Broken Nose Theatre Presents BECHDEL FEST 9: NEXT LEVEL At The Den Theatre

This year's festival showcased eight stories that center around characters on the edge of growing up, glowing up and making big decisions.

By: Aug. 09, 2022
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Broken Nose Theatre Presents BECHDEL FEST 9: NEXT LEVEL At The Den Theatre

Broken Nose Theatre will present Bechdel Fest 9: Next Level, the company's annual festival of new short plays featuring an ensemble of femme, female-identifying, non-binary, trans and queer actors talking about things other than men.

This year's festival showcased eight stories that center around characters on the edge of growing up, glowing up and making big decisions that take them to - you guessed it - the next level.

Bechdel Fest will play four performances only, August 28 - 31, 2022 at BNT's resident home The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets for all BNT productions are available on a "pay-what-you-can" basis, allowing patrons to set their own price and ensuring theatre remains economically accessible for all audiences. Suggested price is $25. Tickets are currently available at or by calling or by calling (773) 697-3830.

All the works in BNT's perennial feminist festival are inspired by the famous Bechdel-Wallace Test. Created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the test asks whether a work of entertainment features at least two non-male identifying characters in conversation about something other than a man. Since the fest's first iteration in 2013, Broken Nose has worked with some of the most exciting voices in the Chicago theater landscape on over 60 stories that, by design, do not revolve around men. For additional information, visit

Performances: Sunday, August 28 at 7:30 pm, Monday, August 29 at 7:30 pm, Tuesday, August 30 at 7:30 pm and Wednesday, August 31 at 7:30 pm.

Outgoing Artistic Director E.M. Davis and Managing Director Rose Hamill comment, "Bechdel Fest has been a beloved annual staple of Broken Nose Theatre since way back in 2013. The sixth edition was the very first event that we produced during our tenure, and we're thrilled that its ninth edition will be our final show. This year's eight plays come from an incredible roster of playwrights and directors that include BNT ensemble, staff members and some of our absolute favorite artists from around Chicago. Even this lineup's theme - Next Level - feels unbelievably fitting, as the company enters its second decade of economically accessible theatre in ways that make us thrilled to see what BNT does next. We can't wait to share these plays with you!"

Bechdel Fest 9: Next Level includes:

Bitch! (or That Reunion Scene in The Color Purple)

By Ben F. Locke*, directed by Michael Mejia

Featuring Taylor B. Hill and Sarah Patin

Middle Ages

By Jennifer Blackmer*, directed by Jen Poulin*

Featuring Maggie Cain and Alexandria Crawford


By Brittney Brown*, directed by Allison Petrillo

Featuring Mikayla De Guzman and Hilary Hensler


By August Forman*, Directed by Spencer Diedrick
Featuring Kelsey McGrath and Joolz Stroop

I'm a Gamer

By E.M. Davis*, directed by Ruben Carrazana

Featuring Lexy Weixel

Stress Awareness Month

By Karissa Murrell Myers, directed by Christina Casano

Featuring Cathleen Brumback, Shaina Toledo, Michael-Ellen Walden and Emily Zhang

The Ergonomic Perfection of the Rotary Phone

By Brian James Polak, directed by Elizabeth Lovelady
Featuring Kim Boler, and Michael-Ellen Walden

Between Floors

by Leah Roth Barsanti, directed by Rose Hamill*

Featuring Hannah Boutilier, Kristen Secrist and Boogie Willis

*Denotes Broken Nose Theatre company members

Broken Nose Theatre is a Pay-What-You-Can theatre company. Founded in 2012, BNT was the 2018 recipient of the Emerging Theater Award, presented by the League of Chicago Theatres and Broadway in Chicago. The company has produced and developed 30 full-length plays (including 12 Chicago or world premieres) and over 60 new short plays through our annual Bechdel Fest. We strive to spark conversation, cultivate empathy, and amplify underrepresented voices, and are committed to making new, exciting and relevant theatre that is economically accessible to all audiences. For more information, please visit