, Chicago

Monday February 11th from 6-10pm: Northwestern Location:
Theatre and Interpretation Center at 1949 Campus Drive. The Bergen is on the first floor in the back of the building. Directions.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Industry Ticket Offers

Same Sex, Different Gays - pH Comedy Theater, 1515 W. Berwyn in Andersonville, is offering 2 for 1 industry tickets for any night during the run until 3/30/13. Call 773-961-8214 and mention this offer. Visit for more information.

The Assemblers - pH Comedy Theater, 1515 W. Berwyn in Andersonville, is offering 2 for 1 industry tickets for any night during the run until 3/8/13. Call 773-961-8214 and mention this offer. Visit for more information.

Disconnect - Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. is offering $15 industry tickets to the performance on February 12th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available over the phone at (773) 871-3000 and online at Use code "COKE" when checking out.

Cadre - Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E Grand, is offering $15 tickets to performances of this world premiere work by South African actor-playwright Omphile Molusi, February 15–17. Use code “LEAGUE” when purchasing tickets online or over the phone at (312) 595-5600.

Game Night - Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park Rd. is offering FREE industry tickets to the performance on Thursday, February 7 at 8 p.m. For reservations email and mention this offer. 

The Birthday Party - Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, is offering $15 tickets for performances January 24 through February 14 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.