Here’s the press release from the Neo-Futurists:
THE NEO-FUTURISTS ANNOUNCE THEIR 23rd SEASON
OF ORIGINAL WORK
CHICAGO – The Neo-Futurists announce their 23rd season to include Chalk and Saltwater: The Ladder Project by John Pierson, Burning Bluebeard by Jay Torrence, and The Strange and Terrible True Story of Pinocchio (the wooden boy) as Told by Frankenstein’s Monster (the wretched creature) by Greg Allen. Also on the books is another great year of the smash hit, Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind.
Prime-time shows run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster) in Andersonville. Tickets are $15, $10 for students/seniors with ID, or pay-what-you-can during previews and on Thursdays. For tickets or information, visit www.neofuturists.org or call The Neo-Futurist Hotline at 773-275-5255. Any exceptions to this information are noted below.
Chalk and Saltwater: The Ladder Project
Created by John Pierson and Clifton Frei
Opening Night: Thursday, September 15, 2011
Performances continue through October 22, 2011
Chalk and Saltwater: The Ladder Project dissects the failure of Edgar Davis’ 1926 Broadway production of The Ladder, the longest running flop in American theatre history. Pierson, Frei and crew re-stage 18 of their own varying versions of The Ladder, putting the original under a magnifying glass to examine the show’s contours, blemishes and birthmarks. Through this process, the ridicule and scorn often aimed at artistic failure is exchanged for an honest exploration to uncover something profound hidden within its soul.
John Pierson has been a Neo-Futurist since 1996. Besides being a full time ensemble member in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, he has co-written and performed in full length plays including the critically acclaimed, Crisis: A Musical Game Show, Daredevil’s Hamlet, and Fear. Also during this time he released his 20th record, “Thresholds From The Basement”, with his band Even In Blackouts and finished his second novel, “The Last Temptation Of Clarence Odbody”. The novel hits the streets in October 2011.
Created by Jay Torrence
Previews November 17 and 18, 2011
Opening Night: Saturday, November 19, 2011
Performances continue through December 30, 2011
For your holiday viewing pleasure, The Neo-Futurists investigate the connections between the gruesome folktale of Bluebeard, the wife-killing king; Mr. Bluebeard, the 1903 Christmas pantomime that was the first show performed in Chicago’s Iroquois Theater; and the Iroquois Theater Fire which destroyed the brand new theatre and took 600 lives. Burning Bluebeard resurrects a gaggle of singed ash stained performers who attempt to retell the legend of Bluebeard once again for children at Christmas time, but the story quickly devolves into tragic flames. Exploring historical interviews, articles and police reports, this irreverent holiday performance is a survivalist’s guide to Christmas. What happens when the good intentions of art, entertainment and celebration burn you alive?
Jay Torrence is a Neo-Futurist ensemble member since 2002 where he writes and performs regularly in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind and where he wrote and co-directed Roustabout: The Great Circus Train Wreck (awarded Outstanding New Work 2007 and Outstanding Production 2007). Torrence recently finished his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia where he wrote and illustrated a non-fiction graphic memoir titled “A Collection of Questionable Devices.” Torrence’s personal essay “Poster Children” won first place in the 2009 Prairie Fire Non-Fiction Contest and was nominated for a Canadian National Magazine Award and was also a finalist in the 2011 Western Magazine Awards. His essay “Buckshot” recently won the 2011 Annie Dillard Award for Creative Non Fiction and will appear in the Bellingham Review spring of 2012. Jay has had the privilege of working with Redmoon Theater, 500 Clown, The New Victory Theater (New York), The Shakespeare Theater (Washington DC) and Woolly Mammoth Theatre (Washington DC).
The Strange and Terrible True Story of Pinocchio (the wooden boy) as Told by Frankenstein’s Monster (the wretched creature)
Created by Greg Allen
Previews March 8 and 9, 2012
Opening Night: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Performances continue through April 14, 2012
Using puppets, clowning, video projections, and his trademark dark humor and meta-theatrics, Founder Greg Allen presents Carlo Collodi’s original 1883 masterpiece through the eyes of Mary Shelley’s nameless wretched Monster. Definitely NOT a children’s story, this stage adaptation includes all the violent and outrageous scenes from the original novel. Allen parallels the stories of these two motherless, un-born souls to explore human nature, mortality, fatherhood, and the meaning of life itself. Featuring Neo-Futurist Dean Evans as Pinocchio, puppets by Blair Thomas and Dan Kerr-Hobert, and an all-star cast, “Pinocchio/Frankenstein” promises to be amongst the best of Allen’s award-winning work.
Greg Allen is the Founder of The Neo-Futurists and creator of over 50 productions including Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes) which has been running every week in Chicago since 1988 and in New York since 2004. His plays for The Neo-Futurists include The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, H20, A Child’s History of Bombing, Boxing Joseph Cornell, and K., his award-winning adaptation of Kafka’s The Trial. His legendary production of all 7 hours and 9 acts of Strange Interlude inspired angry hecklers and instant standing ovations in the Goodman Theater’s Eugene O’Neill Festival and hopes to be remounted this season. His restaging of K. was seen at The Hypocrites last fall, and his show The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett As Found In An Envelope (partially burned) In A Dustbin In Paris Labeled “Never to be performed. Never. Ever. EVER! Or I’ll Sue! I’LL SUE FROM THE GRAVE!!!” will be remounted for its 13th international production in New York City this July. A proud graduate of Oberlin College, Greg teaches performance and playwriting at the University of Chicago, The Theater School at Depaul, and the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Center, as well as in residencies at universities and theater programs all over the world.
Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes
Every weekend except December 23-25, 2011
Special 23rd anniversary performances: December 9-11 and Dec 16-18
Special New Year’s Eve performance: December 31
Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. (doors open 11:00 p.m.)
Sundays at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Tickets: $9 plus the roll of one six-sided die, or $10-15
No reservations accepted, except for groups of 10 or more on Sundays
The Neo-Futurists’ signature show, performed since 1988, is the longest-running production in Chicago history. Too Much Light… is an ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes. Each week the ensemble adds between two and twelve new plays to the menu. Every performance creates an unreproducible, living-newspaper collage of the comic and tragic, the political and personal, the visceral and experimental.
The Neo-Futurists, performers of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind and creators of over 60 other original, full-length productions, are a collective of wildly productive writer/director/performers who create immediate, non-illusory, interactive and head-slappingly affordable performances.
The Neo-Futurists are partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, Alphawood Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and a CityArts 3 grant.