Theater Wit Announces Final Extension For TEENAGE DICK Virtual Run
Chicago's Theater Wit announced a final extension today of Teenage Dick, its long-running critically acclaimed virtual production of Mike Lew's devastatingly funny new play inspired by theater's most famous disabled character.
Theater fans -- no matter where they are in the world -- now have until Sunday, May 24 to enjoy Wit's online-only, Chicago premiere of Teenage Dick.
Remote view performances are Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (all CST). The Wednesday matinee is Pay What You Can. Tickets for shows Thursday through Sunday start at $25. For tickets and information, visit TheaterWit.org or call (773) 975-8150.
In Teenage Dick, playwright Mike Lew revives theater's most famous disabled character, Shakespeare's Richard III, like audiences have never seen him before: scheming his way through the brutal, no-holds barred world of high school. Picked on because of his cerebral palsy (and his semi-creepy tendency to monologue), Richard is determined to become class president. But the road to power is never smooth and Richard must decide: is it better to be loved? Or feared?
On March 16, just days after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot decreed that all Chicago bars and restaurants needed to close due to COVID-19, Theater Wit was able to capture Teenage Dick on video in front of a small live audience.
What turned out to be the show's opening and closing night performance debuted online two days later as one of the first virtual theater productions in the age of COVID-19.
Since then, Teenage Dick has attracted national acclaim for the production itself, the pioneering remote view format Wit conceived and deployed in record time, and a substantial enough online audience to spur three extensions.
i??Happily, Theater Wit has been able to pay full performance rates to all 11 members of the show's cast, creative team and staff for the past 12 weeks as a result.
Over half of the ticket buyers to date have resided outside Illinois, with audiences logging in from as far as Canada, Japan, the U.K. and Pakistan to enjoy this 100-minute escape from the day-to-day rituals of sheltering in place, followed by a live video chat with the cast and crew after every show.
The New York Times praised Wit's "scrappily defiant, even noble insistence on the part of the producers that the artists' work on their small stages not disappear." The Wall Street Journal called Teenage Dick, "a technically sophisticated pre-taped version of a smart, raucously funny update of Richard III set in a status-conscious high school."
i??CBS Evening News ended a national broadcast in April with a feature on how Chicago's "Smart Art" storefront theater raced against time to get Teenage Dick on film in front of what was likely the last audience to enjoy a live stage performance before the city was fully quarantined.