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Sideshow Theatre Announces 2018 'The Freshness Initiative Playwrights' and New Company Members

Sideshow Theatre Announces 2018 'The Freshness Initiative Playwrights' and New Company MembersSideshow Theatre Company is pleased to announce the newest playwrights chosen for its annual "The Freshness Initiative," the company's commissioning and new play development program, now in its fourth year. The 2018 Freshness Initiative will feature PRO-AM, written by Brynne Frauenhoffer and directed by Regina Victor and LORCA PLAY written by Ariel Zetina and directed by artistic director Jonathan L. Green. Free readings of the productions will be presented in July 2018 at Victory Gardens Theater. Sideshow world premieres developed through "The Freshness Initiative" include Kristiana Rae Colón's Tilikum, Philip Dawkins' The Happiest Place on Earth and Calamity West's Give It All Back.

Sideshow is also pleased to welcome two new ensemble members, Katy Carolina Collins and Elly Green, as well as five new artistic associates, Brittany Ducksworth, Michael Huey, Ian Martin, Gabrielle Randle and Ellen Willett.

"We are so proud to deepen our relationships with these artists and to welcome them to the Sideshow family," comments artistic director Jonathan L. Green. "They are responsible for some of Sideshow's-and Chicago's-best work onstage in the last few years."

For additional information on Sideshow Theatre Company's 11th Season, please visit

About "The Freshness Initiative" Playwrights:

Brynne Frauenhoffer spent most of her childhood performing The Lion King as a one-toddler show and writing spec scripts for Pokemon; as an adult, she has decided to basically keep doing things like that forever. After graduating with a BFA from The University of Oklahoma, she moved to Chicago, where she now pursues playwriting and performing. Her full-length play Bury Me has been selected for readings at Echo Theater and Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum. She developed Synchronicity with The Writers Room at The New Colony, where it was selected for a staged reading; it later won the 2016 Davey Foundation Theatre Grant, which included a workshop and reading at Salt Lake Acting Company. Her short plays have been produced by Commission Theatre Company, 20% Theatre Company and the Chicago One Minute Play Festival. As a script supervisor and director's assistant, Brynne has worked on the world premieres of Look, we are breathing (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble), American Beauty Shop (Chicago Dramatists) and A Work of Art (Chicago Dramatists). Currently, Brynne is workshopping Bury Me for Dandelion Theatre's RESERVOIR series, developing the full-length plays Jane's Heir (IT'S BRONTE B*TCH) and Pizza Hut Heartbreaker, and profiling Chicago theatermakers for PerformInk.

Ariel Zetina's plays include Pink Milk (Garage Theatre (CA), Oracle Theatre (4 Jeff Award nominations), FringeNYC, Chicago Fringe); British Honduras Fantasy (reading w/ ALTA, Victory Gardens); Precious Monster Operas (as librettist: Feast Productions, NYC & Chi); Lovedrug (developed at Magic Theatre, SF); Congratulations Alicia (Chicago One Minute Play Festival); Pumpkin; lisafraanqus (Chi Home Theatre Fest). Ariel is the 2018 resident DJ at Smartbar; she has released music with with Boukan Records, Club Chai, & SHXME; her DJ residencies include Hideout (Ariel's Party), Berlin Nightclub (Rosebud), Rumors. She has performed (w/WITCH HAZEL) in Taylor Mac's The Walk Across America For Mother Earth (Steppenwolf Garage Rep), GODZILLA (Pritzker Pavilion), INAUGURATION (The Neo Futurists), FISH (Dfbrl8r Gallery), La Lune De Femme (New Orleans Fringe) and Moonifest Destiny (MCA). Her poetry was part of Bina-48 (Honey Soundsystem's Smartbar Generators Residency).

About the Ensemble Members:

Katy Carolina Collins' Sideshow credits include No More Sad Things (Jessiee), Stupid F##king Bird (Mash) and Idomeneus (Monster/Ensemble). She can also be seen wrestling in CLLAW (Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers) events as Hillary Rod-Arm Clinton. She has acted in Chicago with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Building Stage, Vintage Theater Collective, New Beast and Collaboraction. She is a stakeholder in the Backroom Shakespeare Project, co-founded Pivot Arts, created Chicago Movieoke and is newly a cheerleader with Mucca Pazza. She graduated with a BFA from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program.

Elly Green is a freelance director, whose previous work with Sideshow includes the co-world premiere of Hansol Jung's No More Sad Things and a Freshness Initiative workshop series of Janet Burroway's Boomerang. She recently directed The Distance by Deborah Bruce for Haven Theatre and After Miss Julie by Patrick Marber for Strawdog Theatre. Other Chicago credits include: The Woman Before (Trap Door), Rabbit (Stage Left - Jeff nominated), Happy (Redtwist), Unwilling and Hostile Instruments (Theatre Seven) and The Tomkat Project (Playground Theatre & NY Fringe). Elly was assistant director on Henry V (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and Proof (Court Theatre). She is an artistic associate with Stage Left theatre and a reader for Steppenwolf Theatre. Elly originally trained in London on the MFA in Theatre Directing from Birkbeck College. Her UK directing credits include: Our Country's Good, My Balloon Beats Your Astronaut, Beyond Therapy, About Tommy, Copenhagen, Skylight, The Beach and The Zoo Story.

About the Artistic Associates:

Brittany Ducksworth serves as Sideshow's company manager and a casting director. A graduate of the University of Central Florida with degrees in marketing and stage management, her previous work with Sideshow has been as a stage manager on Stupid Fucking Bird, The Golden Dragon and 9 Circles. Other stage management credits include stage management intern on Brigadoon (Goodman Theatre), stage managing Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Gem of the Ocean (UCF), This Is Our Youth, Plaza Hotel Ballroom (Hangar Theatre); As Bees in Honey Drown, tick, tick, BOOM!, Love Letters (Stageworks Theatre), assistant stage managing The Little Mermaid, Suessical, Jr (Hangar Theatre), Veronica's Room (UCF) and rehearsal stage managing The Little Dog Laughed (Stageworks Theatre).

Michael Huey is a Jeff-nominated composer for film and theatre who has had the pleasure of working with such companies as Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Sideshow, Adventure Stage, North Park University, Filament, and many others.

Ian Martin is a recent transplant to the city and a recent graduate of Indiana University, where he received a BA in theatre and drama. Chicago performance credits include Sideshow's truth and reconciliation and Stage Left's Insurrection, as well as directing Amiri Baraka's The Toilet for Haven Theatre. Regional credits include To Kill a Mockingbird (Tom Robinson) for Cardinal Stage; As You Like It (Jaques), Midsummer Night's Dream (Peter Quince), Twelfth Night (Orsino) and The Miracle Worker (Anagnos) for Indiana University Summer Theatre; Macbeth (Macbeth), In the Red and Brown Water (Shango), Intimate Apparel (George), The Art of Bowing (Akwasi) and Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea (Dad) for IU Theatre; The Blizzard Sells Out (Ensemble) and Vintage Scenes (Ensemble) for the Bloomington Playwrights Project. Ian is an alumni of Awkward Silence Comedy long-form improv troupe, the winner of 2015 Bloomington Chapter NSAL Drama Competition and a 2015 NSAL National Drama Competition Honorable Mention scholarship recipient. He is the artistic producing apprentice at Goodman Theatre. Ian is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Gabrielle Randle is a graduate student, director and dramaturg who is passionate about social justice, storytelling and the power of performance to change the world. She has a dual BA degree in drama and sociology from Stanford University and an MA degree in performance as public practice at The University of Texas at Austin. She has directed, devised, dramaturged and produced professionally across the U.S. in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Austin and New York City (off-Broadway) and internationally on three continents. In Chicago, she has worked with Sideshow Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatist, Victory Gardens Theater and Court Theatre. She is a second year PhD student at Northwestern in the interdisciplinary PhD in theatre and drama.

Ellen Willett's credits with Sideshow include production managing The Happiest Place on Earth, Antigonick and Mai Dang Lao. She regularly works with the talented folks at The Inconvenience, Remy Bumppo, Steep, Route 66 and the Grant Park Music Festival, making theatre and events.

About Sideshow Theatre Company:

Sideshow Theatre Company: Theatre for the Curious. It is the mission of Sideshow Theatre Company to mine The Collective Unconscious of the world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from the familiar stories, memories and images we all share to spark new conversation and bring our audiences together as adventurers in a communal experience of exploration.

Over its 10+ year history, Sideshow is proud to have distinguished itself as a vital member of the Chicago theatre community. Sideshow was awarded the 2016 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award by the League of Chicago Theatres. Sideshow is a multiple Jeff Award-winning theatre and has been listed on the "Best of" lists in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times. Sideshow continues its multi-year residency at Victory Gardens in the historic Biograph Theater in the 2017/18 season.

Sideshow is also the producer of Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW), a wildly popular fundraiser held in benefit of Sideshow Theatre Company and other local community organizations. CLLAW has been featured in local and national press, including The Washington Post, Reuters, Penthouse Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times and on WGN Morning News, ABC 7's Windy City Live and CBS 2. The next CLLAW will be held Saturday, February 3, 2018 at Logan Square Auditorium. For more information about CLLAW, visit

For additional information on Sideshow Theatre Company, visit

PHOTO CREDIT: (top, l to r) Sideshow Theatre's new ensemble members (top, l to r) Katy Carolina Collins and Elly Green, new artistic associates Brittany Ducksworth (2nd row, l to r) Michael Huey, Ian Martin, Gabrielle Randle and (bottom row, l to r) Ellen Willett and "The Freshness Initiative" playwrights Brynne Frauenhoffer and Ariel Zetina.

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