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Uncommon Ground to Bring Site-Specific PINE to Christmas Tree Lot in Edgewater


Uncommon Ground to Bring Site-Specific PINE to Christmas Tree Lot in Edgewater The United States premiere of Pine, by Jacqui Honess-Martin, directed by Arianna Soloway, December 1 - 10 in the outdoor Christmas Tree lot at Uncommon Ground Edgewater, 1401 W. Devon Ave. The press opening is Friday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m.

Performances are Fridays - Sundays at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 suggested donation or free with the purchase of a tree*. Tickets may be purchased at The running time is currently two hours including the intermission. PLEASE NOTE: Performances take place outdoors. Heaters and blankets are provided, food and drink available for purchase at Uncommon Ground, audience members are encouraged to dress warmly.

Cozy up with a blanket, a hot drink and the staff of the Festive Pines tree lot. Join Gabby, Sami, Taj, Betty and Joe: five young people from very different backgrounds thrown together by a seasonal job selling Christmas Trees. As the weeks count down to Christmas they must lean on each other to figure how to keep moving forward when life doesn't turn out the way they planned. A delightfully unfestive comedy about pursuing dreams, managing expectations and working retail.

The cast of Pine includes Sunny Anam,"Taj;" Martin Hanna, "Sami;" Logan Hulick, "Joe;" Elise Spoerlein, "Gabby" and Aria Szalai-Raymond, "Betty."

The design/production team includes John Holt, set design; Jessica Doyle, lighting design, Eric Backus, sound design; Kelsey O. Cox, costume design; Lorianne Trephibio, stage manager and Jaime Crothers, production manager.


Pine takes place on an actual Christmas Tree Lot at Uncommon Ground Edgewater, 1401 W. Devon Ave. with all the trees coming from Wamhoff Farms in Michigan.

The lot opens Monday, Nov. 27 and remains open until they are sold out of trees, Monday - Friday 12 - 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

More information at


Jacqui Honess-Martin (Playwright) is a writer, director and producer. For InSite Performance: We Have Fallen (writer and director), Larisa and the Merchants (director), SMITH (writer and director) and Antigone (adaptor and director). Honess-Martin's directing credits include: Atman by Iain Finlay Macleod (Finborough), Auricular (Theatre 503) and Necessary Evil by Ben Askew (Menagerie Theatre Company, The Junction Cambridge). She has directed at Drama Centre, London and RADA. Her assisting credits include: Arcadia (West End), Remembrance Day and The Faith Machine (Royal Court) and People (National Theatre, Tour). Tell Out My Soul, her first original play, was staged at The Public Theatre New York in 2008 and Pine premiered in 2016 at Hapenstead. She worked as a producer at Cheek by Jowl from 2004 - 2008.

Arianna Soloway (Director) is a director and dramaturg located in Chicago. Originally from Atlanta she graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2013 with a BFA in directing for theater. She recently directed Carrie & Francine with Haven Theatre Company and Guardians at Mary Arrchie Theatre as well as short plays for Bechdel Fest at Broken Nose Theatre, Paragon Play Festival at Otherworld Theatre Company and Ripped: The Living Newspaper Festival at American Blues Theater. She assistant directed Roz and Ray at Victory Gardens, Red Handed Otter at A Red Orchid Theatre, A Small Fire at Steep Theatre and Seminar at Haven Theatre Company. Dramaturgy credits include Once in A Lifetime at Strawdog Theatre and Yankee Tavern at American Blues Theatre where she also served as community services coordinator from 2013-2015. Soloway recently returned from Washington DC where she had the opportunity to work on Intelligence at Arena Stage as part of the SDCF observership program. This summer, she returned to her musical theater roots to choreograph Singin' in the Rain and Guys and Dolls for the Skokie Park District "Summer on Broadway." She is an associate member of the SDC.

Sunny Anam ('Taj') had the pleasure of working with Remy Bumppo, The Public House Theatre, Silk Road Rising, The Agency Collective Theatre, Rasaka Theatre and Broken Nose Theatre, among others.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Martin Hanna ('Sami') has called Chicago his home for the past fifteen years. He is a proud new company member with Broken Nose Theatre. Some Chicago credits include: Yasmina's Necklace (Goodman Theatre); Human Terrain (Broken Nose Theatre); The Hard Problem (Court Theatre); The Invisible Hand, A Christmas Carol and Dreamgirls (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); Macbeth, A Comedy of Errors, Failure: A Love Story and The Magical Mind of Billy Shakespeare (Illinois Shakespeare Festival). He holds a BFA from the Arts University Bournemouth (England) and is represented by Stewart Talent.

Logan Hulick ('Joe') recently played "Joe" in Bachelorette, "Rick Baldwin" in The Irish Curse, and "Pony" in SubUrbia with Level 11 Theatre, where he is an associate artistic director. Hulick has enjoyed working with many great theatre companies in Chicago including the Arc Theatre, Prologue Theatre Company, The Agency Theatre Collective, Interrobang Theatre Project, TUTA Theatre and Trap Door Theatre where he is an associate ensemble member. He is a co-founder/producer of famed improv group Lindsey's Calling, as well as an acting teacher for The Second City Training Center and is represented by BMG Talent.

Elise Spoerlein ('Gabby') is the associate artistic director and casting director of Broken Nose Theatre, where she was last seen in the recent Jeff Award-winning production of At The Table. She is also a company member with The Factory Theater. Her Chicago acting credits include the Lyric Opera, Artemisia, Strawdog, Route 66, The New Colony, Midsommer Flight, Level 11 Theatre, American Blues, Hobo Junction and Pride Films and Plays. As a playwright, she has had her work performed at First Floor Theater, Broken Nose Theatre and Arc Theatre, while her play, A Phase, has been taught at the University of Chicago.

Aria Szalai-Raymond ('Betty') is an artistic associate with Broken Nose Theatre where she has performed in two of their short play festivals: Bechdel Fest and written for one. Other credits include productions at A Red Orchid Theatre, where she is a founding youth ensemble member. She is currently a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago getting her BFA in acting. Szalai-Raymond has worked with members of Lookingglass, Steppenwolf and Barcelona's Performing Arts school, Eólia. She has performed on their main stage in Secret in the Wings and Life is A Dream. She has also appeared on USA network's television show "Sirens" and is represented by Stewart Talent in Chicago.

Pictured: Sunny Anam, Logan Hulick, Aria Szalai-Raymond and Elise Spoerlein. Photo by Matthew Freer.

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