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Strawdog Theatre Company 2009-2010 season announcement

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Here’s the press release from Strawdog: (Updated August 4, 2009)


Strawdog Theatre Company of Chicago announces their 22nd anniversary season of presenting “the whole wide world in a little black box,” with the three mainstage plays focusing on the theme of “why we fight”:  the Midwest premiere of Matt Pepper’s St. Crispin’s Day, Curt Columbus’ translation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and David Harrower’s translation of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Soul of Szechuan. The productions run Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m.

These productions, plus ongoing late night offerings, are presented at Strawdog’s space in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood at 3829 N. Broadway Street. Adult single ticket prices are $20 (single gala night tickets are $40 each, closing night tickets are $30 each); preview tickets are $10, student and senior tickets are $15 (with ID); and $15 tickets are available for groups of ten or more.  Season flex-passes are $50 for three admissions and $100 for six admissions, benefit performances count as two admissions. (All benefit performances include post-show reception with refreshments). Admission for Strawdog Late Night programming starts at $5 and varies for visiting artists. Tickets are available at 773.528.9696 and

Strawdog Artistic Director Nic Dimond said, “It’s a cliché, but one that cannot be overstated …these are tough times, and it’s hitting close to home for everybody. We all know people whose lives have been wrecked over the last year – smart, talented people who are utterly discouraged. While it’s tempting, we don’t believe that this is the time for fluffy escapism. We believe that we should expect more of ourselves. This is the time for stories about people who refuse to just lay low and ride it out. This is the time for stories about people who dig in and take a stand, and our Season 22 selections all focus on the idea of why we fight. There is an infamous medieval battle to be justified in St. Crispin’s Day; there is ferocious family infighting in Curt Columbus’ saucy translation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya; and there is the struggle to be a decent person in a capitalist world in David Harrower’s hot new translation of the Brecht classic The Good Soul of Szechuan.  With our signature blend of brains and brawn, Strawdog continues to emphasize a true ensemble-based acting attack, as well as a design approach that immerses our audiences into the worlds where each of these stories live.”

The run schedule is as follows:
St. Crispin’s Day • September 24 – October 31

Previews September 24 and 25 at 8 p.m., gala benefit on September 26 at 7 p.m., Opening Night September 27 at 7 p.m.

Written by Matt Pepper, directed by Kevin Christopher Fox

Strawdog will open their 22nd anniversary season with the Midwest premiere of Matt Pepper’s black comedy St. Crispin’s Day.  Set on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt, St. Crispin’s Day takes place in the world of  Shakespeare’s Henry V and follows his famous characters, Bardolph, Pistol and Nym, as they attempt to overthrow England’s King Henry V and avoid the battle altogether.  Kevin Christopher Fox makes his Strawdog directing debut with this production. Fox has also directed Widower’s Houses for TimeLine Theatre, Beggar’s in the House of Plenty for Mary-Arrchie Theatre, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot for The Gift Theatre, and Arms and the Man for the Oak Park Festival Theatre.

Uncle Vanya • February 18 – March 27, 2010

Previews February 18 and 19 at 8 p.m., gala benefit on February 20 at 7 p.m.,

Opening night February 21 at 7 p.m.

Written by Anton Chekhov, translated by Curt Columbus, directed by Kimberly Senior

Chekhov’s classic about a country gentleman’s forbidden love for his brother’s beautiful wife gets a smoldering translation from former Steppenwolf Associate Artistic Director and current Artistic Director of Trinity Rep Curt Columbus.  Strawdog company member Kimberly Senior returns after directing the critically acclaimed sold-out run of Cherry Orchard in 2009 and Three Sisters in 2005 (remounted at Theatre on the Lake in 2006). Other Strawdog productions include the Jeff Award-nominated Knives in Hens (2003) and Fuddy Meers (2004). Senior also directed TimeLine’s Dolly West’s Kitchen as well as this spring’s critically acclaimed production of The Overwhelming for Next Theatre.

Good Soul of Szechuan • April 22 – May 29, 2010

Previews April 22 and 23 at 8 p.m., gala benefit on April 24 at 7 p.m., opening Night April 25 at 7 p.m.

Written by Bertolt Brecht, translated by David Harrower, directed by Shade Murray.

Strawdog’s 2009- 2010 season will close with Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Soul of Szechuan.  A trio of gods passes through Szechuan and bestows great wealth on the poor prostitute Shen-Te in recognition of her pure and charitable heart. Shen-Te struggles to maintain her decency as greedy locals and fair-weather lovers take advantage her good soul.  Brecht’s classic receives a new translation from Scottish playwright David Harrower, author of Strawdog’s Jeff Award-winning production of Knives in Hens.  Company member Shade Murray returns to Strawdog, where he previously directed their Detective Story (Jeff Award-winning Best Production, Director and Ensemble in 2003), Marathon ’33 (Best Ensemble 2006), and R.U.R.- Rossum’s Universal Robots (2008). Murray was assistant director for Steppenwolf’s acclaimed production August: Osage County.  He also won a 2006 Jeff Award for The Chosen at Writer’s Theatre.

Strawdog Late Night •

Strawdog Late Night features a variety of programming (Theatre Wars, live music, comedy, improv, roasts) in the newly-renovated Hugen Hall Cabaret space within the theatre, following each night’s mainstage performance at 11 p.m., 10 p.m. on Sundays. Admission for Late Night starts at $5 and varies for visiting artists. A cash bar available.  Some events are free.  Check for current listings.

Strawdog has received numerous Non-Equity Jeff Awards, including awards for Hurlyburly (1999)- Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Actor Michael Dobbs, Outstanding Supporting Actress Stephanie Manglaras, Outstanding Supporting Actor Bart Petty; Detective Story (2003) – Outstanding Production, Outstanding Director Shade Murray, Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Set Design Ray Vlcek; Three Sisters (2005) – Outstanding Set Design Brian Sidney Bembridge; Marathon 33 (2007) – Outstanding Ensemble and A Lie of the Mind (2008) – Outstanding Original Music Mikhail Fiksel and Gregor Mortis.

Public transportation to Strawdog is available on the CTA via the Red Line Sheridan stop, plus 36-Broadway and 80-Irving Park buses.  There is a $6 honor parking at Horace Greeley School, 832 W. Sheridan, weekends after 5 p.m.  Strawdog Theatre Company is committed to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach, offering Chicago the premiere storefront theatre experience. We develop new work, re-imagine classic plays, explore new fusions of music and theatre, ask provocative questions and deliver the unexpected to our audience. We provide a home for our celebrated ensemble to work and play with the most sought after artists in Chicago theatre along with the best new talents in the city.  Strawdog is a proud member of the NortHalsted Area Merchant Association and the League of Chicago Theatres.

The current Strawdog ensemble includes Jennifer Avery, Hank Boland, Abigail Boucher, Don Cardiff, Erin Carlson, Michael Dailey, Anita Deely, Amy Dunlap, Paul Fagen, John Ferrick, Mikhail Fiksel, Aly Renee Greaves, Carmine Grisolia, Christopher Hainsworth, Kyle Hamman, Erik Hellman, Tom Hickey, Shannon Hoag, Anderson Lawfer, Sean Mallary, Kat McDonnell, Gregor Mortis, Stacy Parker Hirsch, Michaela Petro, Mike Przygoda, John Henry Roberts, Justine C. Turner, Jamie Vann and James Anthony Zoccoli.  Strawdog Artistic Director is Nic Dimond, Managing Director is Hank Boland and General Manager is Cortney Hurley.  Notable Strawdog alums include Elizabeth Auman (TimeLine), Alexandra Billings (actress, cabaret star), Nancy Bishop (casting director), Chrisanne Blankenship (director), Becca Cardo (voice-over artist), Kristin Caskey (Fox Theatricals), Scott Cummins (actor, director), and James Denton (Desperate Housewives).  Strawdog supports Mookie Jam, a Chicago-based, not-for-profit organization created to assist artists living with multiple sclerosis –

Strawdog Theatre Company is committed to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach, offering Chicago the premiere storefront theatre experience. The company develops new work, reimagines classic plays, explores new fusions of music and theatre, asks provocative questions and delivers their audience the unexpected.  The company is also proud to provide a home for their celebrated ensemble to work and play with the most sought after artists in Chicago theatre along with the best new talents in the city.  The Strawdog ensemble has consistently produced shows built on authentic human connections, in their 70-seat home in Lakeview, offering the audience “the whole wide world in a little black box.”  Strawdog is a proud member of the NortHalsted Area Merchant Association, The Chicago Storefront Theatre District and the League of Chicago Theatres.  For more information on Strawdog Theatre Company visit

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