Step Up Productions' 3rd Annual HOLIDAZE Begins Today

'Tis the season! Step Up Productions is pleased to continue its 2015-16 season with the return of its wildly popular HOLIDAZE, a hilarious and heartwarming line-up of original holiday-themed short works by Jake Carr, MT Cozzola, Mia McCullough, Steven Simoncic, Steven Peterson and Joshua Rollins. Curated by Tara Branham*, HOLIDAZE will play November 20 - December 20, 2015 at The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets go on sale Thursday, October 15 at www.stepupproductions.org or by calling The Athenaeum Box Office at (773) 935-6875. The press performance is Tuesday, November 24 at 8 pm.

Back by popular demand, Step Up's holiday round up returns for its third year! This series of touching and comedic short plays celebrates the holiday season and all the chaos, dysfunction and cheer that comes along with it.

Throughout the run, Step Up Productions will be collecting donations for Lakeview Pantry (toothpaste and whole grain cereal). Proceeds from HoliDaze will also help provide counseling for Seasonal Affective Disorder through Dr. Jacqueline Duke, PsyD, LLC. As part of its mission, Step Up Productions donates a portion of proceeds from each of its production to organizations in and around Chicago that support issues often highlighted the shows.

The full HOLIDAZE 2015 line-up includes:

Temperance vs. Tolerance

By Mia McCullough, Directed by Patrice Foster

Featuring Nathaniel Andrew, Elizabeth Antonucci, Alexia Jasmene, Molly Lyons and Chris Yearwood

When Sabrina, who's five months sober, asks her historically considerate family to do Thanksgiving dinner sans alcohol she discovers that the family's tolerance for change does not extend to their drinking habits.

Christmas Eve Eve

By MT Cozzola, Directed by Jacqueline Stone

Featuring Breon Arzell, Jamie Bragg, Molly Parchment and Rachel Van Marter

Shay is anxious to make good at her new job, but she didn't bargain for colleague Tyna's massive holiday spirit - especially on the day before Christmas Eve. Both women learn the hard way that work families can be as complicated as the other kind, especially when gifts are involved.

Your Better Half

By Jake Carr*, Directed by Tara Branham*

Featuring Sarah-Jayne Ashenhurst*, Danielle Davis, Gay Glenn and Dave Skvarla

Two young wives backpacking through Europe board an airport-bound train on Christmas morning. Confronted by a major turning point in their marriage, they become reluctant acquaintances with an older, eccentric British couple sitting opposite them. Bottled together in this small space, each pair examines how they communicate - or don't - amid the frenzied pace and rigorous expectations of the holiday season.


Someplace Warm

By Steven Peterson, Directed by Frank Honts

Featuring John Stokvis and Hannah Toriumi

Carrie and Ted face another Chicago holiday season: cold, snow, ice, misery, arguments over family, arguments over gifts and arguments over arguments. How can they get to someplace warm?

this is that moment

By Joshua Rollins+, Directed by Lavina Jadhwani

Featuring Elizabeth Antonucci and Vahishta Vafadari

Life changes in a moment. On Christmas Eve, two women confront the reality of their relationship and its future. A play about popcorn strings, time travel and life changing in an instant.

Later In The Strange

By Steven Simoncic+, Directed by Tara Branham*

Featuring Breon Arzell, Jamie Bragg, Gilmary Doyle and Lawrence Garner

It is the first year without her. The now what year. The strange year. With a child locked in the bathroom, a pantsless patriarch and two grown siblings desperately trying to not act like children... a family sits down to have Christmas Eve dinner. Just like they always have.

The production team of HOLIDAZE includes: Eleanor Kahn (scenic design), Raquel Adorno* (costume design), Stephen T. Sorenson (lighting design), Jeffrey Levin (sound design), Kailee Tomasic (props design), Sammi Grant (dialect coach), Dorthea Walstrom* (make-up design), Tyler Reinert (stage manager) and Catherine Allen* (production manager).

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