Sideshow Theatre Company Presents the Chicago Premiere of MARIA/STUART By Jason Grote Directed by Marti Lyons March 30 – May 5, 2013

Sideshow Theatre Company continues its 2012/13 season with the Chicago premiere of MARIA/STUART by Jason Grote, directed by Marti Lyons, playing March 30 – May 5, 2013 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. MARIA/STUART features the work of Sideshow Ensemble member Nate Whelden (Stuart) and Artistic Associate Scottie Caldwell (Hannah) with Mary Ann Bowman, Ann James, Susan Monts-Bologna and Jennifer Joan Taylor. Tickets are available at or by calling the Theater Wit box office at (773) 975-8150.

Everything was going fine, before the shape shifter showed up. Grandma Ruthie’s three tolerably dysfunctional daughters were throwing her a birthday party (including unbalanced Sylvia, with her terrifying hook hands). The kids were coming too, and nobody planned on mentioning the family’s horrific secrets. But now there’s soda and cheese puffs spilled everywhere and a mysterious pink letter is circulating around the kitchen. What happens when it’s opened is just the tip of the iceberg in the Chicago premiere of Jason Grote’s dark comedy, as supernatural forces conspire to bring everyone to the brink of confronting the pasts they’ve kept so carefully buried.

“On the surface is the family, a dynamic recognizable to all, but underneath lurks the abuse, lies and conflict, all compressed into something so powerful it explodes into a supernatural creature,” comments Director Marti Lyons. “Although this creature is absurd, it is so potent with repressed family drama that it is somehow also completely recognizable.” Sideshow is proud to bring this audaciously familiar story to the stage, helmed by one of Chicago’s most exciting directors and brought to life by a powerful and adventurous ensemble.

The creative team for MARIA/STUART includes: Nick Sieben (scenic designer), Kristin DeiTos (costume designer), Mac Vaughey (lighting designer), Christopher Kriz (sound designer), Sideshow Ensemble member Karie Miller (assistant director/movement coordinator), John Kelly (master electrician), Shawn Rutledge (technical director), Benjamin Dawson (production manager) and Shelby Glasgow (stage manager).



Playwright: Jason Grote

Director: Marti Lyons

Featuring: Nate Whelden (Stuart), Scottie Caldwell (Hannah), Mary Ann Bowman (Lizzie), Ann James (Aunt Sylvia), Susan Monts-Bologna (Ruthie) and Jennifer Joan Taylor (Marnie).

Location: Theater Wit 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Saturday, March 30, Tuesday, April 2, and Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 pm

Opening: Friday, April 5 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Friday, April 5 – Sunday, May 5, 2013

Curtain Times: Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

Tickets: Previews: $15, or pay-what-you-can at the door.

Regular run: $20-25; $15 student, senior and industry tickets available for select Thursday and Sunday performances.

Tickets are available at or by calling the Theater Wit box office at (773) 975-8150. Group tickets are available for $15 for groups of 10 or more, and can be reserved by emailing


About the Playwright:

Jason Grote is a playwright and television writer based in Brooklyn. His other plays include 1001, Civilization (all you can eat), Hamilton Township, Darwin’s Challenge, Safe in Heaven Dead, Box Americana and This Storm Is What We Call Progress. He was a staff writer for the NBC/Dreamworks show Smash, produced by Steven Spielberg, Theresa Rebeck, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Current projects include a commission from ACT/Seattle about Stalin and Shostakovich and a musical adaptation of 1001 with composer Marisa Michelson. His work has been produced and developed at The Museum of Modern Art, The Sundance Theater Lab, Playwrights Horizons, The O’Neill, The Denver Center, New York Theater Workshop, Portland Center Stage, Woolly Mammoth, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, Page 73, Ensemble Studio Theater, Voices of Change – Festival for New American Plays (Theater Bielefeld, Germany), Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, The Foundry, Mass MoCA, The Luminato Festival, Soho Rep, The Lark, The Glej Theater (Slovenia), Salvage Vanguard, HERE, The Contemporary American Theater Festival, Baltimore Centerstage, Collaboraction, Theater @ Boston Court, and elsewhere. He is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and was the 2006 P73 Playwriting Fellow. His plays have been published by Samuel French and Playscripts Inc. and in The Back Stage Book of New American Short Plays 2005 (edited by Craig Lucas). His comics debut will take place in the upcoming Significant Objects anthology from Fantagraphics, edited by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker.

About Sideshow Theatre Company:

Founded in 2007, Sideshow Theatre Company‘s mission is to mine the collective unconscious of the

world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from the familiar stories, memories and images we all share to spark new conversation and bring our audiences together as adventurers in a communal experience of exploration. From its first production, 2008’s “vivid, intimate and visually arresting” (The Daily Herald) Dante Dies!! (and then things get weird), through its most recent staging of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Idomeneus, which was praised by Hedy Weiss of the Sun-Times as “highly recommended… a marvelous production,” Sideshow has consistently brought a sense of excitement and wonder to Chicago’s stages.

In the Spring 2011, Sideshow produced the runaway robotic hit Heddatron by Elizabeth Meriwether, as part of Steppenwolf Theatre’s 2nd Annual GARAGE REP. The production ran to packed houses and rave reviews, and its innovative and quirky robotics designs won Sideshow its first Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award, for Artistic Specialization. Later that same year, Marius von Mayenburg’s The Ugly One garnered Jeff Award nominations for director Seth Bockley and lighting designer Mac Vaughey. In the summer of 2012, Sideshow produced two plays in the span of three months: the world premiere of Calamity West’s The Gacy Play, developed with the playwright over the course of two years, and Idomeneus, performed at the DCASE Storefront Theatre.

Sideshow also produces the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW), a popular interactive fundraising event that benefits Sideshow Theatre Company and local charities and has been featured in The Washington Post, Time Out Chicago and Penthouse Magazine. The next match is set for February 2013. For more information about CLLAW, visit

For additional information on Sideshow Theatre Company, visit, or