Tuesday, June 21, 2011

50 Plays - June 24, 2011 8:00pm

First show of the second weekend and, WOW, this bad boy is packed! Due to a scheduling snafu, there will be six plays in the 8pm show. If you're looking to get the most value for your ten bucks, this is it! Plus, some of these pieces run longer than ten minutes. You may actually make money from your ten dollar investment!

Friday, June 24 8pm

Jazz Hands and Gypsy Heart – An Evening with Harmony Bell – director: Jessica Hutchinson – cast: Marsha Harmon

Chet and the Devil I – director: Ric Walker – cast: Lily Stephens, Julia Lippert, Demian Krentz, Harrison Pak, Sarah Soskin, Michael Menconi

Creepy That Way – director: Marissa McKown – cast: Brian Shaw, Blayne Greiner, Anne Sunseri, Elizabeth Vanderhoof

Chet and the Devil 2 – director: Ric Walker – cast: cast: Lily Stephens, Julia Lippert, Demian Krentz, Harrison Pak, Sarah Soskin, Michael Menconi

Belmont– director: Hank Hilbert – cast: Peyton Daley, Michael Pieper

Rover from Dover – director: Rich Cotovsky – cast: Rudy Galvan, Dereck Garner, Dan Behrendt

Chet and the Devil 3 – director: Ric Walker – cast: Lily Stephens, Julia Lippert, Demian Krentz, Harrison Pak, Sarah Soskin, Michael Menconi

W.R.Y. – director: Jonathan Hirsch – cast: John Mobley, Brittany Townsley, Breanan Roach

The Directors

Jessica Hutchinson is the artistic director of New Leaf Theatre. Her directing credits include The Dining Room, Six Years, Touch, The Man Who Was Thursday (New Leaf), Orange Flower Water (BackStage Theatre), Hideous Progeny (LiveWire Chicago Theatre. Her latest work with New Leaf, Lighthousekeeping, runs at the DCA Storefront Theatre through July 17.

Ric Walker is thrilled to be a part of this festival. You may have seen Ric at the Steppenwolf or Goodman Theatres where he is a frequent patron. Ric is proud of his work and association with such groups as The Improvised Shakespeare Company, 2nd Story and The Second City. Ric would like to thank Nevena Todorovic, Tonette Novarro, and especially his cast not only for their hard work, fun and dedication which they brought to the project but also for being at least 10% better looking than other casts.

Marissa McKown
has worked with Strawdog Theater Company, City Lit, Free Street Theater, and with former Wooster Group member Michael Stumm among others. Marissa's personal favorite production was Hunky Dory, a play inspired by the David Bowie album of the same name. Actually, almost every show she works on is her favorite. Currently Marissa is working on her artistic collective (GAAC) and is assisting Ann Filmer on Stations Lost and begining rehearsals for Global, which is part of Jackalope's Living Newspapers short plays festival.

Hank Hilbert
is delighted to be a part of 50 Plays. Peyton got to know our amazing writer as his AD in the workshop/show/book, Process. She most recently played Blanche in Streetcar this past April. Michael Pieper is the Head and creator of Second City 's Acting Program where Hank and Peyton teach. We are thrilled to bring to life Belmont were beginnings are endings and endings are new beginnings.

Richard Cotovsky
is a founding member of Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. He has directed multitudinous plays at Mary-Arrchie including Detective Story, Saved, A Bright Room Called Day, The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui, The Job, Birdsend for which he recieved an After Dark Award, and Freedom of The City for which he received a Joseph Jefferson Citation. He has also directed for A Red Orchid Theatre, Live Bait Theatre, The Irish American Heritage Center, and Profiles Theatre Co. He has been known as an actor and has recently been seen in The Homecoming at Mary-Arrchie. He did perform in a play a The Rhinoceros Theatre Festival with Joe Janes in a show called Underground (editor's note: This is true! I played George Wallace. Governor George Wallace. Who died while we were in rehearsals. We didn't change a damn thing.)

Jonathan Hirsch
is originally form Canada, He will be graduating from Columbia this coming July from the directing program. Jonathan is also an alumnus of CalArts, where he studied in the design program. His recent directing credits include: Mud by Maria Irene Fornes, That Other Person by David Lindsey Abaire. Recent producing credits include: Playing in repertory, House by Daniel Macivor and Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett presented in Toronto Canada.

Why should you see this show?
Holy, balls, this show is so loaded with talent we should be charging you ten bucks every two minutes. It's ridiculous. You at least owe me a favor. We can work out the details, later.

Jazz Hands and Gypsy Heart – An Evening with Harmony Bell
- I had a blast writing this one. Marsha is one of my favorite actors and, for being how funny she is, just doesn't get cast enough in comedies. Jess is also one of my favorite directors, so it's a pleasure to be working with her. This is a one-woman show that's a riff on Elaine Stritch, if Elaine weren't well known or especially talented. Anyone who has seen a lot of my work knows I have a soft spot for big egos to go with their big delusions.

Chet and the Devil I, II & III
- This one of my favorites from 365 Sketches and is directed by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Ric Walker. I like this one because it takes a classic (read, perhaps, cliche) comic situation - a devil and an angel on one's shoulders at a time of a major decision - and takes it in an unexpected direction.

Creepy That Way -
This is a piece I wrote for AbbieFest last year. It's quite possible you didn't see it at 2am on a Sunday morning last summer. Here's your chance to see it and with one of my favorite actors/teachers, Brain Shaw. I was thrilled when i found out he was doing this. Some loose trivia to throw around, Brian's lovely wife Stephanie was originally asked to direct this last year and Rich Cotovsky, one of the 8pm directors, produces AbbieFest. But what about the piece itself? It's the first thing I wrote after 365 Sketches. I wanted to let loose with one of the sickest, crazy things I could muster. I think it's funny and evil and dabbles in grand guignol. Enjoy!

- Belmont is from 365 Sketches. It's one of the first strictly two-person scenes I ever wrote. It's origins go back to a class I took at Chicago Dramatists years ago. When I rewrote it for 365, Peyton read it and really liked it. I proposed her doing it for 50 Plays which is how it ended up here. Both she and Michael are instructors at The Second City Training Center. Happy to see them on stage and performing together.

Rover from Dover
- Holy cow, Rich Cotovsky is in da houze! Thrilled to have Rich be a part of 50 Plays. This play was written for him and his cast. It was an interesting interview process. I usually end by asking what people are a geek about. I typically get answers like Battlestar Gallactica, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Star Trek, etc. You know, the stuff I would say! With these guys I got things like Pinter, dramas about families falling apart, characters really struggling with sanity. Loved it.

- This is a Mad Men inspired piece I wrote for one of the Columbia 24-Hour New Plays Festivals. I'm not sure why it didn't end up in 365. Maybe I felt it was too stylized. I'm glad it's here. Jonathan stepped in to replace a director who had to leave the state. I have seen Jonathan's work and his attention to detail is amazing. Looking forward to seeing what he does with this.

For tickets and more logistical info, click HERE.