Jackalope Theatre Company Announces Season 15

The season will culminate in the return of the 14th Annual Living Newspaper Festival in the summer of 2023.

By: Sep. 23, 2022

Jackalope Theatre Company Announces Season 15

Jackalope Theatre Company has announced their return to in-person performances with their 2022/2023 season featuring the Among the Dead by Hansol Jung, directed by Jackalope Artistic Director Kaiser Ahmed*, and the world premiere of Pretty Shahid written by company member Omer Abbas Salem*, and directed by Sophiyaa Nayar. The season will also see the return of the 14th Annual Living Newspaper Festival in the spring of 2023.

"We're thrilled to announce Jackalope's 15th Season of plays, all housed in our recently expanded and revamped venue at the Broadway Armory Park." Artistic Director, Kaiser Ahmed says of Season 15, "This season begins with the kaleidoscopic Among The Dead by acclaimed playwright Hansol Jung, which is the first play in the company's history to expand the definition of American Identity beyond our nation's shores. The 14th Annual Living Newspaper Festival will present fully produced one-act plays alongside opportunities for community engagement and activism. The season concludes with Pretty Shahid, a play born and developed at Jackalope, and our first production centered in the muslim, SWANASA (South West Asian, North African, and South Asian) diapora. Through these stories, the 22/23 season sets out to investigate the past through the lens of the present. Jackalope remains a place to see the city's greatest established and rising talents in an intimate space. We hope you'll join us for every beat."

"Our industry and our world has evolved rapidly over the past two years. Jackalope is heartened by the opportunity to welcome audiences back with a season of offerings that invite us to reflect upon and confront all that we've learned and experienced during that time" shares Managing Director, Tina El Gamal "This season's plays explore the relationships between loss, hope, and our collective dreams for the future - which so many of us have become keenly aware of in the past few years"

Season subscriptions can be purchased for $80 and include one ticket to each mainstage production and one ticket to the 14th Annual Living Newspaper Festival. Single tickets range from $15-35. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale now TICKETS HERE, or by calling the Box Office at 773-340-2543.

Among the Dead

Written by Hansol Jung
Directed by Kaiser Ahmed*

November 4th - December 11th, 2022, Jackalope Theatre in the Broadway Armory, 5917 N Broadway

Press Opening: November 10th at 7:30pm

Tickets are on sale now, $15-35

Among the Dead is a dark comedy about a family broken apart by betrayed promises. They find each other again through SPAM, journals, and Jesus. Mostly Jesus.

Ana is a Korean American who travels to Seoul in 1975 to retrieve her recently deceased father's ashes. Luke is a young American soldier fighting in the jungles of Myanmar in 1944. Number Four is the name of a Korean comfort woman camping out on a bridge in Seoul in 1950, waiting for the return of the young American soldier who fathered her daughter. Three separate time periods collide in a small hotel room in Korea, mediated by a shape-shifting Jesus, who first shows up as a bellboy.


Hansol Jung (she/her) is a playwright from South Korea. Productions include Wild Goose Dreams (The Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse), Wolf Play (NNPN Rolling Premiere: Artists Rep, Mixed Blood, Company One), Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival at ATL), Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theatre), and No More Sad Things (Sideshow, Boise Contemporary). Commissions from The Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, National Theatre in UK, Playwrights Horizons, Artists Repertory Theater, Ma-Yi Theatre and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her work has been developed at Royal Court, New York Theatre Workshop, Hedgebrook, Berkeley Repertory, Sundance Theatre Lab, O'Neill Theater Center, and the Lark. Hansol is the recipient of the Hodder Fellowship, Whiting Award, Helen Merrill Award, Page 73 Fellowship, Lark's Rita Goldberg Fellowship, NYTW's 2050 Fellowship, MacDowell Artist Residency, and International Playwrights Residency at Royal Court. She is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, NYTW's Usual Suspects, and The New Class of Kilroys. MFA: Yale.

Kaiser Ahmed* (he/him) is a Chicago-based theatre director, producer, teacher, and actor. Kaiser was the Founding Artistic Director of Jackalope Theatre Company from 2008-2012 and continued to lead as the Associate Artistic Director through 2019. He resumed serving as Artistic Director beginning 2020. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and raised in mid-Michigan, Kaiser was recently named on NewCity's "Players 2019: Fifty People Who Really Perform For Chicago". At Jackalope, Kaiser directed Fast Company, 1980 (or Why I'm Voting for John Anderson), and many others. Chicago credits also include Passage (Remy Bumppo), the Midwest Premiere of The Late Henry Moss (The Artistic Home), Language Rooms (Broken Nose Theatre), Washer/Dryer and VANYA (or That's Life!) (Rasaka Theatre). Regional credits include the World Premiere of Stoo's Famous Martian-American Gumbo, an interactive and touring TYA play commissioned by Peppercorn Theatre in Winston-Salem, NC. Kaiser is a 2015-16 Eugene O'Neill National Directors Fellowship Finalist, a 2016-17 Victory Gardens Directors Inclusion Initiative recipient, and an Associate Member of SDC. A member of SAG-AFTRA and proudly represented by Gray Talent, Kaiser has made television appearances on Fargo, Chicago Med, and others. Kaiser holds a BA in Theatre Directing from Columbia College Chicago. http://kaiserahmed.org

Pretty Shahid

Written by Omer Abbas Salem**
Directed by Sophiyaa Nayar (she/her)

June 16th - July 23rd, 2023, Jackalope Theatre in the Broadway Armory, 5917 N Broadway

Press Opening: June 20th at 7:30pm

Tickets are on sale now, $15-35

The Kazem family immigrated to Chicago from Iraq and are attempting to assimilate and live - when 9/11 happens. This romantic comedy uses classic film tropes to examine identity and which knots we choose to untie to become our ideal American. This is a play about self discovery.


Omer Abbas Salem* (he/him) is a Chicago actor and playwright. As an actor, he's worked with Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The New Coordinates, Jackalope Theatre, Steep Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Griffin Theatre, The House, Bailiwick Chicago, Actors Theatre of Louisville, St. Louis Rep, Roundabout Theater, and The Atlantic Theater. As a playwright, his work has been developed and produced at Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, First Floor Theater, DePaul University, National Queer Theater, Definition Theatre, About Face Theater, and The New Coordinates. He is the winner of Steppenwolf's SCOUT Development Project (20/21), Definition Theatre's Amplify Commission (20/21), Goodman Theatre's Future Labs Development (21), The Cunningham Commission at DePaul Theatre School (21/22), Goodman Theatre's Playwrights Unit (21/22) and First Floor Theater's Blueprint Commission (21/22). He was an apprentice of The Actors Theatre of Louisville (17/18) and is also a proud ensemble member with Jackalope Theatre, Steep Theatre, First Floor Theater, and The New Coordinates. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and the University of Chicago. During the day, he's a Client Strategist in new-tech. Abbas is represented by DDO Artist Agency and The Gersh Agency. More at omerabbassalem.com.

Sophiyaa Nayar (she/her) Sophiyaa is from New Delhi, India. She creates interdisciplinary and genre-bending work that centers (im)migrants. She is a member of the WP Lab 2020-22, 3Arts Make a Wave Grantee, a Definition Theatre ensemble member, a member of Directors' Lab Chicago 2017, and a resident in Milwaukee Rep's 2017/18 season. Recent directing credits: MODERN WOMEN by Omer Abbas Salem (Playwrights Unit Reading, Goodman Theatre), PLURAL (LOVE) by Jen Goma and Haruna Lee (WP, Pipeline Festival), SHAKUNTALA by Lavina Jadhwani (Future Labs, Goodman Theatre). LOVE IN THE TIME OF JONESTOWN: A RADIO PLAY by Omer Abbas Salem (New Coordinates), GOOD YEARS by Ada Alozie (Film, Definition Theatre), PRETTY SHAHID by Omer Abbas Salem (Jackalope Theatre). Recent AD credits: SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE... with Cecily Strong (Leigh Silverman), NOLLYWOOD DREAMS (Saheem Ali). She was part of the SDC Foundation's Observership Class, through which she worked on SOFT POWER by Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang at The Public. Her production of ETHIOPIANAMERICA By Sam Kebede (Definition Theatre) won Black Theatre Alliance Awards for Best Play, Featured Actor and Actress, and a Jeff award for Fight Choreography. She has developed work with Steppenwolf, Center Theatre Group, The Shed, American Players Theatre, Writers Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, and MCC theatre. Her recent touring show, MOVEMENT LIVE is headed to Lincoln Center in 2023. More on sophiyaanayar.net.

14th Annual Living Newspaper Festival

May 4th - May 8th, 2023, 2023, Jackalope Theatre in the Broadway Armory, 5917 N Broadway

Tickets are on sale now, $15-$20

Six short plays inspired by news articles featuring rising talent in Chicago. Jackalope is proud to return to an in-person Living Newspaper Festival for the second time since 2020.