Polarity Ensemble Theatre Set for Residency at Greenhouse Theater Center

By: Nov. 05, 2013

Polarity Ensemble Theatre announces its new residency at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614. Polarity will kick off its residency with the Polarity Greenhouse for Growth Fundraiser Saturday, November 16, 2013, followed by an innovative production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, adapted and directed by Polarity's Artistic Director Richard Engling, January 30 through March 2, 2013. Press night is Saturday, February 1 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for both events are currently on sale.

This move marks the end of a five year residency at the Josephinum Academy in Wicker Park, a period in which Polarity increasingly focused its efforts on developing and producing new work by local playwrights. Polarity's final production at the Josephinum, Never the Bridesmaid by Chicago-area playwright Bill Jepsen, earned Bill a Jeff nomination for Best New Work and a Jeff Award for Best Actress for Lindsey Pearlman in the show's lead role.

The Polarity Greenhouse for Growth Fundraiser will honor Polarity playwrights with special guest Bill Jepsen in attendance and the awarding of the 2013 Dionysos Cup to Chuck O'Connor for his play, Miracles in the Fall. Entertainment will include scenes from the upcoming production of Macbeth, as well as food, beverages and a silent auction. Tickets are $45 or $40 each for four or more before November 10. $50 each thereafter.

A company whose goal is "to bring new life to the classics and new work to life," Polarity will begin its residency with a large, splashy production of Macbeth, opening February 1 in the spacious Greenhouse upstairs mainstage. This will be a reimagining of Polarity's very first production, the 2005 Absolute Macbeth, a production that stood as Polarity's best-selling show until eclipsed by the award-winning Never the Bridesmaid. About Absolute Macbeth, the Chicago Tribune said: "Perhaps the moniker 'Extreme Macbeth' was already used, but the Polarity Ensemble's millennial version of this Shakespearean tragedy is just that--featuring martial arts, percussionists and ritual magic."

Going forward, Polarity will have a new partner in its new play development work. "One of the many appeals of this move is that the Greenhouse will be helping sponsor our Dionysos Cup Festival of New Plays," says Polarity Artistic Director Richard Engling. "Greenhouse Executive Director Jason Epperson is making the development of new work a priority for the Greenhouse. With the Greenhouse partnership, we see ourselves expanding the work we do with playwrights."

The Dionysos Cup Festival of New Plays is already one of the most intensive new work development processes in town. Four or five plays are selected annually from an open call for scripts from local writers. The selected scripts are treated to a six month development process. Scripts that go on to receive a full production, typically get at least six months more of development, for a full year of work with Polarity artists before opening night.

Polarity Ensemble Theatre is a professionally diverse group of artists who strive to advance the state of Chicago theater for both local and international audiences by developing new works and bringing new life to the classics through live performance, workshops, and publishing. For more information, visit www.petheatre.com.


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