Babes With Blades Theatre to Present World Premiere of L'IMBECILE, 4/5-5/10

Babes With Blades Theatre to Present World Premiere of L'IMBECILE, 4/5-5/10

In a world premiere production, Babes With Blades Theatre Company will present L'Imbecile, by Aaron Adair, at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. in Chicago. Previews will be Saturday, April 5, Thursday April 10, and Friday April 11 at 8PM. The opening is Saturday, April 12 at 8PM, and the show will run Thursdays-Fridays at 8PM and Saturdays at both 4PM and 8PM from April 12-May 10.

The Neo-Commedia performance style was brought to Chicago during the late 80s/early 90s by John Cusack's theater company New Crime Productions, but hasn't been seen much since then. Described by some as "scary clowning - is that redundant?" and others as "like Looney Tunes on speed," Neo-Commedia is a deliberately non-realistic style, emotionally confrontational and high-camp, according to director Wm Bullion: "The first thing audiences will notice is the grotesque whiteface makeup and recycled-artifact costumes. The second thing will be constant, in-your-face audience address. The third is the 'marking'-the percussion score [performed live by Sarah Scanlon] that punctuates the action. All of the senses are assaulted."

Set in a color-saturated-yet-decayed, post-apocalyptic future, L'Imbecile is directed by Wm Bullion and the cast features Elyse Dawson, Amy E. Harmon, Kimberly Logan, Elizabeth MacDougald, Luke Meierdiercks,Kathrynne Wolf, Maureen Yasko, and Josh Zagoren. The violence design is by Alison Dornheggen.

The design and production team of L'Imbecile includes Leigh Barrett (Lighting Designer), Sharon Cruz (Stage Manager), Sid Feldman (Style Consultant), Rose Freeman (Dramaturg), Stefanie Johnsen (Costume Designer), Sarah Scanlon (Sound Designer, Music Composition, Live Performance), Nicci Schumacher (Scenic Designer), Kelsey Shipley (Props Designer), Dustin Spence (Production Manager), and Sasha Warren (Assistant Director).

Beginning opening night (Saturday April 12), audience members will enjoy an exhibition of art by Gabriella Boros in the lobby of Rivendell Theater. Boros is the winner of the Inspiring Sword & Pen 2012 art competition, and her paintings "Medieval 1" and "Medieval 2" were selected as the contest images for the Joining Sword & Pen 2013-2014 playwriting competition. The script for BWBTC's Fall 2014 show, Witch Slap, is based on these paintings. More about the artist can be found at

On closing weekend (5/8-5/10) BWBTC will collect financial donations for Care for Real. Care for Real's mission is "to help our neighbors in the Edgewater community by providing food, clothing and counseling services to those in need. We do this through on-site food distribution, deliveries to the homebound, a free clothes closet and a case-management program to help clients connect with other services they may need." More info at

The Thursday performances of 4/24, 5/1, and 5/8 will be pay-what-you-can admission.

The Saturday matinees of 4/26, 5/3, and 5/10 will be Industry performances: admission is $10 with industry credential (headshot, resume, etc).

Additional discount codes will be made available via the BWBTC Facebook page.

Sprouting up from the cast-off tatters and scraps of our society, L'Imbecile is (according to playwright Aaron Adair) "shamelessly stolen" from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto, which, in turn, was adapted in 1851 from Victor Hugo's play Le roi s'amuse. But even if they were still around, Verdi and Hugo might not recognize their work when they see it: A Queen and her Fool, in a deadly dance of betrayal and revenge, play fast and loose with curses and courtly manners... with catastrophic consequences.

A veteran of BWBTC's Fighting Words program (2012), L'Imbecile was an entry in BWBTC's 2011-2012 Joining Sword & Pen Playwriting Competition. As required by the competition, it is based on the painting "Erinyes" by Victoria Szilagyi. For more information about Fighting Words, please see BWBTC's website here:

Tickets are $20 general admission, $12 for students and seniors, and $8 for previews. They are available at or by calling 773-904-0391.

Babes With Blades Theatre Company uses stage combat to place women and their stories center stage. Through performance, script development, training, and outreach, our ensemble creates theatre that explores the wide range of the human experience, and cultivates broader perspectives in the arts community and in society as a whole.

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram