the side project Kicks Off Season XIV with IT COMES IN, site-specific series of 7-minute plays Aug 22-29

News_release_header_cropped795cc4the side project will kick off its 14th season and celebrate its neighborhood with a free, eight-day festival of seven short plays–each about seven minutes long–that will all be performed each night in succession over approximately one hour in locations around the Jarvis Square Red Line El stop (Jarvis Ave at North Greenview Ave). Locations include the basement and back courtyard of The Side Project, a parking lot, under the El tracks, in the Poitin Stil bar, outside Towbar restaurant, and in a nearby apartment building’s laundry room.

On each of the eight nights of the festival, the audience will meet at The Side Project Theatre at 1439 W. Jarvis, where they’ll be broken into small groups that will travel around the neighborhood to view the first six of the seven plays to be performed concurrently. Each group will travel from one location to the next, all moving at once like musical chairs. After all of the groups have seen all of the first six plays, they will gather back together at The Side Project Theatre to watch the seventh and final play as one group.

Playwrights include: Brooke Allen, Dan Caffrey, Randall Colburn, Shawn Galligan, Stephen Murray, Allison Shoemaker, and Adam Webster. The directors are: Amy Johnson, Kate Leslie, Michael Manocchio, Brian Ruby, Allison Shoemaker, Megan A. Smith, and Amy Szerlong.

According to side project Artistic director Adam Webster: “We wanted to top our 2010 festival of extant plays that we retrofit into neighborhood locales by commissioning site-specific plays. We found a number of themes inspired by our neighborhood that would allow us to set the pieces all within a short walk of our theater.” The short plays include stories about coyotes in Rogers Park, urban decay and the disappearance of neighborhood businesses. “This led us to an overall festival theme of ‘What happens when the wild enters the grid,’” Webster said.

On August 23, after that evening’s showing, the company will hold a season-launch party at Poitin Stil Irish Bar (1502 W Jarvis) featuring excerpts from the season’s plays (outlined below), live music, beer and wine, a raffle, Season ticket pre-sale, and more! The party, like the Festival, is also free, with a cash bar; an unlimited beer/wine bracelet is available for $20.

About the Season
In its 9-show season, the side project continues its drive to create world premiere collaborations.

“We are thrilled to present a world premiere from renowned playwright Kathleen Tolan (Goodman Theatre’s Memory House), as well as continue the relationship we have with NY-based playwright Daniel Talbott, whose play Slipping we world premiered in 2008, and which was subsequently shortlisted for the 2010 Lambda Award, along with The Brother/Sister Plays. Further, we are excited to team up with Tympanic Theatre Company for our first co-production,Sandalwood,” Webster said. Tympanic’s last co-production was Scott Barsotti’s Brewed.

About the side project
The side project connects Chicago’s most innovative and engaging writers, directors, designers, and performers in an ongoing exploration of the power of hyper-intimate theatre. Its focus is not simply on world-premiere plays, but on world-premiere collaborations: creating never-before-seen teams of artists, each of whom has a body of work which speaks to the others in unique and exciting ways.

Over its 13-year history, the side project has presented more than 70 productions, including 40 full-length plays (featuring 28 world premieres, three of which were subsequently published), 15 one-act festivals (featuring 100 plays – including 73 world premieres), four sketch comedy shows, and a community-based storytelling festival. For its work, the side project received the 2006 Spirit of Rogers Park Award, the 2009 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theatre Award, the 2013 Rogers Park Business Leadership Award, and Artistic Director Adam Webster was named one of PerformInk’s “Top 25 Artists Making a Difference” (2004) and New City’s “Top 50 Artists Making Chicago Theatre Work” (2009).

All productions (other than the site-specific show, It Comes In) will take place at The Side Project Theatre, located at 1439 Jarvis Avenue. Tickets are $12-$20 and may be purchased online. Also: All season, the side project is continuing its $10 “rush” tickets for all empty seats to Rogers Park residents with I.D. bearing 60626 and 60645 ZIP Codes. For more information, or call the theatre’s box office at 773-340-0140.

It Comes In: A site specific festival of seven-minute plays
Thursday, Aug 22 to Thursday, Aug 29, 2013
7:30pm nightly (all seven plays run each of the 8 nights)
FREE (Donations accepted)

Written by:                                                                   
Brooke Allen, Dan Caffrey, Randall Colburn,             ,
Shawn Galligan, Stephen Murray,                              
Allison Shoemaker, and Adam Webster

Directed by:
Amy Johnson, Kate Leslie, Michael Manocchio,
Brian Ruby, Allison Shoemaker, Megan A. Smith,
and Amy Szerlong

Fall 2013 – Our Second Annual Storytelling Festival!
The Kindness of Strangers: A Festival of Storytelling
October 20-November 6, 2013
Sundays through Wednesdays at 7:30pm
More than 30 storytellers converge in this 3-week festival featuring a mix of first-time and experienced tellers, including week-long headliners Kim Morris, Amy Sumpter & Eric Warner.

Winter 2014 – An FX Kroetz Double bill!
Through the Leaves |Directed by Andy Hager
Featuring HB Ward and Laurie Larson
January 3-February 2, 2014
A female butcher and her caustic lover struggle to find a connection in this starkly naturalistic tale.

Request Concert | Directed by Mary Ellen O’Hara
Featuring Meg Elliott
January 22-February 2, 2014
A mundane evening routine silently implodes revealing a life of desperation in this harrowing one-woman show. It’s another lonely night … but this one will be different.

Spring 2014 – World premiere co-production with Tympanic Theatre Company
Sandalwood, by Dan Caffrey | Directed by Aaron Henrickson
March 27-April 20, 2014
Someone keeps making new ghost towns. And only one man can stop him in this new psycho-Western.

June 2014: A two-show rep exploring longing, memory, and living
What to Listen For, by Kathleen Tolan | Directed by Adam Goldstein
June 1-July 6, 2014
Cultural history and the challenge of modern music is portrayed through encounters with famous musical figures and renegades, including Arnold Schoenberg, Gustav Mahler, Sigmund Freud and Glenn Gould. “Romantic, wise, winsome, and full of lyrical associations that interlace critical surliness and human tenderness…a beautiful piece of modern language for the stage,” (Theatre J, in Washington, DC, which helped develop the piece).

Hello Failure, by Kristen Kosmas | Directed by Adam Webster
June 15-July 10, 2014
Rebecca isn’t going to today’s support group meeting. She’d rather spend the day in her bathroom with submarine inventor Horace L. Hunley, despite his having died in 1863. A whimsical, poetic, lyrical look at grieving, connecting, forgiving, forgetting. And then remembering.

August 2014: A two-show rep exploring the nature of intimacy, dependency, and need  
Miles Away, by Christine Whitley | Directed by Scott Weinstein
August 2014 – exact dates TBA
For two desperate pool hustlers holed up in a cheap hotel, a brutal cycle of dependency, betrayal and hope comes to a head. And then they learn that grace comes in many forms… you just have to wait.

Mike and Seth, by Daniel Talbott | Directed by Adam Webster
August 2014 – exact dates TBA
Childhood friends Mike and Seth share a hotel room the night before Mike’s wedding. Unable to sleep, they try to make sense of themselves, each other, and the future. What do you say before everything changes?