Chicago Dramatists Will Host Performances of Mark Larson's WORKING

Performances are May 17 and May 18.

By: Apr. 15, 2024
Chicago Dramatists Will Host Performances of Mark Larson's WORKING
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Chicago Dramatists will host a unique two-night theatrical celebration of acclaimed Mark Larson's new book, Working in the 21st Century: An Oral History of American Work in a Time of Social and Economic Transformation.

"As Artistic Director I'm always looking for ways to combine our own arts mission with the larger landscape of the humanities. This opportunity to uplift Mark Larson and Studs Terkel's seminal works, alongside our CD actors, directors, and writers, deeply satisfies me in my own work, as a curator, dramaturg, and playwright."- Carson Grace Becker, Artistic Director, Chicago Dramatists

Please join us for two evenings of performances, roundtables and salon conversations, a book-signing, and live music, all in celebration of Mark Larson's newest publication. Fifty years after Studs Terkel's landmark 1974 book Working, Mark Larson, who is also the author of Ensemble, has taken up Studs' original socio-historical purpose by interviewing over a hundred people about the work they do-day in and day out-across a vast spectrum of job titles, wages, and geography.

Spanning two evenings (May 17 and May 18 at Chicago Dramatists located at 798 N. Aberdeen, Chicago, IL 60642), 12 of these enlightening, passionate, and highly personal histories will be performed by some of Chicago's most talented actors and playwrights-many of whom are from Chicago Dramatists' own artistic community-at the Russ Tutterow Theater. Following the monologues, there will be a roundtable discussion with Mark Larson and other Chicago luminaries, some who have shared connections with Studs Terkel himself, as well as mutual interests in social justice, our local theater community, and personal extended experience with the Arts, Social Action and the Humanities.

Books will be available onsite for purchase, and these two evenings will culminate with a book signing opportunity, some cabaret musical offerings, and a chance to mix-and-mingle in our theater lobby with performers, speakers, and guests.

Attendees may purchase tickets for one or both evenings, and each of these two nights will showcase completely different casts and material. The evenings promise to be buoyant, uplifting, and meaningful as audiences and speakers alike will revisit and recenter much of what makes our city so remarkable, vibrant, and profound. All proceeds will help fund Chicago Dramatists' mission to nurture and grow the next generation of new American plays, and to support and uplift playwrights at all levels of their careers.

Working will be performed at Chicago Dramatists, 798 N. Aberdeen, in an exclusive two-night event, May 17 and May 18. Tickets ($75 - $125; subject to change) are available for purchase through the events calendar, here.


  • Arlene Malinowski (Creating and Performing Your Solo Show (co-author, Julie Ganey) Northwestern University Press, Winter 2025)

  • Wendy Mateo (Teatro Vista, Co-Artistic Director)

  • Kęstutis Nakas (We Started a Nightclub: Birth of the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge as Told by Those Who Lived It, co-authors Brian Butterick, and Susan Martin, Damiani, May 21, 2024)

  • Josh Fardon (Actor, Three-Time O'neill Finalist)

Featuring panel discussion from luminaries including:

  • Kerry Reid (Chicago Reader)

  • Natalie Moore (WBEZ, Award-winning playwright and journalist)

ABOUT Chicago Dramatists

Russ Tutterow had a vision, a plan, and the determination to create Chicago Dramatists 45 years ago. He was a director, manager, and instructor for Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens, The Royal George, Mercury, Briar Street, Prop, Zebra Crossing, Igloo, and Cullen, Henaghan & Platt Productions, as well as Café LaMama Hollywood, and served on the 2005 First Look Council at Steppenwolf Theatre.

But in founding Chicago Dramatists, in 1979, he created something lasting, and for this Russ was the recipient of the 2005 League of Chicago Theatres Artistic Leadership Award for his "outstanding achievement in developing new plays and his long time contribution to Chicago theatre." Chicago Dramatists lost Russ back in 2015 to cancer, but his legacy lives on.

Guided by a new generation of devoted theater artists, Chicago Dramatists continues to contribute new work and new talent to both the local and national theater scene. Year round classes and workshops are led by experienced and invested theater professionals, and through our yearly programming, audiences attend staged readings, post show talkbacks, and become a critical part of our new play development process.

That's Chicago Dramatists' and Russ Tutterow's legacy. New plays, emerging and existing playwrights, and Artistic Staff and Board of Directors dedicated to both the ideal and the hard work of on-going Chicago theatre excellence.


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