Around the Coyote
Running September 4 through 7, the eighth annual edition of this Wicker Park/Bucktown weekend festival showcases emerging artists in all media–including theater and performance, as reflected in the following schedule. (For information on dance, music, and visual art attractions, see listings elsewhere in this issue.) Theater coordinator Jonathan Pitts has organized more than 30 theatrical offerings into programs loosely linked by theme or style, assigning each program to a specific venue as follows: “Dramas & Traumas” plays in the downstairs space of the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division; “Perceptions & Paradoxes: Performance Art” plays on the Chopin Theatre’s main stage; “Experiments & Experiences” plays at the Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland; “Storytellings & Solo Works” plays at the Wicker Park field house, 1425 N. Damen; “On the Lawn: Shakespeare & Albee” plays on the front lawn of Association House, 2150 W. North; and “Spectacles & Sights” features events at various locations in Wicker Park, as shown in the listings below. In addition, there’s a slew of spoken-word and poetry performances, also listed here. The following theater and performance listings (which are subject to last-minute changes) are arranged chronologically, not programmatically. Admission to all performances is free, though you can expect to be hit up for donations. For more information, check at the information booth at the intersection of North, Damen, and Milwaukee, or call 773-342-6777.
Following is the schedule for opening night; a full festival schedule will appear next issue.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
Simon Ha created this site-specific piece based on the work of painter Edward Hopper. “Spectacles & Sights,” Around the Coyote Gallery, Flat Iron Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee, 7 PM.
The Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre presents an original piece about “life’s stresses and how we choose to escape”, by Around the Way Productions, an ensemble of teenage writer-performers. “Dramas & Traumas,” Chopin Theatre, downstairs space, 1543 W. Division, 7 PM.
A Blissful Eye, Goodnight
Performance artist Trevor Martin presents a short, one-man adaptation of Romeo and Juliet illuminated solely by a flashlight. “Perceptions & Paradoxes: Performance Art,” Chopin Theatre, main stage, 1543 W. Division, 7 PM.
You Might as Well Live
Stories and verse by Dorothy Parker are woven together by the Enough Rope Players to explore the dynamics of romantic relationships. “Experiments & Experiences,” Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland, 7 PM.
Tight Slots at the Coyote
David Schein and Dana Block organized and perform in a program of short solo pieces. Tonight’s show features Block in “My Hair Piece,” about “mind over reality/sex after pregnancy,” and Cynthia Desmond in “I Remember It Well.” “Storytellings & Solo Works,” Wicker Park field house, 1425 N. Damen, 7 PM.
Actor-singer James Schneider’s one-man show concerns a bar doorman’s inner journey. “Dramas & Traumas,” Chopin Theatre, downstairs space, 1543 W. Division, 8 PM.
Henrik Ibsen’s epic verse drama about a rebel’s quest for “the Self” is adapted by the Breadline Theatre Group. “[Though] much in Michael Oswalt’s solemn, dedicated staging is visually haunting, much also misfires; this cryptic, too severe adaptation succumbs to bad acoustics and worse vocal projection, a lack of range among the roles, an an elegiac tone that makes Peer’s story seem one long loss,” says Reader critic Lawrence Bommer. “Perceptions & Paradoxes: Performance Art,” Chopin Theatre, main stage, 1543 W. Division, 8 PM.
Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends (A Final Evening With the Illuminati)
This bizarre religious satire by Atlanta playwrights Larry Larson and Levi Lee is set in a postapocalyptic cathedral inhabited by a paranoid priest and his self-sacrificing acolyte. Michael S. Pieper directs. “Experiments & Experiences,” Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland, 8 PM.
Toteroonie . . . the Show for the Inner Child in You
Abby Schachner’s one-woman show, which just finished a run at the Second City E.T.C., explores grown-up issues in the style of a kids’ show. Schachner’s “acting abilities, comic timing, and writing skills can’t yet support a full evening. [This] show . . . might have had promise if she’d approached it with the irreverence her title suggests. But apparently, having survived a rough childhood, her parents’ divorce, and an eating disorder, she takes pop psychology with deadly seriousness. . . . The piece feels more like a sketch for a group-therapy session than a work of art,” says Reader critic Justin Hayford. “Storytellings & Solo Works,” Wicker Park field house, 1425 N. Damen, 9 PM.
The Dorians, Parts 2 and 3
The hOstage tHeater cOmpany presents the latest installments of playwright-director S. Lamar Jordan’s drama about “the myths and misconceptions of guardian angels.” Part 2, “. . . Temptations,” deals with a black Motown singer and his white drug dealer; Part 3, “Golden Years Bop-bop-bop,” concerns a woman’s plan to infect as many men as possible with the AIDS she carries. “Dramas & Traumas,” Chopin Theatre, downstairs space, 1543 W. Division, 9 PM.
This Wild Storm
Storyteller Antonio Sacre performs a new solo piece. “Storytellings & Solo Works,” Wicker Park field house, 1425 N. Damen, 9 PM.
Jane Does Jane
Jane is an all-woman improv team specializing in what it calls “Riot Grrrl Comedy.” “Experiments & Experiences,” Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland, 9:15 PM.
Kim Clark directs his dark comedy about three women taking part in a marketing study in which the “product” is a partially nude woman. “Dramas & Traumas,” Chopin Theatre, downstairs space, 1543 W. Division, 10 PM.
The MASS Ensemble, whose performances incorporate movement, projected visuals, and musical performance on large-scale string and percussion instruments, presents a program of new work. “Perceptions & Paradoxes: Performance Art,” Chopin Theatre, main stage, 1543 W. Division, 10 PM.
This ensemble performance piece, directed by Dawn Marie Galtieri and seen last spring at the Raven Theatre, is performed under black light and seeks to “visually animate various dimensions of line.”Experiments & Experiences,” Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland, 10:15 PM.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): You Might as Well Live photo by Jonathan Pitts.