NEW COLONY’S WORLD PREMIERE OF SMALL WORLD PLAYS THROUGH MAY 4 AT THE DEN

(front) Jackie Seijo with (back, l to r) Stephanie Shum and Patriac Coakley in The New Colony’s world premiere of SMALL WORLD. Photo by Evan Hanover

The New Colony, under the new artistic leadership of Fin Coe* and Stephanie Shum*, is pleased to continue its 2018-19 season with the world premiere of SMALL WORLD, a twisted comedy in the happiest place on earth, co-written by Jillian Leff and Joe Lino and directed by Andrew Hobgood*, playing March 27 – May 4, 2019 at TNC’s resident home, The Den Theatre’s Upstairs Main Stage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at www.thenewcolony.org.

SMALL WORLD feature Ensemble members Patriac Coakley* and Stephanie Shum* with Jackie Seijo.

It’s the end of the world…maybe? There’s no way to confirm for three cast members trapped inside their attraction at the happiest place on earth. The music won’t stop, there’s a body in the moat and one of the group is impaled under a smiling animatronic. Can they force their way off the ride? And what waits for them on the other side? It’s a world of hopes, it’s a world of fears. It’s a small world, after all.  

Comments Co-Artistic Director Fin Coe, “We’re getting back to our roots with Small World, a show that is getting the full New Colony Process; our Ensemble fell vocally in love with the concept, we greenlit it, and we’ve hit the ground sprinting – working with the playwrights to generate and polish it for this season. It’s a gonzo workplace dark comedy gem, with all our signature weird humor and wild action.” 

The production team for SMALL WORLD includes: Sotirios Livaditis (scenic design), Uriel Gomez (costume design), Alon Stotter (lighting design), Erik Siegling (sound design), Jennifer Wernau (props design), Zack Meyer (violence design), Zoe Benditt (dramaturg), Megan Johns* and Zach Weinberg(assistant directors), Doran Konja (script supervisor), Lila Gilbert (production manager), Evan Sposato (technical director), Monica Brown* (stage manager) and Cedar Larson (assistant stage manager).

*Denotes The New Colony Ensemble Member.

About the Artists

Jillian Leff (Playwright) is a Chicago based playwright and actor. She’s excited to be back at The New Colony after being the script supervisor and fight choreographer for Scapegoat and developing her play The Mark with The Writers Room. Her writing has been seen around the city with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble (Fly on the Wall), Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble (Forgetting) and Nothing Special Productions’ Fight Night (The Mother-Load). Her short play Real Talk was a finalist for the 2015 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting and was published in The City Theatre Anthology 2015. Her play Missed Opportunities will be receiving its world premiere this winter with The Cuckoo’s Theater Project, where she is a company member. She is also currently working on developing The Private Life of Private Molly, a play about Deborah Sampson, with EDGE Theatre.

Joe Lino (Playwright) is making his playwriting debut with Small World. He’s mainly focused on acting, and in Chicago he has worked with Steppenwolf, Goodman, Victory Gardens, Teatro Vista, Drury Lane, The New Colony, The Cuckoos Theater Project, The Agency Theatre Collective,and Interrobang Theatre Project, where he is an ensemble member. Regionally, he has credits with Actors Theatre of Louisville in shows such as Dracula, A Christmas Carol and That High Lonesome Sound, which premiered at the Humana Festival. He has also performed Off-Broadway at the BAM Harvey Theatre in Charles Mee’s world premiere of The Glory of the World. He is a proud alumni of Ball State University, where he received a BFA in Acting.

Andrew Hobgood (Director) is the Founding Artistic Director of The New Colony and led the organization for its first 10 years. He has been a working playwright, director and actor in Chicago for the last 15 years. His play, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, won Outstanding Production at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival before opening Off-Broadway in a production Ben Brantley of the New York Times called “raw and magnetic dementia…destined to attract a cult following.” 5 Lesbians is published with Samuel French and has been translated into over 15 languages and produced throughout the world. Hobgood’s other work with The New Colony includes writing and directing the new musicals Tupperware: An American Musical Fable, That Sordid Little Story, Rise of The Numberless and Plastic Revolution. His play reWILDing Genius was commissioned by the University of Chicago and premiered as part of Steppenwolf Theater’s Garage Rep series. Directing credits for The New Colony include Amelia Earhart: Jungle Princess, the original and commercial productions of FRATHearts Full of Blood, which won Outstanding Script at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival, B-Side Studio, produced in collaboration with The Inconvenience and the University of Chicago TAPS program, Orville and Wilbur Did It!, and MERGE. Recent acting credits include The Bear Suit of Happiness, The Terrible and Kinfolk. In 2010, Newcity Magazine named him one of the 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago; in 2011, he and The New Colony were honored with the Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award; and in 2013 he and Evan Linder were two of six people on Chicago Magazine’s Cultural Power List of Theater Scene Stealers. Most recently, he authored Surviving Collaboration, a manual that teaches writers, directors and actors how to create new works using The Process, the development methodology used by The New Colony.

About The New Colony

The New Colony develops New Art and New Artists in order to educate and build New Audiences.

Now in its tenth year, The New Colony has established itself as “one of Chicago’s essential off-Loop companies” (Chicago Tribune). Through the premiere of now thirty premiere plays and musicals, The New Colony has cultivated a diverse audience of theatergoers eager to have a voice in the storytelling. Conversation, collaboration and innovation remain at the heart of everything they produce. The New Colony’s work has been honored with five non-Equity Jeff Awards, Broadway In Chicago’s 2011 Emerging Theatre Award and Best Overall Production at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival. The New Colony’s 2018/19 Season marks their fourth year as a resident company in the Upstairs Mainstage of The Den Theatre in Wicker Park.