Friday, September 26, 2014

Halloween comes early this year

Reviews are starting to come in for Hack/Slash and it's a bloody good time. Add your own reviews to the list of those who say the show is a great time for fans of the comic book, as well as those who have never even heard of Cassie and Vlad.

Based on Tim Seeley's comic-book series of the same name, Strangeloop Theatre and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy's punchy, bloody horror show takes us on the road with a formidable vigilante duo...with some extraordinary puppetry portraying a psychopathic teddy bear, unusual characters like a disgraced Miss America turned CEO, and a few well-paced slapstick ass kickings from Cassie and Vlad. 

Much like the comic, the show incorporated a lot of humor throughout.  The elevator scene was hilarious. The fight scenes were fun, and I avoided the front two rows to miss becoming blood splattered...I’m no theater critic, but I know I enjoyed myself, and I think any HACK/SLASH fan would get a kick out of seeing the show.  I also think that it would be a good introduction to HACK/SLASH to anyone that is unfamiliar with the book.

Hack/Slash runs through Saturday, November 1, on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. The performances are held at C.I.C. Theater (1422 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60613). Tickets are $15 and are available in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or at the door. Discount tickets are available on select nights (including tonight!) for industry professionals by entering the code 666 at checkout. Discount tickets are also available to the general public via Goldstar and Hot Tix.

More details are available at and at

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hacking & Slashing our way across the internets!

Did you miss Hack/Slash's opening weekend? Then you missed a great opening night party and two butt-kicking performances.

But no worries! We're at it again this weekend with a performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, and then through Nov. 1 with performances on Friday and Saturday nights. Get your tickets in advance here.

In the meantime, read up on what others are writing about the show that is your Number 1 Geek Pick of the month.

Geek Girl Chicago:
Three days ago, I promised a GEEKend events post. I realized, though, that all relevant goings-on are long-running shows. So, I'm tweaking the usual format. Here's a special list of geeky theatre productions you can enjoy all month:

1. Hack/Slash - The comic book series Hack/Slash is a Chicago favorite. Its writer, Tim Seeley, is from The Windy City. Now, a staged version has been launched here...
The Chicago Creepout:
Appropriately timed for the upcoming Halloween season, Strangeloop Theatre and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy (CIC) present a new stage adaptation of Tim Seeley's comic book series Hack/Slash. The revered horror comedy story originated a decade ago and still thrives strong within the horror comics community....
Hack/Slash Inc.:
Here are some more pictures from the Strangeloop Theatre/CIC Theater production of the HACK/SLASH play!...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Darkness falls across the land...Hack/Slash opening night is at hand

Grab your bats and meat cleavers, we're going monster hunting tonight!

Hack/Slash opens this evening at CIC Theater. The horror comedy series by Chicago artist and writer Tim Seeley comes to the stage in this co-production by Strangeloop Theatre and CIC.

The show starts at 8 p.m., but join us before and after for our opening night celebration. There will be treats, drinks with the cast and a raffle that includes a Hack/Slash trade collection signed by Tim Seeley, posters signed by Seeley and the cast and a headshot package by Larissa Zageris (valued at $200). 

For those unfamiliar with Hack/Slash, it is the story of horror victim survivor Cassie Hack who, together with her disfigured sidekick Vlad, travels the country (and sometimes the underworld) fighting evil slashers who refuse to just lay down and die even after being burned, impaled and shot 20 times.

This production pulls from several of the comic book series' storylines giving fans and newcomers alike a glimpse into Cassie's history, the mayhem that made her what she is and, of course, plenty of slashers.

The cast of Hack/Slask is: Jean E. Burr as Cassie Hack; Tim Lee as Vlad; Miona Lee as Emily Cristy and Erika Napoletano, Christopher Prchal, Pete Navi, Richard John McLain, John Rohr, Melissa Nelson, Kara Charlton and Renee Lynn Jackson as the ensemble. .

The production crew is: Brad Gunter (Director), Letitia Guillaud (Production Manager), John Wefler (Stage Manager), Barbara Charlene (Violence Designer), Christopher DeNardo (Assistant Violence Designer), Carrie Campana (Costume Designer), Chris Corwin (Sound Designer), Jay Gish (Projection Designer), Mel Gill (Props and Blood Designer), Mike Wozniak (Graphic Designer) and Maria Burnham, Holly Robison and Allison McCorkle (Marketing). Photographs are by Austin D. Oie.

Seeley is best known as co-creator of Hack/Slash and Revival, and for his work on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, New Exiles and G.I. Joe vs. Transformers. He also currently co-writes the weekly series Batman: Eternal for DC Comics.

Full bios of the cast and crew are available here.

Hack/Slash runs through Saturday, November 1, on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Please note, there is no performance on Friday, September 19. The performances will be held at C.I.C. Theater (1422 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60613). Tickets are $15 and are available in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

More details are available at and at

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hack/Slash Bio: Jean E. Burr

Jean E. Burr (Cassie Hack) is incredibly excited to be working with Strangeloop Theatre and CIC Theater for her first full-length Chicago show since moving to the city in January. She was recently seen as Aqua Woman in Strangeloop Theatre's Loopshop 7, and some of her favorite roles include Linda in Blood Brothers (Open Space Cafe Theatre), Amy Westmond in The Service at Rocky Bluff (The Barn Dinner Theatre), Roberta Victor in Working: The Musical (University of North Carolina at Wilmington) and Paulina in The Seagull (Millikin University). You can see her next in the independent film Battle Scars, as well as around town as Vaudezilla! Burlesque and Productions' Street Team Coordinator. She would like to thank the cast and crew for being awesome, her friends and co-workers for being so patient, her burlesque mentors for their support, and her family for basically everything. Keep up with Jean at

Hack/Slash Bio: Tim Lee

Tim Lee (Vlad) is very excited to be a part of Hack/Slash. After studying theatre at Evangel University, he toured and performed as a part of the Skinny Improv. He decided to move to Chicago to pursue acting. Some of his most recent roles include, Busman in Strangeloop Theatre’s production of Rossum’s Universal Robots and as Andy in 101 Ways to Fall in Love with Bard and Fool Theatre. He is very proud to be an Associate Member of Strangeloop Theatre and part of Under the Gun Theatre’s ensemble. Thanks to Miona for always being there with love and support.

Hack/Slash Bio: Miona Lee

Miona Lee (Emily Cristy) received her BFA in Theatre Performance at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. She is an Associate Company Member for Strangeloop Theatre and a Company Member for The Living Canvas. Favorite roles include: Cobweb/Snug in A Midsummer Night's Dream, various characters in several Living Canvas productions (including credits for writer and movement consultant), Vixen in Bram Stoker's Dracula, Martha Graham in Ten Lives in Performance, various villainous characters at the Springfield Children's Playhouse, and Gwendolyn in The Odd Couple. Also, thank you to my husband, Tim, for the constant love and support.

Hack/Slash Bio: Erika Napoletano

Erika Napoletano
(Acid Angel/Delilah Hack/Ensemble) is bigger than a taco but smaller than an Airstream trailer. While from the South, she was not born in a trailer. Born in Opelika, Alabama and raised in Houston, Texas, Erika’s an actor and voiceover talent with recent appearances at Prologue Theater’s Landmark Festival, Second City, and iO — some of which even include Southern twangs. She has two dogs (Hippopotamus and Penelope), has more bicycles than ex-husbands, and is lactose intolerant yet loves banana milkshakes. Learn more about her at

Hack/Slash Bio: Christopher Prchal

Christopher Prchal (Dan/Rusty/Trent/Waking Man) is thrilled to a part of this production. He hails from the Southside of Chicago and is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has had the privilege of working with some amazing teachers in Chicago at the Piven Theatre Workshop, Black Box, and The Second City to name a few. He can be seen in House Bravura's upcoming productions of Cheers 1773 and John Adams. A tremendous amount of love and gratitude to Mom, Dad, and Johnny.

Hack/Slash Bio: Pete Navis

Pete Navis (Dr. Gross/Tech 2/Fight Captain) is performing with Strangeloop and CIC for the first time, after appearing in Bat-Hamlet (Corn Productions) and Jim & Dave('s Blood Meets Jupiter) (Project 891) earlier this year. Other recent Chicago performances include Uptown Opera (Genesis Ensemble), The People's Passion Play (Quest Ensemble) and It's a Wonderful Santaland Miracle Nutcracking Christmas Story... Jews Welcome (Stage 773). Pete also works in film and television, and this summer shot season two of the webseries #Hashtag and the short film Stone Road. Check out for news or to stay in touch.

Hack/Slash Bio: Richard John McLain

Richard John McLain
(Joe Fitch/Mortimer Strick), or RJ to many of his friends, is a Chicago native, and this is his first production with Strangeloop as well as with CIC, but as an avid comic book fan he could not pass up the opportunity. His recent credits include the films Igniting Justice as Xander and Kleptosomnia as John, with previous theater experience including productions of Once Upon a Mattress, Big Mary, The Stage Door and Grease. RJ has trained at The Second City in Chicago for improv and regularly does martial arts, more specifically Krav Maga through Krav Academy. He has also performed singing with an American Choir touring through China for the 2008 Olympic Ceremonies, and is currently working on YouTube based web series that will be premiering later this year. He wishes to thank Tim Seeley for creating such a bad ass comic that gave us such a great story, and director Brad Gunter for making all of this happen, bringing Hack/Slash to the stage while keeping it true to the original story.

Hack/Slash Bio: J. Rohr

J. Rohr (Peter LaPage/X-O) This is J. Rohr's first time on stage. An internationally published author of short fiction, his work has appeared in The Mad Scientist Journal, and the zombie anthology Black Chaos. Currently, he runs the blog Honesty Is Not Contagious.

Hack/Slash Bio: Melissa Nelson

Melissa Nelson (Mean Boy 1/Delivery Woman/Paramedic) is excited to be in her first show with both Strangeloop and CIC Theater. Her previous works include roles in The Factory that Makes Devils with Demigods Theater, The David Bowie Christmas Special 1977 with New Millenium Theater and The Santa Claus Caper with Alphabet Soup Productions. Melissa is a graduate of Illinois State University.

Hack/Slash Bio: Kara Charlton

Kara Charlton
(Mean Boy 2/Hostess/Ashley) is originally from California and has previously done many shows there, such as Much Ado About Nothing, The Crucible, Eurydice and You Can't Take it With You. Hack/Slash is both her favorite comic series and first Chicago show.

Hack/Slash Bio: Renee Lynn Jackson

Renee Lynn Jackson (Mrs. Miller/Security/Hibachi Devil) is pleased to be collaborating with Strangeloop for the first time. Recent Chicago acting credits include Losers! (Cloud Gate Productions), Trash, And A Moon Said Nothing… (Forget Me Not Theatre) and work with the Piven Improvisational Ensemble. Renee is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hack/Slash Bio: Brad Gunter

Brad Gunter (Director) is originally from suburban Westmont, Ill., and went to Ball State University and Middlebury College with some layovers in different parts of Germany. As a founding member of Strangeloop, Brad wears a lot of hats in the company and typically stays busy during productions as a director, dramaturge or production manager. Outside of theatre, he makes money by doing German-to-English translation and VO recording. He’s worked with several other theatres in town, but you’re most likely to see him busy at his other theatre company, TUTA, where he is an Associate Company Member.

Hack/Slash Bio: Letitia Guillaud

Letitia Guillaud (Production Manager) is a founder and Co-Artistic/Development Director for Strangeloop Theatre. Letitia has a B.A. in Theatre from Ball State University and since moving to Chicago has worked as an actor, writer, improvisor, director, props designer and production manager. She is a resident artist with CIC Theater and has been lucky enough to work with TUTA, Babes with Blades, Seanachai, Red Orchid, CIC, The Annoyance, iO and Bughouse. Most recently, she was seen as Hermia in Strangeloop Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and you can see her props design work in TUTA's upcoming Anyway Cabaret. She would like to thank her company, Brad Gunter and Tim Seeley.

Hack/Slash Bio: John Wefler

John Wefler (Stage Manager) began his love of show business as director/producer of The Rob Linkhart Show, a Comedy Central award winning public access television variety show in the 1990s. He is also an actor and musician with training from the Annoyance, Second City, Green Shirt Studio, Black Box, and the Old Town School of Folk Music. This is his third production with Strangeloop and first as stage manager. Thanks to Paul, Patricia, James, Carol and to Ticha and Brad.

Hack/Slash Bio: Carrie Campana

Carrie Campana (Costume Designer) is an actor and costume designer for Strangeloop. She has worked with St. Sebastian Players (associate member), the Living Canvas and Wig Bullies, predominately during her time in Chicago. Prior to moving to Chicago she lived in New York where she was the resident costume designer and actor with PharePlay Productions. She is very pleased to be a part of Strangeloop and grateful for the opportunity to design as well as perform with them.

Hack/Slash Bio: Keith Gatchel

Keith Gatchel
(Sound Design) comes to us from Rockford, Ill., by way of Southern Illinois University (with a few stops in Florida). Since 2005, Keith has worked tech at The Goodman Theatre, Collaboraction, Teatro Vista, Victory Gardens, Pegasus Players, and more. He was also a writer for Big News at IO and Second City, and contributor to several Loopshop productions, as well as Strangeloop's Our Perfect Holiday 2012 with the cast. Along with being the co-literary manager for Strangeloop, he works at Blue Man Group and is the stage manager for The Kiss Kiss Cabaret.

Hack/Slash Bio: Chris Corwin

Chris Corwin (Lighting Designer) was a founding company Member of Dolphinback Theatre Company long ago, and he has been an ensemble member of Eclipse Theatre Company sinc 1999. He has designed lights or scenery for several Eclipse productions, perhaps your favorite. He is currently the lighting director for The Kiss Kiss Cabaret. He has some self image issues, so he is going to end this bio here.

Hack/Slash Bio: Jay Gish

Jay Gish (Projection Designer) is a co-creator and producer with Bindledog Productions, whose work can be seen on the NFL Network and the cable channel IFC. He also created the cult web series, Improv City.

Hack/Slash Bio: Mel Gill

Mel Gill (Prop and Blood Designer) is an associate member with TUTA and was last seen working with Jacqueline Stone and Joni Arredia on the world premiere of Stoop Time. She has recently worked with TUTA as assistant stage manager for The Jewels at the DCASE theatre, as well as, properties designer with Strangeloop Theatre Company on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Jackalope Theatre Company on The Peacock and Exit Strategy. Some of her previous work includes: assistant stage managing TUTA's The Dumb Waiter and The Silent Language; special FX for the Soft Cage Film debut YELLOW; and assistant stage managing New Leaf’s Lighthousekeeping. She has worked with such companies as The Pavement Group, Melncolly Theatre Company, Saint Sebastian Players and The House Theatre of Chicago. She is forever in debt to her close friends and family for their love and support (especially her father, 1944-2011). 

Hack/Slash Bio: Barbara Charlene

Barbara Charlene (Violence Director) is a Chicago-based Fight Director and Actor, a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, and an Artist-in-Residence with Halcyon Theatre Company. Recent Fight Directing credits include Twelfth Night with Gary Shakespeare Company, The Warzone is my Bed with Halcyon Theatre Company and The Nightmare Room with Towle Theatre. She worked on the first Broadway touring production of Spring Awakening, and was the Assistant Fight Director at Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Crimes of the Heart, directed by Kathleen Turner. She was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for Best Choreography on The Accidental Patriot with Stolen Chair Theatre Company, and has also worked at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Cherokee Historical Association, The Lost Colony and the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. She is the Audience Designer at Theater Wit and performs with Room Escape Adventures in Trapped in a Room with a Zombie. She will be performing next in Accidental Shakespeare Company's production of Macbeth, opening October 16th.

Hack/Slash Bio: Christopher DeNardo

Christopher DeNardo (Assistant Violence Director/Choreographer) This is Chris' first production with Strangeloop Theatre. He is proud of all the hard work the cast has put in to make the fights as exciting as possible. Obsessing over the best angles for stabs and other violence has been a dream come true for him. He should probably talk to a professional about that.

Hack/Slash Bio: Maria Burnham

Maria Burnham (Marketing) is an actress, writer, sometimes stage manager, full-time theater monkey and all around jack-of-all-trades. Storefront theater, ho! She studied creative writing and theater at Louisiana State University and has worked in Chicago with such companies as Appetite Theatre Co., Stockyards Theatre Project, New Millennium Theatre Co. and Red Theater. Maria is thrilled to be a member of Strangeloop. She loves pursuing the undiscovered, though mostly she’s just in it for the chicken.

Hack/Slash Bio: Holly Robison

Holly Robison (Marketing/Events) has been living and working in Chicago for several years, and she is proud to be a Company Member and Development Manager with Strangeloop Theatre. In addition to acting and directing with Strangeloop, she has worked with Citadel Theatre Company, Greenman Theatre Troupe, Genesis Theatrical Productions and Sheil Park Theatre. She has also studied with TUTA Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. To pay those pesky bills, Holly spends her days working in grants at a non-profit. She has a B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of Illinois. When not at her job, rehearsals or performances, Holly enjoys several varied and interesting hobbies, including reading and traveling. She wishes she had time for them.

Hack/Slash Bio: Allison McCorkle

Allison McCorkle (Marketing/Events) is an actor who also really enjoys seeing theatre, dancing Bollywood and getting caught up in the latest story or classic that she missed as a child. A performer since the age of 8, she studied theatre at Texas Wesleyan University and stuck around the Fort Worth/Dallas theatre scene for awhile. Then the allure of public transit and beautiful weather beckoned her to Chicago, where her credits include Piccolo Theatre, Black Ensemble Theatre, Halcyon, Chicago dell’Arte, Polarity, Red Tape and GreatWorks Theatre. Allison was thrilled to work on The Robbers, Loopshop and Nutcracker Nightmare with Strangelop and looks forward to the next great adventure! During the day, she is an administrative assistant for a meat marketing company. That’s right, that’s what it says.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Get a sneak peak at Hack/Slash: Preview performances are Friday,Saturday

Two preview performance of Strangeloop Theatre and CIC Theater co-production Hack/Slash are set for Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. Discount tickets are available now at Brown Paper Tickets.

Hack/Slash is the story of horror victim survivor Cassie Hack who, together with her disfigured sidekick Vlad, travels the country (and sometimes the underworld) fighting evil slashers who refuse to just lay down and die even after being burned, impaled and shot 20 times.

The performaces are at CIC Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago.

Thinking Caps Recap

We had a great reception for Thinking Caps at the Greenhouse Theater Center on Tuesday evening. Thank you to everyone who came out and gave their feedback. We're looking forward to the next step in the development process for this script by Company Member Keith Gatchel.

Thinking Caps explores the upsides and downsides of virtual reality technology in the near future as seen through the lives of Charles and Maggie Cusick. The play is set in the near future in places both real and imaginary, in a time when the internet is all but dead and people communicate via telepathy and interact socially in a type of virtual reality known as the Headnet.

The staged reading was directed by Co-Artistic Director Letitia Guillaud. The cast was as follows:
  • Charles                   Michael Houghton Wagman
  • Maggie                    Maria Burnham
  • Kim Ayers               Holly Robison
  • David Scrab            Justin Cornwell
  • Actor                       Nick Vidal
  • Actress                    Patricia Tinsley
  • Headnet Voice        Letitia Guillaud
The staged reading was produced as part of the Trellis reading series, Greenhouse's artist development program that showcases plays from playwrights who aren’t otherwise able to find a space for their work to be seen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Put on your Thinking Caps and join us at the Greenhouse Theater Center

The near future. Websites and the internet are dead. Telepathy and Headsites are the new reality. Everyone who is anyone has a Thinking Cap and they live in a semi-virtual, semi-real world where imagination is the key to success.

But how far is too far when it comes to technology?

Thinking Caps, an original play by Strangeloop Company Member Keith Gatchel, explores the upsides and downsides of virtual reality technology in the near future.

The play will be presented tonight, September 2, as part of the Greenhouse Theater Center's Trellis staged reading series. The reading is free and open to the public. Thinking Caps starts at 7 p.m. at the Greenhouse Theater Complex, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The theater is located near the Fullerton red line el stop and the #8 bus stop at the Halsted Street, Lincoln Avenue and Fullerton Avenue intersection. Free parking is available in the garage at 2316 N. Lincoln Ave.

The play was originally part of Strangeloop Theatre's short play and development series Loopshop.

The staged reading is directed by Strangeloop Co-Artistic Director Letitia Guillaud. The cast includes Michael Houghton Wagman, Maria Burnham, Justin Cornwell, Holly Robison, Nick Vidal and Patricia Tinsley.

The Trellis reading series is Greenhouse's artist development program that showcases plays from playwrights that aren’t otherwise able to find a space for their work to be seen.

Come enjoy half price drinks at the Greenhouse bar, and help support new works by coming to the readings and giving your feedback!