Spotlight: First Folio debuts bedtime stories series for kids
First Folio storytellers
First Folio Theatre resumes its online reading series of poems and stories and introduces a new version devoted to bedtime stories. While co-founder/executive director David Rice and actor/musician Robert Cornelius meditate on Valentine's Day, artistic associate Michael Goldberg reads selections from "Uncle Wiggily's Adventures" by Howard R. Garis as part of First Folio's new bedtime stories series for ages 2 and older.
Streaming free online through July 15. See firstfolio.org.
Chicago Theater Week
Chicago Theater Week 2021 will focus on encouraging theater lovers to support city and suburban theaters and inviting them to experience the virtual content some theaters have produced.
"While nothing can truly replace in-person performances, theatres across Chicagoland have been finding new ways to produce their art. This year, we invite the community to engage with their favorite companies -- or discover new ones -- during Theatre Week," said Deb Clapp, executive director of the League of Chicago Theatres in a prepared statement. "Until we can welcome audiences back into our theatres, we invite you to learn about, engage with, and support Chicago theatres during Chicago Theatre Week 2021."
Thursday, Feb. 25, through Sunday, March 7. The public is encouraged to donate the amount they would have spent on tickets to theaters. Participating theaters will be listed beginning Feb. 25 at chicagotheatreweek.com.
In other news
• Eclectic Full Contact Theatre continues its Half Hour Audio Hour series showcasing works written and directed by women, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ artists with "Death and Grandmother Choi" by Nina Ki. Set in postwar Korea, the play is about an elderly woman who meets a stranger who forces her to confront the consequences of her past. The audio drama is available through March 13 at eclectic-theatre.com.
• "The Cabinet," an adaptation of Redmoon Theater's 2005 production of the same name (based on the film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"), marks the debut of Phonophobia, the new radio department of the artistic collective known as Cabinet of Curiosity. A horror radio show, "The Cabinet" is about a murderous sleepwalker. It will be available online from Sunday, Feb. 21, through March 20 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the film's premiere. Tickets are $15 and allow access to the show for 24 hours. See cocechicago.com/radio/thecabinet.
• Victory Gardens Theater in association with Geva Theatre Center present a streaming production of "Where Did We Sit on the Bus?," Glenview native Brian Quijada's autobiographical solo play about growing up Latino. The Joseph Jefferson Award-winning show premiered in 2016 at Teatro Vista. It was remounted and recorded during VGT's 2017 "Up Close and Personal" series. Tickets are $30, $10 for students. The production streams from Monday, Feb. 22, through March 13 at victorygardens.org or gevatheatre.org.
• The Museum of Contemporary Art presents "Primer for an Impossible Conversation," a virtual, multidisciplinary examination of race by David Neumann, Marcella Murray and Tei Blow that unfolds in conversation with Chicago cultural critic Mikki Kendall. The performance, which is partially livestreamed and partially recorded, takes place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23. Admission is pay-what-you-can. (312) 397-4010 or mcachicago.org.
• Scenes from the eight semifinalist plays selected for Definition Theatre's new play commission program Amplify will be showcased over two nights. Filmed in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines, the scenes will be followed by an interview with the playwright and will be streamed at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 24-25. Amplify was established to provide writers, particularly underrepresented writers, with the resources to create new works during the pandemic. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. They're available at definitiontheatre.org.
• TimeLine Theatre Company named Tiffany Fulson, a former TimeLine teaching artist and education assistant, to the new full-time position of artistic producer of innovative partnerships. Fulson will be responsible for expanding programming diversity and community programming.
• Stage Left Theatre has named director/educator Bobbi Masters as its new literary manager responsible for assisting in the development of new works.
• Underscore Theatre Company recently established Underscore Develops to assist writers and composers virtually in the development of new musicals. The musicals selected include: "Swan Lake," a feminist retelling of the ballet by Dani Shoulman and Erin Hoerchler; "Ripped," about the five prostitutes murdered by Jack the Ripper, by Andrew Baumer and Juliet Kapanjie; and "Baked! The Musical" about a high school overachiever who teams up with the class degenerate to establish a high school drug empire, by Deepak Kumar and Jordan Liu.
• Sideshow Theatre Company announced its all-digital 2021 season will commence at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, with a streaming fundraiser that includes an archival recording of 2018's "You For Me For You," Mia Chung's play about two sisters who plan an elaborate escape from North Korea but are separated at the border. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, with meal add-ons $40. The season also includes a July 13 performance of "Drive-In at the End of the World" by Preston Choi. The play was developed through Sideshow's new works development program. The season also marks the debut of the Sideshow House Party Series, which includes five readings of plays by favorite Sideshow writers. The readings are March 19, April 23, May 21, Aug. 20 and Sept. 17. For details, see sideshowtheatre.org.