Greenhouse Theater Center Announces Artists & Mentors for THE TRELLIS RESIDENCY INITIATIVE

Greenhouse Theater Center Announces Artists & Mentors for THE TRELLIS RESIDENCY INITIATIVE

Following an open submission process, Greenhouse Theater Center is pleased to announce the seven artists chosen for THE TRELLIS RESIDENCY INITIATIVE, a new professional development program led by Artistic Director Jacob Harvey and Literary Manager Nick Thornton. The program is designed for Chicago-area playwrights, devisors and creators under 30 to cultivate and present new works. Each artist is paired with professional mentors from Chicago's theatre community for a comprehensive one-month residency culminating in a public showing at the Greenhouse, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. Artists also receive access to writing and rehearsal space, production resources and staffing for their final presentation.

"This program is a cornerstone of Greenhouse Theater Center's commitment to growing the next generation of our local theatre community" comments Artistic Director Jacob Harvey, "Each resident brings something truly remarkable to the table, and together they capture a varying landscape of aesthetics. Keeping with the storied history of our building as an incubator of Chicago's most innovative voices, we are thrilled to continue that legacy by investing more fully into growing tomorrow's artists, today"

The inaugural TRELLIS RESIDENCY INITIATIVE artists and mentors include:

Grace McLeod

Mentored by Playwright Rebecca Gilman and Director Jonathan L. Green

Public reading: Monday, October 30, 2017 at 7 pm

Anna Rose Wolfe

Mentored by Playwright Mark Chrisler and Director Carin Silkaitis

Public reading: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 7 pm

Hannah Verdon

Mentored by Playwright Philip Dawkins and Director Keira Fromm

Public reading: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 7 pm

Benjamin (B.J.) Tindal Jr.

Mentored by Playwright Isaac Gomez

Public reading: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 7 pm

Aileen McGroddy

Mentored by Playwright Laura Schellhardt and Director Devon de Mayo

Public reading: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 7 pm

Sami Ismat

Mentored by Playwright Brett Neveu and Director Josh Sobel

Public reading: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 7 pm


Mentored by Playwright Aaron Carter

Public reading: Tuesday, June 26 at 7 pm

Tickets for the public readings are FREE, and can be reserved at, via phone (773) 404-7336 or in person at the box office at 2257 North Lincoln Avenue.

About the Artists

Grace McLeod is a Chicago-based playwright, screenwriter and undergraduate student at the University of Chicago. As a playwright, she has had the pleasure of working with First Floor Theater, Chimera Ensemble and the Victory Gardens Theater College Night series. Her debut short film Under the Table premiered during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and her films have screened at venues and festivals nationwide. Grace is currently a writing and research assistant to playwright Young Jean Lee.

Anna Rose Wolfe is a writer, performer and teaching artist. Her work is centered on personal narrative and solo performance. She is an alumna of Columbia College Chicago where she earned a BA in Acting and a minor in Gender Studies, graduating magna cum laude. Anna is the co-founder and Outreach Director of Scout & Birdie, an online literary magazine and podcast. She has performed with The LIVINGroom, The Plagiarists, National Cool Shorts and Miss Spoken. Her work has been featured in Fillet of Solo, Greenhouse Theatre's Solo Celebration, Abbie Fest, Greenhouse Theatre's SoloPerformance Lab, The Election Monologues and SheFest.

Hannah Verdon is a Chicago-based playwright. Her plays have been presented at readings across the city, including Elite, which was presented at Writers Theater, and the ten-minute Eleanor Absolute, which was presented at Victory Gardens Theater's College Night. Her full-length The Graces, which was also presented as a staged reading, won Northwestern's 2014 Agnes Nixon Playwriting Competition. Other performed plays include Susie and the Mind Stealers (Dusty Theater), Super Super Bomb (Wirtz Center Ten Minute Play Festival) and Mouse (Trailblazers in TYA). When she is not writing, Hannah teaches one-on-one and in school programs with Academic Approach. B.A. Northwestern University, summa cum laude.

Benjamin (B.J.) Tindal Jr. ?is a playwright and performance poet from Philadelphia, PA. He graduated Oberlin College with a BA in Theater and Africana studies, and is a second year graduate student in Northwestern's Writing for the Screen + Stage MFA as of Fall 2017. He has worked with a number of organizations dedicated to the success of early playwrights, including the Goodman Theater, New Dramatists and Philadelphia Young Playwrights. His play Goodnight, Tyler was recently a finalist in Quick Silver Theater Company's Playwrights of Color Summit. BJ is thrilled to be a member of Greenhouse Theater's Trellis Residency Initiative 2017 - 2018.

Aileen McGroddy is the artistic director of the devised physical theatre company, The Forks & Hope Ensemble, where she has co-created all of the ensemble's previous works: The Hunting of the Snark, Best Beloved: The Just So Stories, The Pied Piper, Robin Hood and Maid Marion and A Hero's Journey. She is also the founder and producer of The Whiskey Radio Hour, a recurring evening of new radio plays and live music. She is a company member of TUTA Theatre, where most recently directed the TUTAlab The Man Who Turned Into a Stick and movement and assistant directed Gentle. Aileen has also directed at The Plagiarists, Emerald City Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, Mudlark Theatre, Theatre-Hikes, The Whiskey Rebellion, The Chicago Fringe Festival and WildClaw Theatre's DeathScribe. She has assistant directed at Court Theatre, The House Theatre, The Hypocrites, The Actors Gymnasium and Theatre Y.

Sami Ismat was awarded the prestigious Said Foundation scholarship to do an MFA in Directing at East 15. Sami has practiced theatre in Syria, UAE, Russia, UK and Chicago. He is an aspiring theatre director, actor, educator and filmmaker who strives to make change through art by using his cultural knowledge and awareness of the global political situation having lived in seven different countries across different continents. He looks to break down assumptions and inform the world on the full complexity of the human condition in conflicted parts of the world and to offer a different perspective and an authentic voice. Sami hopes to develop and redefine theatre internationally and in Middle East by empowering young artists to become aesthetically innovative and make art a tool for social and political progress. Sami's is interested in adapting methods of storytelling from various cultures and international theatrical movements. He is interested in telling stories both devised and written as well as reimagining classics through concepts that directly reflects our contemporary world.

bréia or bréi (breh-yah), musician/poet/playwright/holder of narratives - searches for voice and to love from this body this body looking to weave ancestors from this body. looking to find celebration peacefully relying on healing as if that is all one could have. i like the (eh-ay) sound in my name cus i think of pray and breath. i find myself trying to love myself mostly from those two things.

About the Greenhouse Theater Center
The Greenhouse Theater Center is a producing theater company, performance venue and theatre bookstore located at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Our mission is first and foremost to grow local theatre.

The Greenhouse Theater began its producing life in 2014 with the smash hit Churchill, after which came 2016's much-lauded Solo Celebration!, a nine-month, 16-event series highlighting the breadth and depth of the solo play form. Building on last year's success, the Greenhouse will expand beyond single-performer productions in its soon-to-be-announced 2017-18 season. With a focus on our community, the Greenhouse is also launching the Trellis playwriting residency, an initiative designed to cultivate the next generation of Chicago theatre creators and a two-tiered education program for college and high school students.

As a performance venue, our complex offers two newly remodeled 190-seat main stage spaces, two 60-seat studio theaters, two high-capacity lobbies, and an in-house rehearsal room. We strive to cultivate a fertile environment for local artists, from individual renters to our bevy of resident companies, and to develop and produce their work. In 2016, the Greenhouse announced a new residency program, which offers a reduced rate to local storefront companies while giving the Greenhouse a stake in the resident's success. We also offer the community affordable access to our work by housing Chicago's only dedicated used theatre bookstore, located on the second floor of our complex.

With new ideas always incubating, the Greenhouse Theater Center is flourishing. Come grow with us!

PHOTO CREDIT: Greenhouse Theater Center's 2017-18 Trellis Residency Initiative artists (left to right) Sami Ismat, Benjamin (B.J.) Tindal Jr., Aileen McGroddy, Hannah Verdon, Grace McLeod, Bréia and Anna Rose Wolfe. Photo by Alex Higgin-Houser.

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