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Ka-Tet Theatre to Present Chicago Premiere of SMUDGE, 5/25-6/23

By: Feb. 26, 2013
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Ka-Tet Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere of SMUDGE by two-time Emmy Award-winning writer Rachel Axler, directed by Allison Shoemaker, playing May 25 - June 23, 2013 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. SMUDGE features Ka-Tet company members Stevie Chaddock Lambert and Scott Allen Luke with Andrew Marchetti. Tickets are currently available online at or by calling the Athenaeum Theatre Box Office at (773) 935-6875. The press performance is Tuesday, May 28 at 7:30 pm.

First-time parents Nick and Colby have given birth to Cassie, a baby that is not at all who they believed she would be. While Nick earnestly attempts to bond with the baby, Colby is horrified, ambivalent and humorously hostile, calling the baby a "freak," a "creature" and a "smudge." A reality they never imagined confronts their expectations of parenthood, and their marriage begins to crumble. At times funny, at times achingly sad, Smudge is a play about the disasters we don't plan for, and how we come to accept them.

SMUDGE by Rachel Axler is directed by Allison Shoemaker and features Ka-Tet company members Stevie Chaddock Lambert (Colby) and Scott Allen Luke (Nick) with Andrew Marchetti (Pete).

All performances play the Athenaeum Theatre First Floor Studio, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Previews: Saturday, May 25 at 7:30 pm & Sunday, May 26 at 2 pm. Press performances: Tuesday, May 28 at 7:30 pm. Regular run: May 30 - June 23, 2013. Curtain Times: Thursdays, Friday & Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2:30 pm.

Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $25. $15 students, senior & industry discounts. Tickets are currently available online at or by calling the Athenaeum Theatre Box Office at (773) 935-6875.

Rachel Axler (Playwright) is a playwright and Emmy-winning television writer. Her play Archaeology premiered at The Kitchen Theatre in 2009. Other plays of hers have been developed through The Lark Play Development Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Playwrights Foundation and the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Rachel has held fellowships at The Dramatists Guild and The Lark. Her humor pieces have been published in The New York Times, In Character and two editions of Monologues for Women, By Women. For television, Rachel wrote for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for several years, where she received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program in both 2006 and 2009, and four Writers Guild Award nominations. Her television writing credits also include New Girl, Bored to Death and and Parks & Recreation.

Allison Shoemaker is a director and devising artist committed to ensemble-based exploration and the creation of new work. She is the Artistic Director and a founding member of The Ruckus, as well as a collective member at the side project. Directing credits for The Ruckus include Little Triggers, 15 Minutes (also at Rhinofest), Heist Play and The Gay American, as well as a DCASE Incubator workshop of Elise Mayfield is Samuel Clemens, Samuel Clemens is Mark Twain. Recent directing credits elsewhere include Choosing to Be Here (the side project), Deliver Us From Nowhere (Tympanic Theatre Company), Fresh Eyes Project 2012 - Matawan (Red Tape Theatre) and Elvisbride 3D at Martyr's. Performance credits include appearances with The Mill, TCG and The Ruckus, and Jet Black Chevrolet with Curious Theatre Branch. Allison is currently devising two pieces with The Ruckus.

Ka-Tet Theatre Company produces ensemble driven theatre focusing on a strong collaboration and cohesion between actors, directors and designers. The name of the company, Ka-Tet, means a group of people brought together by ka, or fate, to achieve a common goal. We believe that theatre is a collective experience, that theatre should be visceral; felt first and intellectualized later. We know that experience is only possible when there is an honest connective link, a symbiosis of audience and artist. We welcome each audience to bring their own unique collective experiences and energies to form, every performance, our Ka-Tet.

Since 2009, Ka-Tet has proven to be a dynamic storefront theatre, producing six critically acclaimed and challenging full-length productions. The Chicago Tribune called Ka-Tet's inaugural production of Road "fearless." TimeOut Chicago said the performances in Ka-Tet's 2010 production of Bertolt Brecht's In The Jungle of Cities were "stylized but burn with intensity" and it appeared on WBEZ's Onstage/Backstage list of one of the top 5 overlooked shows of 2010. Ka-Tet Theatre's ensemble acting routinely garners high praise. Ka-Tet's keen vision, willingness to take risks, and insistence on high-quality production values provides a unique connection with its audience.


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