the side project's F.X. Kroetz Double Bill Opens 1/5 with THROUGH THE LEAVES

the side project's F.X. Kroetz Double Bill Opens 1/5 with THROUGH THE LEAVES

Playwright Franz Xaver (F.X.) Kroetz is infrequently presented in Chicago, despite being Germany's most-produced living playwright during the 1980s and 90s. All that will change when the side project - known for its hyper-intimacy - takes on Kroetz, known for his hyper-realism and unrelenting depictions of loneliness, with a two-show rep in January and February.

The two plays, along with the rest of the side project's 2014 offerings (seven plays in all!) will be featured as part of a December 14th sneak preview at 5pm, to be held in conjunction with Shop Jarvis Square (details below).

Through the Leaves, a two-character play written in 1976, tells of the relationship between a rough, emotionally abusive laborer and a lonely middle-aged woman. The cast (H.B. Ward and Laurie Larson) and director (Andy Hager) worked on the play for a public reading in T.U.T.A.'s Lab Theater before bringing the project to Artistic Director Adam Webster. "I fell in love with the immediacy of the play, and the regrettable timelessness of staid relationships and confining social mores," Webster said. "I have also adored working with Andy as an actor ("Elsewhere," "People We Know") and was thrilled to provide him a directing opportunity."

Through the Leaves will preview January 3-4, 2014, and open Sunday, January 5, with an additional press showing on Monday January 6. The regular run will be: Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays (no show Jan. 26) at 7:00pm through February 1, 2014. There will be additional performances Tuesday, January 28 and Wednesday, January 29 at 7:30pm.

Through the Leaves was produced in New York off-Broadway in 1984 and in a critically acclaimed production in London's West End in 2003 starring Simon Callow. The New York Times' Frank Rich said of the 1984 off-Broadway production, "It sticks like a splinter in the mind."

The second play in the side project's Kroetz mini-festival will be Request Concert - the play that first brought Kroetz to the attention of American audiences. Request Concert is a one-woman, wordless play about an intensely solitary woman. The New York Times' Mel Gussow said of the play's 1981 New York production, "Such is the clear-sighted dramatic vision of Mr. Kroetz that the mundane is transformed into something close to hypnotic. Request Concert is a fascinating play about a commonplace subject."

Featuring Meg Elliott under the direction of Mary Ellen O'Hara, Request Concert will preview January 20-21, 2014, at 7:30pm and open on Wednesday, January 22 at 7:30pm.

The programming allows the side project to run both shows from January 22 through February 1, 2014, allowing audiences to process the themes in relation to each other.

Through the Leaves
By F.X. Kroetz
Directed by Andy Hager
Performed by H.B. Ward and Laurie Larson
January 5 - February 1, 2014
(Previews: January 3-4 at 7:30pm)
Press Opening Sunday, January 5 at 7pm
Additional Press Performance Monday, January 6 at 7:30pm
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 7:00pm (no show January 26)
Added performances Tuesday, January 28 and Wednesday, January 29 at 7:30pm

Request Concert
By F.X. Kroetz
Directed by Mary Ellen O'Hara
Performed by Meg Elliott
January 22 - February 2, 2014
(Previews Monday, Jan 20 and Tuesday, January 21 at 7:30pm)
Press Opening Wednesday, January 22 at 7:30 pm
Saturdays at 4pm (Jan. 25 and Feb. 1), Sundays at 6pm (Jan. 26 and Feb. 2), Mondays at 7:30pm (Jan. 20 and 27)

the side project is located at 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. Tickets: $15-20. (Rogers Park Rush: $10 for all unsold tickets at the door with ID showing residence in ZIP Codes 60626 or 60645). To order, visit or call 773-340-0140

Three more 2-show reps - including world premiere Kathleen Tolan, myriad Midwest premieres - highlight rest of side project's 2013-14 season the side project will continue its mission of creating world premiere collaborations and presenting new voices throughout 2013-14. Dan Caffrey's psycho-Western, Sandalwood, will get its world premiere under the direction of Aaron Hendrickson, March 27 - April 20, 2014, in a side project co-production with Tympanic Theatre Company.

The season's second double-bill - the world premiere of What to Listen For by Kathleen Tolan, directed by Adam Goldstein, and the Midwest premiere of Kristen Kosmas' Hello Failure, directed by Adam Webster - will run June 1-July 6, 2014. The season will conclude with the Midwest premiere of Daniel Talbott's Mike and Seth, directed by Webster (the same team who brought you the critically acclaimed Slipping in 2008), and run in rep with the Chicago premiere of Christine Whitley's pool shark play Miles Away, directed by Scott Weinstein running Aug 1-31, 2014.

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