Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Strangeloop announces casting, production details for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Summer is on its way and so is Strangeloop Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Strangeloop company member Holly Robison. This intimate approach to William Shakespeare’s classic tale of love, magic and fairies features promenade-style staging, in which audience members move and sit amongst the action of the play with no formal differentiation between stage and seating.

Strangeloop’s production takes place in the 1940s – a time period that shares with the ancient Athens of Shakespeare’s original setting political turmoil, war and the subduing of monstrous beasts (literal in one case, figurative in the other). But despite the unrest of the outside world, love still finds a place to bloom during this, the longest night of the year.

The cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is: Mary-Kate Arnold (Helena), Maria Burnham (Quince), Letitia Guillaud (Hermia), Caitlin Jackson (Hippolyta/Titania), Tim Larson (Demetrius), Miona Lee (Cobweb/Snug), Naomi Lindh (Peaseblossom/Flute), Ken Miller (Lysander), Kitty Mortland (Egeus), Julia Rigby (Puck), Michael Wagman (Bottom) and Geoff Zimmerman (Theseus/Oberon).

The production team includes: Lauren Angel-Nichols (set designer), Maria Burnham (marketing), Carrie Campana (costume designer), Keith Gatchel (sound designer), Brad Gunter (production manager), Jaclyn Jensen (audience development), Lisa Uhlig (stage manager) Eric Van Tassell (lighting designer) and Mike Wozniak (graphic designer).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs April 24 through May 25 at the side project theatre (1439 W. Jarvis Ave.) in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets and are $18 for general admission. Discounts are available for seniors and students. Limited reserved seating will be available for those with disabilities.    

A Midsummer Night's Dream


Monday, February 10, 2014

Laissez les bons temps rouler



Romance and roux: Love comes a little early this year in Strangeloop Theatre's annual production, French With Me, which takes place Tuesday, February 11, at Signal Ensemble Theatre. The gala-style event features a series of vignettes written by up-and-coming playwrights that center around the theme of love.

This year’s production – our fourth – takes on a New Orleans flavor in French With Me 4: French Quarter. The mimes are back again and this year finds them wandering around the French Quarter in their continuing story of love and loss and love again. In addition, the stories include a romance that buds outside a gender reveal party, the awkwardness of first dates and a husband and wife who fall in love with their own reflections.

French With Me 4: French Quarter is:
  • Cold Lonely Gaze written by Anthony Ellison; directed by Letitia Guillaud and featuring Peter Robards, Tyler Samples, Ashley Thornton and Michael Houghton Wagman
  • A Date With the Weird written by Keith Gatchel; directed by Zack Florent and featuring Katie Galan, Adrienne Matzen and Mike Mazzocca
  • French With Me conceived and directed by Maria Burnham and featuring Tim Lee and Holly Robison
  • Hey, Good Lookin' written by Rich Orloff; directed by Josh Johnson and featuring Carrie Campana, Rob Grabowski and Dennis Schnell
  • Kieran written by Michael Houghton Wagman; directed by Ben Campana and featuring Maria Burnham and Ken Miller
  • Podemos? written by Georgia Knapp; directed by Juan Castaneda and featuring Gina Laguzza and Sally Wippman
The reception begins at 7 p.m. with performances beginning at 8 p.m. Live music will follow from Big Dixie & The Pelican Whisperers, a local Dixieland band featuring the talents of Corbin Andrick on woodwinds, Joe Clark on trumpet, Jeff Livorsi on trombone, William Russell on tuba and David Agee on drums.

Signal Ensemble Theatre is located at 1802 W. Berenice Avenue in Chicago. Tickets are $20 and still available at Brown Paper Tickets

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Won't you be mime? 'French With Me 4'

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and to help you get in the mood for romance, Strangeloop Theatre presents its annual production of French With Me, a series of vignettes written by up-and-coming playwrights that center around the theme of love.

This year’s production – our fourth – takes on a New Orleans flavor in French With Me 4: French Quarter. The mimes are back again and this year finds them wandering around the French Quarter in their continuing story of love and loss and love again.

In addition, the stories include a romance that buds outside a gender reveal party, the awkwardness of first dates and a husband and wife who fall in love with their own reflections.

French With Me 4: French Quarter is:
  • Cold Lonely Gaze written by Anthony Ellison and directed by Letitia Guillaud 
  • A Date With the Weird written by Keith Gatchel and directed by Zack Florent 
  • French With Me conceived and directed by Maria Burnham 
  • Hey, Good Lookin' written by Rich Orloff and directed by Josh Johnson 
  • Kieran written by Michael Houghton Wagman and directed by Ben Campana 
  • Podemos? written by Georgia Knapp and directed by Juan Castaneda 

French With Me returns to Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Avenue in Chicago, on Tuesday, February 11.

The gala-style event includes floral arrangements by Rose Expressions and New Orleans-inspired cuisine donated by local merchants, and features a craft beer selection from Chicago’s Finch’s Beer Company. A silent auction is also planned with offerings that range from massage from Aligned and unlimited yoga from Bloom, to Louisiana coffee and beignets and tickets to Kiss Kiss Cabaret and Blue Man Group – the perfect place to pick up a last minute present for your sweetie.

The reception begins at 7 p.m. with performances beginning at 8 p.m. Live music will follow from Big Dixie & The Pelican Whisperers, a local Dixieland band featuring the talents of Corbin Andrick on woodwinds, Joe Clark on trumpet, Jeff Livorsi on trombone, William Russell on tuba and David Agee on drums.

Tickets are now on sale at Brown Paper Tickets.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Nutcracker Nightmare: Christmas just got a whole lot spookier


Strangeloop Theatre presents

The Nutracker Nightmare

A tale of Christmas joy & horror


The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, but oh, little children, the toys beware. The Doll Queen is coming with her icy stare, into your dreams creeps the Nutcracker Nightmare.


In a world where dolls come to life and little children dream of sugar plum fairies, a new evil has emerged from the toy box. It's up to one young girl, a rag doll, a toy soldier and a ballerina mouse to prevent the total destruction of Christmas. Where's the Nutcracker when you need him?

Strangeloop's holiday production provides a sequel to E.T.A. Hoffmann's classic holiday tale, but this time Marie and the toys face an enemy far worse than mice that threaten to chew up dresses and eat sugar toys — and all without her precious Nutcracker to save them.


The cast includes: Lauren Bourke, Carrie Campana, Elana Elyce, Ticha Guillaud, Jaclyn Jensen, Tim Lee, Allison McCorkle, Carolyn Minor, Mark Edward Penzien, Holly Robison, Andrew Todaro and Chad Wise.

Written and directed by Strangeloop company member Maria Burnham, Nutcracker Nightmare runs two nights only: Sunday, December 15, and Monday, December 16, at 8 p.m. at Mary's Attic, 5400 N Clark St. in Chicago, (above Hamburger Mary's). Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or in advance at Brown Paper Tickets.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Last chance for Robots! Final four performances of R.U.R. begin


The robot revolution is nearing the end. It's the final weekend for Strangeloop's R.U.R.: Rossum's Universal Robots. The show closes Sunday and then the robots will pack up their synthetic suitcases and march off into the past.

But they're not gone yet. You still have four chances to see the "dark dystopic comedy" that the Chicago Tribune praises for its "sly wit."

Set in a not-too-distant future, R.U.R.'s world is one in which humanoid robots have been built as the new slave labor for humans determined to find cheaper and cheaper ways to make their products and to do the jobs that no one wants to do. Enter the bewitching Helena Glory, who has arrived at Rossum's island factory determined to find out if robots have a soul and to lobby for their liberation, upsetting the status quo. There's some love and romance mixed in there too for good measure, but not in the places where you're expecting. Written by Karel ńĆapek in 1921, R.U.R. teaches us about what it is to be human and robot, and what it means to love.

Join us for one (or all!) of our final four performances, Oct. 3-6, at The Side Project Theatre in Rogers Park (1439 W. Jarvis Ave., Chicago). The show is at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $18 for general admission and available online at Brown Paper Tickets. Industry, student and senior citizen discounts available. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The R.U.R. Reviews Are In

Photo by Peter Robards

"an entertaining two hours" Chicago Theatre Review
"it's good fun" Chicago Theatre Beat


The robot revolution is well underway and the reviews are rolling in. There may be nothing harder to love than a robot, but audiences are responding warmly to the human drama that unfolds before them both the tragic and the tragically funny during Strangeloop Theatre's production of R.U.R.: Rossum's Universal Robots. You have one weekend left to see the "dark dystopic comedy" that the Chicago Tribune praises for its "sly wit."

Critic reviews:

“Karel Capek's 1920 play introduced the word "robot" to the world, but productions in the cyber age remain relatively rare. Strangeloop Theatre's take, directed by Brad Gunter, has many moments of sly wit that underscore Capek's all-too-relevant observations on the value (or lack thereof) placed on human labor…The ensemble finds the right mix of sardonic and feckless, the key ingredients making up the brain trust of doctors and engineers behind R.U.R.'s creations. Matthew Lloyd's Dr. Hallemeier sips brandy and whips out raised-eyebrow bon mots with machinelike efficiency, while Rory Jobst's Dr. Gall exudes the single-minded exuberance of a socially awkward science geek.”            
          — Chicago Tribune

“If you are looking for some classic scifi ancestry, though, this is a good show to check out. As with many early such stories, the science is thin and subverted to the purpose of the larger social commentary, but it’s good fun all the same.”
           Chicago Theater Beat

“The production was very enjoyable. The set was well designed for such a small space and really created an atmosphere…James Sparling as Harry Domin really carried the show. He was very natural in his role as an intellectual elite and pulled off the slightly absurd comedy in the piece.”
          — Chicago Theatre Review

Tickets:

Tickets are $18 for general admission and available online at Brown Paper Tickets. Discounts are now available for students, senior citizens and industry. Season passes are also available. A limited number of discount tickets for the general public also are available on Goldstar and Hot Tix.

R.U.R. runs through Oct. 6 at The Side Project Theatre in Rogers Park (1439 W. Jarvis Ave., Chicago). The show is at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.