Greenhouse Theater Center’s Chicago Premiere of CIRCUMFERENCE OF A SQUIRREL Runs Through February 12

Greenhouse Theater Center is pleased to conclude its Solo Celebration! Series with the Chicago premiere of John Walch’s savagely funny one-man show CIRCUMFERENCE OF A SQUIRREL, directed by Artistic Director Jacob Harvey and starring Will Allan. CIRCUMFERENCE OF A SQUIRREL will play January 13 – February 12, 2017 at The Greenhouse Theater Center (Upstairs Mainstage), 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at greenhousetheater.org, in person at the box office or by calling (773) 404-7336

An inner tube, a bagel, a donut, a lifesaver, a holiday wreath, a tire-swing, a cycle of abuse: circles, and at the center of them all sits an enigmatic squirrel. Orbiting that squirrel is Chester, a self-described “rodentophobe” who spins the outlandish, funny and bruising tale of growing up with a father who developed a rabid hatred for squirrels that eventually infected every aspect of his life. Pursued by memories of his father’s intolerant legacy, Chester is pulled into the black hole at the center of his own life, unsure of how he will break free from the darkness that encircles him.

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Pictured: Will Allan stars in Greenhouse Theater Center’s world premiere of CIRCUMFERENCE OF A SQUIRREL by John Walch, directed by Artistic Director Jacob Harvey. Photos by Evan Hanover.

“The Solo Celebration, which was The Greenhouse’s inaugural producing endeavor, has reached its closing production. It has been profoundly rewarding to bridge communities and celebrate solo works born in Chicago and beyond,” comments Artistic Director Jacob Harvey. “Will Allan makes the perfect collaborator in the series’ conclusion, John Walch’s wonderfully off-kilter comedy.”

The production team for CIRCUMFERENCE OF A SQUIRREL includes: Grant Sabin (scenic design), Erik Barry (lighting design) and Jeffrey Levin (sound design), Josh Prisching (video design) and Ashley Bowman (stage manager).

About The Artists

John Walch’s (Playwright) other plays include: In the Book OfThe Dinosaur WithinWhat God Hath Wrought!Turn Out to KneadThe Nature of MutationJesting with Edge ToolsCraving Gravy or Love in the Time of CannibalismAlice Threw the Looking Glass (a parody of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style), as well as numerous one acts, musicals, collaborations and shorts. His work has been produced, commissioned and developed at theaters such as Center Theatre Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Theatre @ Boston Court, Kitchen Dog, Edinburgh Fringe Fest and Off-Broadway at Urban Stages. Awards include: The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays; the American Theatre Critics Association’s Osborn Award; the Frederick Loewe Award in Musical Theatre and the Charlotte Woolard Award recognizing a new voice in the American Theatre. John is a two time Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and was a James Michener Fellow at the Michener Center at University of Texas @ Austin. John is an alum of New Dramatists in NYC, and has taught playwriting across the country and heads the MFA Program in Playwriting at University of Arkansas. Current projects include a pilot for PBS called BrainWorks, exploring the frontiers of neuroscience, a musical with the composer Nile Rodgers, and The Bell Play, a work in progress featuring aerial choreography and tons (literally) of church bells in collaboration with writer-director Katie Pearl.

Jacob Harvey (Director) is the Artistic Director of the Greenhouse Theater Center and most recently directed the world premiere of I Do Today as part of the Solo Celebraton! Series. Harvey is also a producer for Your Theatrics International, a full service entertainment Production Company, specializing in the production of theatrical events around the world. He was awarded the Bret C. Harte Director/Producer Fellowship for Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s 2013/14 Season; served as Associate Producer and Interim Director of Programming for the Drama Desk Award Winning New York Musical Theatre Festival; and served as the Co-Artistic Director of the Ovation Award-Nominated Mechanicals Theatre Group in Los Angeles. He was the co-producer of Ladyhawks (NYMF 2013 Best of Fest under the title Volleygirls); the associate producer of Ryan Scott Oliver’s 35MM: A Musical Exhibition and the director of the Eberhardt and Collyer musical Right Together, Left Together. Other directing credits include, Mr. Marmalade (The Theatricians), The Shape of Things (Silver Bell Productions), the world premiere of The Many Selves of Mia Scott (Carrie Hamilton Theater) and assistant director of the world premiere of Marcus Gardley’s The House The Will Not Stand (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).

Will Allan (Chester) was last seen in Steppenwolf Theatre’s of Annie Baker’s The Flick” Previous Chicago credits include Good PeopleThe MarchAnimal Farm and A Separate Peace (Steppenwolf Theatre); The Seagull and Dartmoor Prison (Goodman Theatre); The History Boys (TimeLine Theatre); The Whale (Victory Gardens); The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? (Remy Bumppo); Speech and Debate and It’s a Wonderful Life (American Theater Company); Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing (First Folio); and Red Noses and Good Soul of Szechuan (Strawdog). Regional credits include The Mousetrap (Milwaukee Rep) and Red (Human Race Theatre Co.).

About Solo Celebration! 

CIRCUMFERENCE OF A SQUIRREL is one of 12 plays featured in Greenhouse’s Solo Celebration! Series, which includes ten full productions, two limited engagements and other special events running June 2016 through February 2017. Among the other directors connected to solo series are Goodman Theatre Producer and Artistic Collective Member Steve Scott, Writers Theatre Resident Director Kimberly Senior, Directors Lab Chicago Artistic Director Elizabeth Margolius and Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate Linda Gillum. Some of the performers confirmed to star in solo works include Jeff Award-winners Kate Buddeke, Gene Weygandt, Linda Reiter, acclaimed British actor Simon Slater, Will Allan and Carin Silkaitis. Most productions will be produced in their entirety by Greenhouse, while other plays will be stated with co-producers including Sideshow Theatre Company and The Other Theatre Company. Greenhouse’s “Solo Celebration!” is co-produced by Forum Productions and underwritten by the Wendy and William Spatz Charitable Foundation.

About the Greenhouse Theater Center

The Greenhouse Theater Center is a nonprofit performance venue located at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Our complex offers two newly remodeled 190-seat main stage spaces, two 60-seat studio theaters, an in-house rehearsal room and Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre book store.

Our mission at the Greenhouse is first and foremost to grow local theatre. We strive to cultivate a fertile environment for local artists, from individual renters to our bevy of resident companies, to develop and produce their work. In 2014 alone, The Greenhouse Theater Center provided space for almost 1,000 ticketed performances, serving more than 54,000 patrons. Among these events were at least 30 productions by our resident companies, including the celebrated American Blues Theater and Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. Through our Trellis Program, we offer the community affordable access to our work by housing Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre bookstore, located on the second floor of our complex, as well as offering a free reading series eachTuesday night where local artists workshop their latest scripts. Additionally, we also continue to play an active role in cultivating and nurturing our community through continued partnerships with the League of Chicago Theaters and local Chambers of Commerce.

As of 2016, the Greenhouse Theater Center embraced the true spirit of growth and launched its producing entity. With the announcement of our eight month long Solo Celebration Series, helmed by Artistic Director Jacob Harvey, we will produce 12 solo plays from June 2016 to February 2017. Through this inaugural effort, we hope to expand the solo play cannon while also cultivating a larger conversation about the possibilities of the one-person play.

With new ideas always incubating, the Greenhouse Theater Center is flourishing. Come grow with us!