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LOOKING FORWARD: Shows We're Excited to See

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.​ 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.

Nothing Without a Company presents [Trans]formation

Devised by Ronen Kohn, Darling, Squire, Avi Roque, Gaby Labotka and Kevin Sparrow

Directed by Company Member Gaby Labotka

Co-produced by The Living Canvas, this world premiere is devised from the works of and performed by transgender/genderqueer/intersex/non-binary artists. Designed and directed in the style of The Living Canvas, nude performers embody the expressive power and diversity of the human form under evocative projections to reveal, instead of conceal, every body’s beautiful possibility.

The [Trans]formation cast includes Gabriel Faith Howard, Ronen Kohn, Lily Ryan-Lozon, Chase Nuerge, Ben Polson, Kevin Sparrow and Charlie Baker.

At The Vault @ Collaboraction STudios

The Flat Irons Arts Building

1579 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Through December 17

Reserve tickets HERE

Red Tape Theatre presents Hedda Gabler

Written by Henrik Ibsen Adapted and translated by Nigel O Hearn Directed by Max Truax

O’Hearn distills the action of Ibsen’s text, placing greater focus on the inner conflict that drives Hedda to extremes. Newly married and returned from her honeymoon, Hedda finds herself ensnared by social circumstances and surrounded by reminders of her oppression. Her attempts to manipulate her oppressors and reclaim personal agency only serve to reveal the inescapability of her plight. With inventive staging by Artistic Director Max Truax, Red Tape’s production of A HEDDA GABLER will portray the world as Hedda sees it – starkly formal, suffocatingly rigid and entirely unjust.

The cast includes Aayisha Humphrey, Johnard Washington, Michael Kingston, Austin Oi, Joan McGrath, Sarah Grant

Pride Arts Center 4147 N Broadway Through December 17

Get your tickets HERE

Griffin Theatre Company presents WINTERSET Written by Maxwell Anderson Directed by Jonathan Berry

A rare revival, in keeping with the Griffin's work to explore lost plays like London Wall and Men Should Weep. Inspired by the infamous murder case of the 1920s when the Italian anarchists and immigrants, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, were arrested, convicted and electrocuted despite the insubstantial evidence against them. Anderson's 1935 poetic verse play follows a young man's quest to prove his father's innocence years after he was executed for a murder he may not have committed Winner of the first New York Drama Critic's Circle Award for Best Play.

The cast includes Maurice Demus, Kiayla Jackson, Chris Acevedo, Larry Baldacci, Johnny Moran, Josh Odor, Matt Rockwood, Skylar Schrempp, Londen Shannon, Bradford Stevens and Norm Woodel

The Den's Upstaris Mainstage 1323 N Milwaukee Ave Through December 23

Get your tickets HERE

About Face Theatre presents I Am My Own Wife Written by Doug Wright Directed by Andrew Volkoff

I AM MY OWN WIFE is based on the true story of transgender antique collector Charlotte von Mahlsdorf (born Lothar Berfelde) who, against all odds, survived the Nazi and Communist regimes in East Berlin living openly as a female. Traditionally staged as a one-person play performed by a male actor, Director Andrew Volkoff’s re-examination will feature transgender actress Delia Kropp and three additional actors. The new production will frame Charlotte’s story through a transgender lens, celebrating transvisibility through the life story of one of the most fascinating transgender women in the historical record.

The cast features Scott Duff, Matt Holzfiend, Ninos Baba and Delia Kropp.

Theatre Wit 1229 W Belmont Ave through December 10

Get your tickets HERE

Eclipse Theatre Company prsents The Little Flower of East Orange Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis Directed by Steve Scott

When Therese Marie arrives in the emergency room of a small hospital in the Bronx, suffering from hypothermia and in shock, no one there knows her story. To the doctors and nurses, she is just another abandoned elderly woman who can't even tell them her name. But Therese Marie's dementia is not all that it seems. And when her prodigal son, Danny, returns to New York, Therese Marie must fight to maintain her dignity in light of her son's insistence on confronting the ugly secrets of their past. In this unconventional family drama, Stephen Adly Guirgis gives us a mother and son who must face a long family legacy of abuse in order to find the true meaning of grace.

The cast features Jeannie Affelder, Donavan Diaz, Ashley Hicks, Ebony Joy, John Arthur Lewis, Jess Manard, John Henry Roberts, Mark A. Roberts, Abbas Salem and Michael Stark

The Athenaeum Theatre 2936 N Southport Ave Through December 18 Get your tickets HERE

The House Theatre of Chicago presents The Nutcracker Written by Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Rapley

The House’s fantastical expansion of this holiday classic centers on young Clara’s journey to save Christmas in the face of grief. With the help of a magical nutcracker, this brave girl will risk the darkness, fight the Rat King, and save her family! This modern holiday production weaves together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song, and spellbinding spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope -- a fun outing fit for the whole family.

The cast includes Amanda de la Guardia, Nicholas Bailey, Ian Maryfield, Torrey Hanson, Joey Steakley, Rachel Shapiro, Desmond Gray and Ariana Burks

Chopin Theatre 1543 W Division St Through December 28

Get your tickets HERE

Court Theatre presents Electra Written by Sophocles Adapted by Nicholas Rudall Directed by Seret Scott

Proclaiming justice, Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus murdered her husband, Agamemnon, after his triumphant return from the Trojan War. Now, many long, quiet years have passed and she cannot anticipate the judgments that will soon arrive in Argos. Her vengeful daughter Electra and son Orestes reunite and scheme to confront their mother-upholding the House of Atreus' eternal mission to balance the scales, they seek to reclaim their father's throne.

The cast of Electra includes Caren Blackmore, Thomas J. Cox, Kate Fry, Emjoy Gavino, Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel, Rashaad Hall, Sandra Marquez, Michael Pogue, Tracy Walsh and Dexter Zollicoffer.

Court Theatre 5535 S Ellis Avenue Through December 11 Get your tickets HERE

The Second City presents You and Me

Developed by Michael Patrick Thornton

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.” 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.

YOU & ME will feature Michael Patrick Thornton with Hannah Toriumi, Linsey Page Morton, Robert Schleifer, Tracy Letts and Emjoy Gavino

The Blackout Cabaret 230 W North Avenue Through December 16 Get your tickets HERE

The Hypocrites present Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes by Andra Velis Simon based on Cendrillion by Pauline Viardot-Garcia Directed by Sean Graney

Adapted from Pauline Viardot-Garcia’s 1904 opera Cendrillon, and many of her other compositions, Andra Velis Simon’s musical-play is an elegantly irreverent exploration of the classic fairy tale. Here, Cinderella’s version of happily-ever-after does not include acceptance by the Prince. In the actor-as-orchestra style of The Hypocrites’ Gilbert & Sullivan opera work, Artistic Director Sean Graney directs this fun holiday-time show, perfect for the whole family. From the co-adapter of H.M.S. Pinafore and director of All Our Tragic.

The cast features Gay Glenn, Amanda Martinez, Dana Omar, Joel Rodriguez, Leslie Ann Sheppard*, Alex Walker and Aja Wiltshire.

The Den Theatre’s Heath Main Stage, 1329 N. Milwaukee Ave Through January 8 Get your tickets HERE

Lifeline Theatre presents Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen Adapted and directed by Amanda Delheimer Dimond

In collboration with Marian Green, Brandi Lee and Liz Rice

Born from a flower and stolen away by a greedy toad, tiny Thumbelina never knew a family of her own. Pursued by all manner of woodland creatures eager to possess her, she must make her way through the great big world with nothing but her wits and will to protect her. A series of whimsical and magical adventures unfold as she sets out to find a community to call her own. Let your imagination soar with Thumbelina as she travels over streams, through forests, and on the wings of majestic birds in a powerful, dance-inspired tale about growing up and finding your own path, based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen. Recommended for kids 5 and up. Children under 2 are not permitted.

The cast includes Bryan Bosque, Antoniao LaVance, Bouie Jr, Nate Buursma, Brandi Lee, Krystal Ortiz and Dominque Watkins

Lifeline Theatre 6912 N Glenwood Ave through November 27 Get your tickets HERE

Poetic Forum Collective presents Devour Directed by Tara Branham

We've been blessed with a platform to PERFORM our PURPOSE. We bring our TRUTH We bring our JOY We bring you VOICES that don't tell the full story but acknowledge that in a times such as this, we must SPEAK This is an amalgamation of poetry, prose, audience participation, puppetry, music, and LOVE.

The ensemble features Greg Geffrard, Asia Calcagno, Heather Roberts and Jeff Trainor.

Stage 773 1225 W Belmont Ave November 20 Get your tickets HERE

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