Dog & Pony Theatre Company to Present THE DINNER PARTY PROJECT and THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING

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Dog & Pony Theatre Company announces its two latest works: THE DINNER PARTY PROJECT, a one-night only performance April 17 at Ada Street restaurant that incorporates a three-course meal from celebrated chef Michael Kornick of DMK Burger Bar and Fish Bar; and THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING, a world premiere play with music that offers a look at the Democratic National Convention of 1968 in Chicago May 4-June 9 at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater.

THE DINNER PARTY PROJECT

Tucked away between Elston Corridor and the Chicago River, new restaurant Ada Street will play host to a scientist and his food experiment: a dinner party of the psyche, where each dish uncovers a piece of a woman's fragmented past. Participants will be presented a three-course meal from chef Michael Kornick, paired with cocktails from mixologist Tim Lacey, formerly from the Drawing Room, as part of a plan to unlock memory through food.

THE DINNER PARTY PROJECT is Tuesday, April 17 at Ada Street, 1664 N. Ada St. Doors open at 7 p.m. and dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $90 and include three-course meal, drink pairings and gratuity. Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.brownpapertickets.com.

THE DINNER PARTY PROJECT is created by Kieran Kredell, Krissy Vanderwarker, Aaron Weissman, and Dav Yendler and produced by Rebecca Stevens and John Arents. Cast includes Kieran Kredell, Brian Crawford, Caroline Rau, and Julia Miller. Environment is designed by Marybeth Herr with lights by Aaron Weissman and sound design by Nathan Green.

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING

This spring, Dog & Pony presents the world premiere of the devised promenade play with music THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING in the Prince Charitable Trust Events Room upstairs at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. New live music, projections, a live and televised-viewing experience combined with a standing-room performance all result in a look at a piece of Chicago’s history.

The new work features book and lyrics by company members Devon de Mayo and Stephen Ptacek; music by Stephen Ptacek; direction by Devon de Mayo with company member David DieteRich Gray; and musical direction by Dan Mohr.

Preview performances for THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING are May 4, 5 and 11, at 8 p.m. Regular run is May 12 – June 9. Press is invited to attend opening night Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. Performances are Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $25 general admission, $15 for students and seniors. All previews plus Wednesday performances are pay-what-you-can. For tickets, call the box office at 773-871-3000, 773-871-0682 (TTY), 773-634-9874 (groups of 10 or more), or visit either www.dogandponychicago.org or www.victorygardens.org.

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING focuses on the week of the August 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago when there were more than three million people in the city and more than three million stories about what really happened. Through a collage of stories from the viewpoints of police officers, journalists, clergy, workers, demonstrators, students, politicians and Yippies, THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING recalls the implications that the riots had on national politics.

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING was conceived two years ago by company members Devon de Mayo and Stephen Ptacek. It was performed as a staged reading in May 2011 as part of Dog & Pony’s Ruff Play Reading Series. Its development process also included five weeks of workshops this winter.

Director and co-writer Devon de Mayo is a founder and co-artistic director of Dog & Pony Theatre Company. For Dog & Pony, she directed Roadkill Confidential, co-directed/devised The Twins Would Like to Say at Steppenwolf Theatre; dramaturged Auctioning the Ainsleys; co-directed The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler; devised and co-directed As Told by the Vivian Girls; and directed Clouds. Current projects include: directing the world premiere of An Actor Prepares by Mickle Maher (University of Chicago), and the In the Works Series performances of Guerra: A Clown Play. Other directing credits include: Jumping Beans (San Antonio Luminaria Festival); Wild Nights with Emily, A Matter of Life and Death, Pool (No Water), The World Over, Nights at the Circus (NHSI); Constriction (Collaboraction, Sketchbook); 2nd Story (Serendipity Theatre Collective); 52 (Canal Cafe Theatre, London); Ohio, Impromptu (Studio 7, London); and The Spider (Indonesian Institute for the Arts). She received an MFA in directing from Middlesex University in London and did further studies at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali. She currently serves as the Director of Arts Education at Northlight Theatre.

Composer and co-writer Stephen Ptacek* is a Dog & Pony artistic associate and a Chicago based sound designer, composer, playwright, multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer. With Dog & Pony, he served as the sound designer on As Told By The Vivian Girls, God's Ear, The Twins Would Like To Say, Dead Letter Office and Roadkill Confidential. He has also designed sound and composed music for About Face (The Young Ladies Of..., Stupid Kids, The Flowers); Babes With Blades (Last Daughter of Oedipus); Backstage Theatre Company (Beauty on the Vine, Memory); Collaboraction (The Siddhartha Project, Sketchbook 2011, Dark Play or Stories for Boys); The Hypocrites (Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses); LiveWire (13th of Paris, Bright New Boise, Oorah!); Mortar Theatre (I AM MONTANA); New Leaf (The Girl In The Goldfish Bowl); The Side Project (Faster, Cut to the Quick Festival); and a host of other companies. Ptacek is a three-time Jeff Award nominee, winning once for The Side Project’s production of Faster by Adam Rapp.

Co-director David DieteRich Gray* joined Dog & Pony in 2006. He first appeared on stage with the company in Crumble (Lay Me Down Justin Timberlake). He directed Dead Letter Office and has also appeared in Osama The Hero and as the title character in Mr. Marmalade all for Dog & Pony Theatre Co. Gray serves as the casting foreman and has also directed readings for Dog & Pony and a production of Veuve Clicquot by Suzan-Lori Parks as part of her 365 Plays/365 Days Festival. Other stage credits include: Passion Play at Yale Repertory; King Lear with Stacy Keach at Goodman Theatre (dir. Robert Falls); Mother Courage , The Royal Family (dir. Frank Galati) and I Just Stopped By To See The Man all at Steppenwolf Theatre; Taming of the Shrew (dir. David Bell) at Chicago Shakespeare; The Buddy Holly Story at Drury Lane Oakbrook; Eurydice (dir. Joyce Piven), Great Expectations, Our Country's Good, Lady Chaplin and The Mad Dancers all at Piven Theatre (Ensemble Member). Film credits include: DogJack, The Meaning of Hemmingway, Toolshed and the recent Maverick release, 8 of Diamonds opposite Eric Roberts.

Musical director Dan Mohr is a singer, composer, songwriter, performer, and curator. In addition to playing his own songs solo and with Dan Mohr Trio, he has performed with a number of musicians and ensembles in Chicago and beyond, including trance/drone collective DRMWPN, ambient keyboard rock quartet Dhalgren, singer-songwriter Jeff Harms, percussionist Michael Zerang, and Vermont-based traditional folk chorus Northern Harmony. His extra-musical interests have led him to diverse collaborations, including with playwright/director Brian Torrey Scott, Chicago film Production Company Split Pillow, and choreographer Julia Rae Antonick. He has been an artistic associate and Link-Up artist-in-residence at Links Hall, and with choreographer Rachel Damon received a 2008 Crosscut grant from Links Hall and Experimental Sound Studio. He is currently at work on an original composition, commissioned by Chicago music/art presenters Homeroom, which sets to music a frantic phone call to the captain of a capsizing cruise ship. The piece will be performed at The Hideout and elsewhere in early June of 2012.

The cast for THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING features Anthony Apodaca, John Blick,* Paige Collins, Audrey Flegel, Brittani Green, Jenny Lamb, Tyshaun Lang, Kristen Magee, Morgan Maher, Jordan Phelps, David Seeber, Jim Shinkle, and Dan Smeriglio. Maxwell Burnham, Hannah Kahn and Alee Spadoni serve as understudies.

Creative team for THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING includes assistant musical direction by David Ames; assistant directed by Elana Boulos; lighting design by Bryan Back; sound design by Sorin Brouwers; dramaturgy and projections by Jordan Faber; scenic design by Heath Hays; production management by Greta Honold; fight choreography by Faith Hurley*; audience services by Jessica Lind; assistant dramaturgy by Claire Redfield; produced by John Rooney*; costume design by Cathy Tantillo*; stage management by Ariel Welch. Krissy Vanderwarker* is co-artistic director of Dog & Pony Theatre Company.

Founded in 2002, Dog & Pony Theatre Company is committed to producing vital works by new and emerging playwrights whose use of language and convention are daring and highly imaginative. As an eclectic collective of artists with backgrounds in theatre, public broadcasting, political activism, and religious studies, Dog & Pony is particularly drawn to work with social and cultural relevance. The company has presented 14 full productions in seven years including As Told By The Vivian Girls, recipient of three After Dark Awards, and The Twins Would Like to Say as part of Steppenwolf’s inaugural Garage Rep series. The productions of Mr. Marmalade, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabbler, God’s Ear, Dead Letter Office and Auctioning the Ainsleys were all nominated for non-Equity Jeff Awards.

Dog & Pony Theatre Company is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and a proud member of the League of Chicago Theatres and Theatre Communications Group.

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