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LOOKING FORWARD: Chicago Shows We're Excited About

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.

Poetic Forum Collective presents Saint Joan

Directed by Marylynne Anderson-Cooper

Written by George Bernard Shaw

Playing now through October 29

The Greenhouse Theatre 2257 N Lincoln Ave

In this all-femme, modern re-imagining of George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan we follow the journey of Joan of Arc as she navigates status, title and class, striving to find those who will follow her voice. Set in a major television corporation, Saint Joan asks us to examine questions of representation and women’s role in advocacy, especially women of color.

Tickets for Saint Joan are $15 - industry and student discounts are available. Get your tickets here.

The cast includes Tiffany Renee Johnson as Joan, Sophie Neff as Dunois, Ann-Claude Rakotoniaina as Dauphin, Renee Lockett as Inquisitor, Sandra Bogan as Nobleman, Maggie Cain as Chaplain, Carolyn Nelson as Archbishop, Mary Mikva as Cauchon, Elizabeth McAnulty Quilter as D'Estivet & Polly, Chelsee Carter as Ladvenu, Catherine McGee as Courcelles, Kathleen Niemann as Tremouille, Marie G Tred as Captain La Hire & Bluebeard, Christabel Donkor as Robert and Gracie Schwartzenberger as Steward/Page/Soldier.

The New Colony presents Punk

Directed by Katrina Dion and Diana Raiselis

Written by Michael Allen Harris

Playing now through November 5

The Den Theatre 1331 N Milwaukee Ave

Set in the GBTQ unit of a maximum-security prison, PUNK follows the unit’s inmates and staff as they struggle to accept their newest admit: Travis, a young man serving life for the murder of a gay man. As the inmates of the “Queens” unit strive to keep their family together, we see not only the scope of the system they are up against, but also the possibility of extraordinary resilience, care, and love within it.

Tickets for Punk are $20. Get your tickets here.

The cast and team includes Kyle Encinas, Keyanna Khatiblou, Monete McLin, Evie Riojas, Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Shtvelberg, Ali Drumm - Production Manager, Rose Hamill - Stage Manager, Samantha Corn - Assistant Stage Manager, Caswell James - Technical Director, Eleanor Kahn - Scenic Designer, Eric Watkins - Lighting Designer, Jeffrey Levin - Sound Designer, Uriel Gomez - Costume Designer, Sydney Achler - Props Designer, Michael Joseph - Master Electrician, Nate Smith - Travis U/S, Laura Tatar - Emily U/S, Siiri Scott - Olivia U/S, Alexia Jasmene - Sonya U/S, Jay Espano - Georgia U/S, Esteban Reyna - Glenn U/S

Haven Theatre presents Directors Haven 2017: The Protest, The Toilet and The Departure

Directed by Kirsten Johnson, Ian Martin and Lexi Saunders

Written by Vaclav Havel, Amiri Baraka and Rachel Dubose

Playing now through November 1

The Den Theatre 1331 N Milwaukee Ave

The Director’s Haven gives directors in the earliest stages of their professional careers a rare opportunity to take risks, hone their crafts and talents and share their vision through a fully staged production of a short play. Giving directors support to produce during their formative years, which includes a full design team, budget, marketing support and more, allows these artists to create quality work as well as provides a platform to further their artistic visibility through the creation of said work.

- Renowned activist Vaněk pays a visit to the lavish home of a former colleague, Staněk, who has invited Vaněk to help secure the release of a jailed radical musician, fiancée to Staněk’s daughter. Vaněk also has a favor to request: getting the Staněk’s signature in a far-reaching protest.

- Set in a high school lavatory in the early 1960’s, LeRoi Jones’ The Toilet is an exploration of love, race and masculinity. The play is one of several known colloquially as Revolutionary theatre, which aimed to force change in the social order by exposing, accusing, and attacking. The Toilet exposes love, accuses race, and attacks masculinity, in hopes that we can imagine a new social order; One in which a boy could love another, despite their colors.

- Friendships are tested when a group of women reunites for an Escape Room themed Bachelorette Party. Loosely based on Sartre's No Exit and developed collaboratively, what was supposed to bring the women together actually begins to tear them apart. As the clock winds down, tensions build and old secrets are revealed.

Tickets for Directors Haven are pay what you can. Get your tickets here.

The production team for DIRECTOR’S HAVEN 2017 includes Rachel Rauscher (scenic design), Sara Torres (lighting design), Antonio Gracias (sound design), Amy Williams (costume design), Corbin Paulino, Cedar Larsen and Merle Palmer (stage managers), and Marika Mashburn (casting director).

First Floor Theatre presents Two Mile Hollow

Directed by Hutch Pimentel

Written by Leah Nanako Winkler

Playing now through November 4

The Den Theatre 1331 N Milwaukee Ave

When the Donnellys gather to divide their belongings after the sale of their oceanfront mansion, both an internal and literal storm brew. As this brood of famous, longing-to-be-famous, and mess, of a Caucasian family comes together with their POC personal assistant, Charlotte, some really really really really really complicated and totally unique secrets are revealed over white wine.

A satirical takedown coupled with moments of disorienting sincerity, TWO MILE HOLLOW explores the age old theater genre of affluent white families retreating to their lake houses for a weekend of secrets and fights with brutality, awe and compassion. Only this time, none of the white characters are played by white actors. TWO MILE HOLLOW was named one of the Top 15 Plays on the 2017 Kilroys List.

Tickets for Two Mile Hollow are $15-20. Get your tickets here.

The cast and team includes: Aurora Adachi-Winte, Jazmín Corona, Kai Ealy, Deanna Myers, Jose Nateras, Arnel Sancianco -- Scenic Design, Daniel Friedman -- Lighting Design, Sarah D. Espinoza -- Sound Design, Virginia Varland -- Costume Design, Claire Stone -- Props Design, Carol Ann Tan -- Dramaturg, Natalie Santoro -- Painter, Charlie Lovejoy -- Stage Management, David Lovejoy -- Assistant Stage Management, Axel Mark -- Associate Scenic Design, Nicholas Coso -- Assistant Lighting Designer, Cole Von Glahn -- Production Management, Bobby Huggins -- Technical Director, Catherine Miller -- Casting, Amanda Fink -- Fight Choreography, Kasey Alfonso -- Choreography

Remy Bumppo Theatre presents The Skin of Our Teeth

Directed by Krissy Vanderwarker

Written by Thornton Wilder

Playing now through November 12

The Greenhouse Theatre 2257 N Lincoln Ave

Meet the Antrobus family: American suburbanites George and Maggie, their talkative maid Sabina, and their children Gladys--and Cain! This redoubtable family narrowly survives one end-of-the-world disaster after another, from environmental catastrophes, to refugee crises, to military conflicts--and all by the skin of their teeth. Join the amazing journey of fortitude, fate, and hope that is human life, in Thornton Wilder’s epic vaudevillian tragicomedy.

Tickets for The Skin of Our Teeth are $47.50-$57.50. Get your tickets here.

The cast includes Charin Alvarez, Leea Ayers, Kareem Bandealy, Diego Colón, Peter A. Davis*, Matt Farabee, Art Fox, Linda Gillum*, Kristen Magee, Michael McKeogh, Kelly O’Sullivan, Annie Prichard, Jerome Beck and Alice Wu.

Free Street Theatre presents Meet Juan(ito) Doe

Created by Ricardo Gamboa, in collaboration with Ana Velasquez and ensemble

Playing now through November 17

Free Street Storyfront 4346 S. Ashland Ave.

From long days working on the Nabisco assembly line to long nights at el baile, from falling in love over pico de gallo and hot dogs to strange occurrences on the Ashland #9 bus, from a young boy sneaking into his mothers high heels to a young girl who feels trapped in her quinceanera dress, Meet Juan(ito) Doe offers a powerful and sometimes surreal portrait of working-class and immigrant life on the Southside of Chicago. Meet Juan(ito) Doe is based on true stories of Mexican-Americans in the city collected at bar crawls, neighborhood writing events, karaoke nights, street fairs and drag loteria nights.

Tickets for Meet Juan(ito) Doe are pay what you can. Get your tickets here

The show is performed by Lily Be, Nicolas Del Valle Jr., Keren Diaz de Leon, Sebastian Olayo, Alejandro Reyes, Anthony Soto

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