Ruckus Theater Stages Remounted HEIST PLAY, Now thru 11/10

The Ruckus's follow-up to their Jeff-Recommended production of Facing Angela will be a revamped version of their first Chicago production, Heist Play. Through a workshop and development process in 2013, this production has undergone significant rewrites by playwright Mitch Vermeersch since its 2009 world premiere. It will again be staged by that production's director, Allison Shoemaker, and performed at The Side Project Theater today, October 12- November 10, 2013, the intimate storefront venue where both the play and company began.

Heist Play marked The Ruckus' first foray into the Chicago storefront theater scene. The Chicago Reader's AlBert Williams's encouraging review praised the play for its "terse, tough dialogue," intricate plotting and "solid acting." Chicagoist said, "We're excited for this company's future - and if it happens to include a revised production of this show, we'll be there." Four years and a workshop process later, Heist Play's twists and turns emerge from new and darker corners. When their world of cheap beer and empty wallets closes in on them, Nick, Tommy and Marianne decide to plan the perfect heist, just like in the movies. It isn't long before they realize their perfect heist would make the perfect film. A black comedy that deconstructs the film noir formula and turns archetypes inside out, Heist Play follows three sad and desperate misfits in their attempt to play the perfect angle, pull the perfect con, or find some way to force a plot twist - no matter what it costs.

"It's thrilling to revisit Heist Play with just a little more age, a little more grit, behind it," said Artistic Director, Allison Shoemaker. "We've grown over the last five years, and the play in which we're enveloped is a very different one than the play which so gripped us in 2009.

The cast of Heist Play includes Ruckus ensemble members Catherine Bullard (Barbara and others), Dan Caffrey (Bandleader), Joshua Davis (Tommy) and Karie Miller (Deitrich); along with Nick Freed (Kevin and others), Dennis Frymire (Frank and others), Brian Hurst (Bartender and others), Beth Lach (understudy), Carmen Molina (Maggie and others), Neal Starbird (Nick), Mike Steele (Murphy), and Christine Vrem-Ydstie (Marianne).

The creative team includes Ruckus ensemble members Alison Shoemaker (Director), Christine Grodecki (Lighting Designer), Daniel Caffrey (Sound Designer), Jessica Reese (Dramaturg), and Casey Bentley (Properties Designer); as well as Mitch Vermeersch (Playwright), Ashley Ann Woods (Costume Designer), Nick Shaw (Scenic Designer), Dustin Spence (Production Manager), Kate Leslie (Assistant Director), and Kristin Davis (Stage Manager).

Mitch Vermeersch (Playwright) hails originally from Clinton Township, Michigan. He has a BA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and sometimes a beard. In 2007 he was a member of the National Theater Institute's Theatermakers Program at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. His plays have been produced at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, The Black Hills Theater in Grand Rapids, MI, and The Hygienic Art Park in New London, CT. In addition toHeist Play, Mitch helped develop past Ruckus Theater Productions Tell It, Speak It, Think It, Breathe It and 15 Minutes. He was around for the foundation of The Ruckus Theater and is thrilled to be working with his brave old buddies once again.

The company will host a fundraiser in support of the production on Saturday, September 21. The event, called NOIR BAR, will be a 1920's speakeasy theme party at The Open Loft, 934 W. Roscoe (3rd Floor), Chicago. Music by Deux Filles DeSang. Info and tickets:

Heist Play by The Ruckus Theater is a part of Chicago Artists Month 2013, the 18th annual celebration of Chicago's vibrant art community presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. For more information, visit

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