Sideshow Theatre Presents MARIA/STUART in Chicago Premiere, 3/30-5/5


Sideshow Theatre Company continues its 2012/13 season with the Chicago premiere of MARIA/STUART by Jason Grote, directed by Marti Lyons, playing March 30 – May 5, 2013 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. MARIA/STUART features the work of Sideshow Ensemble member Nate Whelden (Stuart) and Artistic Associate Scottie Caldwell (Hannah) with Mary Ann Bowman, Ann James, Susan Monts-Bologna and Jennifer Joan Taylor. Tickets are available at or by calling the Theater Wit box office at (773) 975-8150. The press performance is Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 7:30 pm.

Everything was going fine, before the shape shifter showed up. Grandma Ruthie's three tolerably dysfunctional daughters were throwing her a birthday party (including unbalanced Sylvia, with her terrifying hook hands). The kids were coming too, and nobody planned on mentioning the family's horrific secrets. But now there's soda and cheese puffs spilled everywhere and a mysterious pink letter is circulating around the kitchen. What happens when it's opened is just the tip of the iceberg in the Chicago premiere of Jason Grote's dark comedy, as supernatural forces conspire to bring everyone to the brink of confronting the pasts they've kept so carefully buried.

"On the surface is the family, a dynamic recognizable to all, but underneath lurks the abuse, lies and conflict, all compressed into something so powerful it explodes into a supernatural creature," comments Director Marti Lyons. "Although this creature is absurd, it is so potent with repressed family drama that it is somehow also completely recognizable." Sideshow is proud to bring this audaciously familiar story to the stage, helmed by one of Chicago's most exciting directors and brought to life by a powerful and adventurous ensemble.

The creative team for MARIA/STUART includes: Nick Sieben (scenic designer), Kristin DeiTos (costume designer), Mac Vaughey (lighting designer), Christopher Kriz (sound designer), Sideshow Ensemble member Karie Miller (assistant director/movement coordinator), John Kelly (master electrician), Shawn Rutledge (technical director), Benjamin Dawson (production manager) and Shelby Glasgow (stage manager).

Featuring: Nate Whelden (Stuart), Scottie Caldwell (Hannah), Mary Ann Bowman (Lizzie), Ann James (Aunt Sylvia), Susan Monts-Bologna (Ruthie) and Jennifer Joan Taylor (Marnie).

Theater Wit is located at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The show plays previews: Saturday, March 30, Tuesday, April 2, and Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 pm Press Performance: Thursday, April 4 at 7:30 pm. Opening: Friday, April 5 at 7:30 pm. Regular run: Friday, April 5 – Sunday, May 5, 2013. Curtain Times: Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm.

Tickets: Previews: $15, or pay-what-you-can at the door. Regular run: $20-25; $15 student, senior and industry tickets available for select Thursday and Sunday performances. Tickets are available at or by calling the Theater Wit box office at (773) 975-8150. Group tickets are available for $15 for groups of 10 or more, and can be reserved by emailing

Jason Grote is a playwright and television writer based in Brooklyn. His other plays include 1001, Civilization (all you can eat), Hamilton Township, Darwin's Challenge, Safe in Heaven Dead, Box Americana and This Storm Is What We Call Progress. He was a staff writer for the NBC/Dreamworks show Smash, produced by Steven Spielberg, Theresa Rebeck, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Current projects include a commission from ACT/Seattle about Stalin and Shostakovich and a musical adaptation of 1001 with composer Marisa Michelson. His work has been produced and developed at The Museum of Modern Art, The Sundance Theater Lab, Playwrights Horizons, The O'Neill, The Denver Center, New York Theater Workshop, Portland Center Stage, Woolly Mammoth, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, Page 73, Ensemble Studio Theater, Voices of Change – Festival for New American Plays (Theater Bielefeld, Germany), Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, The Foundry, Mass MoCA, The Luminato Festival, Soho Rep, The Lark, The Glej Theater (Slovenia), Salvage Vanguard, HERE, The Contemporary American Theater Festival, Baltimore Centerstage, Collaboraction, Theater @ Boston Court, and elsewhere. He is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and was the 2006 P73 Playwriting Fellow. His plays have been published by Samuel French and Playscripts Inc. and in The Back Stage Book of New American Short Plays 2005 (edited by Craig Lucas). His comics debut will take place in the upcoming Significant Objects anthology from Fantagraphics, edited by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker.

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