Buzz22 Chicago's World Premiere Production of GHOST BIKE Begins Tonight

Buzz22 Chicago's World Premiere Production of GHOST BIKE Begins Tonight

Buzz22 Chicago has announced the casting for the World Premiere production of Laura Jacqmin's "GHOST BIKE," directed by Co-Artistic Director Sara Sawicki, tonight, February 27 - March 30, 2014 at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W Belmont Ave. Combining elements of Greek, African, and Chinese mythology, "GHOST BIKE" depicts two best friends navigating the ultimate challenge to a friendship through an underworld beneath their home city of Chicago. "GHOST BIKE" is Buzz22 Chicago's next production after their sold out and highly acclaimed production of "She Kills Monsters" at the Steppenwolf Garage in Feb-April 2013.

"We're thrilled to be working with Chicago Playwright, Laura Jacqmin, on this ambitious new piece and to be bringing it to life in the very city it was written for," says Co-Artistic Director of Buzz22 Chicago Scott Weinstein. "We're especially excited to bring the experience beyond the stage through partnerships with biking organizations around the city."

In "GHOST BIKE," Ora and Eddie, best friends since elementary school, fall in love with the city of Chicago on their bikes. When Eddie is hit by a car and killed, Ora refuses to let him go, riding beneath the city to have one last conversation with her friend. But the city won't part with Eddie's soul so easily. Jumping off from Greek, African, and Chinese mythology, "GHOST BIKE" is a mash-up of underworld and after-life, from the seats of fixies, BMX's and ten-speeds. "GHOST BIKE" was originally commissioned by Carthage College.

"GHOST BIKE" is written by Chicago playwright Laura Jacqmin and directed by Buzz22 Chicago Co-Artistic Director Sara Sawicki. This world premiere production features Aurora Adachi-Winter as Ora and Ricky Staffieri as Eddie, and Scot West as King Yama. Rounding out the ensemble are Thea Lux, Ben Hertel, Lea Pascal, Quincey Krull, Alex Tey, and Margaret Cook. Joining these artists on the creative team for "GHOST BIKE" are Scenic Designer John Wilson, Costume and Makeup Designer Izumi Inaba, Lighting Designer Jeff Glass, Sound Designer Daniel Carlyon and Props Designer Molly FitzMaurice. Choreographer Nathan Drackett, Composer Matt Deitchman and Bike Consultant George Bajalia also join the creative team.

When she wrote "GHOST BIKE," Chicago native Laura Jacqmin was searching for a distinctly midwestern setting. "In addition to the Chicago influences on the story, I was influenced by various underworld and afterlife stories from all over the world," Jacqmin says. "Bringing this multitude of tales into one familiar place allows a city that is vitally important and familiar to the characters and audiences to become strange and altered." Featuring an ensemble of actors who will perform the show almost entirely on bikes, "GHOST BIKE" will incorporate bike tricks, circus arts, and unique designs to create a vivid portrait of Chicago and its fictional underworld.

About Laura Jacqmin: Laura Jacqmin is a Chicago-based playwright, and the winner of the 2008 Wasserstein Prize, a $25,000 award given to recognize an emerging female playwright. She graduated cum laude from Yale University and earned an MFA from Ohio University.

Her play "January Joiner" was the recipient of an NEA Arts Works grant for its premiere production in Long Wharf Theatre's 2012-2013 season, dir. Eric Ting. "Two Lakes, Two Rivers" (originally commissioned by Goodman Theatre, and further developed during The Royal Court Theatre's 2011 International Residency) was workshopped at the 2012 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, dir. Henry Wishcamper. Other plays include Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Look, We Are Breathing (Sundance Theatre Lab), and Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (which enjoyed a sold-out run with Chicago Dramatists/At Play in 2010, and was remounted at 16th Street Theatre and Theater on the Lake in 2011).

Her work has been produced and developed by Atlantic Theater Company, Old Vic New Voices, Roundabout Underground, Vineyard Theatre, LCT3, Ars Nova, Cape Cod Theatre Project, Second Stage Theatre, Contemporary American Theater Festival, The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway, and the inaugural NNPN University Playwrights Workshop at Stanford University, among others. Jacqmin has been commissioned by South Coast Rep, Goodman Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Science and Technology Project, Arden Theatre Company, Carthage College, Victory Gardens Theatre/NNPN, and InterAct Theatre.

About Buzz22 Chicago: Buzz22 Chicago (Scott Weinstein and Sara Sawicki, Co-Artistic Directors; Philip de Guzman, Managing Director) was founded by seven Northwestern University graduates in 2010. Buzz22's last production, the Midwest premiere of "She Kills Monsters" in Steppenwolf Theatre's 2013 Garage Rep, was called "Clever, funny, moving, lively and delightfully geeky" by Chris Jones at the Chicago Tribune. Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times called the production "An epic winner on every count," and went on to say "Buzz22 Chicago is a company I'd not heard of before but will not soon forget." The company seeks to provide a home for up-and-coming artists in the Chicago area. Buzz22 stages stories to explore the constant coming of age: the ever-occurring moments that challenge who we are and who we want to be.

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