A picnic and a performance
Steel Beam Theatre stages "Icarus' Mother," Sam Shepard's apocalyptic one-act from 1965 about five people on a holiday picnic and the underlying tension that intensifies as they await a fireworks display. The performance/fundraiser includes a picnic dinner courtesy of Geneva eateries Noodles and Company and The Spice House.
The picnic begins at 7 p.m. The performance follows at 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 12-13, at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. $45. (630) 945-0052 or steelbeamtheatre.com.
The Arc Theatre brings its abridged adaptation of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" to Evanston's Ridgeville Park as part of its fourth "Shakespeare on the Ridge" series, a collaboration between the theater and the Ridgeville Park District. Arc artistic director and co-founder Mark Boergers directs the free production. Performances run weekends through Aug. 4.
7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, at 908 Seward St., Evanston. Free. See arctheatrechicago.org for details.
Bikinis and the Bard
Beach party movies from the 1960s inspired Oak Park Festival Theatre's production of "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare's comedy about disguises, mistaken identities and unrequited love in which the shipwrecked Viola disguises herself as a boy and places herself in service of the Duke, whom she promptly falls in love with. The problem is, the Duke is in love with Olivia, who is smitten with the Duke's new servant, the disguised Viola.
Previews begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Austin Gardens, 160 N. Forest Ave., Oak Park. The show opens July 20. $15-$25. (708) 445-4440 or oakparkfestival.com.
• Redmoon Theatre hosts a summer poetry and drum event Urban Interventions 2013, held at various Chicago parks and the latest Redmoon contraption The Sonic Boom, beginning Friday, July 12, at Sherman Park, 1301 W. 52nd St., Chicago. The 45-minute event -- featuring DJ Such and Such, emcee Lamar Jordan, Malcolm London, Milo and Otis and the Bucket Boys -- runs from 5 to 9 p.m. See redmoon.org for upcoming performances.
• Previews begin Friday, July 12, for Victory Gardens Theater's world premiere of "Mojada," by associate artist Luis Alfaro ("Oedipus el Rey"). Artistic director Chay Yew directs the drama -- a re-imagining of "Medea" set in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood -- as a way of examining issues of immigration and race. The show opens Monday, July 22, at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.
• Collaboraction Theatre Company teams up with the Chicago Park District for a summer tour of its hit show "Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology," which uses news reports and interviews to re-enact true crimes as a way of examining poverty, segregation, violence and the role the media plays in reporting these incidents. Performances take place Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13, at LeClaire-Hearst Park, 5120 W. 44th St. Performances continue July 26-27, at Sherman Park, 1301 W. 52nd St.; Aug. 16-17, at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St.; and Aug. 23-24 at Austin Town Park, 5610 W. Lake St., Admission is free. (312) 226-9633 or collaboraction.org.
• Gorilla Tango Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, presents an adults-only magic, hypnosis and comedy show at 9 p.m. Friday, July 12. Gordon Edmund stars in his namesake show "Gordon Edmund: Out of His Mind and Into Yours," Fridays through Aug. 2. (847) 677-7761 or gorillatango.com.
• The Actors Training Center at the Wilmette Theatre presents a limited engagement of the new musical "13," about a teen who, after moving from his small-town, Indiana home to New York after his parents divorce, attempts to adjust to his new life. Performances are at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, at 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette. (847) 251-7424 or wilmettetheatre.com.
• Jeff Award-winner Rachel Rockwell directs and choreographs Chicago Shakespeare Theater's family-friendly, 75-minute production of "Shrek the Musical," inspired by the film about an ogre who agrees to rescue a princess from a dragon in an attempt to keep his swamp home. Performances begin Saturday, July 13, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com. In other CST news, the theater's original musical "Murder for Two," by composer/writer Joe Kinosian and lyricist Kellen Blair will open off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre on Thursday, July 25. After the Q Brothers' "Othello: The Remix" concludes its extended CST run on Saturday, July 27, the production travels to South Korea where it will be staged as part of that country's Daejeon Arts and Culture Festival, after which it returns to London's Unicorn Theatre on Sept. 12. Lastly, CST's "Cadre," a coproduction with the Market Theatre of Johannesburg and Richard Jordan Productions, opened recently in South Africa as part of the National Arts Festival.
• Filament Theatre Ensemble partners with WLUW radio personality Tom Jackson for a free concert Saturday, July 13, at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. New Orleans singer/songwriters Paul Sanchez, Davis Rogan and Alex McMurray headline. Donations accepted. (773) 270-1660 or filamenttheatre.org.
• The 61st season of Theater on the Lake continues Wednesday, July 17, at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Michigan, in Chicago with "That's Weird, Grandma," a Barrel of Monkeys' family-friendly show adapted by ensemble members from works by Chicago students. Performances run through Sunday, July 21. (312) 742-7994 or chicagoparkdistrict.com.
• Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member William Petersen ("CSI") stars with Rae Gray in the Chicago area premiere of Greg Pierce's "Slowgirl." Fellow ensemble member Randall Arney directs the drama about a girl who flees to her uncle's remote Costa Rican home after she's suspended from high school in the wake of an accident during a Massachusetts house party. Previews begin Thursday, July 18, at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. The show opens July 28. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
• American Theater Company hosts a happy hour fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Dick's Last Resort, 315 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Tickets are $50 per person for the event which features live and silent auctions. Proceeds benefit play development and student outreach. (773) 409-4125 or atcweb.org.
• Writers Theatre has extended its production of David Ives' "The Liar," adapted from Pierre Corneille's 17th century French farce about a wealthy dissembler who spins yarns about everything from his nonexistent wartime service to his romantic conquests. Performances continue through Aug. 11, at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.
• Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre has extended its production of "A Cole Porter Songbook." Performances continue through Sept. 1 at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. Fred Anzevino directs the production which features music from "Anything Goes," "Kiss Me Kate" and "Cancan." (800) 595-4849 or theo-u.com.
• About Face Theatre has extended its production of Alexi Kay Campbell's "The Pride," a time-shifting drama examining the evolution of the gay rights movement from 1958 to 2008, through two couples. Performances continue through Saturday, July 27, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Linocln Ave., Chicago. (773) 871-3000 or aboutfacetheatre.com.
• Team StarKid, the ensemble now based in Chicago that got its start online in 2009, recounts the story of Aladdin from the perspective of Jafar, in its latest production "Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier," by writers Matt Lang, Nick Lang and Eric Kahn Gale, with music by A.J. Holmes and lyrics by Kaley McMahon. The show runs through Sunday, July 28, at the Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 404-7336 or greenhousetheater.org or teamstarkid.com.
• The League of Chicago Theatres has expanded its Hot Tix half-price ticket program with a new walk-up location. The new Hot Tix location opens this month in the Block Thirty Seven shopping and entertainment complex at 108 N. State St., Chicago. Hot Tix outlets are also located at the Chicago Cultural Center, 72 E. Randolph St., Chicago and the Water Tower Works Visitor Information Center, 163 E. Pearson. See hottix.org or chicagoplays.com.
• Red Tape Theatre announced that Brandon Ray has taken over as the company's new artistic director. Ray served as the first artistic director of New Leaf Theatre, where he directed several productions. He takes over for James D. Palmer who leaves to begin MFA studies at Brown University. Ray praised Red Tape's commitment to its community in a prepared statement saying "I cannot express the high regard with which I hold Red Tape's deeply talented ensemble and staff."