Tyrone Phillips and John Cicora to Helm 33 TO NOTHING at A Red Orchid Theatre

Tyrone Phillips and John Cicora to Helm 33 TO NOTHING at A Red Orchid TheatreA Red Orchid Theatre announces its spring production of Grant James Varjas' 33 to Nothing will be directed by Tyrone Phillips, with music direction by John Cicora. The production features Ensemble Member Steve Haggard. 33 to Nothing runs April 12 - May 27, 2018 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells.

"It was Tyrone's production of Byhalia, Mississippi and John's work on Hit the Wall that first drew my attention and thus began the conversations," notes Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald. "It never occurred to me that we might get them both in the room on the same production, but here we are. I am thrilled to have these two incredible artists leading and guiding the third show of our 25th anniversary season. Their passion for the humans at the core of this story, their vision, their precision and their rigorous curiosity are qualities that I and our playwright, Grant Varjas, find essential and incredibly inspiring."

Taking place during a real-time band practice, 33 to Nothing is a play that rocks hard and breaks hearts. Feeling the incessant call of adulthood, individuals begin to question their role in the ensemble. Ultimately begging the question: to break up or to build stronger? An anthem of forgiveness, loyalty and resilience when your world is being torn by the seams.


Grant James Varjas (Playwright) is the playwright and composer of 33 To Nothing. His play Accidentally, Like A Martyr was produced by A Red Orchid Theatre in 2015. His work has also been seen in Chicago as part of Headline Theatre Project 3, Bechdel Fest 2016, and "Sick By Seven" (A Red Orchid Theatre Incubator). His plays have been produced in New York City (Wild Project NYC; Paradise Factory; Planet Connections Festival) where he was nominated for a GLAAD award for Best Play. Grant has worked extensively developing work and acting with Moises Kaufman's Tectonic Theater Project, and is on the board of Tom Noonan's Paradise Factory Theatre.

Tyrone Phillips (Director) is the founding artistic director of Chicago's Definition Theatre Company, which recently produced the Chicago Premiere of An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Directing credits include: the critically acclaimed Byhalia, Mississippi (remounted to open the Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre); Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea (Illinois Theatre); Dutchman (Definition Theatre Company); The MLK Project (Writers Theatre); Amuze Bash (Pavement Group); The Tempest, Lord of the Flies, Our Town, and We the People (Niles North Theatre). Assistant directing credits include: TREVOR the musical, Parade, and The Mystery of Love and Sex (Writers Theatre). Mr. Phillips is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also studied abroad at Shakespeare's Globe and was an emerging professional resident at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, where he worked on A Raisin in the Sun, The Mountaintop, and Clybourne Park. Mr. Phillips was named one of the Chicago Tribune's "Hot New Faces of 2015" and Newcity's "Players 2016: The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago."

JOHN CICORA (Musical Director) has Musical Director/Composition/Programming and or Performance credits in: BlockOut, B­Side Studio, Chicagoland, The Fly Honey Show, Hit The Wall, The Little Things, Standing Room Only, and A Little Bit Louder Now. Through The Inconvenience he has worked within a variety of processes in order to develop a fluid system of assimilating music into the proper context for the given project. His band, Nootka Sound, focuses on his original compositions and plays regularly in Chicago. He is the Musical Director for The Cooke Book: The Music Of Sam Cooke, as well as a keyboardist/guitarist in the Talking Heads Tribute: This Must Be The Band. He has signed publishing/licensing deals with Penguin Publishing and Warner Bros, and recorded two records with Vanguard Records.

With our 25th season of ambitious and powerful storytelling, we are thrilled to announce the launch of A Red Orchid Theatre's Red League. At $1k or more, The Red League represents a donor community of our most committed and impactful cultural investors. Every profound and shocking moment on our stage is made possible through their critical annual contributions. Their philanthropic leadership fosters the development of raw and relevant work, creates a platform for our talented ensemble to reach new audiences, and ensures that A Red Orchid Theatre remains a source for honest, compassionate, and aesthetically rigorous theatre.

A Red Orchid Theatre has served as an artistic focal point in the heart of the Old Town community of Chicago since 1993 and was honored last year with a 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Over the past 24 years, its Resident Ensemble has welcomed into its fold an impressive array of award-winning actors, playwrights and theatre artists with the firm belief that live theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit. A Red Orchid is well known and highly acclaimed for its fearless approach to performance and design in the service of unflinchingly intimate stories. In addition to its professional season, the company is also committed to an OrKids (youth) project and hosts The Incubator (providing artists with space and time to explore new work, new forms and new artistic collaborations).

A Red Orchid Theatre is: Lance Baker, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Dado, Mike Durst, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Danny McCarthy, Shade Murray, Brett Neveu, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers and Natalie West.

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