The Comrades Present Free Staged Reading Of NATURAL SHOCKS On Friday, April 20

The Comrades Present Free Staged Reading Of NATURAL SHOCKS On Friday, April 20The Comrades are pleased to be taking part in the theatrical movement and staged reading of NATURAL SHOCKS by Lauren Gunderson. The reading features Adrienne Matzen in the role of She. The director is Carol Ann Tan and staged directions will be read by Mike Newquist.

Based on Hamlet's "To be or not to be," Natural Shocks is a new 60-minute, one-woman tour-de-force play that bursts to life when we meet a woman waiting out an imminent tornado in her basement. She overflows with quirks, stories, and a final secret that puts the reality of guns in America in your very lap. The play is part confessional, part stand up, and part reckoning.

This is a national campaign of theater activism against gun violence. This movement is modeled on her Inauguration Day 2017 project with her play THE TAMING, which The Comrades also took part in. The timing is intentional: April 20 is the 19th anniversary of Columbine and the day of the National School Walkout, organized by the student activists in Parkland, Florida. The Chicago reading is one of many - nearly 80 other readings of NATURAL SHOCKS will take place across the nation between April 19-23.

The Comrades' staged reading of NATURAL SHOCKS will be presented on Friday, April 20 at 7:30pm at the Vagabond School of the Arts (4001 N Ravenswood, 5th Floor). The reading is free and complimentary refreshments and snacks will be served. Donations will be accepted for Strides for Peace, a not for profit organization founded in 2014 in response to the shockingly high incidence of gun violence that takes place throughout Chicago. For more information visit or

About The Comrades:

The Comrades were founded in early 2016. To date, they have produced six full productions and several staged readings. Company members include Derek Bertelsen, Alison Plott, Angela Horn, Mike Newquist, Cydney Moody, David Coupe, Raymond Jacquet, Melanie Kulas, Taylor Wisham, Nicholas Coso, Becca Venable, Carol Ann Tan, and Alex Nolen.

About the playwright:

Lauren M. Gunderson is the most produced playwright in America of 2017, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award, the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, she is also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation's 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at companies across the US including South Cost Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The O'Neill, The Denver Center, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Synchronicity, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire and more. She co-authored Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley with Margot Melcon, which was one of the most produced plays in America in 2017. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You, Exit Pursued By A Bear, The Taming, and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists (The Revolutionists, The Book of Will, Silent Sky, Bauer, Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). Her picture book Dr Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon was released from Two Lions / Amazon in May 2017. and @LalaTellsAStory

About the director:

Carol Ann Tan is a Singapore-born, Chicago-based director, writer, and dramaturg. Her work focuses on issues surrounding race and immigration, particularly those involving the Asian diaspora. She is a 2017/18 Directors Inclusion Initiate with Victory Gardens, the resident dramaturg at Silk Road Rising, and an artistic associate with The Comrades. Directing/writing credits include Domestic Departure for the Director's Haven 2016 (Haven Theatre), Apartment Complex, Domestic Departure (University of Chicago). Domestic Departure was awarded second place for the 2015 Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize in playwriting. Dramaturgy credits include Wild Boar (Silk Road Rising), Two Mile Hollow, peerless (First Floor Theater), In the Wake (The Comrades), and assisting on The Audience (TimeLine Theatre).

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