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LOOKING FORWARD: Shows We're Excited to See

Have you been having the same conversations we have? About how it's built into the system that the stage pictures we see often look eerily similar to how it did 10, 20, 50 years ago? Feeling frustrated? Need to do something? GO SUPPORT THEATERS DOING IT RIGHT. Continuing our support of productions that embrace inclusion for artists and audiences, below are shows that you can buy tickets to this week that we feel are moving our community in the right direction. Let your wallet do the talking. Buy tickets to shows that celebrate inclusion.​ (**Low on funds? That's okay -- a few of these shows are completely free, making them even more accessible to audiences!) Then write to producers and tell them you want to see more of it. Decision makers are led by numbers and this is one way we can all make a difference.

The Hypocrites presents Midsummer Dream

Adapted by Tien Doman and Sean Graney

Directed by Tien Doman

July 20 - 23 at Washington Park, 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.. July 27 - 30 at Smith Park, 2526 W. Grand Ave.

In a play not very distinguishable from a dream, each character falls into the magic of a mysterious summer night. Follow the journey of lovers escaping to seal their love in the woods where fairies with magical powers rule. Getting tangled amongst actors rehearsing their play for the king’s wedding and a dazing search for a love potion, everyone’s love is put to the test.

With only 4 actors who also serve as designers, Midsummer Dream is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous play. During the 60-minute experience, the audience becomes immersed in an intimate relationship with the actors as they never leave the performing space. As a result, Midsummer Dream intends to translate the original spirit of the play to today’s audiences.

The ensemble includes Roy Gonzalez, Shadana Patterson, Walter Briggs, Daniel Parsons and Cruz Gonzalez

Ticket price FREE

Reserve your tickets HERE

Eclipse Theatre Company presents Our Lady of 121st Street

Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Directed by Eclipse ensemble member Sarah Moeller

The Athenaeum Theatre 2936 N. Southport Ave. Chicago IL Plays through August 21, 2016

The Ortiz Funeral Home is in big trouble: The body of beloved community activist and nun Sister Rose has been stolen from the viewing room, and waiting for her proper return are some of New York City's most emotionally charged, life-challenged neighborhood denizens, trying to find a place to put their grief, checkered pasts and their uncertain futures. The rest of the crowd in this dark, insightful and very funny comedy inevitably square off on each other, motivated by rage, pain and a scary desire to come clean—perhaps for the first time.

The ensemble includes Anthony Apodaca, Celeste Cooper, Rudy Galvan, Todd Garcia, Gregory Geffrard, Gernard GIlbert, Ashley Hicks, Kristen Johnson, Paloma Nozicka, Gary Simmers, Kevin Scott and Matt Thinnes.

Ticket price $20-30

Reserve your tickets HERE

Free Street Theater presents Space Age

Written by Ricardo Gamboa and Sean James William Parris

Developed with Molly Brennan, Azar Kazemi, Coya Paz, Reshmi Hazra Rustebakke

Free Street Theater

1419 W Blackhawk, 3rd Floor

Through August 8

Two boys, one bathtub, explosive physical re-enactments of pop culturla bits and scenes between two real-life lovers come together in this celebration of queer-of-color imagination and intimacy in a play about really really gay things like hope, love and resilience.

The ensemble includes Ricardo Gamboa and Sean James William Parris

Ticket Price Walk ups are always pay what you can

Reserve your tickets HERE

VanKap Productions presents a reading of the new work TIN NOSES

Written by Sarah Bowden

Montrose Saloon

2933 W Montrose Ave

Sunday July 24, 3pm

When movie star Max is cast as a wounded World War I vet in an upcoming prestige pic, he must learn how to perform disability for the camera. Who better to help shape his physicality than ex-flame and hotshot choreographer Hannah? And her colleague Austin, who lost the role to Max, and who lives with a disability. Nope, this won't get awkward at all.

The ensemble includes Rory Leahy, Kat Evans and Kevin D'Ambrosio

Ticket Price FREE

Reserve your tickets HERE

About Face Theatre presents Ad Hoc [Home]

Devised by The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble

Directed by Ali Hoefnagel and Kieran Kredell

Chicago Cultural Centers Claudia Cassidy Theater 78 E Washington Street Plays through July 31

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.

The ensemble includes members of The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble

Ticket price $15, suggested donation, but no one will be turned away at the door for lack of ability to donate

Reserve your tickets HERE

Marriott Theatre presents Man of La Mancha

Written by Dale Wasserman, Music and Lyrics by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion

Directed by Nick Bowling

Marriott Theatre

Ten Marriott Drive, LIncolnshire, IL

Plays through August 14

One of the world’s most popular musicals, MAN OF LA MANCHA tells of the adventures of a delusional Spanish knight who sallies forth on a quest to restore chivalry to the world, claim his lady love and dare to dream “The Impossible Dream”.

The ensemble includes Nathaniel Stampley, Richard Ruiz, Danni Smith, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Lillian Castillo, Bobby Daye, James Harms, Andrew Mueller, Matt Mueller, Cassie Slater, Craig Spidle and Brandon Springman.

Ticket price $50-55

Reserve your tickets HERE

Free Street Theatre presents 100 Hauntings

Created by Ysaye Alma, Christine Bowen, Annette Britton, Dan Cobbler, Emmanuel Dunagan, Daisy Franco, Aaryanna Garriss, Noe Jara, Johanna Orr, Izzy Strazzabosco, Deanalís Resto, Alex Rodriguez, Elijah Ruiz, and Aimy Tien

Directed by Coya Pazz and Bobby Biedrzycki

July 30th La Villita Park 2800 S. Sacramento Chicago, Illinois 60608 August 3rd Davis Square Park 4430 S. Marshfield Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60609 August 5th Calumet Park 9801 S. Avenue G Chicago, Illinois 60617 August 16th Walsh Park 1722 N. Ashland Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60614 August 17th Merrimac Park 6343 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago, Illinois 60634

Free Street’s 100 Hauntings draws on real people’s stories from across the city to ask: what’s haunting Chicago? From an elevator operator named Jorge who doesn’t know he’s dead to the legacy of housing laws in Chicago,100 Hauntings offers audiences a fun and spooky campfire-style experience that aims to resurrect our city’s most ordinary hauntings. Performed by a multigenerational ensemble of storytellers, comedians, and actors from around the city and presented in collaboration with the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks initiative.

The ensemble includes Ysaye Alma, Christine Bowen, Annette Britton, Dan Cobbler, Emmanuel Dunagan, Daisy Franco, Aaryanna Garriss, Noe Jara, Johanna Orr, Izzy Strazzabosco, Deanalís Resto, Alex Rodriguez, Elijah Ruiz, and Aimy Tien

Ticket price FREE

No Reservations

American Theater Company presents This Beautiful City

Created by The Civilians

Written by Steven Cosson and Jim Lewis

Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman

Directed Sonny Das

American Theatre Company

1909 W Byron Street

Plays through August 2

Colorado Springs. A Decade Ago. George W. Bush has just been reelected, Ted Haggard is the leader of New Life Church, and a small city in the Rocky Mountains has established itself as the Evangelical capital of the world. Every story has many sides when a community reflects on their place in a culture rapidly swept up in a new religious movement. Atheists, Baptists, Alternative Thinkers, LGBT Activists, and Cowboy Wranglers all share their perspectives on the effect of the Evangelical movement on their lives and their sense of home through story and song.

The ensemble includes members of the About Face Theatre Youth Ensemble: Lawren Carter, Latrel Crawford, Max Dizon, Matt Gomez Hidaka, Danielle Jean-Baptiste, Jenna Makkawy, Madison Pulman, Michael Sandoval, Leah Schiffman, Olivia Shine, Leojae Steward, and Ireon Roach.

Ticket price $15, suggested donation

Get your tickets HERE

The Second City presents You & Me

deMaat Studio Theatre

1608 N Wells St

Plays through July 30

YOU & ME is a two-person, entirely improvised, no suggestion set with Michael Patrick Thornton & a guest artist. YOU & ME originally premiered at The Den Theatre where it enjoyed a year-long run. It has since appeared at the Chicago Improv Festival and at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where Artistic Director Les Waters calls the show “Hilarious, horrifying, and human. Quite magical, really.”

Chicago Reader Recommended.

Thornton says, “I keep hearing from my actor friends how fearful and alien improv feels to them and vice-versa with my improv pals regarding theater. This is an unfortunate and unnecessary perceptual divide. Whether dialogue is written or invented, great scenes are about people needing each other and listening to each other. YOU & ME hopes to playfully re-patch this schism, refresh our faith in collective imagination, and reinforce the liberating truism that for this particular theatrical event, all we need and have is You & Me.”

A portion of the proceeds from this run of YOU & ME will be donated to Roundup River Ranch.

Roundup River Ranch enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families by offering free, medically-supported camp programs that provide unforgettable opportunities to discover joy, friendships, and confidence.

You & Me stars Michael Patrick Thornton, Gregory Fenner and a special guest

Ticket price $13

Get your tickets HERE

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