Sheila's Sister Presents SPOLIAN ANALYSIS, Now thru 9/28
Sheila's Sister will perform Spolian Analysis at Bughouse Theater at 8PM on Saturdays in September (TONIGHT, 9/7; 9/14; 9/21; 9/28). Tickets are $10, $5 for students. Jack Bronis will join Dana O'Brien and Edmund O'Brien as "The Therapist" in this improvised hour-long show where the audience members fill out patient history forms to create four characters that go through individual and couples therapy sessions. Bughouse Theater is located at 2054 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL, 60618.
Likened to Nichols and May by the Chicago Improv Festival's co-founder, Jonathan Pitts, and praised by CenterStage Chicago for using their "... unrivaled familiarity to brilliant comedic effect," Dana O'Brien and Edmund O'Brien have improvised together for over 22 years. They met in their college improv group, Off-Off Campus, married each other in their next group, Sheila, and became parents while performing as Sheila's Sister. Sheila's Sister made its debut at the 2002 CIF and most recently headlined an Experimental Show at the CIF 2013.
Sheila's Sister's current longform format, Spolian Analysis, made its debut at CIF 2012 with Jack Bronis and triumphantly returned at CIF 2013. Dana, Edmund and Jack are thrilled to finally get a chance to give this unique form a month-long run. Before the show begins, the audience is invited to visit the art therapy table and also fill out a section of the patient history forms. The voice of the therapist (Jack Bronis) begins to describe the first patient (Edmund O'Brien) and asks him questions based on the information provided by the audience. As the therapist gets the patient to reveal more about himself and his past, the patient springs into action to perform scenes with various characters (Dana O'Brien) that further illustrate episodes in his life. Once his session ends, we are introduced to a female patient for a second session, followed by a third session with a new couple created by the audience.
The performers love that the form allows them to explore and fully develop characters. This has been a key to Edmund and Dana's previous longform shows such as Snippets, where they worked with Jonathan Green, musical director for Drew Carey's Improv All-Stars, who summed up his experience by saying: "I have beenworking in the LA improv scene for 18 years and I've seen a lot of improv. One of the most exciting and original acts I've been lucky enough to work with is Sheila's Sister. Edmund and Dana draw from an obvious bedrock of trust and mutual respect to create and inhabit some truly three-dimensional characters, endowing each scene with authenticity and depth. Be prepared to be surprised and delighted."
Edmund and Dana began improvising with Off-Off Campus at the University of Chicago. They then performed weekly in Sheila for 9 years at Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap, as well as on the north side and at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival with shows such as Sheila's Giant Wall of Plot Twists, Sheila's Instant Odyssey and Sheila's Improv-o-rama. They were also members of Glitterball, Netsu Retsu, Sitcom and Land of the Karaoking Improvisers. In 2001 they moved to Los Angeles where Edmund was in ACME Comedy Theatre's main improv company, Zebra, and sketch company, Bravo. Edmund also taught improv at ACME. Edmund's writing credits range from You Don't Know Jack to MTV's Undressed. Somewhere in repeats you can still hear him as the announcer for Street Smarts. Edmund currently teaches improv, writing and songwriting at the Second City Training Center. He has also performed with Baby Wants Candy. Dana teaches at The Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette where she and Edmund have written numerous musicals for grades 3-5.
Jack Bronis (SAG/AFTRA/AEA) is a proud founder of the Noble Fool Theater Company. He has worked with the Character Assassins, the Improv Institute, the Free Associates, and Steppenwolf Theater. He originated the role of Tony Baritone in Noble Fool's improvised HBO spoof The Baritones. He conceived, directed, co-wrote, and was an original cast member of the long-running interactive comedy Flanagan's Wake. Jack wrote book and lyrics for Noble Fool's award-winning world premiere, Vikings! A Musical in Two Axe and has directed numerous improv and written shows over the years. As an actor, he has had film and television roles on all the major networks except the CW. Jack has taught at the Second City Training Center and Acting Studio Chicago since the last millennium.