Ruckus Theater Devotes 4th Season to Playwright Scott T. Barsotti and More
The Ruckus Theater has announced its fourth season in Chicago, following a successful year of performances at The Side Project Theatre in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood. Artistic Director Allison Shoemaker and Associate Artistic Director Joshua Davis released today a season of four new plays, and workshops, including two productions penned by Chicago playwright Scott T. Barsotti.
First, Anna C. Bahow (Sinnerman Ensemble's Sweet Confinement; the side project's The Rocks) directs the world premiere of Brewed. This previously announced co-production between The Ruckus and Tympanic Theatre performs at the Teatro Luna mainstage (March 1- 31, 2013). The second of Barsotti's works to be produced by The Ruckus is Facing Angela, directed by Kyra Lewandowski (Tympanic Theatre's Verse Chorus Verse; New Leaf Theatre's Curse of the Starving Class). Originally produced by Roundelay Theatre Company in 2003, Facing Angela was Barsotti's first full-length play, and will be re-imagined and revised by the playwright with the aid of Lewandowski and the cast. Facing Angela will be presented in June 2013. Barsotti will also serve as an artist-in-residence for the season.
Additionally, The Ruckus presents two devised works-in-progress. In the autumn, Ruckus Artistic Director Allison Shoemaker directs the workshop of Elise Mayfield is Samuel Clemens, Samuel Clemens is Mark Twain, which is devised by the ensemble and written by Ruckus Ensemble Members Aaron Dean and Matt Test as part of the DCASE Theatre Incubator Series (August 27, 2012). In April 2013, The Ruckus workshops Chicago playwright Brooke Allen's as-of-yet untitled piece devised with the company, also directed by Shoemaker.
Further details regarding The Ruckus: Season 4, including casting and ticket information, will be announced in the coming weeks. Visit www.ruckustheater.org for more information.
"Scott is a remarkable writer, and we've all been fans for awhile now–so this season is thrilling, to say the least," said Artistic Director Allison Shoemaker. "We're able to collaborate with a playwright we admire, produce work that's unusual, vibrant and frightening, and provide a number of dynamic roles for female performers in one fell swoop. The chance to create new work as an ensemble with Brooke Allen and our own Aaron Dean and Matt Test is no less exciting, so we've got a pretty remarkable year ahead."
Scott T. Barsotti is a playwright and performer originally from Pittsburgh, PA. Scott's original plays include Kill Me, The Revenants, Jet Black Chevrolet, Brewed, McMeekin Finds Out, and Your Teacher is Out Today and have been performed at many theatres nationwide. His adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Body Snatcher recently opened at Brisbane Arts Theatre in Queensland, Australia; also in 2012, The Revenants will be produced by Happy Medium Theatre in Boston, as well as New World Arts in Goshen, IN. His work has been seen at the New York International Fringe Festival, the Rhinoceros Theater Festival, and Collaboraction's Sketchbook, and has been produced and/or developed by WildClaw Theatre, Curious Theatre Branch, Chicago Dramatists, The Route 66 Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Playwrights, Roundelay Theatre Company, Theatre Seven of Chicago, American Theatre Company, Tympanic Theatre Company, The Ruckus, and The Visceral Company among others. He is currently adapting Geoffrey Hayes's children's book The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost for Lifeline Theatre's 2012-13 KidSeries season. As an actor, Scott has appeared with WildClaw Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, Curious Theatre Branch, The Mammals, WNEP Theater, Collaboraction, Pavement Group, and Victory Gardens, and he has designed movement for WildClaw and Strawdog Theatre. Scott is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. For more information about Scot T. Barsotti, visit his website at scottbarsotti.wordpress.com.
Barsotti's past works have been critically lauded in several publications, including New City, Chicago Theater Beat, Chicago Reader, and the Chicago Tribune. Chris Jones from the Chicago Tribune has called Barsotti "a very promising young playwright." Additionally, Brian Kirst from Sheridan Road Magazine says, "Revolutionarily new… Barsotti proves himself to be a major playwright in the making…" Of his upcoming work with The Ruckus, Barsotti says, "Having a play produced is a thrill, having two produced by the same group of artists in one season is an honor. I'm so excited to be spending the year amongst the talent and ambition of The Ruckus, and I can't wait to share my work with their audience and creative family."
The Ruckus welcomes Lizzy Powers and Derek Van Barham as its newest company members in Chicago. Powers takes on the role of Company Manager, and Barham serves as Literary Manager. New Ruckus Ensemble Members include Daniel Caffrey (Tympanic Theatre Company) and Kevin Lambert (Ka-Tet Theatre). In addition to Barsotti, Artists-in-Residence for the 2012-13 season include Brooke Allen, Catherine Bullard, Scottie Caldwell, Julie Cowden, Casey Cunningham, and Jennifer Roehm. Bios available at ruckustheater.org.
2012/2013 SEASON 4
August 27, 2012 at the DCASE Studio Theater
Somewhere along the Mississippi River, a girl is dropped into a world sated in the nostalgia and humidity of Mark Twain's novels. Along the journey to find her way back, she encounters many strange things- familiar faces from elsewhere, a river that's a conduit for time travel, and a strange book of verse detailing many parallel universes, each containing its own Hannibal, MO. Help playwrights Aaron Dean and Matt Test, director Allison Shoemaker, and the ensemble discover when they are and who they could be in this workshop performance, a part of the DCASE Theater Incubator Series. An audience talkback will follow the performance.
Brewed by Scott T. Barsotti | directed by Anna Bahow
March 1- 31, 2013 at Teatro Luna
In the world of Brewed, the task is stirring a pot…all day, every day. The six sisters don't share the task as they once did. With Nannette busy racing stock cars and Roxette off doing her own thing, the others are left to shoulder the burden. But Paulette is fed up; Collette is clueless; and Babette, crippled in more ways than one, is volatile. Juliette does her best to maintain order and civility…for now. But why must they do this? When one of the sisters calls everyone together, old venom bubbles up and grievance flares, setting into motion an impossible moral struggle. Join The Ruckus and Tympanic Theatre as they explore this new work about gatherings, sacrifice, and the dark art of obligation.
Untitled by Brooke Allen | directed by Allison Shoemaker
April, 2013 at The Side Project Theatre
It's all fun and games, as the saying goes, until someone loses an eye. The combination of liquor, loosened inhibitions, and silly hats usually makes for a good time. But pair it with the no-man's land that is the switch to Daylight Savings Time, and even an everyday revelry can bare its teeth. Brooke Allen puts a scalpel to the mayhem in this workshop, devised with The Ruckus. An audience talkback will follow the performances.
Facing Angela written by Scott T. Barsotti | directed by Kyra Lewandoski
June- July, 2013
Angela has lost her face. Acquiring a new face alters more than skin and tissue, cutting into Angela's relationship with her husband, Wes, and mutating her sense of self. As Angela re-constructs, re-invents, and re-defines her identity, Wes ceases to recognize the woman he loves, and doubts whether he really knows himself either. This re-imagining of Barsotti's 2003 play, explored over the course of the season with the cast and company, will delve deep into how we recognize ourselves and those we go to bed with, and the collateral damage of transformative change.
Founded by an industrious group of Michigan ex-pats, The Ruckus is composed of actors, directors, playwrights, musicians, casting directors, publicity managers, grant writers, baristas, grad students, poets, computer fixers, appointment-makers and census-takers who aim to create a new kind of company-a casteless theater that blends the lines between playwright and actor, audience and company member. The Ruckus Theater is led by Artistic Director Allison Shoemaker, Associate Artistic Director Joshua Davis and a company and ensemble of twenty.
We're here to create, to examine, to invent, to explode-to create a ruckus. The Ruckus develops new work and the artists who create that work. Our ensemble breaks down the walls of traditional methods to nurture new plays and challenge exceptional artists. We believe in creating our process for every project from the ground up. We commit to the growth of our ensemble, the artists we collaborate with, and the plays we develop. We aim to deepen the cultural bedrock of our community by giving megaphones to new voices and by making theater affordable. By fostering conversations that rip through the curtain, we aim to lead both artist and audience down an unexpected path with art that doesn't play by the rules.
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