World Premieres by Graney, Tenges, & More Conclude The Side Project 2012-2013 Season
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by BWW News Desk
Continuing its mission to showcase the best of the Chicago storefront scene, Rogers Park-based The Side Project continues their 2012-13 season with new plays by three high-profile Chicago artists: Sean Graney (Sugarward, opening January 5), Robert Tenges (Elsewhere, opening March 24), and nationally renowned poet, Sherod Santos (Lives of the Pigeons, opening June 1). The season will also feature a re-envisioning of Macbeth, with the text re-focused to amplify Lady Macbeth’s perspective and psychological torment. Adapted and directed by Laley Lippard, “Lady M.” will open January 16 and run off-nights in rep with “Sugarward.”
All productions will take place at The Side Project, located at 1439 Jarvis Avenue, Chicago. Ticket prices are $20 general; $15 senior/students. Tickets may be purchased online at www.thesideproject.net or through The Side Project’s new Box Office telephone number at 773.340.0140. All season, The Side Project is also offering $10 “rush” tickets for all unsold seats to Rogers Park residents with I.D. bearing 60626 or 60645 ZIP Codes.
The Side Project will unveil excerpts from all four plays on December 8 in its Season 13 Preview event, slated for 5pm in conjunction with the Fourth Annual Shop Jarvis Square Artist’s Market. The Preview will take place at The Side Project’s permanent home, located at 1439 W Jarvis Ave. Earlier in the day, there will be artisans selling their wares throughout the neighborhood and in The Side Project lobby.
“We are thrilled to be able to present these four exhilarating plays featuring some of the best actors the local storefront scene has to offer,” Artistic Director Adam Webster said. “And to continue the relationship we have built with three local playwrights, as well as to develop a new relationship with an exciting fresh face on the scene, as we present Shakespeare for the first time.”
Having kicked off the season with the sold-out run of “Choosing to Be Here: A Festival of Storytelling,” the latest in its community-based celebration of the neighborhood, the rest of Season XIII information can be found at www.thesideproject.net/season.php, or by calling the company’s new phone number: 773-340-0140.
Directed by Geoff Button, Sugarward, Sean Graney’s new work about the sugar barons in the British Leeward Islands circa 1706, will feature John Henry Roberts (Strawdog) and Joel Ewing (Livewire). Perfectly suited to the inauguration season of Obama’s second term, the play is set in 1706-1710 and concerns the somewhat true, and yet entirely implausible, tenure of Colonel Daniel Parke, governor of the British Leeward Islands, as he learns about the nature of "seasoning camps," the power of corruption, the corruption of power, and the true price of sugar. Sugarward will run January 5-February 10, 2013: Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm. Previews begin January 3 at 8pm.
Also in January, Laley Lippard will direct her own reimagining of Shakespeare’sMacbeth, titled Lady M. Those at The Side Project say, “To sleep no more, perchance to dream just once. Ambition begets bloodshed begets mental anguish in this psychological, disjointed, minimalist adaptation in which Lady M. lives and relives the events of that fateful night.” Lady M. runs January 16-February 6 Sundays-Wednesdays at 7:30pm. Previews begin January 14 at 8pm.
Robert Tenges’s Elsewhere, which explores a mother-son relationship set against the backdrop of the Vietnam war, will feature Shawna Tucker, Joey deBettencourt, Carolyn Braver, Lucinda Johnston, Don Hall (WBEZ, WNEP), and Andy Hager (TUTA), under the direction of Artistic Director Adam Webster. In the play, Monica squirrels away money to help her son, Adam, avoid the draft. Meanwhile, Adam rebels in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Elsewhere runs March 24-April 21: Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm. Previews begin March 22 at 8pm.
Webster will also helm nationally renowned poet Sherod Santos’s Lives of the Pigeons, featuring Don Bender (City Lit), Vincent Lonergan (Signal Ensemble) and Matthew Lloyd. Santos was a 1999 Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry. In Lives of the Pigeons, Gus and Max spend a day in the park, like every other day, which turns into a day like no other when The Man with a Cane arrives. A unique blend of Pinter, Albee, Beckett and Mamet, Lives of the Pigeons runs June 1-June 30: Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 3pm.
The side project connects Chicago's most innovative and engaging writers, directors, designers, and performers in an ongoing exploration of the power of hyper-intimate theatre. Its focus is not simply on world-premiere plays, but on world-premiere collaborations: creating never-before-seen teams of artists, each of whom has a body of work which speaks to the others in unique and exciting ways.
Over its 12-year history, The Side Project has presented more than 60 productions, including 40 full-length plays (featuring 24 world premieres, three of which were subsequently published), 15 one-act festivals (featuring 100 plays – including 66 world premieres), four sketch comedy shows, and a community-based Storytelling festival. For its work, The Side Project received the 2006 Spirit of Rogers Park Award and the 2009 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theatre Award, and Artistic Director Adam Webster was named one of PerformInk's "Top 25 Artists Making a Difference" (2004) and New City's "Top 50 Artists Making Chicago Theatre Work" (2009).