New American Folk Theatre’s HOT PINK, OR READY TO BLOW Runs Through April 7 @ The Den

 t’s Pompeii meets Heathers as New American Folk Theatre presents the Midwest premiere of Johnny Drago’s 1980s-infused comedy HOT PINK, OR READY TO BLOW, directed by Derek Van Barham, playing March 10 – April 7, 2018 at The Den Theatre (2A), 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 697- 3830

HOT PINK, OR READY TO BLOW will feature New American Folk Theatre Company Members Charlie Irving*Caitlin Jackson*Kirk Jackson* and Anthony Whitaker* with Brittney BrownTommy BullingtonJanyce Caraballo, Elise Marie Davis, Will Kazda and Josh Kemper.

When New Pompeii’s annual sacrifice fails to satisfy the local volcano’s appetite for virgins, three totally ‘80s teenage girls concoct a brilliant plan to save themselves. This fearless twist on the classic, horny high school comedy incinerates double standards, as our heroines take control of their destiny by following one simple rule: get laid or die trying!

Janyce Caraballo, Charlie Irving and Brittney Brown in New American Folk Theatre’s Midwest premiere of HOT PINK, OR READY TO BLOW. Photo by Austin D. Oie.

The production team for HOT PINK, OR READY TO BLOW includes: Roger Wykes (scenic design), Carrie Campana (costume design), G. “Max” Maxin IV (lighting design), Kallie Rolison (sound design), Caitlin Jackson and Anthony Whitaker (props design), Jon Martinez (choreographer), Keith Ryan (wig design), Jamal Howard (production manager) and Mary Kate Mc​Alpine (stage manager).

*Denotes New American Folk Theatre Company Members

About the Artists

Johnny Drago (Playwright) is a queer, Brooklyn-based Southern playwright and performer, who makes comedies and tragedies about sex, death and the occult – all his favorite social taboos! He’s a narrative structure junkie with genre fiction on the brain, but has begun exploring ideas of autobiography, intimacy and more relaxed modes of storytelling in his plays. His work has been produced and/or developed by Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Lark, Pig Iron Theatre Company, the HOT! Festival at Dixon Place, The Barter Theatre, New American Folk Theatre, 7 Stages, The Weird Sisters Theatre Project, The Process Theatre Co. and Actor’s Express. As Dismantle Theater (with contemporary choreographer Erik Thurmond), Drago also makes experimental performance essays that tiptoe along the line between theatre and dance. His MFA is from Indiana University.

Derek Van Barham (Director) is the Associate Artistic Director of Pride Films & Plays, a member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble and a former Artistic Director of The Ruckus. For PFP, he has directed Perfect ArrangementAngry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage Repertory), Songs from an Unmade Bed (Jeff nomination: Best Director of a Musical or Revue) and PRISCILLA, Queen of the Desert: The Musical. He also wrote, directed and choreographed BITE: A Pucking Queer Cabaret and Kill Your Boyfriends. Other directing credits include Three Days of Rain (Boho), Miracle! by Dan Savage and Skooby Don’t (Hell in a Handbag) Trash and Deep in the Heart of Tuna (New American Folk Theatre) and From These Fatal Loins (The Ruckus). He was recently named one of Windy City Times “30 Under 30,” recognizing individuals from Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community. MFA: Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

About New American Folk Theatre

New American Folk Theatre is dedicated to folk theatre, music, education, and stories that shine a new light on the American tale. We strive to educate the public on works worthy of inclusion to the American theatrical canon. Using the resources around us, we create art that often dives into a mix of magical realism, southern gothic, pop culture, and the irreverent. We produce impactful theatre and artistic projects that help us learn and grow as a society. For additional information, visit