Ravi Batista Stars in Soul Theatre's BLASTED FOOL, Now thru 1/5

Soul Theatre, is proud to announce the one-woman play, Blasted Fool: Hamlet, Hope and the Madness in Our Blood, playing at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., tonight, Dec. 19 - Jan. 5, 2014. Co-devised by Neo-Futurist Founder Greg Allen and Soul Theatre Artistic Director Ravi Batista, the production is directed by Allen and performed by Batista.

Performances take place Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 & 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Opening night is Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $20 for single tickets and $10 for seniors/students with I.D. Tickets may be purchased at theaterwit.org, by calling the box office at 773-975-8150 or by visiting in person. For more information on the production and Soul Theatre, visit www.facebook.com/SoulTheatre. Post-show events will feature live music, dance instruction, psychologists, and massage therapists presenting different strategies for promoting good health.

Blasted Fool: Hamlet, Hope and the Madness in Our Blood explores what do you do if you're destined for madness? Should you celebrate your inner chaos monster? Do you escape, deny or succumb to mental illness if it's encrypted in your genes? And what of your children? What if all you need is a good night's sleep? Employing five languages, 10 characters, soliloquies, dance and song, Puerto Rican actress/writer Ravi Batista leads us through a life laced with Shakespearian passion, humor and suicidal thoughts, only to find salvation in the poetry of Hamlet. Exploring the madness of this holiday season, Batista shares her story in this play.

Production staff includes: Daniel J. Hanson (Equity stage manager), T.Paul Lowry (scenic designer/projection designer/production manager), Diana Douglas (choreographer); Skye Geerts (costume designer), Gina Patterson (lighting designer), Chas Vrba (sound designer), Vivian Knouse (properties designer) and MaxPhifty (original music composer).


Greg Allen (director/co-devisor) is the founder of The Neo-Futurists (currently celebrating its 25th anniversary in Chicago) and creator of more than 50 productions including Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes), which has been running every week in Chicago since 1988 and in New York since 2004. His plays for The Neo-Futurists include The Strange and Terrible True Tale of Pinocchio (The Wooden Boy) As Told By Frankenstein's Monster (The Wretched Creature), The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, H20, A Child's History of Bombing, Boxing Joseph Cornell and K., his award-winning adaptation of Kafka's The Trial. His legendary production of all seven hours and nine acts of Strange Interlude inspired angry hecklers and instant standing ovations in the Goodman Theater's 2009 Eugene O'Neill Festival, and his collaboration with Theater Oobleck, The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett As Found In An Envelope (partially burned) In A Dustbin In Paris Labeled "Never to be performed. Never. Ever. EVER! Or I'll Sue! I'LL SUE FROM THE GRAVE!!!", has had 11 international productions. In 2012-13, Allen was commissioned to write Sleeping with the Prince of Darkness: The Imagined Pillow-Talk of FBI Agent John O'Neill as part of the Goodman Theater's Playwrights Unit, and his current commission for DePaul University explores responsibility for the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. He currently has four other productions slated to open in the next five months. A proud graduate of Oberlin College, Allen teaches performance and playwriting at the University of Chicago, The Theater School at DePaul, and the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Center, as well as in residencies at universities and theater programs all over the world.

Ravi Batista (performer/co-devisor/producer) is the artistic director and founder of Soul Theatre. An Equity actress, Batista performed in Soul Theatre's first Equity production of Harold Pinter's The Lover in 2012. Chicago credits include appearances at Piven Theatre, American Theater Company, First Folio Theatre, Greasy Joan & Co., and Silk Road Rising. She also performed in the Jeff-Nominated Around the World in 80 Days, at Lookingglass Theater Company, which traveled to Baltimore's Centerstage and Kansas City Repertory Theatre. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law and Yale University. Her diverse theatrical training has been received from a variety of institutions including The School at Steppenwolf, the Second City Training Center, a LAByrinth Summer Intensive at Bard College and at the British American Dramatic Academy in Oxford, England.

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