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.
Bull in a China Shop
Written by Bryna Turner
Directed by Keira Fromm
May 24th - June 30th
“You want a training ground for good pious wives? F**k that. I’ll give you fully evolved human beings.”
Determined to teach the women of Mount Holyoke College that there is more to life than marriage, Mary Woolley takes her role as President very seriously. However, her partner, Jeannette Marks, is more interested in igniting a revolution that extends beyond the hallowed halls of the university. This fast paced feminist comedy is a chronicle of bravery, romance, and the reinvention of women’s education during the suffrage movement. Class is in session!
The cast, artistic, and production team include: Kelli Simpkins, Aurora Adichi-Winter, Adithi Chandrashekar, Mary Beth Fisher, Emjoy Gavino, William Boles, Mieka Van Der Ploeg, Claire Chrzan, Eric Backus, Jamie Karas, Helen Lattyak, Andrea Enger, and Catherine Allen. Tickets are $20 - $38 and can be purchased here.
Written by Isaac Gomez
Directed by Jo Cattell
May 31st - July 1st
Marísa and Lev have just moved into their new Pilsen apartment in hopes of rekindling a spark that's long been extinguished. While looking for the circuit breaker in the attic, a mysterious coconut appears, leftover from the previous tenants with a dark history inside it. The Displaced explores the wake of pain and yearning left behind when gentrification forces people out of their homes and the kind of vengeance that can come from it.
The cast, artistic, and production team include: Rashaad Hall, Karen Rodriguez, Arnel Sancianco, Christine Pascual, Erik Barry, Sarah D. Espinoza, Emily Boyd, Rachel Flesher, Zack Payne, Marika Mashburn, Rebecca Adelsheim, David Moreland and MJ Dougherty. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.
Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman
Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric
Directed by Ilesa Duncan
May 25th - July 15th
Richard Mayhew commits an act of kindness on the streets of London and finds himself trapped in a shadow world beneath the city. Lady Door returns home one day to find her family slain and her life upended. Drawn together by fate – and forces more powerful than they can guess – these two must brave countless trials, uncover the truth behind a dark conspiracy, and face the indomitable Great Beast before they can set things right again. Journey to London Below with a rogues’ gallery of liars, outcasts, and assassins, on a treacherous quest to awaken the hero within, in a new production of Lifeline’s hit adaptation of the 1996 novel by Neil Gaiman.
The cast, artistic, and production team include: LaQuin Groves, Aneisa Hicks, Jose Nateras, Samantha Newcomb, Michaela Petro, Michael Reyes, John Henry Roberts, Matthew Singleton, Dave Skvarla, Paul Chakrin, Jennifer Cheung, Kim Fukawa, Gary Henderson, Dakota Hughes, Oly Oxinfry, Becky Bishop, Aly Renee Amidei, Alan Donahue, Morgan Gire, Andrew Hansen, Becca Jeffords, Michelle Lopez-Rios, Kyle Mundil Dye, Mike Oleon, Victor Bayona, Richard Gilbert, Maren Robinson and Michelle Underwood. Tickets are $20 - $40 and can be purchased here.
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Monty Cole
June 1st - July 29th
After the death of his dad, a young black man named Hamlet returns home to grieve and seek revenge. Fighting against the injustice of his father’s murder and the powers that want him out of the picture, Hamlet quickly loses power and sanity. Directed by guest artist Monty Cole, The Gift’s retelling of Shakespeare’s great tragedy will crack open the mind of one of western drama’s most fascinating and entertaining characters. Running Time: 3 Hours.
The cast, artistic, and production team include: Daniel Kyri, John Kelly Connolly, Gregory Fenner, Martel Manning, Hannah Toriumi, Robert Cornelius, Shanésia Davis, Casey Morris, Alex Lam, Netta Walker, William Boles, Samantha Jones, Claire Chrzan, Michelle Benda, Jeffery Levin, Michael Petersen. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.
The Opportunities of Extinction
Written by Sam Chanse
Directed by Jen Poulin
June 1st – 30th
While taking refuge from a social media firestorm on a last-minute camping trip, Mel and Arjun encounter Georgia, a solitary young woman studying the impact of climate change on the imperiled Joshua Tree. At the crossroads of creation and obliteration, lovers and strangers in the Mojave Desert explore what it means to survive in a relationship – and a world – on the brink of extinction.
The cast, artistic, and production team include: Echaka Agba, Richard Costes, Aria Szalai-Raymond, Priya Mohanty, Vijay Sarathi, Elsa Torner, Jackie Marschke, Rose Hamill, David Weiss, Devon Green, Martin Hanna, Eric Backus, Cat Davis, and Therese Ritchie. All tickets are pay-what-you-can.