On the Spot Theatre Company will present the world premiere of How to Make a Rainbow written and directed by Michael Brayndick beginning July 26, 2013 at the Greenhouse Theatre Center, Upstairs Studio, for a four week run.

The self-taught American artist Joseph Cornell, born in Nyack, New York in 1903, lived most of his life in Queens just outside New York City where he devotedly attended to the needs of his widowed mother and his brother Robert who had cerebral palsy. In the basement workshop of their small home, Cornell created box constructions and collages, drawing from his many interests including astronomy, dance, literature, music, fine art and popular culture, and exploring themes of time, memory, childhood, and the wonders of travel through the imagination.

Joseph Cornell was interested in conjuring up what he called white magic as opposed to evoking the darker kind of imagery of some Surrealist art.  Nevertheless, he was greatly influenced by artists like Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst, who were working in the realm of dreams and unexpected or spontaneous juxtapositions of images, as well as by their use of real objects.   Cornell created visual poetry that plays off the tension between time and timelessness, the linear flow of hours and days that leads to entropy and the cyclical time in nature that suggests spiritual renewal.  Cornell’s work can be seen around the world and in such museums as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim Museum and the Peabody Museum.

Playwright, Mike Brayndick, is a Chicago native and graduate of Grinnell College, the University of Chicago, and the University of Iowa with a Doctorate in Literature with an emphasis in interdisciplinary arts.  A scholar of Cornell’s life and works, Brayndick’s script journeys with Joseph across time and space to meet characters like Blondin the famous French tightrope walker, the ballet dancer Marie Taglioni, and the revered poet Emily Dickinson.  Under the directorship of Mike, this will be the seventh full production staged by the On the Spot Theatre Company of Chicago.

How to Build a Rainbow combines drama and humor, lyricism and fantasy and features Evan Henderson, Katie Sherman, Erik Martin, Mark A. Dodge, Emma Brayndick and Casey Brayndick.  Each actor plays multiple roles in bringing Cornell’s story to the stage.

Visit New York City during the days of the Worlds’ Fair of l939, the Russian Steppes in winter, Florence, Italy, during the Renaissance, and many more places! Follow the life of an original American artist whose close bond with his gifted, disabled brother and sometimes difficult but supportive family dynamic led to truly remarkable visions that evoke both the pathos of time lost and the transcendence of time lived most fully.

How to Make a Rainbow will open at the Greenhouse Theatre Center, Upstairs Studio, 2257 N. Lincoln, Chicago on July 26 and runs through August 18.  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm.  Tickets are $20 General Admission,  with a discounted $15 rate for student, seniors, industry and groups.  There will be a preview performance on July 25 at 7:30pm for $10.  For more information go to the On the Spot Theatre website at

For tickets call the Greenhouse box office at 773-404-7336 or online at

Director/playwright Michael Brayndick is available for interviews.  Contact Elayne LeTraunik at

For more information on Joseph Cornell and his work, go to or