Thursday, June 9, 2011

50 Plays - June 18, 2011 8:00pm

Here's the line-up for Saturday, June 18 at 8pm...

June 18 - 8pm

Butterfly Collector – director Ben Harpe - cast: Melissa Fricke, Zach Zimmerman

To Be Written – director Jason Fleece - cast: ooooh, mystery cast!

A Love That Lasts Forever – director Jen Ellison - cast: Patrick Brennan, Mary Jo Bolduc, Dave Stinton, Kevin Gladish

A Place Where Two Rivers Meet – director Jake Schneider - cast:
Ray Mees, Colleen Breen, Aaron Caponigro, Aaron Alonzo, Justin Howard

Summer Kisses, Winter Tears – director John Hildreth - cast: Mary Jo Bolduc, John Mobley, Erin Kathryn Morrill, Janna Sobel, C.J. Tuor, Rudy Voit. Stage Combat by R & D Choreography. Fight Captain: John Mobley. Special Thanks to Columbia College.

The Directors

Ben Harpe. Recent directing credits include the sketch revue An Overhead Project and the one-man show Just Kidding, which was a featured production at ACTF 2010, Midwest region. Ben has also performed in the sketch revues Sketches with Wolves, Grandpa Hands and last summer's 365 Sketches. Ben would like to thank Joe, Zach and Melissa.

Jason A. Fleece is thrilled to be working with Joe Janes again, the subject of his manliest of man-crushes. Jason participated in last year's 365 Sketches with Joe, as well as various and sundry other projects. Jason is a member of Stage Left Theatre's artistic ensemble, and recently directed Arthur Miller's adaptation of An Enemy of the People for them. Also at Stage Left, Jason directed the workshop production of Underneath by Rob Smith as part of LeapFest 8, currently running.

Jen Ellison has been performing, writing and directing in Chicago for 13 years. Recent directing credits include The Lost Shakespeare Play (by Dave Stinton), Metaluna and the Amazing Science of the Mind Revue (by Joe Janes) for WNEP, Hackneyed for the Collaboraction 2008 Sketchbook, Funsplosion and Single Entendre (which most recently appeared at the TBS Just for Laughs Festival in Chicago) with Kerpatty!. Jen also wrote and directed Let There Be Light..! (Co-written with Dave Stinton in 2003) and Invasion of the Minnesota Normals, which had its Chicago premiere with WNEP in 2006 and was produced by Buzzworks of Los Angeles in March 2008. Jen currently teaches Screenwriting at DePaul University.

Jake Schneider is thrilled to be working with Joe Janes and Straw Dog again. Jake was previously in Joe's 365 Sketches last year. Since moving to Chicago in 2000 from Florissant Missouri, Jacob Schneider has improvised with Improvised Shakespeare Company, iO Theater's Armando Diaz & Del Tones, Comedy Sportz Chicago Ensemble, Second City Theatricals, and every Tuesday 10:30pm he joins his friends The Reckoning at iO. He has directed Black George, 9/11 Was An Inside The Actors Studio, and this Fall he will be directing Old Rasputin the Musical at the Annoyance. Jacob has a BFA in Theater from Webster in St. Louis. He does other stuff too.

John Hildreth is delighted to direct for the 50 Plays festival as he did last summer for the 365 Sketches festival. Recent directing credits include: Lifeline Theatre, the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Live Bait Theater, Emerald City Theatre, Theatre on the Lake, iO, Donny's Skybox Studio, The Athenaeum, and Columbia College as part of the Freshman Performance Project. John teaches in the theater department at Columbia College and for The Second City Training Center.

My Thoughts On All This

This show is made up of all original pieces written for the director and their cast.

Butterfly Collector
- This is a new piece. Many of my plays have to do with either radio - being a dj or it's a piece designed for audio - or teaching. These are two things I have done for a living and now well. This one deals with the prickly issues that arise when a college student and teacher might be interested in things other than their professional relationship. This is also the second piece to reference a butterfly. There's a third. Not sure what that means about my writing. Either something about metamorphosis of myself as a writer or I just think they're pretty.

To Be Written
- This is the 50th Play! After the opening night show, the audience is invited to stick around and watch me interview Jason Fleece and his cast. I'll then head hoe and write their play which they will perform Saturday, June 18th at 8pm.

A Love That Lasts Forever - This is a very silly piece written for some of my favorite comedic actors. Patrick Brennan cracks me up. And while I have been warned about his tendencies to have a casual relationship with scripts, I went for it any way and made him the lead. The stage directions describe him as wearing a unitard and having very pronounced testicles that are clearly outlined. If I can't get my words coming out of his mouth, I'll at least have his scripted balls.

A Place Where Two Rivers Meet
- This is a serious piece with comic elements. The bittersweet parting of ways of a married couple and who they turn to for a shoulder to cry on. Jake had expressed wanting to do something that was definitely theater - not TV or film on stage. I think this piece does it with it's unusual structure and presentation.

Summer Kisses, Winter Tears
- I won't give away the "twist" in this piece. Suffice it to say, this is a loving jab at overwrought family dramas with strong, possibly insane, mothers.

For tickets and more logistical info, click HERE!

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