Theater Oobleck book release party @ the Hideout 9/4

For my money, there is no other theater company in America that has so consistently created original, excellent, principled theater.” – Greg Kotis on Theater Oobleck, from the preface to MORE IF YOU’VE GOT IT

It’s the end of summer and the first day of school — so why not throw a party? Please join Theater Oobleck and special guests to celebrate the release of our new collection, MORE IF YOU’VE GOT IT: FIVE PLAYS FROM THEATER OOBLECK (July 2012, Hope and Nonthings). When: Tues. 9/4,7-10 PM

WhereThe Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia

How much: Free!

Entertainment includes but is not limited to:

*Scenes from long-lost Oobleck plays “Innocence and Other Vices” and “Letter Purloined.”
*Music from Danny Thompson, Jeff Dorchen, and elusive folk-rockers the Ring of Promised Wonder.
*Sneak preview of the next installment of Oobleck’s Baudelaire in a Box project, coming to Links Hall Nov. 14-18
* and a very special reunion set from Shloinke, Chicago’s hardest drinking klezmer band.

All this plus snacks! DJ Mike Bulington! And, of course, many copies of MORE IF YOU’VE GOT IT for sale, hot off the presses and featuring the complete playscripts of Dave Buchen’s  “Innocence and Other Vices,” Jeff Dorchen’s “Ugly’s First World,” David Isaacson’s “Letter Purloined,” Mickle Maher’s “There Is a Happiness That Morning Is,” and Danny Thompson’s “Necessity.” With a preface by Tony-award winning playwright Greg Kotis and an introduction by Oobleck founding member Terri Kapsalis.

Detailed information on MORE IF YOU’VE GOT IT and Theater Oobleck is below, along with a jpg of the book jacket. For more, contact Martha Bayne (martha.bayne@gmail.com312-343-9305)  or see http://theateroobleck.com/home.

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About More If You’ve Got It:

More If You’ve Got It: Five Plays From Theater Oobleck brings together five full-length plays spanning the 24-year (and counting) history of Chicago’s acclaimed Theater Oobleck, a company renowned for producing intriguing new works without a director and for audiences with or without the means to pay. (Ticket prices for Oobleck shows are always a suggested amount, “more if you’ve got it, free if you’re broke.”)This collection features works by five of the six playwrights currently active with the company, all founding members of the company:

  • Ugly’s First World by Jeff Dorchen, in which a singing zombie, seeking revenge against T.S. Eliot, becomes a pawn in a battle to overthrow God.
  • Innocence and Other Vices by Dave Buchen, a half-true, half-blasphemous screwball comedy about the mildly unhealthy relationship between charity and capitalism.
  • Letter Purloined by David Isaacson, a whodunit comedy about war atrocities and a handkerchief.
  • There Is a Happiness That Morning Is by Mickle Maher, a play, in rhymed verse, about the poetry of William Blake and having sex in public.
  • Necessity by Danny Thompson, a bloody and historically inaccurate bio-drama of Thomas Alva Edison, from chain gang to electric chair.

Tony-award winning playwright Greg Kotis contributed the preface; Oobleck founding member Terri Kapsalis, whose most recent work The Hysterical Alphabet was published by Whitewalls in 2008, provides an introduction.

About Theater Oobleck

Theater Oobleck was founded inChicagoin 1988, out of the ashes ofAnn Arbor’s Streetlight Theater (1983-1987). The company immediately distinguished itself with its absurdist, deeply referential aesthetic, and with its unique operating structure: Oobleck is dedicated to developing new works (60 plays to date), without the use of a director, substituting the traditional director’s role with a collaborative method. Two conventions are in place to help keep the creative process from descending into chaos. “Outside eyes” (company members, members of theChicagotheater community at large, friends, and audience members) are encouraged to attend rehearsals and give notes on all aspects of the production, from the script to the lighting design to the actor’s interpretation, engaging with the production from the ground up. Each performer is also given “actors’ prerogative”–the ultimate responsibility for her or his choices in blocking, delivery, even including the authority to amend the script in the course of a performance.

Aesthetically and politically, Theater Oobleck places itself at the crossroads of a number of influences, too many to mention (and they seem to multiply when no one is looking) but surely among them are: the surrealists (particularly Artaud and Jarry) and Brecht’s Epic Theater, The Goon Show, The Marx Brothers, Beckett (that great humorist), Punch and Judy, Freud, post-structuralist literary theory, Fellini, Charles Ives, Edgar Allan Poe, and Baudelaire. The plays are unabashedly maximalist, sparing no kitchen sink, fearing no obtuse reference, and shrinking from no dramatic challenge.

Each play in this volume displays, in its own way, that quality that Chicago audiences (and, increasingly, audiences as far flung as Austin, St. Louis, Savannah, Slovenia, and Finland) have come to know as uniquely Oobleckian: irreverent, curious, peripatetic, vexed, impossibly funny, and unexpectedly transcendent.

About the playwrights

Dave Buchen is a San Juan, Puerto Rico-based playwright and graphic artist. He is currently developing Baudelaire in a Box – an adaptation of Charles Baudelaire’s “Les Fleurs du mal” as cantastoria.

Jeffrey Dorchen is an L.A.-based screenwriter and a regular contributor to the “This is Hell” radio program. His most recent play for Theater Oobleck is Strauss at Midnight.

David Isaacson is a Chicago-based playwright. His most recent play for Theater Oobleck is Casanova Takes a Bath.

Mickle Maher has worked as an actor, director, and playwright inChicagosince 1987. He teaches at Columbia College and the University of Chicago.

Danny Thompson is a Worcester, MA-based writer and video artist. He currently tours with the Theater Oobleck production of The Hysterical Alphabet.

Greg Kotis is the Tony-award winning author of Urinetown! The Musical and Yeast Nation. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Terri Kapsalis is the author of The Hysterical Alphabet and Public Privates: Performing Gynecology from Both Ends of the Speculum.