Strawdog and Victory Gardens' Crip Slam to Present Fully Accessible Performance of MISS MARX: OR THE INVOLUNTARY SIDE EFFECT OF LIVING, 3/13
Strawdog Theatre Company and Interim Artistic Director Hank Boland and Crip Slam, part of Victory Gardens Access Project, announce a fully accessible performance of the world premiere of Philip Dawkins' Miss Marx: or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living directed by Megan Shuchman, Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, in the Prince Charitable Trust Rehearsal Room, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. This performance will be fully wheelchair accessible. Audio description, open captioning and a touch tour of elements from the production will also be provided. Immediately following that night's performance there will be a post show talk back with the playwright and director. This performance is pay what you can at the door with reservations requested. Reservations may be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773.528.9696. In addition to the Victory Garden performance, an ASL performance is scheduled for Saturday, March 16 at 4 p.m. at Strawdog Theatre. The performance schedule for the production running through April 5 at Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway St., is Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Single Tickets are $28 and are currently on sale. Subscriptions, group, senior and student discounts are also available. Tickets may be ordered online at strawdog.org or by calling OvationTix toll-free: 866.811.4111.
This world premiere production is by one of Chicago's hottest playwrights Philip Dawkins and features the Strawdog directing debut of Megan Shuchman. Miss Marx: or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living examines Eleanor Marx (Dana Black), the youngest daughter of Karl Marx and the flag-bearer to her father's legacy. For Eleanor, fighting social and sexual injustice in Victorian England comes easily on the soapbox, but it's much harder in the bedroom. When her tumultuous common-law marriage to fellow socialist Edward Aveling (John Ferrick*) begins to disintegrate, she turns to loved ones for solace.
Director Megan Shuchman said, "I am so proud to bring Miss Marx to Victory Gardens for this performance so to be working with a company like Strawdog which has taken on the important challenge of ensuring that everyone who desires to see our special play is able to do so. It is my deep hope that other theaters will take up the call to action to continue to find ways to make programming accessible so that the amazing work of Chicago theatre artists can be celebrated by everyone."
Playwright Philip Dawkins added, "I think it's completely in keeping with the missions and hearts of both Strawdog and Victory Gardens to partner on something like this. I'm so humbled by the generosity of everyone involved with taking this creative step toward accessibility. Bricks and mortar should not keep audiences away from theater, and I'm so glad everyone-- from the director, the cast and crew, and the leaders of both theaters-- are giving their extra time and effort to try something new in effort to make this play available to a larger audience, and specifically a community which means a great deal to me as an artist and a Chicago neighbor."
"When Philip and Megan asked Strawdog to consider pursuing an offsite accessibility performance, we immediately said 'yes', and have been honored by the artists, administrators and advocates who have echoed that 'yes' through our journey to this performance at Victory Gardens. Our 'Thanks' are copious as we carry out this very practical example of mission statements and values. We are excited to be part of another example of our Chicago Theatre community working together create opportunities for audiences," said Hank Boland, interim artistic director at Strawdog Theatre Company.
Additional Miss Marx cast includes Sarah Goeden* (Eva/Musician) and Justine C. Turner* (Laura/Harry) with Samantha Bailey (Annie Besant/Young woman), Pamela Mae Davis (Nim/Theosophist), Matt Holzfiend (Engles/Young Man) and Benjamin Sprunger (Freddy).
The production crew includes Mike Mroch (set design,) Aaron Weissman (light designer,) Jordan Kardasz (lighting consultant,) Izumi Inaba (costume design,) Chris Kriz (sound design.) Mike Przygoda (music director,) Jamie Karas (props design,) Eva Breneman (co-dialect coach,) Lindsay Bartlett (co-dialect coach,) Sam Hubbard (fight choreographer,) Jarrod Bainter (technical director,) John Kelly (master electrician,) Lindsay Amer (dramaturg,) Sarah Hoeferlin (stage manager) and Becky Mock (production manager).
Philip Dawkins' critically acclaimed plays The Homosexuals and Failure: A Love Story both received Joseph Jefferson Nominations for New Work after their world premieres with About Face Theatre (2011) and Victory Gardens Theater (2012), respectively. Both plays have enjoyed many subsequent productions across the country. Dawkins is an ensemble playwright at Victory Gardens Theater and an artistic associate at About Face Theater. His plays for young people are published through Playscripts, Inc. He teaches playwriting at Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago (of which he is an alum) and through the Victory Gardens ACCESS Program for writers with disabilities.
Megan Shuchman serves as associate education director for Steppenwolf for Young Adults. As a director and dramaturge, she has worked with Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, TimeLine Theatre, American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, Lifeline Theatre, side project theatre company and Theatre Seven of Chicago and she is a proud company member of 2nd Story. Most recently, Shuchman directed Our City, Ourselves, a piece on youth violence created with members of the A Red Orchid youth ensemble. Up next, she will direct the world premiere of Shayne Kennedy's Agreed Upon Fictions at 16th Street Theatre.
Since its founding in 1988, Strawdog Theatre Company has offered Chicagoland the premiere storefront theatre experience and garnered numerous Non-Equity Jeff Awards with its commitment to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach. The celebrated Company develops new work, re-imagines the classics, melds music with theatre, asks provocative questions and delivers their audience the unexpected.
The current Strawdog ensemble includes Jenny Avery, Hank Boland, Michael Dailey, Anita Deely, Paul Fagen, John Ferrick, Misha Fiskel, Kyle Gibson, Sarah Goeden, Aly Greaves Amidei, Carmine Grisolia, Kyle Hamman, Tom Hickey, Shannon Hoag, Jordan Kardasz, Anderson Lawfer, Sean Mallary, Kat McDonnell, Joanna Melville, Gregor Mortis, Mike Mroch, Michaela Petro, Mike Przygoda, John Henry Roberts, Justine C. Turner, and Jamie Vann. Strawdog's interim artistic director is Hank Boland and the general manager is Mike Mroch. Notable Strawdog alums include Elizabeth Auman (TimeLine), Alexandra Billings (actress, cabaret star), Nancy Bishop (casting director), Chrisanne Blankenship (director), Becca Cardo (voice-over artist), Kristin Caskey (Fox Theatricals), Scott Cummins (actor, director) and James Denton (Desperate Housewives).
Strawdog Theatre Company Board of Directors includes Seth Rickard, Gregory Altman, Stephen Bennett, Meaghan Clayton, Jim Hobart, Thomas V. Linguanti, Jennifer Nelson, Jack Rubin, Mark D. Warner, Pat Yuzawa-Rubin.
All productions, plus ongoing late night offerings, are presented at Strawdog's space in the heart of Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, 3829 N. Broadway St. Tickets are available at 773.528.9696 or www.strawdog.org.
The neighborhood has limited paid parking and is easily accessible by public transportation (via the Red Line Sheridan stop, plus 36-Broadway, 80-Irving Park, and 151-Sheridan buses).
Crip Slam is a series of performances, readings, movies and other events that promote, explore and celebrate disability culture and make outside work accessible. The series was launched in 2005 as Disability Culture Sundays. In its second year, Access Project participants re-named the series to the more provocative Crip Slam in order to generate attention and discussion.