Steve Haggard

Steve Haggard

A Red Orchid Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of The Aliens, written by Annie Baker and directed by Artistic Associate Shade Murray. The production will run January 17 – March 3, 2013 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells.  

All day every day, two slackers hang out behind a coffee shop by the dumpsters.  These guys have elevated loitering to an almost Buddhist “tea ceremony” level, where music, Bukowski, sex, travel, philosophy, friendship, and ambition (or lack thereof) are intensely meditated upon while the busy world rushes by.  Enter a 17 year-old barrista-cum-disciple, and so begins a summer where no one moves but everything changes.

“I love the way that Annie Baker’s plays seem to reset the pace, almost suspending time to allow for an incredibly close, almost secret-feeling, look into the souls of her characters,” said Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald.  “This play is a gift.  Annie truly has a way of speaking to and drawing humans with such compassion, and I cannot wait to have her in the room.”

The Aliens features A Red Orchid Ensemble Member Steve Haggard (Jasper), with Brad Akin (KJ), and Michael Finley (Evan).

The creative team includes Dan Stratton (Set Designer), Joanna Melville (Costume Designer), Heather Gilbert (Lighting Designer), Brando Triantafillou (Sound Designer), Toni Kendrick (Props Designer), Jim Moore (Technical Director), S. G. Heller (Stage Manager), Alexis Jade Links (Production Manager) and Skye Robinson-Hillis (Assistant Director).

About the artists

Annie Baker (Playwright) grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her full-length plays include Body Awareness (Atlantic Theater Company, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play/Emerging Playwright), Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons, OBIE Award for Best New American Play, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), The Aliens (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, OBIE Award for Best New American Play), and Nocturna. Her work has also been developed and produced at New York Theatre Workshop, MCC, Soho Rep, the Orchard Project, the Ontological-Hysteric, Ars Nova, the Huntington, South Coast Rep, the Magic Theater, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Utah and Ucross, Wyoming. Annie is a member of New Dramatists, MCC’s Playwrights Coalition, and EST, and an alumna of Youngblood, Ars Nova’s Play Group, and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Recent honors include a New York Drama Critics Circle Special Citation, a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nomination, a Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, and commissions from Center Theatre Group and Playwrights Horizons. She received her MFA from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program at Brooklyn College.

Shade Murray‘s (Director) directing credits include Abigail’s Party (Jeff Nomination, Director) and The Butcher of Baraboo at A Red Orchid, End Days at Next Theatre, The Chosen (Jeff Nomination, Director), The Subject Was Roses at Writers’ Theatre, Fatty Arbuckle… at Second City, The Petrified Forest, The Good Soul of Szechuan, R.U.R., Marathon ’33 (Jeff and After Dark Awards, ensemble), Detective Story (Jeff Award, Production, Director, Ensemble), and Our Country’s Good at Strawdog Theatre, Stupid Kids (Jeff Nomination, Director), Some Explicit Polaroids, Santaland Diaries, Never Swim Alone at Roadworks as well as productions at the MCA, Shattered Globe, About Face, Colbalt, Shakespeare’s Motley Crew, Timberlake Playhouse and dance theatre in collaboration with MK and Birgitta Victorson. Shade is an MFA candidate in directing at Northwestern University, an associate artist with A Red Orchid and Strawdog Theatre Companies and has taught at Northwestern University, DePaul University, Act One Studios, National Louis University, National High School Institute, Piven Workshop and the Actor’s Gym.

Brad Akin (KJ) is an actor, director and teacher based in Chicago. This marks his A Red Orchid debut. Brad is a company member of Steep Theatre Company, where he also serves as Literary Manager.  Acting credits include Breathing Corpses, The Night Heron, Incident at Vichy, Icarus’s Mother (Steep). Directing credits include Under The Blue Sky, Greensboro: A Requiem, Insignificance, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Book of Days (Steep); Where We’re Born (Steppenwolf); and OOHRAH! (LiveWire Chicago).

Michael Finley (Evan) is currently in his third year of theatre, film, and anthropology studies at Northwestern University.  Previous credits include A Christmas Carol and High School Musical at Metropolis and You Can’t Take It With You at Northwestern Theatre Interpretation Centre.

Steve Haggard (Jasper) is an ensemble member at A Red Orchid where he was last seen in The Mandrake and Kimberly Akimbo.  His Chicago credits include the world premiere of Wasteland (Timeline Theatre), Season’s Greetings and She Stoops to Conquer (Northlight Theatre), Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Old Glory, The Subject Was Roses and Our Town  (Writers’ Theatre) and has also performed for The Goodman, Next Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Remy Bumppo and Indiana Rep. He has spent the last few summer seasons with American Players Theatre in Spring Green Wisconsin where he was seen in The Admirable Crichton, The Tempest, Ah Wilderness, Hay Fever and The comedy of Errors.  He is a graduate of DePaul University.


About A Red Orchid

Since 1993 A Red Orchid Theatre has been an artistic mainstay of the Chicago theatre community; known and praised for its powerful ensemble, creative design and its gripping, intimate productions.  The resident Ensemble maintains the conviction that passionately committed theatre will draw passionately committed audiences, and the 2012-2013 subscription season promises to bring Ensemble and audience even closer together.

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



Title:                The Aliens

Written by:        Annie Baker

Directed by:      Artistic Associate Shade Murray

Featuring:          Ensemble Member Steve Haggard, with Brad Akin and Michael Finley

Dates:               Previews:                     January 17 – January 20, 2013

      Press opening:             Monday, January 21 at 7 p.m.

Regular Run:                January 22 – March 3, 2013

Red Night Opening:      Friday January 25 at 8 p.m.

Schedule:         Thursdays:                   8:00 p.m.

                        Fridays:                        8:00 p.m.

Saturdays:                    8:00 p.m.

Sundays:                      3:00 p.m.

Location:          A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells Ave.

Tickets:             $15 previews, $25-$30 regular run.  ($25 Thurs, $30 Fri-Sun),

$50 Red Night Opening & Reception on January 25 at 8 p.m.

Box Office:       Located at 1531 N. Wells Ave, Chicago, (312) 943-8722; or online www.aredorchidtheatre.org