Behind the Curtain

Apr 23: Celebration of Shakespeare Fireworks


Marking 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's Legacy
In the midst of the world’s largest yearlong celebration of Shakespeare bringing 850 events to more than 500,000 Chicagoans and visitors throughout 2016, Shakespeare 400 Chicago announces highlights for the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on April 23, 2016, a date which also marks the playwright’s 452nd birthday. The world pays tribute to the playwright’s remarkable legacy on this day—but nowhere with as much spirit as in Chicago.

Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 10:15pm

at Navy Pier | 800 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611       





The April 23rd festivities culminate in a dazzling display of fireworks that will light up the Chicago skyline over Lake Michigan from Navy Pier at 10:15 p.m. The show will be underscored by sweeping musical works inspired by Shakespeare. This special display in honor of Shakespeare’s Quadricentennial will be the very first of Navy Pier’s legendary Aon Firework shows of the season. Chicagoans can snag the best views from the dock or aboard an evening cruise, operating with extended hours especially for the celebration. No other city in the United States plans to stage a spectacle of this magnitude in marking the occasion.


Everyone is encouraged to join Shakespeare 400 Chicago on April 23rd in observing Talk Like Shakespeare Day, an annual event established by Chicago Shakespeare Theater as an occasion for citizens from Chicago and across the globe to bring the words of the playwright into their daily lives. Shakespeare is credited with contributing over 1,700 words and phrases to the English language which we still use today—including “bedazzled,” “swagger” and “new-fangled.” Take part in the festivities online at www.talklikeshakespeare.org and on social media at #TalkLikeShakespeareDay. For the most up-to-date information about programming, tickets and event venues, go to www.shakespeare400chicago.com.

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.


Apr 19: The Quality of Mercy Project - The Innocent by Lauri Feldman Fisher


Piven Theatre Workshop announces The Quality of Mercy Project
Piven Theatre Workshop's production of Dead Man Walking is the centerpiece of the Quality of Mercy Project, a three-month public programming initiative which invites the community to discuss the complex issues arising from the themes of the play. These include, but certainly are not limited to: forgiveness, compassion, the death penalty, mass incarceration, racial inequity, and social justice. Join Piven for art installations, discussion panels, specialty workshops, pop-up performances, and community dialogue.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 7:00pm

at Evanston Public Library | 1703 Orrington Ave., Evanston, IL 60201






The Innocent by Lauri Feldman Fisher (Film Screening)
A screening and discussion of The Innocent, a documentary about men and women wrongly sentenced to death who lived to tell about it. The director, subjects of the film, and members of the justice community will be present for a discussion immediately after the screening. Premiered at Chicago International Documentary Film Festival where it was chosen as audience favorite.

For more information on The Quality of Mercy programming initiatives and a schedule, please click here.


This event and a majority of The Quality of Mercy programs are 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.


Apr 18: The Making of Arcadia


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, April 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 actors Scott Parkinson (Bernard Nightingale) and Elizabeth Stenholt (Thomasina Coverly). Scott is a veteran performer at Writers Theatre (Hedda Gabler, Hamlet, Crime & Punishment), while Elizabeth is making her debut in Glencoe. The pair will discuss their acting careers, how they rehearsed this incredibly sophisticated play, and what it is like to perform in the inaugural production in the new Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre.


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.


Apr 16: The Quality of Mercy Project - Reading and Book Signing with Sister Helen Prejean


Piven Theatre Workshop announces The Quality of Mercy Project
Piven Theatre Workshop's production of Dead Man Walking is the centerpiece of the Quality of Mercy Project, a three-month public programming initiative which invites the community to discuss the complex issues arising from the themes of the play. These include, but certainly are not limited to: forgiveness, compassion, the death penalty, mass incarceration, racial inequity, and social justice. Join Piven for art installations, discussion panels, specialty workshops, pop-up performances, and community dialogue.

Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm

at Bookends and Beginnings | 1712 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201






READING AND BOOK SIGNING WITH SISTER HELEN PREJEAN
A reading and discussion with the woman whose story has inspired millions. Sister Helen Prejean has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty and helping to shape the Catholic Church’s vigorous opposition to state executions. Since 1984, Sister Helen has divided her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners.

For more information on The Quality of Mercy programming initiatives and a schedule, please click here.


This event and a majority of The Quality of Mercy programs are 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.


Apr 16: Dance for Beginners (Reading)


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: APRIL
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, April 16, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642



Dance for Beginners
By Resident Playwright MT Cozzola
Directed by Stephanie Stroud

Long-distance lovers on opposite ends of the world, Jerry and Jenny decide to meet in person for the first time at a foxtrot competition. First, they need to learn how to dance..


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.


Apr 10: Sunday Spotlight Arcadia


Writers Theatre's Sunday Spotlight
Are you curious about the world that surrounds your favorite plays? Sunday Spotlight offers access to the finest speakers, academicians and cultural leaders. This one-hour event takes place following select Sunday matinees and extends the conversation on Writers Theatre's stages by featuring an expert in an area connected to the play. For example, past audiences have learned from the experiences of Holocaust survivor Aaron Elster in a layered discussion around The Diary of Anne Frank and explored the nature of suspicion in Doubt: A Parable with the Director of Northwestern’s Center on Wrongful Convictions Karen Daniel.

Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 5:15pm
Gillian Theatre at Writers Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, IL 60022




Sunday Spotlight:
Join WT for a 45-minute conversation in which Cathy Jean Maloney, award-winning author and garden historian, will discuss with WT Literary Manager Bobby Kennedy the styles of landscape architecture depicted in the play, including where to find examples of them in Chicagoland.


Aracadia:
In the heart of a 19th century English country estate awash in secret desires, illicit affairs and professional rivalries, a brilliant young student proposes an earthshaking scientific theory. Two hundred years later, academic adversaries Hannah and Bernard race to unravel the enticing mysteries left behind in a heated battle for intellectual and sexual dominance.


FREE but seating is limited. RSVP is required. To RSVP, 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.


Apr 9: Freshman Bed (Reading)


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: APRIL
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, April 9, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642



Freshman Bed
By Resident Playwright Susan Lieberman
Directed by Amy Szerlong

Lizzie is a college freshman with strong views on gender equality. But when her first week on campus becomes a crash course in sex and power, she learns that all things are not equal. A portrait of dorm life in the age of limitless options. 


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.


Apr 4: Court Theatre Spotlight Reading Series - The Oxcart (or La Carreta)


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, April 4, 2016 at 6:30pm

at National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture| 3015 W Division St, Evanston, IL 606022





The Oxcart (or La Carreta)
By Rene Marques
Directed by Eddie Torres

A rural Puerto Rican family moves from the mountains to the slums of San Juan then to New York City, always longing for a better life—only to be disillusioned and to long for their island.


FREE, but reservations are strongly recommended. Patrons with reservations will be given priority. Limit 4 per household. Click hereto get your tickets.



"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.


Apr 3: The Quality of Mercy Project - A Piven Pop-up Show!


Piven Theatre Workshop announces The Quality of Mercy Project - A Piven Pop-up Show!
Piven Theatre Workshop's production of Dead Man Walking is the centerpiece of the Quality of Mercy Project, a three-month public programming initiative which invites the community to discuss the complex issues arising from the themes of the play. These include, but certainly are not limited to: forgiveness, compassion, the death penalty, mass incarceration, racial inequity, and social justice. Join Piven for art installations, discussion panels, specialty workshops, pop-up performances, and community dialogue.

Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 2:30pm

at Evanston Art Center | 1717 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201






A PIVEN POP-UP SHOW!
Piven Theatre Workshop's legendary youth performers bring their show on the road to Evanston Art Center's new building for a pop-up storytelling show. Actors will present stories of how individuals come to see the ramifications of bullying and injustice.

For more information on The Quality of Mercy programming initiatives and a schedule, please click here.


This event and a majority of The Quality of Mercy programs are 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.


Apr 2: The Centurion's Face (Reading)


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: APRIL
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, April 2, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642



The Centurion's Face
By Resident Playwright Robert Koon

A bishop in a mainstream Protestant church, Julia Kiesler has a number of challenges to face: a conservative diocese, a progressive denomination, and bad church coffee. When an unsought opportunity collides with allegations of impropriety on the part of her husband, she is caught between her personal ambition and her call to serve the marginalized.


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.


Mar 31 - Apr 3: Hoop Dreams Shorts


Oracle Films: Oracle Productions and Rebuild Foundation present HOOP DREAMS SHORTS
With their film projects, Oracle embarks on an exploration of the medium to stretch the limitations of the cinematic art form. Oracle Film joins its audience in a dialogue dissecting the barriers between the filmmaker and the film viewer. Oracle Film elevates its community by placing free film at the citizen’s fingertips. Oracle and Rebuild Foundation present HOOP DREAMS SHORTS an evening of short films from the production team of the acclaimed 1994 documentary + a screening of Hoop Dreams at Black Cinema House .

Thursday, March 31 through Sunday, April 3, 2016





Oracle Productions and Rebuild Foundation’s Black Cinema House are thrilled to present HOOP DREAM SHORTS, vital new work from the creative team that brought audiences across the globe this seminal classic. Screenings taking place on March 31, April 1 and 2 at Oracle Theatre will include short films from Hoop Dreams’ own Frederick Marx, Susanne Suffredin, Peter Gilbert, and Leo Gilbert, with work featuring the likes of Hoop Dreams subjects William Gates and Arthur Agee as well as Drinking Buddies director Joe Swanberg. In addition, Oracle and Black Cinema House will host a screening of Hoop Dreams on April 3 at Black Cinema House. Arthur Agee and Susanne Suffredin will join the event for talkbacks following the films on select evenings. Oracle is delighted to showcase the craft of incredible local filmmakers telling essential stories connected to the Chicago community.

Hoop Dreams Shorts screening
March 31, April 1 & 2 at 8PM Oracle Theatre | 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago
Reserve Your Seats Now

Hoop Dreams screening
April 3 at 4PM Black Cinema House | 7200 S. Kimbark, Chicago
Reserve Your Seats Now

All performances at Oracle are wheelchair accessible. The screening of Hoop Dreams at Black Cinema House will be presented with Open Captioning.


Free, but reservations are strongly recommended. For more information, 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.


Mar 30: The Butler Community Event


Northlight Theatre's The Butler Community Event
The strong relationship that Northlight Theatre has with our surrounding community leads to exciting events that supplement our shows. These events are FREE and open to the public. The Butler runs March 11 - April 17, 2016 in Skokie, IL.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 6:30pm

at Curt's Cafe | 2922 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201




LEGALITY VS. MORALITY
A community panel discussion with Sergeant Leeks, Evanston Police Department; Patrick Keenan-Devlin, James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy; and Northlight Literary Manager Lauren Shouse.

Free, but reservation required. RSVP to khoopingarner@northlight.org or 847.324.1614.



"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.


Mar 26: Hope the Hippo (Battle-Dances Captain Lame-o and Finds Her Place Beyond the Stars) (Reading)


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: MARCH
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, March 26, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642




Hope the Hippo (Battle-Dances Captain Lame-o and Finds Her Place Beyond the Stars)
By Resident Playwright Jayme McGhan
Directed by Artistic Director Meghan Beels

James and Anne battle for and against their marriage in a drunken night of make-believe, using a box of stuffed animals won from various carnivals as symbolic characters from their real lives. One special stuffed animal in particular, Hope the Hippo, makes it her quest to rekindle the flame of love that James and Anne once shared. But standing in her way is Captain Lame-O, a media-crazed break-dancing villain, who wants nothing more than to douse that flame. Hope and all of her soft and downy friends must work together to defeat Captain Lame-O once and for all in the most epic and fluffy of all dance battles.


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.


Mar 24 - Apr 30: Hillary and Clinton Public Programs


Victory Gardens Theater Public Programs: Hillary and Clinton
As part of Victory Gardens’ initiatives to bridge the gap between their plays, their audiences, and the world outside these productions, Victory Gardens curates a series of events to especially enhance your Victory Gardens experience. Their Public Programs event series explores themes and issues presented in their plays – sparking ideas and provoking meaningful dialogue. Through film screenings, play readings, town hall meetings, spoken word performances, post show discussions, and many more, Victory Gardens invites you to join them and be a part of that conversation.

at Victory Gardens Theater | 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614




AFTERWORDS
After every performance of HILLARY AND CLINTON (unless otherwise noted). Join Victory Gardens for one of their intimate post-show conversations. Led by members from the Victory Gardens community—artistic affiliates, subscribers, Artistic staff, Teen Arts Council members, and community partners—reflect on what you’ve seen and share your response. Free, but tickets needed for all Hillary and Clinton performances.


BACKSTAGE AT THE BIOGRAPH: REIMAGINING HILLARY
Thursday, March 24, 2016 | 7:00pm

“If space is infinite, then all possibilities exist.” Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton is one of several existing plays of Hnath’s featuring iconic figures such as Walt Disney, Anna Nicole Smith and Isaac Newton. How do we reimagine an iconic figure and recreate them through a new lens? Get a first hand look at what it takes to reimagine Hillary and Bill Clinton at this open rehearsal kick-­off party with artistic director Chay Yew, actress Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Hillary) and actor John Apicella (Bill). Then, enjoy a complimentary reception and mingle with the cast and creative team to get the inside scoop on the process.


LAUGH OUT LOUD
Free Pre-show Stand-up Comedy | Thursday, April 7, 2016 | 6:30pm

Tina Fey has described 2016 as a “terrible time” for women in comedy, because “the boys are still getting more money for a lot of garbage, while the ladies are hustling and doing amazing work for less.” In general, women make up of an average of 21.3 percent of MCs at comedy shows, 14.3 percent of midlevel comics, and 8.3 percent of headliners. Join Victory Gardens in the main lobby for free pre-­­show stand­-up comedy performances as these fierce women take the mic and make audiences laugh so hard they’ll pee their pants.


IF SPACE IS INFINITE
Pre-Show Spoken Word Performance | Wednesday, April 13, 2016 | 6:30pm

If space is infinite, then there must be an infinite number of planet earths that look and feel exactly like ours. A device used in Hillary and Clinton, the ideas of alternate universes is both hopeful and frightening when envisioning a world that could be much like ours, but isn’t. Come hear Chicago performance poet Deja Taylor break it down in this special pre-­show spoken word performance piece as she riffs off the alternate realities of our existence. Then, stick around for free refreshments before enjoying Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton.


COLLEGE NIGHT: IN ANOTHER WORLD
Free Post-Show Performance | Thursday, April 14, 2016 | 6:30pm

Imagine that in an alternate universe, very much like our own, is another world where Beyonce, John Lennon, and Margaret Thatcher are having brunch. Many works by Lucas Hnath feature iconic figures deconstructed and then reimagined in unexpected and exciting ways. Join Victory Gardens for a pre-­­show reception in the lobby featuring delicious drink specials & free pizza. Then, stick around for Hillary and Clinton and stay for post-­­show performances featuring short scenes reimagining iconic figures of our time written, directed, and performed by college artists from DePaul University, University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University.


CASTING NOTICE
Post-Show Panel Conversation | Thursday, April 21, 2016 | 7:30pm

In this production of Hillary and Clinton, Hillary is played by an African American actress. This kind of casting is known as color­-conscious casting, something many productions aim for in the wake of criticism against racial parity in the American theater landscape. In most classical works where race isn’t specified, however, actors of color are often underused. What is the temperature of race and casting in Chicago today? Join Victory Gardens for this timely post-­show conversation as they are joined by artistic leaders and casting directors as they break open the racial gap in the American theater.


BOSS LADY
Post-Show Town Hall | Friday, April 22, 2016 | 7:30pm

In a country where women make up 50.8 percent of the population, earning almost 60 percent of all undergraduate and graduate degrees, they comprise of only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners, and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. Why is there such disparity between men and women in leadership roles? Why has there never been a woman President of the United States of America? Come for pre-­show refreshments, then stick around for this post­-show town hall conversation breaking open the gender gap while celebrating some of the most boss ass women of our time. #BossyAndProud


BLACK LEADERS MATTER
Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Panel Conversation | Saturday, April 23, 2016 | 6:30pm

From Langston Hughes to Mary McLeod Bethune, black leaders, activists, and artists have historically (and continue to) engage the country on rights and reparations for African American citizens. With the 2016 Presidential election well underway, every political debate has included questions relating to racial inequity, slavery reparations, and other areas of black politics. What impact have black leaders, young and old, continue to hold in this country? Join Chicago black leaders for pre­­-show refreshments from Fiesta Mexicana, then stick around for a special Afterwords post-­show conversation on the importance of black leadership.


ENCUENTRO: THE INVISIBLE LINE
Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Panel Conversation | Tuesday, April 26, 2016 | 6:30pm 

With an election year upon us, the top 3 concerns for Latinx voters are education, healthcare and jobs. Latinx political leaders like Dolores Huerta are asking candidates to voice their platforms and the Latinx vote will have more weight than ever before. What’s behind the Latinx vote? Why? Join Encuentro host Amor Montes de Oca (Arte y Vida) and Chicago latinx political leaders and analysts for pre­­show refreshments from Fiesta Mexicana, then stick around for a special Afterwords post­-show conversation.


OUTLOUD: AFTER THE HONEYMOON
Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Panel Conversation | Wednesday, April 27, 2016 | 6:30pm 

Now that same-­sex marriage is legal in all 50 states and the honeymoon is over, it’s time to get back to work. There are a myriad of political issues left unresolved among the LBGT community – ­ anti-­trans bathroom bills, sex-­amending legislation, HIV-­specific criminal laws, just to name a few. What is the current state of queer politics in our country today? Join Victory Gardens for a queer friendly pre­-show celebration with free food and drinks, and stay for this special Afterwards conversation.


POLITICAL FICTION
Post-Show Panel Conversation | Saturday, April 30, 2016 | 6:30pm 

There are many words to describe it ­- political fiction, imagined democracies, and countless others. In a world where there are standard forms of practice in the criminal justice system, electing public officials, and creating legislation, where is there room to question the status quo? What are other forms of political practices used today? Join Victory Gardens for this riveting post-­show conversation as we are joined by political analysts, activists, and lobbyists as we explore alternative forms of democracy.



Public Programs are free and open to the public. RSVP is not required. Tickets needed for all Hillary and Clinton performances. For more information, 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.


Mar 24: Backstage at the Biograph - Reimagining the Clintons


Victory Gardens Theater: BACKSTAGE AT THE BIOGRAPH
A new, free event series that takes you behind-the-scenes for an in-depth look at a unique aspect of the rehearsal process! Then, enjoy complimentary wine, beer and snacks as you mingle with members of the cast and design team at the kick-off party in the Victory Gardens Theater lobby.





Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 7:00pm
at Victory Gardens Theater | 2433 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

BACKSTAGE AT THE BIOGRAPH: Reimagining Hillary
Free & Open to the Public

“If space is infinite, then all possibilities exist.” Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton is one of several existing plays of Hnath’s featuring iconic figures such as Walt Disney, Anna Nicole Smith and Isaac Newton. How do we reimagine an iconic figure and recreate them through a new lens?

Get a first hand look at what it takes to reimagine Hillary and Bill Clinton at this open rehearsal kick-­off party with artistic director Chay Yew, actress Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Hillary) and actor John Apicella (Bill). Then, enjoy a complimentary reception and mingle with the cast and creative team to get the inside scoop on the process.

FREE but space is limited. RSVP is required. Click here to reserve a seat.



"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.


Mar 14: The Lifeline Storytelling Project


Lifeline Theatre Storytelling Project
The Lifeline Storytelling Project (LSP) performs monthly at Red Line Tap and showcases artists affiliated with Lifeline Theatre. Each show features a different musical guest and a rotating lineup of storytellers. Free show, friendly bar, cheap beer and spellbinding stories!

Monday, March 14th at 7:00pm
at Red Line Tap | 7006 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60626



Rogers Park artists and art lovers! Please join Lifeline Theatre at the RPAA March gathering at Red Line Tap. Free Admission - but bring your ID. Meet other Rogers Park artists and enjoy music and stories by Honey Electrik (band) and storytellers from the Lifeline Storytelling Project, joined by side project's Artistic Director, Adam Webster, who will tell us about the side project's 4th annual Storytelling Festival opening later in March!

Emcee - Dorothy Milne
Storytellers include: Brian Bush, Darren Meyers, Carol Ann Tan & Emily Wills
Music: Honey Electrik

Estimated Schedule:
7 pm - Introduction by Lifeline Theatre's Dorothy Milne
7:10 - 7:40 pm - Honey Electrik plays
7:45 - 8:15/8:30 pm - Multiple storytellers from Lifeline Storytelling Project
8:30 - 8:45 pm - Band plays again

There is also an Open Mic night at Red Line, so people are encouraged to stay and perform!

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.


Mar 7: The August Wilson Monologue Competition- Chicago FINALS


The August Wilson Monologue Competition: Chicago FINALS
High school students compete for a chance to represent Chicago in the national finals of the August Wilson Monologue Competition in New York.


Monday, March 7, 2016 at 6:00pm
at Goodman Theatre | 170 N. Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60601





Twenty-one Chicago high school students will perform in the August Wilson Monologue Competition Finals on Monday, March 7, 2016 at 6:00 pm at the Goodman Theatre for a chance to represent Chicago in the National Competition in New York City. Judges for this years’ competition include Narda Alcorn, Equity Stage Manager on many August Wilson productions, playwright Lydia Diamond and actor Allen Gilmore, who has performed in numerous August Wilson plays.

The August Wilson Monologue Competition, sponsored locally by The League of Chicago Theatres, Goodman Theatre, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and organized in Chicago by Derrick Sanders, is a national competition open to all high school students. For the Chicago and National competition, students perform a 2-3 minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle. The host venue, Goodman Theatre, was the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in Wilson’s acclaimed Century Cycle—including world premiere productions of Seven Guitars (1995) and Gem of the Ocean (2003).

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.


Mar 5: KidSeries Open House


A family-friendly open house at Lifeline Theatre!
Learn more about their upcoming KidSeries show, Lester's Dreadful Swaters, beginning March 19, 2016

Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 1:00pm
at Lifeline Theatre | 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago 60626



Bring the whole family and learn more about our upcoming world premiere KidSeries musical, Lester's Dreadful Sweaters. Kids will meet the cast, watch a scene and song from the show, and join one of Lifeline's teaching artists for a show-themed project. Adults will enjoy coffee and conversation with our writers, directors, and educators and get a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes into bringing our children's stories to life.

This hour-long event is FREE and open to the public (performance starts at 1pm), but reservations are required. Call 773-761-4477 or email erica@lifelinetheatre.com. RSVP by March 4th.



"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.


Mar 5: The Hero's Wife (Reading)


Chicago Dramatists' Saturday Series: MARCH
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, March 5, 2016 at 2:00pm
at Chicago Dramatists | 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642




The Hero's Wife
By Resident Playwright Aline Lathrop
Directed by Artistic Director Meghan Beels

The first year of marriage is the hardest unless your husband was deployed. In that case, it’s when he comes home. Cameron is a former Navy SEAL struggling to find his post-military bearings, and Karyssa is the yoga instructor of his dreams. The catch is, she wants to know who she married. In waking hours, they negotiate video games, skype sex, and rodent infestations. But at night, Cameron is both more available and more dangerous, affording Karyssa opportunities to know him if she is willing to put herself at risk.

This presentation is the culmination of a 28-Hour Workshop.

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.


Mar 4: Backstage with BJ: Butler


Northlight Theatre's Backstage with BJ: Butler
Join Artistic Director BJ Jones for a mid-day discussion featuring special guest artists, actors, directors, and designers, offering behind-the-scenes insight into each production while it is still in rehearsal. Butler runs March 11 through April 17, 2016 in Skokie, IL.

Friday, March 4, 2016 at 12:00pm
at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts | 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL 60077



Join Northlight Theatre Artistic Director BJ Jones and special guest artists on Friday, March 4th at noon for behind-the-scenes insight into Butler while it is still in rehearsal. Backstage with BJ will last approximately one hour.

FREE but RSVP is required. Call 847.679.9501 x3605 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.


 
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