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Scapi DIY Theater and Performance: May 2019

Pictured above: Nick Strauss, Brianna Joy Ford, Mac Wescott in rehearsal for Helvetica with Death & Pretzels Photo: Steve Bryant

Editor’s Note: If you would like to be featured in future Scapi upcoming monthly productions lists, please email and/or add DIY Theater and Performance Editor Danielle Levsky at danielle.levsky@gmail.com to your distribution list and send along the accessibility options that are available in your theatrical or performance art show. You must have performance ticket options available for $20 or less in order to be included in the list, for pay accessibility purposes.

Our DIY theater and performance recommendations for the month of May:

Dancing Beyond the Borderline: An Immersive Performance Experience

  • Rebuild Foundation at Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 South Stony Island Avenue
  • The South Chicago Dance Theatre’s newest work Dancing Beyond the Borderline: An Immersive Performance Experience is an interdisciplinary evening length performance. Dancing Beyond the Borderline provides first account recollections of the Great Migration, a look at life in Chicago’s infamous Black Belt through Jazz in the Alley founder Jimmy Ellis, and a forward to a celebration of resilience through Black social dances of the 1990’s. Season two marks the inaugural year of the SCDT’s diplomatic partnership with Seoul, South Korea, and features international artist in residence Joseph Kim. This project is made possible in part by the Rebuild Foundation. For one night only, Dancing Beyond the Borderline will be free and open to Rebuild Foundation’s community. This event is first-come, first-serve, RSVP does not guarantee entry.
  • This event takes place on May 2.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Pay What You Can/No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds

After

  • The Barrens Theatre Co at Berger Park Mansion, 6205 North Sheridan Road
  • What if there is no afterlife? What if, instead, when we die, there are afterlives? Will we move from one afterlife to the next? We will be limited to our first choice? Will we have a choice? Come experience a collection of artist-imagined-dreams that await us all in that final sleep of death.
  • This show runs through May 3.
  • Accessibility:
    • Pay Accessible – Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.)

SHOOT JEEZ MY GOSH

  • Butoh Chicago at No Nation Art Gallery and Tangential Unspace Lab, 1542 North Milwaukee Avenue Floor 2
  • This butoh dance performance is inspired by Henry Darger’s fantasy world that juxtaposes innocence with violence. Sounds from real battles found on the Internet are contrasted with iconic corporeal movements that represent innocence. The work attempts to pose a question to the feeling of ambivalence towards systematic violence of belief that imposes powerlessness, and simultaneously reminds of brutal terror that characterizes our epoch.
  • This event takes place on May 3.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Trigger Warning

Tippy: Stories From The River (A Staged Reading)

  • The Imposters Theatre Company, 1133 West Catalpa Avenue
  • Dear Accomplice: You are invited to join us for an afternoon of stories, sweets, and community. “They say you can see her walking across the water at night, searching for her lover. At least that’s what Kirk tells his niece and nephew one fateful summer. Between her uncle’s fables and her pressing reality, now-grown Ella keeps one eye on her childhood beliefs, and the other on the River.”
  • This event takes place on May 4.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Pay What You Can/No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds

Amazons and Lory

  • Seraphim Violet Cueller at The Martin, 2515 West North Avenue
  • Join Seraphina Violet Cueller and barripani in dropping our current paradigms at the door, and entering the rich imaginations of these two strange minds, as they take you though a full body experience of the stories that their hearts have been burning to tell. These young hungry artists want to bring you into their millennial, multi media, multi dimensional worlds. We’ll explore the unique life cycles currently revolving in our bodies through, music, dance, meditation, poetry and dancing pictures.
  • This show takes place on May 7.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Wheelchair Accessibility
    • Pay Accessible – Pay What You Can/No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds

Hypnagogic Movement Workshop

  • Khecari at Elastic Arts, 3428 West Diversey #208
  • Our movement workshop is an hour long ritual that allows participants to engage in simple movement patterns that are repetitive yet constantly evolving; evoking a low-brain, mesmerized state of mind. Guests should feel free to slip in and out of the practice on their own timing. The workshop is designed for all participants, regardless of physical ability or training.
  • This event takes place on May 7.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Free Tickets Available
    • Pay Accessible – Pay What You Can/No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds

Killed A Man (Joking) 

  • The Sound and First Floor Theater at The Den Theatre, 1331 North Milwaukee Avenue
  • Okay so Megan may have killed Trevor, but it was an accident! Or it was self-defense. Or both! But now Liv, Amanda, and Katie have to decide exactly how far they’re willing to go to help their co-worker in need. Killed a Man (Joking) is a pitch-black comedy about violence, justice, and what it really means to be a ride-or-die friend.
  • This show runs through May 8.

Life? Or Theater?

  • Links Hall, 3111 North Western Avenue
  • An exploration of how we create our lives amidst personal trauma and political chaos.
  • Based on the art of Charlotte Salomon, adapted by Charlotte Ostrow
  • This show takes place on May 8.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Trigger Warning

King Lear: A Night of Improvisational Theatre

  • Doo-Blay-Vay: A Comedy Team at Cards Against Humanity Theater, 1917 North Elston Avenue
  • Inspired by Nichols & May’s “scenario play”, King Lear attempts to transport the audience to 1950’s Chicago, when improv was in its infancy. The audience didn’t know how it worked. Neither did the players. Today, we still don’t know.
  • This show takes place on May 14.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 

The Other Face of Latin America

  • Mi Latinidad at Theater Wit, 1229 West Belmont Avenue
  • We invite you to celebrate the Latin American experience  with a night of music, dancing, poetry and stand up. We have put together a show that celebrates under represented voices that focus on what makes us Latin American.  All ticket sales will be donated to Casa Kolacho – an arts organization located in Medellin, Colombia dedicated to helping youth avoid the city’s drug and crime related past by helping fuel their artistic ventures. We can’t wait to share our stories with us!
  • This show takes place on May 14.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 

Improvius Comedius

  • Out On A Whim at Otherworld Theatre Company, 3914 North Clark Street.
  • From the team that brought you “Improvised Dungeons and Dragons” comes a new kind of magic. Improvius Comedius interprets a new ancient Greek myth every performance as a companion to Medusa Undone and Corona at Otherworld Theatre Company. New and old gods intervene as our hero stumbles through a comical adventure of epic proportions. This production features fully masked chorus work, beautiful Greek music, and talent from the Out On A Whim ensemble. 
  • This show runs through May 17.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Pay What You Can/No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds
    • Audio Description

I bet you think this dance is about you

  • Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, 1650 West Foster Avenue
  • i bet you think this dance is about you depicts the inside of one’s mind and the voices – the good, the bad, and the ugly – stuck within. The work asks to understand how our individual perceptions drive and shape our realities. i bet you think this dance is about you takes you on the journey of shifting perceptions, uncovering truths and finding happiness. Artistic Director, Sara Maslanka, and ensemble devise movement and text through visual games, poetry, and unsent letters.
  • This show runs through May 18.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Trigger Warning
    • Pay Accessible – Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.)
    • Accessible Print (18 pt. or Larger)

I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard

  • First Floor Theatre, 1333 North Milwaukee Avenue
  • Ella is a precocious and fiercely competitive actress whose sole aim in life is making her famous playwright father, David, proud. Over the course of a boozy evening, Ella and David deliberate over whether to read the reviews of her Off-Broadway debut…and things unravel from there…
  • This show runs through May 18.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Accessible Print (18 pt. or Larger)
    • Wheelchair Accessibility
    • Pay Accessible – Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.)

Parched: Stories of Water, Pollution and Theft

  • Free Street Theater, 1419 West Blackhawk Street, 3rd Floor of the Pulaski Park Field House
  • Free Street Theater Youth Ensemble at Pulaski Park has been in development of their original piece, PARCHED: Stories of Water, Pollution, and Theft. The teens aim to expose these injustices, while reflecting on the beauty and power of water, and investigating “When did water become a privilege?” The youth ensemble presents their mainstage production under the direction of Katrina Dion, assistant direction from Zandra Starks and Will Pettway, and the design support from Eleanor Khan, Cassandra Kendall, Andres Lemus-Spont, Jacqui Guerrero (Cqqchifruit), and Uriel Gomez.
  • This show runs through May 18.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Free Tickets Available
    • Pay Accessible – Pay What You Can/No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds

Feminist Comedy Night!

  • USNC for UN Women at Zanies Comedy Club Chicago, 1548 North Wells Street
  • The USNC-UN Women Chicago Chapter is celebrating its 5th birthday this May by partnering with ZANIES for a one-of-a-kind Feminist Comedy Night in support of UN Women! Afterwards, the comedians will participate on a panel discussion on issues surrounding comedy and feminism.
  • This event takes place on May 20.

The Lessons

  • The Passage Theatre at Berry United Methodist Church, 4754 North Leavitt Street
  • THE LESSONS is a collection of solo performances written and devised by the ensemble, with each piece offering a slice of the performer’s personal history. They ask, “How did you get here?”, and seek to offer answers in the reflections.
  • This show runs through May 25.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 
    • Pay Accessible – Pay What You Can/No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

  • Bower Theatre Ensemble at Otherworld Theatre Company, 3914 North Clark Street
  • Buzz buzz. A text alert glows in the darkness. Your breath hitches, knowing that your confidant, your best friend, your cellphone holds a treasure just for you. A secret, a thought formed into being with the gentle tap, tap, taps of the sender’s fingers. The glow touches your face and in that moment everything but the fingers and the glow and the buzz buzz falls away. You are struck still with a feeling that for so long you have yearned to hold: that to someone out there you are special, you are seen, you are wanted. It’s just so easy to reply. But what if it’s your teacher?
  • This show runs through May 25.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Trigger Warning

Take Care

  • Ground Level Platform, 98 North La Salle Street
  • The act of letter-writing has long served the purpose of addressing a recipient, preserving a memory, or divulging a sentiment. Drawing from personal exchanges and revelations, found family films and correspondence between famed lovers, Take Care, invites viewers to consider intimacy in its various forms—its relation to oneself, romantic relationships, place, and the practice of writing. Together, the artists examine what happens between the written word, the medium, the composer, the language, the recipient, and the both distant and intimate act of crafting such messages. Simultaneously, they ask viewers to witness and slip into these roles, to become voyeurs as much as recipients of these exchanges, sentimental objects, and nostalgic reflections. 
  • This event runs through May 25.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Free Tickets Available

Helvetica 

  • Death & Pretzels, 4001 North Ravenswood Avenue
  • Helvetica Burke was one of the most famous and respected children’s authors in the world. Her books had captivated millions, but the life she led wasn’t quite a storybook affair. Through the eyes of her beloved stuffed bear, Myron, we see the three women she was – the past, present, and future of the person no one knew.
  • This show runs through June 1.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.)
    • Audio Description
    • Assistive Listening Systems (Available Upon Early Request)

Mad Hip Beat & Gone

  • Promethean Theatre Ensemble at The Edge Theater Off-Broadway, 1133 West Catalpa Avenue
  • Steven Dietz’s play considers 1950s America, when magnificent poets roamed open highways, accompanied by jukebox jazz. The nation’s youth hit the road, high on full tanks of gas and brimming with unattainable dreams. Two magnificently average young men from Nebraska encounter Jack Kerouac and his friends in a bar. They respond by heading west themselves, trailing the Beat poets all the way to the golden land of California. Youthful exuberance is balanced by the untethered floundering of the older generation and their bittersweet knowledge that all dreams are fleeting. MAD BEAT HIP & GONE marries the realism and sharp dialogue for which Dietz is famous, with the achingly brilliant poetry of the Beat Generation. It’s a road trip you won’t want to miss.
  • This show runs through June 1.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 

The Mushroom Cure

  • The Marsh and Greenhouse Theater Center at The Greenhouse Theater Center’s Downstairs Main Stage, 2257 North Lincoln Avenue
  • Inspired by a scientific study showing that hallucinogenic mushrooms may cure obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Adam Strauss embarked on a program of vigilante psychopharmacology. The true tale of Strauss’ hilarious, harrowing and heartrending attempts to treat his debilitating OCD with psychedelics, THE MUSHROOM CURE was named a Critics’ Pick by Time Out New York, which praised it as “riveting… true-life tour de force” and hailed by The New York Times as “mining a great deal of laughter from disabling pain.”
  • This show runs through June 9.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 
    • Wheelchair Accessibility

The Crowd You’re In With

  • AstonRep Theatre Company at The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 North Clark Street
  • A backyard barbeque is the perfect place to tackle life’s big questions: Is the chicken done? Does the band need a new tune? Is this the right time to have a baby? Gilman’s fresh and moving play takes an intimate look at modern families, friendships and the ins and outs of love.
  • This show runs through June 16.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 

THE UNDENIABLE SOUND OF RIGHT NOW

  • Raven Theatre at Raven Theatre’s East Stage, 6157 North Clark Street
  • Chicago, 1992. The city and its culture are changing, but grungy old Hank’s Bar isn’t. The “soulless” noise of electronic music is on the rise. Hank, proprietor of a legendary rock club, must battle the rising tide of The Next Big Thing as it threatens to destroy his legacy and fracture his family.
  • This show runs through June 16.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 
      • “Under 30 Thursday”
    • Touch Tours
    • Opened Captioning (OC)
    • Wheelchair accessibility

Open Company Class

  • Lucky Plush Productions at Extensions Dance Studio, 3933 North Elston
  • Join us for a weekly open class that draws upon Lucky Plush’s unique brand of dance-theater! The class will start with a structured 30 minute improvisation that focuses on preparing the body for bigger movement. We then move into phrase-work that builds upon our current creative research. The class is suited for intermediate and experienced dancers and actors with a physical practice.
  • This event runs through June 26.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 

It Is Magic

  • Theater Oobleck at Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division Street
  • In the basement of the Mortier Civic Playhouse, auditions are underway for an as-of-yet untitled adaptation for adult audiences of The Three Little Pigs by Deborah Chandler. Upstairs, preparations are underway for opening night of the Scottish play. Something wicked this way comes.
  • This show runs through June 29.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Pay Accessible – Pay What You Can/No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds

Queen of the Mist

  • Firebrand Theatre at The Den Theatre’s Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1331 North Milwaukee Avenue
  • QUEEN OF THE MIST is based on the astounding and outrageous true story of Anna (Annie) Edson Taylor, who in 1901 set out to be the first person to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel of her own design. Navigating both the treacherous Falls and a fickle public with a ravenous appetite for sensationalism, this unconventional heroine vies for her legacy in a world clamoring with swindling managers, assassins, revolutionaries, moralizing family, anarchists and activists. With a soaring score that incorporates turn of the century themes with LaChiusa’s signature complexity and insight, QUEEN OF THE MIST is the story of a single great fall, and how one woman risked death so that she could live.
  • This show runs through July 6.
  • Accessibility Options:
    • Wheelchair Accessibility
    • Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 

Key to our Symbols for Accessibility:

  • Wheelchair Accessibility 
  • Audio Description         
  • Closed Captioning (CC) 
  • Opened Captioning (OC) 
  • Assistive Listening Systems 
  • Sign Language Interpretation 
  • Accessible Print (18 pt. or Larger) 
  • Pay Accessible
    • Pay What You Can/No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds
    • Free Tickets Available
    • Discounted Pricing (Student, Industry, Senior, etc.) 
  • Trigger Warning 

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