Newly formed Focal Point Theatre Company has announced the start of their first season. Opening this season will be a benefit performance: The Against Type Project. The season will continue with the Chicago Premiere of Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie. The inaugural season will be rounded out by the devised theatre piece You Make Me. Individual tickets may be purchased online at www.focalpointtheatre.com.
Focal Point Theatre Company (FPTC) was formed in the spring of 2010, by local theatre artists Melissa Albertario, Morgan Manasa, Jason Peck, and Hayley L. Rice. FPTC was founded with the philosophy that theatrical success is built on the mutual benefit of all involved. Their mission states that they are committed to creating high-caliber, evocative and challenging work through an alliance of creative artists and performers, while upholding exceptional values and demonstrating a win-win strategy for cross-promotion with their community, friends and partners. Simply put - their focus is on the theatre they do, as well as the way they do theatre.
Artistic Director Melissa Albertario hails from the Chicago suburb of Deerfield. Melissa holds an MFA in theatre directing from the University of Essex in London and a BA in theatre from SIU Carbondale. She trained at the prestigious Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) in Moscow. Melissa is also the Literary Manager and a Resident Director with Chicago's 20% Theatre Company, where she recently directed her original adaptation of Electra & Orestes as well as ChuckleChips by Wendy Schmidt (Snapshots 2011). Other credits include Focal Point Theatre Company's production of David Ives' All in the Timing and Prometheus Bound with Keyhole Theatre (Curator's Choice Award Winner for Drama, Around the Coyote Festival). Melissa has also directed and taught throughout the Chicagoland area with the Evanston Arts Depot, Lake Forest College, and Wright College.
Managing Director Morgan Manasa is a Detroit native and a graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts and Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University with a BFA in acting. She's performed and worked with such companies as Babes with Blades (Company Member), Point of Contention, Theatre Hikes, Rascal Children's Theatre and Bohemian Ensemble Theatre. Morgan is also a textile artisan and painter.
Production Manager Jason Peck is an award-winning professional speaker, actor and screenwriter. A graduate of London's Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, Jason has toured the UK and Italy several times as a performer. He has written material for the award-winning sketch comedy show The Treason Show in Brighton, England and written and performed sketches with Newsrevue, London's longest-running satirical sketch comedy show.
Marketing Manager Hayley L. Rice is a Chicago area native and graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University (BFA Theatre Arts). In addition to her work with FPTC, she has been seen at Illinois Theatre Center, Rascal Children's Theatre, LiveWire Theatre, Prairie Fire Children's Theatre of Minnesota and Rogue Theater. She is also an Artistic Associate of the Jeff Award winning First Folio Theatre.
Focal Point Theatre Company begins its first season with an event dubbed The Against Type Project. The audience will experience a collection of traditional theatre scenes with non-traditional casting. Everything from race to gender and from age to performance style will be turned on its head, proving that a great performer can play any role. With a wealth of Chicago's most talented directors and performers, this promises to be an evening not to be missed. Performances are October 3-5 at 8 PM. All performances take place at The Think Tank, 1770 W. Berteau #207, Chicago IL 60613. Tickets are $15.
This bold first season continues with the Chicago Premiere of After Miss Julie, by playwright Patrick Marber (Closer, Dealer's Choice, Notes on a Scandal). This re-telling of Strindburg's classic naturalist tragedy moves the action to Post-WWII London on the eve of election night, when the promising and idealistic Labour Party defeated the conservative incumbents on a platform of "Hope and Change". Miss Julie is a rich MP's daughter who finds herself entangled in a perilous web of class conflict, seduction and betrayal when she spends the evening celebrating with her father's ambitious valet, John and loyal cook, Christine. Performances will be at The Evanston Arts Depot (600 Main Street, Evanston, IL 60202) May 19 - June 10. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM. Preview performances are May 17 & 18. Ticket prices are $20. This engaging study on sex, death, social change, and insurmountable class divide features company member Morgan Manasa as Christine and will be directed by Artistic Director Melissa Albertario. The New York Magazine called After Miss Julie "the rare reimagining of a classic play that may actually improve upon the original." and the U.K. Guardian said, "Marber's version... refreshes an old play and reminds us that it is as much about psychological disintegration as the never-ending sex and class wars."
Focal Point Theatre Company will close its inaugural season with a new, devised theatre piece entitled You Make Me. Inspired by the modern art piece "Untitled (You Make Me)" by British artist Christopher Wool, this devised piece will contemplate the symbiotic relationship between a piece of art, its artist, and its audience. An ensemble cast will integrate original texts, poetry, and storytelling with live music, multimedia design, movement and street-influenced artwork to create an inspiring and audacious theatrical experience that speaks from the heart of Focal Point Theatre Company's collaborative mission. The show will be performed in late fall of 2012. The space is to be announced.