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.
Suddenly, Last Summer
Written by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Jason Gerace
May 2nd – June 17th
In 1930’s New Orleans, wealthy socialite widow Violet Venable has summoned a brain surgeon to her home. Her niece Catherine has been crazed and traumatized since witnessing the horrifyingly violent death of Violet’s son. Enraged by Catherine’s claims, and unwilling to accept other facts about her son’s life, Mrs. Venable pursues extraordinary measures to keep Catherine silent. Suddenly Last Summer originally opened on Broadway in 1958, toward the end of a 15-year period in which Williams produced his greatest and most popular works, from The Glass Menagerie (1944) through Sweet Bird of Youth(1959). The 1959 film adaptation starring Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift was a box office hit and earned Academy Award nominations for Hepburn and Taylor.
The cast, artistic and production team include: Ayanna Bria Bakari, Janyce Caraballo, Wardell Julius Clark, Grayson Heyl, Ann James, Mary K. Nigohosian, Andrew Rathgeber, Joanna Iwanicka, Claire Chrzan, Brittany Dee Bodley, Christopher Kriz, Mary O’Dowd, and Alex Meyer.
Tickets are $15 - $43 and can be purchased here.
Written by Stephanie Alison Walker
Directed by Teatro Vista's Artistic Director, Ricardo Gutiérrez
April 21st - 27th
It's 1979 in Buenos Aires, Argentina where people are disappearing right off the street. The genocide waged by the military Junta against its own people is in full-swing. Carolina and her mother Josefina are searching for their pregnant daughter/granddaughter, Belén, who has been missing for twelve weeks. When they receive a surprise visit first from a priest who is now the chaplain to the military at ESMA (one of the known concentration camps) and then by a soldier from the neighborhood who is also stationed at ESMA, they come up with a plan to try to see Belén one last time. Will it work? Will they be able to save her baby? Will they be able to save themselves?
The cast, artistic and production team include: Ivonne Coll, Lorena Diaz-Dwyer, Ramon Camín, Felipe Carrasco, Ilse Zacharias, Cruz Cadel-Gonzalez, Jennifer Aparicio, Stephanie Hurowitz, Jen Sloan, Jose Manuel Diaz, Jessica Doyle, David Trudeau, Uriel Gomez, Eric Backus, Hannah Perez, and Hillarie Shockley.
Tickets are $20 - $35 and can be purchased here.
Adapted by Sean Graney
Directed by Sean Graney
April 6th - May 27th
The eleven comedies of Aristophanes adapted into a five-hour marathon event, complete with food and a cash bar. The Hypocrites’ Lead Artist, Sean Graney will direct this script he adapted as a stand alone follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Our Tragic.
The cast, artistic and production team include: Breon Arzell, Kate Carson-Groner, Kurt Ehrmann, Tina Muñoz Pandya, Sasha Smith, Aja Wiltshire Hunter Bryant, Dakota Hughes, Jenni Hadley, Taylor Dalton, Miranda Anderson, Justine Palmisano, Jenna Madeley, Loren Shaw, Tracee Bear, Jerica Huke, Mike Durst, Kevin O’Donnell, Shain Longbehn, Tom Burch, Steph Charaska, Caswell James, Aaron Shapiro, Casey Peek, Tristan Chiruvolu, and Collin Helou.
Tickets are $60 and include a light meal and snack. They can be purchased here.
Ripped: The Living Newspaper Festival
This year's playwrights include Bret Angelos, Manny Buckley, Darren Canady, Ada Cheng, Brynne Frauenhoffer, Grace McLeod, Sarah Nowak, Tyson Carter, Josie Higgins, Sean Porter, Wandachristine, and CPS students, and an original song by Michael Mahler.
Since 2009, we’ve produced seventeen editions utilizing over 500 artists! Based on the 1930s WPA era program that brought Orson Welles, Arthur Miller, and Clifford Odets into public attention, we present short plays ripped from today’s headlines.
This annual festival occurs in May.
Tickets are $12 and include pizza and dessert. They can be purchased here.
Written by Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli
Directed by PJ Paparelli
May 3rd - May 26th
Columbinus, a docu-drama, explores the cultural and personal pathologies that gave rise to the horrific events in Littleton, Colorado in 1999, when two students went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School, killing a dozen students and a teacher before killing themselves.
This examination of the ecosphere of the average American high school presents an anonymous portrait of high school life in the fictionalized first act, before focusing in detail on the devastating events at Columbine in the second. columbinus probes the psychological warfare of alienation, hostility, and social pressure that goes on in high schools across America.
The cast, artistic and production team include: Meitav Aaron, Brian Baren, Alex Brinkman, Danielle Chmelewski, Joel Ewing, Jyreika Guest, Thavorey Hang, Rory Hayes, Colin Huerta, Liliana Mastroianni, Victor Musoni, Azalia Resendiz, Sheharrell Rhodes, Iza Rodriguez, Cleo Shine, Ervin Tobar, Elodie Tougne, Jared BellotMovement, Dana Murphy, Lucas Garcia, John Wilson, Aaron Stephenson, Brandon Wardell, Max Fabian, Daniel Parsons, Krista Wortendyke, Mechelle Moe, Joel Ewing, Elle Erickson, Dina Klahn, and Joe Burke.
Tickets are are $25 and can be purchased here.
Written by Isaac Gomez
Directed by Stephanie Paul and Maggie Popdiak
April 25th - June 2nd
In Ecuador, a girl coats herself with chicken feathers so she can fly across borders in search of her father. In Chicago, a boy hears his family dream of the day they can go back home and wonders where is home if not here? In Damascus, a teen teaches herself English as the bombs and gunfire of civil war creep ever closer. Years before “undocumented and unafraid” or DACA, a new student at a fancy Chicago university hangs La Virgencita in her dorm room, telling no one the secret of her status. At an American Embassy, a young woman interviewing for a visa denies the culture burning fervidly in her heart. In front of ICE headquarters in the Chicago Loop, a grandmother gives a press conference vowing to fight a deportation order.
The cast, artistic and production team include: Ahmad Al-Badawi, Mohamad Al-Badawi, Schantelle Alonzo, Ariel Burns, Anthony Calderon, Jennifer Calderon, Melissa Carranza, Andrea Delgado, Maria Duran, Nichole Espinelli, Itzel Espino, Nely Gonzalez, Johnny Hamzo, Ashlie Hawkins, Atreyu Kaunert, Jhazmin Lucero, Sarah Miller, Ana Morales, Teddy Morco, Chris Nieto, Phong Nguyen, Noe Rios, Samantha Romero, Mariana Rosas, Danny Sandoval, Anabel Sava, Jalen Serrano, Dayana Soto, Alex Suarez, Yailin Tejeda, Jade Trejo Tello and Melony Vizcarra.
Tickets are $35 with $18 student tickets, and can be purchased here.
Improvised by the ensemble
Fridays at 8pm starting MAY 4TH
PREACH! is an Improvised Spoken Word Movement comprised of a collection of hybrid artists who aim to play on the issues we face today. PREACH is a collection of artists that strive to use improv and spoken word as a vehicle to touch on the issues that are affecting us today. Considered by most as thought provoking and innovative, this group pushes the boundaries by going out and asking the audience for some of the most vulnerable suggestions. They leave their hearts on the stage with hopes that you leave feeling something for yourself and learning something new about everyone else.
The cast, artistic and production team include: TJ Medel, Max Thomas, Asia Martin, Angela Oliver, Chris Clark,Spencer Diaz Tootle, Aaron Branch, Loreen Targosand Terrence Carey.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased HERE