Spotlight: Otherworld Theatre names new interim literary director

  • Otherworld Theatre Company, an ensemble devoted to science fiction and fantasy, named playwright Derek McPhatter as interim literary director.

    Otherworld Theatre Company, an ensemble devoted to science fiction and fantasy, named playwright Derek McPhatter as interim literary director.

 
 
Posted5/22/2020 6:00 AM

Virtual play lab

Kane Repertory Theater, a St. Charles company comprised of Northern Illinois University graduates, announced the establishment of its New Play Lab, a virtual play development initiative to assist playwrights with in-progress works. The theater will stream virtual readings of in-development works beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, on YouTubeLive.com. Type in Kane Repertory Theater to access the reading.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The plays selected for the New Play Lab include: "Sputnik in Suburbia" by Adam Kraar (May 27); "Midwest Porn" by Quincy Long (June 3); "Ghost Stories" by Lia Romeo (June 10) and "Invasions and Penetrations" by Mike Solomonson (June 17). The livestream is free, but donations will be accepted.

Broadway tour news

Broadway in Chicago recently announced that "Six," the rousing pop and hip-hop revue chronicling the lives of Henry VIII's six wives originally scheduled to return to Chicago this summer, will instead return in the fall. The show will play an extended run at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place beginning Nov. 24. However, BIC notes performances are contingent upon Chicago Department of Public Health, Illinois Department of Public Health, and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and recommendations.

In other Broadway in Chicago news, "The Choir of Man," "The Office! A Musical Parody" and "The Crown -- Live" -- all scheduled to run at the Broadway Playhouse in February 2021 -- have been canceled. The 2021 Broadway tryout of "Some Like It Hot," the new musical adapted from Billy Wilder's 1959 comedy, has also been canceled.

Ticketholders will receive refunds at the point of purchase. Theatergoers who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster should see ticketmaster.com. Theatergoers who purchased tickets through Broadway in Chicago should email customerservice@broadwayinchicago.com about refunds. Season subscribers should email subscriptions@broadwayinchicago.com.

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Pride in Place

Pride Films and Plays presents the next in its Pride in Place series of live online readings of LGBTQ-themed works at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28. The play, "A Late Snow" by Jane Chambers, unfolds at a remote cabin in Maine where lesbian college professor Ellie (Dina Monk) and several of her current and former lovers are trapped during a snowstorm. Tickets are $10. They're available at (773) 857-0222 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

Digital shift

While Otherworld Theatre Company, an ensemble that specializes in science fiction and fantasy, announced it will switch to "100% digital for the foreseeable future," ensemble members aren't giving up on live theater. To that end, the company announced the appointment of playwright Derek McPhatter as interim literary manager. The company is also seeking submissions for its annual short-play Paragon festival, which has showcased nearly 200 plays since its inception six years ago. See otherworldtheatre.org/work-with-us for guidelines.

In other theater news

• Sunday, May 24, marks the final performance of Theater Wit's oft-extended virtual production of "Teenage Dick," Mike Lew's dark comedy inspired by William Shakespeare's "Richard III" about a high school student with cerebral palsy who's determined to become class president. Remote viewings are at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $25. (773) 975-8150 or theaterwit.org.

• The video version of Adventure Stage Chicago's 2014 production of "Spark" is available online through Monday, May 25, at adventurestage.org/spark. Written by Tom Arvetis and directed by Rives Collins, the family-friendly, sci-fi tale is about a girl named Pandora who begins to question what she's been told about her underground community The Sanctuary after she meets a couple of Outliers who live above ground.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Connective Theatre Company hosts virtual readings of short plays centered on the environment and nature as part of its "Play(s) at Home: A Green Theatre Festival." See the free streamings at connectivetheatrecompany.com.

• Child's Play Touring Theatre, a Chicago ensemble devoted to entertaining and educating young people, has made its 2018 album "The Greatest Hits Vol. 1" accessible on Spotify.

• Goodman Theatre announced the postponement of its four remaining 2020-2021 productions in accordance with the ongoing stay-at-home orders issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those productions include: "School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play" by Jocelyn Bioh; "Molly Sweeney" by Brian Friel; "American Mariachi" by José Cruz González; and the premiere musical adaptation of "The Outsiders," based on S.E. Hinton's novel and Francis Ford Coppola's film. "As difficult as this decision was to make, and as disappointing as it is for our artists who have invested so much in these productions, it's undoubtedly the right one as we continue to prioritize health and safety during these challenging times," said artistic director Robert Falls in a prepared statement. Ticket holders can apply the price of a ticket to a future production or receive a refund. Call the box office at (312) 443-3800 between noon and 3 p.m. daily or email the box office at boxoffice@goodmantheatre.org.

Season announcement

Victory Gardens Theater announced its 2020-2021 season will begin Sept. 18 with the Chicago premiere of "Poor Yella Rednecks," Qui Nguyen's play that begins six years after his dramedy "Vietgone" ends. The sequel is about Vietnam immigrant Quang, his wife, Tong, and their child, whose lives are upended when Quang's first wife appears. That's followed by the premiere of Ali Viterbi's "In Every Generation" (Nov. 13-Dec. 13), about a family whose Passover celebration sparks trauma rooted in race and religion. Next up is "Exit Strategy" (Jan. 29-Feb. 28, 2021). The second play in Chicago writer Ike Holter's seven-play "Rightlynd Saga," it's about teachers and students fighting to save their underfunded, underperforming school. Set to run April 9 through May 16, 2021, is the Chicago premiere of Erika Dickerson-Despenza's "cullud wattah." The play is a based-on-fact drama about a General Motors employee living in Flint, Michigan, in 2016 who is struggling with lead-tainted water poisoning her family and a secret that threatens them and their city. The season concludes with the Chicago premiere of "Heroes of the Fourth Turning," Will Arbery's drama about "a search for spiritual clarity that descends into chaos" after four young conservatives return to their Catholic alma mater. It runs June 11 to July 11, 2021. Performances take place at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Season subscriptions start at $105. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.

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