June 12 - 16
The New Colony
The Bear Suit of Happiness by Evan Linder
Conceived and Directed by Sean Kelly
In 1943, Woody, a young gay American, enlists in the army. After being shipped to a remote Pacific Island, he is given an order: “Put up a show to entertain the men. Keep it simple. Needs music. And they like drag.” Woody becomes a one-man war as he fights to write a show worthy of his fellows’ last laughs. Torn between fantasy and reality, his silly camp show grows to be a dream of an impossibly hospitable world.
June 19 – 23
Blackademics by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Shepsu Aakhu and Marie Cisco
Two female African-American scholars break down ideas while breaking bread, celebrating black history month in their favorite bistro. They become deeply engrossed in spirited discourse, weaving personal and political, academic and pop culture, and boasts and criticisms. This metaphysical comedy dramatizes one of our longest running debates: what does it mean to be a Black in America?
June 26 – June 30
Lula del Ray based on original text by Brendan Hill - Family friendly
Designed and Directed by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller
This feature-length shadow play is performed with overhead projectors, shadow puppets, actors in silhouette, live music and almost entirely without dialogue. When Lula, a lonely adolescent girl, discovers a soulful country music duo on the radio, she leaves home and enters a world of danger and deception to find them. Lula del Ray is a mythic reinvention of a classic coming-of-age story.
July 10 – 14
There Is a Happiness That Morning Is by Mickle Maher
This comedy in rhymed verse unfolds via two lectures on the poetry of William Blake: one given by a middle-aged, barely published poet of scant scholarship, and the other by his lover, a reputable Ph.D. Having just engaged in a highly inappropriate public display of affection, the two undergraduate lecturers must now either apologize for their behavior, or justify it if they want to keep their jobs.
July 17 – 21
Barrel of Monkeys
That’s Weird, Grandma by student authors; adapted by ensemble - Family friendly
Barrel of Monkeys is an ensemble of actors/educators who hold creative writing workshops with Chicago Public School students and perform these imaginative stories. The result is smart and funny, hailed by chicagotheater.com as “part pep rally, part musical theater extravaganza - and one of the most real, uplifting and engaging theatrical experiences in town.”
July 24 – 28
The Den Theatre
The Quality of Life by Jane Anderson
Directed by Lia Mortensen
Red and blue state worlds collide in this compassionate and humorous drama that confronts the human challenge of losing a loved one. After the death of their daughter, church-going conservatives visit left-wing cousins who continue to celebrate life despite hard times. But sympathy turns to rage when religious and moral values about life and death are put to the ultimate test.
July 31 – Aug. 4
Long Way Go Down by Zayd Dohrn
Directed by Kaiser Ahmed
An imaginary line at the edge of America fosters a dangerous story of trust between two truckers and two Mexican immigrants smuggled into Arizona. In a business this dangerous, someone has to pay up. Fast-paced and sharp-tongued, this play is a poignant reminder that life requires large sacrifices for large changes.
Aug. 7 – 11
Chicago Physical Theater
The Chi-Town Clown Revuefeaturing Honeybuns
Conceived by Dean Evans
This special edition of Chi-Town Clown Revue’s visceral, hilarious, and unrepeatable theatrical event features Honeybuns, a gigantic creature billed as "The World's Greatest Mime." To share space with Honeybuns is to experience a highly physical, interactive piece of performance art that has impressions of mime, improv, and electro shock treatment with physical comedians and circus clowns.