Chicago Theatre Workshop to Debut CREATIVES World Premiere Pop Opera

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Paul Brenner's Wednesday night songwriting class is a perfect cross-section of the Chicago music scene, with all its incestuous dysfunction, navel-gazing narcissism, bitter rivalries, and, here and there, shards of transcendent brilliance. When Paul's former student, pop star and singer/songwriter Sean O'Neil, visits this group of wannabe musicians to judge a contest, the stakes are suddenly raised to startling new levels.

Creatives - a darkly comic pop opera with an original book by Irvine Welsh and Don De Grazia and a score including songs from some of the most popular rock bands of recent decades - reveals the desperation that fuels the passion to create. The score will include songs by Simple Minds, New Order, Iggy Pop, Oasis, Happy Mondays and others, along with original songs by Laurence Mark Wythe.

Creatives will be performed from February 16 - 26, 2017 at the Edge Theatre, 5451 N. Broadway, Chicago. A limited number of seats will be available for each performance.

The initial cast includes Brandon Dahlquist, Felipe Jorge, Maggie Ward, Jonathan Stombres, Vasily Deris, Jake Bradley, Rainey Wright, ELisa Carlson and Nicole Lambert, with additional casting to be announced.


Book by Irvine Welsh and Don De Grazia
Songs from Simple Minds, New Order, Iggy Pop, Oasis, Happy Mondays and others; and original Music by Laurence Mark Wythe
Directed by Tom Mullen
Edge Theatre, 5451 N. Broadway, Chicago
February 16 - 26, 2017
Performances Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM. Tickets, priced at $25.00 are on sale now at


Irvine Welsh (co-author) has published eleven novels and four collections of short stories. His first novel, Trainspotting, has been adapted both as a play and as a feature film directed by Danny Boyle. The novel has since achieved a cult status, aided by the global success of the film. A sequel to the film called Trainspotting 2, based on Welsh's novel Porno and directed by Danny Boyle, will be released worldwide in February.

Some of his other literary works include The Acid House, Marabou Stork Nightmares, Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance, Filth, Glue, Porno, The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs, If You Liked School, You'll Love Work, Contamination, The Weekenders: Travels in the Heart of Africa, Crime, Skagboys, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins, A Decent Ride and The Blade Artist. Welsh has also written several stage plays, including Headstate, You'll Have Had Your Hole, and the musical Blackpool.

Don De Grazia (co-author) is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, American Skin. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Reader, Newcity, TriQuarterly, The Outlaw Bible of American Literature, The Italian American Reader, Rumpus, The Great Lakes Review, Make Magazine, and other publications. He is also a screenwriter in the Writers Guild of America (east) and co-founder/co-host of Come Home Chicago, a live event series dedicated to celebrating the Chicago storytelling tradition in all its forms.

Laurence Mark Wythe (composer-lyricist) is the UK born award winning composer and lyricist of the 2011 off-Broadway musical Tomorrow Morning, a show that has now been seen on four continents, having received productions all around the world. He wrote music & lyrics for Through the Door, which is running in Seoul Korea in 2015 and was seen in the West End at Trafalgar Studios in 2009 starring Julie Atherton and Paul Keating. The show had a New York workshop in 2011 starring Kerry Butler. His new musical Stealing Mona Lisa had a West End workshop in 2013 starring David Bedella, Jon Robyns, Kieran Brown and Matthew White. His new show Danny Hero premieres at the Core Theatre Corby in the UK in October 2016.

Tom Mullen (director) is the Artistic Director of Chicago Theatre Workshop. He has been nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for his direction of the 2011 production of the musical Tomorrow Morning, which workshopped in Chicago in 2009. In 2011, he adapted and directed Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting as Trainspotting USA, transporting the setting from Edinburgh, Scotland to Kansas City, U.S.A. He has also been nominated for several Jeff Awards. Additional Chicago credits include Urinetown at The Mercury Theatre, Fucking Men by Joe DiPietro and the American premiere of the musical Departure Lounge by Dougal Irvine.

Chicago Theatre Workshop, a New Theatre Company in Chicago's Edgewater Neighborhood, seeks to produce work that challenges our perception of art and music. With a hybrid development and production model, CTW will act as an incubator for emerging talent and their work and help provide the resources needed for commercial success. CTW will produce plays with music, musicals and performance pieces where music is used to tell the story. Artists' work will also reach global audiences through a digital platform where select productions will be made available for streaming.

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