Continuing our support of productions that embrace inclusion for artists and audiences, below are shows open or opening soon in Chicago that we feel are moving our community forward. As a staff, we have not necessarily seen all of these shows but are really glad they are happening.
We are excited to list shows that offer some or all of the following:
- Non-traditional casting
- Accessible storytelling
- Variety of perspectives on the design and production teams
- Playwrights/Directors from underrepresented communities
- Diversity in season programming
Buy tickets to shows that celebrate inclusion. Then write to producers and tell them you want more of it. Decision makers are led by numbers and this is one way you can make a difference.
33 To Nothing
Written by Grant James Varjas
Directed by Tyrone Phillips
Previews: April 6 – April 14, 2018
Opening Night: April 15, 2018
Regular Run: April 19 – May 27
Taking place during a real-time band practice, 33 to Nothing is a play that rocks hard and breaks hearts. Feeling the incessant call of adulthood, individuals begin to question their role in the ensemble. Ultimately begging the question: to break up or to build stronger? An anthem of forgiveness, loyalty and resilience when your world is being torn by the seams.
The cast, artistic and production team include: Amanda Raquel Martinez, Annie Prichard, Jeff Kurysz, Aaron Holland, Steve Haggard, Brian Keys, Isaac McGinley, REbecca Keeshin, Sarah Giovanetti, Tyron Phillips, Athanasia Giannetos, Eleanor Kahn, Slick Jorgensen, Kristy Hall, Joe Court, Caswell James, Christa Van Baale, Kathleen Dickinson, Corrie Besse, Leean Kim Torske, Mierka Girten and Kyle Stoffers
Tickets are $25 - $35 and can be purchased here.
Written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour
Directed by Jess McLeod
March 8th - April 29th
The community of a backwoods Southern town grapples with the murder of a Black man who is found hanging in a tree. As events unfold, the hanging mystifies the people of the community, forcing them to confront their complicity in this man’s horrific demise. Osei-Kuffour’s darkly comical, heartbreaking play, which recently made the prestigious 2017 Kilroy’s List, uses absurdity to explore racism, sexuality, and the parts of American history we would all like to forget.
The cast, artistic and production team include: Paul D'Addario, Gregory Fenner, Andy Fleischer, Jennifer Glasse, Mariah Sydnei Gordon, Martel Manning, Angela Morris, Katherin Bourne, Nick Caesar, Jalyn Greene, Destini Huston, Jess McLeod, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Ian Martin, Arnel Sancianco, Alarie Hammock, Elyse Balogh, John Nichols III, Stephen Ptacek, Daniel C Brown, Jamir Neslon, Mike Durst, Andy Kloubec, Rachel Flesher, Corinne James, Courtney Winkelman, David Preis and Sarah Luse
Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here. Use the code SAGE for discount tickets.
Written by Matthew-Lee Erlbach
Directed by Tina Landau
In the dangerous back channels of international resource politics, a wealthy British businessman suffers an untimely accident just before a critical African copper deal is signed. So when his unwitting (and witless) American doppelgänger is thrust into negotiations to avert intercontinental disaster, chaos erupts, leaving us wondering: whose side are we supposed to be on... and who will save Africa?? This new American farce is a hilarious, irreverent and timely look at the back-room deals that shape our world and the unlikely cast of characters who make them.
The cast, production and artistic team include: Celeste Cooper, Audrey Francis, Ora Jones, Sandra Marquez, James Vincent Meredith, Rain Wilson, Michael Accardo, Whit K Lee, Andy Nagraj, Karen Rodriguez, Dan Plehal, Matthew Lee Erlbach, Tina Landau, Todd Rosenthal, Clint Ramos, Scott Zielinski, Michael Bodeen, Rob Milburn, Maclolm Ewin, Christine Freeburg, JC Clementz, Gigi Buffington, Jeff Jenkins and Jonathan Berry
Tickets are $30 - $81 and can be purchased here.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical
Based on the Book Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
Script and Lyrics by Mo Willems
Music by Michael Silversher
Directed and Choreographed by Aileen McGroddy
Join in on the hunt for your dearest stuffed animal, Knuffle Bunny, in this comedic musical adaptation of the Caldecott Honor Book by Mo Willems! After losing the beloved toy rabbit at the laundromat, a desperate dad, a merry mom, and toddler Trixie learn the power in communicating, even when there are no words. With stage design inspired by illustrations straight from the book, this treasured tale is an ECT audience favorite.
The cast, production and artistic team include: Deanalis Resto, Matt Miles, Abby Murray Vachon, Ayanna Bria Bakari, Jar'Davion Brown, Emilie Modaff, Adelina Feldman Schultz, Phoebe Moore, Aileen McGroddy, Jon Schneidman, Rebeccah Singer, Kurtis Boetcher, Lauren Roark, Brian Elston, Jeffrey Levin, Michael Commendatore, Angela McIlvain, Joe Craig, Garrett Steinke, Marcus Carroll, Caroline Gully Brown, Ariela Subar, Thomas Daniel and Aurora Klock.
Tickets are $21 - $29 and can be purchased here.
Written by Kristin Idaszak
Directed Tara Branham
April 10th - April 29th
The audience has arrived at the theatre to see a show about the Chicago slaughterhouses – only to find that the play has been canceled. Instead, the writer is there to give a slideshow presentation about the history of the stockyards. In trying to explore her family’s Polish identity and the exploitation of stockyard workers, the writer unintentionally exposes a trauma from her own past. Inspired by Upton Sinclair's groundbreaking novel, Another Jungle explores the misuse of power, the way narratives get co-opted, and the way identity accretes over the course of generations. Another Jungle is a 2017 Honorable Mention recipient of the American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award.
The cast, production and artistic team include: Ellenor Riley-Condit (Writer), Gregory Geffrard (Stage Manager), Rich Holton (Mike), and Paula Ramirez (Inés), Kacey Bradshaw (Assistant Stage Manager), Dominic DiGiovanni (Technical Direction), Andrea Enger (Production Stage Manager), Sarah Espinoza (Sound Design), Lila Gilbert (Production Manager), Jared Gooding (Lighting Design), Tanuja Jagernauth (Dramaturgy), Gaby Labotka (Fight Choreographer), Joshua Lee (Assistant Fight Choreographer) Angela McIlvain (Props Master/Puppets/Scenic Artist), Catherine Miller (Assistant Director), Shaun Renfro (Scenic Design), and Anna Wooden (Costume Design).
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.
Written by Kevin Douglas
Directed by David Schwimmer
February 21st - April 22nd
A Texas matriarch, bless her heart, discovers that the history of the ancestral home is, well…complicated. When she reveals the news to her Southern Belle daughters, tempers rage hotter than the devil’s armpit and pandemonium runs amok on the pristine plantation…and that’s before the other set of sisters arrive.
The cast, production and artistic team include: Janet Ulrich Brooks, Hannah Gomez, Louise Lamson, Lily Mojekwu, Linsey Page Morton, Tamberla Perry, Ericka Ratcliff, Grace Smith, Kevin Douglas, David Schwimmer, Courtney O'Neill, Mara Bulmenfeld, Christine A Binder, Rick Sims, Amanda Herrmann, Eva Breneman, Ari Clouse
Tickets are $65 - $75 and can be purchased here.