Posted inArts & Culture

Siah Berlatsky shakes up Shakespeare

Siah Berlatsky just graduated this month from ChiArts, but though she’s taking a gap year before college, the 18-year-old playwright-director-actor isn’t letting the grass grow under her feet. In August, she’ll be part of Artistic Home’s outdoor developmental series, “Summer on the Patio,” with her Elizabethan-style gender-bending rom-com, Malapert Love, which she also directs. (“Malapert,” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Taking the drama and dance outdoors

I spent most of the 90s in the Bay Area, where outdoor theater in the summer is a given, and the weather generally cooperates (if you’re not facing the threat of forest fires, that is). But in Chicago, extreme heat and thunderstorms go with the territory. Despite Mother Nature and other logistical challenges, outdoor theater […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The dark visions of David Hauptschein

Writer and artist David Hauptschein has been working in Chicago since the 80s, curating live performances, writing plays, and working in visual arts, but his work has been produced more often—and to more notice—outside of the U.S. This is thanks, in large part, to Hauptschein’s collaboration with UK-based director Julio Maria Martino. Martino first ran […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Asian drag performers slay the way forward

Despite its experimental environment, Chicago’s drag world entered the pandemic with a lack of labor protections. COVID-19 exacerbated economic hardships, especially for queer performers of color who have dealt with the discriminatory practices of club culture. With Asian drag performers often left out of conversations about representation, forming a labor union may improve the city’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bringing the Pride party to the people

For LGBTQ+ audiences and their allies who may not want to spend all of their Pride weekend on the north side, the arts collective TRQPITECA offers an alternative. TRQPITECA, formed in 2015, consists of Chicago DJs and producers Natalie Murillo, aka La Spacer, and Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, aka CQQCHIFRUIT. Murillo and Guerrero curate nightlife and […]

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All in the Gayme

This June, queer youth are challenging audiences on what it means to be active in environmental justice and to participate in mutual aid activism. About Face Youth Theatre, founded in 1999, offers annual workshop sessions where LGBTQ+ youth and their allies ages 13 to 24 can participate in activist theater that supports learning in safe […]

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Musical makeover

If you spend any time breathing, you may have noticed polarities everywhere these days, most emanating from a belief gulf that is exponentially widening between conservatives and liberals with every Twitter post. One polarity being heightened not just in social media, but also in government chambers and around dinner tables, is the divide between LGBTQ+ […]

Posted inPerforming Arts Feature

Ventriloquism and Oobleck

When I think of ventriloquism in film, my thoughts flash to the commercials for 1978’s Magic that creeped me out as a kid. I wasn’t alone; according to the IMDb trivia page, the original trailer for this psychological horror film was pulled from broadcast after parents complained. (“Fats,” the murderous dummy who seemingly possesses Anthony […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The drama of addiction

There are currently two plays running in Chicago that talk about self-medicating, addiction, and how one’s actions impact those around them. One involves working-class people, a snapshot of reality for many across the country, and the other a figure in popular culture, a wealthy man whose lived experience is far from the reality for most. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Den of comedy

The last few months have been busy ones with theaters announcing new venues: if all goes well, American Blues, Steep, Northlight, and TimeLine will all be producing in their new homes sometime in the next couple of years. But the long COVID shutdown of 2020-21 also took away some venues that had provided rentals to […]