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The Passage Theatre Presents Virtual Staged Reading Of ALL-ONE! THE DR. BRONNER'S PLAY

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The Passage Theatre Presents Virtual Staged Reading Of ALL-ONE! THE DR. BRONNER'S PLAY

It was Day 1 of rehearsal for All-One! The Dr. Bronner's Play. In the basement of Ebinezer Lutheran Church, playwright Beth Hyland and the actors at The Passage Theatre discussed possible opening moments for their show: inviting an audience member to have their hands lathered and rinsed, adding soap to a kiddie pool center stage, and finally, starting a chain of sudsy, mutual hand-washing. Little did the actors know that one week later, as hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps disappeared from grocery store shelves, theatres across Chicago would close their doors.

All-One! The Dr. Bronner's Play is a world premiere commission by Beth Hyland and the Ensemble, directed by Sammy Zeisel. It centers around the life of Dr. Emanuel Bronner-- a man most famous for his pure-castile liquid soap. The play had been set to open in April, but when it became clear that aggressive hand-washing alone would not be enough to fight COVID-19, theatre artists all around Chicago were faced with the dilemma: Cancel, postpone-- or continue virtually?

"'All-One-God-Faith' was Dr. Bronner's idea of unity. Of everyone being connected," says Hyland, "and if there is anything that this virus has shown us, it's just how connected everyone is."

After taking a major pause and allowing time to process, the artists chose to stay connected and continue devising their play through virtual rehearsals. While The Passage Theatre hopes to one day stage a full production with a live audience, for now, it will present a digital version--trading in its "opening night" for a "release date."

The virtual staged reading of All-One! The Dr. Bronner's Play will be available for streaming on May 1 - May 10, 2020. Pay-what-you-can tickets are available for purchase at The Passage Theatre website; a confirmation email will be sent with further instructions on how to view the performance. To alleviate the financial struggle that artists are currently facing, 50% of the proceeds will go directly to the artists involved. TPT will also host a live Zoom talkback with playwright Beth Hyland and Director Sammy Zeisel on Friday, May 1 at 9 p.m.

Everyone is looking forward to the day when theatres can re-open their doors, but there is, for now, some solace in the virtual connection. Says Beth Hyland, "Even when we are cut off from each other, our community can be sustaining and uplifting."

All-One! The Dr. Bronner's Play features Jen Allman, Ned Baker, Carter Caldwell, Nico Kruger, Abby Pajakowski, Deanalís Resto, Will Sonheim, Joolz Stroop, Allyce Torres, and Park Williams.

"Good/Evil! Clean/Dirty! Madness/Genius! Apart/Together! Can all of these major dualities be contained in a soap you may have in your shower right now? And can that soap really have eighteen different uses? All-One! The Dr. Bronner's Play is an irreverent look at life's deepest darkness and brightest light through the too-wild-to-be-believed life of the world's most famous soap maker, Emanuel Bronner."

The creative and production team for All-one! The Dr. Bronner's Play includes: Jean E. Compton* (Stage Manager), Alexi Siegel (Production Manager), Kai Magee (Lighting Designer), David Dawson (Space Designer), Jessica Gowens (Costume Designer), Patrick Budde (Sound/Music director) Cory Hardin* (Artistic Producer), Grace Bolander* (Marketing Director), Evelyn Landow* (Video Editor), Laura Nelson* (Public Relations), Nic Park* (Casting Director), and Will Quam* (Literary Manager).

*Denotes The Passage Theatre company member

For additional information on The Passage Theatre, visit

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