Behind the Curtain

Aug 20: The Real Life Adventures of Jimmy de las Rosas (Reading)


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: AUGUST
Playwrights, theatre artists, and the general public convene in the Chicago Dramatists' theatre to witness the birth of a new work for the stage and to participate in its development by offering feedback to its playwright. The plays are always directed and rehearsed and are presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets and to join in a post-reading discussion.

Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642



The Real Life Adventures of Jimmy de las Rosas
By Resident Playwright Ricardo Gamboa
Directed by Tara Branham

Jimmy de las Rosas is just your average boy on the block: He listens to his grandmother and mother, loves baseball and elotes, and speaks Spanish. Oh—And he’s telekinetic. A little something that’s a big help when it comes to hitting homeruns. Soon enough, people are talking about him just as much as they are about all the disappearances plaguing his Chicago neighborhood. But on his 13th birthday, Jimmy will use his powers for something else besides baseball miracles when his mother goes missing and mutant chihuahuas appear on the street. With the help of two super-powered friends, Jimmy will stop at nothing to find out what is going on. Who is actually pulling people off the streets and sidewalks? And where are they all going?


This event is FREE ($7 suggested donation at the door) and open to the public.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 14: Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys Post-Show Discussions


Raven Theatre Post-Show Discussions for Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys
In its initial run last fall, Direct from Death Row the Scottsboro Boys sparked much discussion of social justice in America and how things have or haven't changed since the days of the Scottsboro case. Raven Theatre is happy to welcome several guests to participate in post-show discussions to learn more about the continuing issues underlying the play.

Sunday, August 14, 2016 after the 3:00pm performance
at Raven Theatre | 6157 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660



Kim Foxx (left), Democratic Party Nominee for Cook County State's Attorney

Lanetta Haynes Turner (right), Executive Director of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council

Moderated by Elizabeth Clarke, Executive Director Juvenile Justice Initiative


This event is FREE and open to the public. Tickets needed for all Scottsboro performances. For more information about this event and others, please click here.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 13: Fay Burns! (Reading)


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: AUGUST
Playwrights, theatre artists, and the general public convene in the Chicago Dramatists' theatre to witness the birth of a new work for the stage and to participate in its development by offering feedback to its playwright. The plays are always directed and rehearsed and are presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets and to join in a post-reading discussion.

Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642



Fay Burns!
By Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke
Directed by Rachel Edwards Harvith, Associate Artistic Director of Chicago Dramatists and Chicago Dramatists' Associate Artist.

When a star struck middle-aged dreamer discovers that her long-time singing teacher has just returned from Manhattan, it can mean only one thing — he has found a producer for the Broadway musical they have created as her vehicle to stardom! Fay has one night to rehearse Sea Side Story, and be more ready than she has been in her whole life ever. (Good bye Kokomo, Indiana!)


This event is FREE ($7 suggested donation at the door) and open to the public.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 12: On Air


Adventure Stage Chicago presents On Air
Thanks to a grant from the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), 24 Chicago youth are taking part in a free, 8-week summer camp with Adventure Stage at Rowe Elementary School. Trailblazers will learn to work as an ensemble to devise an original piece premiering August 12 with two performances at the Vittum Theater.

Friday, August 12 at 2:00pm and 6:00pm
at Adventure Stage Chicago at the Vittum Theater | 1012 N. Noble St., Chicago, IL 60642




News travels - between friends and across dinner tables, via Twitter posts and from TV newscasters, in front of our eyes, into our ears, and through the very air around us. Young or old, we all absorb the news. And lately, the news has been terrifying - a barrage of violence and hate comes at us from every angle. We can't avoid it, so what do we do? In On Air, the ASC Trailblazers' Summer Camp wrestles with pressing issues like gun violence, racism, bullying, and how we talk about it. And they do it the best way they know how - through theatre, movement, music, and dance.


This event is FREE and open to the public. To reserve tickets, click here.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 9: The Color Game: whitewashing Latinx stories


Hosted by ALTA Chicago (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists)
Join ALTA Chicago and Victory Gardens Theater for this town hall community gathering to better understand the process of producing and casting plays of color.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 from 8:00 pm to 10:00pm
at Victory Gardens Theater | 2433 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60614






Historically, stories by and for people of color have been commodified by white theaters. In the wake of recent casting practices from several Chicago theaters whitewashing Latinx stories and narratives ("Evita" at the Marriott, "In the Heights" at Porchlight, among countless others), who should take responsibility for this invisibilization of culture and community? What role does the actor play in all of this? The theater? Join ALTA Chicago and Victory Gardens Theater for this town hall community gathering to better understand the process of producing and casting plays of color; the consequences and effects of cultural and racial appropriation; and create action towards making change in the greater Chicago theatre community (perhaps nationally) around race, representation and equity in casting practices.


This event is FREE and open to the public.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 9: The Chicago Inclusion Project: In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play (Reading)


The Chicago Inclusion Project Partners with TimeLine Theatre on staged reading of Sarah Ruhl's In The Next Room or the vibrator play
The mission of The Chicago Inclusion Project is to create inclusive theater experiences that illuminate our shared human story by bringing together Chicago artists and audiences normally separated by physical ability, gender identity and ethnic background, providing inspiration and resources for the Chicago community to embrace inclusive programming in the arts.

Their professional staged reading series will highlight contemporary classics and will be performed by Chicago artists of various ethnicities, physical abilities and gender identities.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 7:00pm
at TimeLine Theatre | 615 W Wellington Ave, Chicago, IL 60657





In The Next Room or the vibrator play
by Sarah Ruhl
directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe

In a seemingly perfect, well-to-do Victorian home, proper gentleman and scientist Dr. Givings has innocently invented an extraordinary new device for treating "hysteria" in women (and occasionally men): the vibrator. Adjacent to the doctor's laboratory, his young and energetic wife tries to tend to their newborn daughter—and wonders exactly what is going on in the next room. When a new "hysterical" patient and her husband bring a wet nurse and their own complicated relationship into the doctor's home, Dr. and Mrs. Givings must examine the nature of their own marriage, and what it truly means to love someone.

After the reading, please head over to Victory Gardens to participate in the workshop portion of "The Color Game: whitewashing Latinx stories" with ALTA Chicago (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists). Click here for more information on this event.


This event is FREE and open to the public. Click here to RSVP.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 6: Theater Wit Season Kickoff BBQ


Theater Wit hosts BBQ to kickoff 2016-2017 season!
Spend an afternoon in the sun and learn about upcoming productions from Theater Wit, Shattered Globe, About Face, Kokandy Productions and Boho Theater Ensemble. Enjoy live music, and win prizes!

Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm
at Theater Wit Parking Lot (behind Coopers) | 1229 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657



The event is free to attend! Award-winning barbecue and libations are available for purchase.


This event is FREE and open to the public.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 6: Dance for Beginners (Reading)


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: AUGUST
Playwrights, theatre artists, and the general public convene in the Chicago Dramatists' theatre to witness the birth of a new work for the stage and to participate in its development by offering feedback to its playwright. The plays are always directed and rehearsed and are presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets and to join in a post-reading discussion.

Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642



Dance for Beginners
By Resident Playwright M.T. Cozzola
Directed by Stephanie Stroud

Long-distance lovers on opposite sides of the planet, Jerry and Jenny agree to meet in person for the first time at a foxtrot competition in Blackpool, England. First, they need to learn how to dance.

This is the culmination of a 28-Hour Workshop.


This event is FREE ($7 suggested donation at the door) and open to the public.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 5-7: Ignition Festival of New Plays 2016


Victory Gardens Theater presents Ignition Festival of New Plays 2016
IGNITION Festival of New Plays is a national annual festival devoted to fostering a community of support for the development of outstanding new plays and nurturing relationships with emerging and established playwrights. 

Friday, August 5, 2016 through Sunday, August 7, 2016
at Victory Gardens Theater | 2433 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614






THE WAYWARD BUNNY
Friday, August 5 | 7:30 pm | Začek-McVay Theater | By Greg Kotis; Directed by Henry Wishcamper

When a mystery writer returns to his childhood home in search of his missing son, he lives through a night of terror told through bedtime stories, past transgressions, and truths forgotten that forces him to confront his essential nature.

The Cast: Kirsten Fitzgerald, Philip Earl Johnson, Aaron Lamm, Steve Pickering, Mary Ann Thebus


IGNITION OPENING NIGHT CELEBRATION
Friday, August 5 | 9:30 pm | Victory Gardens Theater Lobby

Stick around for this opening night celebration with a live DJ, delicious appetizers, and complimentary drinks as we raise a glass to kick off our IGNITION Festival of New Plays.


BREACH: A MANIFESTO ON RACE IN AMERICA THROUGH THE EYES OF A BLACK GIRL RECOVERING FROM SELF-HATE
Saturday, August 6 | 3:00 pm | Začek-McVay Theater | By Antoinette Nwandu; Directed by Devon De Mayo

What happens when an African American woman with a dead-end job and a fizzling relationship accidentally gets pregnant by a man she is not dating? Breach is a play about motherhood, race, and how hard it is to love others when it’s you that you loathe most of all.

The Cast: Japhet Balaban, Linda Bright Clay, Travis Delgado, Cruz Gonzalez, Ericka Ratcliff


BRINGING NEW PLAYS TO LIFE
Saturday, August 6 | 5:00 pm | Začek-McVay Theater 

As one of the leading theaters in new play development, Victory Gardens is home to some of the richest and boldest new plays premiering across the country. In a city where audiences are hungry for new theatre work, what is the current state of new play development and its future? What are the best practices for new play collaborations? How do we better support and produce new plays and playwrights? Join this timeless conversation on the new play process featuring IGNITION playwrights Greg Kotis, Antoinette Nwandu, Laura Jacqmin, James Ijames, Karen Hartman, and Tegan McLeod.


EOM (END OF MESSAGE)
Saturday, August 6 | 7:30 pm | Začek-McVay Theater | By Laura Jacqmin; Directed by Monty Cole

When the milestone date on their new video game is suddenly moved up – the week before Thanksgiving – a ragtag team of game developers must camp out at the office for seven days straight, crunching to meet an impossible deadline.

The Cast: Owais Ahmed, Jordan Brodess, Coby Goss, Casey Morris, Kelly O’Sullivan, Alec Silver, Penelope Walker


ARTIST MEET & GREET AND ICE CREAM SOCIAL
Saturday, August 6 | 9:30 pm | Victory Gardens Lobby

Hear from the artists themselves and cool off with boozy ice cream floats at this post-show artist meet & greet.


KILL MOVE PARADISE
Saturday, August 7 | 12:00 pm | Začek-McVay Theater | By James Ijames; Directed by Marti Lyons

Set in a netherworld, we follow Isa, Daz, Grif, and Tiny as they try to make sense of the world they have been ripped from. Colliding the Elysium Greek myth with recent events, Kill Move Paradise is a expressionistic buzz saw through the contemporary myth that “all lives matter”.​

The Cast: DeAndre Brown, Jerod Haynes, Rasell Holt, John Stewart


GAZA REHEARSAL
Saturday, August 7 | 3:00 pm | Začek-McVay Theater | By Karen Hartman; Directed by Chay Yew

A play within a play, a tragedy inside a comedy. A group of faculty and students at a large public university stage a little-known political drama, Goliath. The writer of that political drama is on faculty, directing her own play, desperate to “spark dialogue.” And she does.

The Cast: Charín Alvarez, McKenzie Chinn, Elaine Rivkin, Benjamin Sprunger, Will Wilhelm


ART ACTIVISM
Saturday, August 7 | 5:00 pm | Rehearsal Room

August Wilson once said, “All art is political in the sense that it serves someone’s politics.” With this year’s IGNITION plays touching on themes such as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, race and gender, and the insular world and morality of video gaming, how do plays exemplify the current political and cultural zeitgeist of our city and country? Can art be activism? Join us for this timely panel conversation with IGNITION playwrights James Ijames, Antoinette Nwandu, Tegan McLeod, and other Chicago-based artists and activists.


GIRLS IN CARS UNDERWATER
Saturday, August 7 | 7:30 pm | Začek-McVay Theater | By Tegan McLeod; Directed by Will Davis

When newcomer Dusty is hired as a shot girl at one of the toughest bars in the city, she forms an unexpected bond with the hard-edged women who work there. Just as she begins to settle into her new family, Dusty loses herself in the underbelly of the night. Girls In Cars Underwater is an unflinching exploration of passion and compulsion, and the power of both to ruin or remake our lives.

The Cast: Sydney Charles, Aneisa Hicks, Leah Karpel, Sarai Rodriguez, Paola Sanchez, Becca Savoy, Brad Smith, Skye Sparks


IGNITION FAREWELL
Sunday, August 7 | 9:30 pm | Victory Gardens Lobby

Help us close out our IGNITION Festival of New plays with a champagne toast and light refreshments following the final reading of our festival.


For more information about this event, click here


This event is FREE and open to the public. Click here to RSVP. General Admission, but seating will be reserved for Members, Subscribers and Donors of Victory Gardens Theater.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 2: A Look at Byhalia, Mississippi


The Chicago Film Archive of Performance presents "A Look at Byhalia, Mississippi"
Join the Chicago Film Archive of Performance (C-FAP) and members of the cast and creative teams from The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company for a behind-the-scenes look at bringing their hit play Byhalia, Mississippi to the stage.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Harold Washington Library Center, Video Theater, Lower Level | 400 S State St. Chicago, IL 60605





Panelists include Evan Linder (playwright, "Jim"), Tyrone Phillips (director), Liz Sharpe ("Laurel"), Kiki Layne ("Ayesha"), and Jeffery Owen Freelon Jr. ("Karl"). For details, click here.

This event is FREE and open to the public.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Aug 1: Court Theatre Spotlight Reading Series - Black Cycle


Court Theatre Spotlight Reading Series - A citywide, yearlong event to rediscover classic plays by writers of color
At Court Theatre, they're embarking on a new effort to connect with communities and revive a love for classic plays from outside of the traditional canon through their Spotlight Reading Series. Join Court Theatre as they bring together professional directors and actors to showcase these rarely performed plays all over Chicago—for free.

Monday, August 1, 2016 at 6:30pm

at Hamilton Park Cultural Center | 513 W 72nd St, Chicago, IL 60621





Black Cycle
By Martie Charles
Directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce

Vera, a beautician and salon owner, tries her best to raise her daughter Jeannie and keep her from repeating her mistakes.

FREE, but reservations are strongly recommended. Patrons with reservations will be given priority. Limit 4 per household. Click here for more information.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Jul 30: The Play That Used to be Titled '1247 Likes' Decides to Go Dancing in a Cemetery (Reading)


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: JULY
Playwrights, theatre artists, and the general public convene in the Chicago Dramatists' theatre to witness the birth of a new work for the stage and to participate in its development by offering feedback to its playwright. The plays are always directed and rehearsed and are presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets and to join in a post-reading discussion.

Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642



The Play That Used to be Titled '1247 Likes' Decides to Go Dancing in a Cemetery
a new play with its own agency
By Resident Playwright Dana Lynn Formby
Directed by Ilesa Duncan, Artistic Director of Pegasus Theatre, and Chicago Dramatists' Associate Artist.

An off the rails comedy about two best friends from different economic classes, their love of cheese, and a wrestle to death over politics. This battle leads the characters to surprising places, ultimately asking the most human question of all, can we get along?


This event is FREE ($7 suggested donation at the door) and open to the public.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Jul 30: The Four Hijabs - An Animated Short + Panel Discussion


Join Silk Road Rising for the premiere of The Four Hijabs
The Four Hijabs is an entertaining and accessible way to engage with the complex ideas surrounding the hijab. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion, featuring co-authors Dr. Manal Hamzeh and Jamil Khoury, and a panel of respondents.

Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 4:00pm
at The Historic Chicago Temple Building | 77 West Washington St., Lower Level, Chicago, IL 60602




By Dr. Manal Hamzeh & Jamil Khoury
Directed by Liz Wuerffel
Animated by Anna Hayden-Roy

Join Silk Road Rising for the premiere of The Four Hijabs, an animated short film that explores the multiple meanings of four hijabs mentioned in 16 Qur’anic verses through Arab-Muslim feminist lenses:

⚬ the visual hijab (the modest dress of both Muslim men and women)

⚬ the spatial hijab (the separator between private and public spaces)

⚬ the ethical hijab (ethical values/practices required of all Muslims)

⚬ the spiritual hijab (the barrier that inhibits deep spiritual growth and new knowledge)

The Four Hijabs is an entertaining and accessible way to engage with the complex ideas surrounding the hijab.

Inspired by ideas in Dr. Manal Hamzeh’s book Pedagogies of DeVeiling: Muslim Girls and the Hijab Discourse (2012) and adapted into a screenplay by Jamil Khoury, The Four Hijabs builds upon the groundbreaking work of the late Moroccan feminist Fatima Mernissi.


FREE but registration is required. Space is limited. Click here to RSVP.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Jul 27: The Brave Little Chick (Reading)


The New Colony Theatre's Staged Reading of The Brave Little Chick
Join The New Colony for a sneak peek at one of their works in development! The reading will be followed by a brief talkback.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 7:30pm
The Den Theatre | 1333 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60622




Written and Directed by Sean Kelly
Featuring Sydney Charles, Deanna Reed-Foster, Elizabeth Lesinski, Jack McCabe, Jeff Meyers, Christine Maryland Perkins and Michael Peters

Essie is a little chick hatched into a factory farm. Which, as you can imagine, is an intense place for little chick. But she’s a brave little chick. And she’s going to get herself and her sisters outta there.


FREE but registration is required. To reserve your seat, please click here.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Jul 25: WE HEAR


Waltzing Mechanics announces the first convening of WE HEAR; a public forum for artistic expression and public dialogue in light of recent tragic events.
Following the murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five police officers in Dallas last week, director Andrea Beschel took to Facebook to ask where citizens in Chicago were gathering to pursue a dialogue about these tragic events. Once Waltzing Mechanics co-founder Thomas Murray responded with an offer of artistic space, Beschel, Murray, and actress Tiffany Mitchenor conceived a program that is part open mic, part artistic showcase, and part group discussion.

Monday, July 25, 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Berger Park Cultural Center | 6205 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660



What is WE HEAR?
WE HEAR is a gathering space for the artistic community and the community at large to react to events both international and domestic that impact our city. Its purpose is to give people a physical platform to express concern, anger, frustration, and grief that is normally reserved for private spaces or digital outlets. WE HEAR is an opportunity for artists to respond through their medium, ask questions, and hear others discuss issues they are passionate about. The goal of WE HEAR is to be a space for expression and discussion - a place to publicly react to news and events.


What is the format of WE HEAR?
There will be eight curated artistic acts chosen ahead of time by organizers to showcase a wide array of responses to current events. There will be four open mic slots where anyone who has something to say or perform can do so. These open mic slots will be limited to 2 minutes. In addition to the staged performances, white boards will be posted for guests to make open comments, and a submission box will be available for questions and comments that may be read aloud anonymously or be discussed in story circles afterwards. Post-performance discussions will be moderated in groups of increasing size to allow everyone inclined a chance to share.


Who performs at WE HEAR?
While organizers will assemble some participants they know, Waltzing Mechanics believe it is important to keep spaces open for people who may be new to the project. This goal is achieved not only by having ‘open mic’ slots, but also by having an open submission policy for material. In addition to artists and performers, slots could be filled by academics, reporters, and community members who are knowledgeable on a topic of particular interest. Those who share can provide context, pose questions, and further probe a situation being discussed at the event.


When is WE HEAR?
Whenever the space is needed, it shall be activated. Waltzing Mechanics will aim for theatrical dark nights to accommodate the widest population of the artistic community, but WE HEAR will occur only when necessary rather than periodically.

Tell your story, tell our story. We hear you.


This event is FREE and open to the public. To RSVP and/or get more information about this event , please click here.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Jul 24: Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys Post-Show Discussions


Raven Theatre Post-Show Discussions for Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys
In its initial run last fall, Direct from Death Row the Scottsboro Boys sparked much discussion of social justice in America and how things have or haven't changed since the days of the Scottsboro case. Raven Theatre is happy to welcome several guests to participate in post-show discussions to learn more about the continuing issues underlying the play.

Sunday, July 24, 2016 after the 3:00pm performance
at Raven Theatre | 6157 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660



Hedy Weiss, Theater and Dance Critic, Chicago Sun-Times, will interview the cast and director and take questions from the audience.


This event is FREE and open to the public. Tickets needed for all Scottsboro performances. For more information about this event and others, please click here.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Jul 23: Panel Discussion: Playwright as Producer


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: JULY
Join Chicago Dramatists this Saturday for a panel discussion about self-producing as a playwright. Where does one begin? What do you need to produce professionally? And most importantly, how do you remain a playwright and continue to work on your art when you are in charge of everything?

Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642



Panelists include Michael Rychlewski, Network Playwright and author of CHOPS (at Theatre Wit through August 14) and David Finney, Network Playwright and author of THE CONSPIRACY (recently at City Lit's Art of Adaptation Festival).


This event is FREE ($5 suggested donation at the door) and open to the public.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Jul 21-23: Goodman Theatre 2015/2016 Playwrights Unit


Women Rule the Stage: Join Goodman Theatre for new work from The Playwrights Unit
Each year, the Goodman selects four local playwrights to develop their work as members of the Playwrights Unit. Throughout the season, the writers meet regularly with the Goodman’s literary staff to read and discuss their works-in-progress. The members are chosen not only for their strong playwriting skills, but also for their aesthetic diversity; because each approaches playwriting differently, they are able to offer unique insights into one another’s work. This July, the Goodman presents staged readings of the works developed this year.

Thursday, July 21, 2016 through Saturday, July 23, 2016
at Goodman Theatre | 170 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60601






Messina
By Jenni Lamb | Directed by Vanessa Stalling
Thursday, July 21, 2016 | 7:30pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

Just as Odysseus was forced to choose between the Scylla and Charybdis in The Odyssey, first-time mother Cora must navigate the world of work and motherhood while trying not to lose herself on the journey. Reserve tickets here


La Havana Madrid

By Sandra Delgado | Directed by Cherl Lynn Bruce
Friday, July 22, 2016 | 7:30pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

In an immersive documentary theater experience inspired by the Chicago nightclub that once existed on the corner of Belmont and Sheffield, audiences are invited to share in the stories of the club’s patrons and musicians while chronicling the history of Caribbean Latino music through the 1960s. Reserve tickets here.


Tony Kushner Considers Writing a Gay Fantasia Based on National Themes
By Calamity West | Directed by Seth Bockley
Saturday, July 23, 2016 | 2:00pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

New York City, 1986. As a young playwright begins the biggest challenge of his life, the ghosts of characters-to-be collide with the real lives of a changing and dangerous metropolis almost a decade before history cracked open. Reserve tickets here


Florissant & Canfield
By Kristiana Rae Colon | Directed by Moly Cole
Saturday, July 23, 2016 | 7:30pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

Colliding in the unlikely Eden of a civil rights renaissance, a newly formed alliance of protesters are forced to put their nascent ideologies to the test in the quest for new visions of justice. The intersection of tear gas and teddy bear memorials refracts the realities of Ferguson in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Reserve standby tickets here.


This event is FREE and open to the public. Reservations are required.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Jul 21-31: About Face Youth Theatre presents AD HOC [HOME]


A World Premiere by the About Face Youth Ensemble
About Face Theatre is pleased to present the world premiere of AD HOC [HOME], a devised play exploring “family” written by and featuring members of the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble and directed by AFT Education and Outreach Director Ali Hoefnagel.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016 through Sunday, July 31, 2016
Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center | 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602




AD HOC [HOME] explores queer experiences of given family, chosen family, and the family members we collect and lose along the way. Through storytelling, video, and movement, the critically acclaimed About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble investigates the questions of who we are at our core and how families shape our identities.


This event is FREE ($15 suggested donation) and open to the public. To reserve tickets, please click here. To help About Face nurture new work like AD HOC [HOME], please consider making a $15 donation when you reserve your ticket(s) at checkout. No one will be turned away at the door for lack of ability to donate.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


Jul 18: The Making of Company


Writers Theatre's The Making Of Series
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of the shows you love? For each production, Writers Theatre offers insight into a different aspect of creating theatre to a group of Writers Theatre patrons. Enjoy a short and lively presentation by their designers and other experts, who will walk you through the process of preparing for and executing a show.

Monday, July 18, 2016 at 6:30pm
Alexandra C. & John D. Nichols Theatre at Writers Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, IL 60022



Literary Manager Bobby Kennedy will lead a 1-hour conversation and question-and-answer session with Company Choreographer Brock Clawson about creating the dance in the show in collaboration with the music and text.

FREE but registration is required. To RSVP, please click here.



"Behind the Curtain" is a special section of ChicagoPlays.com listing free events that enhance and complement your theatre-going experiences. Get an inside look at local Chicago theatre companies through forums, panel discussions, community events, and even parties. Planning to attend this "Behind the Curtain" event? Post about it on Twitter with the hashtag #BehindTheCurtain. For more upcoming events, visit http://bit.ly/behindcurtain.


 
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