New Colony’s World Premiere of “PUNK” plays through Nov. 5

The New Colony concludes its 2017 Season with the world premiere of Michael Allen Harris’ prison drama PUNK, co-directed by Diana Raiselis and Katrina Dion, playing through November 5, 2017 at The New Colony’s resident home, The Den Theatre’s Upstairs Main Stage, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets on sale at

PUNK features Kyle Encinas, Keyanna Khatiblou, Monette McLin, Evie Riojas, Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Shtivelberg.

Set in a maximum-security prison in present day America, Punk is the story of a group of inmates who are protected and housed in a special unit for gay, bisexual and transgender inmates. Tensions rise when Travis, a young man sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a gay man, requests to transfer into the unit. Fear and suspicion hover over the inmates who call this unit home.

The production team for PUNK includes: Eleanor Kahn (scenic design), Uriel Gomez, (costumes design), Eric Watkins (lighting design), Jeffery Levin (sound design), Sydney Achler (props design), Kyle Encinas (choreography), Ryan Oliviera (dramaturg), Uriel Gomez (technical director), Ali Drumm (production manager) and Rose Hamill (stage manager).

About the Creative Team

Michael Allen Harris (Playwright) As a playwright, Michael has collaborated with Chicago theatre companies such as Broken Nose Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, Arc Theatre, Stage 773, Fine Print Theatre, Chicago Home Theater Festival and The New Colony. His play, Rocky Road, received its world premiere at the New Studio Theatre of Columbia College Chicago in March of 2013. It was the first production featured in the Main Stage season that was authored by an alumnus. His play, The Velvet Tabernacle, was featured in a development series on behalf of Fine Print Theatre. His most recent play, Kingdom, is currently involved in a season-long development on behalf of Broken Nose Theatre and received its first stage reading at Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater. In February 2016, he was part of The New Colony’s Writer’s Room and completed the first draft of his full-length play Ascension. His short plays include: House of Samurai, They Let Him Bleed, Project Agatha and The Woman Who Stared into the Eyes of The Red Horseman. As an actor, Michael worked with Adventure Stage, Eclipse Theatre, Gift Theatre, Teatro Vista, The-Massive, Stone Soup Theatre Project, Infusion Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre and Cold Basement Dramatics. He was nominated for a BTAA for his performance as Fortune in Eclipse Theatre’s Jeff-nominated production of Ruined. He is a proud ensemble member of Eclipse Theatre Company and proudly represented by Lily’s Talent.

Diana Raiselis (Co-Director) is a Chicago-based director and community event producer. Recent directing projects include Resolution (Pride Films & Plays), Punk (workshop production, The New Colony), THIRST: a climate change theater action (Jackalope) and festival premieres with Collaboraction, Jackalope, Prologue and Buzz22 Chicago. As a producer, she co-curates Slaymaker Loft’s occasional new-work series party/theater/party, and has served on producing teams for events at Pritzker Pavilion, the Steppenwolf Garage and site-specific locations around Chicago. Proud alumna of Northwestern University and the Steppenwolf Professional Leadership Program.

Katrina Dion (Co-Director) works as a director and teaching artist in Chicago. At Free Street Theater (FST), Katrina acts as the Operations and Youth Program Manager. In this position, she leads the high school ensemble in a conservatory level year long critical thinking and creation process focusing on issues affecting Chicago youth while managing the companies grants and financials. Katrina is also on staff with Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) as their lead academic tutor. Last year, Katrina had the pleasure of working with APTP on Learning Curve as a Production Assistant. Most recently, she directed Los Milagros/The Miracles Project, Checkmate and The Americans at FST; co-directed Cycle 3 of Every 28 Hours at The Goodman Theater along with Coya Paz; Zipped and Pelted at the Chicago Fringe Festival; and Convention or The Winos with The Wulfden. She has had the pleasure of assisting directors such as Bonnie Metzgar, Coya Paz and Krissy Vanderwarker. Katrina received her BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in directing with a minor in Mathematics from DePaul University.

About The New Colony

The New Colony develops NEW ART and NEW ARTISTS in order to educate and build NEW AUDIENCES. Founded in 2008, The New Colony has established itself as “one of Chicago’s essential off-Loop companies” (Chicago Tribune) having developed and produced over 25 world-premiere plays and musicals garnering four Joseph Jefferson Awards, the 2011 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theatre Award, and Best Overall Production at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival. The New Colony is a resident company of The Den Theatre located in Wicker Park.