Friday, April 22, 2016

Strangeloop proud to help support Center on Halsted

Strangeloop Theatre is proud to support Center on Halsted, the Midwest's most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland.

We will be collecting donations during the run of Mitera to support this important organization that provide a safe and welcoming environment with programs and services for the entire community.

Programs range from volleyball, dance performances and cooking classes to rapid HIV testing, group therapy and vocational training. Center on Halsted also serves as an incubator for a number of smaller LGBTQ non-profit organizations. The Center provides operational support, space and resources for organizations that may otherwise find it difficult to interact and grow.

Please email us at loop@strangelooptheatre.org, visit our box office, or talk with any Strangeloop member to learn how you can give. ‪

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Reviews for Mitera are coming in

Reviews are in for Mitera, an examination of love set amongst a small Greek community in Mississippi, and both audiences and critics are responding favorably to this new work.

According to the Chicago Reader, playwright Maria Burnham "creates a compelling, layered world where ossified ethnic traditions provide comfort and trauma."

Windy City Times calls Mitera "an appealing play" and " a nice production, as directed by Letitia Guillaud in the extremely cozy living room of Berger Park's Gunderson Mansion, which we share with the actors in fly-on-the-wall intimacy."

And audience members have written to say they enjoyed "the production and the plot and the twists and the ACTING!"

Mitera runs through May 14 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. All performances for this site-specific production take place at 7:30 p.m. at the North Mansion in Berger Park (6219 N. Sheridan Road) in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

Set during the months preceding the Supreme Court's landmark decision on gay marriage, Mitera tells the story of the Sheridan sisters who discover their mother, upon her death, has left their entire inheritance contingent on the youngest sister marrying within a year. If she fails to do so everything goes to their oldest male cousin in Greece. Mitera examines the idea that sometimes the people we’ve known our entire lives are the people we know the least.

Mitera stars Allison McCorkle as Olga Sheridan, Holly Robison as Nitsa Sheridan, Lilly Apostolou as Dimitra Sheridan, Patricia Tinsley as Sharon Kaskalis and Michael Wagman as Dimitris Kokkinakis.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mitera: Note from the Playwright

For most of my life, I thought my mom was an ordinary, boring mom who embarrassed me on a regular basis in front of all the upper class Southern white girls with whom I was forced to go to private school. Yes, the photos of her from her youth were mesmerizing. She had an early 60s movie star beauty like you wouldn’t believe. But she had been just a girl working in a shop, waiting for her placement papers at a hospital in Athens when she met my dad, an American military man stationed overseas. Boring.

Then one night, out with my family in Greece, I heard my aunt say to my mom, “I saw your movie on TV the other night. It still gives me nightmares seeing you die in the ditch.” We were stunned. Mom? In movies? My dad looked at me and said, as if the biggest mystery in the world had been solved, “Well, I guess that’s where you get it from.”

 Only the mystery wasn’t solved. It just led to more mysteries. She had been a dancer. She was discovered in Italy. She left home when she was 16 to live in the city with an aunt. Her father went to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. WHO WAS THIS WOMAN? I still don’t know who she is, my mother. She is a mystery to me. She keeps her stories to herself. And it makes me feel like I don’t know my own story any more. It was the realization that this woman I had known my entire life was actually the person I knew the least that first inspired the story of Mitera. We can spend every day of our lives with someone, share the same biology, the same home, but not know them at all.

People often tell me they can see my mother in me. I wish I knew who we were all looking at.


—    Maria Burnham

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mitera: Cast and Crew Bios

Cast

Olga Sheridan:             Allison McCorkle+
Nitsa Sheridan:            Holly Robison^
Dimitra Sheridan:         Lilly Apostolou
Sharon Kaskalis:          Patricia Tinsley+
Dimitris Kokkinakis:      Michael Wagman^

Production Team


Playwright:                   Maria Burnham^
Director:                       Letitia Guillaud^
Production Manager:   Keith Gatchel^
Stage Manager:           Lisa Uhlig^
Production Designer:   Brad Gunter^
Dialect Coach:             Kate Jordan*
Costume Design:         Molly Mason
Marketing:                   Jean Burr+, Maria Burnham^
Graphic Design:           Mike Wozniak
Photographs:               Austin D. Oie

^Denotes a Strangeloop Company Member
+Denotes a Strangeloop Associate Company Member 
*Member of Actors Equity Association.

Mitera Bio: Allison McCorkle

Allison McCorkle (Olga) studied theatre at Texas Wesleyan University and stuck around the Fort Worth/Dallas theatre scene for years before being lured to Chicago in 2007. Her credits include Piccolo Theatre, Black Ensemble Theatre, Polarity, Red Tape and GreatWorks Theatre, among others. Allison has joined Strangeloop onstage for The Robbers, Loopshop, Nutcracker Nightmare, Christmas Clueseau and Krampus! Much love to her newly bound theatre widow.

Mitera Bio: Holly Robison

Holly Robison (Nitsa) is thrilled to be appearing in the world premiere of Mitera. As a Company Member with Strangeloop Theatre, she has performed in a number of the Strangeloop's productions, including Rossum's Universal Robots, As You Like It and The Robbers, as well as directing the mainstage production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and several other short productions. Holly regularly exercises her comedy chops as a member of Improvised Jane Austen. Other favorite roles include Ellen in In the Wake, Jo in Independence, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Martha in The Children’s Hour. She has studied with Chicago organizations including Remy Bumppo, TUTA Theatre, Victory Gardens, Second City and First Folio Technique with Susan Hart and Jeffrey Carlson. When not acting or directing, she can probably be found reading, watching British costume dramas, eating too much Indian food and talking to her cat (don't judge, OK?).

Mitera Bio: Lilly Apostolou

Lilly Apostolou (Dimitra Sheridan) is so excited to be making her debut with Strangeloop in her very first production. She is in the advanced student program at The Second City studying improv, acting and sketch comedy writing. She is the host of Wards, a show filmed in Evanston, IL. She is also a vocalist with experience with musical theatre. She is an avid volunteer, most notably being a part of the SitStayRead literacy program serving low-income elementary schools in Chicago. She has a B.A. in Criminology from the University of New Mexico (Go Lobos!). Born on the Northside of Chicago, Lilly hails from a big Greek family and speaks the language fluently. She wants to thank her family, especially her Dad, her super supportive friends and her amazing boyfriend Shane.